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PostPosted: Aug 26th, '13, 09:28 
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Have been seeing lots of evidence about using a thin plastic and suspending plants above water as opposed to actually floating then in the water. Any thoughts? has anyone done side by side comparisons? Cost doesn't seem to much different, really looking for the best growth. thanks!


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PostPosted: Aug 26th, '13, 20:55 
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Yes it works,there is evidence to show now that an air gap between the raft and the water encourages air roots that spread out under the raft above the water,anchoring your plants is the only issue. There is a thread here about foam getting water logged,the poster has had great results from lifting his raft. In my tubes the water is about 6 mm below the cup,just the root system is submerged,when they were first put in the water touched the sponge cube,when growth took off the water level was dropped to give this air gap. It is my first attempt but result are promising,growth is very good no problems.

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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 06:35 
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if you can get plastic plywood then forget the foam. I'll try and get a pic up, I bolted angle aluminum across boards to keep from sagging and suspended them over water. works great!


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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 08:23 
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Thanks guys! I think I'm going to look for sign board. Maybe try PVC, since I have lots of scrap to keep plastic sheeting suspended above water. Does 1/2" seem about the proper distance from bottom of plant to top of water?


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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 08:36 
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I used coreflute (sign plastic) for my raft.






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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 08:43 
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Charlie, yes...exactly what I was thinking of. A few ??
1. What air gap do you keep between roots and water?
2. Do you need the aluminum to suspend or for support, or both?
3. Any growth difference noticed in the pots with and without side holes?
Nice looking lettuce...how old are they. I'm planting seeds inside now, hope to be ready by late Sept/early Oct when the weather here cools.


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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 08:57 
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1. The cups probably have about a 10mm airgap but I dont think it matters too much.
2. The coreflute is very flimsy so I had to reenforce it with the alloy flat bar.
3. No growth difference although Im using the net pots pictured below now. Just cause they were cheap.

The lettuce Ive grown usually takes about 4 weeks from seedling to harvest.













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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 09:17 
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Great, thanks Charlie. Any problems with algae growing in between layers of plastic? I don't have any aluminum, but plan on using a pvc grid to set them in. Thanks for info about air gap. What kind of fish are you raising? I just put my first group in..1-2" blue talapia. Figure on letting them settle in for a few weeks and then getting some 3-4" size. Hoping to have FRS system ready this week and making some verticals out of PVC fence posts and filter mat. Strawberries will be coming the second week in Oct, and I'll drop in a few chives and basil in 1 till then.


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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 11:31 
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Ive had a few spots of green algea on the underside of the corflute but nothing to worry about, it wipes straight off anyways. Someone here has used PVC piping to frame the sheets but cant remeber who sorry, it looked like it was working fine. I have yabbies, perch and trout.

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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 19:28 
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thanks!


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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 21:28 
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Dam Im good at searching the archives!

Here ya go... viewtopic.php?p=365334#p365334




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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '13, 02:30 
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Yes, indeed Charlie. Pretty much what i had in mind. thanks for digging that up for me. Now, if you can order up an early cold front here...we'll be perfect. The Mrs. is not crazy about keeping trays of seeds in the house to germinate because it's too hot outside. I told her she should be thankful of trays of peppers and tomatoes that don't mind the heat to sprout. In the house with the shade, it's bearable, but temps still in 90's for a few more weeks.


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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '13, 04:30 
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Here's my 2 cents.

If you're going to go through all the work of cutting and drilling some kind of board, just spend a little bit more money and buy plastic plywood. It'll last almost forever, foam and that coreflute won't. It goes for $150 for a 4x8' sheet here in Hawaii and thats high because I'm in Hawaii.

People often use the air gap to replace the need or aerating the water in the raft bed, however larger beds probably will need areation.

I adjust my water level to allow for the maximum air gap so that means only the very bottom of the mesh pot touches water. Also much more hygienic because there's little water exposure to the top of the plywood. No wet, gooey crap growing on the top like I have had with floating rafts.


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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '13, 09:44 
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When you say plastic plywood are you talking about something like starboard? That stuff is pretty expensive on the mainland as well

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '13, 19:14 
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I found some locally. 96" x 54" over $200.00 a sheet. I think I'll stick with sign board. If I want longevity, I could always throw a coat of fiberglass resin on it.


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