Definition - What does Grow Bed mean?
A grow bed is a square or rectangular box or tray used for growing plants in an aquaponic system. The grow bed is of similar size and shape to the fish tank in which it sits on top of.
Grow beds are often made of recycled black plastic, so their edges tend to absorb heat in the summer and preserve moisture in the autumn.
Grow beds are very useful in aquaponic and other aquatic agriculture systems because they are what hold the growing plants and the growing media. Most media-based aquaponic growers go for around 12 inches of media in their grow beds, with the top one or two inches being left dry to reduce algae and fungal growth.
MaximumYield explains Grow Bed
Grow beds are the foundations of a good aquaponic system. They should be solidly built to support the weight of the plants and grow media. Grow beds should also be made of food-grade materials, as they will be housing edible crops.
In an aquaponics system, plants are supplied nutrients from the fish, and the fish also oxygenate the system. It is important to note that grow beds should be filled up with aquatic plants, or edible crops that are resistant enough and do not die out even if the fish eat some of its parts. Popular plants for aquaponics include lettuce, spinach, and other types of leafy greens with a quick-turnaround.
Beginners and amateurs should start off with a grow bed of a volume equal to the fish tank. This ratio is enough for filtration. As you progress and gain more experience, you can add more beds to the system, or opt for an even bigger tank overall. A bigger bed allows more filtration in your system and a bigger tank can contain more water and more fish. This is better for the long term health of your fish and plants, and of course leads to more yields, both of fish and plants.
The term grow bed is used primarily in hydroponics. It is not to be confused with the more common term, garden bed, which refers to traditional soil garden beds. In addition, the term grow trays is similar to grow beds, the difference being that grow trays are used in regular hydroponic systems. However, the materials and equipment are essentially the same thing.