Aeroponics System Drainage

by Mack
(Florida)

I was looking at your aeroponics system and I want to know how did you handle your drainage back to the reservoir.



Answer: Mack- that depends on which aeroponics system you were checking out. For the aeroponics system pictured on this page, the plants are suspended above the nutrient reservoir, with the roots actually hanging down inside the reservoir. In this system, spray heads spray the nutrient solution into the air space all around the roots, and then it simply drips right back into the nutrient reservoir.

My aeroponics cloner works in a similar fashion. The cuttings are placed in neoprene collars, rubber dirt plugs, or pre-soaked rockwool plugs, and than suspended in the lid of the container above the nutrient reservoir (although I do not add any nutrients to root the clones, only a little B1).

Air stones in the reservoir create many tiny bubbles, which pop at the surface and fill the airspace just above the surface with a micro-mist. It is important to suspend the clones about one inch above the surface of the water in order to receive the right balance of moisture and air. Getting the cloning medium too wet will actually prevent root growth in the cuttings, which is why normal spray heads are not used in this particular system. As with the areoponics system above, any accumulation of water inside the chamber simply drips back into the reservoir.

Another system using a similar idea is my 5 gallon bucket system, which uses a low pressure pump and a section of hose with many holes to create a chamber for the roots. Simply cut a hole in the lid of the bucket to fit your netted pot and you're all set! Switching the plant between two different 5 gallon buckets will make nutrient solution changes a bit easier.

Finally, on this page here I have a homemade system where I actually used a high pressure pump (something I usually try to avoid). Although the picture on the page does not show it, holes should be cut in the lid of the nutrient reservoir. Each 4 inch PVC pipe has one end open, and each pipe is elevated at the other end to allow the water to drain back into the reservoir through the hole in the lid. If you want the system to run more neatly, you could probably add 90* elbows to the end of each pipe (pointing down) the help direct the water back into the reservoir.

Before building any homemade hydroponic system, I highly recommend reading about the common problems with many hydroponic systems. At times it is funny, and it will help you avoid many problems before you even begin!

Finally, with another visitor to my site I discussed design ideas for my next hydroponic gardening system, including a couple of improvements. One system I am considering is a re-designed hydroponic system. The other system is a brand new low pressure aeroponic design that incorporates my favorite easy-to-use features. As of this post, neither system has been written about on my site. If you like, you can read more about them here.

And as always, I hope this helps.

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Nov 11, 2009
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by: Mike D

I've been wanting to try aeroponics because of the faster growth rates, but I haven't wanted to deal with a high pressure pump.... so, thank you for your low pressure aeroponics systems! Your awesome!

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Find out the cheapest and easiest ways to garden productively in this article.

Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 22 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients....and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden....but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people.

I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as possible....and in the last 20 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!

As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol).

And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas....like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.



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Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 20 years and I have only just recently mastered this difficult skill....and even then, only because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole year! I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food production system.

And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients.


High Efficiency
Hydroponics

One final solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants is concerned. Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle, you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system!


Aquaponics

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This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 20 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.


Produce garnden vegetables AND fish together. Eliminate fertilizer costs!

Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!


High Efficiency
Soil Gardening

This is where my advice ends for people growing in water. But some of you out there are in love with soil gardening and organic gardening, and rightly so! It's a pro-human activity. It is pro-conservation. It is pro-life. It nurtures and promotes life at all levels, from the micro-organisms to beneficial insects, to healthy humans. It's natural. it's spiritual. Gardening is written deeply into our DNA, like how you feel watching a bonfire or sitting by the ocean or next to a river.

My friend John at Food4Wealth has more than 20 years experience organic gardening, so he reminds me a lot of myself. He knows organic gardening like I know hydroponic gardening, and over the years he has learned just about every trick there is to organic gardening. He knows what makes the plants grow, and he knows how to do it with as little effort as humanly possible. His garden never needs digging, naturally repels pests, has no weeds, always produces more than his family is able to eat, produces vegetables everyday all year round, and....only requires 8 HOURS of light, easy effort PER YEAR!


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Years and years of experience and results can't be argued with....the Food4Wealth gardening strategy is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work....specifically for organic gardeners who love soil gardening. THIS is the most efficient and productive way to do organic gardening, period! And combined with the ability to make a years' worth of colloidal humus compost in just one week (see World's Best Compost), this overall organic soil gardening strategy is just unstoppable- foolproof, low cost, and low effort!

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