Greetings all. Im setting up a new aquaponics set up. I chose the side-by-side half barrel type. For media I used what also I had Lying around.... some white limestone gravel from a walkway. this was running short so in a pinch I grabbed some vermiculite. I added about two or three inches to the gravel and mixed in a little. I suppose I underestimated the water retaining power of the little gold devils because now my bed is waaaay flooding.... i suppose this will be good if i can add a timer to my pump and maybe flood once a day or so... ANY thought on THIS? Also, and the reason Im writing... any experience or thoughts on the pH of limestone treated water or root contact? am I risking a lockout by using this gravel? also what about the muddy intial state of my flood? it clears up pretty good after the bell starts flowing but man its soupy at first.... maybe I could mix in say half another gravel? we have some brown solidified clay type stuff here in KY that's readily available and probably more 'inert' than the limestone... thoughts any one?
Update: I found that the limestone apparently helps to even the waters pH to a neutral 7 due to its containing some calcium bicarbonate as buffer (http://www.water-research.net/Watershed/alkalinity.htm). thought this action may be for a limited time... as for the extreme flooding i made a
40\10\50 mix of limestone-gravel\verm.\"ky brown" gravel and lowered my standpipe a bit. I put it 2.5 inches below media level and everything is grreat. this system is really cool. completely sustainable as long as the pumps are solar/other renewable.