Grasscity - Cyber Week Sale - up to 50% Discount

Lets Build a Bubble Bucket *Step by Step*

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by Rumpleforeskin, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. #1 Rumpleforeskin, Oct 29, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2013
    I have posted this step by step build on other forums in the past. I hope someone can find use for it here.

    I have had a few requests for the plans to my home made bubble-bucket.
    So lets do the shopping first:

    Shopping list for local hardware store (Homedepot/Lowes)
    One five gallon bucket with lid.
    One roll aluminum tape (not duct tape).
    One 1/2" PVC Ball Valve (inside threaded on both ends).
    Two 1/2" PVC Male Adaptor **Thread x Socket**
    Two 1/2" PVC Elbow for Flexible Pipe.
    One 1/2" Threaded PVC Plug.
    One 1/2" Threaded Coupling.
    Two 1/2" Threaded PVC Adapter to Flexible Pipe (some times called funny fittings).
    Two 1/2" Grommets.
    Four "O" Rings that fit the threads of the Male Adaptor.
    One piece of 1/2" PVC Pipe (you need less then a foot per bucket).
    Two 1/2" PVC Tees
    2' Clear Flexible Tubing with 1/2" inside diameter

    Shopping list for the local pet store:
    8' of Silicone Airline Tubing
    2 Airstones
    2 Plastic check valves
    1 Air Pump

    Shopping list for a hydro store:
    1 6" Net Pot
    1 Bag of Hydroton Pebbles

    Lets Start Building

    We don't want light to pass through the bucket, so I use aluminum tape. Duct tape won't work. Light will pass through duct tape. Also its better to tape before drilling holes.
    Start by taping outside of lid.

    Completely tape the outside of the bucket. Do the outside bottom as well.

    We now need to cut a hole in the lid to fit your mesh basket. The hole has to be about 1/4" smaller then the top outside diameter of your basket. If you dont have any good hole cutting tools, you can use a razor (don't cut your fingers off). Drill/Cut your hole in the center of the lid.


    Its important to know the height of your mesh basket so you can position the fill hole below the bottom of your basket. After measuring your basket height, place your lid on your bucket. Mark your fill hole location about an inch more then your basket height from the hole in your lid.

    The 1/2" PVC Male Adaptor has an outside diameter of about an inch. This will be your drain, so it needs to be as close to the bottom of the bucket as possible. I measure up and mark it about 3/4" from the bottom of the bucket. If you drill to close to the bottom it will not install correct.

    I like to have my drain and fill, inline with each other. You can put them anyplace that works with your grow. Use a small drill to make pilot holes through your bucket.

    Now flip your bucket over. You should be able to see the locations of your pilot holes. Switch to a 3/4" drill bit. Anything that will make a 3/4" hole will work.

    Drill out your drain and fill holes.

    To make your fluid level Indicator. We have to drill two more 3/4" holes. Place the bottom hole at the same level as the drain. Drill the top hole 1.5" from the top. You can make the top hole higher if you want.

    Lets drill two holes (#7 drill bit or one slightly smaller then your air line) below the top lip on opposite sides of the bucket for the air lines.

    Now the fun part. Time to install all our fittings.

    Place O-rings on all both 1/2" PVC Male Adaptors

    Insert the male adaptors through the drain and fill holes from the inside of the bucket. It will be a tight fit.

    Add O-rings to the threads that stick out of the bucket. Then screw on your vlave to the drain and 1/2" threaded coupling + plug to your fill.

    Install your rubber gromits to the 3/4" holes you made for your level indicator. Note: If you can't find grommets, you can construct this using 1/2" PVC Male Adaptor, PVC Elbow for Flexible Pipe, and two O' rings.

    I like to cut half the barbs off one side of my tubing elbows. The cut side will go into the clear tubing. This gives me another inch or so of indicator.

    Install your two tubing elbows into your gromits. Careful not to push your gromits out of the holes you drilled. I spit on the barbs before installing them. Measure the distance between the two elbows.

    Cut your clear tubing to the same distance between the two elbows.

    Now install the tube to your elbows.

    Cut a 7.5" piece of 1/2" PVC pipe

    Attach the a PVC Tee to each end (no glue). Using a number 7 drill bit or a bit that is just slightly smaller then your silicone airline tubing, drill two holes in your pipe. Drill close to the base of the Tee.

    Cut about 4' of silicone airline tubing. Run your silicone airline tubing through your Tee and into your pipe then out the hole you drilled. It helps to cut a point into the end of your silicone airline to thread through the small holes.

    Attach your air stone and do the same thing to the other side.

    This will hold your air stones in place without adding any metal parts.

    Feed the airline through the bucket.

    If you want your air line to be neet, your can drill small holes in the top rings of your bucket and attach zip-ties.

    If you plan to have an air pump below your nutrient level, then you need to have check valves. You don't want to ruin your new pump by having water back-up into it.

    Now test out our new Bubble-Bucket. Look for leaks. Don't over tighten against your O-rings. If your rings smash, back up a turn or two.

    A few folks said they fear the sight indicators (light causing algae). I have used them the last four cycles, without any scum growth. They work so good, I don't know how I ever lived without them.

