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Aquaponics Seed Starting

How you start your seeds is going to depend on how you intend to grow your plants as they get older (DWC or using a medium of some kind). Soft growing medium like moss takes seeds nicely, and you can just plant directly into your pots of medium. Materials like expanded clay or gravel won't work as well because there are too many spaces between the pellets, and a system with no medium is another issue altogether. In these cases, you have to get your seeds started enough so that they have enough roots to anchor them within the medium or through a floating tray.

If you're just doing a few plants, you can even use the old-school method of wet paper towels until you have sprouts and roots to work with. It is a little tricky though to move the seedlings once they start though. Otherwise, get your seeds going in little plugs of rockwool or moss.

Plant the seeds into your plugs like you would in regular soil, reading the seed packets for the appropriate depth. Set your plugs out under lights, and keep the medium damp until they start to sprout. Then each entire plug can be moved to a larger container later without having to disturb the delicate new roots. If you are going to be using no medium with the adult plants, you have to gently tease your seedling from its plug before installing in its floating deep water pot or tray. Moss will work better for this than rockwool.

You can plant your little seedlings directly into their final destination pot, providing that the water flow is going to be high enough to reach the new roots. Otherwise, you may need to start in smaller containers. You don't want to leave your seedlings high and dry.

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