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Fill, flood and drain all in one pipe

Discussion in 'Aquaponics Ideas' started by ReyZr67, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. ReyZr67

    ReyZr67 New Member

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    Hi all
    Toying with the idea of using the flood and drain line to also fill the beds. Normally water is normally fed from the top and drained through a separate gravity line underneath the beds via bell siphon.
    I would like to essentially fill from the bottom up (like wicking) and when it hits the standpipe in the bell siphon, it drains the lot. As long as the inflow/outflow ratio's are good, I can't see any hydraulic problems with it as even filling from the top really works the same way as water collects in the bottom first.
    To add to this, it is actually for 20 double dutch buckets I am adding to my 5000L AP system, so the idea is to link all outlets underneath the buckets into an external bell siphon (or control bucket). As this is effectively a "sealed" discharge line up until the standpipe level, I don't see why I can't plug the pressurised feed line into it, fill all buckets and bell simultaneously, and drain the whole lot.
    Any experience with this in this learned forum? Can't seem to find anything on good ole Grooble!
     
  2. Terra

    Terra Active Member

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    Perhaps a diagram

    Assuming (never assume ive learned) that your standpipes have a hole in the bottom to bottom fill while pumping and you will have a external standpipe and bell siphon at the same level that is big enough and has the capacity to drain the lot at once ??

    Seen a series of growbeds set up with a big siphon to drain the lot at the same time they were top filled .

    Pipes pretty cheap whats the advantage

    Any blockage and you will overflow everywhere
     
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  3. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Hi ReyZ r76,
    All my GB's fill from the bottom up and drain through a stand pipe.
    Ive had no issues , and if your inflow water is clean (filtered) it actually helps keep your media clean by back flushing your GB's with each flood/drain cycle. It also stops the hot surface media heating your water and minimises algae growth in your GB's by not wetting the media that's exposed to sunlight.
    Hope that helps
    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
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  4. ReyZr67

    ReyZr67 New Member

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    Thanks for the response and input guys. Got all the buckets today so looking forward to getting into it next week. Will post some pics as appropriate.

    Terra, admitted small savings only on pipe, that wasn't the issue. Bearing in mind it's dutch buckets, so normally it would have a dripper feed line. But being off an AP system rather than HP, the solids would quickly clog these drippers. My solution uses the 25mm drain lines to also supply, eliminating any blockage concerns. Also easy to tune the siphon as only one valve feeds the entire 20 bucket system. As all the drain lines are connected in parallel, only one bucket would have a standpipe in (control bucket) which fills at the same pace as the others and then simply drains the entire system via the one bell siphon.
    It won't take me long at all to put together, so I'll share with you all in a few days - good or bad!
     
  5. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Super Moderator

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    Hi Rey,

    Search Chainsaws mega syphon. That may be of help to you.

    Cheers.
     
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  6. ReyZr67

    ReyZr67 New Member

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    Hi again. and thanks BD for that reference. I had already built mine though - we will see if it works as it is substantially smaller than yours and based on similar geometry to the standpipes in my GBs. My reasoning is that if the 1" GB bells are successful in a 300 liter IBC half, then 5 x 20 liter buckets shouldn't be a problem.
    Thought I'd show you how far I got. Waiting for some uniseals from Rob at Bits in the Back in Qld then I can start the 5 trial buckets to prove the theory (hopefully).

    The buckets are filled simultaneously from below via the 1" feed valve coming from the common feed line (bottom left of pic below).
    20170410 Buckets left.jpg

    The 5 buckets are all drained simultaneously via an external bell siphon into the common discharge line. Bell siphon is 25mm standpipe in 50mm bell/tee arrangement (as per my standard GB bell sizes). standpipe set to 1" below top level of bottom bucket.
    20170410 Buckets right.jpg
    So, filling from the bottom. Aside from eliminating dripper feed line clogging problems (which is why they aren't common in AP systems), the added benefits of confined root balls, easier access, maintenance, interchangeability, no algae on surface media, etc seem reasonable enough to try it out. On the down side, the only thing I can really think of is that solid matter is also now being fed from the bottom rather than filtering from top down. I guess this could lead to some clogging up of the water passages in the bottom of the buckets. However, I will try and remedy this with 20mm blue metal about 200mm of the bucket and 20mm expanded clay the remaining 100mm to make it easier to plant initially. If this also clogs, then I'll probably just chuck in an RFF in the fish house, which I have actually prepared for pipewise anyways

    Cheers again for your input, having fun.
     

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