Aquaponics - Swirl filter variation

I had an idea, but now I'm not sure it was mine after all. But here it is anyway.

I need to get solids out of the water for the NFT, but I don't want to remove the solids from the entire system. It's the solids that make everything work.

I thought I'd give this a try.

I took a peanut butter bucket. (We eat a lot of peanut butter)

And drilled a hole in it in the bottom.

Then drilled another hole near the lip.

I added a 12mm poly pipe length as a standpipe.

I also added an exit pipe (clear plastic top right), and an input pipe from the pump (19mm black poly pipe with an elbow)

The plan is to add water so that it swirls around.

The water on the inside moves slowly and the solids settle in the middle.

Actually I think there is something else going on here, but I'm not sure what it is.

If you put a helium balloon in a car, and put on the brakes, instead of the balloon moving forward like everything else, it rushes to the back of the car. The opposite also applies to acceleration and cornering. As far as I can tell, this happens because, under brakes, the pressure moves to the front. High pressure is like the pressure at ground level, and helium balloons hate being at ground level, so try to escape in the only direction they know how.


But it's not really up, its from high pressure to low pressure. Or in the case of the car, from the front (where all the air in the car is glugging toward) to the back.

Ask a kid with a balloon to try it.

I think something to do with something like that may, or may not, be happening here.

I'll try to find out.

I put the bell from the grow bed's bell siphon over my stand pipe, and the end result looks like this.

I have both tubes dumping back to the grow bed because this is just a test, but normally only one would go back. The other (top left of the bucket) would be feeding the NFT tubes that you can see under the device in the background.

I'll take some video and post it up tomorrow, and hopefully capture the thing working.

I'm not sure that it will work all that well, because I think it's too small. I think it needs to be wider, to allow the centre to be very slow moving, and deeper, to allow more time for the particles to settle out.


  1. does the clockwise/ccw movement affect the ability of your system?
    Bart simpson.

  2. You should refer to your own experiments in s06 e16 for further information.

    Actually I think your findings were flawed. But being a 2D drawing, I cut you some slack as I cant even begin to imagine how an extra spacial dimension might work so cant expect anyone else to.


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