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PostPosted: Sep 16th, '18, 07:19 
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Hello BYAP,

I am half way through building an indoor aquaponics setup consisting of 3 chop-n-flip style 55gal barrels. Because I want to use one large LED grow light, the barrels will be set close together in a triangle to maximize the light accessible to each grow bed.

The last major design question to answer is this: Should these three barrels be run as separate systems, or plumbed together as one large system? Conventional wisdom suggests that minor chemical fluctuations in the water have less impact on larger systems. Additionally, maintenance should be a bit simpler running this as one system (one vs three water tests every time.) Is there a downside or danger that I'm missing?

To accomplish linking these together, the water from one aquarium would pump to the grow bed on the barrel next to it. Then the water would drain through a bell siphon to that aquarium and so on. I got a little carried away with the MS Paint drawing here :lol:

Attachment:
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This is a pretty specific scenario so I wanted to make a thread to begin some discussion about the idea. What do you think?


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PostPosted: Sep 16th, '18, 08:53 
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Three barrels is perfect to build a "barrelponics" system, Travis Hughey style. I built one and it worked well, though I had issues with the toilet dump valve so used a siphon instead.

http://backyardaquaponics.com/Travis/Ba ... Manual.PDF

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PostPosted: Sep 16th, '18, 17:19 
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I have no experience with barrels, or with three systems in series

But I'm thinking that it could be tricky avoiding overflows because three pumps will inevitably get out of sync.

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PostPosted: Sep 17th, '18, 09:37 
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His plan looks like just one pump on up to the highest barrel and gravity on down using auto siphons.


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PostPosted: Sep 17th, '18, 09:42 
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I think if it were me I'd link the growbeds with uniseals and just have a siphon in one of them. Then link the FT's as well so the pump pumps to the 1st GB in the chain and the last has the siphon. So when the siphon drains it has to flow through all the FT's back to the one with the pump.

You may just want to skip the siphon as well and run constant flood.

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PostPosted: Sep 18th, '18, 11:19 
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Indoor systems are okay for leafy vegetables/herbs. Due to lack of weather, plants won't usually harden enough to produce hanging food. Oscillating fan can help.

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