Faye's Coffee Can Cloner DIY Tutorial

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by 3Deez, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. #1 3Deez, Oct 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2012
    Hello Blades!
    Before we get into the tutorial for Faye’s coffee can cloner, I’d like to give a little background about how it came about. After a few grow cycles of learning how to grow the herb, I realized that like a lot of growers, I like to grow from clones whenever possible. The issue I had though was that I had a dismal success rate for cuttings that would take root. Eventually I found a fellow blade (Smokey4200) who showed me a really efficient way to clone in cups but for whatever reason, my rooting ratio still was not where I wanted it to be…so one day my good friend and also fellow blade Fayn2madness showed me another simple and effective way to get clones with high rooting success using a wide mouthed container, an aquarium air pump, air stone and non chlorinated water…that’s it!! No humidity dome, no rooting hormone, no leaf trimming…none of that extra stuff!! I had all the materials around the house except for a suitable wide mouthed container…then it came to me…I have an empty coffee can that I had just thrown away…so there was absolutely no extra cost to construct!! Over time, I made a few modifications to it and I also got some really good modification ideas from another fellow GC blade Papawayne who also made one . Now my rooting success ratio has been close to 100% with roots sprouting in as soon as 5 days!! I know that this is not the first ever DIY bubble cloner but it IS the first idea from my friend and I’d like to share it with you readers…so go with it!

    Because this was all originally her idea, I’d like to dub this cloner as Faye’s Coffee Can Cloner” .

    Okay, here is the list of material needed. Hopefully you’ll have this stuff already laying around like I did (makes it so much sweeter :D).
    -Coffee can with lid (you can use any wide mouth container for this but the coffee can looks good :D. Also, Papawayne came up with the idea of using the lid to hold the cuttings..thanks PW!)
    -Aquarium air pump/air line ( I used a wal-mart purchased one that cost approx $20. It can be used to for an aquarium up to 80 gallons or something like that.)
    -Air stones
    -Non-chlorinated water
    -Something to make a small hole in the can (drill bit, nail, scribe…whatever)
    -Thick sponge (not used before for cleaning). These will hold your cuttings in the lid so thick is better.

    Lets Get Started:
    1. Take your empty coffee can and clean it out with fresh water then dry it.
    2. Using your nail, drill bit or whatever, poke a hole in the can just beneath the top lip of the can. If you have an air pump with dual outlets like mine, make a hole on each side and run the lines through them and attach air stones.

    3. Using a blade, take your lid and cut squares into it. You can make as many as you can fit. I cut my squares at angles in order to fit 6 squares for 6 cuttings at a time. Feel free to do more or less…its your call.

    NOTE: Once the cloner is fully assembled, you will be placing the lid updside down on the can (not the normal way for it to snap shut). This will allow you to remove the lid without disturbing the cuttings in order to view the root growth.


    4. Using the blade, cut your sponge into squares that will coincide with the size of the squares in the lid. You want to cut the sponge squares slightly larger than the squares in the lid so that they won’t fall through as they get heavier once they soak up water.


    5. Using your nail, drill bit or whatever you used for the holes in the can, poke a hole through the sponge. Take the blade and cut a line from the hole to the edge of the sponge. This is important because you will use this cut to open the sponge to retrieve the clone once it has roots!

    6. Fill the container with enough water so that ends of the cuttings are submerged in the water.

    7. Place the unit in a location where the cuttings will get ample light. I have found that cuttings don’t need a great deal of light to develop roots so my unit sits in a window where the cuttings can get light from the sun.

    8. Wait a few days and check for roots. Be careful though. I have broken fragile tap roots off while lifting the lid to take a peak. I tend to get tap roots at 5 days!! The pic here shows roots at 12 days!!:hello:

    Note the orientation of the lid (upside down). Thanks Papawayne for the reminder! ;)


    A Pic of the final assembled unit.

    So there you have it...Faye's Coffee Can Cloner! I hope that this tutorial will help someone out as much as it has helped me. Best of luck to you all!!
    • Like Like x 2
  2. #2 papawayne, Oct 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2012
    Hey DDD,

    Nice tutorial! Faye's Coffee Can Cloner...I like that.

    You might want to mention that the lid goes on upside down, so it's easy to lift off and check the clones.

    See ya...

    EDIT: Here's a pic of mine today.

  3. Dang it...thanks PW! I was sure that I forgot some stuff in there. If the site will let me edit it in there, I'll hook it up.The lid was definitely good input from you and works ALOT better then the foil that I was using. The clones stand up nice and straight now ;). I love the way that we can just take the lid off and see the rooting progress!
  4. Hey DDD I have an extra hydrofarm pump that is rated for 3.2 liters per minute, do you think it'd work for a coffee cloner? Love the tutorial btw! :D

    Also what kind of sponge did you use? It looks white :confused:
  5. Im pretty sure that pump would work fine. The can is'nt very big so I dont think that it requires massive amounts of oxygen at first. Once the roots grow, I suspect that the more oxygen the better. I actually pinched off one of the air lines to shut off one of the stones...but that was more because my wife was complaining about the noise from the bubbles...yeah...noise from bubbles:rolleyes:.

