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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '12, 09:25 
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Hello all,
I would like to get ideas from the group about how to keep the water level in the fish tank (FT)from having dramatic changes during the flood/drain cycle.
I would like to make the FT in-ground, much like a pond, and the grow beds (GB's) raised about 2 ft. to ease the old back.
All that i've seen/read has the FT above the ground and/or above a sump tank.

Jeffrey


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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '12, 09:49 
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Welcome Jeffrey,

I would go with Constant Flood (CF). In other words don't use flood and drain cycles (you don't really need them). Check out this thread as far as performance vs other methods.

http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=8621&hilit=BYAP+test+trial

This method just uses the standpipe and gravel guard without a siphon so the water overflows to the FT through the standpipe at whatever level you set it at. Don't put a hole in the standpipe as you would with a siphon or flood and drain type system. You will have to figure a way to deal with any excess water from rain - usually an overflow from the fish tank to somewhere that it won't do any harm.


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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '12, 13:46 
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Yep, if you don;t want water level changes in the tank, and you don;t want a sump tank, thats about your only choice... Not that it's a bad choice in the first place...

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '12, 19:25 
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Welcome Jeff!

Depending on the sizes your FT might not lose much. I use an in ground pond but of course I'm not currently doing a flood and drain setup. I did have a 180 gallon tub with gravel for the approx 400 gallon FT and since a gravel bed only uses around 40% of water to fill it, the difference in height was not much.

Make sure the pump is raised off the floor of the FT so that when you have a leak the fish aren't killed by pumping the FT dry. I did that once. You can use a vertical pipe for the pump inlet so it pulls crud off the bottom, and if the pipe has a little hole or two near the minimum water line then the pump will stop there when the air from the hole breaks suction. HTH

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '12, 19:58 
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I have a 300 gallon stock tank buried up to its rim, pump up to my gravel filled half barrels with bell siphons, which drains back to the fish tank. The water level fluctuates, but not much. Maybe a couple of inches at any given time. With 8 half barrels, they all flood and drain at different times. With an occasional top up due to slow leaks or natural evaporation, it's fairly consistant.

One pump does all the work. I've pumped all the water out in a HSM or two. Once from a drain pipe coming loose on one of the growbeds. Rainwater fills up the tank to overflowing occasionally. And I've, uh, sorta left the hosepipe turned on and walked away a few times :whistle:

I wanted my system to have a more consistant temp with not much in the way of moving parts or timers, so I buried the tank to put it at the lowest point. Some folks like the FT up high to run directly into their growbeds and have a sump tank. I never liked the idea of all that water being up so high. It's heavy and has to be supported, hence the hole in the ground. Then its easy to check on the water level with just a glance.

Just my opinion.

What are your plans? Got pictures or a diagram?

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Last edited by iammr.bill on Jan 19th, '12, 20:06, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '12, 20:02 
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Thanks for the feedback and the welcome.
I would like to have a pond that is about 1000 gal and 4 grow beds (4'x8'x12'' = 235 gal ea)

Is there a way (non-computer controlled) to have each bed ebb/flow in a series, ie one fill and drain then the next start and so on?
This would then only deplete the FT by 1/4 the bed volume.

Jeffrey


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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '12, 20:30 
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Indexing valves or Spider valves are a way to pump to one growbed at a time. Not sure where you might buy them over here in the US, but there are quite a few people that use them for their larger systems.

Try the Hardware section of this forum

Wish I could be of more assistance, but at least I can point you in the right direction.

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '12, 22:23 
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Quote:
And I've, uh, sorta left the hosepipe turned on and walked away a few times


Been there done that too. :whistle:

And multiple beds with individual siphons is another way as Mr. Bill said. Rarely you will have all of them in sync so the FT is reduced to its volume - 40% of the bed volume, and it takes some time for them go a lot out of phase again, but most of the time you're somewhere in the middle for FT loss.

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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '12, 11:23 
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Looks like I can get the FIMCO 1" 6 outlet indexing valve at the local "big box" hardware store at a suprisingly low $45. The key to its sucess is that you just need to turn the water on/off to switch to the next outlet. So a programable timer can turn the pump on/off and have only one bed flood/drain at a time. This should allow the water level in the fish tank to stay "relatively" level.
Thanks for the input and leads.
I hope to have the system up and running/cycled before the last frost. That means Memorial Day her on the banks of Lake Erie.

Jeffrey


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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '12, 14:15 
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So what are peoples main reasons for not using CF ?

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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '12, 14:27 
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SuperVeg wrote:
So what are peoples main reasons for not using CF ?


Satifying gushing noise.. I came from murray hallams camp before finding this place so thats really the only reason why I have F&D but to tell ya the truth I like f&d :) After coming here and learning more about other ways of doing things I have definately changed my opinion on chop2 though so when I get around to moving gravel and buyings a few new beds I'll go chop 1


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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '12, 15:17 
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CF makes life easy. It takes out a few failure points with syphons and timers etc, also the constant splashing water back to FT provides your aeration.

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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '12, 15:38 
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The flood and drain seemed to have slightly better results in the BYAP test also.

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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '12, 16:09 
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MattySEQ wrote:
After coming here and learning more about other ways of doing things I have definately changed my opinion on chop2 though so when I get around to moving gravel and buyings a few new beds I'll go chop 1

Do you mean the original CHIFT PIST MattySEQ? :wink: Just joking!

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PostPosted: Jan 20th, '12, 16:22 
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faye wrote:
MattySEQ wrote:
After coming here and learning more about other ways of doing things I have definately changed my opinion on chop2 though so when I get around to moving gravel and buyings a few new beds I'll go chop 1

Do you mean the original CHIFT PIST MattySEQ? :wink: Just joking!



Thats the one faye :D its so hard to get used to chift pist after it got revolutionised I wounder if flomedia will have the same effect on new comers that watch his vids hahaha. Its funny you know you buy into chop 2 because your new to ap then you realise chift pist aka chop 1 is more efficent = smaller pump less power and if you decide to have a larger pump its more aeration in the FT and more movement.


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