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My system has been running for a year now. I've enjoyed the process thus far, and have been thinking about how to expand.  DWC has caught my interest and I'm wondering if a DWC expansion will work with my setup. DWC seems like it sit a little lower which will be a big plus; my structure is constraining vertical growth in the primary bed.

questions for the group

- Do you think my setup could support a 4'x8'xY DWC expansion?

- Are there any cleaver ways to plumb it to maintain a single pump?

I've attached some images that hopefully can give you a perspective.

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Your pics don't tell whether your system can handle it, but I am guessing it can.
Do it, you won't regret it. I didn't use air stones, but instead used a drum with layers of rock with air gaps to super oxygenate and clean out solids. Worked awesome.

I''ve added a DWC bed to my system and it works well.  Given the height of your growbed you should be able to get the plumbing working with just gravity, but it'll take some time, patience and trial and error to get it right.

Here are my discoveries:

  1. You don't need a huge drop from the siphon for it to still work
  2. The top of your DWC bed needs to be below the bottom of your siphon
  3. The outlet from your DWC bed needs to be above the top of your fishtank/sump
  4. The outlet pipe diameter of the DWC needs to be at least twice that of the inlet.

From the sketch you drew I'm going to assume you're comfortable in doing design work, so add the DWC in to the sketch and see if you can get the levels to work.

 

Mine looks like this.  There's more construction photos in my profile.

Hint, the dwc bed can double as the sump!

Nice greenhouse!

I think you could add a DWC bed at the same level as your media bed. Just tee the pipe coming out of the pump to hit both of your beds and put valves at each bed to control the flow. I would actually put another tee and valve and have a return line to your fish tank to give you more control of water flow. The DWC bed can be anywhere as long as it is higher than the fish tank and can gravity drain back. 

If you want more water volume you could add a sump, and keep the water level in your fish tank constant height.

mind blown.   I have a crude understanding on the role of the sump. In your suggestion, the pump moves from the fishes to the DWC?   Compounded by evaporation, i've seen my fish get into some shallow times.  They will be grateful. Id imagine more solids would accumulate with the fish. 

Averan said:

Hint, the dwc bed can double as the sump!

Thanks for all the replies. After posting this I watched some videos over @365aquaponics.  The rubbermaid DWC setup looks temptingly well put together and simple.  The wood based pic's i've seen in this discussion group look more fun and craftsmanlike  on the other hand.  I should explore more user builds.

Is a siphon recommended in the DWC bed? Originally, I was envisioning  T-ing from media bed to the DWC and sending an overflow back.




It's been an uphill battle. she looked like this when i moved in



Mark Hall said:

Nice greenhouse!

I think you could add a DWC bed at the same level as your media bed. Just tee the pipe coming out of the pump to hit both of your beds and put valves at each bed to control the flow. I would actually put another tee and valve and have a return line to your fish tank to give you more control of water flow. The DWC bed can be anywhere as long as it is higher than the fish tank and can gravity drain back. 

If you want more water volume you could add a sump, and keep the water level in your fish tank constant height.

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