Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi everyone.

Well, the proverbial ball is definitely rolling.  I have my three IBC tanks.  I have my water pump.  I have plenty of PVC lying around for the plumbing.  What I don't have is growing media.

I must admit that I hadn't given much thought to the sheer amount of media I'd need.  After working out some rough calculations, I am sure that I can't afford to use Hydroton as I had first intended.

So what the cheapest alternative for Central Florida?  What should I use and where can I source it?

Thanks everyone,


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Unless your system is really tiny, I would recommend you go get your lava rock in bulk from a landscape supply or florida natural stone or Pebble Junction or something.  In the bags is way overpriced for way too small an amount.  Each bag is a few dollars and only contains 1/2 a cubic foot.

Half in brown river rock is working very well for me. Wasn't terribly expensive either other than delivery fee to Naples.

i got a 1/2 ton pea gravel for less then $50.  i forgot to test it for pH but it didn't have any lime rocks in it and it has been running great for two months.  i still have gravel left over after giving several 5gal buckets away (1/2 ton is a a lot).  i googled gravel for the area and it was just a few miles form my home.

Hi Ed.


If it's still available we are interested.  I am with a school for Special Needs Kids and we have a mission group in the states offering to help us to set up a system.  Are the tanks still available?


Thanks, David

How about nothing.....My plants are at chest height and growing like crazy!

Edwin, where did you get your IBC tanks? I am in Gainesville and there is limited supply in this area and they seem a little expensive.I found used ibc tanks for about $1 per gallon.

I am in the planning stage and am considering building my tanks out of PT plywood and pond liner

If you check Craigslist, you can find them for @ $120 for 275 gal. totes in Orlando and Jax.  They occasionally pop up cheaper but they go fast.

I will recommend against lumber and liner grow beds in Florida.  Even PT isn't a perfect defense against bugs down here.

With steel or plastic pallet $140.00 ea. I you will have to contact them about shipping

Check out

I do not see an alternative to lumber with the raft beds.

TCLynx said:

I will recommend against lumber and liner grow beds in Florida.  Even PT isn't a perfect defense against bugs down here.

hey Dan

there is a place in Old Town called Flying Hawk they may still have a few IBC's for less then $100.

i'm also trying to think of a way to make a raft bed on the cheap, i wonder if coating wood with fiberglass will make it last and have no harm to the liner or fish.

Thanks for the lead, I'll call them when I find the number.

Fiberglass would be a very good option. Should last for many years.. need to find a boat manufacturer where we can get glass cloth cheap. My son lives in Tampa, I'll have him look around.


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