How to Build an Aeroponic DWC Bucket System

HydroGrowLED

LED Specialist
Vendor
Since my first grow almost 16 years ago I've been a true believer in Hydroponics. The first time I went to a hydro store they had an experiment testing flood and drain, NFT and aeroponics units in a 3-way side-by-side. The more advanced the system, the faster the plants grew. I went in week after week and was fascinated, so I bought my first aeroponic hydro system because it grew plants the fastest/biggest.

As many who buy pre-built systems learn, they often leak and are prone to sprinkler and drain clogging. For this reason I decided I would build my own for my second grow, which I did using 5 gallon buckets. This design is a new rendition of my original bucket that allows more space for beefier root systems. The goal was to originally use it to grow a Papaya tree, but the more I think about it, the lid of this bucket won't support that much weight so I will probably do something else.

Supplies List:
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(2) 5 Gallon Buckets (Preferably Food-Grade Plastic in Black, but I couldn't find black this time)
(1) 5 Gallon Bucket Lid
(1) 3" or 5" Net Pot
(1) 396gph Pump
(2) Feet of 1/2" Hose
(2) 90 Degree 1/2" Elbows
(1) 1/2" T Fitting
(10) 1/2" Hose Clamps
(2) 1/2" Grommet
(1) Threaded Drain Coupling
(1) Threaded Nipple Adapter
(3) 360 Degree Sprayers/Sprinklers
(1) 24" Flexible Plastic 1/2" Tube


Tools List:
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Drill
5" or 3" Hole Saw
1 1/2" Hole Saw
7/8" Hole Bit
1 Small Drill bit for Sprinklers (will vary based on what sprinklers you use)
1 Larger Drill bit for drain holes
Screwdriver
Sharpe
Wrench/Vice Grips
Cutters
Tape Measure

BUILDING YOUR OWN AEROPONIC DWC HYBRID BUCKET: :p

1) Start with a Food-Grade Plastic Bucket. This will be your upper growth chamber:
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2) Measure 3 to 4" from the bottom of the bucket and make a mark with your sharpe for a drain hole (the height from the bottom determines the depth of water for DWC). Continue marking holes about every 2-3" around the perimeter of the bucket and drill through them when done:
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3) Use a 3" or 5" hole saw to cut a hole in your bucket top for the net pot:
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4) Drill a hole in your second bucket (this will be the "reservoir" bucket) about 1.5" from the bottom of the bucket and install your pump "adapter". Make sure to use Teflon tape on the threads for your inside nipple. After this is done, install your pump:
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5) Cut a slit in your reservoir bucket and drill a hole about 8" from the bottom of your bucket, then install a 1/2" grommet and your power cord for the pump:
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6) Install your upper growth chamber bucket onto the lower reservoir bucket. Measure about 5" down from the top of your upper bucket and make markings on the lower bucket to cut out a notch. After you cut the notch in the lower bucket, re-install the upper bucket and mark a dot in the center of the notch, then drill a hole for a 1/2" grommet and install your 90 degree elbows with 1/2" hose:
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7) Take your flexible tube and heat up the ends in a cup of hot water to make it easier to install on your 1/2" T Fitting. After both sides are connected drill 2-4 holes in the top of the tube and install your 360 degree sprinklers (the ones I'm using are available at Lowes, are less prone to clogging and very easy to clean). After that is finished install the sprinkler assembly in your upper bucket and install the lid:
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CONGRATULATIONS! You now have your very own Aeroponic DWC Hybrid system for about $50! Your roots have a nice DEEP space to grow in, they are protected from light shining from above by the black lid, and because we are using two layers of bucket (preferably black buckets if you can) light will have a harder time entering the root chamber. Now turn that thing on and get growing! If you want to make cleaning way easier, use some 1/2" to garden hose adapters on the 1/2" hose connecting the upper and lower buckets together (Lowes was sold out on the fitting so this upgrade will come during my first cleaning). Now you can disconnect and re-connect the two buckets with ease :cool:

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HydroGrowLED

LED Specialist
Vendor
Is this going to be indoors?
How about some EggPlant root rot please 🤪
Yeah, I'm going to be using the new XB lights to grow something. I wanna play too lol! Probably another year before we can legally grow cannabis in Florida, so for now I need to do something else.
 

HydroGrowLED

LED Specialist
Vendor
In the state of Florida it is not legal to grow hemp or medical cannabis, despite the fact it's a medical state. Our laws are pretty F'd down here.
 

J. James

Seed Slingin' Outlaw
Moderator
In the state of Florida it is not legal to grow hemp or medical cannabis, despite the fact it's a medical state. Our laws are pretty F'd down here.
Strange, I thought for sure we could do the hemp thing... Another internet lie that has lead me astray. I apologize for the bad advice, I don't want to put anyone at risk of legal action.
 

HydroGrowLED

LED Specialist
Vendor
Yeah I started researching it when @Desert Plants Genetics mentioned his High CBD strain he's been working on. Here I was getting all excited that I could grow hemp (cause CBD is 50 state legal), only to find out I can't legally grow it either! There is one medical patient who fought the state about growing and won, so next year we might have some case law allowing people to finally start growing? I can only hope. I miss growing cannabis. It's like a part of my life is missing.
 
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