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I just added two more Flood and drain grow beds to my system and now it overflows my sump tank. The tank runs dry about 3 minutes befor the lower grow bed drain into it. Then it overfills the sump and I lose water. If I let the water just gravity feed through the beds my water level stays constant. But if I use my bell siphons in the two new grow beds it overflows the sump and then the sump runs dry before the lower grow bed starts its siphon. Any suggestions?

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A larger sump seems like it would account for both issues.

more sump!

If you don't want to scrap your current sump, maybe you could add an additional sump tank connected with a bridge siphon.

Thanks Guys I was hopping there was an easier way because my sump tank is buried in the ground below one of the grow beds.....  But you are all correct, a bigger sump would solve the problems.

Hmmm, I'll bet you could drill a few very small holes in one of the standpipes. That way if your pump runs dry, there will still be some water coming into the system to trigger the other siphon.

Or you could just go with a timer based system and an indexing valve. You'd only be filling one growbed at a time then.

I've used an indexing valve for three years and like it - have never used a siphon or sump. 

With a 500 gallon tank you could easily have a six bed system, using a six way indexing valve.  The valves come four way also.

My pump runs for 8 minutes every two hours so each of six beds is flooded only 2 times per day.  I also have an air lift pump running continuously to one grow bed.  Things seem to be working well, other than some recent pump trouble.

good luck

Yeah, I'm with George (and Alex) on that one...in my 8 IBC grow bed + DWC system, I've been using an indexing valve for over 3 years as well...and in a few other 4 grow bed systems. It allows you to use a much smaller sump than you could have without the valve. 

Some folks bemoan the fact that turning your pump on and off so frequently shortens the life of the pump, but my magnetic drive pump has been running (with the indexing valve and a repeat cycle timer) for well over 3 years without fail (so far)...and no siphons to deal with 

I need to understand how an indexing valve would help me. My system is set up such that the 250 Gal. Fish tank gravity drains into a large grow bed that puts out about 50 Gallons (when the siphon kicks in) into a lower grow bed that is slightly smaller it empties about 35 gallons when its siphon kickers in. However, because the smaller grow bed receives its water from the larger grow bed it really empties its water and keeps flowing until it discards all the run off from the upper grow bed. The lower bed empties into the sump which is a 30 gallon barrel. The sump pumps back into the fish tank. This keeps my fish tank at the same level.

Dennis, you really need to take a pic or draw something up as your system is not conventional. The beds normally drain back to the sump individually and not in series as you describe. My buried sump is 275g and it only varies about a foot running 5 ibc GBs. Running them in series you are asking for trouble.

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