High Water Level Siphon Outlet - 24 hour Update

This is a video update after 24 hours of siphon outlet installation.

Since then I had installed another 3 sets for my growbed.

The fishes are happier too now with higher water than I normally have in my fish tank.

New Challenge - High Water Level Siphon Outlet

Been thinking all night yesterday and today I made another outlet for this high level situation on my Aquaponics system. If you don't have same high water problem its not required for your installation.

I use Tee join and an aerator tongue to give aeration and cutting siphon without problem. Photo below is the items require for making it.

From left: 25mm/1" PVC pipe with holes drilled in it, the length is up to you. 15mm PVC pipe about 4 inches cut diagonally with holed end cap on the end. 20~25mm adapter to hold the 15mm PVC pipe, you can use other means to hold the 15mm pipe. and a 25mm Tee.
Photo above the 15mm PVC jammed into the adapter.  Below the attachment installed to siphon outlet.
As below siphon activated bubbles and cut off with little problem.
Below is the video of this attachment and how its made.

So far its good I am monitoring it closely for this next few days.

Attach is diagram of the siphon outlet.

With this last bit, I guess my siphon is complete from top to bottom.


New Pump - Astro 2000

My old Astro 2000 pump is not at its best any more. It need a new impeller due to the spindle is worn and making it difficult to start.

What's needed is this piece,  it retail for RM 20.00 thats about USD 6.25. Visit my trusty Aquarium shop and bought one for the pump model.
They give me this.. as below, it for Astro 2000 same model I have. Took it home its don't fit.
Upon close inspection its slightly different, spindle is made of different material, the old one is of metal and the spare made of ceramic and longer. Check with the shop whether its possible to cut it to fit, well its not a good idea that ceramic spindle can break if cut.

Below photo of the two side by side.
Same model but have different spindle and different impeller, why so. The shop owner said its the revised version and better due to the ceramic spindle is very resistance to wear.

Reluctantly I have to buy a new pump and maybe I could do something to the old and make it serviceable again. So the damage is RM 50.00 or about USD15.60 for the pump and get a refund for the impeller piece.
Well the pump looks identical, and no noticeable different physically that I can see. On inspecting its decal at the back there are different in specification.
The new one rated at Wattage : 26.6 Watt,HMax : 1.75 meter and QMax : 1540 litre/hr and the old one Wattage  : 19.8 Watt, HMax : 1.33 and QMax : 1660 litre/hr

Something don't look right, the new one is higher rating it can only deliver higher but at a lower volume flow. I guess for the same height the new one should deliver more other wise its a waste of that extra wattage.
I'm thinking of making it into aeration pump for my tank.

BTW Astro 2000 pump work with either one or two growbed with 25mm/1" siphon installed. If your growbed is big like 3x6 or larger its best to use it on only one growbed.

Example of pump usage : Here

New Challenge

I don't easily give up.. so I set myself with a new challenge. 

From my previous post all know that my growbed is comparatively low to highest water level in my tank to the point its almost give no aeration to the tank as photo below.

So above condition as baseline, I need to make the most of this condition to aerate the tank. 

This is the highest water level in my fish tank and that's the shortest initial down vertical for the siphon outlet I can afford without readjusting water in flow.

The goal will be to achieve better aeration without compromising siphon operation. If this fail the the growbed have no other choice but to go on bricks

I am open to any suggestion.

Hi From Mike

These few video from Mike 

Hi Affnan

Utilising Bernouli's principles, I wondered if there was a simpler way to create a siphon.   Using the spirit of recycling, I tried plastic water and soft drink bottles. I come from a flying background so the principles of flight are well known it me.

Also I'm trying to work out which way is better, to have the grow beds (3 x 500 litre) higher than the fish tank (3000litre), or the reverse (using a sump tank), what are your thoughts on the matter ?

Attached is the first of 5 mini movies.

Great effort on your blog !

 The second of 5

The 3rd of 5.

The 4th of 5.

The final of 5.

