In an aquaponic system you have the grow bed which represents the hydroponic element, the fish tank which is related to the aquaculture and the plumbing between them.
What are the properties of a grow bed media?
The grow bed media is usually responsible for the aid offered to plants in fixing their roots. Also, it has a crucial role in maintaining the proper temperature for the plants.
How to choose the grow bed media?
The first thing you should check and recheck is the pH. For the media it should be neutral in order to not influence the water present in the aquaponic system. The goal here is to offer some root support to the plants without damaging the entire system. Also, the perfect media allows for proper draining which will prevent you from drowning your plants. The size is important, too. This will determine how well the bed gets the amount of oxygen needed.
LECA is the nickname for Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate. It is a growing media known for its capacity of expanding due to the presence of water. It does not interfere with the plant growth and it is pH neutral. Also, it helps roots in getting the right amount of oxygen.
The Pumice Stone it is easily to find and it is mainly a porous item. Anyway, it has a disadvantage: it is hard to work with and it has an odd shape. Before using it,, you should make sure it is cleaned and it does not have any residues on it.
River gravel is cost effective and it is perfect for plants that grow higher and higher. As an example, it is a perfect growing media for corn and it supports its height and roots without causing any damage. Keep in mind that you should make some tests on the gravel before actually using it. There are several bacteria that it can bring on to your crops like lime.
Sand is not so perfect for this system and growing bed. It can cause water to clog and drawn your roots. Furthermore, it can interfere with water flowing. Keep in mind that not all sand is pH neutral and you will have to test it before actually using it.
What to choose?
Mainly, this issue is approached by considering factors like location and the plants you want to grow. LECA is a bit expensive, while the river gravel is the cheapest method. It depends on the area you live in and you should get informed on the products available close by.
|growbeds, growing media|