DIY Aeroponic System

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Hot on the heels of the Aeroponic AeroGarden blog, I'm now going to build a much bigger aeroponic system.

Rubbermaid type container (35 litre / 9 gallon capacity), hydroton grow rocks, rockwool, six aeroponic sprayers, 3" net containers, airstone, Sicce Nova flow adjustable water pump, 125w (6400K) Eco-CFL grow lamp, digital timer...

Container dimensions- Length x Width x Depth (480mm x 390mm x 310mm) or (18.89" x 15.35" x 12.20") 

A few tasters.

A few items   Larger picture

All built!

All built   Underneath showing the 3 inch net pots   Water pump and micro sprayers   All running   Grow hood & lamp with starting week seedlings.   Seedling just about to be planted.   Hydroton at the bottom...   And planted.

The aero sprayer assembly follows my original design I did for the AG. I have drilled and grommeted three holes in the top left of the box (for the water pump power lead and air lines from the air pump), two pieces of sponge were placed at either end of the 'T' bar, they absorb vibration and steady the bar.

I anyone wants more build/technical details then just ask.

So what's the plan for all this? I'm going to start growing some mixed lettuce seeds (using rockwool) in my Aeroponic AeroGarden Conversion - give this a try out. Once the plants have got some good growth, I'll take the rockwool out and plant them into this unit; the rockwool will be surrounded by the hydroton clay pebbles. I'll then turn the beast on and see what I can get out of it - see below...

Weekly Grow Pictures (Click To Enlarge)

Week 0 - Starting Week   Week 1   Week 2   Week 2 Roots

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Ginger
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Gorgeous, Peat! Judging by

Gorgeous, Peat! Judging by your red plants, that's a great light you have on the system, too.

So these plants are 3 weeks old from seed, correct?

You might get better growth from the AG lettuces by giving them some more distance (or waterproof barrier) from the hydroton rocks. The hydroton seems to suck the life out of delicate leaves.

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Peat
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Thanks Jessi. It's not too

Thanks Jessi.

It's not too late to get them into a grow sponge, just make sure you really wash the soil off - every bit.

The beauty with this system is that it's aeroponic, it grows plants quicker than hydroponic...

jessijordan (not verified)
Hey Peat! Those are

Hey Peat!

Those are incredible!

Wow! I seriously have to rethink growing lettuce in soil.

Its loves water & does too well in a hydro system to ignore!

You think I can take the sprouts I have out of the soil and put them in water or is it too late?

 

Peat
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Week 1 One heck of a

Week 1

One heck of a difference in one week, the system is performing perfectly - a very happy Peat.

Week 1

The Tom Thumb butterhead lettuce is at the back left and front right. Back middle is the standard AG lettuce, all the rest are my mixed mesclun salad leaves.

The GH nutes will be kept at EC 1.8 and pH 6.0 for the entire grow.

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Week 0 - (Starting

Week 0 - (Starting Week)

After previously growing some lettuce from seed in the Aeroponic AeroGarden Conversion, I planted them into this system on 7th April 2009.

They are under a 125watt CFL 6400K (vegetative grow spectrum) grow lamp and hood.

Week 0 - starting week      Main Grow Hood

The feed is the full GH Growth Stage, EC is adjusted to 1.8 and the pH is at 6.0

Peat
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Thanks. I'm really happy

Thanks.

I'm really happy with this project, it all turned out better than I expected. I can't wait to get the thing up and running, first foray into aeroponics proper - apart from the AG dabble.

 

Ginger
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I love these action shots!

I love these action shots! Congratulations, Peat - well done!

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Peat
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At last I have it all

At last I have it all running, quite a bit of trouble with leaks caused some delay... I can now plant the AG up with lettuce, grow these to seedling and get them in here. I couldn't plant the AG up until this was waterproof - you can see the brown sealing strip around the top.

A little pic of the system running, I've adjusted the spray bar so it's just wetting the bottom of the net baskets when they go in. I don't want to soak them and water log the rockwool (which holds my seedlings), need some air through the rockwool for growth.

All running

jessijordan (not verified)
Sweet! Amazon.com has some. I

Sweet!

Amazon.com has some. I just might have to order them

Peat
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Thanks jessi, you will need a

Thanks jessi, you will need a bigger place the way you are expanding your army of plants.

The grow rocks are crucial, they are built of clay and absorbent. What they do is hold on to a small quantity of nutrient solution which benefits the roots, it's round and smooth so this does not damage the roots and it provides plenty of air to the roots - essential for good growth; plus, it's what's known as pH neutral - it won't effect your nutrients.

Here is a little picture of what happens in the baskets - it's not mine though, yet...

Roots using hydroton - not mine.

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