DIY Aeroponics - First Attempt

gorocker

Member
Having been scouring the internet for tips and tricks, i've finally built my first aeroponics system.

Feel free to comment and make suggestions where i can improve!

I decided to go for a hybrid aeroponic/dwc system. It's basically an aeroponic container with an air pump thrown in for good measure. I had several reasons for this: The Air circulation in the water keeps the water fresher. The long roots get to hang in oxygenated water (exactly as a dwc system) and most importantly - This system takes all the advantages of aeroponics AND pumps masses of clean fresh air up through the roots and out of the container. If you have a good mister (which i don't) it also drives all the moist air up through the pots.

The container is a 32L PVC box with tight fitting lid. With a hole-saw i cut 75mm holes in the top for the baskets. The pump is a maxi-jet 500 and i made the pipe system to fit snugly inside the box. The pipes are 21.5 pvc overflow pipe, available at all diy shops. I've currently got 4 misters screwed into the pipe, 2 360 rotating sprinklers and 2 mister jets. However, the mister jets have already clogged up and didn't create a mist anyway!!

The photos don't show it, but i also have 2 4" airstones at the bottom connected to a tetra-tec 400l/h air pump.
 

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HSA

Well-Known Member
Having been scouring the internet for tips and tricks, i've finally built my first aeroponics system.

Feel free to comment and make suggestions where i can improve!

I decided to go for a hybrid aeroponic/dwc system. It's basically an aeroponic container with an air pump thrown in for good measure. I had several reasons for this: The Air circulation in the water keeps the water fresher. The long roots get to hang in oxygenated water (exactly as a dwc system) and most importantly - This system takes all the advantages of aeroponics AND pumps masses of clean fresh air up through the roots and out of the container. If you have a good mister (which i don't) it also drives all the moist air up through the pots.



The container is a 32L PVC box with tight fitting lid. With a hole-saw i cut 75mm holes in the top for the baskets. The pump is a maxi-jet 500 and i made the pipe system to fit snugly inside the box. The pipes are 21.5 pvc overflow pipe, available at all diy shops. I've currently got 4 misters screwed into the pipe, 2 360 rotating sprinklers and 2 mister jets. However, the mister jets have already clogged up and didn't create a mist anyway!!

The photos don't show it, but i also have 2 4" airstones at the bottom connected to a tetra-tec 400l/h air pump.
According to the instructor in the classes I'm taking - "the affordable technology just isn't there for true Aeroponics." Sure NASA can afford it. He says the most we can get is a good spray with a modified system. I'm looking closely at what you guys are doing because it seems like the most logical next step. Please keep us posted on your voyage of discovery.
 

gorocker

Member
Yes, i agree. I too am thinking that. This system, and most of the other systems i've seen should really be called "Splatter-ponics", a low pressure pump will struggle to give a good spray let alone a mist. The droplet size from a cheap low pressure pump (the maxi-jet 500 provides about 10psi) is huge, and will destroy the fine root hairs. I'm an engineer, not a botanist, but i'm learning and enjoying it. All being said, these low pressure systems, although not true Aeroponics, still produce great results! I haven't enough experience to draw any comparisons to ebb/flow and DWC etc, but i'm getting good results so far.

This is my small plant vegging system. I am currently looking into building a large flowering system that will be true Aeroponics (droplet size of 50microns), i'll post my plans when i start building. Yes, it's more expensive, but not that much more expensive than a shop-bought low-pressure system. The single most expensive factor is a good quality pump. To get a droplet size of 50 microns, you need a pump that can deliver at least 60psi at between 1 and 2litres a minute. These can be picked up for £80-£100. Then you need a plumbing system that will handle the pressure. Everyday household plumbing is easily capable of this.

watch this space:)
 

gorocker

Member
Ok, so i've been experimenting this week. I was happy with the low pressure aeroponics system that i just built, it works fine, but i'm now experimenting further.

