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Water is pumped from the fish tank to the grow bed. It then drains through the media and back into the fish tank. This type of system needs an irrigation grid consisting of pipes placed over the grow bed to ensure even distribution of water, otherwise most of the media will stay dry.
Flood And Drain
There are three types of flood and drain aquaponics systems:
- Basic Flood and Drain
- CHIFT PIST
- Sump Tank Two Pump
Basic Flood and Drain
In flood and drain aquaponics systems water is pumped from the fish tank into the media filled grow beds, which are allowed to fill up then drain back into the fish tank. The flood and drain cycles are controlled using either an auto siphon, or a timer to operate the pump. This alternate flooding and draining allows oxygenation of the grow beds which is beneficial for the plants, as well as the worms and nitrifying bacteria. Also, because the beds get completely filled there is better nutrient distribution.
CHIFT PIST (Constant Height In Fish Tank – Pump In Sump Tank)
A sump tank is added and the pump is placed there instead of the fish tank. Water is pumped from the sump into the fish tank and flows out through an overflow and into the grow bed, from where it drains back into the sump. The sump tank keeps a constant water level in the fish tank. The sump tank needs to have low sides, but because it needs to have a large volume as well it can be difficult finding a suitable container. Also, the fish tank will have to be raised which means building a very strong stand because of the weight of the water.
CHOP (Constant Height One Pump) –
Basically the same thing as CHIFT PIST. With CHIFT PIST there has not normally been a distinction between the variation where the fish tank drains back to the sump directly and the pump pumps to the grow beds and they might drain to the sump or the fish tank. With CHOP it was normally assumed that the fish tank got the water from the pump and drained to grow beds which drained to the sump.
Sump Tank Two Pump
A second pump is added as well as a sump tank. One pump is placed in the sump tank and one in the fish tank. Water is pumped from the fish tank into the grow beds, from where it drains into the sump. The pump in the sump tank is operated by a float valve so when the water reaches a set level the pump is switched on and water is pumped back into the fish tank. If there is a power failure when the grow beds are full the sump could overflow. If the sump pump fails, this could also lead to the sump overflowing.
Nutrient Film Technique
Plants are grown in small plastic pots which sit in enclosed plastic gutters. Water from a fish tank is pumped into these gutters in a thin film. The roots of the plants are kept in contact with the water so they can absorb nutrients. NFT is only suitable for plants like leafy green vegetables or herbs. This is because there is not enough space to accomodate the root systems of larger plants, and the gutters are only made from lightweight plastic and larger plants are too heavy for them.
Deep Water Culture
Plants are grown on floating foam “rafts” with their roots hanging down into the water. There are two types of DWC aquaponics systems, the most basic type having a single raft floating on top of the water in the fish tank. The other, more commonly used type has a number of rafts floating in long channels through which water from the fish tank is pumped, after first going through a separate filtration system.
The flood and drain media based system is the simplest and most reliable of the different types of aquaponics systems, as well as being very low maintenance. These factors make it the best choice for a home aquaponics system, especially beginners.
Per i nostri impianti abbiamo scelto il tipo CHOP.