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DIY Bubble Cloner / Veg Bucket and Using it

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by RobsGreen, May 3, 2008.

  1. Wow I can't believe I'm actually posting a thread like this, never thought I would be cloning! I needed to make a cloner and this project I managed to take pics all the way through so thought I would post a DYI. I have a small scale setup and want to speed things up so cloning is the way to go. I don't have a lot of room and wanted something that I can clone and veg in and then move to the hydro bucket without any shock which = loss time. I checked out a bunch on cloners on the net and decided the bubble cloner was for me, after all I do DWC which is the same thing and its seems like its one of the best methods. So my plan is to take clones from a mom plant, once they have roots I'll pick the best 2 and transplant them into a 6" net pot with hydroton pebbles, at that point I'll switch the lid on the cloner which the 6" pots will fit into. Then once I veg them until I run out of room in the veg area I should be able to simply move them over to the flowering chamber. Sounds good on paper, I think and hope it will work well. I'll be sure to keep this updated until the transfer. Here's how you make one.

    2 1/8" hole saw
    1 3/4" hole saw
    1/4" drill bit
    Razor blade

    Rubbermaid bucket with lid (24" x 16" x 8.75" in pic)
    Hard foam garden knee pad (PlantSmart at walmart)
    Heavy duty foam tape weatherstripping (1/8" thick and wide enough to fill the inside slot on the lid)
    Tin tape
    Big air pump (60g in pic)
    Silicone air tube
    Air stones

    First you want to draw some holes on the lid for the clones to go, use the base of the 1 3/4" saw bit for a template.

    Then drill them out with the 1 3/4" saw bit.

    Then switch over to the 2 1/8" saw bit, important to use this type of bit and cut out some inserts.

    Then clean them up a bit and cut a slit down the middle to the center hole. Then clean out the center holes with the 1/4" bit.

    Now comes the hard part, tape the whole bucket and lid with tin tape, you want it light proof.

    Then line the inside edge of the lid with the 1/8" thick foam weather stripping, this will keep the bubbling water in the bucket. You don't want anything thicker then 1/8" or the lid won't go on properly.

    Next drill 2 - 1/4" holes on the back at the very top from the inside of the bucket for the air hose. Also glue the air stones to the bottom and the tubes in place, a glue gun works great for this. If you're going to have more clones then me then you might want to add some extra air stones and have them staggered.

    Here's a look at the back.

    And there you have it, a decent little bubble cloner. You might also want to add another 1 3/4" hole at the very front corner for checking PH and adding more water.


    I'm sure you noticed the water level indicator, that's not really necessary and can cause problems later and may not even work. Right now I have it filled over the indicator which I expected but it may also be lower then it when I veg. :D I wanted it there for vegging, guess time will tell if it was worth it. If you want it like that its just 1/2" plastic pipe fittings from home depot. I have a rubber washer on each side and used heavy duty silicon all around for extra support, these containers are quite flimsy.
  2. This part is for the vegging lid if you so desire. Its a little harder to make and requires a few more tools.

    Glue Gun
    Tin snips
    Dremel is handy

    Another bucket and lid, same as cloner
    Piece of screen
    Tin tape

    Start by cutting the extra bucket, about 1/3 the way. Don't mind the other end missing in the pic, I messed up at first, all this was just guess work. Tin snips are my favorite for the job but a sharp knife should do fin.


    Here's how it should look once its cut.

    Then you want to cut the side top edge off, leave the very top lip though.

    Here's how it should look as your cutting

    Then take a razor blade and clean it up, not necessary though
    Then cut the bottom of the piece above about 2 - 2 1/2", when its placed in the bucket it should look like this. There should be just enough room to place the lid on the bucket.

    Then flip your lid over and place the cut container on it and press it firmly so its nice and flat.

    Make sure that glue gun is heated up and you have plenty of glue and glue it in place.


    Now cut a rectangle hole in the middle of the wall, this will let water through. In case you didn't know the wall is to keep the roots separated so they're not tangled when it comes time to move them.

