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Been a while, finally setting up a system - have a question or two

Discussion in 'New Aquaponics systems - DIY' started by oceansgreen, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. oceansgreen

    oceansgreen New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
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    ok, so its been a while since ive been on the forums or done any sort of research on aquaponics, been preoccupied with permaculture and life and such

    but to give you an idea of whats going on im going to describe it in text and ask my first question here, pics to come later after initial setup and running

    i am roughly basing it off of this system, though with smaller tank, sump and grow bed

    i went to walmart and bought a wire rack for 35 bux and a couple sterilite containers
    the GB is to be a 41 quart flat tote, about 10 gallons with a loop siphon running into the fish tank, which is about 10 gallons itself, it currently houses a cramped turtle we couldnt get rid of with the rest of the aquarium stuff last year, so the water im sure is well cycled as far as nitrates go, being that its been used for a while
    im using a water bridge as an overflow for this FT into the the sump, which is a 20 something gallon sterilite container

    at the moment i dont ahve GB media and i dont have steel supports to prevent the totes from bulging but i have just about everything else for this system

    my main question at this point is this, i plan to only drill one hole, the hole for the GB that drains via the loop siphon, the loop siphon is comprised of clear, 3/4 inch vinyl tubing and as mentioned before, the GB is a sterilite container, im just not certain silicone would do the job of sealing these things, so what might work for this purpose?
     
  2. Rob

    Rob Super Moderator

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    There are a number of options, but for a high loop-siphon outlet, i would suggest a good job of silicon would probably suffice. Especially if the hole is at the "high point", it's never going to be under any sort of water pressure.

    Alternatively, to take the flex out of the equation, how about using a barbed fitting the size of your tube, and silicon that in.

    I personally over-engineer most of these things as i find i'm likely to have to redo it or cause problems otherwise, so i always use bulkhead fittings, but these are for PVC pipe. I'm sure you could get them to suit your pipe though.

    Rob
     
  3. oceansgreen

    oceansgreen New Member

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    i have decided to use rubber around the pipe and though that mostly seals it (bit of a drip into the fishtank which is directly below) ill probably be putting some silicon on it soon
    my problem at the moment is that the siphon stopped kicking on for me, it stubbornly gets air in it from the outlet and no matter how high i fill it above the loop, it only trickles out - is this because the bottom of the loop isnt long enough?

    also i originally thought my pump pumped through a 3/4 in opening as the rest of the system, but it turns out i was using the wrong holoe at first and its closer to 1/2 inch
    this means that no matter if i get the siphon completly fixed or not, there will not be enough water flowing in as is to set it off, can i possibly just restrict the entry to the siphon to solve this problem(thereby making the siphon recieve a touch less water before firing) or will that make no difference?

    and thank you for responding rob, i appreciate a touch of help
     
  4. Rob

    Rob Super Moderator

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    Hi Mate,

    Do you have any pics of your siphon?

    Just because your pump only has a 1/2 inch fitting doesn't mean it won't be able to trigger the siphon.
    The water leaving the pump is under pressure, so travels much faster than gravity fed through the same sized hole (when using a pump as designed, within max head etc).

    Never restrict entry into the siphon at all, that won't help. You need to increase it if anything...
    Always remember that water flow under pump power and water flow under gravity (and even under varying amounts of gravity) must be treated differently.

    Rob
     
  5. oceansgreen

    oceansgreen New Member

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    i could take a picture here in a bit but im thinking about replacing the pump with a larger one and rebuilding the GB and siphon with PVC instead of the vinyl
    my problem is that the water is just trickling into the grow bed and when it gets to the top of the loop it is simply trickling down the siphon hose rather than filling the siphon and causing it to fire, i find that even if i dump a few buckets of water to speed things up, causing the water level in the GB to exceed the height of the siphon, it still does not fire and instead just trickles until it is as low as the siphon, before stopping completely

    so I THINK my solution should be a slightly larger pump and/or smaller siphon
     
  6. Rob

    Rob Super Moderator

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    I'm having a hard time picturing your setup. If you can post some pics it would be a great help.

    Make sure you're not restricting your pump with smaller pipe - i just posted about this.
    I was using PVC, but i made it larger and increased pump flow with no other changes!

    Rob
     
  7. Scott Hair

    Scott Hair New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
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    I second Rob on pipe size. I noticed on my spec sheet for the pump I purchased it had a 3/4 inch threaded outlet pipe but suggested minimum pipe diameter of 1 1/2 inch for maximum flow. Something to check for in pump documentation.
     

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