I am a little stuck and need some advice. (I tried posting this earlier but I added pictures and it took to long to upload) and I ended up losing everything.
So will try again without the pictures.
I have built two stands, and the grow beds sit on top of the stands. They measure 3' x 6' x 1'. I have an IBC 275 gal tote that will be the fish tank. The sump tank with the pump in it is underneath one of the stands. I think this is the CHOP2 system. The pump, pumps water to the bed on top, the fish tank and the second grow bed which is located about 50 feet away due to yard constraints.
The bed on top works perfect, when the water hits about full, the bell siphon kicks in and the water pours into the sump tank quickly emptying the grow bed. (While I am working out the details, the grow media as not been added yet). The fish tank is getting water continuously as well, I even added the aeration bar as shown in Sylvia's book, there is a gravity feed mechanism that is working perfectly returning water to the sump tank.
It's my second grow bed that is the problem.
a) It's about 40 to 50 feet away from the sump tank.
b) The bell siphon system doesn't appear to be working. It is exactly the same set up as the tank above the sump except:
1. Plumbing leaving grow bed has to travel 40 or 50 feet along the ground, then it reaches the sump tank, and it goes up and over and into the tank. It will drain the full grow bed by gravity flow, but if I do that the grow bed never floods and drains.
- So I am not getting any siphon action, correct?
I do plan to test the siphon first, by removing the plumbing that travels the long distance, and flooding the grow bed and seeing if the bell siphon works when it doesn't have to travel . Does that make sense?
1. I could move the grow bed next to the one I have set up in the side yard, but my wife doesn't want a second grow bed there, it is in a small side yard and would take away the grassy area that the dog's like.
2. I thought about drilling a hole near the bottom of the sump tank and entering the plumbing at ground level. This would leave my troublesome grow bed where I currently have it set up. That way the plumbing doesn't go up and over the sump tank as it dumps it's water back into sump. What I don't know about that solution is - does existing water in the sump tank exert a pressure that would prevent water flow from entering the tank?
3. Bury the sump tank to ground level. Least desirable, means I have to dig a hole that is about four feet deep and four feet square. Probably would guarantee this thing works though.
Any other solutions I haven't thought of?
i'd run the "trouble" growbed "constant flood"..
or increase the flow to it if you want to do "flood and drain constant pumping"
or use a timed pump and put a hole in the bottom of the standpipe for the remote bed to drain
Yeah, I'm guessing that your siphon troubles are related to the flow rate...Just run it (the second bed) constant flood and call it an "experiment" to see what works "best" flood and drain or constant flood...
Or try using a loop siphon on the troubled bed instead of the bell siphon...
Very cool last name btw...hehe...
What is a loop siphon?
The problem is the long run over to the fish tank is acting like a trap and not letting the siphon work properly.
You might need to have a Second sump under the distant bed and plumb it to the other sump using larger pipe. Then you could let the distant bed drain like normal into the sump under it and then that sump will equalize with the other sump provided the pipe connecting them together at the bottoms is big enough.
Or if the water is flowing ok (other than the siphon not playing) through the already installed drain line and not having problems with air locks, then you could do as the guys suggest and simply run the distant bed constant flood (just take the bell off the siphon.)