Hydroponic Pump Recommendations?

jimbob007(11)November 12, 2012


This is my very first attempt at Hydroponics.

I would greatly appreciate all and any input on what size submersible pump I'm to use for a setup like this(on photo)

In the Bucket system I would like to grow Tomato's, Sweet Peppers and Cucumbers.

In the Rail(pipe) system I would like to plant herbs and lettuce.

Both will be on a drip method and the Rail system will then be a combo of drip and flow system.

Would I be able to feed all this through my 150L reservoir?

Is one pump good enough and what size?

Eagerly awaiting any replies...


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That is a very ambitious attempt for a first time! I don't think it's impossible, though.

4" pvc is pretty small. You might consider 6" - the 4" will work for peppers and determinate/compact growth tomatoes. It will be too small for big tomato plants and for cukes. The roots clog up the pipe.

The rail side is going to require a big pump, and you will have to be careful about the pump heating the reservoir. Higher quality/higher price pumps tend to put out less heat. You could probably stick a $30 sump pump in there and make it work, but the next day, your nutrient solution's temperature would be like a hot tub. In addition to having enough power, you'll want a pump that is designed to run all the time.

Be sure to get emitters that drip out the same amount of solution, regardless of pump pressure, because your pressure will be much lower at the far end of your rails.

Also, I'd be concerned about sediment from your hydroton clogging up the lines. There should be a filter somewhere, and if you use new hydroton, remember to wash it very well to get all the dust off.

I put a good site for pump-shopping below. I have no affiliation with them. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pump Agents

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:11PM
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I know it looks a bit over ambitious as you say but i've uploaded a new photo of what the actual starting setup will look like - the rest is space for "Add - On's"

4" Round pipes are the easiest to find here in SA and in the small town that I am.
I will put a filter on the line - I was thinking of maybe getting a small swimming pool pump - Is that a bit of a overkill?

Should I maybe split the two systems and put a mid sized pump in each?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 1:39AM
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I would think that two smaller pumps would work better and make less heat. You might even use three, with the third for the later addition. I'd get a waterfall or fish pond pump that is meant to run all the time. I've had much better luck with small pumps than with big ones. Once a mag-drive gets up to about 1200 gallons per hour in size, the ceramic parts on the inside like to break.

You might try a 580gph on the rails and a 350 gph for the buckets. After you lift the water three feet and go around the 90 degree elbows, the actual gph that the pump delivers will be much less than the rating on the package.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:30AM
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