Aquaponic Gardening

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Thanks to Everyone's help on my last post regarding Hydroton dust.

I finally have my system up and running, however it is a little noisy. 

1) The water pump, makes a humming noise or causes a humming noise, and suggestions on noise cancellation.  As you can see from the attached picture my aquarium and grow bed are on a wire Storage rack, could the noise becoming from that?

2) The Bell Siphon, when flushing splashes the water pretty hard, should I just extend the pipe all the way into the water, or are there any other suggestions that would silence the splash and still create the aeration?

See Attached picture.  Thanks, Brandon

BKB Flood & Drain System

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u can embed images to posts by clicking the little picture above the type area, 

Pumps will hum or buzz they always do, you can try look for silent or quite pumps but you pay more for them 

that pipe dose look realy high - try moving it close to the waters surface and adding a 90* turn on the end so the water shoots out across the surface, this increases the amount of surface contact increasing oxygen and reducing noise 

yea catch 22, how to get the splashing without too much noise.  I would say experiment with some more pipe and pieces till you find something that works.  You might also look up Affnan's site because I think he has come up with a method to promote aeration from the outlet of a siphon while reducing the amount of splashing noise.

As to pumps.  High quality pumps tend to be quieter but vibration can also cause you issues (I've usually found air pumps to be noisier than most water pumps I like.)  You will probably find that if you make sure the pump isn't vibrating against the glass it should be quieter.

your setup looks pretty identical to mine, if that's a concrete mixing tub as your grow bed?  mine is on a plastic shelving system, with a towel under the fish tank to stop any vibration noise.  maybe give that a shot?  as for the return into the fish tank, maybe T it off where it ends now.  extending it out horizontally both ways and capping the ends, then drilling smaller drain holes in the horizontal pieces?  the more surface area being disrupted = more aeration.  

Hi, I'm a new member without a system yet but I know about acoustics because I'm a luthier... By looking at the picture I think that the metal rack doesn't help, especially with these grids. Going for a wood (plywood at 3/4 inch or above is very little resonant) or plastic shelf would help. If you keep this rack then Michael's suggestion of a towel under the fish tank is a good one. Or even better a sheet of 1/2 inch Styrofoam under the fish tank and the grow bed as well and may be a few bits stuck between some of the wires of the grid that supports the light also (in the corners not to block the light). Well, the idea is "dampening the structure" wherever you can, it can only help, and Styrofoam is good for that. TC is right as well, isolate the pump from the walls of the fish tank, by suspending it from the grid above for example. All this will only reduce the humming sound obviously, the splashing is another thing ...

I have similar discussions (arguments? ;-) with my wife about the buzzing and splashing coming from our indoor systems!  The pump has its own sound which is hard to change... keeping it off the floor of the tank certainly helps, dampening the sounds with towels to reduce vibration on the tank is also good.  Check the pipes as well - are they vibrating against a solid surface?  I moved the pipes on my system and that sometimes helped.

The splashing from the return I think that you need to find a balance between keeping it quiet, and providing for good aeration in the tank.  If I want to run mine silently, then I simply add in a piece of flexible hosepipe into the outflow pipe and this dampens the sound as the water exits closer to the surface of the water in the tank.  When nobody is around I take it off and let the water splash merrily!

To reduce the splashing noise, I extended my return pipe into the water and added a venturi hole (a small air hole) along the return pipe. The venturi hole is dual purpose. It adds air into the returning water (causes bubbling) and provides a way for the siphon to break. There is still noise but its a quieter bubble noise instead of splashing.  

I like venturis... they are clever!  Look at Afnan's site - he has a nice design for a venturi that would fit into your system perhaps.  Actually if I remember rightly Afnan did a whole experiement about reducing noise from the pipework - it might be worth taking a look at.

One other thing I did was to add a small length of plastic hose to the end of the downpipe - this was to get a nice curve from the hosepipe and then used that to create a nice swirling motion in the tank to ensure debris got pushed around to the pump - it works nicely and reduces noise quite a lot as well.

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