They're not in the correct order, but hopefully show the principle using simpler materials.  Following the test all items will be re-used in my AP setup, and all it would have cost is 1 old bucket !



Thanks Mike for the videos.

On setup, whether 3 x500 litre growbed higher than fish tank or using sump tank which will work out better. In my opinion its depend on your installation.

Growbed over fish tank is simplest but do have it limitation, in term of size and height. Using sump you could have the growbed lower, but this may require additional pumps unless you design it like the CHOPS.

All in all, both way works and you could have combination of both once you expand the system.


Aeration - Trying to get the most from siphon outlet - Part 4 - Final

Part 1 : Here
Part 2 : Here
Part 3 : Here

High Water Problem

This post to show the problem I am facing during water high situation on my set, with this situation I'm figuring out how to get the most in silencing and aerating the fish tank.

Its a difficult task to do, I only have few inches clearance to gets things done. As did by thanson77 on his Youtube comment, he angle the perforated pipe for his installation. I will try this approach and see how it goes.

Photo  of the siphon outlet at high water point.
Siphon flushing at highest water point.

This is video of the situation.

I tried replacing the threaded adapter photo below after the growbed with a threaded elbow. It make the siphon outlet higher than water level but it fail in cutting off the siphon.

Below the threaded elbow. It effectively reduce the 1st vertical down drop by 2.5 inches.
This reduce drop from growbed to first elbow cause it to fail cutting off the siphon.

With the threaded adapter and elbow, the initial drop is at about 6 inches minimum, after replacing it with the threaded elbow it reduce to about 3.5 inches.

Guess I'm threading on Siphon Tuning now, well we learn something everyday.

I end the silencing and aerating part of siphon here, because those I have tested work and the only problem now with higher than normal water. This should be dealt with on another topic, like siphon tuning.


Aeration - Trying to get the most from siphon outlet - Part 3

Part 1 : Here
Part 2 : Here
Part 4 : Here

Another few hours of fiddling with down spout to get the most out of siphon, finally I arrive at one type best suited for my installation. Others will be differ from my requirement and if you need to make a silencer/aerator one of the design should suit your purpose.

Before that,, let see all type made and tested.. some can be a bit bizarre and some are simple.

This one below as yesterday's post copied from aquarium pump aerator, is a capable aerator., and this photo is its in action.
Next the 50mm adapter shrouded down tube, its a straight 50mm down tube without any inner tube of smaller diameter. It works in aerating the tank.
Then I made the 50mm with venturi pump.
And lets not forget the first silencer, its the simplest and it work but not as silence as those above.
Now the weird and bizarre derivative of above. First the 50mm shroud with inner aeration tube. It work but not significant to put all labour on those extra holes.
Photo below is it in action. You cannot tell much from outside from the basic shrouded. 
I did try varying its internal tube length, not much change in it output, so not worth the experimenting.
Another variation.
Then I change the inner tube with this one, having small aerator tube sticking in it.
The small aerator are made from air tube joints, and it work as aerator but not worth the extra work putting in it.
This is it in action, look no differ from the previous.
Things starting to get weirder now, I stick another smaller adapter within the 50 mm adapter, its a 25~32mm adapter.
It flush and still nothing to shout about in comparison to previous.
Another weird one, this time I stick more aerator tubes around the adapter neck, hoping the down flow will give aeration and better mixing when it hit these small tubes.
It so weird it deserve a second take of photo.
Those black aerator piece are made from tube connector that normally obtainable from garden supplies.
It works but again, not worth the extra effort putting into making it. Siphon cut off is a bit slow on this one I have to drill extra holes on the adapter shoulder.
Finally I made this one, a hybrid merging the in-line aerator with a 50mm shrouded silencer. It look like a Bazooka to me.. this hybrid Bazooka is made for a reason.
The reason I made the Bazooka is, testing of all those various aerator/silencer was done with low water. I need to test it again with high water.

On my set, the high water is about 7 inches below the growbed... this is when the overflow occur.
This is the problem with my set, the high water is only 7 inches from growbed and most of the time I have to drain out water in order not to block siphon outlet causing it to be unreliable.

