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 Post subject: Newbie system
PostPosted: Aug 30th, '17, 07:34 
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Joined: Aug 26th, '17, 21:46
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I am about to build a simple IBC system as per the guide (The IBC of Aquaponics). I have been trying to find out what kind of pump to use and would really appreciate suggestions. I would like one that has room to expand at a later date to add a sump and more grow beds. Are there any designs for this type of expansion? I have been looking at grow media and expanded clay seems the easier choice but is also so expensive - are there bulk suppliers in Australia?
Lastly, I live in Western Sydney and would appreciate recommendations on which fish I can use. I'd like to attempt trout in the colder seasons, but understand that they would not survive the warmer weather.
Thank you
Ron


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie system
PostPosted: Aug 30th, '17, 23:40 
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You're shooting to turn the volume of the fish tank over once per hour. Most pumps have a chart or table giving you the volume pumped at any given head height. Head height is measured from the surface of the water the pump is in to the highest point that it pumps to. You can get a pump that handles a bit more than what you need and just use the extra volume to move the water for aeration by putting a T with a ball valve on the pump outflow. If you start out without a sump and then move the pump to a sump when you expand your system that's going to change the head height and will change the volume pumped, maybe enough so that it isn't getting the job done. You should be able to determine from the head height table if the pump will still get the job done.

It's good if the pump can handle solids so that it won't stop if something passes through it. It pays to buy a pump that uses less electricity to get the same job done.

As far as system designs for expansion, I like using Constant Flood because you don't have to make the sump larger when you add grow beds. Basically the water in Constant Flood systems is always flowing and is at about the level of maximum flood that you'd have in a Flood and Drain bed. Flood and Drain systems though need a larger sump because you have to catch the drain water from each new bed when it hits it's drain cycle and all the beds may go at the same time. With Constant Flood the beds hold the water even if the power goes out (there is no weep hole in the stand pipe). You'll be pumping continuously to keep the water aerated when you run Constant Flood so something like timed flood and drain might be better if you're running off solar. If you want some beds Flood and Drain and some Constant Flood you can do this by pumping all the time but having siphons in some and just standpipes in others. All the components in the grow bed need to be removable - that way you can change out standpipes and add or remove bell siphons.

FWIW - Laguna pond pumps have been pretty good for me and are cheap to run but upfront cost is higher than some. Somewhere around here is a pump thread where you'll find more opinions and a survey so try out the search feature.

Cheers


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