Aquaponics Home System – Part 16: Water Flow Test

It’s time to find out if the Eheim 1260 water pump is working. I didn’t cut off the extra length of the water hoses because I want to be able to adjust the suction and feeding depth in the fish tank and the plant tank, but this turned out to be a problem due to air trapped inside the hoses. I filled up the hoses with water through the feed pipe end near the plant tank but large pockets of air got trapped in the top of my fancy hose loops:

The water pump sounded like it was going to explode any minute since it was pumping half water, half air, so I quickly turned it off again.

I forced the air pockets out by putting pressure on the end of the suction hose:

I had to glue a short piece of garden hose onto a PVC pipe and then connect the pipe to the Eheim suction hose with a hose clip.

Of course this couldn’t hold the pressure initially and the water poured out. The glued part was okay though and with a few more turns on the hose clip I was able push water and air trough the hose system to get a pure water system without air.

The video below shows the running system. It’s a bit dark in the beginning until I move the light:

This is one of the first test I did of the system and as you might have noticed it’s not stable yet which you can tell from the fact that I panic and turn off the power switch after a while 😉 This is when I realize that the plant tank will be flooded in a few seconds! The drain on the plant tank is not fast enough to keep up with the powerful Eheim 1260 pump.

The stand pipe in the plant tank has a series of small holes in it but these can’t keep up at all and the water starts to pour down in the top of the pipe instead. This means that the water level is raised a couple of inches and getting very close to the edge of the tank. This has to be adjusted by drilling even more holes further down the stand pipe as I need the distance in the top the keep the floating mats from blocking the drain.

The very first test I did of the system ended in my own personal aquarium disaster – water on the carpet. (Although the first place in the aquarium disaster contest goes to my brother who managed to break the glass in my sisters aquarium – with water and fish still in it 😀 )

Anyways, the system worked alright when I got the air pockets out, but once I turned off the power and the bubbles and noise faded away, suddenly the water in the aquarium slowly started to spill out over the lowest corner:

Hmm, probably I shouldn’t have put in so much water. I started yelling at my girlfriend to go and get a bucket and a short hose so that I could start emptying the tank. Bucket after bucket, pot after pot, me yelling, my girlfriend throwing water out the window, the kids cheering, and slowly I realized that it was the plant tank that was being emptied into the aquarium.

Crap! A leak in the drain? How in the world?…

Finally the water stopped, and I looked in the plant tank – it was almost empty:

And in the other end:

DOUGH! The water ran backwards through the pump and stopped when the pressure hose couldn’t reach the water anymore.

Are we learning yet?

RTFM.

2 comments on “Aquaponics Home System – Part 16: Water Flow Test

  1. -

    We are looking for Loan, Grant or investors for realization of a commercial Tilapia Fish Farming project in cages in Ghana.
    KINGSMAT–DAN FISH FARMS LTD is a wholly Ghanaian Company that intends to culture a large scale Tilapia farm in cages in the Volta Lake at Oframase near Gyakiti in Ghana.
    The purpose of this message is to request for a working Capital, or an investor who want farm in Ghana to enable our aims and objections in the business to progress and achieve our target of operation.
    We want to do this to help unemployment in the area. If one is interested, the one can contact us through the following Email: tomboyaa@gmail.com,
    We have all necessary documents in supporting the operation of fish Farming in Ghana.
    Thanks
    Danso Kingsley

  2. -

    @Danso: Interesting project. I hope you will get a loan or grant or find an investor – I wish you good luck.

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