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My $50 aeroponics / hydroponics system


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#1
clogro65134

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Hey all. I've been checking the forums here for ideas and advice but this is my first time posting. I figured, what better way to start than by offering up some details on my latest creation; my cheap DIY aeroponics system! Basically, I was watching SeeMoreBuds Vol. 1 and was exposed to the Aquamist system. I thought it seemed like a cool way to grow, but they are crazy expensive. So I started looking in to how they work and came up with my own similar design.

The hardest part was trying to figure out how to replicate the misting/spraying. No matter what I read on aeroponics and hydroponics, few people talked about the pump they used. I started looking at misting kits but they needed something like 30-100psi, which from what I saw, an aquarium pump can't produce and pumps that could produce that were very expensive. Plus, the more I looked at the Aquamist system, the less it seemed like misting and more it seemed like spraying. I read up on the nozzles that people were using in the PVC tube style aeroponics setups and decided to go with something like those. In the end I ended up copying the EZ-Clone system more or less and using the same sprayers for the job. I got a handful of things from the local hydroponics store, but you can find them all online as well, just remember that Google is your friend. Here's my parts list:

35 Gallon Bin: about $15 from Walmart
10 feet of 1/2" inner diameter tube: about $8 from Home Depot
1 1/2" T fitting for the hose: about $3 from Home Depot
1 250 GPH pump: about $19 from the local Hydro store
4 EZ-Clone 360 degree spray nozzles: about $3 from the local Hydro store
8 3" Mesh Net Pots: about $4 from the local Hydro store
TOTAL PRICE: about $52

The 250 GPH pump is more than enough for these 4 sprayers. I could probably even get 6 sprayers on there, but this is all I needed for my application. I could also probably get away with a smaller pump, but I would have only saved a couple dollars so there's little point in exchanging it. Anyway, enough words, time for some pictures!

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This is the pump, a relatively cheap 250 GPH pump that is very capable of feeding 4 spray nozzles.

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As you can see, I'll be cutting 8 holes in the lid. I placed the spayer asembly (black tube with 4 holes drilled in, sprayers screwed into the holes and the T fitting tieing it all together) over the lid so you can see how it will be positioned in the bin.

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Here are the sprayers in action. It's hard to make out, but they have quite a range. Once placed in the bin, I'll position the sprays so that water is hitting all of the pots.

I plan to prop up the hose so it is almost at the same height as the net pots. I'll be rooting in rockwool cubes and transplanting them to the pots, filling in the rest of the pots with clay pellets. I probably could have fit more than 8 pots in the system and/or used larger pots, but air circulation is always a concern and I'm not looking for insane yeilds so this will be just fine. In the video, they grew 300 plants in 1" pots with the Aquamist system, so 3" pots shouldn't be a problem and the roots end up growing down into the water anyway. My plan is a SoG setup producing yeilds every 2 weeks or so.

Hope this is informative enough to help people build their own setups and maybe give people some answers they needed. Post specific questions if you got em, but I'm learning on the fly so my feedback may be limited. I'll post some more pics and info when it's all up and running. Until then, cheers!

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#2
iddoher

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This looks like it's more of a DWC setup then an areo.

For the first week or so it would be like an aero setup.

Once the roots go under water, it would be a deep water setup with the aero part only benefiting the root area thats not under water.

I guess it will work but it seems wastefull.

With areoponics the roots are supposed to be extended in the air with only being sprayed by water, rather than submerged by it.

#3
clogro65134

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Yeah, I was thinking the same thing actually. I know DWC setups historically just use an air stone in the water to build up the humidity in the container instead of a spraying system. But, yeah, the fact that the roots will inevitably grow in to the water makes it close to a DWC setup, though I've seen plenty of people claiming similar designs as aeroponic. I mostly wanted to post this to give people in search (like I was) an idea of what kind of pump they would need to get for their setup. Aeroponic, DWC or otherwise, I figured it was better to share than not....

I'm curious what you think is wasteful though. Would you recommend an air stone? Change the setup completely? This is my first venture into hydroponics so I'm open to suggestions.

#4
Dr Lowtie

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you can set up a res and make a an aero system. an airstone wont hurt:)
ps you should only ahve up to 3 plants in that system set up in a triangle. the less the better;)

Edited by Dr Lowtie, 17 December 2008 - 01:12 AM.


#5
iddoher

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Yeah, I was thinking the same thing actually. I know DWC setups historically just use an air stone in the water to build up the humidity in the container instead of a spraying system. But, yeah, the fact that the roots will inevitably grow in to the water makes it close to a DWC setup, though I've seen plenty of people claiming similar designs as aeroponic. I mostly wanted to post this to give people in search (like I was) an idea of what kind of pump they would need to get for their setup. Aeroponic, DWC or otherwise, I figured it was better to share than not....

I'm curious what you think is wasteful though. Would you recommend an air stone? Change the setup completely? This is my first venture into hydroponics so I'm open to suggestions.


I’m just saying that you will probably get the same type of grow results as as you would with a bubble bucket.

You may need to add an air pump, along with an air stone, so that the submerged roots will get enough oxygen.

So get an air stone in there and try it.

#6
Aeroman

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Wow that is definately not even close to being aeroponics. Aeroponics uses a fine mist 20-100 micron droplets, sometimes in conjunction with foggers 5-20 micron droplets to acheive hydration of the roots. Which you are definately not close to, the benefit of aeroponics is the available oxygen content in the water. Using a such fine droplet sizes you can acheive aeriation without using an airstone. You would be better off using a drip system as it would acheive the same effect as you are currently.

I will try to upload some pictures of my aeroponic system and future system as soon as I figure it out.

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Edited by Aeroman, 29 May 2009 - 01:57 AM.


#7
johnnyoutlaw

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Get an ultrasonic fogger and an airstone in there. As the roots grow longer lower the solution level to expose more roots for misting. (but remeber, heathly vigorous plants consume a lot of water per day. Always check and refill the to the level desired)The point of the DWC portain of the setup is to have a safety net incase of equip. or power failure so your roots still have something till you correct the problem. Make sure to always check/meter the ph and ec/ppm levels and change out and clean
reservoir at least every 3 to 4 weeks. And ALWAYS keep grow room and yourself clean and don't tell anyone where your garden is at!!


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