Aquaponics 101 – The Bell Siphon
The next step in the process of building your IBC Tote aquaponics system to build the Bell Siphon components. The materials list was included in the previous article.
The Media Guard
The first component is the media guard. The media guard is not part of the bell siphon itself but serves to protect the bell siphon from the media in the growbed. To construct the media guard you need the following:
- 12” length of 6” PVC pipe
- ½” drill bit
With the 6” PVC pipe cut to length, you will drill ½” holes into the pipe. They should be spaced about 2 inches apart vertically, and there should be about eight vertical rows around the pipe.
That is the entire process for this part.
Clean the burrs and rough edges from the holes and the edges of the pipe and set it aside.
The Siphon Tube
To build the siphon tube assemble the following materials and tools
- 7 inches of 1” PVC pipe
- 1 1” female slip joint by 1” male threaded NPT
- 1 1” x 1.25” reducer coupling
There is no need to glue these joints as it may be necessary after you start your system to adjust the length of the siphon tube. Press fit the pieces together for now.
Attach the reducer coupling to the end of the 1” PVC
pipe. Fit the threaded coupling onto
the other end. This is the standpipe for
the bell siphon.
The last part to assemble for the bell siphon is the actual bell of the siphon. For this you will need the following:
- 10” section of 3” PVC Pipe
- 1 3” PVC Cap
- Drill and ½” drill bit
Drill ½ inch holed along the edge of one end of the 3” PVC pipe. Press fit the 3” cap onto the 3” pipe. Don’t cement the cap in place yet as you may need to adjust the height of your bell when you begin to operate your system.
The parts of your bell siphon are assembled. Once the aquaponics system is up and running, you can adjust the siphon standpipe and the bell itself. Once you have it adjusted, if you wish, you can cement the pieces together. We suggest that the only part of the bell siphon that be cemented it the 3” cap on the bell. This joint must be airtight for the siphon to work properly.