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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Operational Aquaponics

There is a lot of criticism on the web regarding the operation of Bell Siphons.  Maybe I'm missing something, but the ones that I built and installed using standard instructions from on-line sources are working like a charm.

The Grow Beds fill up with water, the siphon kicks in, and the entire bed is emptied of fluid with a satisfying burp at the end of the cycle.... then the bed starts to fill again.  

The pressure sending the water to the fish tank is really amazing as the water spills out of the 3/4" PVC pipe and splashes into the fish tank causing a nice aeration effect.   Then, like magic, the flow stops altogether as the grow beds are filled to the brim of the siphon.... when the process starts again.

We planted some tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, zucchini and lettuce yesterday, and I swear they grew significantly in just one day.

The only problem thus far is that the water in the fish tank remains a little cloudy due to the dust on the clay grow rocks.  This  seems to be clearing up though.

Next weekend, we add the fish to the system, and finish the vegetable and herb plantings.

Joanne and I have been saving the Keuring K Cups for coffee every morning and the amount of coffee grounds accumulates substantially after a week of so.   I've been sprinkling the grounds around the perimeter of the beds in the hope that this will deter the Ground Hog who wiped out our traditional garden that was located in this same place in just one Ground Hog gluttonous evening.

I still want to trim out the beds in cedar or pine, but all of the major components of this project are now in place as the development phase now morphs into operations.  Looking forward, I have to figure out the best way to deal with keeping this in place during the cold weather months.

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