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 Post subject: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 11:09 
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I'm new to this I'll admit, so with that i was hoping someone could give some insight on examples of multiple grow beds using bell siphons and one fish tank. What is the best way, for you, to flood the beds with doing them all at once and draining your tank and killing your fish. Obviously stacking grow beds would help but what about if they are all level with one another?

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 11:16 
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Welcome to the forum, Brett.
You should be able to pull it off with an indexing valve. Check out TCLynx's threads (lengthy, but amazingly instructional). You could even use the search to pin point just that, but her trials and successes are great way to learn what AP is all about.
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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 13:08 
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So my FT is 300g and i would like to have 300g of GB, using the 1:1 ratio. how many and what size GB would be ideal, 3 100g gb? 6 50g? or does it matter?

Also I kind of wanted to use catfish my family likes them a little more than tilapia, but i hear its hard to get them to self populate, unlike the tilapia which produce like crazy. any thoughts on this?


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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 13:23 
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You generally end up using whatever sized growbed you can find, and don't stress about having to have a 1:1 ratio, stock your fish to whatever growbeds you can get on there.

Even at 1:1 it doesn't empty your fish tank because the water only fills the gaps within the media.

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 13:23 
Suspect you might be right with regards to the catfish Brett... but that's not really a minus... in fact many people running Tilapia have a problem with "too many" fry...

And catfish certainly have a broader temperaute tolerance....

I'm sure TCL will chime in... or give her a PM.... she's used both fish in her Florida systems... and perhaps Bluegill as well..


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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 13:25 
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There would be less plumbing involved with 3 beds vs 6.

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 14:15 
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Go CF :wave1:

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 16:50 
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I am at the moment adding two more 160L black tub growbeds to my greenhouse system that has a 500L fish tank that the beds drain into. At the moment 500L of the growbeds are on autosiphons and one on CF, and the two new beds will have to be CF as well. In fact I am tempted to change the whole system to constant flood and the fish tank level will not change, and I will have a bigger volume of water in the system.
CF is growing stuff just as well as my few flood and drain beds

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 17:35 
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+1

Im lovin converting to CF, growing better than ever and piece of mind goes a long way in my books.

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 20:20 
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Welcome Brett!

One way is if you have multiple beds each with their own siphon, then most of the time they are out of sync and you will be down half the amount if all were full. Sometimes they will all be full though so the system should be OK with that from time to time. Also like EB said gravel beds only need about 40% of their volume in water to fill them so that helps too. Since constant flood seems to be just as good at growing, is so much simpler and allows more water meaning more stability for the same containers then that is the direction people have been going lately. zsazsa in Hungary with the solar greenhouse for example was able to improve humidity conditions in his greenhouse this Winter by doing it instead of flood and drain, so there is that as a plus as well. HTH

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 10th, '12, 21:55 
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Hey Brett,
Welcome to the forum. What part of NC are you in? There are a few people from that state that have systems.

Your welcome to come visit what's left of my system. Small though it is, its still operational.

I run a 300 gallon tank buried in the ground with 8 half barrels filled with gravel (as you stated... All on one level). All of them have bell siphons. Like Dave said, they are out of sync and drain as they will. Fish tank level doesn't fluctuate much. Pump runs constantly. From when I installed it almost a year ago the pump has only been unplugged maybe 5 times. Mostly routine maintenance related.

The bell siphons can be pulled off the drain standpipe, which would turn the bed into CF, but I like to hear the siphons gurgle. So it's a personal choice unrelated to plant growth.

Every system is different, every layout is different, every owner is different. I like thing simple. No timers, indexing valves, sump tanks, float valves, just a single pump.

What are you planning? Have a start yet?

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 11th, '12, 05:42 
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i have not started you, i plan too this may because i will be out of college :D and im curious to know more about this constant flood business, i tried searching for a diagram or something but search told me it was too common a term used :P

i am from and live near wilmington (southport) currently i am in charlotte for school and will be leaving in may.


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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 11th, '12, 05:50 
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Brett, look up DecalsbyJT on here. I believe he's in Wilmington.

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 11th, '12, 05:58 
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Wow, your right on the coast line. Well, JT down in Wilmington would be the guy to see. His system is hand built and he has had workshops and public viewings.

edit: Oops, I see Jimbo beat me to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Multiple Grow Beds
PostPosted: Feb 11th, '12, 05:59 
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Constant flood is the same setup you would have with siphons but with no bell. The water level stays constantly full in the beds.
I think its best to have a 7mm or so hole near the bottom of the standpipe to draw water from the bottom as well as the top. Also you can put an open bell (no cap) over the standpipe and this forces the water to be drawn up from the bottom of the bed. I have a mixture of both

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