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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '08, 02:57 
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Is this possible with siphonining and hydrostatic pressure? (If anyone could explain hydrostatic pressure in english that would be wonderful too, but I think I understand the basics)

You could siphon to a sump-like tank and then use hydrostatic to pull water back to the system/fish tanks (maybe even create a tube that expands to convert from hydrostatic to siphon if needed). Kind of sounds a lot like a perpetual motion machine, but I was curious if it was at all possible.

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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '08, 04:25 
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FG,
I had an idea to use a tall tank and air pump to raise water.

The air would be pumped into a captive tank and the water would be expelled.
I am working on a float and valve control at this time .

The problem is I have too many irons in the fire and I have to be careful not to get burned ( lack of funds stop everything cold ) :shock:

I'll send a post if the idea works.

At this time I'm using conventional technology to get a small system running.

A bathtub and a growbed . It just doesn't get any better than this.


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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '08, 04:46 
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I used to use air to pump water , then I switched to a pump, soon Im going back to air. The pump moves more water with less power, but with air I had alot less clogging problems.

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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '08, 04:47 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Since nothing is "perfect" I doubt that you could run a system entirely without some outside input of energy to lift water. As in there is always some losses so the fall of the water from the siphons is probably not enough energy to lift an equivalent amount of water up as high as the siphon dropped it.

That said, the energy input into a system does not necessarily have to be electrical or high tech. If you happen to have some flowing water or wind on hand, you might be able to use it to help you lift your system water.

Another option might be manual lifting or pumping of water into a header tank that slowly drains throughout the day through the system. This would not provide much aeration and stocking density would have to be pretty low but it might be an option though it would require a very large header tank.

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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '08, 06:45 
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In my nutrient tank for my hydroponic system I had a wind wheel to keep the water mixed. If you wanted to use the wind to pump water there are ways but you still need power as a back up to keep the system going. And keeping oxygen in the water would be a problem. A windmill that kept a header tank filled all the time and then siphon from there could work. Might have to look into that myself I've got a windmill thats doing nothing.

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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '08, 02:17 
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amish wannabe wrote:
FG,
I had an idea to use a tall tank and air pump to raise water.

The air would be pumped into a captive tank and the water would be expelled.
I am working on a float and valve control at this time .

The problem is I have too many irons in the fire and I have to be careful not to get burned ( lack of funds stop everything cold ) :shock:

I'll send a post if the idea works.

At this time I'm using conventional technology to get a small system running.

A bathtub and a growbed . It just doesn't get any better than this.

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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '08, 02:19 
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Amish,
Where in Indiana are you exactly?

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '08, 05:53 
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I have been waiting for someone to ask that question.
I live in the north central part of Indiana.
50 miles west of FT. Wayne , 14 miles north of Wabash , aprox. 3 miles west of North Manchester. I'd give you my GPS numbers if I had one. BUT........

It's tough enough just to type and pedal at the same time.

Just kidding , :D

I,m not really amish though.
While working at a factory a guy gave me that nickname. I told him about raising my own food and growing heirloom varieties.
Now, I see here that there are some sensible people in the States and in Aussieland too.
Hey- I could be an aussie wannabe.


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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '08, 07:50 
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I grew up in valporaiso.

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '08, 11:27 
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Here's something to think about .

You know a good share of the old toys used a windable spring .

The old clocks had a spring or had weights to crank up for power.

An AP system needs to move water air or both.

What about using a garage door spring to power a pump .
Winding it once or twice a day .

I'd have to feed the fish anyway.

The bad part is that timers. and other elec. controls couldn't be used.

Or , a large weight maybe a few hundred pounds with a governor , or brake .

A few years ago I tried raising fish in an old root cellar . I filtered the fish water through washed sheeps wool before the biofilter.

The wool was in emptied fiberglass softner tanks . When the wool plugged I switched to another tank and sealed the dirty one . In a few weeks I had methane .
Maybe connect a truck tire to it (storage)and it may help heat water.?

The fatal mistake I made was the fish tank and piping had no insulation.
The biofilter got too cold and the plants got frosted. This was in Dec. ( near 0 temp.)

We tore out the root cellar and put up a small greenhouse . Maybe now we'll get it right.

I'm not sure a pumpless system can be done ?

Another thing is steam power or stirling engines , maybe electrostatics ?


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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '08, 15:02 
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A pumpless system hmmm....

Although you may do away with a pump, you do need energy input somehow though - that means something else that lifts water that's not a pump... but such a thing by definition is a pump.

TClynx has explained things well. Here is another one from me:

The simplest thing that keeps water going around : Swirl your hand into a bucket of water to create a little whirlpool. Water keeps moving around.
But because (virtual, invisible?) layers of water rub against the walls of the bucket, and each other, the layers in the whirlpool slow down and eventually it stops swirling.
So you have to provide an external energy source to keep the whirlpool going.

Now water flowing from sump to tank and tank to sump - that is a little whirpool. It will, left on its own, come to a stop because the water rubs against the walls of the sump, tank, pipes and why even the biofilm-lined gravel and plant roots. It even rubs againts the air as it sprays into the fishtank for aeration.

So again you need some kind of energy input to keep the whirlpool going. It may not be an electrical pump or anything that even resembles a pump on first glance, but something, yes.


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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '08, 16:18 
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How about using displacement?
Lower a large mass into a fishless sump (to save squishing the fish) linked to the fishtank via a one way valve (tank to sump only) to displace X amount of water to the growbed via another one way valve (sump to growbed only). Raising the large mass allows the water to drain from the bed back to the fishtank. The one way valve in the growbed forces the flow to go to the fishtank via another outlet or auto syphon etc.
In effect its a piston pump but the energy needed to lift the mass from the sump would be counterproductive..maybe adding a sliding counterweight would make it easier.

There`s just no way around the energy input issue..it has to come from somewhere :wink:


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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '08, 18:04 
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Perpetual motion is the way of the future, if someone could just get the damm thing to work. :shock:

Wind power, solar power or good donkey chasing a carrot tied to a wheel. At the end of the day a pump does not use a great deal of power. The local fish shop has a pump and air for each tank in the place and his power bill is not that big. only other way I can see is haveing the GB using a floating or wick system above the fish and then you would want to give them a little current and o2 anyway. Good luck with it. :)

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '08, 20:24 
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A wick set up might be able to grow plants for you but it won't do much to bio-filter the water for the fish.

So some searching for "rope pumps" this may be the low tech type of pump for some one wanting to lift water without electricity. They can be hooked to windmills that don't need very much wind to work and can be built pretty cheap. Could also hook up as a bike crank pump and get the daily work out moving water from the sump up to the header tank or something. Angie had a picture in the internation aquaponic task team thread with alternating, cascading fish tanks and grow beds that might make a pretty good design for a manual pumped low tech system provided the start of the circle was a header tank and the end of the circle was a sump tank.

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '08, 23:33 
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Hi FG:

I was wondering about mechanical-only AP in this thread, springs and air bladders came up:

viewtopic.php?p=79753#p79753

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