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So the long debated question of which system is better has already been argued and fought for a while now. This isn't that. See the end of this post for the direct question.


In trying to determine the types of water systems used in Aquaponics, I've come across more types than I originally thought existed. In the hope that we can have some sort of community wiki here which outlines all of the types of systems, I ask my question.


Most of these systems can be thrown into the primary categories of:

  • Constant Flow (Continuous Flow or Constant Flood)
  • Flood and Drain
  • Floating Raft

But what I've recently found is that there are several subtypes. And a technical terminology difference that catches me off guard. What I'd really like is for people to use the correct terminology of whether they're referring to Constant Flow vs Constant Flood. They are VERY different beasts and I'll explain why.

  • Constant Flow - Quite simply the water will continuously flow over the roots through the grow media and the water leaves the grow bed.

  • Constant Flood - Not unlike Constant Flow, but with a significant difference in how the water drains (or lack thereof). There is a standpipe introduced which means now the media will always be flooded with water, usually at a predetermined height.

Additionally, there are TWO more subtypes of the subtypes mentioned above.

How you introduce the water into the system.

  • Surface - The water comes through a pipe and usually lays on top of the grow media.
  • Sub-surface - The water comes through the a pipe under the grow media which eliminated a potential problem of sunlight hitting the water, creating algae.

Is it correct in thinking that Constant (Continuous) Flow is NOT the same as Constant Flood?

  • You need to edit your question to make it appropriate for S.SE. But really, it would probably be better over in the Gardening SE – Sherwood Botsford Jan 9 '17 at 3:08
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because belongs in gardening – Sherwood Botsford Jan 9 '17 at 3:09
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    @SherwoodBotsford I agree that this question would fit better if it explained the link with sustainability, but aqua/hydroponics is a topic where Sustainability SE and Gardening SE overlap and we have several of those questions here. – THelper Jan 11 '17 at 8:43

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