Siphon mechanism with regards to aquaponics or hydroponics is an interesting operation. You’re probably wondering which is better when it comes to U siphon vs. bell siphon. This post will educate you on that.
Siphon has been in use for thousands of years. The process of siphon may look mystical. But it’s basically the concept of science at its best. The scientists have concluded that siphon makes use of the key force “gravity.”
U Siphon vs. Bell Siphon
Even though U siphon is convenient, super easy to install, and flexible, and bell siphon may not be so easy to fix- Most hydroponics growers prefer to make use of bell siphon to regulate the flow of water throughout the entire system.
The outstanding advantage between the U siphon and bell siphon is the installation. A U siphon being easy to install makes it a great choice for beginners. However, a bell siphon is faster and has an excellent draining ability.
Better understandings of these two siphon methods will allow us to decide which to go for. Therefore, let’s dive into the mechanism of U siphon and bell siphon.
Mechanism of Bell Siphon for Aquaponics
The bell siphon allows water to fill inside the grow bed. After the water is filled up, the bell siphon drains out water from the grow bed. Bell siphon always sustains a moderate water range and drains excess water back into the reservoir.
The bell siphon operates automatically. It saves you the hassle of manually turning on and off the pump of the flood and drain process. Here is how it works:
- Stage 1 (Filling): through the water inlet, water floods continuously into the grow bed filling it up from the water pump.
- Stage 1 (Water lock): when the water fills up the stand siphon pipe to the point of overflow, water begins flowing down through the drain tube and form a water lock. By this time, the air left in the cup has been sucked out.
- Stage 3 (Drain): water now drains or flows out of the grow beds. Water from the cup is now sucked out after draining water to a particular level.
- Stage 4 (Breaking siphon): now as the water drains out and drops down to the level of the bottom siphon pipe, air enters inside. This relieves or breaks up the siphon pipe pressure and stop the drain of water.
This process keeps on going by filling water into your grow bed and siphons it out. The flood and drain process continues for an unlimited time except the pump is stopped.
Mechanism of U Siphon for Aquaponics
Like we mentioned earlier, the U siphon is very easy to install unlike the bell siphon making it a great option for beginners.
The main component of the U siphon is the PVC pipe that drains your growing bed. U siphon pipe has an angle of 45, 90, 90, 45 degrees elbow and a straight pipe. The adjustable U siphon PVC pipe brings in water and the water level does not exceed the loop height.
The U siphon supplies water in and out of your grow bed. When the water level in your grows bed rises, the water level in your U siphon also rises. The curvature end of the pipe contains air. With the motion of water, this air is drawn out and it activates a suction effect.
Once the level of water gets to the loop or curvature of the U shaped pipe, water flows out and siphons out by suction effect. Now your entire grow bed drains out rapidly from the elbow through the siphon process.
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We conclude that between U siphon vs. bell siphon, both U siphon and bell siphon are a great choice. More farmers prefer to make use of bell siphon. However, the obvious advantage is that the U siphon is easier and convenient to install than the bell siphon.
When it comes to aquaponics, for your fish and plants to receive sufficient nutrient quantity, it is important to achieve and sustain the right continuous flow of water. A siphon (be it U or bell siphon) is responsible for this. It is used to drain grow beds and it controls and balances the flow of water throughout the system.
The draining process of siphon allows the availability of nutrients for your plants. It as well facilitates root absorption of oxygen which will help your plants grow excellently well.