Aquaponic Gardening

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Raft/Deep Water Culture Growers


Raft/Deep Water Culture Growers

A group dedicated to raft growers. A place to share tips, tricks, and general info.

Members: 377
Latest Activity: Dec 18, 2020

Discussion Forum

A short time lapse of a "different" application of DWC

Started by Dr. George B. Brooks, Jr. Jul 2, 2017. 0 Replies

Just an FYI. Here is the link to the youtube vid: is a still of the system.…Continue

Floating Raft above Aquarium

Started by Courtney. Last reply by kimlee kingston Jan 4, 2015. 2 Replies

Hi everyone! I had some issues with setting up a grow bed's plumbing and it got me to thinking, in the interim, can I just set up a raft directly onto the fish tank? If it were any other kind of…Continue

polypropylene for "tray-ponics"-type "rafts"

Started by Paul Trudeau. Last reply by Joni Solis Nov 14, 2014. 37 Replies

Glenn Martinez has described a nice small raft system where he uses 24 inch x 36 inch x 8 inch-deep plastic masonry mixing tubs (trays) (available at Home Depot) as plant troughs.  Instead of…Continue

Stll in business- Coastview Aquaponics

Started by Michael Gough. Last reply by Michael Gough Aug 20, 2014. 3 Replies

Aloha all,Just joined today. 2 years ago had taken a tour of Coastview Aquaponics operation. Going back to the big island IN 4 WEEKS to see what damage our Puna property sustained from the…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Harold Sukhbir on April 9, 2013 at 12:00pm

Hi All,

In high production systems, like Chris's system, cost will of course become a major factor for choice of media. Here in my country Coir is a cost choice but the drawback is the frequent turnover rate.

Comment by Chris Smith on April 9, 2013 at 9:06am

Raychel, I have been using only lava for seeding. Most small seeds fall into the voids and plant themselves when I top water. The best thing about lava is it is easily recyclable!!!! I have been using the sane lava for years. I figure that I loose less than 10 in the root-balls after harvest. I can get a cubic yard of it for about 60$ which makes it the most economical choice for me.

Comment by Jon Parr on April 9, 2013 at 8:30am

I have been using starter plugs from IHort, make from bark and a sponge polymer, in 392 cell trays, (that's right, 392 cells, 14 x 28 grid in a 13" x 26" tray), and they fit directly into the industry standard 1" tapered holes in Beaver Plastic EPS rafts, no chunks or rocks to fall into the water, and the whole thing gets pulled with the produce and stays on for the consumer to compost. 

Now, however, I'm gearing towards Organic Cert, and I'm playing with using the same trays and filling them with seasoned biochar bits. So good so far, and I expect the seedling roots will hold and contain the lightweight char, and again the end consumer can add them to their compost. 

Comment by Ned Berndt on April 9, 2013 at 6:15am

Hey John,

I grow out my seedlings in a mixture of cocnut coir, vermiculite and worm casting (secret ingredient) and transfer the entire "plug" into the net pots.  Since 98 cell propagation trays require less space than a DWC, you can get a higher turn on your DWC production.

I tried small gravel in addition and then had to send a bunch of wasted time at the harvest end.

Best regards,


Comment by Raychel A Watkins on April 9, 2013 at 1:01am

Hey Chris  Do you use only lava rock in your net pots or do you add something like coir.

Comment by Chris Smith on April 9, 2013 at 12:06am

John, lava rock is easily crushed with a hammer to make smaller pieces. Try breaking some up for seeding. I have been doing this for years!

Comment by John Malone on April 8, 2013 at 3:40pm

I've got 1" sized lava rock and I fear that the seeds are going to fall through.

I like to keep the seeds cozy, you know.  It's a personal failing: I still have severe doubts every time I throw seeds into the lava rock media beds.  I shouldn't, because they always seem to grow, but being a farmer's kid, it just doesn't seem right.

Maybe, I'll crush up some of the lava rock to a smaller size and give that a run.

Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on April 8, 2013 at 3:04pm

John...why not just use your lava rock? Why the hassle with the perlite or anything else?

Comment by Daniel Judy on April 8, 2013 at 2:58pm

Nice setup! I'm using coconut coir and perlite, mixed about 3:1 or 4:1. It's been working fine with basil and lettuce.

Comment by John Malone on April 8, 2013 at 2:41pm

Hello All,

I've bitten the bullet and built a 4'x8' DWC trough and tables/rafts.  See the photos.

What I really need to know now is, what media do I use in the pots?   I'm giving lava rock topped with pearlite a try, but I'm not sure that'll work.  

What is everyone else using in the pots?

I've got the water level set to touch or just enter the bottom of the pots by a quarter inch or so.  This seems to keep the media in the pot nice and damp.  Any suggestions here would be great too.

Complete newbie at DWC here and need all the info I can get.

Thanks.  John


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