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PostPosted: Aug 19th, '18, 16:17 
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Hey all,

I have a small pvc aquaponics setup and planning on doing a larger / expandable system when I move.

I'm thinking of doing a chop2 design as I'm reading Bernstein's aquaponics gardening book. I've been using clay balls but want to use gravel as it's cheaper. Is it difficult to put seedlings in gravel? It seems like it would damage stems and what not? She also mentioned that some small seeds can be started directly in gravel which seemed weird to me.

And then in the book they also mentions having a cone shaped bottom so that solid wastes collects at the bottom to be easily pumped out, but is that generally a problem? I thought that the pump was always in the sump tank?

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PostPosted: Aug 20th, '18, 08:15 
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Gravel is fine to use as a growing medium. It is a little more difficult to plant seedlings into as it doesn't tend to slip out of the way like clay balls do.

Personally, I'm not a fan of CHOP2 as you are overflowing from your fish tank (moving solids to the sump) and then pumping those solids to both your growbeds (good) and your fish tank (bad). If the area you are building your system in allows I would build CHOP (aka CHIFT PIST). Over flow solids from fish tank to grow beds, drain growbeds (which clean the water) to sump, pump clean water to fish tank, repeat.

As for the conical shape - this sounds like a radial flow filter or a swirl filter. These are not necessary if you build your system correctly and stock it to or below its filtration capacity.

Hope that helps.

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PostPosted: Aug 20th, '18, 08:22 
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I started most things from seed in my gravel beds, really nothing to it sprinkle some seeds in an area and see what pops up. It does use more seeds though than regular methods.

When transplanting a lot of the time I would put the roots in a 1" diameter piece of PVC pipe and push it down into the gravel, then put the plant roots in, then pull the pipe up and out.

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PostPosted: Aug 20th, '18, 11:34 
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Okay. Thanks for the info! I'm going to start playing around in drawing out a design I want =D


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