How to set up a gravity feed to my res

skunkbunk

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Can someone give me a viable idea how i can set up my ebb and flow with a separate refill tank. I want to be able to maintain my water level in my main res by having it connected to a separate tub, controlling the level with possibly a float valve. i heard this being discussed before but i can't remember when or where. I periodically have to leave my gals for a few days at a time and the last time i seemed to have lost a lot to evaporation. i was lucky enough that my levels didn't dip to far and burn my pump. Is there a simple gravity type set-up i can do. If i remember somewhat, the member had a cat litter container a few feet above his res and a float valve controlling the levels. How can this be done.. Help. i have a trip (4days) coming up and i want to shore up my issues so i don't have to have a fill -in while i am gone. So far, no-one i am aquainted with has a clue as to what's up and i want to keep it that way. the less eyes the better.
SB
 

KADE

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I'm not sure of that process... if i had to do it I would have a floater switch set to shut the pump off at a certain level (like in a dehumidifier)
 

leelow

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hey, im working on the same idea, the main dilema is that with a float switch, when your system does its normal flood the float valve will activate allowing your reservoir to overfill.
so i came up with THESE TWO ideas below not sure which one, i plan on testing both when i get all the parts.
1- have float valve in the main res. allowing water to be gravity fed from secondary nute res. above. the resolution to the ebb and flow overfill problem is to place a normaly closed soleniod inline with the gravity feed tube. this solenoid would be on a timer and will only activate opening the gravity feed tube, once or twice a day at times when the system is not in flooding. so in effect when the res. needs nutes the float valve will open, calling for nutes, which would only flow from the gravity fed res. only at times when the solenoid is open controlled by a timer which would coinside with the flood schedule. I have decided to use 1/4 tubing and solenoid, for i only have a 10 gallon reservoir, and i timed 1/4 tubing gravity feed at approx. 1 gallon per 3 minutes, so the flow will be plenty fast at 1/4 inch.

2- this method is a little simpler but with that comes a little less control. First you have to measure the average amount of nutrients your system consumes a day. for instance i am currently consuming 1/2 gallon a day. now you get a water pump, and see how long it takes the pump to pump 1/2 a gallon, you will have to reduce the flow, which you could do many ways , i choose to get these clamps which pinch the tube and are fairly adjustable, and i also reduce the tube down to 1/4" .
Then you simply put the pump on a timer to pump for however long it takes to pump 1/2 gallon.
You can also put in a float valve in your main reservoir to stop the flow of nutes when it reaches max, probaly much safer. with this i am planing on putting a T or Y rite before the feed reaches the main reservoir to allow fluid to return to the secondary tank when the float valve is closed.
I have found many of the parts to do these experimental nutrient doser, on web site http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.asp. they have been great they have everything plastic and are fast and reliable.

So i plan on trying these out within the next two weeks a will post the results, if anyone has any other ideas or revisions, please feel free to add on to this post, i really want to build a better moustrap with this one. When i have asked for help from my convention hydro friends they all had the same reaction and told me it was not a good idea to use such a contraption on my dear plants, for it is more than likely to flood or overflood them ,than to make maintaining them and god forbid leaving them for a long weekend easier and safe for the plants and safe for me..
 

Biffdoggie

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You can either make one out of a toilet float assembly from Home Depot and the likes and use an additional res to gravity feed it or go to a feed store and get a very simple float valve that will screw onto the res with wingnuts and allow a garden hose to run through from a gravity res when the res dips low enough. $8.99
http://www.pet-dog-cat-supply-store.com/shop/index.php?page=shop/flypage&product_id=6966

You can also get some float valves that are made for hydro bucket systems that would kick on a pump when needed to fill from anything to anything.
http://www.floatswitches.net/
 

Delloman

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leelow said:
1- have float valve in the main res. allowing water to be gravity fed from secondary nute res. above. the resolution to the ebb and flow overfill problem is to place a normaly closed soleniod inline with the gravity feed tube. this solenoid would be on a timer and will only activate opening the gravity feed tube, once or twice a day at times when the system is not in flooding. so in effect when the res. needs nutes the float valve will open, calling for nutes, which would only flow from the gravity fed res. only at times when the solenoid is open controlled by a timer which would coinside with the flood schedule. I have decided to use 1/4 tubing and solenoid, for i only have a 10 gallon reservoir, and i timed 1/4 tubing gravity feed at approx. 1 gallon per 3 minutes, so the flow will be plenty fast at 1/4 inch.
i would do this with a powered valve set it up with a flout swich and a timmer so that the timer will open the valve when the ress is not pumping only id the flout swich also if the water starts filling up and activats the flout swich the valve will close and no over flow this is the best way also this this you just need one of the analog timmers no need for a digetal timer as you would need to get a shorter time then an analog will do if eny one would like a diagram i can try to make one
 

leelow

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as it turns out i used neither of my examples end up being the one im using

what ended up being the simplest and safeset was to take my float valve and submerge it to the level where the water in my res. should be when at full flood.
so, in essence i will only supply water while the system is flooded,and only add enough water to replenish the float valve to it normal position.

i have been using this for about a week,and after some minor float valve adjustments, all is fine.

by the way the reserve reservoir which is attached to the res. is above the primary res. allowing for gravity feed.,/also i used 5.0phed water in my reserve res. has been keeping my slowing advanceing ph down pretty well.
I am sure there will be future mods for that is life of a hydr grower

Live, Grow,Learn, Reanalyze, Rebuild,ReGrow
 

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