Not a proper aquaponic question, but very similar. We have a 1/3 acre garden on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands
We are building a duck coop (with chickens) with a couple of 50 US gallon pools (200L) at the top of a 100ft'ish (35m) slopping plot. We have 3 low flow springs about 16ft away and 7 ft lower down. The biggest spring flows about 1/4 to 1/2 gallon a minute depending on rainfall but has never run dry, the others are much more variable and never more than 1/4 gallon max often much less. We'd like to use a non powered or 12v pump and we have a 100w solar panel.
We would to pump water up to the ducks and then drain down through some biofilters, swirl filters into bullrush, duckweed beds etc to clean up the duck fouled water before pumping it back up again. Aim is to generarat some duck and chickenfeed.
Vertical distance would be about 12ft and horizontal would be about 150ft. I have 12 large blue 55-gallon barrels to act as storage and header tanks.
We are not looking for fast flow, just enough to gently clean and refill duck pools and keep the sediment flowing into the growing beds.
The obvious answer is to put the duck coop below the spring line, but that means putting it in a prime veggie growing area on a small 1/3rd acre plot and having the poultry close to the neighbour's houses who may not appreciate rowdy poultry, even though they are very happy to have ducks and chickens as neighbours I do not want to test their patience at 4am on a summer morning.
In a land famous for its rains, we can go for several weeks with no rain, so rainwater feeds to the header tanks would not be reliable in the spring and autumn when we have lower rainfall, unless we built a HUGE tank.
So we thought a 12v pump attached to a float switch at the downhill storage that pumps up to the header tank. Any ideas or suggestions welcome. The photo shows the children checking the water quality of the one of the smaller springs!
I use a 12V pump that is fitted into RV's. They are very common.
They operate as a pressure pump. When pressure builds up to a set level they stop pumping.
They work best with a 'bladder' installed in the discharge line.
They are not adjustable.
You will need a pump that can allow the pump to cut off, when the water level is low, but they generally do not self re-start.
a submersible pump with a float switch will work well.
These will only operate when there is water and will cut out when the level drops to a set level.
They are self starting.
They use a mercury switch to do so.
John Daley Bendigo, Australia
The Enemy of progress is the hope of a perfect plan
What distance do you plan to run 12volts? Check the "ampacity" and voltage drop for various sized wire (don't forget the return leg needs to be factored as well). A small pump shouldn't be too demanding, but it's something that needs spec'ing to avoid surprises.