Home Made Hydroponics: Quickly and easily start in hydroponics with our do it yourself hydroponics system plans. Lots of Photos and easy to follow instructions will make this project a "snap".
Gardening this way is fun and easy. Building your own system will be very gratifying and give lots of satisfaction when you see those plants growing and growing. This is the half way point. Good luck, and make sure you use our contact us page if you have any questions about the build.
7. Take your 1/2" PVC cross, three of your 4" sections of PVC, and one 3" section of PVC. Make yourself an X (with one side that's shorter than the others). This short side will become important later. Place your "suction cup unions" on the ends of your X. Your new part should look like this:
8. This piece doesn't need to be glued. It's not going to ever hold pressure, so it can stay as a slip fit permanently. Flip your newly constructed X over. Take the base plate that you removed from the pump. Place the base plate on top of the X. Position it so that the "long" edge of the base runs in the same direction as the two "long" sides of the X. The "long" edge of the base should be "facing" the "short" side of the X (see the picture if this is confusing). Use your two electrical ties to lightly secure the base to the X.
Do not tighten the electrical ties yet.
9. Slip the pump back on to it's base. You'll want to remove the "filter guard", as it exposes the track that you'll need. The "rear" of the pump should be on the "short" side of the PVC. The "front" of the pump (the end with the filter) should be on the "long" piece of PVC (opposite end of the "short" side).
Congratulations!! You've just made a super-stable base for your pump. The suction cups give it lots of stability when it's inside the aeroponic unit. In case you're wondering, the "rear" side needs to be shorter in order to position the pump in the bottom of the reservoir correctly.
This will cause the pump to "line up" with the net pot more favorably. Set your pump and base aside for the moment.
10. Take your two 1/2" PVC caps. You'll want to drill a 5/32" hole through the middle of each cap. Thread each hole using a 10-32 tap.
11. Ok. Time to dry-fit your sprayer setup. First, take hold of your 1/2" PVC thread adapter. Insert one of your remaining 3" sections of PVC into it. Place your 1/2" PVC Tee on the other end. Place your two remaining 3" lengths into the two "sides" of the Tee. Place your two 1/2" PVC elbows on each end, pointing upward. Take your final pieces of PVC (which should both be 4" in length). Insert one into each elbow. Finally, cap off both using your new sprayer-caps.
I realize that was a lot to follow. However, it's not as bad as it sounds. Take a look at the following photo.
12. Take hold of your completed sprayer assembly. Screw it into the threads in your PU250 pump. Your project should now look like this:
13. Good news! You're ready to test. I'd recommend trying out the system before making the commitment to glue all the pieces together. Place your completed pump into the bottom of the reservoir. Pass the electrical cord through the lid. Fit the grommet into the 1" hole for a nice fit. Your project should now look like this:
14. Add some water and give it a try. Just for fun, I snapped a photo of my system running. Do not attempt to take this picture yourself. Your camera will get wet. My camera is allowed to get wet, yours likely is not.
You may want to adjust the direction of your sprayers. Direction makes a big difference in the spray pattern. When you're happy with the results, tear down your system. Get it good and dry. Clean your PVC and glue the parts together.
I like this project for several reasons. The Sortera really makes it work nicely, due to the unique design of the lid. The hinged portion of the lid will give you easy access to your water without a lot of trouble. This home made hydroponics setup is quite easy to maintain, as you don't need to disturb your plant to perform water testing/water changing. Also, since the Sortera is a solid piece (with the only holes in the lid), the odds of leakage are very low. I was very pleased to keep the PVC cutting simple. In fact, only two lengths of PVC are required for the entire project (3" and 4" lengths).
This home made hydroponics design could be easily modified to be a multi-site aeroponic unit without much effort. You could probably fit five of the 3" net pots. Perhaps even more. I haven't tried it. From my experiments, a PU250 is sufficient to power three jets. If you increase the number of jets, you may need to use a larger pump. Conveniently, all the ActiveAqua pumps are quite reasonably priced.
I haven't had any problems with leakage, but in the case your Sortera isn't quite as perfect as mine, you may want to consider weather-stripping around the lid. If you have water "sneaking out" of the lid, you could use weather-stripping as a quick way to stop it. I haven't done it, but it's on the table, should you need it.
Hope you've enjoyed these free hydroponics plans!!
Home Made Hydroponics Part 1
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