Bubbler DYI Aeroponics SystemThe Bubbler type is actually a hybrid aeroponics/hydroponics system and is the easiest and cheapest of DYI Aeroponics system to build and operate. It often can be built from items that already exist in the household and is a good choice for your first attempt at indoor gardening.
The step and materials needed to build a Bubbler Systems follow:
- A container with a lid. This can be a bucket, a tote or just about anything that is strong enough to hold the nutrient solution and with a large enough surface area to contain the number and size of plants that you want to grow. The material the container is constructed from must be opaque since roots are genetically conditioned to grow in dark spaces. The material is also something that yuo will want to be able drill and cut holes into so a dark plastic is a good choice.
- Notch the the top rim of the container to hold the tubing for the flexible house that feeds the air stone. This allows the lid to sit flush on the container.
- You need smaller(s) container that can be filled with media and hold the plants. This can be net pots that you can purchase or something as simple as plastic cups with holes drilled in the bottom to allow the roots to pass through into the main container.
- The holes you cut in the lid should match the circumference of the cups or net pots so that they fit into the hole but do not fall through the lid. You can select container(s) that grow more smaller plants or fewer larger plants.
- An air pump, air stone and flexible tubing to connect them. The standard aquarium set up will work fine just make sure that the volume of bubbles produced sufficiently agitates the nutrient solution to produce near 100% humidity in the air surrounding the roots at the top of the container.
- Finally you will need growth media to anchor the plants in place in the plastic cups. There is a wide range of inert materials which can be used for this purpose. Heydite, clay pellets, Perlite, vermiculite, and Rockwool are the most popular choices. The media that work best are pH neutral, provide support for the plants, retain moisture, and allow space for air exchange.
- Fill the container with a hydroponics nutrient solution to a level so that the bottom 1/2 inch of the roots is submerged in the water.
Low Pressure DIY Aeroponics System.
Here is how to build a simple low pressure DIY aeroponics system. We are sticking with a low pressure design rather than a high presure system, since the precision required in the construction is more forgiving and the materials less expensive. If you want a high pressure system, which provides the most control over the process and produces the highest yields, we suggested buying a commercial unit or kit. For many people a low pressure system is adequate and will still produce a significant improvement over traditional gardening in terms of yield and time to market.
- As with the Bubbler you start with the container. In this case the accompanying pictures show a hydroponics bucket that can be acquired at garden centers or online as an illustration but you can also make you own from any container with a lid,
- Also as with the Bubbler you need a net pot or equivalent. You can find these at Garden Centers or order one online or make you on by drilling holes in a plastic cup. The surface area of the lid of the container determines how many net pots you can use.
- You will need a riser, a 360 degree spray head, and a water pump. This is standard plumbing and irrigation components and can be found in any hardware store. Place the pump in the bottom of the bucket and cut the riser so that when you mount the spray head it is close to the bottom of the net pot. The pump should drive enough water to completely soak the roots contained in the net pot.
Get a multi cycle timer, preferably a short cycle timer, and program it to run the pump alternating wet and dry cycles. The wet cycle should run long enough to soak the roots and then the dry cycle long enough to allow the solution to drain back into the container. You need to experiment with the timing of these cycles since it is dependent on the strength of the pump, the size and number of net pots and type of timer you have. Ideally, the roots should never be more than damp nor allowed to become overly dry and very short cycles are preferred. A typical cycle would be 5 seconds on followed by 5 minutes off.