Starting fishless cycle for my AP system using Sandponics

Hello from Tulsa , OK. Finally --started my 2nd week fishless cycling my AP system… so glad to get here (on this site!) as I have been doing a lot of school book application— building the system and making it work is a lot more than just understanding the chemistry! Running a mod CHOP I system -1 pump for recir/filtration using large sand beds for dual ops on filtration and media grow beds…the grow system is 500 sites in towers & 800 nft sites ----Have this enclosed in a 1200sq ft GH


Step one stop doing sand ponics. It simply does not work. It does not provide all the nutrients a system needs it always fails in an amazing anerobic mess and in 35+ years they have never released nutrient water ppms. Its a dead end being kept on life support by a handful of cultists who have made it there entire identity.

Theres very good reasons why there are no commercial sand farms for one no sane health inspector would ever pass it for food safe production with waste rotting ontop of the sand.

i think you are correct as to using it as growing medium but what about using the sludge that is produced to use to make fertilizer - sand filter sludge there are dozens of videos on You Tube…this one is a functioning system that has plants and you can see it sure doesn’t look like a filthy rotting mess to me!! Murray Hallum videos are about his converting to a sand bed too he just will not show much of anything as to seeing how he runs the system— He deal is getting people to come to his GH seminars…his uses YT videos to show how cutting edge he is but he is talking about how well the fish and sand work together… to provide good nutes for the plants…

Thats still a huge problem. THe sand filters clog and turn to concrete just teh same. This is the exact reason why aqueon, tetra, and oceanic all abandon there aquarium sand fitlers. This method has been done to death and it always fails.

FYI Murray abandon his sand bed after it went anerobic and crashed incase you were unaware. please stop misleading people on this dead end we have beat this horse for 30 years let it rot in peace.

It doesn’t sound like anyone is misleading anyone here, rather just sharing information and talking about different methods of growing. However I do agree the sandponics reference used is a bit outdated. Along with that using sand as a medium has a couple of drawbacks:

  1. Its heavy, especially wet = heavy and expensive infrastructure to support

  2. As Potentponics mentioned it clogs easily and becomes a thick block like texture which is difficult to remove.

  3. If you end up removing sand then likely you will need to replace it and sand is expensive, especially depending on where you are located.

  4. Sand can move through the system and either clog up other tanks, settle in other tanks, or stay suspended in the water which increases turbidity

  5. As potentponics mentioned after a couple of production runs, especially without a solids filter before the grow bed, the sand will quickly become clogged with biosolids and root masses which can lead to anaerobic conditions.

  6. If sand becomes anaerobic then you will need to clean out the beds, once again sand is heavy and will be difficult to clean. Likely you will lose some sand during this process which will need to be replaced, which can be expensive!

Jamesgang I would suggest looking at extension papers published by leading aquaponic research/extension institutions such as Kentucky State University or Purdue University or even FAO documents. Here are a couple links you may find useful!

I’m not sure how we got off on talking about using sand as a growing medium but that was not my intention I am talking about using sludge that is collected via a filter, be it swirl, sand or any other filter and using it as a ferrtilizer

Absolutely! Also known as mineralization. Can be aerobic or anaerobic. Most commonly done aerobically due to the ease of operation.

Heres some articles on that: