Testing the flow and pipe sizes

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I bought a 2600 GPH pump from Harbor Freight.  I think it will do the job.  It was on sale for $55.00 which seems like a good price.

With the pump inplace, it is time to test the amount of the flow from the pump to the fish tanks.  The outlet of the pump is 1 1/4″ so I think I will be ok with the 2 1″ pressure lines to the fish tank and to the growbeds.  I’m concerned about the size of the return pipes.  The 1″ pressure pipe should be ok but with only gravity flow to return the water to the sump tank, I think I will need a much larger return PVC pipe.

Here is a picture of the plumbing on the sump tank.20120812_164505

Just as I expected, the return pipe is not large enough to allow for sufficient return flow.  So I left the 1″ pipes in the ditch but added one 2″ pipe as a return pipe.  You can see it in the photo with water flowing from it.  The pipe is high above the bed to test the height of the filter bed which will be added to the top of the sump tank next week.

I have two 1″ pipes coming from the pump with two valves.  One of the pipes will eventually go to the grow bed and the other will be used to add additonal flow /water movement / air to the fish tank.

All of the pipes are temporary setups and most of the connections are not glued.  These will be glued when the final design is determined.

This is a photo of the fish tank with a drain pipe into the side of the tank. The pipe on the top is the pressure flow from the pump and the larger 2″ pipe is the return. All of these are temp connections.  I hope the additon of the 2″ pipe will be sufficient.  If not, I will be digging this all up again.


Here is a short video of the pump running with water flowing. Notice how strong the water in the return stream is.  I’m surprised it was so strong with only one fish tank supplying water.



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