Aquaponic Gardening

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Demo system on trial run- gotta work out the kinks

Okay... I got the demo system on a trial run.   One problem I am having is that I have some leaks... I've tried twice to fix the with aquarium cement, but still an issue, as there's an area of my grow bed that cracked.   It's a fairly small leak though, and I think I can work with it.   The bigger problem is that I can't get my bell to siphon.   Not sure what I did wrong.    Gotta fiddle around with it some more.    Our 4H gardening clinic is less than a month away now, and I'm getting a little frazzled with the problems.    So gotta put my thinking cap on.    Tested the water I put in yesterday, just to see where our tap water levels are.   High ph, but everything else seems fine.   Haven't got the fish yet.  I have the seeds and grow media, so once I get the kinks worked out of the grow bed, then I can add those.

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Comment by Jim Fisk on March 2, 2013 at 12:55pm

I must add however that if you use Affnan's design principle  It simply doesn't fail. Mine work just as well with an empty bed as full. I love them and it really is easier for a novice than programing. Speaking of which I just picked up a Mitsub. PLC (20-MR) with power board for zip so I am getting ready to perhaps, no promises, try Rob's method. I am so torn between the KISS guy and the geek in me.

Comment by Rob Nash on March 2, 2013 at 10:09am

im with Jim on the siphon, you have to add  the media to get a real test. list your pump size, bed size, and what plumbing parts you made the siphon out of, and im sure we can get your bell to siphon. if not, you can do what the pros do and through it in the scrap pile and go with a timer and perforated stand pipe... works every time with out fail.

Comment by Jim Fisk on March 2, 2013 at 7:20am

Hi Karen, Good start. It sounds like you don't have the media in your beds yet. If so, don't forget that the media takes up about 2/3 of the volume so you end up dealing with much less water in terms of your siphon working. The media can change everything. With media I bet it will shut off.

Take some pics so we know more of what you are doing so we can be more helpful. We know you know but to help more we need to know

Comment by Karen Matus on February 28, 2013 at 3:06pm

Update:   I moved the drain/bell from the corner to the center of the grow bed, and it does seem to siphon now... only thing is I can't get it to stop siphoning, so I think my holes are too small... going to use a new piece of PVC and make a new bell, with holes along the bottom only, to break the seal, instead of small holes all around the bottom inch.   I think the bigger holes will help break the siphon, once the gb is emptied, and then help it to start anew.    Still have the small leaks, but I'll work on those.   I was more concerned about the bell.

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