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PostPosted: Oct 7th, '19, 01:50 
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Hey folks,

It's been a very, very long time coming, but I've finally started trying to put together a small indoor aquaponics system. I'm running into some trouble with the plumbing, though, and would appreciate the advice of folks with experience in the matter.
Here is what I've got so far:
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(I added towels to prop up the drain side of the growbed because the siphon never broke otherwise)

I'm running into two main issues. First: the difference between the max and min height of the water in the fish tank is worryingly large. I'm guessing that it's too large. What can I do about this issue?
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Attachment:
min height of water in tank.jpg
min height of water in tank.jpg [ 316 KiB | Viewed 477 times ]


Second issue: the water doesn't quite completely drain out of the growbed. I'd heard that this is not ideal. Is there something I can do to get the last bit of water to siphon out? At present, it just reaches the minimum height I've pictured, then the siphon breaks and the growbed starts refilling.
Attachment:
max height of water in growbed.jpg
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Attachment:
min height of water in growbed.jpg
min height of water in growbed.jpg [ 149.69 KiB | Viewed 477 times ]


Any advice on either of these issues would be much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Oct 7th, '19, 13:53 
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Best solution to solve both problems is to run constant flow using a standpipe and forget about the siphon.

Having water in the grow bed is not a problem as long as it is oxygenated and there are no dead zones. Which in a bed that size is unlikely to be an issue.


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PostPosted: Oct 10th, '19, 09:30 
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Brian wrote:
Best solution to solve both problems is to run constant flow using a standpipe and forget about the siphon.

Having water in the grow bed is not a problem as long as it is oxygenated and there are no dead zones. Which in a bed that size is unlikely to be an issue.


I acknowledge the elegant simplicity of this option, but I refuse to acknowledge the sunk cost fallacy and would like to make the existing flood-and-drain system work, if possible. I'm treating this system as a scale version—I want to eventually make a larger system after I've learned all I can from making and maintaining this one, so I'd like to figure out how to make a flood-and-drain system work now rather than later.


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PostPosted: Oct 10th, '19, 11:22 
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I must say,I don't like the system.You're making life hard for yourself.

Kronimiciad wrote:
I'm running into two main issues. First: the difference between the max and min height of the water in the fish tank is worryingly large. I'm guessing that it's too large. What can I do about this issue?

A sump tank.
Look up CHIFT PIST.It will give you some ideas.
You'll also need some sort of an overflow,just in case.

With the design of your system,I don't know how you could maintain a decent water level in the tank.Maybe a bigger fish tank or put a sump tank under the grow bed & allow the water to slowly dribble back to the fish tank,mess about to see how fast the water needs to flow down :dontknow: .And put the bell in the grow bed.
I know you want to keep this design but I think brian is right (changing the design).

The clear pipe will get blocked with algae quick & what's the green pipe for?

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PostPosted: Oct 13th, '19, 11:46 
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7341 wrote:
I must say,I don't like the system.You're making life hard for yourself.

With the design of your system,I don't know how you could maintain a decent water level in the tank.Maybe a bigger fish tank or put a sump tank under the grow bed & allow the water to slowly dribble back to the fish tank,mess about to see how fast the water needs to flow down :dontknow: .And put the bell in the grow bed.
I know you want to keep this design but I think brian is right (changing the design).

The clear pipe will get blocked with algae quick & what's the green pipe for?


The green isn't a pipe; it's a handle for a ball valve to control the flow from the pump. Are there any possible adjustments to this design that would keep the bell siphon?

I appreciate your guys' advice.


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PostPosted: Oct 13th, '19, 12:45 
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Kronimiciad wrote:
Brian wrote:
Best solution to solve both problems is to run constant flow using a standpipe and forget about the siphon.

Having water in the grow bed is not a problem as long as it is oxygenated and there are no dead zones. Which in a bed that size is unlikely to be an issue.


I acknowledge the elegant simplicity of this option, but I refuse to acknowledge the sunk cost fallacy and would like to make the existing flood-and-drain system work, if possible. I'm treating this system as a scale version—I want to eventually make a larger system after I've learned all I can from making and maintaining this one, so I'd like to figure out how to make a flood-and-drain system work now rather than later.


Fair enough, but as you upscale you will find the pump and pipe work will be totally different, which then leads to the siphon not working properly :shifty:

One way to maybe improve the siphon operation would to increase the pipe size and hole in the bottom of the grow bed.

Don't stress about the water left in the bottom of the grow bed. That is normal for most systems I have seen.


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PostPosted: Oct 13th, '19, 14:51 
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Your growbed doesn't yet have media in it. Adding media will solve the fish tank level issue

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PostPosted: Oct 14th, '19, 00:37 
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Kronimiciad wrote:
The green isn't a pipe; it's a handle for a ball valve to control the flow from the pump.

:oops: :lol:
Kronimiciad wrote:
Second issue: the water doesn't quite completely drain out of the growbed. I'd heard that this is not ideal. Is there something I can do to get the last bit of water to siphon out?.

It's probably something to do with the siphon when the air lock kicks in.

In my grow bed there's always about 1 inch of water (even when fully drained),it''s not a problem.
But after you fill the grow bed with gravel,it's a possibility the min water level in the grow bed might be quite high.Test it & see.
Kronimiciad wrote:
Are there any possible adjustments to this design that would keep the bell siphon?

A bigger fish tank,so the water level won't get that low.

Using towels isn't ideal,it can't be trusted.Especially when you're out & the pump is continuously running.That's why you need an over flow,and in case the siphon decides to stop.
When a bell siphon isn't level (or near enough),it tends to play up.In your case,the grow bed isn't level & that means your stand pipe isn't.

And BTW,that's a nice view from the terrace :!:

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