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There are several choices when it comes to foam. I prefer to use Dow blue board. This is an extruded form of polystyrene. This means that the entire board is made of one continuous piece of foam. This foam of very durable and will last many years. Blue board comes in several forms and it is important to get the right one. The best is "square edge" and not the "score board". Square edge foam is a solid sheet of foam. The score board has scores top and bottom to make it easy to break. The scores are at a standard stud layout and intended for insulation in walls. The scores make it easy for contractors to break and install.

The other type of foam is EPS or expanded polystyrene which is thousands of small pellets that are expanded into a form. The EPS foam is not nearly as strong as extruded and will break down easily. Roots of aggressive plants will actually grow into the foam. I have one of these sheets in my system and it is now dedicated to mint as the roots are growing throughout the foam.

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Hi Peter.You mentioned using 1" EPS. I was under the impression, from my reading, that this was not suitable for rafts as they break easily, and that EPS on the whole deteriorates over time with exposure to sunlight. The reason I'm asking is because where i live the only thing available is 1" EPS and the cost to import blue board is very high and personally out of reach for me.

Peter Shaw said:

I have been using 1" EPS for 4 years, uncoated or painted in the greenhouse, with no breakdown. Lettuce is not that aggressive in my experience to root heavily into the boards but yes it will to a smaller degree,

 

It is a total mess to cut holes that is for sure,

 

I have extra boards, so when I harvest I put those aside for a week and they dry out nicely.

 

This is all deep raft hydroponics experience and is what i am starting to use on my aquaponics deep rafts as well.

Hi!

I live in Costa Rica and so far I was unabled to find a supplier for the Dow blue board. On the other hand I found a local manufacturer that can on request, make Styrofoam board with a higher density (EPS). The most common board is for construction, and it has a density of 14 kg/m². I can buy right now from this company, a board that has a 16 kg/m².

Question,

If I want to match the density as close as possible of the Dow blue board, what would be the density of a EPS in terms of kilogram per square meter?

Any suggestion?

Merci!

 

Roger Pilon, Editor

Hydroponics Aquaponics Monster Directory

 

 

First big thanks for your fast answer!

 

As for right now, my challenge is to know first what would be the best density that I should request? They can make here, in Costa Rica, anything from 14 to a maximum of 30 kg/m².

 

Rodolfo, what would you recommend in terms of kilos per square meter density, so this way I could request them a quote?

 

Another challenge, who is selling Cool Cote in Costa Rica? This I would have to find out!

 

Another investigation!

 

Gracias,

Merci,

 


Roger pilon, Editor

Hydroponics Aquaponics Monster Directory

 

Rodolfo Castillo said:

Hello Roger,

 

I am in El Salvador, well, my project is here, but I live and work in Nigeria.

Anyhow, DOW has the HQ for CA in Costa Rica, well that is what they told me.

I got my Stryfoam white from the USA, not a big difference with the blue one. To test I got 10 boards of the blue stuff and 75 of the white.

Both I paint it with cool- cote and the put it in water, place 48 head of lettuce and there is no problem. We are harvesting this week.

 

I also have a local manufaturer that can modify the density of EPS to match the Stryro stuff. I made a try and it works, you can tell the difference.

The price was almost half of the stuff from the States.

I am going to installed the secon aquaponic system in a few weeks and all my 78 (I am adding 6 more boards) boards will be made high density EPS.

 

Ask the manufacturer to make a couple of samples...we put a couple of concrete blocks and lift it with good support from al sides...no problem.

 

What price is he giving you?

Roger Pilon said:

Hi!

I live in Costa Rica and so far I was unabled to find a supplier for the Dow blue board. On the other hand I found a local manufacturer that can on request, make Styrofoam board with a higher density (EPS). The most common board is for construction, and it has a density of 14 kg/m². I can buy right now from this company, a board that has a 16 kg/m².

Question,

If I want to match the density as close as possible of the Dow blue board, what would be the density of a EPS in terms of kilogram per square meter?

Any suggestion?

Merci!

 

Roger Pilon, Editor

Hydroponics Aquaponics Monster Directory

 

 

Hi Peter, thanks for the reply. To make clear on a couple things, do you use 2" net pots with the 1" boards? , do you use them double thickness (2")? and also do you cut them at 2' x 4'?

Peter Shaw said:

HI Harold

 

sorry for the slow response to your question,

I have been using the same boards for 4 years in my hydroponics deep rafts and they are now outside in the aquaponic DWR set up.

