Growing hydroponics at home can be easy. While there are many pre-made systems designed for easy set-up and use, some of these systems can be quite pricey. A great alternative to pre-made hydroponic systems is to design your own system at home using supplies purchased from your local hardware and pet supply stores. I will give you some easy to follow steps so you can build a hydroponic system.
It may seem overwhelming to design a hydroponics system yourself, but don’t be intimidated. It really can be simple! All you need are a few tools and some confidence.
What You Need to Build a Hydroponic System
Here’s what you need:
- 2 Sturdy storage bins
- Silicone Sealant
- Mesh Pots
- Media (perlite, LECA or coco coir)
- Aquarium air Pump
- Air Stone and air hose
- Seedling or Small plant
- Drill & Bits
How To Build the Hydroponic System
Step 1: Make sure your sturdy bins are clean. Drill six to eight holes in the lid of your first bin using either a 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch drill bit depending on the size of your mesh pots. Insert the mesh pots (like the one below) and seal them in place with silicone sealant.
Step 2: Plant your small seedling or plant in the mesh pot and surround with media. My favorite growing media is LECA or hydroton. You can also choose another media if preferred. If you are starting from seed, you may need to purchase a seed starter kit (like the one below). Step 3: Fill the second bucket, which will be your reservoir bucket, with the nutrient solution (like the one shown below) and water. Be sure to mix the nutrient solution according to product directions. Then simply test the pH. The pH should be neutral, which is about 7. It’s okay if it’s slightly off, just nothing drastic.
Step 4: Insert the hose into the pump and then place the pump at the bottom of your reservoir bin. Follow the instructions on the digital timer(like the one below), set it to come on for one minute, two times each day. Connect the pump to the timer. Lay the drip line inside the plant bin so the nutrients drip into the bin.
Step 5: Connect the air pump (like the one below) to the stone and lay the stone inside the reservoir bin. The air pump itself should remain outside the bucket. Make sure all the pumps have electricity and your system should be ready to go.
It can be simple to build a hydroponic system. The process will take about an hour, and you’ll save money doing it yourself. If you feel more comfortable with a simple pre-made system, there are some wonderful products available. You can read my Review of Hydroponic Systems for some great pre-made options.
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