Paul Nickerson

Washing the Grow Stones

In Aquaponics on January 2, 2011 at 1:12 am

While a coffee can was more than effective for my InDorm system, up-scaling means everything become a bit grander, including washing the growing stones. After many attempts involving pails and trash cans, washing 2500 pounds of stone proved to be very difficult and time-consuming. After carrying a number of pales of stone from the truck to a trash can next to the river, I discovered a better way to wash that much material.

Stones in Truck Bed

I shoveled all of the stone from the grow-beds, into the bed of the truck, and backed the truck down toward the river so it would be on a slight incline. This proved difficult as the rear brakes on the truck were not functioning. Because of the snow, and lack of brakes, I was hesitant to back the truck too far down the hill, resulting in a need to carry the water a bit farther than originally planned.

Talk About Mickey Mouse...

To do this, a shop-vac hose was electrical taped to the water pump hose. Attached to that was a long piece of PVC pipe (Yay duct-tape!), and finally, an old fiber-glass handle was pushed into the end of the pipe to get it the extra distance to the back of the truck. The joint had to be stacked on the trash can to keep from becoming undone. You can see all of the dirty water that poured off of the stones.

With water being pumped into the highest part of the truck, the stones were moved around to ensure a thorough wash. the water carried all the small dirt and sediment out through the small cracks around the tail-gate, leaving behind clean stones, ready for use.

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  1. paul, i enjoyed the tour and talk about aquaponics yesterday. i expect to begin building the sludge removal apparatus soon. when completed, i will have to bring it to grantham and show it off. hope to see you soon…………….kevin

  2. Hey Kevin,
    It was great meeting you two. I am really excited to see how your aquaponics adventures turn out. I showed Dr. Foster the tower and we are very much looking forward to plumbing that into the circuit. I’ll post some pictures as soon as we get that up and running. Email me when you need fish! I will be awaiting your next visit,
    Paul Nickerson

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