I’m new to hydroponics and I just built my first system the other day. This is a really fast and easy system, it took me about an hour to build and I used only parts that I already had at hand. The materials that I used are:
- Medium sized plastic pop bottle
- Small plastic flower pot (similar diameter as the bottle)
- - Metal coat hanger wire (for the hanger)
– Standard fsh tank tubing, check valve and T-joint (two of them)
– Air pump (just a cheapo one I had from an old fish tank)
– Coarse gravel (as my growing medium)
- Electical tape
– Calking (to seal the connection between the tubing and the bottle cap)
One thing that took me a little bit was to get the airlift system to work out. I just had pictures of other people’s to go by without much explanation of how it works. Turns out it is just a simple syphen that is supercharged by an air pump. Pretty cool. I fond that it will work as long as the T-joint that introduces the air into the water stream is below the water level within the pop bottle. Knowing this, I put it pretty low down on the column. Right now I have the water level about midway between the bottom of the flower pot and the top strip of electical tape. You can kind of see it, but the tube running up the left-hand side of the column is my water level gauge (note that due to displacement by the pot and gravel, it’s a bit higher inside the column than what’s shown on the gauge…figured that one out the hard way… *splash!*). I’m starting out by trying to hatch an avacado seed. It was sitting in water for about a week before putting it into my gizmo, in which it’s been for about 4 days now. It’s JUST starting to crack open. So I’ve got high hopes.
Currenlty I have no added furtilizers or nutrients in my system. After some research I will will begin experimenting with that.
My next challange will be to try and think of a way to quiet it down a bit. Right now it sounds like that slurping noise as if someone’s blowing bubbles in chocolate milk through a straw. Being in my bedroom it gets a bit annoying. Anyone have any ideas?
Did a quick energy use calculation. Turns out this is a super cheap system to run!
- The air pump has a power rating of 1.5Watts. By staying on 24/7, this gives us:
- 1.5 W/1000 = 0.0015 kW – 24 hrs/day * 365 days/year = 8760 hrs/year
- 0.0015kW * 8760hrs/year = 13.14 kWh/year
- 13.14 kWh/year * 0.12 $/kWh (at the worst of times) = $1.58/year **Here in eastern Ontario, Cananda, we pay
Pocket change! about $0.12 per kWh