Aquaponic Gardening

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I'm setting up my first aquaponic system which will be a flood and drain with a 650 gallon tank and grow beds initially numbered for a 1:1 ratio.  My head will be between 3 to 5 feet unless I add some grow towers.  Any suggestions on size and brand of a pump would be very helpful and appreciated.

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Look for a pump that you can find a pump curve for.  You want to find one that will give you at least the 650 gallons per hour at 5' head or if you will be doing timed flood and drain, you will want at least the 650 gallons moved in whatever fraction of the hour you will run the pump for.

For continuous pumping a quiet one 4000 might work well as a small pump for you (I'm guessing that it will deliver over 700 gph at 5')  Extra flow is always good since you can have a bypass spray extra flow back into the fish tank for aeration, if you don't have that you definitely would need a separate air pump or something for added aeration.  Keep in mind that I actually like to go even bigger on the pumps most of the time and the Quiet One 4000 to me is normally a pump for only up to a 300 gallon fish tank in my systems.

for a slightly larger pump there seems to be a bit of a gap in size range in the pumps I'm experienced with.  The Danner MD12 is slightly larger than the Quiet One 4000 but it uses more than twice the electricity for only a small (3-4) gpm gain and though the replacement impellers are less costly, the pump is much more expensive.

The next size up I recommend is the Danner MD18 and it would be appropriate to pumping to towers as well as having ample flow for grow beds and extra aeration and is also up to operating the indexing valves.  I've run as many as 40 towers plus flow to the fish tank on the Danner MD18.

Thanks for the info. I've had my eye on the MD 18 so I'm glad to hear your comments on that specific pump.

TCLynx said:

Look for a pump that you can find a pump curve for.  You want to find one that will give you at least the 650 gallons per hour at 5' head or if you will be doing timed flood and drain, you will want at least the 650 gallons moved in whatever fraction of the hour you will run the pump for.

For continuous pumping a quiet one 4000 might work well as a small pump for you (I'm guessing that it will deliver over 700 gph at 5')  Extra flow is always good since you can have a bypass spray extra flow back into the fish tank for aeration, if you don't have that you definitely would need a separate air pump or something for added aeration.  Keep in mind that I actually like to go even bigger on the pumps most of the time and the Quiet One 4000 to me is normally a pump for only up to a 300 gallon fish tank in my systems.

for a slightly larger pump there seems to be a bit of a gap in size range in the pumps I'm experienced with.  The Danner MD12 is slightly larger than the Quiet One 4000 but it uses more than twice the electricity for only a small (3-4) gpm gain and though the replacement impellers are less costly, the pump is much more expensive.

The next size up I recommend is the Danner MD18 and it would be appropriate to pumping to towers as well as having ample flow for grow beds and extra aeration and is also up to operating the indexing valves.  I've run as many as 40 towers plus flow to the fish tank on the Danner MD18.

I like the MD18 pump but I have had some issues where I was turning it on/off all the time so now instead of turning the pump on/off all the time I'm using automated diversion valves after the pump to operate indexing valves and such.

where do you get automated diversion valves? and how do they work? are they set on a timer?

I am now able to sell them.

Though I haven't even had time to put up a product page for them yet.

Pool supply and solar pool heating suppliers often have them (though not necessarily a controller that would work for our purposes.)

I'm still working on a more elegant controller for them though.  So far everything I have available at the moment will require at least one external wall wart type power adapter if not more.  I haven't had enough time to put together a really elegant control just for the diversion valves yet.  However with one extra 24 VAC wall wart type power adapter, the Bigelow Brook Farm IX Series Sequencing Timer can control the valve (just have to make a few special connections inside the box.)

Is there an issue with the larger sized quiet ones? They still seem to show a significantly lower power consumption as well as good GPH. Why jump to Danner at the larger sizes?


The reason I ask is because I love Danner pumps but these quiet ones look like a nice alternative. My alternate choice has always been Ecoplus in the past.

TCLynx said:

Look for a pump that you can find a pump curve for.  You want to find one that will give you at least the 650 gallons per hour at 5' head or if you will be doing timed flood and drain, you will want at least the 650 gallons moved in whatever fraction of the hour you will run the pump for.

For continuous pumping a quiet one 4000 might work well as a small pump for you (I'm guessing that it will deliver over 700 gph at 5')  Extra flow is always good since you can have a bypass spray extra flow back into the fish tank for aeration, if you don't have that you definitely would need a separate air pump or something for added aeration.  Keep in mind that I actually like to go even bigger on the pumps most of the time and the Quiet One 4000 to me is normally a pump for only up to a 300 gallon fish tank in my systems.

for a slightly larger pump there seems to be a bit of a gap in size range in the pumps I'm experienced with.  The Danner MD12 is slightly larger than the Quiet One 4000 but it uses more than twice the electricity for only a small (3-4) gpm gain and though the replacement impellers are less costly, the pump is much more expensive.

The next size up I recommend is the Danner MD18 and it would be appropriate to pumping to towers as well as having ample flow for grow beds and extra aeration and is also up to operating the indexing valves.  I've run as many as 40 towers plus flow to the fish tank on the Danner MD18.

I've tried a few of the larger quiet ones and I'm a bit shy to recommend them as two of the larger ones I had didn't last long.

Good reason!

I just happen to have one of these http://www.lockewell.com/pdf/goulds/pe_series.pdf laying around the shop and wandered what you thought about it Lynx. I'm going to be starting out with a 1:1 350gal FT, so I know it's kind of overkill but its free. Seems it is oil filled, unlike the other mag drives you recomend above.

Cast Iron, will rust.

Oil filled, not good around fish.

This is not really an appropriate pump for fish systems.

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