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  1. Robert Campbell
    Robert Campbell September 20, 2013 at 9:50 am |

    Bell Siphons work while the flow remains within the parameters they were designed for, and as soon as something changes they will fail. As much as I enjoy listening to a bell siphon cycle through it’s phases; and even though I’m the guy who came up with the idea to use a small reservoir at the end of a breather tube, I will never use another bell siphon on any system I build. The reservoir helps, but it’s a Band-aid fix. Why bother with a bell siphon when there are better solutions.

    Timed Fill and Drain are a better choice and they conserve energy. Running a 100W pump 24/7 uses 2.4KW per day 365 days a year. A 15 minutes on 4 hours off cycle consumes 16 times less power than a continuous run bell siphon system! I do not believe turning a pump on and off shortens the life of a pump, but everyone can have an opinion.

    Media beds traditionally use a Bell Siphon, but a Timed Fill and Drain system will use less energy and run with far fewer problems..

    Timed Fill and Drain systems use a small weep hole which allows the media beds to drain more slowly than they are filled. A stand pipe allows any excess water to overflow back into the sump tank until a timer turns the pump off. The beds are filled several times a day, and when the pump shuts off, the water weeps out and drains the media bed.


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