If your high water point is 1 ft or more from growbed then you will not experience any of the problem I had. 

All type of siphon outlet fail the high water test except the Bazooka... it work in cutting of the siphon, all other fail in cutting off the siphon.
Photo above you can see the water level is reaching the drain point and the Bazooka work.. the best part is I don't need a double elbow for its installation. Its a straight down tube without any elbow.
Another photo of the Bazooka... 

And the winner is in my test...... 

The BAZOOKA..... :)..


 I should not claim victory too soon for this, after about 3 to 4 hours of usage in high water level it too shows sign of unreliable operation.

I drain about 3 inches of water out the tank, so now there's roughly 10 inches of water and I am switching back to double elbow with  either 50 mm shroud down spout or the 25mm down tube with holes.

I guess with such high water level and very low clearance between the growbed bottom to water level... I still need to figure out what's work.

Most people will not have this problem, if all else fail I will then need to rise the growbed by a few inches.

One area that I overlooked is as water level in tank increase, so does the water flow into the growbed. This is due to the distance to lift water into growbed is less hence reducing back pressure and increase flow.

This have to be look at to.... so back to the drawing board... so in the mean time I use this for safety... because as long as there are holes expose above water level this one work.

After much thinking this is the siphon situation for my growbed, to make it silent and with aeration. Its a sketch I need to figure out how to make it to within my set limitation, that is 7 inches growbed to max. water height with siphon functioning at that close distance.
Below is another method I need to try, instead of putting the in line aerator vertical, put it horizontal. This arrangement should reduce the overall length of down spout.

Organic Repellent

Went to Tesco yesterday and on the shelf there is this Organic Repellent. Label said its safe and non poisonous, this can be ideal for Aquaponics.

So I bought one and will give it a go, if it is what it said to be then I have no more worried about bugs and all. It will not kill any bugs it just repel it.
If it works then Perfect.. !!

Aeration - Trying to get the most from siphon outlet - Part 2

Part 1 : Here

Part 3 : Here
Part 4 : Here

Made few more aerator and testing it..

The first one, the one that I copied aquarium pump method. I use "T" join but with a smaller junction of 15mm and 25mm main pipe, I need the 15 mm part of the "T" for the aerator "tongue" and see photo below how its made.
Cut diagonally a 15mm pipe and make a slit as shown, the slit is to enable the 15mm pipe to be inserted all the way in the "T" as photo below showing the Trailing Edge tongue.
The aerator use 25mm pipe and attached it after the double elbow and photo below show it aerating during a flush cycle. Its make less noise if compare to the one with many holes down tube.

Not bad, aeration is okay but then I need to make another different and probably simpler.

This time I use 25mm ~ 50mm reducer to make use of 50mm pipe as an oversize down tube, as photo below.
I drilled 3 holes on the reducer slanting surface to facilitate aeration. Without this hole aeration will be at minimum and flush will not start.
Completed aerator is attached after double elbow and photo below show it in action. Aeration good and its almost silent.

Not satisfied with above I make another variation with a venturi, hoping to get that extra boost of aeration. Photo below is a derivative of above with  additional two 25 ~ 50 mm  reducer arranged to make a venturi pump.
The venturi pump part (the waist) suppose to provide extra suction drawing more air into the mixing. The 3 holes on the top reducer is still same no change and its mounted at same location.

Photo above shows it in action, its very difficult to see which is better between these two. But the one without the extra reducer is cheaper and easier to make. Noise level is same, almost silent.

I left the one with the venturi pump on my growbed since that the one last made. On my installation I need the double elbow since the water drop is not deep enough to do the effective siphoning cut-off with these 3 setup.

If you have the height and put a slight restrictor before the aerator it should work without double elbow.

Between all 3 above I like the second unit since its the easiest to make, but the last made with the extra reducer, its shows giving extra aeration. No figure to support above test purely base on visual comparison.

Noise level has been reduce tremendously by all three design and I'll stick to using above designs for my siphon outlets.