View Full Version : New to aquaponics - water recirculation question

02-17-2014, 10:42 AM
Hi All,

I am just getting into aquaponics and I am building a relatively small scale system with two 60L media beds and a 120 L fish tank. It's somewhere to start that is cheap so I can figure out how it works.

I have got the plumbing and configuration all sorted out, but I am confused by the pumping. I am going to build bell siphons into my tanks, as I like the ebb and flow system and it's the easiest for me to create cheaply on a small scale.

However, I assume that in general with aquaponics, the pump is running 24/7 to constantly circulate water...? So If I have 100L of water in my fish tank I want that volume circulated once an hour. I can find pumps online that, when the head is taken into account (I'm pumping up about 4 ft), I'll get about 2L per minute of flow, which is good enough for me.

So I guess my question is, do pumps for aquaponics actually run 24/7? How long do they last, in general? I have read about putting a timer on the pump cycle, but then I don't get the point of having a bell siphon in there.

I can build a system with the flow I want but if my pump craps out after a week of 24/7 because they aren't designed to do that then I want to know that now. But from everything I have read so far, it looks like for ebb and flow systems the pump kind of has to always be running.

Thanks in advance!

Roger L.
02-17-2014, 01:14 PM
You can turn the pump on and off but that is hard on the smaller pumps. I have a 300gph pump that has run 24/7 for a year now. At $25 I bought a spare incase something happens.

02-18-2014, 11:35 AM
A pump rated for continuous use should have no issue running 24/7. I have had a small pump running for about a year with no issues.