Backyard Aquaponics

My clay media is floating?
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Author:  mrgpsman [ Apr 19th, '17, 12:01 ]
Post subject:  My clay media is floating?


I have been following this forum for a while, but this is my fist post. I have recently doubled the size of my year old aquaponics system. The old system consisted of river pebbles for grow bed media. This was very heavy, so I decided to use expanded clay instead. The new grow beds contain 25% of the original pebbles on the bottom and the rest is the expanded clay pebbles. I wanted to use some of the old media in order to help cycle the system and promote proper bacteria growth. Here is the problem. The pebbles float causing the new plants to sync. I wonder if someone could take a look at the following YouTube link of a time lapse of my system and tell me if this looks correct. Is there a trick to keeping the new plants in place?

Author:  scotty435 [ Apr 20th, '17, 02:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: My clay media is floating?

It's common for new media to float. You need to have a shorter standpipe so the water level doesn't come up as high and doesn't allow the media to float. The floating lessens as the media ages.

Author:  Gunagulla [ Apr 20th, '17, 05:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: My clay media is floating?

scotty435 wrote:
The floating lessens as the media ages.

In my small system I have Canna clay balls, mixed in with river gravel, that still float after 4 years.

Author:  Mel Redcap [ Apr 20th, '17, 08:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: My clay media is floating?

Yeah, you need to either lower your water level - a lot! - or put in heaps more media, enough to give you an inch or two of dry media over the maximum water level. The dry layer on top will prevent algae from growing on top of your media, and also weigh it all down enough to stop it floating. As it is, it looks like if the media was heavy enough to sink you'd have a considerable depth of water over the top of it at the highest point.

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