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How do I regulate my loop siphon?  Anyone know tips, tricks, formulas, ratios, anything?

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From my limited experience, if the loop siphon does not start, then your loop outlet (in this case the inner diameter of your tubing) is too big for your pump rate.  If the loop siphon does not stop, then your tubing is too small.  The least expensive fix here may be to change the diameter of your tubing.

Or he could adjust the flow rate into the bed, if the flow is too much, some water can be bypassed back to the tank or the pipe could be lifted a little higher to slow the flow rate from the pump.

 

However, looking at the small clear tubing, algae building up in the tube is going to affect your flow rates over time.

 

FYI you can use the image function to add the pictures right into the thread if you like

 

Hi , I've tried loop siphons with flexible dark hose and found then not as reliable as auto siphons. Maybe it's just me but i always have to adjust them and clean them, too much maintenance for me.I think the porous material of hoses lend to quick bio slime build up.I've looked at PVC pipe loops but built PVC internal siphons that have been working for about 5 months without issues, they just keep going and going like the energizer bunny.Here's a link to building your own fixed PVC pipe loop.  http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/management/Krampetz_Automated_W...
I may be way off here but sometimes it wont start and sometimes it won't break siphon. without pump flow changing. I honestly have been smacking the hose and causing it to start siphon the last couple days and today with no other change (except maybe positioning because I was smacking it) it is starting on it's own and not stopping without my help. just the last couple of days because of it not starting I was thinking that the flow was too low for diameter. I'm out of the loop so to speak.

From my limited experience, if the loop siphon does not start, then your loop outlet (in this case the inner diameter of your tubing) is too big for your pump rate.  If the loop siphon does not stop, then your tubing is too small.  The least expensive fix here may be to change the diameter of your tubing.

Thank you -I will check this out!

Harold Sukhbir said:
Hi , I've tried loop siphons with flexible dark hose and found then not as reliable as auto siphons. Maybe it's just me but i always have to adjust them and clean them, too much maintenance for me.I think the porous material of hoses lend to quick bio slime build up.I've looked at PVC pipe loops but built PVC internal siphons that have been working for about 5 months without issues, they just keep going and going like the energizer bunny.Here's a link to building your own fixed PVC pipe loop.  http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/management/Krampetz_Automated_W...
I saw this pictured on a tank not a growbed - does it work for a growbed? - I'm ashamed to say I don't understand any of this stuff. It's a miracle I haven't pumped all of my water on to the floor because my joint failed. and as far as those that just say to plum something and let it work... I didn't start as a plummer I just want food for my family. I am willing to learn this kind of thing but please don't assume I know what you know. I would rather be patronized.                                  Adam Shivers said:
Thank you -I will check this out!

Harold Sukhbir said:
Hi , I've tried loop siphons with flexible dark hose and found then not as reliable as auto siphons. Maybe it's just me but i always have to adjust them and clean them, too much maintenance for me.I think the porous material of hoses lend to quick bio slime build up.I've looked at PVC pipe loops but built PVC internal siphons that have been working for about 5 months without issues, they just keep going and going like the energizer bunny.Here's a link to building your own fixed PVC pipe loop.  http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/management/Krampetz_Automated_W...
My apologies if anything I said made you think that I imply that this is supposed to be easy.  Most people here stumble around a bit at first because there is often no really good step-by step stuff available, and so many different way to set about things that the older hands often don't state too exactly what you are supposed to do in case you were going about it in your own or somebody else's recommended way.  I mistook your reference to Afnan's siphon as you taking an interest in the internal auto siphon systems I use.  Are you working off published diagrams or did you see an example in a picture / video and are trying to copy it?

Adam Shivers said:
I saw this pictured on a tank not a growbed - does it work for a growbed? - I'm ashamed to say I don't understand any of this stuff. It's a miracle I haven't pumped all of my water on to the floor because my joint failed. and as far as those that just say to plum something and let it work... I didn't start as a plummer I just want food for my family. I am willing to learn this kind of thing but please don't assume I know what you know. I would rather be patronized.                                  Adam Shivers said:
Thank you -I will check this out!

