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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Just curious, doing fiberglass on the pools to make your own pools, how much do you think the materials would cost and how sturdy/durable do you think they would be?

What I'm getting at here is if it costs like $35 just for the resin (let alone the fiberglass and anything else needed for the process) and if the fiberglass version might only last a little longer than the kiddie pools then it would get silly $$$$ to do it that way.  But if the fiberglass version will last a lifetime (kinda like the stock tanks) and you can do it for under $50 in materials and you don't value your time that highly then I suppose making your own fiberglass beds might be ok.  Of course at that rate if you are going to be making lots of fiberglass beds, perhaps you just build a mold shaped the way you want it and make fiberglass beds and skip the kiddie pools.

It gets expensive fast. There is a product called "west systems" that boat builders use. It is an epoxy resin, and much stronger than the bondo variety you find at Lowes or Home Depot. However it runs about 135$ a gallon, + hardener, + cloth. This product would last for ever.

The bondo resin is not epoxy, some other material, but it is what surf boards are made of and if you add fiberglass cloth it will last for a long time. 2-3 coats would last a lifetime of normal use I would think.

The fiberglassing is expensive, and as you buy chemical masks, goggles, paint brushes, etc, the price can start to creep up on you. The benifit is that it you can do any sort of tank/size/shape you like.

Friendly fiberglasses 4x8 sheets of plywood then cuts and assembles them to their desiered size and shape. Tim does all their fish tanks this way, and builds filters right into the side of their large fish tanks. He started out as a boat builder however....

After you cut and screw the wood together you need to go back and fiberglass all the corners and seams (after hitting them with a little 80 grit sandpaper). These tanks are totally customizable, and will last for ever, but they are expensive.

In the case of the OP, I thought it might not be too bad because the pools are already water tight and should be strong enough. For 50-100 you could turn that kiddy pool into something that would last for ever.

Why do you have to make so much sense? :) In my reality I can’t do the fiberglass thing because I’m limited in motion. Constructing fiberglass tanks/growbeds to sell might be a beneficial undertaking for an able, enterprising person. However, I’m not that person because I’m limited in what I can do, I’m cheap (financially challenged), and I’m lazy as I can afford to be. :) Time’s not an issue though because I’m medically retired; however, I’m still practical when my exuberance hasn’t bested my better judgement. Fiberglass isn’t practical for me, especially since stock tanks would be overall easier/cheaper (and will last as long I think). The pools are just a quick fix and are disposable over time. My boys also use them for washing the dog and cooling off. I like the idea of stock tank aquaponics because it’s appropriate for aqua-dummies such as me.

What I’d like to do is take what I learn and share it in my community to advance aquaponics and food independence. I’m already in the process of making an aquaponics curriculum with Sylvia’s book as the text book. Then I’d like to set up a low cost aquaponics training opportunity for the northern Gulf Coast area for other poor aqua-dummies like me. I’m sure I’ll be seeking some aquainsight from you about the curriculum and classes.

I agree and think stock tanks are the best value overall that requires no prep-work and very little maintenance. I’ve gone the IBC tote route over the last 4 months by buying new 3-330 gallon for $145 each, but painting and cutting them gets to be comparable to the stock tanks’ pricing except the stock tanks require no work other than drilling a hole for the siphon. I can’t in good conscience buy a used IBC and run the risk of contamination and/or going through the tedious effort of cleaning them out. Using cattle panels for a larger tank later is an excellent and affordable proposition that I will do.

Here’s a quote from a TV show I used to watch for you TCLynx: "Never send two men when one woman will do.” Thanks for all your input and wisdom.



TCLynx said:

Just curious, doing fiberglass on the pools to make your own pools, how much do you think the materials would cost and how sturdy/durable do you think they would be?

What I'm getting at here is if it costs like $35 just for the resin (let alone the fiberglass and anything else needed for the process) and if the fiberglass version might only last a little longer than the kiddie pools then it would get silly $$$$ to do it that way.  But if the fiberglass version will last a lifetime (kinda like the stock tanks) and you can do it for under $50 in materials and you don't value your time that highly then I suppose making your own fiberglass beds might be ok.  Of course at that rate if you are going to be making lots of fiberglass beds, perhaps you just build a mold shaped the way you want it and make fiberglass beds and skip the kiddie pools.

LOL

And sometimes the one woman can get two men to come lift things for her for free.

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