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Pump Flow


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Old 11-23-2015, 05:19 AM
MickR33 MickR33 is offline
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Default Pump Flow

Hey i have a problem with my setup, i have a main resivor and tgat connects to 2 other tubs, i have a pump in the resivor which has a 19mm hose going to the first tub and then continuing to the second tub which has an elbow pointed down and a short piece of pipe going down into the tub, the first tub has a t piece with a short pipe going down into the tub as well so its like this

res>------|-------------|
t piece -> | elbow -> |

the problem is the pump only gets water flowing into the first tub and doesnt make it to the secong tub, i wanted this so i can circulate water from the resivor to both tubs but its not working how i thought, my thoughts are that it is because the t piece is pointing down so gravity and lack of pressure stops it from making it to the second tub.
What are your thoughts on this and what could i do to fix it, i dont think i would want to have it circulating too fast so that means i wouldnt want more water pressure, maybe if i pointed the t piece upwards and then bend the pipe down?
Please help

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Last edited by MickR33; 11-23-2015 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 11-23-2015, 05:50 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello MickR33,
I'm sorry I don't understand what your trying to say. I get that water is only flowing to one tank and not the second, and you mention a "T" and elbow connector, but I just cant picture what your trying to say. I see the picture, but I don't really understand what I'm supposed to be seeing in it. I see a T connector and some tubing, but don't know anything about what's connected to it, how the water is supposed to be flowing through them, what type of system it is, or even how the system is set up.
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:58 PM
MickR33 MickR33 is offline
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yeah i thought it might be hard to understand, i will draw it up and take a photo and try explain it better, thanks for letting me know
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Old 11-23-2015, 11:35 PM
MickR33 MickR33 is offline
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here is a quick drawing
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:47 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Ya, I can see how that wouldn't work if you were trying to divide the water flow to both tubs evenly. I have a couple suggestions, but first I want to ask a few questions:

1. What is the lower solid line between the too tubs and reservoir supposed to be? Is that supposed to be a return line?
2. Also are these tubs supposed to have water in them all the time?
3. Is the water level in the reservoir supposed to be the same level as in the tubs? Or is the reservoir actually lower than the two tubs?
4. What kind of system is this supposed to be (a recirculating water culture system, flood and drain system, NFT system etc.)?
5. Do you have an overflow tube to keep the water from overflowing the two tubs?
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 11-24-2015 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 11-24-2015, 03:17 AM
MickR33 MickR33 is offline
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Very good questions you have, ok the botton lines between the tubs are 32mm piping that connects them all together so the water level is always the same in each tub and resivor are are even, so the 19mm top tubing is just used to circulate the water to the tubs from the resivor to keep it fresh, and yes there is always water in them. The setup actually has another tub on top of tub 1 and 2 that has rockwool slabs in then and the bottom of those tubs is like a mesh so the roots and water can come out the bottom into the bottom tubs, i have another pump with another 19mm tube running to the top tubs that had little drip tubes feeding the plants.
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:20 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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OK, I wasn't sure but I thought that might be how you have it set up. What you have is a recirculating water culture system. I can see two simple ways to fix your problem. The first is to change your T connection around like I show in the first attachment. That will equalize the pressure to both sides. Try and keep the length of tubing to both sides/tubs close to the same length. They don't need to be exactly the same, but you don't want one side 8 inches long and the other side 3 feet long.

The other option that I show in the second attachment is to simply bypass the middle tub altogether. If you pump from the reservoir all the way to tub 2 bypassing tub 1, all the water still needs to pass through tub 1 to get back to the reservoir. Making one continuous circulating loop.

Either way there may be the possibility of the tub's overflowing if the return tubes (32mm piping) cant handle the amount of water volume your pump is putting out. I realize your return piping is almost twice as big, and that's great because it needs to be. Even if you haven't experienced it backing up so far, once you change it, you may get more water volume from the pump than you did before. So you just want to keep an eye on it for an hour or two, and if it doesn't start backing up by then, it wont unless your return lines somehow get clogged with debris.

