DIY controller Bucket

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by DieselDude420, May 7, 2011.

  1. So ive been looking through this section and cant find any diy controller bucket threads. I will be going out of town for two weeks and need to find a way to keep my bubble buckets bubbling. If they do run out of water how long can they last. I am making the switch to 12/12 tomorrrow so they will be showing sex just before I leave. please help me out for the ladies' sake.
  2. lemme see if i can find the link to what i use.

    Build an ebb & flow type hydroponics system

    this place has the kit to make your own for 120 bucks. think it cost me 18 for ship. works great. suggestion though. if ur ising 5 gallon buckets for ur ebb and flow....u wont be able to fill ur buckets up all the way using a 5 gallon bucket as ur control. i havent tried to redo it yet. but i do need a taller bucket for the control. bout 6" taller would be perfect.

    only adding in my experience so it saves you money and time in the long run. good luck. enjoy ur vacation.
  3. #3 needa, May 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2011
    here are some pics and a few more tips.




    ok. that setup with pumps and rezzy ran me $320.

    when setting up your drain floats... u must set it with your pump heght. in other words.. if u set the floats too low... it will never pump out enough water. so stick ur pump in the bucket. line up the bottom float with the pump intake. mark it and drill it. then set ur next one over 2" up 1". spread em out for clearance on a round bucket(over). after draining. the water level will finish off in between the two floats (up). so u dont want anything more than 1" in height between the two.

    the fill floats. that height give me about 2/3 fill im my grow. i wish i wish i wish i had them near full..... more roots = bigger better plant. this is why i say 6" taller in my previous post. the middle float is ur height cutoff. the bottom is the one that triggers it to fill more. the top is emergency. these are pretty easy. i stuck i think i 1.5" gap in between the bottom two of these so my pump would turn on less. it isnt much. but if it saves me a power cycle every three hours then thats that many more days it will last.

    the drain lines....... im using 1/2" tubing as you can see. i run no more than four buckets on each line. this allows for really fast filling. kept me from having to fork out tons of cash on 3/4 tubing and fittings. the grommets are standard issue dollar a piece things from any hydro store. in order to make it toally leak free..... i went to the art supply store and bought a bag of glass marbles to fit in there. i tried dydroton... but i always had a drip or three no matter what i did. the marbles work great. and left me with tons of room for expansion if i decide to become a caregiver.

    i dont know how many plants ur growing or wanting to grow. but the rezzy size is really important. was a hundred bucks for that thing from home depot. its great. if your running 8 plants... that watter will last for 18 days without a fill. i dont know about you... but i dont want anyone touching my water. if they fuck it up while ur gone... ur screwed.

    i think its an 11/16 paddle bit to drill the holes. it is very important to drill these holes as perfect as possible. to do this....barely touch the bit to your bucket. crank up the drill let it ease in ever so gently. make sure ur bit is perpendicular and straight towards the bucket. when the outside teeth start scoring the line all the way around it.... ram it through. this will minimize the plastic that hangs off and will leave you with a perfect lillte circle of excess plastic that got melted. reach in and rip it off. just be careful not to enlarge the hole. starting the hole too fast will result in too much melted plastic and almost always will result in an oblong circle.

    and umm... when ur plumbing in the drain and fill lines, ull want to drill a 1/8" hole in the top of each one to prevent siphoning.
  4. Wow man that looks really complicated but definatelly one of the best that ive seen. Good instructions too. I actually just made a recirculating BB with 18 gal res from budslinger only ran me about 50 bucks or so. Hopefully it will work out great. But the sad news is I might not need it it looks to be that my hydro baby is deciding to show his balls. Not certain tho. If you want i uploaded some pics earlier in my journal, check em out. I cant post them on here because there was some error not letting me upload pics twice.
  5. #5 Original Past, May 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2011
    Hi there! I've built an auto-top off kit from the same company that sells the controller bucket, and it worked great! The kit above is designed to turn your bubble buckets into an ebb and grow type unit. Which might be suitable for your needs, but your bubblers would need to go into the controller, rather than the plant sites. In your case, you may be able to use a much more simple solution, if you wish to maintain the bubble bucket configuration and just add an auto-top-off to it. If you just want to autofill your bubble buckets, and keep the water at a certain level, you can do this quite easily by adding a big water reservior, a "controller" bucket, a float valve, and basic tubing/connectors.

    1) Fill your reservoir with your replacement water. This container should gravity feed (tube @ bottom of the container, and container is higher than the controller bucket.

    2) Install the float valve in the controller bucket. Adjust it so that it shuts off water flow at appropriate height.

    3) Connect your bubble buckets to the controller bucket... Be sure all the fittings/hoses are connected to the bottom of all the buckets.

    4) Connect your reservoir output to the float valve in the controller bucket.

    Gravity will push the water down from the reservoir, to the controller bucket. Gravity will continue to flood the plant sites. All buckets will level up at the same rate. Once the system starts filling up to the point where the float valve is engaged, the float will stop flow from the reservoir. As your plants transpire, and water evaporates, the level in all buckets will drop equally, disengaging the float valve, and allowing water to replenish from the res.

    Sorry, it's a bit tedious to describe in words, without pictures, but it's about as simple of a solution you can put together. It's also inexpensive, and super reliable. You just have to be sure to fill the reservoir with enough water while you're gone. You can also hook up your RO unit directly to the float valve (if you have an auto-shutoff for your RO unit), but I always get nervous leaving that thing on 24/7!

    Hope that helps!


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