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PostPosted: Sep 6th, '11, 21:49 
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I see that most people put a standpipe vertically to control the max water level in a grow bed. I was thinking of putting a horizontal pipe coming out the side instead. I would still put a media guard to keep media and roots away from the outlet. Are there any problems doing this?


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PostPosted: Sep 6th, '11, 21:59 
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Are you wanting to plumb your stand pipe thru the side of your growbed and then have an elbow or are you just having an overflow pipe in your growbed?

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PostPosted: Sep 6th, '11, 22:18 
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The overflow stand pipe sets the flood level in a timer based system... and when incorporated into a "bell" siphon.. a continously pumped system...

But they're still both "flood & drain" systems... what you seem to be suggesting is a constantly flooded systems....

Is this what you intend???...

P.S a bell siphon system... which is already constantly pumped... can be easily converted to a constantly flooded system.. just by removing the bell... effectively making it an overflow stand pipe....

Simply pumping constantly has the same effect with a standard overflowstand pipe system....

But they both still have vertical standpipes... and to me a couple of major plus point for doing it this way....

It's so much easier, in combination with a ball valve controlled input.... to get the flow right... so that it doesn't flood too high... and/or overwealm the stand pipe....

And can be converted to other configurations in a flash...

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PostPosted: Sep 6th, '11, 22:37 
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Sorry, should have added more info. I have 2 IBCs. I cut the top 12" off of both for grow beds, rest is fish tank. I would like to put the 2 grow beds on the ground next to the fish tanks. I would like the fish tanks to constantly overflow SLO to the grow beds and the grow beds to constantly overflow to a small sump which will hold the pump that gets the water back to the fish tank. I guess a CHIFT PIST constant flow/flood. I would also like to add rafts on top of the fish tanks. Rather than elevate everything a lot so I can plumb under the grow beds, it would be easier to add a horizontal outlet to direct the overflow to the sump and dictate the height of the water. Are there any hidden pitfalls in doing this?


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PostPosted: Sep 6th, '11, 23:11 
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Why not just keep it simple... like this... viewtopic.php?f=18&t=10452

Or even two seperate systems...

What you're proposing is probably doable... but would be a nightmare getting the flow rates right... and/or enough to turnover the IBC's and lift solids...

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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '11, 01:33 
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I was trying to get more plants out of the systems w/ the rafts on the fish tanks.

Hmm... So you think the gravity drain from the fish tank wouldn't be enough to lift the solids from the bottom? And you don't think all 190-ish gallons wouldn't drain out of the IBCs every hour? (I assume that's what you mean by turn over). I have a good sized pump (1200 gal/hour) and I can buy larger pipes for the gravity drain. I was figuring that would work, but... I have absolutely no experience, this is my first system and you would know WAY better than me :lol:

OK, well back to the drawing board. If all I can get is 2 IBC sized grow beds out of it, then "oh well" I'll go the simple route from Faye's video (thanks Faye!!!), but I was trying to find a way to pump out more veggies.

Thanks again for all the help!!!


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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '11, 07:27 
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I'm not sure you're right Rupe. Seems like if you treat the two growbeds as part of the sump (but have the sump be deeper so the pump won't run dry) you could do this. The water should flow from the tank at the rate it is pumped in from the sump and depending on the drop to the growbeds should provide decent if not great cleaning of the fish tank.

Just regulate the water level by having the pipe from the growbeds into the sump turn upward to just below the level you want the water in the growbed (or use a down then up U shape). From there it just overflows into the sump and is pumped back to the fish tank. If you plan this right you can make it adjustable (using a U shape where the height of the back part of the U can be changed).

Return piping would have to be able to handle the full pump speed or pump would have to be on a float or timer.


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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '11, 07:33 
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For clarities sake - Essentially you've moved your standpipe to the sump tank in the scenario I put forward.


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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '11, 08:06 
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Plumbing straight down through the bottom of a 12 inch deep bed means that if you build the stand pipe such that you can remove it, it allows you to drain the bed occasionally. If you plumb out the side of the bed then you loose quite a bit of height putting an elbow in for the stand pipe to go up within the bed. I do this on my deep grow beds (where I plumb through the lower side of the bed and then on the inside (inside the gravel guard) I have an elbow and the stand pipe goes up from there so the bottom 4 inches of my deep beds don't drain but those beds are two feet deep so the loss of 4" worth of flood and drain is no big deal to me. The elbows inside the gravel guards lets me pull the stand pipes out to clean out roots and adjust holes or height or flip them over to keep the bed flooded for a day for new transplants in the heat or whatever.

Anyway, if you plumb out the side of a shallower bed, I suggest you plumb as low as you can to give yourself as much flexibility as you can and make sure the plumbing is big enough to handle the flows.

I would probably advise against using the fish tank for the raft but if the "sump" tank is the other IBC then you could have the gravel beds drain into the "sump tank" (just making sure the water draining in won't splash over your raft) then you will have a clean water sump and as long as it is out in the sun a raft will probably do better in a clean water sump than it will over the fish.

