Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello,

I am a newbie setting up my first system and I had a cycling time question, I have a 100 gallon system and a large pump, my flood and drain cycle is 5 minutes total and it cycles 8 times per day is that proficient?


Thank you for your help.

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How large are your growbeds? What is the capacity of your pump?

Cycling only 8 times a day for only 5 minutes seems pretty infrequent. The rule of thumb for your fishes' sake is to cycle the entire volume of the water through the grow bed every hour.

Good luck!

Thank you for your reply Meg.  To answer your question my grow bed is 4x8ft and 6in deep with a hundred gallon fish tank.  I cant remember the pump rate but it is fast, after restricting much of my flow with out bogging down the pump it takes less than 2min to fill and 4 to five min to drain.  Was thinking of possibly taking my 1inch drain and putting a half inch nozzle on the end to slow it down.  Also I am trying to find a digital pump timer that goes down to the minute and will allow for 24 cycles per day. My current hydrofarm timer only allow for 8 intervals per day.

Meg Stout said:

How large are your growbeds? What is the capacity of your pump?

Cycling only 8 times a day for only 5 minutes seems pretty infrequent. The rule of thumb for your fishes' sake is to cycle the entire volume of the water through the grow bed every hour.

Good luck!

OK, given those dimensions, your grow bed holds 120 gallons (if it is full to the top). For simplicity we'll call it 100.

Usually you can put 25% of your grow bed volume in as water before the bed is "full" because the rocks displace the other 75%. So if it takes 2 minutes to fill, your pump is pushing water at a rate of 750-1000 gallons per hour.

You could try using a repeat cycle timer (search them on ebay). They're relatively inexpensive and have pins so you can turn on or off in 50 second increments over a 40 minute cycle. I would put that in series with a regular timer that has pins for every 30 minutes if you don't want the bed flooding at night (when it's cooler outside and/or when people are trying to sleep).

If you're pump is too strong Mario.... cut a "tee" into the pump line, between the pump and grow bed... and divert some of the flow, (use a ball valve)... back to a spray bar above the fish tank/sump... it will provide extra aeration to your fish tank/sump...

 

8 cycle times per day... probably isn't sufficient.... get a cheap 15 min increment mechanical timer... and set 15/45... and you'll have 24 cycles per day...

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