While I was back in France, far from my hydroponic setups, I couldn't resist to build another setup for next year. I'll have to rely on my inlaws to start the seedlings, but the idea is to get tomatoes & herbs for next summer.
I'll have to build the sensors for my next trip in February so I'll be able to remote monitor the installation.
The Grow Pipe
I took one Male-Female, and one Female-Female elbow.
- 2 x 100mm rain water pipe, 1m long,
- 2 End caps (punch down connections,
- 1 Male Female 87° Elbow
- 1 Female Female 87° Elbow
- PVC Glue
Take 2 mn to check the type of PVC glue you are buying. While in Hong Kong, they are all Hot Weather grade, in France, 80% of them are cool temperature grade... So when it's hot, they dry super fast.
You can see the Female-Female Elbow, and the Male-Female one.
The male connector of the washing machine hose will go on the Water Tank side and connect the flex pipe.
The female side will connect to the 32mm pipe adapter. On this side, I had to use a short 32mm PVC pipe glued inside the 100m end cap.
- Washing Machine connection kit
- 32mm to threaded adapter (that fits your washing machine kit end)
- hose adapter (that also fit your washing machine kit end)
The water tank
Mine comes with wheels, but once loaded with the water, they'll probably crash...
- 1 Big opaque tote (50-75l) big enough to support your grow pipes
You can be picky and go for the lower power consumption. The needed lift is not big (40cm) so you'll have many choices.
- 50cm of clear aquarium hose (10-12mm)
- 1 mini aquarium pump (40cm lift)
You can then connect the clear tube (10-12mm) on the hose adapter, and plug the pump on the other end.
Place the power cord where the cover will still lock.
As we want our tank to support the grow tube, place it on top of the cover and mark down where the braces would sit.
Then drill a 32-36mm hole for each of the 4 braces.
If you drill 36mm, the pipe will go inside and then you can glue it, if you drill 32, then use a piece of 32mm pipe as leg to sit on the bottom of the tote.
Last part: water return
For the water return, we'll use one of the bottom one. If it's a NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) system, you don't want a lot of water in the pipe... If you want to convert it to a DWC (Deep Water Culture), then use the top hole for the exit as well.
- 50cm of 32mm PVC tube
- 1 Female Female 87° elbow
- 1 Male Female 87° elbow
First drill the 32mm hole in the tote, then glue one elbow, and position the exit elbow.
You can also use that setup with the grow pipe fixed on a wall, then your In & Out would need to be repositioned.
One more step before the Final one
Connect everything and fill some water in the tank (about 10cm) and give a try. Check your connections and seals and it should not leak... It is better to reglue pipes and check for leaks now than after drilling the grow site holes.
Finally: the grow site holes
Finally, you can drill he hole for your net pots. Now it is really up to you and what you want to grow.
Vines or bushes like tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis would need more space between roots. Herbs and Lettuce can accommodate a higher density.
So just order the net pots first or grab some at the local gardening shop and draw a line a the top of your tube and calculate your spacing.
I like my net pots black (no light no algae) and now some of them have a carved surrounding to accommodate a circular grow tube.