    Cut out a piece of screen of some kind and glue it over the hole. My glue gun quit for some reason so out came the lighter. :D

    Now we need to make 2 holes for our 6" net pots. A good way is to lay the pot on the lid, wide end down and trace around it. Then when you cut stay inside the line about an 1/8" or a little more all the way around then your pot should fit in nice and snug.

    Here's a look inside now with the lid on, roots should stay apart. You can also see how I stayed inside the circle.

    Now the horrible job of taping it up and you've got your vegging lid. The only thing I didn't take a pic of is you might need to cut a small slot on the wall at the back so your air tub doesn't get pinched.

  3. And now you might be asking, how do I use a bubble cloner. Its actually quite easy, just fill it with water turn on your air pump and set your clone in, wait about 10 days or a bit more for some decent roots and then do whatever you wish with them. Here's a list of things to remember.

    • Water temperature should be between 70f - 80f
    • Regular tap water works fine as long as its under 250ppm (so they say) let it bubble for 24hr before adding clones though
    • No additives to add, just dip the clone in cloning gel
    • PH shouldn't matter too much is what I'm reading, anywhere from 5.5 to 7 should be ok, I set mine at 5.8 though, thats what hydro likes
    • Clones should be in the bubbling water 1" - 4"
    • Keep things as clean as possible, a light proof container will definitely help

    Here's a quick lesson on cloning, This is my first time doing it so be nice if I say something wrong, did it 3 days ago but everything is looking great and I'm very confident all or most will get roots.

    First take a cutting from a plant thats in veg mode, usually known as mom. It should look something like this, at least 3 nodes. When you cut it do so at a 45 degree angle.

    Then remove the bottom fan leaves at the base and cut all the other big leaves in half. Then make a few small slits at the very bottom of the clone, dip in cloning gel and place it in the foam insert and plug it into the cloner.

    There's really nothing to it, now don't be surprised if they all look like there going to die, 45 minutes after I took my cuttings 7 of them were laying flat and limp and another was just about there, the first 2 were still standing ok. I thought the 7 were definitely doomed and was ready to throw them out but it was getting late and I decided I would do it the next day. Next morning I opened the cab and to my surprise they were all standing straight up and quite stiff. Its been 3 days and they look as good as the first day so all should be good. I'll report when I have some roots.

    45 minutes after cutting them. Pic doesn't do it justice, they looked horrible!

    7 hours or so later.
  4. Great DIY robs! its gives me the desire to make my own EZ cloner instead of buying the 300 dollar one.. seems simple enough. how are you gonna keep t he resi temps down? are you using a chiller?
  5. I always love a good DIY project and just so happens I have been looking for a homemade Cloner blueprint....+ REP
  6. Thanks guys. Its definitely much better to make your own, lots of these products on the market aren't made very well and yeah way over priced. I was going to do the EZ cloner but because I want to veg in it too this works best for me. Sounds like they both work about the same. I've read several times the res temp doesn't really matter so much for cloning, anywhere up to 80f should be ok. The temp and PH probably don't matter to much because there's no nutes at this time, once I start vegging in it, it will probably make a bit of a difference. I actually bought a aquarium heater just in case, cool water is worse for clones. You don't want to be under 70f, 75f sounds like its the best. My damm $30 heater doesn't even work properly, won't shut off, I can't even take it back, I cut the plug off. :mad: For most people you probably won't need to do anything to the water, once it gets to room temperature it should be ok. The tin on the bucket seems to keep the water about 4d cooler then the air around it so if your clone area is 70 then you may need a water heater or heat mat. My waters at about 73 right now, it will have to do for vegging, I'm sure it will be ok though. :smoking:
  7. so the cuts just hang in the bubbling water and they root?
  8. Yeah, sounds to easy I know. I think I got the start of my first root, it happens to be on the first clone I took from the plant I'm not sure about. 6 of these 10 are definitely female so I hope they root.

    Day 5

    Above pic is top right corner.
  9. very cool!

    looking forward to seeing how they are in about a week

    got shiny new clones going now too, ones that are days old and ones that are about 10 days but didnt build a machine or anything, just rootin in rockwool and peat pellets and hoping for the best!

