Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Is there a siphon that is fairly simple and works consistently? Like the idea of a loop. Understand it has problems also. Wonder which size pipe to use for a 4 by 6 by 1ft. growbed.

Views: 938

Replies to This Discussion

my timing is impeccable!  :D

I think everyone should request a copy of the catalog from looking through all the parts that are available gives me so many ideas and is a great way to find ingenious solutions to our problems.  It's sorta like the Sears catalog for aquaponics!

Yes I've heard they have some interesting items. I'm in a kinda remote location so can be challenging. I did receive a test kit shipment the other day so it is possible at times. Would be much easier to have a wide selection of materials to choose from.  poco a poco

Averan said:

my timing is impeccable!  :D

I think everyone should request a copy of the catalog from looking through all the parts that are available gives me so many ideas and is a great way to find ingenious solutions to our problems.  It's sorta like the Sears catalog for aquaponics!

LOL, looks like a huge hair curler.  Over here, I have come to a similar end result along a different route.  I got tired of drilling a whole lot of small holes that clog, thus I took a larger whole saw and turned the guard pipe into swiss cheese.  I then took a roll of plastic mesh, cut a piece to size and secured it around the pipe with cable ties.

Averan said:

hey yall,

here's some premade round mesh siphon guards:

Here are my gravel guards.  I can make them any size.  I get food grade polypropylene mesh, cut to size and use zip ties to stitch into the correct size tube.


I have used the mesh tubes from Aquatic eco.  they work great for free flow of water but if you have big hands, the 3" size is a bit small to fit your arm down (not a problem for me but others have complained.)  I tried some of the 4" tubes but they are not as ridged and I didn't really trust them to heavy gravel.  The larger mesh I'm using won't be appropriate if you are using really small media but it seems to be working well enough for me with the 1/2" brown river rock and anyone using 3/4" would be totally fine with it.

Bell siphon and effects of lunar phase. Maybe if I increase the flow on days of half moon, and turn down on days of full moon. Really though I feel like a doctor with 15 sick patients. Every morning I go into greenhouse with my clipboard of sketchy notes, numbers, diagnosis and newly acquired ideas. After a couple hours of fine tuning. Trimming funnel tops, drain tubes, bell heights and hole configurations, adding breather tubes, maybe larger breather tubes? (nope), making sure all tops are glued, leveling, unleveling, if only I could plug that damn drain hole I drilled in the bottom, and did I mention flow rates? Theses things don't siphon they Suck! One thing I learned is the level of the drain pipe seems to have a lot do do with function, if it's not siphoning I raise the drain end of pipe (not taught in plumbing 101). If its not breaking I lower the drain end to flow more freely. Works today, will check lunar correlation in the morning.
This is why some people switch to timed flood and drain.  And I was usually able to get my siphons working properly on the beds that were high enough for a proper amount of fall from the bed into where ever they were draining to but in the situations where I cut that too close, I was almost never able to keep them balanced after I walked away.  Currently, I have only two siphons running on my big system, one of them cheats because the flow into that bed is intermittent.

I have been running many different versions of siphons for almost two years now. The key I found is having the sump low enough to get good flow and using the proper sized pipe for the siphon.  After doing this for a while it has gotten much easier. I know the science of flow and siphons may intimidate some folks but the best thing to do is build it the way you think it will work (after looking at hours of video on YouTube) and never use glue as you will probably take it apart a few times before it works right. In my opinion once you get them working they seem to work forever. Maybe I'm just lucky. Also ditto TC's suggestion to make the gravel guard big enough for your hands. That is real important when you have to take them apart two or three times.

Thanks all, I'm getting closer but still quite a bit of grey area. Would be easier if it was only a couple siphons to worry about. What gets me as there doesn't seem to be consistency on which ones work and why or when. Would be nice to have DWC but I do like the idea of having all the gravel for the bacteria. Was planning on expanding into the DWC. Just think the gravel beds are an important 1st step. Do like TC's idea of intermittent flow.
Ha, Steve. I love the analogy of siphons to sick patients. Amen. I do like siphons, but then again I like pain. Seriously, in my experience, I can say that they are not reliable, but pretty damned cool when they're working. I have resorted to a morph of siphon and timed flow. My very first siphon worked first try and still does, and each identical copy since then has been temperamental. So I poked a small drain hole in the bottom of the stand pipe like Kobus in order to drain down in the event of power failure or timed power off. I run my pump on a timer for an hour on, hour off. If the siphon is working, then it cycles several times during the "on" hour. If low pump flow won't start siphon, then the "off" hour allows it to drain through the small hole. If high pump flow won't break the siphon, then the "off" hour will. This way I am assured that at least once per hour, everything gets all the way wet, and all the way dry. I use small pumps, and so they need to be rinsed once per week, wether they need it or not, and the lines get rinsed to.

The best gravel guard I have found is the black, 4" corrugated plastic flex line at Home Desperate. I think it's about $6 per 10' stick. It cuts easily with a razor knife to length, and is big enough for my hands. It is already slotted for drainage, but I add more by setting my table saw 1/4" deep, and making lengthwise cuts from end to end. Because it's corrugated, the saw makes vertical slits in the outer bumps, while the inner bumps remain intact to repel the weight of the gravel. It take less than a buck, and less than a minute, to make each gravel guard

I've made gravel guards that same way before Jon


Ya know, if the siphons are too much of a pain, you can simply remove the bells and run constant flood.


© 2023   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service