Q: I'm just getting started with aquaponics and I want to build a NFT system. I want to know if it's possible if I can use 2in PVC pipes in order to grow?
What the question really boils down to is the type of crop you are going to be growing. The answer is honestly a yes and a no, but it's a finite yes I may add. What I’m saying is that it really depends on to what stage of the crop you're going to allow it to mature. If you're going to 2in pipes for seedlings or micro-greens it will work fine, but as soon as you start trying to let the plant grow to maturity, you're going to have problems. You can forget about using two-inch pipes, and if you do use them you’re really gong to have to be attentive to the root mass that is accumulating inside of the pipe.
The Roots Will Clog The Pipe – GARAUNTEED
Once the root mass accumulates and fills up the two inch pipe water is it's going to leak due to the restriction. Now if this happens during the night when you're cozy and snuggled up with your pillows, you’re going to wake up the next morning and your eco system is going to be destroyed. Your fish, bacteria, and plants are going to dead. You have to be very mindful of this if you're deciding to use a two-inch pipe because you’re really limited to which type of plants you can grow. You might be able to squeeze in crops like lettuce or some spinach, but that’s pretty much it.
Don’t be A Biscuit Headed Aquaponist
Even with me providing you this answer I know that some of you are still going to be a biscuit headed beginner aquaponist and go out to purchase the 2in pipes. I’m warning you that you're going to find yourself with a big headache. You're going to end up getting rid of those 2in pipes and end up buying larger pipes later on down the road. By that time you’ve wasting your money on the 2in pipes, and now you still have to go back and buy the larger pipes that should have bought in the first place. It’s not worth it. What I would advise you to do is to invest in the correct equipment, which means using the correct pipe sizes. The least diameter pipes I would advice are 3in or 4in.
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Brooklyn Saint Mickell