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I have an opportunity to purchase about 1200 pounds of previously used clay pellets from an aquaponics system that was shut down permanently.

It is a really good deal price wise but I wonder what kind of problems might arise from used material.

Dan

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Well, I suppose you should find out what condition the system was in health-wise. But other than that, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

If the system hasn't been out of commission for too long, the media will help you cycle your system faster :)

Used material is good as long as the system it was in was a productive one.  Do you know who was using the system before hand?  Personally when starting new systems ill take existing media and put it in a new system to help quicken the process. 

Clean dry Hydroton should weigh 23.67 pounds per cubic footIt takes up 62% of the space, leaving 38% for water.

Knowing this, you should be able to calculate how much actual Hydroton you are getting along with water and other materials from previous use.

Because of hollowness, drying it using high heat can cause it to burst, crack, or even explode. But it can be slowly heat dried.

I would personally dry it, ozonize it, and circulate through a separate test stream while seeing what might be recovered by a protein skimmer.

The only real risk is having unknown accumulations of any chemicals the previous user might have used.

DO NOT USE USED MEDIA every customer i have had that made the mistake of buying and useing used media has had nothing but months of head ache. you will waste months trying to stabilize it its not worth it at all what so ever. you have no idea what the waste load was like what chemicals might be in it and how much it was rinsed when shut down.  The last person i know who bought used media has water that every single api test came out a color that was not on teh chart. It was that bad.

Really? Can't you just wash it first? You gotta rinse hydroton before using it anyway, even if you buy it new.


Steve R said:

DO NOT USE USED MEDIA every customer i have had that made the mistake of buying and useing used media has had nothing but months of head ache. you will waste months trying to stabilize it its not worth it at all what so ever. you have no idea what the waste load was like what chemicals might be in it and how much it was rinsed when shut down.  The last person i know who bought used media has water that every single api test came out a color that was not on teh chart. It was that bad.

the dead and decaying bacteria + who knows what on earth they used in there system they may have used an ammonia lock that will give false positives on nitrogen readings it could have fertilizers in it that will leech or throw off your ph for months or years its just not worth the time effort and head ache. It is not cheaper at all after you account for time you clean and the frustration of trying to balance your system. to many variables for the time youl waste its not worth it.

Good to know. I suppose knowing your source would make a big difference as well.

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