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

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You have said so much in the little you wrote! I think things are starting to come together for me! So would I make it so the water level of my FT is constant? How would I do this?

and I would drain into my sump from my GB. right? does this requre another pump or could I keep the pump in the FT and have the placement of everything regulate the water level in the tank?

Would this also require beter aeration in the fish tank or as I aerate it by draining it into the sump, would oxygen stay in the water for the transfer? I may need more air anyway but... ?
Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Adam,

The sump(usually the lowest point in the system) is an extra body of water that can be used during the flood cycle of the GB without fluctuating the levels of water in the FT. In this way you can always maintain your fish/water ratios recommended by the rules of thumb.Sumps also increase the body of water in an AP system lending more "stability" to it.

Doing Constant height in fish tank and having only one pump in the sump tank (which is generally the safest way to go) normally requires a hole to plumb through the fish tank.  There are such things as "no holes overflows" but I definitely don't recommend them as they do tend to fail and need regular re-priming (the poor things get gas and if an air bubble blocks the upper pipe they fail and the fish tank will overflow all over the floor.)

well, I don't want to overflow my tank but putting a hole in my current tank is not possible. Now, this seems more complicated and may use more electricity and whatnot, but... what If I were to have a float valve pump (like a toilet or sump pump) that keeps the level more regulated with a margin of error (ie the on vs. off position) is this possible?

it is possible.  There are two pump type systems but you have to be quite certain that all the flows will balance out properly or you risk one pump pumping a tank dry while the other pump isn't working right and that tank overflowing.

true I don't want a simple failure to result in such calamity.                                                                                                                                                                       

       I need a tank shaped like a teapot with a spout :)          


Or you can wait for a while,grow some veggies, learn some more AP,and when you're able, do a system upgrade with a design to in-cooperate a sump. That's what happened in my case. After some learning time, i used the ideas I'd gathered from others on the forums and created a new design. My experience with AP is that you're always modifying/expanding/experimenting, and to me that's the joy I get with AP, isn't it so TC?

Yep Harold you are right.

This addiction we have means that rarely can one stop at just one system.


I would have some patients with the existing system, get it cycled up, learn to use the test kit and keep some fish alive grow some plants.  Then perhaps you will have distilled more info to be able to create your next new better system.

Yes I believe you are both correct! this is an addiction and I should upgrade... and I haven't ruled out the teapot Idea

I have some test results and I wanted to ask what you think

pH - 7.8

Ammonia - 0.25 ppm

Nitrite - 0 ppm

Nitrate - 80 ppm

My best guess before I have an expert answer. -It needs help but I have a bio filter -whatcha think?

I'll guess patience.  But seeing as you have some ammonia, it kinda indicates that perhaps there was something wrong at some point.  You currently have no fish right?

I would do a little fishless cycling to see what happens. 


But I doubt you really need much more nutrients if you are just wanting to grow your plants out.  If you just want to make the plants happy for the time being, you might bring your pH down a little.

yes I had about 15 fish die in there so ammonia would have been crazy at one point. I definately need to come up with some form of pure ammonia to continue cycling fishless. I wouldn't need to dose until I had no ammonia show up on tests. right?

does the test kit tell me how to bring the ammonia down (to make plants happy)?

Adam I used to use these siphons in farming. I would try these two tweeks. Make your intake screen longer to give more area for water to enter the pipe . You can put a larger dia pipe or a longer one with holes. Make the tail on hose going down longer by 6 inches. This will give you more resistance on start up and more siphon or water speed on the down side. Try that and see if those dont help. If it starts better then all you have to do is adjust the water in to the grow bed to get it to shut off.

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