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hello to all i am new and have a couple of question a new big system

ok first of all back ground i wont to build a larger system with a 750 gallon fish tank i have idea for a chift  one pump water flow out from ft to gb to sump pump back to fish tank, question i am starting to have worries about this being the best way it looks like the only way to maintain ft levels and flood and drain well but i need a big sump i need all the input i can get and all the experience i can find thanks to all

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You either need a big enough sump to handle the flood and drain of all your grow beds at once, (this would be a sump tank that is about 60% of the total volume of your grow beds) or you would need to go to a CHOP 2 type system and use an indexing valve to flood the beds in sequence to allow a smaller sump tank.

 

It is possible to have a simple indexing valve system with lots of grow beds and not drain the fish tank down too far but it requires the grow beds be high enough to drain into the fish tank.

that is pretty much what i figured out but i am scared to use a indexing valve from what i have read  they can have problems i seen this one  http://aquaponicscommunity.com/video/sequencing-indexing-valve i figured i can just make one of these

TCLynx said:

You either need a big enough sump to handle the flood and drain of all your grow beds at once, (this would be a sump tank that is about 60% of the total volume of your grow beds) or you would need to go to a CHOP 2 type system and use an indexing valve to flood the beds in sequence to allow a smaller sump tank.

 

It is possible to have a simple indexing valve system with lots of grow beds and not drain the fish tank down too far but it requires the grow beds be high enough to drain into the fish tank.

Glen you can have a look at my system if it helps. My system is 1000 gal with no sump. My water level fluxuates to about 2 inches by using multiple beds. A sump for constant height in the fish tank is a great idea but you can build larger systems without it. By using affnan siphons with smaller beds some are always draining and filling giving you a stable tank vs flood and drain. Just to give you more to look at hehe.

I've been running systems with indexing valves for a couple years now.  In gravity situations you have to get heights and things very carefully balanced for them to work right but once balanced the only problems I had with the indexing valves were when debris got into them like a piece of gravel or a stick which such a thing will mess with the works or most anything and you just open it up to clean it out.  I've had to do that a few times in two years.  Of course you need some means to start/stop the flow which is the most problem prone part

 

If you are running an indexing valve from a pump it is much easier as long as you choose the correct size pump for the job.  Again in those situations the only trouble I've had was when some pieces of gravel or lots of debris from a tree got through the pump to get into the valve.

 

Don't think you are going to automatically stop all problems with the valve or save money by building the one in the video yourself unless you happen to be that kind of mechanical and electronic tinkerer already.  Rob is amazing in the things he designs and builds but I guarantee you he didn't get that thing working perfectly without some setbacks at first.  He also would not have released that video if he thought he could make and sell them inexpensively enough to compete with the hydromechanical indexing valves.  However, If you are that sort of tinkerer, Robs sequencing valve has the benefit of being able to run very small flows at very low pressure (appropriate for a small system or very small grow beds.)

 

As to the siphons, while they generally don't flood and drain in unison you still have to design the system so that if all the grow beds were to somehow wind up working the same all at once (it will happen on rare occasions,) you have enough sump or fish tank capacity to handle the fluctuation.  And if any of the beds share drains, it can become more likely that one bed's siphon kicking in will cause the next bed to go at the same time too if there is any sort of vacuum already established.

ok great info guys thanks i think that fixes all my problems

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