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First, I'll try to describe my system.

I've built a modified barrel-ponics type system composed of a 250 gal. fish tank with the lower 3/4 buried in the ground for temperature control.  I pump the water up (total lift 11') via a two pump system to a 55 gal barrel mounted at 7' above my greenhouse floor.  ---I built the flood valve very similar to the one on the barrel-ponics site, but due to a much increased head of water, had to increase the trip bottle from 1 to 1.8 L.  ---My system is currently flooding on a cycle of 32 min. and using 45 Gal. per flood.  ---My current grow beds are 4-half barrels are filled with pea gravel; and in my initial testing, it took 10 Gal. to flood a grow bed(via filling with a 5 Gal. bucket) but flooding via my 1" flood lines will take much longer and use a little more water due to draining as it fills.

I plan to add 2 ea. 4" x 15' horizontal grow tubes and am wondering if these should be handled the same as the other grow beds, or should I run these as continuous flow?  ---I just stocked my Fish Tank yesterday with 20 ea. 6-8" catfish and 2 ea. Koi for some color and I understand they do a pretty good job of cleaning up algae,

Well, that's my system.  Any suggestion would be appreciated.  Incidentally, the only thing outside is my Fish Tank.  Everything else is in my make shift green house.  I started with one of the canvas garages that they sell at Costco and Sam's and added some wood and plastic and I've got a 12' x 20' green house pretty economically.

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I think the NFT tubes need to be run continuous William, hopefully someone with more experience in that area will check in and confirm.
Yes the NFT tubes generally do best continuous, however it will depend on how you set them of as to if they are really NFT or if they are more like DWC. (My tubes generally hold a bit of water so the plants wouldn't dry out if the feed stopped for a while.)

The big thing you need to know about growing plants in tubes is that you have to send filtered water to them or the solids will build up around the roots and cause issues. So, you might want to have some sort of filter before the tubes or you could have the drains of the grow beds feed the tubes but that flow would likely be a bit intermittent and the tubes probably couldn't take the full flow at peak.

Good Luck sorting it out.
My thanks to both of you for your reply's; but being a Newbie, what do the initials NFT & DWC stand for. I've got a lot to learn.
NFT.... Nutrient Film Technique.....plants grown in tubes with a ' little' water trickling through them 'continuousally'.
Note: the system's water, can 'quickly' get hot in the summer time, due to the small amount of water flowing in the tubes. Also, quickly cool in the winter.

DWC.. Deep Water Culture....plants growing in a (styrofoam) raft, floating on water, usually 'at least' 12 inches deep.
Note: need added areation in the water. Water flow is also 'continuous'.

Special note: learning should be ' continuous '.... :-)
Many thanks and I too agree that "learning should be continuous"

David Hart said:
NFT.... Nutrient Film Technique.....plants grown in tubes with a ' little' water trickling through them 'continuousally'.
Note: the system's water, can 'quickly' get hot in the summer time, due to the small amount of water flowing in the tubes. Also, quickly cool in the winter.

DWC.. Deep Water Culture....plants growing in a (styrofoam) raft, floating on water, usually 'at least' 12 inches deep.
Note: need added areation in the water. Water flow is also 'continuous'.

Special note: learning should be ' continuous '.... :-)
Yes, NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) is generally a thin film of water running in the bottom of a trough or pipe.

DWC (Deep Water Culture) Is often done Raft style but DWC can also be plants suspended through a lid or other surface above the deeper water, they don't have to be floating in a raft.

My Pipes are more like DWC pipes than NFT since the water is usually more than just a thin film in them.

Also for DWC, the water does not "HAVE" to be 12" deep. It can be shallower but that doesn't leave as much room for plant roots and nutrient and aeration. Heck, my pipes are only like 4" so the water in the bottom is only like 1 or 2 inches deep.

Added aeration, how much is needed, that can be hard to say. I don't have any additional air stones in my pipes or anything like that. The water trickles in at the start getting a little extra aeration in addition to the fairly well aerated water to start with. Then the water falls from one pipe to the other for some more aeration. So is the performance of the plants in the top due to better aeration in the water or just simply do to getting more sun as they are on top. Who knows.

The important thing about either DWC or NFT is you need to filter the water before it goes to the pipes or things get all gunked up and nasty.
TC wrote: Also for DWC, the water does not "HAVE" to be 12" deep. It can be shallower but that doesn't leave as much room for plant roots and nutrient and aeration. Heck, my pipes are only like 4" so the water in the bottom is only like 1 or 2 inches deep

This is 'SWC'....Shallow Water Culture......:- )....lol.
I guess so
Hey Tc, Hope you saw my little 'smilely face'..:-).....so you know I was trying to tease you. Now your famous for inventing and having coined the phrase SWC....shallow water culture !.... :-)
Wish we had the different smiley faces in the 'reply' section to pick from..... :-)
No worries, I know you were teasing ; )

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