How to Make Low-Pressure Aeroponics System – Version 2

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Old Version (v1)

Last year I built a low-pressure aeroponics system with a discarded icing container, and some PVC pipe. It had a submersible pump that sprayed nutrient solution through nozzles inserted in the PVC spray manifold. It worked very well, but there were a few issues I noted. One was it had a very small reservoir, and as a result nutrient solution was depleted rapidly. Secondly, it was hard to change out solution with out disturbing the roots. Lastly I think I the number of spray nozzles was a little overkill. There is a video showing how I made it here.

Design Changes (v2)

The new version has a smaller spray bar, and fewer nozzles. I also used a 11/64″ brad point drill bit size that made it unnecessary to tap the hole. I used two 5-gallon buckets. The internal bucket contained all of the functioning parts. The submersible pump was mounted underneath, and connected to the spray bar through the bottom of the bucket. The bottom and lower third of that bucket had holes drilled in it. The nutrient solution is placed in the second (external) bucket. When the internal bucket is placed,  the solution flows through the holes. This does two things. It allows easy access to the pump for cleaning or replacement, without having to touch the roots. This also makes it very easy to replace nutrients, by simply removing the internal bucket and placing in another bucket that contains fresh nutrient solution. A third benefit is the internal bucket is offset to a greater height because of the under-mounted submersible pump. This allows for more solution to be added at a time.

Materials needed

PVC parts
sched 40 1/2″ PVC pipe –
3 x 1″ long pieces
1 x 7/8″ long piece
2 x 3″ long pieces
2 x 1/2″ couplers
2 x 1/2″ caps
2 x 1/2″ slip 45 degree elbows
1 x 90 deg tee
1 x 1/2″ adapter threaded/slip (screws into the pump) – get at a Lowes or Home Depot

3 x Spray nozzles and 11/64″ drill bit – https://goo.gl/QX4u9j

Submersible pump
1 x EcoPlus 728310 Eco 396 Submersible Pump, 396GPH http://goo.gl/n4cmuL (I mentioned in the video that I had seen one by Apollo Horticulture for 10.00, but don’t see that available at the time of this posting.)

Drill bits for internal bucket – These don’t have to be exact, the 11/16″ is what I used. It needs to be either exactly the diameter of the 1/2″ PVC pipe or just under.
1/4″
11/16″

2 x 5 gallon buckets – https://goo.gl/qUS06c (You can get these cheaper at big box stores)

1 x 5 gallon bucket lid Approx. 2.00 in box stores
1 x 3″ net pot https://goo.gl/NUZKIu
1 x 3″ hole saw – https://goo.gl/TPehGL
OR
*You might want to modify this design using a 6 inch bucket lid net pot. That would offer a little more stability and save some work and money. (6 inch net pot – https://goo.gl/8nlTAS) If you use this you won’t need the regular bucket lid, 3 inch net pot or 3 inch hole saw.

Supporting media
Clay pebbles/hydroton – https://goo.gl/pKFvKk
*alternately you could use coco coir chips instead – https://goo.gl/q5k8Dl

Power cord management
1 x 1 7/8″ hole saw – https://goo.gl/dRz3GN
1 x 2″ neoprene cloning collar – https://goo.gl/sb3bMe (This also has the spray nozzles needed, listed above, but doesn’t included the 11/64″ bit)

See videos below for steps to produce

Conclusion

Overall this system works very well. Doing over I would have made a couple changes. One, I would use a 6 inch net pot bucket lid instead of attaching a 3 inch net pot to regular bucket lid. Second, I would incorporate supports either coming out of the (larger) net pot or along the sides of the bucket. I will go back and add supports to mine, probably using 1/2″ or 3/4″ PVC gorilla taped around the sides.

Videos

 

 

 

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2 Replies to “How to Make Low-Pressure Aeroponics System – Version 2”

  1. Would a netting or some such prevent as many of the roots from leaving the inner bucket? It seems they could endanger the pump.

    1. You could add some netting, or use smaller drilled holes. I didn’t have any problems with mine. Having the pump external to the inner bucket makes it easy to clean around if needed.

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