    Only clean roots and water here. Not even a hint of pond scum.

    They seem to help get the best end result. :hello:

    Well thats it. Go grow some pakalolo
    Peace, Rumpleforeskin. :wave:

    Lets Build a Clone Machine *Step-By-Step*
    Lets Build a Bubble Bucket *Step-By-Step*
    My Simple Harvest and Cure *Step-By-Step*
    Light Proof Mounting of an Axial/Box/PC Fan
    My Harvest Pictures
    <span style="color:rgb(0,0,255);">Rumple's 2nd LED Challenge</span>
    • Like Like x 10
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. That was a great how-to post. It should be stickied or add to the FAQ's. [​IMG]
  3. Brilliant post, foreskin, with great pics. +rep
  4. Good post. I don't know much about hydro, but when you change your water and/or check your ppm, and stuff, do you take the plant out and just sit it on the ground or what?
  5. Lol!:laughing: , Great question. I install a 1/2" ball valve at the base to drain and draw samples. I put in a fill plug at the high water point to add back nutrient solution.
    Hope that helps, R.
  6. wow +rep

    edit: Is this not worthy of a sticky in several area's..
  7. i fill mine directly thru the net pot & to drain, I undo the top fitting & turn the view pipe downwards, letting it drain off into a spare tub.
    It's worth adding an extra grommeted hole in the top for ph'ing between change-outs (make sure it's big enough so u don't drop ur wand in!)
    I didn't bother with the fancy airstone holder either, but put 2 x 2" stones in the bottom of each tub - great results.

    They really are that easy to make & are far more reliable that drip, nft & aero rigs as they have no internal pumps & nozzles to clog up.

    Make sure the airline is opaque btw ;)

    respect for a good no-nonsense guide m8. :smoking:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Awesome post good list of items and great i know what i
  9. I found a few O'rings that I use to seal the fittings still in the package. The correct size is 1"x3/4"x1/8". Here is a picture of the package.

  10. I have an alternative to using grommits. I was using grommits to hold the elbows of the sight indicator. It worked fine except it was hard to find the correct size grommit.

    I found a better way of making the sight indicator that will still use the same size hole.

    This is a 1/2" PVC elbow for flexible pipe. It can be found in the sprinkler section of the hardware store. You will need two of them.

    A long with 2 o'rings and one 1/2" male adaptors on each end. Note: I cut about half the barbs off.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Make sure its the correct length and install it on the bucket.

    Good luck, R.
  11. Very nice, I'm in the process of setting up my first DWC grow this helped alot.
  12. I'm going out tomorrow and buying all these things. I have been looking for a self contained hydro system for a while now, and this is perfect for my indoor stealth grow!
  13. very well thought out and put together. i'd like a dozen please. what shipping do you offer??
  14. The shipping would be more then the parts to build it. Thanks for the comments.

    Growing out of the top of my home made bubble bucket today (taken last week).
    This is a single plant. The others are drying in the attic.


    Peace, R.
  15. Its going to be my first grow. I am using a 30 gallon DWC setup. I will list all of my plans and maybe everyone can make sure I will be ok with my grow.

    Stealth Closet Dimensions: Height: 56'' x Width 40'' x Depth 28''(Planning on
    wrapping aluminum foil or mylar)

    DWC Dimensions:
    Height: 17'' x Width: 32'' x Depth: 20'' (Planning on wrapping
    aluminum foil or mylar)

    6 - 5'' Net Pots w/ rockwool sunk into top of course

    2 - 20-60 Gallon Aquarium Pumps w/ dual outputs

    4 - 14'' Airstones (makes tons of tiny bubbles no big bubbles, is
    this a problem?)

    400w Metal Halide (During veg. state 24hrs/day)
    400w HPS (During flowering 12/12)
    Timer for lights

    I am going to buy ph up and down and hydroponic nutrients
    I also plan on getting a digital ph reader and nutrient reader
    I plan on installing input and exhaust fans
    I will have to mess with it when it is set up to get temp/humidity correct.
    If I need to make more space for upward growth I can modify ceiling/shelf to accomodate
    Thanks in advance for your input!!
  16. Don't use aluminum foil. If you can't use mylar then just go with flat white paint.
  17. Bump to the top
  18. How much actual nutrient solution is in your 5-gallon resevoir? It seems like as the root ball gets bigger you lose a lot of room for liquid.
  19. Good question. To hook up a reservoir to this style of bucket, all you have to do is attach a hose/tube from the drain of the reservoir to the drain of your grow bucket/buckets. Now when you fill your reservoir the grow buckets will fill at the same rate (your drain valves must be open ).

    I use a normal grow bucket as a reservoir except a solid lid and no bubbles. I keep it filled with 3.5 gallons of nutrient mix. 3.5 gallons is my full mark that puts the nutrient level at 1" below the mesh basket with no plant installed. When the root-ball grows, it will still follow the same liquid level as the resevoir. Even if the grow bucket will only hold 2 gallons of nutrient, I can still have 3.5 gallons in the reservoir and everything will show the same level mark. It will only follow the height not the quantity.

    Can someone explain this better? I don't even understand what I wrote.

Share This Page