Aquaponics Drain Version 2

I made lots of progress on the aquaponics system today.  I found some native gravel that I think will work OK.  It has lots of different shapes, some smooth, some rough, and in general the size is between 1/2″ and 1″.  ($50/yard)  It is very dirty, with lots of the river sand/mud still in the rock.  I tried to wash it out as I shoveled it from the pickup, but there is still lots of mud in with it.  I read that someone else left their gravel dirty because they didn’t like the idea of wasting all the water, and that it cleared up in a few weeks after the growbed settled down.  My original drain leaked, and I dropped a rock down the drain.  I took it all apart and made a few changes.  I replaced the metal close nipple with a plastic PVC piece, so now there are no metal parts anywhere.  I also drilled out the slow drain holes to 3/8″.  I also added a debris trap so that other rocks dropped into the drain should not make their way into the main drainpipe.  (you can unscrew the plug in the bottom periodically to clean it out)  I plumbed in the pump with a union for easy removal and a bypass valve I can use to lower the flow going to the growbed if I need to.

Trench to locate pipes underground

Picture 1 of 5

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2 Responses to Aquaponics Drain Version 2

  1. Brian says:

    Drain size is sufficient, it keeps up with the pump. Filled growbed full of water, nothing broke apart, nothing leaked.
    ?45 minute drain time
    ?20 minute fill time

  2. It was a bad idea to hard-pipe the drain. It needs some flexibility to account for settling! see more: http://blog.briangallimore.com/2011/09/aquaponics-drain-considerations/

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