Well, I'm not surprised this happened, but I'm still not happy about it either. My middle bucket, with the tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil, is now defunct. The drain clogged with a big piece of gravel that I was not able to remove. I had to cut out the drain. So, then I figured I might as well make it a little wider, and I desperately (and hastily) tried to drill out a new drain and pipe it in. The seal wasn't good enough, and the thing was leaking. In the day or so that this all went down, I tried to keep the plants alive by putting them in a big cooler with the pond water, changing the water as frequently as I could, but to no avail. With the drain leaking and all the plants looking droopy and 95% dead, it wasn't worth continuing. So, it's now shut off for now while I figure out how to stop the leak. Of all the buckets to go, why did it have to be that one??
Lesson here is that the drain needs to be 1) larger diameter (probably at least twice) of the incoming flow and 2) large enough for gravel or hydroton to flow through easily without plugging it up.
I also need to read up on how drains work, 'cause I noticed yesterday while I was checking for leaks that despite the larger diameter pipe, the water wasn't really flowing out very quickly. I'm thinking there is some sort of pressure thing going on that I don't understand.
2 weeks ago