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  1. #1
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    Question about Bell Siphon

    I don't really understand the Bell Siphon after looking over multiple ways to make it. Is it possible for me to just have a tube connected to the bottom of my GB that gravity flows down to my FT?

  2. #2
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    Re: Question about Bell Siphon

    Yes, you can make a timed flood and drain with a standpipe up to your max water level and a couple of small holes in the bottom of the pipe for the water to drain through. Then you would put your pump on a timer (most recommended 15 minutes on / 45 minutes off) and it would fill up your GBs and gravity drain out when the pump is off.

    Or you can do constant flood grow bed with a standpipe and your GBs would just always be full of moving water 24/7.

  3. #3
    Moderator badflash's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Bell Siphon

    You don't need to understand it to make one. Once you do, you'll understand it. The thing is so simple we all over think it.
    The best fertilizer is the farmer's shadow

  4. #4
    Members Bioritize's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Bell Siphon

    This man has done extensive work with the Bell Siphon, which blew my mind when I first built one.

    Affnan's Bell siphone

    http://affnan-aquaponics.blogspot.com/

    There is a wealth of experience on his blog and tons of howto's for the siphon.

  5. #5
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    Re: Question about Bell Siphon

    I was asking if I need a Bell Siphon when I'm having a constant flow system. I understand what the siphon does, I just don't really understand how to make it. Was wondering if I could just have a hose connected to the bottom of the GB and have it gravity feed down to the FT.

  6. #6
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    Re: Question about Bell Siphon

    not really,, if you want a constant flood, you still need the water to come up to a level that will be usable to plants.. so if you put a hole on the bottom of the growbed, put a fitting in it, and make a standpipe so that the water level is 3 or 4" below the surface of the gravel, you can just be always pumping, no siphon to worry about, you could make a couple different size standpipes as well.. when you first put your seeds in, you'll want the water to come up to maybe 1" below the gravel surface..
    just put some kind of guard around the standpipe so that you can clear roots or change out the pipe easily

  7. #7
    Aquaponics 101 Oliver's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Bell Siphon

    Quote Originally Posted by keith_r
    not really,, if you want a constant flood, you still need the water to come up to a level that will be usable to plants.. so if you put a hole on the bottom of the grow bed, put a fitting in it, and make a standpipe so that the water level is 3 or 4" below the surface of the gravel, you can just be always pumping, no siphon to worry about, you could make a couple different size standpipes as well.. when you first put your seeds in, you'll want the water to come up to maybe 1" below the gravel surface..
    just put some kind of guard around the standpipe so that you can clear roots or change out the pipe easily
    Now take a mason jar and place it upside down over the stand pipe. Make sure there is no gravel inside it. Place the jar so its opening is about one or two inches above the bottom of the grow bed. This can only be done if the stand pipe is about the same height as the mason jar is deep. Make sure there is one inch or more between the top of the stand pipe (now inside the upside down jar) and the jar's bottom. This allows the water to flow unimpeded by the bottom of the upside down jar.

    You have just created a bell siphon. The bell is the upside down mason jar.

    To improve on the range of flood and drain times, add a funnel (usually a pipe reducer) to the top of the stand pipe (courtesy of Affnan), keeping the total height about one inch below the level of the top of the grow bed media and the bottom of the upside down mason (or whatever) jar.

    The diameter of the stand pipe is important, for it will determine the range of possible siphon times. The flow into the grow bed must match that range in order for the siphon to work. To little flow and the siphon won't start. Too much flow and the siphon won't break, causing the grow bed not to fill.

    For a forty to seventy gallon media (Hydroton) filled grow bed, I have found that a half inch diameter stand pipe is optimum for a fifteen minute cycle time.

    When determining the size of your standpipe based on the above numbers, remember that cross sectional area of the standpipe is a square of the diameter. For example, a three quarter inch standpipe will drain a grow bed in about half the time as a half inch diameter standpipe and will need twice the minimum grow bed inflow for the siphon action to start.

    Oliver
    To measure is to know

  8. #8
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    Re: Question about Bell Siphon

    The guys here are right.

    When I first built my own bell siphon, I'd say that I totally don't understand how it works... I only learned much from watching my system and tweaking it from time to time.

    I found this site to be very useful:

    http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/BIO-10.pdf

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