Backyard Aquaponics

Pump Selection
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Author:  itsallaroundyou [ Oct 8th, '18, 07:11 ]
Post subject:  Pump Selection

Hi all, I am in the process of selecting a pump for an aquaponics system that contains roughly 17,000 gallons. There was a 3600 GPH pump on the system when I came into it, but it recently burned out and I replaced it with a similarly sized sump pump. I would like to replace the sump with a proper commercial pump and am having a hard time finding a calculation as to how many volumes tunover I'd need (per hour, per day, etc).

I realize the turnover is related to how many lbs of fish i have in the system, so I'm hoping for something basic to start with, then I can oversize if needed. It needs to pump roughly 120' horizontal, and 4' vertical.

Also, would appreciate brand recommendations (I'd rather buy quality over saving a few $$).

Thanks in advance!

Author:  Terra [ Oct 8th, '18, 17:55 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pump Selection

Looking at your other thread it looks like you have about a 12000 Liter fish tank and a lot of well set up floating raft grow beds .

General rule for pump sizing is to turn over your fish tank every hour as a minimum more is better , this of course depends on fish density / amount of daily fish feed consumed.

So your old pump is about what you need size wise .

Look for pumps with as long a warranty as you can get

I use Laguna pumps for this reason and they have been reliable , on my little systems I will use cheaper pumps .

Decide if you want a submersible pump or a external pump

A bit more info on how the system works will help

Where is the pump situated and how does the water flow

Do you have a biofilter or are you relying on the growbed surface area , this will effect you fish and plant stocking rate .

Is there any swirl / radial / screen filters before the raft beds ??? if not you will need to build some , Raft systems need really clean water or the plants will get fish waste coated on their roots and die .

Fish waste going straight into your raft beds wont work .

Author:  itsallaroundyou [ Oct 9th, '18, 01:52 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pump Selection

Thanks for that info Terra! I was under the impression i needed to cycle the entire volume (as opposed to just where the fish are kept). I have my sights on a 8000 GPH submersible pump (its an Alpine brand with 3 yr warranty, and only $230 on amazon).

If you saw the pics of the set up in my other post, the way it is plumbed is all 10 of the raft pools are plumbed in sequence, ending at the large above ground pool, which drains back to the system in a loop.

I was planning on installing some media beds which I was thinking would double as biofilters for the system. I have not looked into swirl/radial/or screen filters yet---I will look into adding one to the system. Are there any designs that you recommend?

The current set up has the koi in the above ground pool, and the catfish in a few of the raft pools. Sounds like this is no good to have the catfish in with some of the rafts. I have plenty of room to give the catfish their own pools with no plants though.

Thanks again for the advice!

Author:  Terra [ Oct 9th, '18, 09:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: Pump Selection

Assuming funds are available

Ideal would be overflow fish tank / tanks through a self cleaning screen then a large radial / swirl filter in a cone bottom tank (easy daily clean)

Then a moving bed biofilter (tank with bioballs agitated by strong aeration)

Then split into 10 deliveries to rafts

Rafts drain into a "Sump" then pumped back to fish tank

Airstones in beds will stir up sediment so lift them off the bottom a little

Start with what you can afford , clean up the water going to your beds

Maybe use a bed as a biofilter

More components can be added later on

Short term you could use some beds for cleaning water , maybe use foam weirs across bed to trap fish waste

Lots of options you certainly have plenty to work with

Get some beds producing healthy plants , success breeds confidence

Im away after tomorrow for a week will check back keep the photos coming we love photos

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