Jay Smithy wrote:Even pea gravel, possibly even plain sand, therer are pro's and con's for everything, but in an intrinsically 'Natural' system such as Aquaponics, why buy expensive, trendy growing media when it is entirely unneccessary?!?
It does work with sand. My system was out of commission this summer, because the sand, grow bed and support structure I used weren't a good match. It improved each year, presumably because of organic matter accumulating. Finally the weight made it slump enough
for water to run over before it gets to the drain. During the course
of a day, it would drain the fish tank down to about 6". May have improved from better mineralization, too. I always buried a bit of organics in it, apple
cores, corn cobs, a few sticks. The last summer that it ran, I mulched it with grass clippings. All organic matter, but grown in soil, so probably had more mineral diversity than my sand had.
IAVs seems to be either the first aquaponics, or the precursor to aquaponics. (So I'm told.) It uses sand. Here's a link
to a discussion about it here on permies. That thread
also has a picture or two of my system and a link to where I basically logged my progress on line for a year or three, if you're interested.
I had stuff actively growing in it, (had to water it with a hose) so I didn't tear it down. Now that everything's dormant, I hope to have it in shape to run again in the spring.
my "log" brainstorming about the upcoming repair