How To Use Aquaponic Trays To Your Advantage...
By: Kevin Schmidt on March 05, 2015
The Best Floating Trays For Commercial Aquaponics
The floating tray marketers all say they are the best. Then they list all the “reasons” their product is so wonderful.
Well we, here at Doodley Dee’s Farm, have experimented with a variety of trays (or boards, troughs… whatever you wish to call them) and none in our experience have lived fully to their promises.
The standard 2x4 trays sold exclusively for aquaponic systems bend in the middle during harvest when lifting. Over a short amount of time this bending causing fatigue in the Styrofoam. That in turn causes them to get weak and break. These varied trays are simply too expensive to not have a long lifespan. Plus they mostly come with pre-drilled holes dictating how you plant. This path was not for us.
Especially with the increased labor cost of being forced to have two people lift the trays out for harvest just doesn’t make sense on a commercial scale.
Luckily for us, Susanne Friend (www.friendlyaquaponics.com), introduced us to the 2 inch thick 4x8 Dow Blue Board trays. These Dow boards are sturdy and allow us to drill the holes according to what we want to grow. Meaning we can have some boards with more holes and some with less giving us the flexibility to plant more efficiently & profitably. All with an additional benefit of more strength than the others.
Below is an example of us cutting the 2 inch net pot holes with a drill. In this case we are using 18 holes on the 2x2 board.
You can see in the first picture, at the top, where we cut the 4x8 boards into 2 feet by 2 feet squares using a regular circular saw. And that made it easy for one person to harvest without compromising the board.
Obviously saving on labor cost too for years to come.
Every bit saved is a bit more earned. I hope this more technical insight helps with your farming. Sharing our knowledge, in my opinion, helps build the successful strategies for the budding aquaponics industry (no pun intended). Which in turn gives more strength to healthy & earth friendly aquaponic farming.
As always, here at Doodley Dee’s Farm we will share our knowledge with you… please share yours with us.
Here’s to good eating.