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Hello all i hope someone might be able to help me with a problem I'm having figuring out the plumbing sizes of my system.  It is going to be a CHIFT PIST system with a pump in the sump tank.  The tank size will be two IBC's that are 275 gallons that are connected by 2 - 6" pieces of PVC each that will feed the 5 grow beds (Top half of an IBC 14"x48""40)  through a Solids Overflow (SLO) and then the grow beds will drain through bell siphons into the sump tanks (Bottom halves of the IBC Tanks all tied together by a manifold type system of pipes to connect all of the sump tanks  ("34X48"X40") and will pump back to the fish tank through a pump in the sump tank closest to the fish tanks.

Here is my dilemma.  I cant figure out what sizes should be used for the different sections of my system.


1.   Size of the pipe for the SLO drain

2.  Size of the pipe From the SLO drain to the grow bed manifold system

3.  I am pretty sure that the bell siphons should be 2" for the sheild and "1 for the drain pipe 5/8" snorkel

4.  Size of PVC To connect sump tanks.

4.  Size of pump in sump tank to get water back to fish tanks to cause water to flow into SLO drain to feed grow beds(GPH?)

5.  Size of pvc from pump back to 275 Gallon tanks.


The setup is about 2 feet taller than the grow beds and the sump is directly under the grow beds.  Elevation difference from the bottom of the sump to top of Fish tanks is about 5 feet.


Plus how to correctly get the system on a constant schedule of flood and drain.


Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have everything else done setting the tanks and grow beds up, but this is really stumping me and slowing progress.  I have invested alot of money building the greenhouse that is going to house it!


If you have google SketchUp this is the system I based mine off of exvept I did not include the bio filters.  The attatched adobe file has the system described in detail and is a really good read if you have the time. 


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Hi Brandon section (towards the last third) of this document

should help give you an understanding of the basic (and not so basic) principals of proportions, submergence, submergence plus lift, air flow, etc... it may help you when making some of those decisions. Or, to make heads or tails out of some of the info you are coming across...and why people can get away with doing it "differently". There are good diagrams and (maybe more importantly) equations included that help to explain how/why this works.

Hopefully someone who actually utilizes a SLO set up will chime in soon to help out. But that link may tide you over until then.

Oops, not sure where I got the idea you were air-lifting, sorry...

...TC addresses a lot of those SLO sizing issues/ratios here

Hope the previously linked document is still a good read

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