Why use a siphon?
- No more timer
– You will no longer need nor want a timer to control your pump.
- The cost of the timer
- The risk of timer failure
- Pump runs continuously
– Pumps that run continuously suffer less wear and tear. This may result in a longer pump life.
- More aeration
-If you are diverting part of your water stream back into your fish tank for aeration, using a siphon to drain your beds will increase the aeration you deliver to your fish tank (since aeration based on diverting a portion of the water stream only works while your pump is running).
- Educational opportunity
A bell siphon is loaded with basic physics. This creates a great opportunity to teach students about partial vacuums, low pressure, pressure equalization, the impact of flow rates on siphon performance, and the force behind it all – gravity. In fact, you can watch the video of Alan teaching a class of fourth graders about the cool physics in siphons.
How does it work?
Starting from the point of a drained grow bed, the grow bed will fill with water. When the water level reaches the top of the stand pipe inside the Bell, water will start running through the siphon and out through the Drain Pipes and into your tank. Soon, the siphon will fire. At this point, the water in your grow bed will be rapidly drawn through the siphon and the water level in your grow bed will rapidly drop all the way to the base of your grow bed. When this happens, air will enter the Bell through the slits at the bottom of the Bell, and the siphon will begin to break. When the siphon breaks, water will stop flowing through the Drain Pipes. Since the pump is running continuously, water will immediately begin to fill the grow bed and the cycle will repeat indefinitely.