If it does start backing up just reduce the water volume from the pump. Either by a adjusting a valve on the pump if it has one. Or install a ball valve in the water feed line from the pump to the tub's and close it off some.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 11-24-2015 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:34 AM
MickR33 MickR33 is offline
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wow thats very good information and superb diagrams, what i didnt add in the picture was that there is also a 32mm pipe going from tub2 all the way back to the resivor as well so it is like a big loop. I like your idea about putting a t at the pump and running 2 hoses so that way it should split it evenly, what about if i turned the t on tub1 upside down and so the hose is facing upwards and then bending the hose around and pointing down, im using the very fexable black hose so its not the stiff type, that way the water would have to push upwards to get it into tub1 and it should get the pressure by the time its flowing into tub2.
Thankyou so much for your reply you are very helpful and i aopreciate it mate
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Old 11-24-2015, 03:02 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
what about if i turned the t on tub1 upside down and so the hose is facing upwards and then bending the hose around and pointing down
Then you will have the same problem, just with the other tub. Water takes the path of least resistance. Even if you had lots of pressure from the pump, the water will fallow the low path.. That's exactly why the water went in tub 1, and not tub 2. Even though your T connector was set so there was a straight line going to tub 2, the side going to tub 2 was facing down, and water flows down hill. Even if you turned it sideways so both outlets were level, you will have uneven water flow because water takes the path of least resistance. It will fallow the straight path before it turns a 90 degree corner. That's why you need to change how the water goes into the T connector to equalize the pressure. So both lines going to the Tub's (1 and 2) need to take the same 90 degree turn to get it to work.

The only way to get the water to flow uphill that way is if the line from tub 1 to tub 2 is smaller than the line from the pump going to the T connector, thus causing back pressure between the pump and T connector. But good luck getting it to flow evenly that way, you'll still likely wind up with one side getting more water flow than the other. You may be able to do it if you install a ball valve between tub 1 and tub 2 so you can adjust the size of the opening the water can flow to going to tub 2. But all that time, effort, and extra parts just make it more complicated for no reason.

Just remember the two rules,
1 Water flows down hill
2. Water will fallow the path of least resistance

Quote:
what i didnt add in the picture was that there is also a 32mm pipe going from tub2 all the way back to the resivor as well
So if I understand correctly, the 32mm return pipe from tub 2 does NOT go through tub 1 on it's way back to the reservoir. Instead, you have one 32mm pipe from tub 1, and one from tub 2 each going back to the reservoir separately. So each tub has it's own direct return back to the reservoir. If that's the case the second option I gave you wont work because you don't have the return going through tub 1.

If I have it wrong and do have it like you drew up, but mean you also have a second return from tub 2 that runs directly back to the reservoir as well as the one going through tub 1. You can cap off the one from tub 2 going directly back to the reservoir, thus diverting it and forcing all the water to flow back through tub 1 on it's way back to the reservoir like intended in the second option I gave you.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 11-24-2015 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:28 PM
MickR33 MickR33 is offline
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Thankyou for such a quick and helpful post again, yeah the tubs are all houned together with 32mm hose like in the photo i just added, thats a top view obviously and thats just for the bottom layer, tub 1 & 2 have another tub on them with a rockwool slab in it like in the other photo i just added. Yes i see what you mean about water following the path of least resistance, it will only goto tub1 and when i want i just block the hose on tub1 to get it to flow to tub2, but im going to just add another pump and hose so the reservoir will have a direct pump going to tub1 and another one going straight to tub2. Any idea how fast i want the pump to be pumping into the tubs to circulate the nutrient solution? the tubs are 45ltr ones i think and the pump i have at the moment i think is just a 350ltr an hour pump and i have it turned to maximum.
Thankyou so much for your time mate.
I also have a few questions about the drip feed if your up for it lol
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Old 11-27-2015, 08:31 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello MickR33,
You can use two pumps if you want, but for me that's waste. Not only is it a waste of electricity running two pumps instead of one to do the same job, doubling the electrical cost. But it's also a waste of materials. Instead of having two pumps tied up in one system, two pumps could be running two different systems. If you designed it like in either option I gave you, there would be no need for a second pump.

