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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i got an idea that it may work well, what about using a old toothbrush and melting it over the hole covering it completely?

The idea about the tohbrush seems to be working, more about this later....

Well some of you will call me crazy but the idea did work, i did melt a piece of a toothbrush in the hole, then i covered with glue (from a heat glue gun) and after letting it cool down for 30 minutes i am filling the tank with water right now and after 70 gallons still is not leaking, ( the whole was at the bottom) will see whe completely full (180 gallons).

Second part of the IBC tank repairs, one of the tanks was leaking after repairs, (the one with the hole in the front half height), i emptied, let it dry for a day at the sun and with a small gas torch did apply some heat to the glue weld applied before with the heat gun very lightly and carefully because the glue from the heat gun and the container material (HDPE) are very delicate and do not resist a direct flame, the glue did melt a little forming a nice round semi ball uniform around and on top of the hole, ( i had to explain that i did put a lot of glue before with the heat gun in every hole, like a three bars of glue in each side of them forming a round ball all over it) let it cool for an hour and repit same operation on the other side, let it cool them for a couple hours and voila, new tank, fill to the top with 180 gallons of water and no leaking. I hope this can be useful to anyone with the same problem.

Thanks for pointing me out, it`s ok for now, i am done with the repairs, but it will be nice if another leak appears, if anybody do know any other way to repair HDPE plastic it will be nice to posted it here, we all busy with aquaponics and plastic rafts and tanks need to use this kind of info from time to time. it`s a fact the amount of people beginning with AP is growing by the day, sooner or later somebody will be very happy having this info at hand, it save money and time.
M D Fowler said:

Conrad Yelvington  At least here in G-ville)  has all the rock you want, at really good prices ....last I spoke to them they were selling med-small river rock for $60 a deliveries tho. They used to sell by the half ton,but were not making enough after figuring in loader fuel costs etc to make it worthwhile for them.

If you have access to a dump truck, big pickup, or hefty trailer , Yelvington's is the place to go for rock!!

Even if you pay for a ton, and take 1/2 (no, they won't load twice, I asked)   $60 for a 1000 lbs is still pretty cheap by comparison to the alternatives.

Florida Rock Industry or Vulcan Rock in Gainesville on main street allowed me to buy half a ton. after i cut my IBC i took the top part in a trailer.  they filled it for about $60

Wil - Candyk here we are in the process of setting up our aquaponics system.  Would love to hear from you and/or come see your set up.  We live out off the E Trail & 6 L's Farm Rd.  our phone is (239) 213-0987


Wil Miles said:

I am in Naples Florida i used a company called Superior Stone  (239) 566-1345   not sure that helps but if you are in need of say a truck load im sure they would deliver with in reasonable distance and cost.I hope that helps you


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