I am building a new stacked AP (aquaponics) system, similar to this:

A small, portable aquaponics system

While I have built bell siphons in the past I am more interested in getting the simplicity of a loop siphon to work on this system. Does anyone have experience with loop siphons?

I have considered two methods for creation.

  1. Take an 18" long 1" pvc pipe, tape off one end, fill with sand, tape off the other end, heat in the stove for 15 minutes, move, and form into a loop
  2. Use lazy 90 degree pipe bends and small 1" sections of pipe to form a loop

Are there other methods? Does anyone have any experience with either of these two methods?

  • 2
    what's a stacked AP system? Any chance of a diagram? Just to give those of us with no idea, what the question is about. I know that you know; and I know that anyone who could answer it would know; but this is a public Q&A, and it will make for interesting reading for those, like me, who can't tell a stacked AP from a double bassoon.
    – 410 gone
    Feb 5, 2013 at 20:17
  • I assume stacked AP = Stacked Aquaponics? Feb 6, 2013 at 5:47

1 Answer 1


Either method will work. Your primary consideration is simply keeping air out of the siphon while it is operational. If you can heat and bend this has the advantage of avoiding joints which might eventually be weak points, but the joint and glue approach has the advantage of being more flexible to repurpose.

If it were me, I would choose the join and glue method. It is somewhat less reliable but it is simpler to set up and simpler to adjust. This may be somewhat of a preference towards modular construction however.

Simply put: heating and bending is harder, and it ensures you have a single piece, and it is more conceptually complex. Joining and gluing is easier, less robust, and easier to assemble. Your choice.

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