Saturday, April 23, 2011

Progress Report on Sand System

Thought I'd post a little update on the sand system before I add in 15 tilapia to the mix. So, the growth that you see is the product of 2 good-sized goldfish - that's it. I've seen good growth in the tomatoes, and all of my seeds have germinated. I will say, though, that it seems like the seeds may have taken longer to germinate than they did in my hydroton system. Could be that the weather is the major factor in that, though, as it's been exceptionally cool and rainy this spring.

Veggies include tomatoes, green beans, edamame, cucumber, yellow squash, sweet pepper, and some basil starting to come up.

Top shot shows the grow bed when the water starts collecting. Bottom shows what it looks like after I poke a few holes in the sand with 1/2" PVC pipe. Many claim that I won't be able to keep this up for long - that the sand will compact and clog and eventually stop draining well. Maybe... but for now, things are fine with the occasional hole poking.

All in all, I'm happy so far with the sand system. Having to poke some holes into the sand to help with drainage isn't that big of a deal work-wise, but the fact that it requires any extra effort puts it at a disadvantage to my hydroton system. It will be interesting to see how the drainage fairs  over time. I think most people think it will get clogged and basically crap out. I sure hope that doesn't happen!


AquaMonster said...

The main problem you will likely encounter is that despite generous hole punching, there will develop areas beneath the surface where fresh water will not quite reach. These areas then tend to go anaerobic, resulting in some bad stuff.

I am interested to see what happens. Growth you have upto now looks great. Will be cool to disprove some traditional AP wisdom and spark some interesting debate..

Brian Naess said...

The proof will be in the pudding, I think. I pick up my tilapia Thursday morning. 15 will go in my tank feeding the sand system, and 25 will go in my other pond. Time to put this thing through its paces!

I'm hoping that if there are areas where the water doesn't get, the roots will find the places where the water does get. Personally, I'm not sure there will be a place that is so crusty that even air can't penetrate. Besides, I'm pretty sure there are plenty of hydroton or gravel systems out there with root decay and such that have coagulated to form a biotic mat that might act similarly.

I appreciate your comments, by the way!

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.