Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi all! New to AP, currently working on getting my system started.
I'm nearing completion and the closer I get the more questions arise. When I run the pump the water level drops quite a bit and it makes me worry about shocking my fish when I add them later. I didn't begin wih the intention of building one. Is it a good idea/necessary? I'm really excited about this new endeavor and any help would be greatly appreciated. If this is covered elsewhere in the forums, my apologies, it's somewhat difficult for me to navigate on my mobile.
System Specs as follows:
Tank: 50 gal
Growbed: 3 half cut 15 gal barrels
7.5 In. Deep,
14.5 in. Wide
25.25 in. Long
Pump: smartpond fountain pump
300-500 gph. Max lift 8.7 ft.

Coke bottle beell siphons
Fill time: 3 minutes 7 seconds
Drain time: 1 minute 9 seconds

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Almost forgot my proud pics! :D
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J4,

When you add media to your grow beds they will require less water to fill. Also the three beds will get out of sync so they will be in different states of fill/drain. So the tank level will be more constant in operation than you are seeing now without media. Having said that I am a firm believer in a sump tank. I have had a leak and the sump pumped it self dry, but the fish were still swimming in plenty of water. Plus I think it is less stressful on the fish if the water level stays constant. 

Thanks for the input. My proposed sump tank will probably be 15 gallons as that's what I have on hand. My original plans were to use 4 growbeds, but thinking I didn't have enough water I decided to take the 4th bed out. Given water displacement, and the addition of a 15 gal sump, think it will be possible to put the 4th bed back in? Or would I need a larger sump? I'd love to have the 4th bed, but I don't want to be asking for trouble in doing so.
Thanks for the advice so far. The water in general is a pain to figure up.

If you put the 4th bed in and use the 15 gal sump you should be ok. Looking at your picture I would test it by putting media in what you have now and running it without the bells in place. Measure the water drop in the fish tank to calculate how much water it took to fill the beds.  

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