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Ok, I'll try to make this short. What I have here is a system made from three IBC totes.

Fish Tank=250 Gal.

Sump Tank=150 Gal

3 GrowBeds,  No/Media= 90 gal,   W/Media= 36 Gal.

550 GPH pump from the sump tank feeding fish tank and three grow beds through 1-1/2" Pvc.

Each Grow bed is flooded from 4 sides with a bell siphon in the center.

1-1/2" solid lift riser in the center of the fish tank increased to 2" at the overflow tee.

2" feeds from fish tank into bottom of radial flow filter and over flows back into sump tank.


Question: What size and how many holes per side to drill for flooding beds.

Right now, with no holes, the over flow tee of the solid lift riser is almost overcome.

I'm thinking of starting with four 1/2" holes on each side and see how my bell siphon functions.

Any ideas or advise will be considered and appreciated.

Thank you for your time.


Papa Smurf


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Welcome Frank. Not sure what you're referring to when you asked how many holes to flood beds. When I first started I put water in at 4 points on the beds but it was hard to regulate. I've since switched to a single inlet. Flow can be controlled by raising or lowering the inlet or simply by adjusting a 90 on the inlet. If you're concerned bout buildup in one spot you can move it around by just extending the pvc. There's a gentleman on this forum named Jim Fisk. He's in Tennessee too and manufactures siphons but is very willing to share info. Check him out in his IBC group. 

Thanks for the reply Jeff.  Hope all is well with you and yours.  I am new to the forum, but I will attempt to send a pic.

Each grow bed is surrounded by 1-1/2" PVC fed from the sump tank into the center square, which is teed off at the center of two sides to feed the outside squares.  The corner of the last square is teed off to feed the fish tank.  Right now, there are no holes in any of the squares surrounding the grow beds, so all i'm feeding is the fish tank.  The number of holes I put in the squares surrounding each bed is important as it will affect the functionality of my bell siphons. The empty bed on the right is going to hold 3 elevated 5 gal slotted buckets filled with media.  the rest of the bed will be water only, flood and drain as the rest.  Hope the pic helps.

Thanks for your time.

I have the same setup and beds, even the same block supports. My sump is 200 gallons and in ground. 300 gallon FT. A single feed to the beds will be sufficient. As I said before it will be difficult to feed the beds evenly from all corners/sides. Depending on how much rise you have from your sump to the FT you may not pump enough water to trigger the siphons with a 550 pump. I wanted to pump up 10 ft. so I went with a variable speed DC pump. At 10 ft. I may only get 300 gallons with a 1200 gph pump. The variable speed comes in handy for regulating volume. As your sump water goes down you'll need a higher level to keep the correct flow for the siphons.

I use red wiggler worms in the beds to help break down solids. I ran a bypass feed from the sump to the raft bed (bucket bed in your system) and it acts like a second radial filter and the broken down solids settle in the bottom and are easily removed from the system. I'm assuming they are worm castings and I put them in my raised beds.

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