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By Peat

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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BB (not verified)

Can't wait to see how it works out, Peat. Are you going to use your large pump for this one?

Peat
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User offline. Last seen 2 years 27 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2008-10-27

Thanks Bruce.

Yes, the original pump will be used - hopefully the water temp won't throw this one out...

There is one more idea, stack two of these containers on top of each other, the bottom one holds the nutrients and pump and the top one the sprayer only. The water pump sucks up the nutrients from the bottom reservoir and sprays them into the top, a drainage pipe in the top one allows the spray to drip back down into the bottom one.

I would then have a very large 'aero' space in the top container for the roots, they would also not be sitting in, potentially, warm water caused by my pump. 

Perhaps another design for the future... 

Peat
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User offline. Last seen 2 years 27 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2008-10-27

I went and built it... Could not wait.

I have six 3 inch (7.5cm) net pots to hold the hydroton, I have also drilled 3 holes in the top left of the container and put in rubber grommets - through these will go the main power lead to the water pump and two air lines to both air stones; decided  2 would be better than 1.

The container leaks (everything leaks with aero ), I will use some weather seal around the top of the box to put an end to this.

All built

First picture - underneath showing the net pots. Second picture shows the water pump and micro sprayers, 2 pieces of sponge either end stop the vibration on the horizontal sprayer bar, it also makes things sturdier.

Underneath showing the 3 inch net pots     Water pump and micro sprayers

BB (not verified)

Looking good, can't wait to see how it works out. Are you able to remove the power plug or disconnect the cord from the pump to get it through that small grommet or will you just cut it & solder back together once it's through?

Peat
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User offline. Last seen 2 years 27 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2008-10-27

Thanks; the plug is a molded type which I can't remove, I'll just cut it off and put another plug on the end.

jessijordan (not verified)

Wow Peat! This is incredible! You inspire me! I wanna make my own Aerogarden type thingy too!

 

Question, Are the grow rocks crucial? Can you just use any rocks or pebbles you want or maybe that stuff they put in fish tanks?

Peat
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User offline. Last seen 2 years 27 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2008-10-27

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.

jessijordan (not verified)

Sweet!

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

Peat
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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

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