I had a little fogger arrive in the post last week, so i've swapped the sprayers for a fogger. The system is now a hybrid DWC/fogger. I've also changed my timer circuit https://www.rollitup.org/hydroponics-aeroponics/352597-diy-aeroponic-timer-555-circuit.html
instead of a simple ON/OFF timer, it now switches between 2 outlets. I have plugged my fogger in to last 30secs, then it switches to Airpump for 3 mins. The theory behind this is: The fogger is on for long enough to fill the space with fog, the fogger turns off and the airpump/dwc takes over for 3 mins + pushes all the fog up through the roots.

I've taken a picture of the roots from the previous system, i'm keen to compare them to after a week in this new system.
 

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Fishin' Dude

Active Member
I would use all three, FAG(Fake Aeroponics Growing)/DWC/Fogponics. You'd be assured to get amazing roots super fast and a good super fast growing root structure = massive yeilds = proper ventilation, lighting, humidity ect... When you run the pump the pressure moves the fog around inside the res, plus! As if it's not already a great set up ;) if your pump ever fails, you have your lil fogger to keep the upper root zone from drying out. This will ensure your plant DOES NOT DIE. What are you using for lights? What are your temps running? What are you using for nutes, do you have a weekly regimen? Is this your first aero grow? We want lots of juicy details! Any way's I think I'll stick around to see what your gonna do next. It looks like your off to a good start with your res.. I would still like to hear a little about your lights. Good Luck and will stay tuned for the next episode ;)
 

toostonedto

Active Member
I would love to hear an update on this as well. I am considering aeroponics and trying to learn everything I can. I never heard of a fogger tho...does it carry the nutes into the fog? Can you not just use a fogger, or it just not enough?

Also what's typical plant spacing for aeroponics and hydro? It seems to me, that container size can be really small, but it's where the roots go that is important? I'm kinda confused on how to deal with the roots
 

Gamberro

Well-Known Member
I would subscribe, but it looks like this experiment died a couple months ago. RIP, FAG.
 

sguardians2

Well-Known Member
I can kinda help here. I built a low pressure "spatterponics" unit like yours with supplemental fog, the only differnce is I cloned in a bubbleponics cloner and transplanted into the Aeroponics/fogponic/SWC unit, SWC being that is is shallow water at the bottom of my reservoir, but my clones longer roots are floating in the nutrient water at the bottom of my 45 gallon reservoir. I also added an ozonater with a bubbler to my unit to sterilize it. The ozonater is on the timerr with my sprayers and the fogger is on when the sprayers are off. So far this works very well. I use the 360 degree micro sprayers and they give great coverage with a low enough pressure that they don't damage the root hairs, and the fogger has caused the roots to develop tiny root hairs instead of the herringbone feeder roots that are common with DWC systems, kind of like the root system would look like if grown in soil, just without the dirt.

The fogger unit keeps the upper roots moist and fed when the sprayers are off, so you can set your timers to longer cycles, thereby, IMO, you can skip purchasing that expensive repeat cycle timer and go with the cheaper 15 min interval timer, this has worked well for me so far.

I just set up the system and been running for about a week, so anything I say is based on my tiny experience with this system, but with over a hundred hours of research before I built it. The saga began by my manifold falling over during the night, which upended my fogger unit, and caused all of my clones to wilt and nearly die because of my rookie mistake, I had the pump turned too low. So, I reset the unit and watched it cause my plants to recover, a week later it's as if the mis-hap never happened. New shoots are growing very fast, and so far I see more prolific growth.

One thing that you must do with this type of set-up is keep an eye on your ppm cause the fog seems to cause the roots to feed at a faster rate and your nutrients are used up at a much faster rate than with DWC, although you can get away with using less nutrients in this system in the first place, you just have to feed more often. I started my system out at 600 ppm for my clones and in 5 days it was down to 93 ppm, so I fed em again and ran the ppm to 800. This setup is not for a distracted grower, it needs a lot of attention. Just up my alley, the DWC setup needs less attention once dialed in.

Anyway, just my 2 cents on the subject.
 
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