AP Tech Talk – Lousy Pump Performance.

Aquaponic Pump Teck Talk.

Pump failure can lead to fish deaths, and bad case of pump hate!

Many make lousy decisions on choosing a pump for their Aquaponics system.  This is most evident in some DIY home system builders.  While trying to save a buck or two it costs more in the end.  Mind, I have seen commercial farm projects running on some pretty poor pump installations.

It is best to oversize the pump in any case on any system in my experience, both in home and commercial systems.
Excess pumping capacity is always useful, to cope with expansion of the system (happens very often) or to redirect water back to fish tank for spray bars and the like. The list can go on. The little extra cost in electricity is more than compensated by the improvement in performance of the system. A robust system will return you much more value in produce and fish.

If you wish to focus on economy of operation it is wise to consider the following.

Practical Aquaponics Pump

A Mid range Italian made 4000 lph pump. Very suitable for home AP systems.

1… Buy a better quality pump. Better quality pumps are much more reliable, run more quietly and most often have good warranty and parts backup. The cheap pumps from “oogy boogy” land will work for a while but it is just plain unreliable to go that way.  The lower cost pumps often consume many more “watts” that a better manufactured pump to move the same amount of water.

2…Make sure you do a good job of the plumbing.  Correct size piping with sweeping bends and as few bends as possible makes for less pipe friction and better performance. Generally speaking, the size (diameter) of the pipe used to transport your water around the system should be at a minimum the same size (diameter) as the actual outlet on the pump itself.

Extra pumping capacity delivers better water control, more flexibility in design and layout. CHOP1 is just fine and so is CHOP2. All of our systems, except the very small run on CHOP2.  Even our FloMedia research system. (1000 holes of raft + 11 mtrs of gravel beds, swirl filter) runs very well using CHOP2 on a 7000 lph pump which has enough excess capacity to run another 1000 holes of raft beds.

Pump examples shown below compare pumps of different capacity. 4000 lph (1000 gph) and 6000 lph (1500 gph) for larger home systems and a 2000 (500 gph) lph as a minimum capacity pump.

Based on 22 cents per kilowatt hour cost. Check how much you are charged per kilowatt hour for mains power in your area and do the comparison.  These figures come from pumps we have actually run at our facility.

Cost to run a 4000 lph (1000 gph) cheap pump per annum = 192.00 per annum
Cost to run a 6000 lph ( 1500 gph) cheap pump per annum = 376.00 per annum
Cost to run a mid range quality 4000 lph pump per annum = 115.00 per annum
Cost to run a mid range quality 6000 lph pump per annum = 269.00 per annum

Cost to run a 2000 lph (500 gph) cheap pump per annum = 105.00
Cost to run a 2000 lph (500 gph) good quality German made pump = 67.40

It is easy to get hung up on electricity costs. Heaven knows we are being slugged and ripped off like never before, but it is the old cost -v- benefit thing. Pay a bit more to run the right pump to deliver a good outcome and the benefits more than outweigh the small additional buy price and running cost.

Pumps and other pumping issues are discussed in detail at my Aquaponics courses
Choose a course that suits your location and time frame.  Courses running in Brisbane Australia, California and Florida.

Murray Hallam Practical Aquaponics

Murray Hallam ..A Food Freedom Rebel. Aquaponics....A pure, secure food system.

Murray Hallam.
Food Purity - Food Security.

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