Learn to make your own homemade hydroponics system to grow virtually any plant, vegetable and fruit without soil.
Ever wondered how it would be like to build your own water culture hydroponics system from scratch? This article will help you out in achieving this goal, taking you through the process step by step.
If you're new to the hydroponics industry, it's probably best if you buy a pre-made system or at least a kit to start off, since you might not have the understanding required to build your own hydroponics system from scratch. Once you see how the pre-made water culture system works, or if you already have experience with these environments, all you need is a small amount of cash, a few spare hours and some power tools to start setting up your own hydroponics system.
There's nothing fancy about a water culture hydroponics system and the way it works. Basically, you'll have your plants suspended in a StyroFoam platform, floating on top of a container, filled with water and nutrient solutions. The plants roots can either be dipped on the top of the water, or planted deep inside it, depending on the plant you're growing and personal preferences. A pump and an air stone work together for oxygenizing the contents of the reservoir, the oxygen bubbles being in turn, sucked in by the plants' roots.
You can purchase some of the components from your local store (Home Depot, Walmart, etc) or order them online from a recommended hydroponics store.
If you find the process of building your own system too difficult, consider buying one of our recommended hydroponic systems.
Pick up the container and check if it's water proof and light proof. The reason it needs to be light proof is to stop the growth of algae inside the reservoir, since algae and several microscopic bacteria that will be harmful to your plants bloom in light. If you're using a fish tank to build your own hydroponics system, paint it (or at least the sides that get exposed to a lot of light) with a dark color.
Once this is done, you'll need to apply the StyroFoam on top of the tank. To do so, measure the exact dimensions of the top of the container and cut the StyroFoam a few inches narrower, so you can adjust water levels if needed, or introduce/take out stuff from the tank.
The next step you need to attend to when you build your own hydroponics system is to cut holes in the StyroFoam where you will place your plants later on. If you're using mesh pots of the same size to hold the plants, it's easier to cut the holes proportionally. One last use of the cutter/knife is to carve a small opening in one of the StyroFoam's sides, to fit the air line in the reservoir.
Next, it's time to set the water pump. Take note that not all pumps work the same and not all are suited for all containers. If your container is large, you'll also need a powerful water pump to keep the water oxygenized. If you're unsure of the type of water pump you need, you can ask the retailer for help, telling him the exact dimensions of your container (there's no reason to get a pump that is more powerful than needed, it's a waste of money). Place the pump on a fixture, or wherever you find it fit and connect it to the air pipe, then insert the air pipe through the space you carved in the StyroFoam. Attach the air stone to the other end of the pipe and voila! You've almost built your own hydroponics system! Now all you need to do is place your plants in the holes you carved in the StyroFoam beforehand and start feeding them nutrients.
Water culture systems, next to ebb and flows are considered amongst the easiest to make, even if you're not very skilled in DIYs. Anyone can handle some StyroFoam cutting and setting up an airstone to a pump. Even if you don't get it perfectly right at first, don't worry. It takes a steady hand and some experience to craft a quality homemade hydroponics system and chances are you won't get there until you've built a couple of them.