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I have slowly been cycling my system since last October. I have a total of 5 grow beds but added them one at a time. Now that they are all in circulation, I find that the last two I added fill VERY slowly and as such are holding water from the system. (it's a CHOP 2) so my sumps are often out of balance in terms of volume, not that it bothers me expect that if a bridge siphon were to malfunction I could have a flood.

Also I find I'm adding water to my system at least once a week. In northern NM so humidity is very low.

I was told that once I had the bell siphons adjusted with water flow so they were charging and discharging to just leave them alone and not worry about how long it's taking to fill the bed. Is this correct or should I fuss with water flow and get all the beds filling at the same rate.

2nd question, is it normal to have to add 10% water once / week in a very dry climate. Fish (Rainbow Trout) don't seem to mind, eating fine and no deaths since October.

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BTW, always learning. I read a post elsewhere that we should pull our pumps about once a year and clear any iron particles that collect on the mag drives. Otherwise the iron will wear out the Teflon bushing. Wow does that make sense as there is almost always some iron particles in any water supply. Good stuff and I have never heard it before and I read a lot.

Hi Jim-- the v-notch is to keep an air lock from occurring, which I have visually seen happen in my case.

Wow, never experienced that.

Brent Shafer said:

Hi Jim-- the v-notch is to keep an air lock from occurring, which I have visually seen happen in my case.

yeah its at the very top of the drain pipe in the syphon. If the water hits it just right an air bubble forms at the top and just sits there. NOW that is without the bell in place, so the increased pressure inside the bell may break and push the air lock out? I dont have see thru bells and didnt want to take the chance of a flood.

@ Jim Fisk
Reply by Jim Fisk 4 hours ago

@Paul: Yes I plant right next to the GG and grow area is considered valuable real estate around here so the smaller the footprint the better

Last time I planted close to the gravel guard, some roots grew through, and nearly blocked the syphon.

Reply by Jim Fisk 4 hours ago

Granite. Love it. And it provides minerals. Granite dust is considered a valuable source of minerals. 18.00 per ton and one ton does 2 IBC 12" media depth GBs.

I was trying to get information about granite/gravel grow media, when I joined here.
http://community.theaquaponicsource.com/forum/topics/media-choice
The hydroton clay balls don't hold the roots steady on larger plants. And I was looking for information regarding leeching minerals and PH.

Paul, with our GGs all you do is rotate them back and forth every month or so and the roots are cut right off by the razor sharp ends of the chop saw slots. Then you just lift the bell and remove the roots.

Not much more to say on the granite. I have been posting on here for 3 yrs. that I use granite and love it. The first beds I used river rock and hated it. Too much silt and 3 times the price.

There really should never be any "pressure" in the bell. Up until "make" the stand pipe is open to free air as the water rises if you plumbed it right. The bell goes into suction tho once the siphon makes. Sounds to me like you might want to rethink your post siphon plumbing or what happens under the GB. Remember to vent or have an air gap after the siphon plumbing ( i.e. the 2 90's)

Brent Shafer said:

yeah its at the very top of the drain pipe in the syphon. If the water hits it just right an air bubble forms at the top and just sits there. NOW that is without the bell in place, so the increased pressure inside the bell may break and push the air lock out? I dont have see thru bells and didnt want to take the chance of a flood.

Jim thanks so much for your help, I see the connectors you are using are the same for me pvc white and grey. I looked all over today to find the right connections to get the stand as low as the bottom of the plastic tub but it did not happen so 3/4 to 1 inch of water at the bottom not siphoned it is.  

my system now has 2 90 elbows on it and it is siphoning and turning off as well.

Waiting for a sale to get the 50 gallon patio tote and build new syste

I did finally fix my issues ( for today ) with 1/2 cpvc elbows and making the 3/4 stand pipe a 3/4 to 1/2 inch helped get siphon going , as well as making more then one t on the end of the tube coming from the pump....slows down the water coming in so I guess after a start from scratch..lol it now works well.

Thank Everyone for the advice it was helpful and I not got the job done.

Thanks again  

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