    The sponge that I used is from a cleaning pack that my wife had. She wasnt using them for anything because they dont clean very well so I snagged the ones she had not used yet. Its more like a foam sponge but I also saw some other ones at the grocery store that are really thick and would work the same. The main thing is that once the sponge is wet, it'll get heavy and fall through the lid so the thickeness helps (plus cut the sponge bigger than the cut out in the lid then wedge them in place.)
  6. This looks great and very easy. I too am struggling with clones, in fact tomorrow I'm delivering a few cuttings to a friend to clone in his aero cloner simply because I can't seem to get ANY to root. This is much simpler than any of the other diy cloners, and it's great because it's small and I don't need A LOT of clones.. only like three

  7. My current set of cuts are now 3 for 3 with roots so yeah the ratio is very satisfactory.;)
  8. Hey DDD,

    Every clone I've put in Faye's Coffee Can Cloner has rooted within 6-10 days, with no humidity dome and no misting of the clones.

    It's hard to beat 100% germination! ;)

    See ya...
  9. Good to hear Papa! I too got 100% success with the current run (3 for 3). Did you catch what I mentioned about the additives to the water from your question in the journal? Ive been wondering more about that. Im wondering if adding supplements like aloe and kelp would help the clones to last inisde the cloner for long periods of time. If so, this would help to aleviate space issues. The clones could sit inside the cloner when I dont have space to transplant them right away. Ive noticed new growth on the ones I have in there now and a bit of stretch also. I think that it'll be worth the time for experiment. Any thoughts?
  10. ...quick and simple, I like it!
  11. #11 papawayne, Oct 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2012
    Hey DDD,

    I'm still in the experimental stage myself. So far, all I've used is the 1 Tbsp aloe and 1/4 tsp kelp extract. When I add that to the water the roots increase quickly, so I think that's a good starter.

    I may try steeping a little alfalfa meal to go in there, too, just to get some top growth happening - maybe 2 Tbsp/gal, steeped for 24 hours, then add 2 Tbsp to the cloner water.

    As long as the top stays green and healthy, I don't see any reason why the clones couldn't stay in the cloner for a long time. It's no different from a hydro setup. You'll probably run into deficiencies after a while, though, unless you add a more complete nutrient solution.

    For a long-term solution, maybe 1/2 cup compost, 1/2 cup EWC, 2 Tbsp alfalfa meal, 1 Tbsp kelp meal, steeped for 24 hours, then add 2-3 Tbsp (1/4 cup?) to the cloner, plus 1 Tbsp aloe?

    Now that we know the basic principle is sound, there's plenty of room to experiment. How about inviting people to share their cloner solutions in this thread, with pics, so we can zero in on the perfect formula. :hello:

    See ya...
  12. My goodness man...its like our brains are linked or something (now if I could only think likle you do with getting good buds)!

    I got an alfalfa/kelp mix steeping right now. I started it the night before last because I need to give a little to my mother plants. A little bit in the cloner sounds like a plan.

    Also, that sounds like an excellent idea to get other folks to chime in with ideas. Im completely open to any input from anyone!
  13. Hey DDD,

    Before and after pics would be good thing. Take a pic before you add the alfalfa/kelp, then another two days later. Be sure to document how much alfalfa/kelp was steeped, and how much you added to the cloner reservoir.

    I'll do the same here.

    See ya...
  14. Sounds like a plan! I used the kelp/alfalfa ratios that you gave me a long time ago. 2Tbsp of each to one gallon of water. How much to add to the cloner, I hadnt thought about yet...but Im trusting your instinct for ratio. I might go a little lighter though...maybe start with 1Tbsp and see how it goes :confused:? I'll be sure to get some before shots also.
  15. This DIY looks great and I cannot wait to try it +rep. One thing I would add is a check valve so the water doesn't flow back into the pump if there is a power failure. :wave:

  16. Hi Maddman:wave:. I had not thought about using a check valve. Water going back to the pump never occured to me. Ive shut the pump off before (for non-related reasons) and never had any back flow problems. I keep the airlines fairly long but mostly for the reason of being able to have pump sitting away from the window that the unit is sitting in.

    Thanks for the input...and be sure to post up some pics here if you do in fact decide to make one.;)
  17. OK I got all the parts except the sponge now and I'm looking at it, I'm thinking "what about this light that is getting through here, should I tape up the coffee bucket good??"

    Wouldn't want algae growing in there mucking up my air stones.

    Also I'm thinking about using pieces of the plug tray from my existing cloning setup and sticking the sponges in those? Or do you think I am just over complicating things with that?

    Going to get the sponge later unless I figure out something better.
  18. Hey maddman,

    Don't forget, this is a ghetto cloner. Here in the ghetto, we just raise the pump higher than the cloner. :D

    Sorry...couldn't help myself. :p

    See ya...
    • Like Like x 2
  19. I dont know how much light actually gets into the cloner. This current run is the second time that I allowed the clones to go approx 2 weeks and I have not had any issues with algae. Since PW and I have been discussing the possibilities of going longer by using the alfalfa/kelp/aloe to supplement, there might be necessity for emptying the water at some point and adding fresh water at different intervals. Thats another thing that we'll have to wait and see.

    Papwayne uses neoprene plugs for his. He made circle cuts and fit them in (and his looks much more neater than mine) ...so any similar material you have would likely work as well. I just used the sponge because I wanted to be able to have more cuttings in the cloner at once.
  20. I was thinking something like this :) and cut out the sponges to fit down into them :hello: I wonder how much the neopreme inserts would cost at the hydro store, care to elaborate papa?

    My bucket is not red like you guys, this bucket is actually blue.

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