Ebb and Flow

by Jeff DeLargie
(London, Ontario, Canada)

I have an Ebb and Flow system (Aquaponics) with Tilapia. I had the ebb and flow working and then put in my grow media. Now my ebb and flow fills, then empties and then I hear the sucking of air and it doesn't fill *eye twitch*

I have a 1" stand pipe then 2 90 deg elbows after it leaves the bottom on the grow bed. The space between the two elbows (My horizontal stretch) is about 6 inches. I have played with that length and found it didn't help.

The bell siphon is 2" and my fill guiard (filter) is 3". With the cap on the bell siphon I have no room for the tube a lot of people put in the goes from the top of the bell siphon and runs down the side. agggg

I have 19 Tilapia, I lost one in a pump accident. :(

Any Thoughts?

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Ebb and Flow

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Aug 25, 2012
Ebb and Flow Bell Siphon
by: Lynn


A siphon has to have standing water in the drain line to work properly. You need like a P-trap in the drain. In my system I use a piece of flex pipe fastened to the bottom of my grow bed drain.

That is bent to form a loop with part of the loop resting below the open end (I do have a 90 degree el on the end to direct the water into the tank below.)

With the flex loop, you can play with the lower portion to get the siphon to continue once it starts. The loop fills with water when the water rises and begins flowing over the top of the standing pipe in the grow bed.

Once the pressure of the overflow builds to the point it pushes the water out the end and starts the siphon. I do not have a small pipe running up the side of of my standing pipe.

If your bell inside diameter is close to the same outer diameter of your standing pipe, you may not get enough flow to sustain the siphon. Good luck.

Aug 24, 2012
Ebb and Flow
by: Larry

Interesting, an Ebb/Flow and Aquaponic combo...

Although it is very hard for me to visualize your system setup, what strikes me is that it worked until you added growing medium.

Maybe that is relevant and not just a coincidence.

I would check the pump strength first and I would check for partial clogs in the pump. It sounds like you may have a lot of particulate matter in your nutrient solution which might block pump flow.

You may have to enclose your pump within a mesh bag to filter out particles.

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