Aquaponic Gardening

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Hey y'all!
I'm just starting but I'm having problems with pumps malfunctioning.
I have a 30 gallon aquarium with a fountain pump in it. It pumps to a crowned above it which drains into the tank through holes in the bottom.
I did have a 10 gallon setup the same but the pump stopped pumping. I can feel the motor running but it doesn't pump.
I had them plugged into a timer at one time but after a few days the timer would cycle on but the pumps sometimes wouldn't. So now I plug them in for a while and then unplug them. Sometimes they work other times they don't. Its very frustrating.
I was hoping to have at least one tank with the kinks worked out by Oct 3 when I'm having a group come to my farm stand for a wild edibles walk.
Any suggestions without breaking the bank?
I'm also setting up a barrel grow bed but am waiting for an aquaponics book to arrive I've ordered.
Thanks, Kellrae

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That should read " with a grow bed above it." Not crowned above it. Sorry...

Many water pumps are notoriously unreliable.  Install a cheap, homemade airlift which will both filter and aerate.  Either that or buy a Rio water pump.

I filter a 10-gallon aquarium by airlifting water to a small tote filled with homemade charcoal and the water then drains back to the tank by gravity.

An airline is simply shoved inside a horizontal 1/2 inch  pipe to an elbow, which runs a riser to a Tee, just above the height of the tote.  From the high T, a pipe juts off to the tote and then elbow down inside the tote.  Also from the T, a riser continues up and it simply offgasses.  I hope the illustration below helps.  The water pumps in burps and makes noise but you can add an attachment to the top of the riser to reduce the noise.  See the videos at Olomana Gardens.

You could use a simple on/off timer on your airpump to make timed flood and drain work (standpipe with pee hole/gravel guard in your growbed).

This may not work for a lot of people because of the noise but my aquarium is in a detached garage.  Good luck.

http://www.olomanagardens.com/

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Oh thank you! My system is in my farm stand so noise isn't a big deal.
Thanks again, Me

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