Harold Sukhbir said:
Hi , I've tried loop siphons with flexible dark hose and found then not as reliable as auto siphons. Maybe it's just me but i always have to adjust them and clean them, too much maintenance for me.I think the porous material of hoses lend to quick bio slime build up.I've looked at PVC pipe loops but built PVC internal siphons that have been working for about 5 months without issues, they just keep going and going like the energizer bunny.Here's a link to building your own fixed PVC pipe loop.  http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/management/Krampetz_Automated_W...
This is the problem as you saw in my last reply I am not even sure I am able to follow diagrams. I did ask for formulas and such because I'm willing to try. I am so grateful fo everyone here trying to help because of the lack of training I've ever recieved from anyone for something that's actually important to me instead of just them. Forgive my touchiness I have displayed, please! I have watched bell siphons on youtube and decided that if a simple loop siphon would work that I wouldn't have to remove media if there was a problem (atleast in some cases). So I tried to impliment this thing that is apparently simple to everyone else and is just like everything else I have tried to do mechanically, technologically, or otherwise. I apologize for the venting but I really want you to know where I am coming from. If I'm around any other person concerning these type of things, it's either to pay them money I don't have or to recieve critisism for my previous ignorance if it doesn't insue (best case senario) ... henceforth, I go for Keep it simple stupid training on the things that are important enough to struggle through. So basically several videos and maybe a couple diagrams and I apologize for my continued confusion. 

Kobus Jooste said:
My apologies if anything I said made you think that I imply that this is supposed to be easy.  Most people here stumble around a bit at first because there is often no really good step-by step stuff available, and so many different way to set about things that the older hands often don't state too exactly what you are supposed to do in case you were going about it in your own or somebody else's recommended way.  I mistook your reference to Afnan's siphon as you taking an interest in the internal auto siphon systems I use.  Are you working off published diagrams or did you see an example in a picture / video and are trying to copy it?

Adam Shivers said:
I saw this pictured on a tank not a growbed - does it work for a growbed? - I'm ashamed to say I don't understand any of this stuff. It's a miracle I haven't pumped all of my water on to the floor because my joint failed. and as far as those that just say to plum something and let it work... I didn't start as a plummer I just want food for my family. I am willing to learn this kind of thing but please don't assume I know what you know. I would rather be patronized.                                  Adam Shivers said:
Thank you -I will check this out!

Harold Sukhbir said:
Hi , I've tried loop siphons with flexible dark hose and found then not as reliable as auto siphons. Maybe it's just me but i always have to adjust them and clean them, too much maintenance for me.I think the porous material of hoses lend to quick bio slime build up.I've looked at PVC pipe loops but built PVC internal siphons that have been working for about 5 months without issues, they just keep going and going like the energizer bunny.Here's a link to building your own fixed PVC pipe loop.  http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/management/Krampetz_Automated_W...

This picture is not of the siphon "siphoning" but just continuing to try.

TCLynx said:

Or he could adjust the flow rate into the bed, if the flow is too much, some water can be bypassed back to the tank or the pipe could be lifted a little higher to slow the flow rate from the pump.

 

However, looking at the small clear tubing, algae building up in the tube is going to affect your flow rates over time.

 

FYI you can use the image function to add the pictures right into the thread if you like

 

No stress.  I get the frustration.  I sam not familiar with loop siphons, but it looks to me that they should work the same as a bell thus I will ask a few questions to clarify your problem to me.  If the pipe to the left of the pcture acts as an overflow, then the pipe mounted on the bottom of the bin should do the siphoning when the water height reaches the top of the loop right? 