    I have bad history with clones, taking it a bit more serious this round
    (as in a used a dome and betterr light, cut em more carefully, you know the drill)

    *first really good genetics

  10. Yeah its nice to see that, I'm hoping its not a hair, lol. I was going to do the rockwool thing but this seemed easier and more permanent. The nice thing is I can lift the lid and see how there doing, no waiting for them to pop out of the rockwool. Be careful not to keep the rockwool to wet, that was my biggest fear, it can really cause growth problems. I think thats why my #2 plant didn't root quick, I kept it to damp. Also no dome required when bubbling just light. Hope everything goes well for you. :smoking:
  11. i hope it's not a hair too!


    good luck man!
  12. nice cloner mate
    id install a humidity dome over it
    i bet ull be good at it
  13. Very nice Rob. +rep. Love DIY. Very slick divider.
  14. Hey screwdababylon, that's another nice thing about these bubblers, you don't need a dome over the clones, they supposedly get everything from below.

    Thanks for the rep Don, appreciate it! DIY is the way to go, having to do all this stuff is what keeps it fun for me. I'm already planning another setup for someday, kinda like yours. ;) Glad you like the divider, it took longer then the bucket, minus all the damm taping, oh how I hate that job, but like you say that aluminum tape is the shit! :smoking:
  15. rob i was going to post this in your other thread, but i figured that since im here.. why not, eh?

    well from cultivating psylocybe mushrooms for a couple of years, i would think that investing in a sonic humidifier would be GREAT for an mj grow. if you need to keep your humidity up, ask me how to install one. you can find good ones for 60bucks.
  16. Whats the difference from a sonic humidifier and a normal one? I did a quick google but it just wants to sell me some. What part of the box do you recommend it for? Right now the flower chamber is 40% and the clone/veg chamber is 30%. Clone area will never get any higher then that but the flower chamber I expect to get to high, its going up everyday as theres more plant matter. My last box I had to vent 24/7 because of high humidity near the end, if it was off for 20mins it started to rain. lol I guess another question, where would I put the thing? I don't have a lot of room left for that kind of stuff like I want. Although you mention install, so it can't be the regular bucket type I'm thinking of. Is humidity really that important? At this point I feel like its the least important factor but of course I could be totally wrong. How do you feel about foggers for humidity? I was thinking of going that route when I first started. Now you're probably sorry you even brought it up. LOL :smoking:
  17. sonic humidifiers dont use any type of heat or temperature changes. if im correct, it just uses "sonic pulses" to make a fine mist that evaporates immediately when it comes in contact with the air. with that low humidity in the clone/veg chamber, i would suggest it in there. for flower, 40% is perfect; dehumidifiers work if it rises! if i were you, id install it on the Right side of your box.. like install a small horizontal shelf on the outside of the veg chamber with a tube connecting to the chamber. as with install, i meant... if you hook a sonic humidifier directly to that small of a chamber, itd be raining in five minutes. people use 2liter botters hooked in a line to get just to the right humidity. as for the importance factor, people pull off successful grows even with it not being the top priority. so i suppose its not all that big of a deal. foggers... never used them, but i do know that you wouldnt be able to control how much is let out, or youd have to put it on a seperate timer. i have heard of people putting them in bubble buckets and air systems, though. and oh no, theres not much else to do at 2:00am in the morning.
  18. I hear you on the 2am thing, this is when I seem to wake up too, how shitty is that. I guess I'll see what happens with these clones and go from there, the leaves do feel a little dry but they still look pretty good. I was actually just reading about the foggers in a DWC system, sounds interesting, might have to give that a try. Although I need to seal up my main bucket somehow, one day I noticed water and was all worried I had a leak, turns out when the water level is high there's enough bubbles to cause a little water to run down the side, the rim all the way around is white. :( Was only a problem when I first started and needed high water level. The cloner on the other hand hasn't let a drop out and the water level is about 2-3" from the top. Well more help needed on my other thread. :D
  19. yo the fogger in the buble bucket can raise the temprature of the water
    if its on all the time - i dont know how exactly but u beter check this out
    maybe itll be perfect for clones becouse they like the water to be warm\

  20. good to know, I certainly couldn't have my water any warmer then it already is.

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