Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello everyone! I recently finished Sylvia's Aquaponic Gardening book and feel empowered to make my own system. My goal is to eventually have an Urban Farm using Aquaponics, but I would like to start on a small scale first. I have about 500 SQFT of warehouse space at my disposal (lucky me!)

Our system will be a hybrid system--we will integrate media beds and DWC rafts. The water will be gravity fed from the fish tank to the media bed then to the DWC. Then at the end of the DWC there will be a pump (or sump w/ a pump?) sending the water back to the fish tank. 

My question is this: can we pump the water back into the fish tank using a pool pump or do we need to utilize a sump tank? I am of the belief that we need a sump tank, but my business partner does not agree! I need a very good argument for why we need a sump tank--any suggestions?? Thank you :)

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Yours is a model for others to emulate,

we barely missed a frost last night, 33 now, but it soon will be. We are moving shortly so our project gets moved right at its beginning. A major upgrade is a 265 gal IBC, with a 150 gal sump, and two 4' b 8' growbeds.  The move happens just after Thanksgiving, and will be a major one. Now I am reducing the aquariums to one 90 gal, my Brichardi and some long time pets. The fish in the system will be Blue Tilapia, coming in first of Dec so much to get done. Hopefully there will be pics.

The grow beds are 15" deep but will have 12" of media, a slope of 3" on the 8'. High enough to drain into the sump. As I said, I hope to have pics as it comes together.

Oh wow.. sounds like you will have lovely new space. Thank you for the compliment! We had to make many adjustments, but I think we have it figured out. Have you considered a bell siphon for your media bed? It works great!

Wish I could redo my space. 1st I'd double the size. I'm curious too why you chose not to use bell siphons Yaacov. I'd stick em right in the middle and drain from all directions. I've recently seen a video of a guy who just has his on a timer that turns on long enough to fill the beds and off long enough to drain them. Uses a standpipe just like a bell siphon but there are small holes in the bottom that will totally drain the beds. You'd have to have enough flow to override the drain holes while filling though.

I didnt mention the Bell Siphons but they will be in use. I will have a timer too, 15 mins on, 45 off. It will have lots of fine tuning during the run-in period. 

Why slope your bed instead of centering the siphon?

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