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Automatic Taps

Discussion in 'AQUAPONICS MADE EASY interactive discussion forum.' started by anne-marie, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. anne-marie

    anne-marie New Member

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    Hello,

    New member here and getting started setting up our own home system (all very exciting!)

    One issue that we can't get our heads round is how to alternate sending water to each of our two grow beds. All the autowatering taps that I've seen online are only programmed to turn on and off once or twice a day and obviously we'll need to alternate much more frequently than that.

    I don't suppose anyone has found a simple auto-timing tap online or has made one themselves/encountered this problem before?

    Any help/advice/criticism all appreciated thanks!

    Anne-Marie
     
  2. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Anne Marie, Welcome to the forum!

    Any reason why you want to alternate sending water to the two beds?

    The simplest system would be one pump with the flow split to the two GB's, and running a bell siphon in each GB to flood and drain them. This way your pump is running 24/7, no stopping and starting, and no timers to fail.
    .
     
  3. anne-marie

    anne-marie New Member

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    Hi Yabbies4me!

    I'm planning a system that overflows from fish tank to our grow beds, drains from the beds into a sump and then pumps back to fish tank. If we have both beds (and one is slightly bigger than the other) filling at the same time then there will be occasional points where our sump tank is almost completely drained. I don't want to risk damaging a submersible pump by having it running whilst its exposed to air so thought the best way to get around this is to alternate the filling and draining...

    Do you think this is a bad solution? The only other thing I could come up with was having a much bigger sump to ensure that there is always some extra water in it to cover the pump, but I'm a bit short on space and don't really want a massive sump.

    (also thanks for the super speedy response before, you rock!)
     
  4. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    This would make the system far less complex... and IMO the K.I.S.S. principle reigns supreme when it comes to aquaponic system design.

    As far as sump capacity is concerned, have you taken into account that...

    (1). There should be a dry layer at the top of the GB, so the max water level is about 50mm from the surface of the exp' clay/gravel?...

    (2). The bell siphon should be designed so that it doesn't draw water from the very bottom of the GB, and so it cuts off when there is still about 40-50mm of water in the GB?...

    (3). The water required when flooding gravel is only about 33%-40% of the total gravel volume in the Flood & Drain zone, depending on the size and type of gravel used?

    ie: If you look at the example in the pic below, the total gravel volume in the GB would be 300L, but the total water volume that would be drawn from the sump to fill the F&D zone in the GB would only be somewhere between about 65L and 80L... or 33%-40% of the total gravel volume in the F&D zone.


    Also, there are other options re system operating methods. ie:

    (1). Make both GB's Constant Flood. Wouldn't be my preferred option, but better than running timers etc.

    (2). Run one GB as permanent CF, and the other as permanent siphoned F&D.

    (3). Put bell siphons in both GB's, but on a daily basis alternate between Flooding & Draining and CF, so one will run as F&D and the other as CF while it's bell is removed. If alternating, I wouldn't leave it more than a couple of days at a time, otherwise there may be a bit of murkiness to the water for a few hours after the swap.

    (4). If one GB is higher than the other you could have bell siphons in both, with the drain from the siphon in the top bed, cascading into the lower bed. In this situation I'd make the siphon in the lower bed with a larger flow capacity than that of the top bed, ie: go up one size in the pipe diameter for the standpipe in the siphon.

    ... :broc1::carrot::broc1:
     

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