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The Plumbing

So now your growbed is on top of the fish tank, you will need a standpipe surround, we use 90mm storm water pipe with many 6mm holes drilled in it, this keeps the media away from the stand pipe and drain, and allows an access point for you to check the drain is free of plant roots.

The 90mm pipe section sits nicely in the red cap of the IBC. Once you sit your stand pipe surround in the cap you can now fill the bed with media.

We are using expanded clay for our media because it’s simple and light. Pour your bags of expanded clay media into the growbed, be careful that the standpipe surround sits still as you pour the bags in, now you need to wash the red dust out of the media.

You can attach a hose to the 50mm fitting in the base of your growbed so that the dirty water is run off into a garden, or alternatively you can just open the tap in the bottom of your fish tank and let the water run away.

Hose down the media in your growbed for about 5-10 minutes, until the water starts to run fairly clear. Once the water is running clear you can stop washing the clay and fill up your fish tank. Now we just need to install the pump and pipe work then the system is done. First let’s look at installing a standpipe, a standpipe like this will allow you to run the system in a couple of ways, you can run it as a constantly flooded system, using the stand pipe to set the height of the flooding water in the growbed. Or alternatively you can use a timer on the pump to make your flood and drain as often as you like.

The standpipe is made from a 32-25 reducing coupling with some 32mm pipe and a couple of 6mm holes drilled near the bottom. The 6mm holes allow the bed to drain if you set it up as flood and drain, they also allow the water to drain out of the bed if you have it set up as a constant flood system and the power goes out.

How it all goes together




It’s a good idea to keep your stand pipe a bit longer to begin with, once you start pumping you can cut some off the stand pipe and fine tune the flood height in your growbed. Remembering that you don’t want water to flood too high in the bed otherwise sunlight will quickly grow algae on your growing media.

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