U Siphon Aquaponics – A Brief Guide to the System

U siphon Aquaponics

Aquaponics involves the amalgamation of aquatic life, usually fish and hydroponics (plants, crop, or vegetable growth), as a gardening method without the need for soil. The system is mainly self-contained and naturally balanced, and the plants and fish symbiotically depend on one another for survival and growth. Plants utilize fish waste as nutrients and clean the fish habitat by freeing it from ammonia, which is present in the fish excretion.

Aquaponics Ebb and Flow and How It Works

For any aquaponics system to run and work adequately, an ebb and flow system is vital. The method works by flooding the grow bed over a period of time and then rapidly drains the water. A timer can be set up on the water pump to turn it on and off or run the pump continuously, and an automatic siphon set up to drain the water in the grow bed when it reaches the desired level or height. A U siphon is an option that can be used for an automatic ebb and flow of your aquaponic system.

A basic aquaponics system will have a fish tank and a grow bed for the plants.  The fish tank needs the means to oxygenate the water and is usually connected or linked to pumps, pipes, and a drain. The grow beds house and support the plants, which take up nutrients from the fish waste and clean the water.

Water must be moved back and forth into the fish tank, and the grow bed and a U siphon will do the job. The siphon conveniently drains the grow bed, controls, and balances the water flow throughout the system. The fast drainage offered by the U siphon allows the plants to be supplied with nutrients and enables the roots to absorb high levels of oxygen vital for plant growth. It is a simple and effective way to drain water with the pump still running.

The U Siphon

A U siphon is a type of piping that is used for media or grow bed drainage. It is usually made of PVC. It is sometimes referred to as loop siphon. The shape resembles an upside-down “U” or a question mark, and it can be squared or rounded at the top. In the placement, the tubing comes out of the grow bed, forming a loop. The loop’s height can be adjusted, and it denotes the maximum height the water will be able to reach within the grow bed.

As the water rises in the grow bed, it also rises in the drain pipe and eventually flows over the crest of the U. With enough water to fill the drainpipe, a vacuum is created, and water is sucked out of the grow bed into the tank. Similar to other siphons, the vacuum breaks when enough air gets in the drain.

Advantages of the U siphon

  • Its installation is easy, which makes it highly convenient and perfect for beginners.
  • It can be installed internally or externally.
  • The tubing loop is adjustable, which makes it versatile.

Making Aquaponics U siphon

  • Have a PVC piping system. It is the primary material required.
  • For installation, drill a hole at the bottom of the grow bed, place some form of an implement in the hole, and seal it properly. A hose adapter, a replacement drain, or a threaded PVC can be used. The pointed end should stick outside the grow bed.
  • Now use the PVC piping to create a loop. Leave a space between the grow beds top and the loop.

How the U siphon works

  • The pipe has two forty-five-degree elbows, two ninety degrees elbows, and the straight pipe.
  • The adjustable pipe brings in the water, which does not exceed the height of the loop.
  • The U siphon now supplies the grow bed with water in and out. Once the level of the water in the grow bed rises, the level of water in the U siphon also rises.
  • The curved end of the pipe has air, and with the water moving, the air is drawn out, activating a suction effect.
  • When the water gets to the loop, it flows and siphons out by suction, causing the grow bed to drain rapidly.

For anyone interested in or practicing aquaponics gardening, a U siphon is a beneficial tool for the system’s ebb and flow. It is a cheap method and offers an excellent solution as it ensures that the grow bed is healthily maintained by flooding and draining it effectively. With this, a constant water flow is maintained, and plant root oxygenation is increased.


Ultimately you will have improved plant growth from the supply of water that is rich in nutrients, reduce issues that may emerge from water stagnation, and filter the fish waste material from the water.

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