Unfortunately, it’s common to develop problems in your aquaponic system without even knowing it. Small issues, like plants too close to drains, can grow beneath the radar until all of a sudden you’ve got a pipe clogged with roots, and a fish tank whose water hasn’t cycled in hours, or days.
One of the first things we check each morning are our barrel siphons. If they’re running, it’s a signal that the rest of the system is probably doing alright as well. The problem is, we can tell if they’re stuck at the top or the bottom, but if they’re mid-way through a cycle, we’ve got no idea if there’s a problem.
So, we’ve developed and installed these little counters in order to track how often our barrels flush. Each morning we go out, record the number on the face of the dial, and reset the counter. After the first few days, we had an average number (around 180) of flushes per day. Now, if we ever go out, and find that the number is off in either direction, we know there’s a problem somewhere, and can begin hunting for it.