Quote:
Any idea how fast i want the pump to be pumping into the tubs to circulate the nutrient solution? the tubs are 45ltr ones i think and the pump i have at the moment i think is just a 350ltr an hour pump and i have it turned to maximum.
There isn't any real defined standard for circulating water or air. Circulating more or less just means not remaining still/in one place. But I typically use a standard rule of thumb "1 hour" for calculating circulation. Meaning to circulate the entire volume in 1 hour. For water once an hour, for air 5 times per hour. Here your circulating water, so I wont go into calculating for air. You say your tub's are 45 liters (about 12 gallons) each. So I would want circulate the entire 12 gallons through the system every hour. You have 2 tubs for a total of 24 gallons to circulate each hour.

You said your pump is rated for 350 ltr (about 92.5 gallons) per hour. Normally you would need to take into consideration Head Height (the back pressure/weight from the water when pumping it above the water line). But because of how you have the system set up, your not needing to pump it more than one foot above the water line. So the head height doesn't really come into play here. So assuming your using the maximum size tubing the pump is designed for and not otherwise restricting water flow from the pump, your pump should be able to put out around 92 gallons per hour. 46 gallons (173.8 ltrs) per hour to each tub.

In other words, the way you have the system set up, and with the pump you have. That pump is capable of circulating the entire water volume of both tubs more than 3 times per hour (3.83 actually). There will be some natural points of restriction of water flow from the "T" and elbow connector's etc.. But their minimal and you don't have many. So even rounding down from 3.8 times per hour to 3 times per hour to compensate for the "T" and elbow connector's. That pump is more than capable of providing enough water circulation if set up right.

P.S.
Ask anything you have questions about, that's what the forum is for.
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:46 AM
MickR33 MickR33 is offline
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i have 2 plants per tub and 2 tubs so i have 4 plants in total, for each plant i have 2 drip lines on each side of the plant and my question is how fast do i have the drip lines running, i read somewhere that i should have it at about 2ltrs per hour and have them running for 15mins at a time so about 1/2 a liter per plant, now the pump is a 350ltr an hour pump and i have it on low but i havnt measured how much it lets out per hour, am i supposed to use some kind of restrictor to restrict the flow if its still too much with the pump on low?
and is that ok to even restrict a pumps water flow?
So what would you recommend for the drip flow and how long to run it for and how many feeds over 24hrs
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:53 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
my question is how fast do i have the drip lines running, i read somewhere that i should have it at about 2ltrs per hour and have them running for 15mins at a time so about 1/2 a liter per plant,
I know it's easy to over think things, especially in the beginning. But it doesn't need to be complicated. All you need to do is make sure the growing medium is moist like a damp towel, but not soaked/saturated like a towel dripping water all over the place when you pick it up. If it's saturated that can lead to stem rot, as well as suffocating the roots.

That's it, no calculating, no math problems here. In this case forget the calculator and time schedules and just use your hands to feel how damp it is. Though with drip lines you do have to keep an eye on the drippers, they can clog from the mineral salts in the nutrient solution.

Since your system is a combination drip/water culture system. If the root system is big enough that most of the root mass is hanging down into the lower tub, you don't even need the droppers at all. The plants will get the moisture/water they need directly from the tub. I forget if you have an air pump running to the tubs. But if not, you should to help keep the submerged roots from suffocating.

Quote:
am i supposed to use some kind of restrictor to restrict the flow if its still too much with the pump on low?
If your growing medium is getting to wet, you certainly can restrict the flow. A lot of pumps will have a dial directly on it to adjust the flow rate. But if not you can install a cock valve/ball valve to adjust it. Or install a bypass. A bypass is simply a "T" connector somewhere in the line to split the water pressure and flow. Have one side go to the drippers as usual, and the other side go directly back to the reservoir.

