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I am brand new to aquaponics, like don’t even have media in my grow bedss yet, and I need all help I can get. I have watched every video I can find and read numerous articles. I will have a 300 gallon system with 2 IBC tote tops as grow beds and a raft bed the same size. I was wanting to use lava rock topped off with expanded clay for media. What are the thoughts here?

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Hi Jbax1985

Welcome to APN/HQ

17 hours ago, Jbax1985 said:

I was wanting to use lava rock topped off with expanded clay for media. What are the thoughts here?

It will work, you should however consider some sort of solids filtration, if that's your choice of method/media.

Lava rock is sharp on your hands and hard to clean when time comes, but it does have a large SSA .

Expanded clay might not give sufficient root support for larger plants.

Unless you already bought the lava/clay media or have easy/cheap access to it, you might want to look at sand (IAVS) as a option. With IAVS you don't need solids filtration.

cheers

Edited by ande (see edit history)

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Does the sand not tear up the pumps? I will research this type of system. Thank you!

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I second Ande's suggestion to give iAVs consideration.  Aquaponics seems, to me anyway, to be a balancing act that requires monitoring on a somewhat regular basis.  You need to be aware of your fish load with regard to the size of your setup, you will need an outside filter/separator for the solids, you will need a mineralization tank to turn the filtered solids into minerals the plants can use, and you will need to monitor the water ph and monitor the minerals that may/may not be present to produce nice veggies. With iAVs all of the above is pretty much taken care of in the sandbeds.

  Cruise around these sites to learn more about iAVs. 

  http://iavs.info/what-iavs-is/

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1318946951452383?id=1318946951452383&ref=content_filter&_rdr

https://www.havemoreforless.com/forum/micro-farming-microponics/the-integrated-aqua-vegeculture-system-iavs

There's more, but these should keep you busy for a while.  

If your goal is simplicity, flexability and forgiveness of rookie mistakes, I strongly recommend iAVs. 

And.......the iAVs sandbeds allow for growing a wider variety of vegetables than gravel and raft beds.  

Edited by Aufin (see edit history)
bigdaddy likes this

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Hi Kellen...thanks for the heads up.  I've hit the "Follow" button...so I'l keep an eye on it.  Ande and Aufin are doing a great job.  I'm also happy to respond to any questions.

kellenw likes this

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