Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When I first began looking into aquaponics the first thing I wanted to understand was how these things called bell siphons worked. I watched countless Youtube videos and read a number of articles and guides to get a better understanding of how they worked. I was fascinated with the simplicity of the bell siphon.  These small self contained siphons can automatically time the fill cycle in each grow bed without any expensive timers, pumps or equipment. These are very cool little contraptions!

I have been running the bell siphons in my current setup for a little over eight months and have had great success with the design that I have chosen. Don't get me wrong, there are many different approaches to the bell siphon, but I do not think it needs to be overly complicated. I have seen some designs that seem to over engineer this simple device and end up making them harder to adjust, more expensive, and harder to setup. the design that I am using is cheap, easy, and simple to understand and so I hope that this video will help answer some of the questions that I had when I began my setup and hopefully make things much easier for you!

Thanks for watching!


  1. I'm in the process of setting up a system very similar to yours. I'm curious why you decided to use a bell siphon over a "loop" or "u" siphon. From my research, it seems bells are more required for larger grow beds, and by using a loop siphon I could use the bung hole on the barrel instead of the uniseal purchase.

    In one of the early videos, you mentioned that you originally planned to use the bung hole, but you ultimately decided against it. I'm thinking the increased planting area and decreased uniseal cost are pros for using a "u" siphon, but hoping you may have some insight to share as well.

    1. I think that going with an external siphon would be a great way to go. I worried that it would be tricky to get it to suck from the very bottom of the grow bed that way and that you would have to run a pipe to the center of the bottom of the barrel from the bung at the end in order to best drain the bed. I am not saying it would not work because it surely would but I chose a bell in the end because it seems like it drains the bed the best. You are right though, more cost in adapters with the bell.