Cleaning Aquaponic Grow Beds. Solids Be Gone..

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Matthew Young: hi Rob, thanks for thd ongoing videos. would earthworms help in this case to consume the solids? Not sure if they'd travel tobthe very bottom where its waterlogged often.. does your bed drain completely?

wajdi wajdi: thank you from Ermont near Paris. good thing with u is you re showing also the problems and how to fix them. Not only the happy face of aquaponic

Domenic Abitino: Hi Rob, i want to start by saying thank you for your information on aquaponics. I have done days of research and looked at the various different ways and ideas of how people build these systems and what they consider is best! One thing they all don't talk about is the actual cleaning of the system. Again thank you. My initial point when I started to watch these videos, i was under the impression that it was fairly plug and play. But it did not make sense to me. Yes the fish poop and the plants take those minerals and use it for food and the cycle continues... But what happens when the fish solids are too much and concentrated? Somehow this will be a problem. well until I saw your video I am sure this was a problem. No one ever talks about the complete operation of the way the system works. they are mainly concerned about the build and the way they think is best. But with everything there are fundamentals.
Hope when i get my system up I can share with you.
Thanks again.

joe smith: G'day ,when I made my gb's I cut them from the sides instead of top or bottom ,you get two beds from each ibc and they have nice flat bottoms .You then use tank fittings for the drain.You then cut the ibc cage to the height you want ,incorporating the base ,you then use the leftover top section of cage for a stand, ie the base sits on top of the top,you may have to cut the corners of the cage to open it outwards to allow the gb to fit.You can also jump up and down in the centre of the base to form a sloping bottom to your gb's.I also noticed that you don't have nearly enough holes in your media guard to allow fast draining which I found made the auto siphons play up a lot , as in they would not break cleanly.I found that angle grinding as many slots as you can, vertically is best.With this setup I have found they stay quite clean as there are no low spots.I have learnt a few things from you and I hope this info is of some use ,Cheers mate.

Franklin Anders: Would it be plausible to incorporate an air line/s UNDER the chosen medium before filling a grow bed? This may allow for air to be pumped in at the lowest levels without disturbing the most of the medium or any of the plants and still make it possible for the water to be flowed throughout. I am unsure as to whether a air compressor would help or hinder this as I think there could be too much pressure in such a system. Ideas?

Eco-Hub Mexico: Hi Rob.
Thanks for all your great videos!
I have a question regarding grow media. I live in a desert area in Mexico. In summer it tops 40C. I understand expanded clay pebbles heat up very easily. I was thinking of using these but putting 4" or so of suitable natural stones as a top layer to help protect the clay pebbles from the heat.  Would this help or is there a better way?
Thanks in advance!

Memories of yesterday: Hi Rob, Im new to aquaponics and just completed a grow bed using clay balls, on my first test the balls which is about 250mm deep started to float and almost overflowed to the edge if I didn't scoop it back in, is this normal? cheers mate

Alisher Nabiev: Also will be great if you tell where did you get covered material for you greenhouse. Thank you in advance. 

Alisher Nabiev: May be it is really because of sun. But fishes are ok.

Alisher Nabiev: Hello, thank you for respond. Yes I have a tant with plastic( Cellophane) covered on it. I would like to know what kind of material did you used for your greenhouse. 

Alisher Nabiev: Hello, my water tank is getting dirty. I bought some gold fishes and put them to my water tank with store water in which fishes came. Is This the reason of getting dirty? i am cleaning my water tank and in 3 days it gets dirty again. It is kind of gets yellowish then turns greenish. I am not sure what I am doing wrong may be it should be like that because of fish.

Joshua “ZenKidd” Falcon: Hello,

I've got a few questions as I am planning to start my own auqaponic garden. I've found a 55gal drum set up that would be great for me to start with considering my space is limited. I will share a link bc I am looking for opinions and was not sure where to turn.

So this "barrelponics" set up is pretty simple. But I wanted to ask about the clay ball substrate you use and I was curious if you think it may work in this size set up?

I have also found you of Facebook and sent a message there. Thank you.

Olen Soifer: Hence, the difference between DWC hydroponics and grow media aquaponics. That smell is from anaerobic conditions developing down at the bottom of the in a septic tank. Not what you want! You wouldn't grow food in septic waste!

While you prefer not to use the actual under-gravel filter that are sometimes used in might consider installing a course screen under the media, a couple of inches up from the bottom, so the media doesn't do down to the very bottom of the beds. Then, if you limit the drain holes to the bottom couple of inches of the standpipe...below the level of the might find that you can get some good turbulence in that media-less bottom part of the beds. Perhaps, considering how much flow bell siphons can develop, that could dislodge the sludge as fast as it builds up and carry it out to the filter so that the sludge doesn't build up.

Of course, the other issue could be inadequate filtering Some people don't use filters at all...and they like to show off how clean their fish water is. But, of course, what's happening is that they are sludging up their grow media, turning them into the equivalent of septic tanks. Sooner or later they'll certainly have the same issues you've experienced. The solution is more filters. "Backyarders" don't differentiate between settleable and suspended solids. The homemade swirl filter doesn't remove the suspended solids...but the grow bed does! Using bag or drum filters might be the only practical solution. I haven't seen anyone come up with a homemade drum filter yet, but someone will sooner or later!

Roberto carlos machado gomes: Olá Rob Bob, boa noite!

Gostaria de saber como você administra os fertilizantes nesse sistema de cultivo hidropônico, e quais são eles?
Roberto - Brasília/ Brasil

livefastdieyoung26: Why don't you get rid of the hydrotin ( clay pebbles ) and float all your plants on foam? That way the water flow would be better and less gunk would settle on the bottom?

Miles Komora: Thanks for the cleaning tip!
I'm only into this for less than a year so your tips are very appreciated!
Good Day!

KaleidoscopeJunkie: A siphoning gravel cleaner for aquariums should work well. It pulls all the decay/debris with it so none can escape into your system. I prefer the siphons that are not self priming because those has smaller openings that trap debris. I have three types and "Aqua Culture Regular Gravel Vacuum Cleaner" is My fave. (Some decent videos on YouTube ;-) bout using them in aquariums.)

Yaqub Lourens: Hi Rob. I'm looking at starting a AP here in the north of Arica.I'm just wondering, isn't it better to but in a solid filter so that you don't need to deal with the solids in the grow bed??
Thanks for a great video

bo ter berg: After watching this, my first thought was that the problem started with the shape of the IBC's. The ones you  cut the sides off may not have these lower parts. Another option would be to level the bottom of the bed with cement first. Very informative again, thanks :o)

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