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stolo17

Ebb and Flow combined with Nutrient film on small apartment porch

9 posts in this topic

I have been trying to come up with a way to fit a system into my apartment. Played with the idea of doing it inside, then decided I'd give outside a try first so I can avoid buying lights.

Obviously in the early stages of planning and setting up. I will post more pictures as the system gets put together and I have free time. So please use your imagination when I am explaining this. Feel free to comment with ideas.

Starting from the far left. The large black tub is going to serve as my fish tank. The first grow stand is going to be two ebb and flow systems. I am going to raise this stand about a 8 inches as well to make room for plumbing to get to my water reservoir, the green tub. Will use concrete blocks or cut wood. The second grow stand with the japanese maple on top, will be dedicated to nutrient flow system. Planning on doing many rows of PVC growtrays with tallest in back and snaking up to front of stand, the lowest point, there draining into water reservoir. Obviously most the plants you see in the picture now will be absent from the system. I just wanted something on the stands and in trays.

From the fish tank there will be one pump, from that pump, the lines will split to the two growbeds as well as the PVC growtray. In each growbed there will be bell siphons, each draining into same line, then into reservoir. The growtrays also draining into reservoir. The thought is that in the fish tank and the reservoir the water level will be more or less the same. In order to get the water from reservoir back to fish tank, there will be a U shaped PVC pipe going from reservoir to fish tank, setup as a siphon to keep the water level more or less equal. It will not be quite U shaped as I will have it go behind my stands and out of sight. Hoping this will work as I do not want to have to have two pumps.

Air stones will also be in fish tank. As well as a hole somewhere in pump line below water level, just in case of siphon failure I do not come back to fish flopping in dry tub.

The only real concern I am having is that the siphon from water reservoir to the fish tank will not be strong enough to transfer water from tub to tub. I have never used a siphon like this, so I am not sure.

Thoughts and recommendations would be great.

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A drawing would really help me follow this better. Also, what is the intent of your system? Is this your first system and you want to experiment? Do you want to minimize media costs by going NFT? What type of fish are you growing and what type of stocking density are you thinking about?

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Hi,

There appears to a diagram or photo in the post but it hasn't worked for some reason.

You can find out how to post images and attachments......here.

Gary

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This is my first system. Purpose is to experiment. Going with NFT for part of the system because I will be moving from apartment in about 16 months and would really rather not be carrying grow medium all over the place.

After talking to buddy at work I decided to do one sump pump in the water reservoir and to put the fish tank slightly above the whole system. I am going to stack two cinder blocks below my tub, then tub on top. Will raise it a foot.

I am still struggling with best way for water to leave the fish tank though. As of now I am planning on putting a hole near the top and then having a drain system with pipe going down to bottom of tank with T join, one spot on joint is for air valve, then other connects to pipe that drains into growbeds. I cant think of the name of this, anyone? :confused:

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I am still struggling with best way for water to leave the fish tank though. As of now I am planning on putting a hole near the top and then having a drain system with pipe going down to bottom of tank with T join, one spot on joint is for air valve, then other connects to pipe that drains into growbeds. I cant think of the name of this, anyone? :confused:

I think what you are trying to describe is a Solids Lift Outlet (SLO). It's a good way to carry watery solids out of a fish tank into a filter without mashing them up in a pump. I would recommend use something to capture the solids before they hit the fish tank. This can be scrub pads, swirl filter, or even just a small sedimentation tank. It makes a huge difference in running your system nice and clean.

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I got everything setup, more or less. No big issues other than my bell siphon does not seem to start automatically. The growbed just keeps filling up and filling up then draining when gets to level of drain pipe, but no siphon. The siphon works great if I start it manually by removing the bell, filling up with water, then quickly putting ontop of drain pipe.

My bell is two inch pvc with cap, about an inch between top of bell and top of drain pipe. The drain pipe is 3/4 inch with a 1 inch fitting ontop. The 3/4 pipe drains into a 2 inch pipe below system which runs length of system into reservoir.

Any ideas on how to get this thing starting automatically? I am thinking that the 2 inch drain pipe might allow too much air to get back into the siphon therefor not allowing it to start...I dont have enough materials on hand to try something different right now, so thought I would put up a post with some questions first. Thx

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I got everything setup, more or less. No big issues other than my bell siphon does not seem to start automatically. The growbed just keeps filling up and filling up then draining when gets to level of drain pipe, but no siphon. The siphon works great if I start it manually by removing the bell, filling up with water, then quickly putting ontop of drain pipe.

My bell is two inch pvc with cap, about an inch between top of bell and top of drain pipe. The drain pipe is 3/4 inch with a 1 inch fitting ontop. The 3/4 pipe drains into a 2 inch pipe below system which runs length of system into reservoir.

Any ideas on how to get this thing starting automatically? I am thinking that the 2 inch drain pipe might allow too much air to get back into the siphon therefor not allowing it to start...I dont have enough materials on hand to try something different right now, so thought I would put up a post with some questions first. Thx

Turn the flow rate up. You need more flow through the siphon to get it started. When the siphon won't stop once it's started, you've got too much flow. There's a window where everything works well. You're right near that edge of the sweet spot.

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I will try and see if I can increase the flow rate, my pump is maxed out as far as I know, I dont have the in line valve that goes back into reservoir open at all. Hope I dont need a bigger pump...It moves 250 gph. I guess worst case I can get another pump and use my smaller one for nutrient flow system on other side of porch..

Thanks.

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Hi Stolo,

My reading of what you've written suggests that the bed is filled but the syphon won't start......which means that your flow is too fast.

Slow it down and see what happens. A photo of your syphon would also be helpful in diagnosing its problem.

Gary

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