Aquarium system 3

Breeding-room

Breeding-room

I can say that the aquarium Aquaponics system did work, as an aquaponics system. However, it didn’t work very well for breeding tilapia. See, tilapia like warmer temperatures for breeding and I didn’t want to heat the aquarium.

Small-AQ-link

Small-AQ-link

no-holes-overfow

no-holes-overfow

Now on to No Holes Overflows. These things seem to get the aquaponics crowd excited every so often but the truth about them is, they require regular attention to keep them primed. A no holes overflow is essentially a water bridge or siphon that has a water trap at each end. It is even possible to to set the fish tank end up as a venturi drain or what most people now call a SLO or solids lifting overflow. I have used No holes overflows but as I noted, they need to be regularly re-primed or have all the air that tends to collect the in top of them sucked out somehow or they will quit working and there will be a problem. Wet floors and burned out pumps are just one part of it. If you can manage any other way, don’t do the no holes overflows unless you will be checking them every day.

No-holes-SLO

No-holes-SLO

Most Backyard or home aquaponics systems are occasionally going to be left for a weekend or long holiday and one can’t expect the neighbor to deal with re-priming the no holes overflows.

I used the no holes overflows on my aquarium aquaponics systems for a while and I’ve tried the little air check valves to be able to suck the air out.  Unfortunately, the check valves also fail and when they do, they cause the no holes overflow to fail even faster.

About the only way I would recommend this method would be with the clear aquarium U bend siphons with the boxes on either side so one could simply uncover them and see if there is an air bubble forming in them each day and re-prime them when needed.  However, by the time one spends money on all that, ya might as well have gotten the glass cutting hole saw and cut a proper hole for a simple overflow fitting.

SLO-outlet

SLO-outlet

2 comments to Aquarium system 3

  • Frederickjh

    Just wondering if you would care to comment on the reliability of the hose loop siphon that you have in the picture above for the five 5-gallon bucket grow bed unit?

    I am starting a small inside system like this but am consdering using a swivel valve as Affnan calls it. Affnan has some videos of it in this post.

    It is basically the same design but using pipe instead of tubing and has the restriction to help start the siphon. Did you have any problems with roots clogging the drain pipes on this system? Just wondering as it would not be easy to access them and clean them without a properly designing them to be able to do so.

    What size pipe did you use for the connection between the buckets? Did you put anything in the bottom of the buckets to help drainage/flow into/between the connecting pipes?

    Thanks again for your time and help!

    • TCLynx

      The aquarium system only grew small plants and only ran for about a year as it was in that picture so I never experienced root clogging problems.

      I did have a gravel guard going down to the connection with the loop siphon so I could check for roots and make sure it was working.

      I used 1 1/2 inch pipe to connect the buckets together and I did put some plastic grating over the pipe inside the bucket to hold the gravel back a bit and allow better drainage. Worked well for small flows like from an aquarium pump.

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