Aquaponic Gardening

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Has anyone used an 11” deep, 59” diameter kids pool form a grow bed? They’re $16.98 at Lowes: "Summer Escapes 59 Kid's Pool” and would make a good growled (I’ve made one word out of grow bed). I’ve used these in the past as a dirt planter for a round "square foot garden," but never gave much thought to the toxicity of them. As far as them being an inch too short that’s an easy fix. I’m assuming that since our kids get in them that they’re safe. They’ll hold at least 100 gallons of media. Any thoughts?

The Lowes.com page is: http://www.lowes.com/pd_339859-459-LW-GV240D_0__?productId=3432384&...

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It would work but beware that it might not survive very long.  They are thin plastic and do become brittle in the sun.

Also be sure to support the bottom of them completely or they will sag and crack.

Be sure what you support them with won't let termites near the pool.  I've had termites eat from a wood pallet into the kiddie pools I tested out for my duck system last summer, granted, FL is major termite territory but it did suck to have to remove the plants and gravel from the pools to replace them after such a short time.

Good insight, thanks. I’ll be protecting the exterior with UV paint for plastic like I’ve done with the totes. I’ve never had problems with the termites using treated lumber on my homestead; there’s always a first time. I prefer stock tanks, but money is an issue so I have to do it piece by piece.

I suppose my location is a bit more extreme for termites because I have fond them in treated wood, it just takes em longer.

If you plan your set up carefully, perhaps you can make it easy to swap out kiddie pools for stock tanks one at a time at a later date without it having to cost much extra beyond the price of the kiddie pool.  That way once they do eventually start failing it won't be as big an issue to put the stock tanks in one at a time as needed.

Oh and check prices on the kiddie pools at K-mart as well since I've often found the best prices for them there or if you actually want smaller pools for some reason, the pet stores sell the doggie pools cheaper.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution ... there’s nothing that mankind can build that nature can’t destroy (I’ve lived through several hurricanes). Maybe if I ignore termites they won’t bother my treated lumber. :) I only have Wally-Worlds around here; I’m sure they have the pools, but they don’t give me a disabled veterans’ discount like the big hardware stores do.

I built some grow beds using treated plywood, 2 x 12 x 8s, on top of a 2 x 4 base, and placed them on bricks (the S&S Aqua Farm idea for grow beds), but those growbeds are very heavy and and cheaper than getting stock tanks from Tractor Supply. HOWEVER, after the man-hours have been logged in preparing them with paint, cinder blocks, liners, etc., it’s cheaper to just buy stock tanks from TS. In addition, I have only one fully functioning hand and leg so it’ll be easier/cheaper to use the stock tanks, especially after my three sons fly from the nest. If I could do it again ... oh well, as my wife’s late aunt said frequently: "live and learn ... die and forget it all."

Thank you for being very helpful to me as well as all the other aquapons. I wish you all the success in your aquaponic endeavors.

I would buy a gallon of fiberglass resin from lowes and put a layer on the inside of the growbed to add strength! If you want to save money, use an old bed sheet instead of the fiber glass cloth. approx 35.00$ US for a gallon of the resin at Lowes.

wouldn't using an old bed sheet kinda defeat the purpose if you were trying to add strength?

No K-mart?  Sorry.  I don't go into Wally World being that I'm a member of a union and they may have people trespassed for simply wearing a union logo onto their property, I'll not go there.

Yes, the bed sheet would not be as strong as the fiber glass cloth, however it will be stronger than the resin on its own. I built 2 clarifiers out of 3/4 plywood and resin (no cloth) because the wood was strong enough for the amount of water and the resin was simply for water proofing. I figured the Kiddy pools are designed to be strong enough to hold their fill of water, so the sheet+resin would provide a little longevity.

If you wanted to get fancy, you can lay wax paper down in the pool and then as many layers of Fiber Glass and Cloth as you wanted, then simply pull it out like a mold and make as many beds as you would like. In that case, I would use the fiberglass cloth and do at least 2-3 layers.

As the resin hardens it releases a waxy substance onto the surface, so be sure to hit it with a scotch brite sponge and water in between layers to insure they stick to each other. You can also hit it with 80grit sand paper if you want to be really safe.

Good for you; boycotting is a wonderful freedom we have as Americans and is a right I served to defend as a Marine. I’ve participated in boycotts as well. 

The bed sheet thing is a good idea, but I’d use it as a base for teaching my sons how to make a fiberglass tank/growbed to sell in the future. I’m done with constructing wood growbeds and will opt for stock tanks now.

APguy01 said:

I would buy a gallon of fiberglass resin from lowes and put a layer on the inside of the growbed to add strength! If you want to save money, use an old bed sheet instead of the fiber glass cloth. approx 35.00$ US for a gallon of the resin at Lowes.

Oh, I see what you’re saying now. You’re speaking of FG on the pools and not on wood. I was having a blond moment.

APguy01 said:

Yes, the bed sheet would not be as strong as the fiber glass cloth, however it will be stronger than the resin on its own. I built 2 clarifiers out of 3/4 plywood and resin (no cloth) because the wood was strong enough for the amount of water and the resin was simply for water proofing. I figured the Kiddy pools are designed to be strong enough to hold their fill of water, so the sheet+resin would provide a little longevity.

If you wanted to get fancy, you can lay wax paper down in the pool and then as many layers of Fiber Glass and Cloth as you wanted, then simply pull it out like a mold and make as many beds as you would like. In that case, I would use the fiberglass cloth and do at least 2-3 layers.

As the resin hardens it releases a waxy substance onto the surface, so be sure to hit it with a scotch brite sponge and water in between layers to insure they stick to each other. You can also hit it with 80grit sand paper if you want to be really safe.

Out of curiosity: did you use 3/4” pressure treated plywood?

APguy01 said:

Yes, the bed sheet would not be as strong as the fiber glass cloth, however it will be stronger than the resin on its own. I built 2 clarifiers out of 3/4 plywood and resin (no cloth) because the wood was strong enough for the amount of water and the resin was simply for water proofing. I figured the Kiddy pools are designed to be strong enough to hold their fill of water, so the sheet+resin would provide a little longevity.

If you wanted to get fancy, you can lay wax paper down in the pool and then as many layers of Fiber Glass and Cloth as you wanted, then simply pull it out like a mold and make as many beds as you would like. In that case, I would use the fiberglass cloth and do at least 2-3 layers.

As the resin hardens it releases a waxy substance onto the surface, so be sure to hit it with a scotch brite sponge and water in between layers to insure they stick to each other. You can also hit it with 80grit sand paper if you want to be really safe.

I don't think it was PT, but it was a long while ago so I cant be certain.

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