Are you ready to harness the power of the bell siphon and get your ebb and flow aquaponics system up and running efficiently? The following guide will walk you through everything you need to know to get started and includes plenty of pictures of my system to guide you on your way. My aquaponics system has several successful ebb and flow beds, which have shown to be high producers. This step-by-step guide will walk you through how to set one up yourself using media-based grow beds and a bell siphon. Be sure to take a look at my previous posts “Aquaponics Ebb And Flow System Design” and “Bell Siphon For Aquaponics“.

What You Need To Set Up Your Ebb And Flow Aquaponics System

  • Grow bed-For this design, I’m using a 40 gallon commercially available container that is 12 inches deep
  • Grow Media
  • 1 inch “schedule 40” PVC Pipe
  • 4 inch “schedule 40” PVC pipe (11 inches with cap installed-this is your bell)
  • 6 inch “schedule 40” PVC pipe (12 inches-for the media guard)
  • 4 inch PVC cap
  • Bulkhead-1 inch slip X 1 inch FPT (female iron pipe thread)
  • Any additional accessories needed to adapt to your situation

(Note: Do Not Glue Any Of These Parts-You May Need To Disassemble In The Future For Routine Maintenance)

Pictured below, the basic drain assembly for the bell siphon.









Below, the bulkhead installed in the grow bed. In my case, I drilled a 1 3/4 inch hole in the floor of the grow bed. Install the bulkhead, leaving plenty of space for your bell and media guard to clear the grow bed side walls. Also, make sure you have proper clearance on the bottom of your grow bed for the drain.








A view of the bulkhead from the bottom of the grow bed.









The standpipe, connected to the bulkhead. 9 inches total height when installed into a 12 inch deep grow bed.









The drain assembly from the bottom view of the grow bed.










  • The media guard with slits cut into it using a circular saw
  • The bell, with 1/2 inch notches cut into the bottom









The bell and media guard in place.









Before adding grow media, run water into your grow bed to test your bell siphon and this is a good time to check for leaks.

Now, you can drain the water and fill the grow bed with grow media and plant your plants.