 

I guess we will see how much longer they last exposed to the full sun

 

peter

 

Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Peter.You mentioned using 1" EPS. I was under the impression, from my reading, that this was not suitable for rafts as they break easily, and that EPS on the whole deteriorates over time with exposure to sunlight. The reason I'm asking is because where i live the only thing available is 1" EPS and the cost to import blue board is very high and personally out of reach for me.

Peter Shaw said:

I have been using 1" EPS for 4 years, uncoated or painted in the greenhouse, with no breakdown. Lettuce is not that aggressive in my experience to root heavily into the boards but yes it will to a smaller degree,

 

It is a total mess to cut holes that is for sure,

 

I have extra boards, so when I harvest I put those aside for a week and they dry out nicely.

 

This is all deep raft hydroponics experience and is what i am starting to use on my aquaponics deep rafts as well.

Gracias for the tip  Rodolfo!


I went to the site and all the addresses of sellers in Costa Rica are listed! Waa!

Qestion:  how many coats do you apply to the foam?

Roger

Rodolfo Castillo said:

THE PAINT IS CALLED DRY-COAT MADE BY LANCO PAINTS AND IS A "PINTURA IMPERMEABILIZANTE"

 

WWW.LANCOPAINTS.COM


Hi Peter,

After giving it some thought I'm liking the idea of the 1" boards. I'm using 2-1/8" foam with 1/8" countersink and 2" net pot. I see the roots growing out of the bottom spaces at the pot's base as a natural consequence of the sides being enclosed by the foam. If you're using 2" pots in 1" foam do you get more root growth because of the exposed inch of pot in the water?( pot has spacings vertically that are not being used) And if so, translate into faster growout time?

Peter Shaw said:

HI Harold

 

sorry for the slow response to your question,

I have been using the same boards for 4 years in my hydroponics deep rafts and they are now outside in the aquaponic DWR set up.

 

I guess we will see how much longer they last exposed to the full sun

 

peter

 

Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Peter.You mentioned using 1" EPS. I was under the impression, from my reading, that this was not suitable for rafts as they break easily, and that EPS on the whole deteriorates over time with exposure to sunlight. The reason I'm asking is because where i live the only thing available is 1" EPS and the cost to import blue board is very high and personally out of reach for me.

Peter Shaw said:

I have been using 1" EPS for 4 years, uncoated or painted in the greenhouse, with no breakdown. Lettuce is not that aggressive in my experience to root heavily into the boards but yes it will to a smaller degree,

 

It is a total mess to cut holes that is for sure,

 

I have extra boards, so when I harvest I put those aside for a week and they dry out nicely.

 

This is all deep raft hydroponics experience and is what i am starting to use on my aquaponics deep rafts as well.

Hello David! I also live in central florida.  I am looking for a supplier of 2" dow who did you purchase yours from?

David Hart said:

In central FL, I've found 2" Dow for 32 $ (@ commercial suppliers)

The 2 " EPS.... @ HD is aprox 15$   ( 1 # )

Our lowe's, normally only carrys the 1 " dow

 

I'm not normally awake and posting at this time of the night/morning. Checking on my AP

system and checking if my pipes are freezing.  I moved to FL, so I could be warm..????....:-(

Have you ever used foamular in your system?  It is Owens cornings version of blue board and it pink.  It is cheeper and much more availible in my area.  If you know of any reason not to use it please let me know thank you.

Hey all, just joined group!

I don't intend to come off as ignorant, but all the foam mentioned will leach into both the water and plants, right? What am I missing?

Has anyone tried a wooden raft? Are there no other options out there besides foam products?

 

Thanks!

Hi Josh,

Your question is all in order.Personally i question everything about AP cause that's the only way for me to learn. We've had this discussion on this forum in many different places. Can't remember all of them but i do remember this one,so take a look here

http://aquaponicscommunity.com/forum/topics/rafts-for-dwc?id=477885...

Thank you.

Anyone know what THESE rafts are?

Or These at 3:44 in the video?

Hi Josh,

I remember someone on this site showing some interlocking units, looked like plastic modules that could be joined together to make a floating raft to the size required. The first video seems to have this type. The second video i would guess(due to the hole spacings and configuration) is something store bought, probably a decoration of some kind, but happens to have the same hole size as the net pots.I tried to look on the web for these but didn't find,Google it,you may have better luck than I.

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