Well that settles it. At least, I hope it does. We are upgrading the aquaponics system to improve the filtration part of the system along with some other minor changes. It seems like the Settling Well design is the way to go for the first step in our filtration. In our first design, we used a baffle in our clarifier to settle the solids, but it never really performed the way we had hoped providing the humorous observation that it provided “baffling clarification”—meaning it didn’t work very well. My guess is that the solids would settle, but some of the finer solids would then get picked up by the flow of the passing water, so it never really worked the way we wanted. It filtered, but also sort of unfiltered in a way. With that observation, we pulled the baffle out of the 250 gallon cone bottom tank to change over to a swirl filter design. This was an improvement, but still not performing ideally. I imagine both technologies are valid with proper engineering, but we were copying what we saw elsewhere and figured it would work.
When redesigning our aquaponics system, it was important to reconsider the radial design and look at something else. We decided on the settling well design after consulting with Huy Tran and it is doing pretty good job as the first line of filtration. Just for the simple fact that the turbulence within the cone bottom tank is now minimized allowing solids to truly settle. As the system redesign is completed, I will share the rest of the changes and look forward to seeing how they perform.