Aquaponic Gardening

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Is Firestone Pond Liners a good choice for my grow beds? But I can't find  where to buy it 6' wide, because my raft bed is 4' wide by 12" tall. Is there other options that are cheaper but as durable.

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I do not like to use black rubber liners available at the big box stores. Those liners smell like a tire and are ovously leaching something if you can smell it. I use a food grade liner called Dure-Skirm. It is made out of LDPE and is approved for organic certification. It comes in 6' wide rolls up to just about any length you want. A 1000' roll delivered here to Hawaii works out to about $0.40 per square foot. It will be cheaper on the mainland.

Thanks Chris,

      Where can I buy some at? The rubber liners that I found where about $0.80 per square foot. I already have a 10' x 15' liner for my tank that was constructed out of wood. Should I replace it?

 

Hi Chris,

At 6 ft wide you'll have to be very accurate in raft dimensions, do you think? The foam comes in 4 ft wide so you're limited to a maximum of 11 inches sides x 2, and then a 1 inch overlap on both sides for fastening = 6 feet. I remember you said that your bed depth sometimes varies between 9 inches and(I think) 14 inches? I always thought that liners of about 7-8 ft wide was what is being used. The reason I'm asking is that I made need to order some liners in the near future.

Chris Smith said:

I do not like to use black rubber liners available at the big box stores. Those liners smell like a tire and are ovously leaching something if you can smell it. I use a food grade liner called Dure-Skirm. It is made out of LDPE and is approved for organic certification. It comes in 6' wide rolls up to just about any length you want. A 1000' roll delivered here to Hawaii works out to about $0.40 per square foot. It will be cheaper on the mainland.

Dura Skirm can be found with a simple google search. Here is one link http://www.valiant-industries.com/Dura_Skrim-DS20WWK6X100.html

If you use 12" sides and an inside trough width of 51 inches, the 6 foot liner works out perfectly. These dimensions will leave  the proper belly in the liner which will cause the weight of the water to actually pull the sides together instead of bowing out. On my troughs that were varying depth I had to be sure to leave the proper belly in the shallow areas. The 14" ends have a little more belly than the rest of the trough.

A rubber liner will be much easier to install into a box. Dura skirm is a non stretchy kind of material and is more difficult to get folded in tight areas. I have had some difficulty with using it to line my 4x4 gravel beds. It works GREAT for long troughs.
A word of caution about lining wood boxes. If the liner is not glued to the wood there will be air pockets that can collect condensation and cause wood rot. On my wood tank with a liner I used contact cement to glue the liner to the plywood. I cut and glued the corners to eliminate the folds then sealed the cuts with polyurethane sealant.


If you can return the rubber liner I think you should. The dure skirm is much cheeper even after shipping. It is food safe and a much better product.

http://www.valiant-industries.com/Dura_Skrim-DS20WWK6X100.html

Black liners makes a dark tank or trough and gives no depth of scale even in just 12" of water. A white liner makes it MUCH easier to see what is going on in a tank or trough. I will never use a black liner again because of this fact alone.

DJ Bisson Jr said:

Thanks Chris,

      Where can I buy some at? The rubber liners that I found where about $0.80 per square foot. I already have a 10' x 15' liner for my tank that was constructed out of wood. Should I replace it?

 

Hi Chris,

Great info here Chris. I think you've explained the dynamics of trough and a bonus on bed lining thoroughly. My first trough I set the lining loosely as is a raised trough box, but i can see from your "suspended" side designs that the liner gives the extra support needed to hold the sides up in a vertical position and not allow the water pressure to push as much against the sides and cause it to bow outward. In the box bed i experienced the moisture build up in the folds and spaces between liner and wood you mention and now will go for the gluing option you suggest the next time. Great ideas Chris, thanks for sharing!

And how is the new farm coming along? Really appreciate with your busy schedule and all you still find the time to field question on this forum.

 

Thanks Chris, I'll Check it out

 

You might checkout Green Acre Organics.  They have the thick white liner.  I ordered from them and received the product quickly.

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