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  1. #1
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    No Fun with Hydroton

    Well... I did it. I made my very first aquaponics prototype. This is more of a winter feasibility study than anything else. And it works.....sort of.

    I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING (so go easy on me

    In the picture starting from below I have an 18gallon rope tub. Next to it is a blue worm bin which is not part of the system.
    In the 18 gallon tub there is a 400gal/hr pond pump that pumps water up to the top shelf which is a container full of gravel. (-I believe this is where the bacteria will form and turn Nitrides into nitrates? Should I also put worms in there?)
    The top container has a constant drain that goes down another standpipe to a manifold with 3 valves on it. They drain into the 3 home depot buckets below. Each bucket has a bell siphon which drains into a diffuser back into the 18gal rope tub.

    Problem 1. I have purposely not glued the pipe, and when I check on the system most of the water leaked out although I am not sure where. Easy fix.
    Problem 2. NO ONE SAID THAT HYDROTON FLOATS! I thought the water level would just rise and fall in the bucket. This liquefaction effect submerged my tomato no really sure what the best way to fix is?
    Problem3. Hydroton is getting into the bell siphon and clogging the drain pipe. I think I will use some bigger pipe to surround the bell siphons and drill 1/8 holes in it.

    Suggestions? Hopefully I can buy some fish for this system soon


  2. #2
    Moderator urbanfarmer's Avatar
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    Re: No Fun with Hydroton

    Sounds like you have it pretty much covered.

    What's with the bottle of hydroponic nutrients?

    You didn't mention fish. What kind of fish are you using?

    My hydroton stopped floating after a while... The air pockets inside the porous space make it float since it's a pretty light aggregate. Unless this system is fairly new, I'm not sure why it's still floating.

  3. #3
    Aquaponics 101 Oliver's Avatar
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    Re: No Fun with Hydroton

    Hydroton only floats if you don't have enough for the amount of water in the bed. The top of the Hydroton should be about an inch above the highest water level.

    Oliver
    To measure is to know

  4. #4
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    Re: No Fun with Hydroton

    Quote Originally Posted by urbanfarmer
    Sounds like you have it pretty much covered.

    What's with the bottle of hydroponic nutrients?- I bought the hydroton at a hydropoincs store. They person at the store suggested that I start this as a hydroponic grow until I get everything sorted out. so I put a couple of teaspoons in the water.

    You didn't mention fish. What kind of fish are you using? I think when I get to the fish stage I will just use gold fish until I learn more about what kind of fish will work for the Pacific Northwest climate and how to care for them.

    My hydroton stopped floating after a while... The air pockets inside the porous space make it float since it's a pretty light aggregate. Unless this system is fairly new, I'm not sure why it's still floating.
    I think I will turn the buckets into "global Buckets." and remove them from the system. I bought a deep tray from Lowes today that I think will have more grow space, and just be more simple with just 1 siphon.

  5. #5
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    Re: No Fun with Hydroton

    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver
    Hydroton only floats if you don't have enough for the amount of water in the bed. The top of the Hydroton should be about an inch above the highest water level.

    Oliver

    Thank you for the advice!

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