 

If so, my experience is that under slow water velocity, the siphon is not triggered because the pipe is not entirely filled with water,  If you block the outflow until the water is high in the bin and let go, does it siphon correctly?  If it does, then perhaps you could have too slow a water inflow.  What makes the loop break the siphon? Does it suck air at the bottom of the bin, or does it reach a point where the flow does not push up the rising section of the loop?  If it is supposed to suck air at the bottom but does not, then I suspect that the inflow is too rapid, overwhelming the small outflow. Your post, however, refer to the siphon both not wanting to start or wanting to kick out.  I have experienced this in a siphon at low flow.  The only way I "caught it out" was by sitting in the greenhouse for a very long time.  The siphon took for ever to kick in, and once it did, it flat-out refused to stop trickling out.  Sounds illogical, but the bugger did it alright.  If low flow is not the answer, I wonder about potential flow constriction at the inflow end of the loop, but really cannot tell. 

 

Please let me know if there is more details that I have wrong - would love to be able to help.

Adam Shivers said:

This is the problem as you saw in my last reply I am not even sure I am able to follow diagrams. I did ask for formulas and such because I'm willing to try. I am so grateful fo everyone here trying to help because of the lack of training I've ever recieved from anyone for something that's actually important to me instead of just them. Forgive my touchiness I have displayed, please! I have watched bell siphons on youtube and decided that if a simple loop siphon would work that I wouldn't have to remove media if there was a problem (atleast in some cases). So I tried to impliment this thing that is apparently simple to everyone else and is just like everything else I have tried to do mechanically, technologically, or otherwise. I apologize for the venting but I really want you to know where I am coming from. If I'm around any other person concerning these type of things, it's either to pay them money I don't have or to recieve critisism for my previous ignorance if it doesn't insue (best case senario) ... henceforth, I go for Keep it simple stupid training on the things that are important enough to struggle through. So basically several videos and maybe a couple diagrams and I apologize for my continued confusion. 

Adam, don't feel bad that you are struggling with the siphons.  Many people struggle with them.  For some people they just work simple and other situations they cause all sorts of troubles for people.

 

My first few large grow beds that I hooked up loop siphons on worked rather well, it was just a matter of me adjusting the inflow to the beds until I found the balance.  It can be a very fine line between the proper inflow to the bed and the siphon not starting to working to not stopping.  This is the reason many people have thrown up their hands and simply switched to timed flood and drain.

 

Now I might be able to find some calculations that some one did for bell siphons years ago but I doubt that will help much since you would need to know the exact flow rate you are getting into your grow bed and you are trying to use loops.  Now there might be some calculations some where for loops but they will probably be a bit approximate since flexible tubing tends to squish a bit and the different barb fittings might not all be exactly the same bore inside.

 

Now I've seen where my loop siphons can take a really long time to get started so if you can resist the urge to tap them while waiting to see if they will start on their own, it could take a while.  I've also seen where they can take a really long time to finally get a gulp of air too.  I spent hours hanging out by the system to see if I had things balanced right.

 

You keep coming back to the point of not wanting to have to disturb the media.  I see in your current set up the grill for the siphon is buried.  If roots start growing into the drain, you will have to dig into your media the way things are now and it might be difficult for you even to tell if there is a root problem once the algae gets growing.  Most people make a gravel guard that goes to the surface of the bed so they can look down it to check and remove roots and make sure the drain is still flowing.  Yes it will take up a little of your surface space from your bed but it will save you the trouble of digging up the media to check and clean things and might also allow you to switch to a different type of siphon if you choose.  Let me see if I can link some pictures to help you out.

http://backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=255778#p255778

here are some pictures in this thread over on BYAP of some of my new gravel guards in my three newest beds.  Now I know my beds are huge compared to yours but if you can get some plastic mesh and make a guard out of it for the corner of your grow bed, it could help you out I think.

Hi Adam,

Half the joy in AP comes from struggling and finally getting something to work, i know it's not a good feeling while you struggle but the satisfaction that comes when we persist and come through the other side.....priceless! I really don't want to add to your frustration or confusion but i had found this video of a bell siphon made so quickly and easily it took me about 30 minutes to build( If i have to do it now with all the materials I'll do it in 5 mins ) and it worked right off, it handles a wide range of flow rates and it's been working for 5 months without any maintenance.

 



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