Chemilizer Fert Injector Unboxing

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Hydro Systems Chemilizer

New Fert Injector

I just received my Hydro Systems Chemilizer fertilizer injector to use with my drip irrigation system this year. I also bought a by-pass assembly. This will make it easy to remove or turn off the injector if needed by adjusting the shutoff valves.

Why I chose this model

I was debating between the Chemilizer, MixRite and Dosatron models. I choose the Chemilzer because of its price point, low-flow capability and ability to isolate the ferts from the pump mechanism. It also does not require filtration. You could pump pond water through it and it’d be fine. I’ll be filtering mine anyway, since it’s on a drip system.  Plus there is a filter on the bypass assembly, in addition to the inline filter I already have. Another bonus with the Chemilizer is the cost to maintain and replace parts as needed is relatively inexpensive. It has a two year warranty too, instead of a one year offered by the other brands.

Where I purchased it

I bought the Chemilizer and bypass through Nolt’s Greenhose and Supplies. You have to look at their PDF, and order by phone, but the people there are friendly and knowledgeable. They also have the best prices and selection and don’t overcharge on shipping.

How I will use this

I plan to install and use this with the drip irrigation system that I purchased from Drip Depot (another great company). I’m planning to mount the injector and by-pass to the top of a hand cart (dolly), and strap a 5-gallon bucket reservoir to the bottom of the cart. This should hold it up off the ground and make it easy to re-position as needed. I got the idea of this from another product that Nolt’s sells to compliment the Chemilizer. They had a nicer looking storage res, but the the hand cart looked like one you could get anywhere.


I will use Dyna-Gro 7-9-5 plant food. The reason is, it is an all-in-one solution and I can use with just one fert injector.  If I used my Masterblend, Epsom Salt and Calcium Nitrate  mix,   I’d need two fert injectors to keep the Calcium Nitrate concentrate separate, which would take my system way over budget. I’ve heard great things about Dyna-Gro. I’ll keep using Masterblend for everything else.


I’ll post updates and videos on how this works throughout the season. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel to see bi-weekly video updates showing the progress.


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Wick System Experiment using a 5 Gallon Bucket

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Seeing the positive results of my small wick system cups, I decided to experiment with an up-scaled version on a White Devil’s Tail pepper, which had been growing in a small Kratky setup.

Materials Used

Note: This is an experiment, and at the time of this post I can’t attest to how well it will work or not. I’ll post updates on how it does.


  1. Insert the strip of cloth through the bottom of the net pot about 4 inches.
  2. Drill a one inch hole in the net pot lid and insert 3/4″ pipe.
  3. Drill a 1/4″ overflow hole in the side of the bucket about an inch below where the bottom of the net pot will be. Ensure that the nutrient solution will not touch the bottom of the net pot.
  4. Put plant in net pot with potting medium and water in.
  5. Rinse bucket and fill with nutrient solution to just below the overflow hole.
  6. Place the plant under grow light.


I’m hoping that the constant feed for the plant combined with large reservoir should work out well for the plant, and for me (not having to water every day). Please see the video below to see how this was put together.  I will post updates here and on YouTube showing how it does. Subscribe to my channel to get notifications of new updates for this and other projects.

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How to Clone Peppers Using the AeroGarden – Easy and Reliable Method

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This method of cloning peppers (and most other plants) is very easy, cheap and effective. It requires no special rooting hormone.

Materials needed

  • Sharp snips or razor blade for cutting stem and leaves (disinfected)
  • Scissors for cutting the sponge material
  • Nutrient solution – If using the AeroGarden nutrients, use the strength you would for everything else. If mixing your own, use a little less than full strength. If unsure, do a trial run first, before committing all of your cuttings. Information on mixing your own nutrients can be found here.
  • Net cup/pot/basket – If using the AeroGarden just use a white basket like the ones that seed kit pods have. You can buy just the baskets from AeroGrow or Amazon.
  • Sponge material – For AeroGarden, this can be the peat based kind that come with seed pot kits, or something similar like the Park Seed Biodome sponges. This is what I use. Rock wool should work fine as well. For non-AeroGarden or Kratky just use something that will fit the net pot/cup/basket. You can use the AeroGarden baskets and sponges too if you want. Again, that’s what I use.
  • Container – For non-AeroGarden or Kratky use any food safe container that will hold water. The top needs to have a hole that can fit the plant basket. The AeroGarden baskets fit really well in containers that have 1.5 inch openings.
  • AeroGarden (although you can improvise applying the same principles). I use the following in my video:


Prepare sponge material and container

  1. Cut the sponge material lengthwise down the center (not all the way through) so that it can be opened up and folded around the stem.
  2. Make sure the AeroGarden or Kratky vessel contain nutrient solution. For the Kratky method the solution will need to touch the bottom of the sponge material by 1/4 to 1/2 inch. The solution will wick to the top via capillary action. For AeroGarden just fill to the max level you normally would use.

