Constant Height One Pump (CHOP)

Last updated: November 18, 2021

What Does Constant Height One Pump (CHOP) Mean?

A constant height one pump (CHOP) is a sump pump used in aquaponics. The expression is also used to refer to the type of aquaponic system that employs the use of a CHOP.

A CHOP is a one-pump aquaponic system that, in the aquaponics community, is sometimes called a "constant height in fish tank" system (CHIFT) or a "pump in sump tank" system (PIST).

The CHIFT aquaponic system consists of a the CHOP, sump tank, grow bed, grow media, and fish tank. The CHOP is used to push water from the sump tank into the fish tank, and the water then flows down into the grow beds via gravity.


Maximum Yield Explains Constant Height One Pump (CHOP)

Gravity also causes the water to flow back to the sump tank from the grow beds. An auto siphon helps regulate the system. Once the water flows back to the sump tank, the entire cycle can begin again. The main benefit of the CHOP, or CHIFT method of aquaponics is that the water level is always consistently maintained.

A constant height one pump system depends on gravity to do most of the work, which is why it is considered by most growers to be a reliable and energy efficient aquaponic method of growing plants. The system is remarkably reliable and rarely fails unless a broken pipe occurs or the pump itself breaks down.

Larger operations often opt to run two pumps instead of the constant height one pump that is most common. The use of two pumps helps to ensure that if one pump fails, the system will continue to function and the fish will not perish as they would if the tank should become dry.

The entire CHOP system that runs with a CHIFT is considered basic and straightforward. The only thing that the system relies on to operate is the small amount of power used to run the sump pump.


Share this Term

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Related Reading


AquaponicsTools and EquipmentGrowing Methods

Trending Articles

Go back to top
Maximum Yield Logo

You must be 19 years of age or older to enter this site.

Please confirm your date of birth:

This feature requires cookies to be enabled