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 I came home to find my 275 gal tote was almost empty .

 The sump pump in my return tank stopped working causing the water to overflow .

 

 Overview of my system .

 I have a flood and drain system .

 275 gal tote for the fish with a 600 gph pump pumping water to  two 6ft x 4ft grow beds  

 both beds drain by bell syphon into a 40 gal container with a 1000 gph sump pump  that returns the water back into my fish tank .

 

 Problem the sump pump was purchased at a garden warehouse and is not a quality pump

 and can't keep up with the demand .

 Does anyone know of a quality pump and where to buy ?

Any advice I can get will be of great help .

This last time my tank overflowed my water was just about cycled all that work gone 

I really would like to find good sump pump safe for fish that will last.

    

 

 

  

   

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A bigger sump tank and/or arranging things in a CHIFT PIST or CHOP format would probably help.  Even if you get a good high quality sump pump, the float switches tend to fail or get fouled on a regular basis.  Perhaps a float switch on your main pump to keep it from pumping the tank dry if something goes wrong would help some but again float switches are not perfect.

I am new to this what is a CHOP format and CHIFT PIST ?   What kind or brand of pump has worked best for you ?

Thanks for the info this is a great site sooo much to know and learn .  
 
TCLynx said:

A bigger sump tank and/or arranging things in a CHIFT PIST or CHOP format would probably help.  Even if you get a good high quality sump pump, the float switches tend to fail or get fouled on a regular basis.  Perhaps a float switch on your main pump to keep it from pumping the tank dry if something goes wrong would help some but again float switches are not perfect.

Welcome to aquaponics  -- this is how we all learn to deal with problems before you jump to the next level.

Any helpful advice would help .

Thanks  
 
Rik Kretzinger said:

Welcome to aquaponics  -- this is how we all learn to deal with problems before you jump to the next level.

Build in some tank insurance for yourself.  In my 100 gal system, I have only a 15 gallon sump.  The tank insurance I use is a 4" drain pipe that is sealed around a 2 " shorter drain pipe inside the 4" one. I will see if I can dig out a picture to show you and post it here.  This same thing has happened to me every time the electricity goes out and my backup power supply runs out of battery time.  I also run air stones for this very reason for air supply.  The concept is that the water level will never drop lower than the height of the 4" pipe, so you never lose water lower that the height of the 4" pipe. Your fish will have a good volume of water to live in until you can fix the problem.  You should also have a backup sump pump handy just in case your pump goes out and the stores are closed.  All good system design has redundancy build in -- very important concept in my mind.  I use cheap sump pumps I get from Lowes or Orchard Supply.  Last one worked for 3 years.  This last one has been running 24X7 for about a year.  I had the same problem you had with to much water and would sump tank would overflow.  First pump was a 1/4hp switched out to a 1/3hp and the problem went away.  More volume pumped now and now never overflow problems, until the sump pump blows out.

Thanks a picture would help.The sump pump I have know is from orchard and so far I have had to take them back twice

to exchange for another . I think I am going to try a pump from Little Giant and install a larger return tank that can hold the volum of water..
 
Rik Kretzinger said:

Build in some tank insurance for yourself.  In my 100 gal system, I have only a 15 gallon sump.  The tank insurance I use is a 4" drain pipe that is sealed around a 2 " shorter drain pipe inside the 4" one. I will see if I can dig out a picture to show you and post it here.  This same thing has happened to me every time the electricity goes out and my backup power supply runs out of battery time.  I also run air stones for this very reason for air supply.  The concept is that the water level will never drop lower than the height of the 4" pipe, so you never lose water lower that the height of the 4" pipe. Your fish will have a good volume of water to live in until you can fix the problem.  You should also have a backup sump pump handy just in case your pump goes out and the stores are closed.  All good system design has redundancy build in -- very important concept in my mind.  I use cheap sump pumps I get from Lowes or Orchard Supply.  Last one worked for 3 years.  This last one has been running 24X7 for about a year.  I had the same problem you had with to much water and would sump tank would overflow.  First pump was a 1/4hp switched out to a 1/3hp and the problem went away.  More volume pumped now and now never overflow problems, until the sump pump blows out.

I have a bunch of diagrams posted that might help.

Plumbing Class


Raymoind --  I did a quick Sketch-up for you.  This should give you a good idea of what it looks like.  Click on the link and it will take you to a YouTube video of the concept.

4" protection drain pipe

That was sooo cool .... Thanks some times a visual makes all the differance .  
 
Rik Kretzinger said:


Raymoind --  I did a quick Sketch-up for you.  This should give you a good idea of what it looks like.  Click on the link and it will take you to a YouTube video of the concept.

4" protection drain pipe

glad it helped  ..... rik

Raymond Nunez said:

That was sooo cool .... Thanks some times a visual makes all the differance .  
 
Rik Kretzinger said:


Raymoind --  I did a quick Sketch-up for you.  This should give you a good idea of what it looks like.  Click on the link and it will take you to a YouTube video of the concept.

4" protection drain pipe

i have added a 300 gal sump tank in the event pump fails  i wont lose any water .

i will also use tank for fry .

Joe,

    In a CHOP (constant height one pump) or CHIFT PIST (constant height in fish tank pump in sump tank) system, the sump tank is actually a point of fail safe more than a point of failure.  See those system designs don't have the pump inside the fish tank and therefore you are less likely to pump your fish tank dry in case of some disaster in plumbing.  So a disaster in plumbing with a sump tank might still pump the sump tank dry and burn up the pump but the fish will still have water in the fish tank and so might survive until you have time to fix the problem.

However, if you are talking about a system that has a sump tank and multiple pumps (like pump from fish tank to grow beds and they drain to sump with a pump that pumps back to fish tank) well there you are at the mercy of the float switches and hoping they don't get fouled and that the sump pump can keep up etc.  In that case the sump and it's float switches and pump are an added point of possible failure.

The benefits of a sump tank are that you have more water in the system to help keep it stable, you hopefully can have a more constant water level in the fish tank and you can flood more grow beds without the extreme water level fluctuations you would have with out a sump tank or some other means to deal with water level fluctuations.

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