Prepare cutting

  1. This seems to work best with a relatively young, tender side shoot (sucker). The bottom will need to be just under a node at a 45 degree angle. Initially cut a little ways below that.
  2. Cut off the first few leaves from the bottom. Cut any larger leaves off or in half. Make sure there are no buds or blooms present. Cut at a 45 degree angle just below the bottom node.
  3. Spread the sponge material apart with one hand and lay the bottom part of the cutting inside. Close the sponge, folding around the stem.
  4. Place sponge in the basket/cup/pot and put in the growing system.


Within a few weeks start checking for roots. Just lift it out and look for any roots coming out of the sponge material. Once you see this you’ll know the cloning has been successful.

After the roots have grown some you can leave it in there, or transplant it to something else.

Video of my process:

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How to replace the nozzle/aerator stem on the AeroGarden Sprout

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Older models of the AeroGarden Sprout have an aeration nozzle with three small holes. These easily get blocked with time resulting in poor aeration. I reported this to AeroGrow and they gave me detailed instructions on how to remove the nozzle and clean it. But they also told me if I continued to have issues with it, they would send me a new nozzle that has one large hole, instead of the three smaller holes. So I cleaned the nozzle and it worked fine for a while, but the issue persisted. I contacted them again, and they sent me the new nozzle and repair tool free of charge.

What’s included

  • New version of the nozzle
  • Tool for removing the old nozzle. It looks like a piece of pvc with notches on one end.
  • Instructions

Steps to fix

  1. Use the supplied tool to twist the existing nozzle out by lining up the notches and turning counter-clockwise.
  2. Screw in the replacement nozzle and use the tool to tighten it back in, turning clockwise.


I’m very happy the customer service from AeroGrow. They’ve always been very responsive to issues and questions. They stand behind their product.

Video of the replacement process:

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How to make an alternative AeroGarden type system for starting pepper seeds

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I made a very inexpensive system that functions similarly to some AeroGarden models, out of a 5 gallon bucket. It uses 16 of the standard AeroGrow white baskets and sponges. You can save money by using the biodome sponges from Park Seed.

Parts needed:

  • 5 gallon bucket with lid – Get at Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, etc…
  • Air pump, stone and tubing – this is to oxygenate the nutrient solution. A cheap one from Walmart or Amazon will work fine.
  • 1.5 inch hole saw – 1.25 inch works too. It’ll be a little tighter and sit higher up.
  • AeroGarden grow baskets
  • AeroGarden sponges – Or save some money and get the biodome sponges from Park Seed.
  • Nutrient solution – You can use the stuff AeroGrow sells which works fine. In the long run, something like MasterBlend is cheaper. Here’s more information on buying and mixing that.

For germinating, seeds can be placed directly in the sponges and baskets, and set in the lid with nutrient solution touching the lower third/half of the sponges. In my testing, sprouts come up within two weeks. It would probably speed up the process to heat the water some, but I haven’t tried that.

* Links to Amazon are affiliate links.

I made a video showing how I put this together:

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Easy solution for changing hydroponic nutrients in standalone DWC system

I’ve worked out an easy way to refresh nutrients in stand alone DWC systems. It involves using a container within a container. The internal container has holes drilled in it and houses the plant and aeration stone and tubing. When changing nutrients simply add fresh solution to a new clean container. Then lift the internal container out and transfer it to the new container. The benefits of this are:

  1. Ease of changing nutrients reduces barrier to proper maintenance.
  2. When changing nutrients, roots are not disturbed.

I’ve been changing nutrients for my year+ old Jamaican Hot Chocolate every two weeks, but the rate of consumption has increased and more solution needs to be added in between weeks.

Here’s a video I made showing the process:

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TopoGrow Grow Tent 24″ x 24″ x 48″

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Grow tent with led light on

TopoGrow 24″ 24″ Grow Tent

I’m planning to build an improved low pressure aeroponics system, and will run a test of it in this tent using the UFO LED (216/65 watt) grow light. The plant I will use is Helios Hab since it should grow and produce early, and not get too huge.

Here’s a video showing the unboxing and assembly.

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Instructions that were included. It shows some assembly for other models as well.

instructions front

instructions back

Gianor 216W UFO LED Grow Light

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I just purchased a Gianor 216W UFO Led Grow Light from Amazon. It has 72 3 watt leds. I’m not sure how that translates, but the actual usage is supposed to be around 65 watts. Shown below are the specs listed on the Amazon site. It has good reviews and I think it’ll be great for what I’ll use it for. The shipped box contained the light, power adapter and hanging kit. I posted an unboxing video on YouTube (below).

Chips Brand: High Efficiency 3W Epistar Leds
Chips Qty: 72pcs 3W Leds ( 42* Red +12*Blue + 6* Whie+3*UV+3*IR+6*Orange)
Led: 72*3W= 216W
Actual Energy Consumption, 65W ±5%
Lumens: 5000~6000Lm
View Angle: 90°/120°
Working Temperature: 90°F -110°F (32.2°C – 43.3°C)
Lifespan: >50,000hours
Worldwide Voltage: AC85~265V
Warranty: 3 Years
Certification: CCC,CE,FCC, RoHS
Color Ratio, Full spectrum 430nm 450nm 460nm 630nm 640nm 660nm, 3500K, UV, IR, White, Orange.
Coverage Area About 3 x 2.5 Square Feet ( The lighting area and the height are changeable according to different plants and environments )

Unboxing video:

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