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external bell siphon problem, anyone have any suggestions?/ thanks in advance
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Hi. You are absolutely correct about avoiding root intrusion by using an external bell siphon. Please see the specific comments I left at the "photos" page under the schematic for the bell siphon. Building one is fun and easy.
Hi John, this is Lloyd from the aquaponics website. The reason I was thinking of an external bell siphon was the roots were invading the unit which is in the center of my growbed. The roots were interfering with the flow. So I thought an external one would avoid this issue. My tomato plants especially were intrusive. thanks for your help. Lloyd
I've added the schematic to the "photos" option page at the top of this page.
Litano, bells siphons can be a wonderful thing if built correctly. i have several that have been functioning for over a year now. i will put together a how to with parts and pics. it is all in the ratios; stand pipe to bell, reduction in drain pipe to bell teeth, pump volume to gravel bed size, etc. most important, the siphon needs to be in the bed. im not sure i understand the point of an external bell siphon.
Please send me your email address so I can send you the schematic for the external bell siphon. I can not seem to add it to this text. My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have attached a schematic for an External Bell Siphon system. It is easy to follow. The only thing you need to know is that the drain pipe from the bottom of the tank that leads to the 2" threaded PVC Tee passes through the side opening of the tee where there is a 2"x1" bushing and extends all the way to the 1" 90 deg. elbow. You might have to grind or sand the little ridge inside the 2'x1" busing so that the 1" PVC drain line passes through this fitting and goes all the way to the 1" 90 deg. elbow. Make sure you glue the 1" pipe where it passes through this bushing or the fittings will leak. This bushing is also glued into the opening of the 2" Tee.
You can ask me any questions at: email@example.com if you have any additional concerns.
Best Regards, Jon Chaiton
I don't have any simple good news for ya if you're committed to bell siphons. I believe there is a physical limit to their reliability. I think that regardless of configuration one can't get them to perform dependably beyond a few thousand cycles. They are dependent on Fluid Dynamics; subject to Chaos Science. I mean that a slight change in liquid or atmosphere or flow resistance can cause a bigger change in performance even if the operator has made no change in plumbing.
I think many aquaponists working more than a couple years, beyond the model stage, have abandoned bell siphons in favor of more reliable alternatives like gradual drain with index valves.
I endured a frustrating six months with many configurations of bell siphons. One can 'fix' it when it fails only to fix it again a couple weeks later.
Google "Aquaponics_Common_Sense_Guide.pdf" it has details about the J siphon.
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