I'm a college student living with my family in Petaluma, California, USA. I'm trying to cajole my family into setting up an aquaponics system. I'm taking the lead in figuring out what all we need to do, so I thought I'd post on some aquaponics forums to try and get started. We're thinking of doing something outside, and are trying to make it as inexpensive as possible without being dangerously cheap. If anyone has the time, I've a few questions I'd like to hear input on:
- Before setting an aquaponics system up, are there any safety concerns or extremely common mistakes I should know about and avoid?
- What are good but inexpensive materials that I could use for growth beds and water tanks outdoors? I assume that most plastics would need to be avoided for fear of UV degrading them over time.
- I know that there are different methods for aquaponics—deep water, growth bed, running water over glass panes or sheets of plastic. Is there a way to know which is best for one's unique situation, or do you just go with whatever sounds best?