loop siphon is flexible tubing that is attached to the drain.
The loop siphon is used to flood and drain the media beds. When
the water gets to the top of the tube it breaks the airlock causing
it to drain. When its empty air is again introduced into
the tube and the cycle starts over again.
bell siphon works just like the loop siphon but it’s a bit more
sophisticated. It has a vertical pipe and the height of that
pipe is what determines the maximum level of the water.
When the water gets to the top of the tube the drainage begins.
A bell siphon comes with three parts.
standpipe – this is the part that determines the height of the
bell shroud with an air line – this is the part that stops the
draining once the water has reached the maximum level
gravel and media guard
the loop siphon, the bell siphon will always leave some water and
sediment at the bottom and this will allow the necessary bacteria to
grow. If you use the bell siphon, somewhere between one and two
years, you will notice your crops beginning to grow faster and you
will also see an increase in your plant yields.
fish tank doesn’t have to be perfect you can use practically
anything. Just remember that if you use a tank that is used
that you know the background of the container. You need to make
sure that it has never been used to hold chemicals or anything else
that could be harmful to your fish. You could use something
like a large trash can; however, fish generally prefer to swim
horizontally as opposed to vertically. In addition, a
horizontal tank will allow for a larger surface area which helps keep
the water oxygenated. You should use a tank that is black
and if your container isn’t black then you should paint the outside
black to keep out as much light as possible. (Use paint that is
made for a plastic surface.)
will need to have a large enough tank to accommodate the number of
grow beds you have or plan to have in the future. A 100
gallon tank can accommodate four 25 gallon 2″x4″x6′ grow
grow beds should be between 6″ and 12″ deep. The deeper it
is will enable you to plant a wider variety of plants. Plants
such as carrots and onions have an extensive root system and require
a deeper bed in order to be grown successfully. However, if you
are on a budget, stick with the vegetables that don’t have such an
extensive root, then you will only need the more shallow grow beds.
Thus requiring less clay or gravel making it cheaper because you
don’t have to buy as much product to fill the beds.
grow beds capacity should equal the capacity of your fish tank.
That means if you are using a 100 gallon tank, you will need to be
able to handle 100 gallons of water. Just remember that
the clay pellets will displace approximately half of the water volume
. If when starting out, your grow bed isn’t as large as your
fish tank, just use less water or use more media to displace the
water. Always keep in mind the 1-1 ratio. A one foot long
by one foot wide by one foot deep area of water will hold around 7.5
gallons of water.
you don’t need to have a sump tank. This is optional.
However, a sump tank will help prevent the water levels from
fluctuating in the fish tank when the water is flooding and draining
the beds. If you use a sump tank, just remember to keep it
above the level of the grow bed.
water pump should be big enough to recycle the water about four times
each hour. Some of the water will remain in the grow bed so you
will need to calculate accordingly. Example: a 2″ x 4″
x 6′ bed system you will need a 250 GPH rated water pump and this
will give you an output of 100 GPH as it has to push the water up at
least four feet. This is more than enough for this size
of bed; however, any overflow you have will go right back into the
fish tank and provide additional circulation and oxygenation.
proper amount of air for your system should be about five to ten GPH
for each gallon on water in your fish tank. It’s really
difficult to add too much air into your system. So this is
something you really should not worry much about. Just buy a
pump that is rated for the size of the fish tank you’ll be using.
grow bed media can consist of gravel (just make sure it’s the right
type of gravel) or clay pellets. Gravel is cheap but it could
easily cause problems with the pH of your water and you will then
have to continually adjust it which is not good for your fish.
pellets are the preferred grow bed media because it is pH neutral and
retains the moisture very nicely. Clay pellets are also much
lighter than the gravel so the weight of your system won’t be as
much of a concern.
Plumbing Parts, Plastic Tubing & Hoses
will of course need various plastic plumbing parts, as well as,
plastic tubing and or hoses. The type and extent of these will
depend on the system you decide to install.