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PostPosted: Jun 5th, '21, 23:19 
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Hi I am new to aquaponics and plan on building a system this summer I want to be able to see the fish and have the fish at ground level in a raised bed pond (gold fish) and I am not really able to dig a sump into the ground would something like this work :

Ground level raised bed fish tank pumps up to filter's (that's higher than the fish tank) then flows through bio reactor into NFT and drains back into the fish tank

Few things I've considered:
could the sump also be ground level? if i need one ??
maybe a high up distribution tank ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated


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PostPosted: Jun 7th, '21, 23:55 
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I have a system like this that violates "the rules." My fish pond is 900 gallons and is the lowest part of the system. I do not have a sump (the fish pond IS the sump). The pump draws from the center bottom of the round pond and pumps to an RFF. That drains to the growbeds, which then drain to the pond.

Problems to overcome:

The pump macerates the solids making them harder to separate, but I have a 65 gallon RFF that provides a better dwell time and very slow flow and the solids separate well. I wish it was a cone bottom tank, but oh well.

There is very little difference in height between the bottom of the growbeds and the top of the fish pond, so drainage is a bit tricky but it works.

With no sump, the water level in the pond can vary significantly, and was unacceptable with 10 100 gallon growbeds. So I set up a system of motorized valves that alternate between 3 zones - one every 15 minutes. That really helps minimize the change in water level.

Since the pump draws from the bottom in order to pick up the solids, there is a chance to pump the pond dry if there is a major plumbing issue. I put in a float switch and electric replay to shut off the pump if the water level gets too low.

There are other challenges, but these are the primary issues.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jun 8th, '21, 01:39 
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Hi thanks for the reply I don’t plan on having grow beds just NFT so will this help prevent the tank getting low ? Also regarding the solids I plan to use either a swirl or radial then a 2nd filter with sponges to get any finer bits and I was considering a top up tank with a float valve maybe


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PostPosted: Jun 8th, '21, 03:13 
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wolfu5 wrote:
Hi thanks for the reply I don’t plan on having grow beds just NFT so will this help prevent the tank getting low ? Also regarding the solids I plan to use either a swirl or radial then a 2nd filter with sponges to get any finer bits and I was considering a top up tank with a float valve maybe


Remember that when your system is off (like during a power failure) that all the water must be contained somewhere. So if you need to calculate how much water will be in your NFT "tubes" then you will know how much the water level will drop in your tank.

You definitely need a secondary filter for NFT like a MBBR or something - not my area of expertise. I avoid mechanical filters like screens, cloth or sponges because they will clog and the maintenance can be difficult.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jun 8th, '21, 13:22 
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As I’ll be pumping from the fish tank which will be the lowest point during a power failure or pump failure surely the water lvl of the fish tank wouldn’t drop as any water in the system will end back in the tank and then stay there as it’s not being pumped? ?


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PostPosted: Jun 9th, '21, 02:50 
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wolfu5 wrote:
As I’ll be pumping from the fish tank which will be the lowest point during a power failure or pump failure surely the water lvl of the fish tank wouldn’t drop as any water in the system will end back in the tank and then stay there as it’s not being pumped? ?


Correct. The water level will drop while your pump is on. How much it will drop depends on the size of your tanks and how many NFT tubes you are feeding.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jun 12th, '21, 01:36 
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Since I plan to pump from the fish tank what filter would be best I was thinking a swirl then a sponge filter or maybe even combine the two into a single drum before it goes into a moving bed bio reactor

Also if I was to split the pump too pump maybe to s second nft would that also need it’s own filter system too I’m thinking it probably does


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PostPosted: Jun 12th, '21, 02:57 
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NFT requires water with no solids, so any flow to NFT needs to be taken after the filters. Especially if you are pumping from the FT and the solids are ground up into fine particles by the pump. From the RFF I believe you can go to a MBBR then the NFT system, but MBBR and NFT are not my area of expertise.

I use an RFF with bird netting and a matala filter pad on top. I run NFT type tubes on occasion. When I do I a type of MBBR with a 5 gallon bucket, some k1 media and a filter pad on top. Mechanical filters like sponges or floss clog frequently and need a lot of maintenance. They will cause reduced flow, and overflows depending on the design.

_________________
800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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