Personally, I'm not sold on raft aquaponics. I know some people are doing great with it but my plants always suffer more deficiencies in the raft bed than in the media.

Good luck

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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '11, 08:22 
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I think standpipe might have been the wrong word. I was picturing just a hole in the side of the IBC at the max water level. A pipe would be attached to the outside to direct the water.

As far as draining the bed, couldn't a siphon with a hose work if there was no hole in the bottom of the grow bed?

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...as long as it is out in the sun a raft will probably do better in a clean water sump than it will over the fish.


Interesting. Why would the rafts do better away from the fish?

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Personally, I'm not sold on raft aquaponics


Does anyone know of anyone here who has had a successful raft system? Or unsuccessful for that matter.

Thanks!!


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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '11, 08:33 
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I think you are talking about an over flow not a stand pipe. It will work, but as TCLynx you can build the standpipe in a fashion which allows you to remove it so you can drain the bed if required.

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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '11, 09:14 
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A standpipe can't be horizontal - it would become a "reclinepipe" wouldn't it? :wave1:

Just don't underestimate the size required for the sump. In my twin IBC system (Rupert linked to it above), the water level in the sump drops significantly when the growbeds are filling up. If you are trying to put the growbeds beside the IBC's and use something else as a sump, it will need to be a few hundred litres anyway - and will still need to be below the growbeds.

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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '11, 10:00 
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Like wise Arbe... I took it to be an overflow, rather than a standpipe....

An overflow coming from the side of the 300mm deep grow bed will totally determine the flow throughout the entire system...

You couldn't have too much flow from the IBC SLO's going into the grow beds... because it would be really difficult to control the inflow... and not overwealm the outflowing "overflow" pipe...

Sure you could size the grow bed outflow pipe upward... but probably not beyond 50mm... in a 300mm grow bed...

Now if you have a "small sump"... being fed by two "overflows" from the grow beds... with any large degree of flow... then you need a reasonably large capacity pump to dump the stuff back into the IBC's ... so the sump doesn't overflow....

But returning the water fast... increases the outflow into the beds... etc etc...

Sure.. it can probably be done... but I think the horizontal "overflow" drainage of the growbeds.... is really restrictive, and prone to potential failure...

Whereas, a traditional verticle overflow standpipe... is just easy IMO..

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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '11, 12:08 
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Now if you have a "small sump"... being fed by two "overflows" from the grow beds... with any large degree of flow... then you need a reasonably large capacity pump to dump the stuff back into the IBC's ... so the sump doesn't overflow....



One, four, five, ten overflows - does not matter. With continuous flood the sump won't overflow because pump is in the sump and everything is determined by the pumping rate. Just fill the system up to get the growbeds at the desired depth and fill the sump so that it is where you want it. Flip the switch and pump away. You might need to top up the sump slightly for the volume in the pipe and if this was a large volume your sump might flood when the power fails.

A large pump would be good for aeration and cleaning out the tank through the SLO.

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You couldn't have too much flow from the IBC SLO's going into the grow beds... because it would be really difficult to control the inflow... and not overwealm the outflowing "overflow" pipe...


I'm not sure how much of a problem this would be. You could just use a ball valve off the pump to feed some of the flow back to the sump until you aren't overwealming the growbed overflow.

A standpipe would be better because of drawdown and the ease of cleaning (roots growing into the overflow could be a real problem - much easier to prevent with the standpipe).

Using the siphon to empty the growbed would be a pain but it would work.


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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '11, 21:13 
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I hear what you're saying Scotty... but with a grow bed depth of... say filled to 280mm.... using an 25mm overflow pipe ( to set the depth of the flood 25mm below the surface of the media - a total of 50mm).... means you're only flooding about 230mm in each growbed... about 230L....

And the flow needs to be controlled to that level at a rate that wont overwealm the ability of a horizontal 25mm pipe... or you'll overflow the growbed....

Effectively.. that limits how much flow you can return to the tank from the sump... and hence via an SLO to the beds....

Yes, sure you could setup a "bypass" from the sump pump... to bleed off flow...back to the sump...

You can't bleed the flow from the SLO back to the IBC... because the SLO is lower than the top of the IBC... so you'll continually be pumping most of the flow from the sump... back to the sump....

And I think the flow rate from the sump to the IBC will need to be "relatively" low... so as to not overwealm a horizontal outlet from the grow bed....

Ther question is... would the flow rate be enough to "lift" the solids out of the IBC.. up the SLO... and into the grow beds....

If, however, you use a standard upright overflow standpipe... you can have a greater flow... because the excess will flow down the standpipe... much more effectively, and with greater volume IMO... than through a horizontal outlet.... and with much less risk of overflow... and much easier adjustment IMO...

Hey, I could be wrong... and it might not be a problem....but my gut feel is there's nothing to be gained from a horizontal overflow with a constant pump regime... in the proposed scenario... against an upright standpipe... but there is an increased potential for problems...

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