Quote:
is that ok to even restrict a pumps water flow?
Sure, submersible pond and and fountain pumps can have the flow restricted, and it won't hurt them. Some even have a dial directly on them to adjust the flow rate. This adjuster does nothing more than open and close the opening that allows water to the propeller. The down side is most of these adjusters can sometimes easily move if you touch or bump the pump. It's usually easier to just adjust the flow rate inline from the pump to the plants.

Quote:
So what would you recommend for the drip flow and how long to run it for and how many feeds over 24hrs
Like I said just use your hands to feel how damp your growing medium is. I'm not there so I can't feel it myself. You just need the growing medium to be moist and not soaked, and you only need it on long enough to get it wet. Don't leave it off so long it begins to dry out. You want to try to keep the growing media consistently moist, not going through wet/dry cycles.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:15 AM
MickR33 MickR33 is offline
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thankyou so much for all your help i have it all running well and they are thriving, another question i do have is about my reservoir, at first it just smelt like a normal fish tank or a bath but the other day i decided to put the lid on it and now when i took the lid off it smells, i have 2 air stones in it so it is aerated and the lid has no holes it it except for where it was a little lifted on one side just where the pump wires come out, did i do a bad thing by virtualy sealing it shut?
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:36 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Closing the lid isn't going to hurt anything. In fact, closing the lid help's keep air born contaminants from getting in. What ever the smell is it's likely that it was already there, and closing the lid just locked the smell in.

1. What does it smell like? Is it a musty smell or smell like mold?
2. What is the water temperature?
3. What nutrients are you using? Do you have a link to them online?
4. How does the water look? (is it translucent or cloudy)
5. What are you using for the water source?
6. Is there any foam on top of the water?
7. Along with the nutrients, are you using any additives?
8. How do the roots look, are they white and strong, or brown/black and slimy.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:12 AM
MickR33 MickR33 is offline
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Yeah it only just started cos 2 days ago before i put the lid on it smelled just like a fresh bath, just clean water, now when i took the lid off it smells like damp towels that have been sitting for a day or two, and obviously when i lift the top tubs on tub 1 and 2 it smells the same now. How is it supposed to smell, maybe since mine still had that fresh bath smell cos it had only been on for a couple of days. Im just worried that since it just started that it may not have affected the plants yet but it may affect them soon if it isnt right. Anyways here are the answers to your questions and thankyou so much for your help.

1. Wet Towels
2. 28 Deg Celsius
3. Fairform Green Dream 1 Grow
http://www.flairform.com/products/nu...endream-1-part
4. Crystal Clear
5. PH balanced tap water
6. No foam
7. No additives
8. White and strong still
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:42 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Where does your tap water come from (well water, city water treatment plant, rain water, lake, etc. etc..)?

I'll reply to the rest tomorrow, it's bedtime for me....
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:23 PM
MickR33 MickR33 is offline
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just normal town water, i also filled up bottle of it from the reservoir when it was still good and i opened the lid on that and it smells fresh like a bath still, and that was straight out of the reservoir from about a week ago
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:07 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello MickR33

Quote:
1. What does it smell like? Is it a musty smell or smell like mold?
A: Wet Towels
I'm a bit confused because I would think a wet towel would probably smell a bit musty. But I don't know if that's what it seems like to you.

Quote:
2. What is the water temperature?
A: 28 Deg Celsius (82.4 Fahrenheit)
That's a little high, but not to bad. Though I wouldn't let it get any higher, and try and lower it If you can. The optimum water temp is between 68 and 72 Fahrenheit (20 to 22.2 Celsius). Temps in the mid 80 Fahrenheit and higher can cause heat stress for the plant. However not only do high water temps cause heat stress, but also provide the optimum environment for pathogens to take over. Your probably OK at 82.4 Fahrenheit, but I wouldn't want to let it get any higher, and try to get it down if I could.

