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PostPosted: Jul 26th, '16, 03:02 
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I'm new to aquaponics and am planning a small scale set up with a 29 gal aquarium and a couple of plastic boxes as grow beds. I like CHOP 2 because it keeps the fish happy with constant water level, uses just 1 pump, and allows me to arrange the aquarium and plants so they will fit on the shelves I want to use. Here's a schematic of my design. Mostly I'm wondering if the way I'm going to hook up the overflow from the aquarium with the pump feed to the grow beds will work, but I welcome any feedback. I've been doing my research, but I don't have any hands on experience. Thanks!
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Aquaponics Schematic 1 (640x360).jpg
Aquaponics Schematic 1 (640x360).jpg [ 71.6 KiB | Viewed 223 times ]


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PostPosted: Jul 26th, '16, 03:54 
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Welcome to the forum JeanE :wave:


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PostPosted: Jul 26th, '16, 06:01 
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Looks like everybody is happy on the diagram. Let us know how it goes.

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PostPosted: Jul 26th, '16, 06:10 
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Welcome.

The positive pressure from your pump won't allow the overflow from the FT to drain (thats if Im following your drawing correctly. Usually you would pump from the sump tank to the FT which would then overflow into the GB's and they drain back to the sump.

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PostPosted: Jul 26th, '16, 07:18 
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Where is the pump in the system ?
I presume this is a side view and it is a 'rack' of shelves with pump in the sump ?
And how do you propose that the fish tank return works ?

You have 20 Gal of media which is likely to be 15Gal of wet media
(8" but you need to keep water at least 1" below the top of media).
So just keep an eye on your proposed stocking rate (you don't say what type of fish you will be having).
This may not be enough filtering.

I can see possible issue with your plumbing (if this is a side view).
You will lose lift efficiency by having your 'T's low in the return pipe.

depending on how you run the system you may find that your sump is not big enough.
else you must make sure that only 50% of the water can actually leak from the grow beds in case of pump failure.

The drawback of your system is that dirty water ends up in your sump and is recirculated back in to you fish tank without passing through media. So your sump is likely to accumulate crap. The effect of this on Fish Tank would really depend on flow rate/distribution - if most is sump to Fish Tank then you will not get much biofiltering.

One option to stay with that design is to have the top grow bed feeding direct into the fish tank.
The fish tank feeding in to grow bed #2 (middle) and that feeding in to sump.
Then pump from sump back up to Grow bed #1.

[in short I think the plumbing is an issue and may not be efficient, you also have to be very careful as there is possibly a bit of head in the system and that might result in leaking pipes]

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PostPosted: Jul 26th, '16, 08:08 
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Thanks for the info.

I am planning to put the pump in the sump tank. Each grow bed is 10 gal (total volume), so I'm estimating about 5 gal water and 5 gal media for each tank, and the sump tank equals the total volume of water in the grow beds. The pump will operate continuously, and the grow beds will each have an automatic siphon so they will flood & drain. Based on a total system volume of about 50 gal, I was planning a flow rate of 50 gph.

I saw info about CHOP systems with flow from pump split between FT and GB on Bright Agrotech, and I like the concept, but as you note I'm having trouble figuring out the plumbing.

I've considered carrying overflow from the FT to GB 2. Another option is to use a sock filter to catch solids from the fish tank so they don't accumulate in the sump. My understanding is that filtering the solids out would reduce the nutrient to the grow beds- is that correct?

Thanks again for your help.


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PostPosted: Jul 26th, '16, 10:32 
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Is the picture showing a vertical system ?

You are more likely to get 5-6 Gal of water in a 10 gal tub of media.

I suspect that siphons will overload your system a bit.
You may be better of with continuous or a slower drain cycle (eg. with timer)
It would also allow you to keep some water in your sump tank - and is easier to plumb in small tubs.

I suspect that balancing the system flow will be quite hard and it will always 'drift'.

how are you managing the overflow of the fish tank ?


solids = depends on your fish and stocking levels.
If low then fine, else if high then maybe you will overload grow beds and they will be hard to clean.

[edit] Is it viable to put GB2 on top of the fish tank so both GBs above ?

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '16, 17:36 
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You're right that this is a vertical system. I'm still working on the overflow of the fish tank. I could put GB 1 and 2 above the tank, but then the FT with the pretty fishes would be on the floor where I wouldn't see it as well.

Thanks for the info about the solids. I'm going to start with very low stocking rates and gradually add more fish, but I'm going for pretty aquarium and plants more than maximizing production so I'll just be careful not to overwhelm the growbeds.


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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '16, 20:52 
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are you planning grow lights or just natural light ?

I am wondering that you go Sump Pump to GB1 & FT (split flow with a 'T' and ball valve).
GB1 to FT. FT overflow to GB2 with overflow to sump.

You would get a reasonable filtering that way.

your feed to fish tank would be at same height as GB1 (top).
perhaps a 'T' level with the top of GB1.

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '16, 21:11 
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something like this...

Attachment:
Suggestion.JPG
Suggestion.JPG [ 25.41 KiB | Viewed 114 times ]

I would tend to use classic through bottom standpipes in grow beds as any leaks would then not drip on your carpet.

The 'T' would have to be horizontal and then bend downwards in an aeration plunge to FT.
You would need an air hole drilled in bend to stop FT section siphoning.

This would be easiest on you pump and get fairly good aeration in fish tank.

I am wary of U siphons etc so I would get a hole drilled in the side of fish tank for the overflow.
Better safe than sorry - an overflow hole cannot fail and flood you.

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