New External Airlift System (and first-timer questions)

1:28 pm in Completed Window Farms, Nutrients, posts with pitcures! by Lincoln Jones

Hello everyone,

I just finished my windowfarm system last night. I started with the 2.0 instructions, but made quite a few adjustments along the way. One thing I really want to showcase is the airlift system. Seeing how many people are frustrated trying to build submerged airlift systems, I really recommend using an external system instead. I skipped using inflation needles, and went straight for the t-joint. But I figured there had to be a better, more reliable way than submerging a t-joint.

I got a 3-gallon water dispenser from Walmart, the kind that has the pouring spout. I took regular 1/4″ tubing, and wrapped a ton of plumber’s tape around it, and stuck it in the spout. (the spout screws apart, so you can actually pull the tube through) The water drains through the tube very well, it gets full water pressure since the spout is at the bottom, and you can even use the lever to stop water flow. I put a check valve on the water tube, so no air could bubble up into the tank, and I connected the tube to the perpendicular part of the t-joint. Then air comes in from one side, and the air/water mixture goes out the other. It’s helpful to keep the water tube perpendicular to the ground, and the air and air/water tubes parallel to the ground.

The system is incredibly reliable, and adjusting things and taking things apart is really easy, because it’s all out in the air and easily accessible. No wet hands!

Here’s a video of my entire setup, you can see the airlift system:

Lincoln’s Windowfarm on YouTube

(I’ll add pictures later)


A few quick questions, since I’m new at this:

  • What kind of water should I use? Is tap water alright, or should I use distilled water?
  • What kind of nutrient solution would be best for green veggies? (lettuce, swiss chard, peas)
  • Would aeration of the nutrient water help? (via airstone)
  • I’ve been reading a lot about the benefits of kelp, and I was wondering if that could be used as a nutrient solution alone, or if it was just supplementary.