Quote:
3. What nutrients are you using? Do you have a link to them online?
A: Fairform Green Dream 1 Grow
http://www.flairform.com/products/nu...endream-1-part
OK, I just wanted to know if they were organic nutrients or not. Often times people don't know for sure, but if I have the link I can check myself. Organic nutrients are made from animal waste, and contain live microorganisms, fungi, and micro flora. This stuff can easily give off a bad smell. But your nutrients don't appear to be organic. Synthetic nutrients like what your using can have a little smell and color to them, but shouldn't be a source of a strong smell.

Quote:
4. How does the water look? (is it translucent or cloudy)
A: Crystal Clear
Your nutrients should be giving some color to the water, by Crystal Clear I assume you mean translucent and not cloudy. This would be a good thing since your not using organic nutrients. Cloudy water would likely indicate there is live microorganisms, fungi and/or micro flora growing in it. If there were microorganisms growing in it, they would most likely be pathogenic (harmful to your plants). It's not that beneficial microorganisms cant be in your water, because there is. But it's a balance between beneficial and harmful ones. Considering your water temps, that could tip the scales for the harmful ones. The air pump helps keep the pathogens from taking over, but the water temp is a big factor as well.

Quote:
5. What are you using for the water source?
A: PH balanced tap water
OK. But I still don't know what the source of your tap water is. If the water isn't filtered and treated it may contain spores and microorganisms that can be harmful to your plants. Not everyone's tap water is the same, and if it were from a municipal treatment plant it would likely be fine. They filter and treat the water to kill any microorganisms and spores. But if the water is from a well, lake, river, reclaimed rain water, etc. the homeowner is usually responsible for treating the water to kill the microorganisms and spores. If not this could be a source of harmful pathogens. As the pathogens grow and multiply they give off a bad smell.

Quote:
6. Is there any foam on top of the water?
A: No foam
OK, this is good. Foam would indicate live microorganisms, fungi, and/or micro flora in the water. It would also mean that they are there in high numbers. Usually the water will turn cloudy before you start seeing foam on top.

Quote:
7. Along with the nutrients, are you using any additives?
A: No additives
Sometimes additives will have beneficial live live microorganisms, bacteria, and fungi in them. Even beneficial microorganisms can give off a bad smell. I asked about additives specifically because there have been a number of times people have told me what nutrients they were using , but didn't say anything about the additives they were using as well.

Quote:
8. How do the roots look, are they white and strong, or brown/black and slimy.
A: White and strong still
Good. It's normal for the older roots to take on some color from the nutrients in the water, but you don't want to see them turn real dark/black or see any slimy on them. White roots are healthy roots, even if the older ones take on color from the nutrients.


Conclusion
From what you have said, I don't see any real reason to worry right now. I am a little concerned by what you say is a smell, however I'm unclear if it's actually a musty/moldy smell or not. Even so none of the indications that there is something growing in your water/nutrients seem to be there from what you've said. I would just keep a look out for the signs I mentioned. Also I would find out more about the water source to see if it is filtered and treated water, to find out if it could potentially be a source of a problem.
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Old 12-02-2015, 05:51 AM
MickR33 MickR33 is offline
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the town water is treated and filtered. What i dont understand is why the bottle that i filled up from the reservoir a couple days before it started to smell has no smell to it, just smells like a bath still, it was from the same reservoir but it had 2 days less running in the system.
The nutrients looked like milk but once it mixed in the system you carnt notice any color or cloudiness, looks like clear water.
It smells like clothes left wet in the washing machine for a day or two i think.
What does your reservoir smell like, does it smell like a freshly filled bath? or did it only smell like that for a week and then start to smell different?
Maybe the high temperatures done something, the roxkwook is just starting to get green algae in areas, i was going to put a layer of washed and cleaned clay balls on it

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