A Homemade Hydroponics System Using A Hybrid Technique

Two PVC pipes, four elbows, an air pump, and a 60 GPH re-circulating pump make this homemade system super cheap to build!

This homemade hydroponics system is a system that uses a combination of two different techniques. It is similar to a nutrient film technique (NFT) in the way the nutrient solution is continuously circulated through the system. The depth of the nutrient solution is kept high, allowing the roots of your plants to bathe constantly in the nutrient solution. In this way the system is also similar to the deep water culture (DWC) technique.


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If 2 inch plant holes are used, the easiest thing to do is buy 2 inch netted pots.

The system shown here was made with two 10 FT pieces of 4 inch PVC. It is important to note that there are some advantages to using 6 inch PVC instead of 4 inch. A 6 inch pipe will give you twice as much root volume area, and makes clogging and leaking much less likely. This decision depends mainly on what type of plants you have in your garden and what size they will finish at.

The system was PVC glued together in the shape of a "U". The open ends were capped, and the plant holes were drilled with a 3 inch hole saw about every 12 inches. After making two systems this way I switched to 2 inch holes for the plant sites, which helps a lot with preventing leaks if you are using 4 inch PVC. When 2 inch holes are used, it is easiest to simply buy some 2" netted pots.

At the end with the recirculating pump, you can use either caps or elbows (glued in place pointing up).

An air pump and a couple of air stones are used to aerate the nutrient solution. Nutrient absorption only occurs in the presence of Oxygen, so this is very important. At one end of the hydroponics system, a small aquarium water pump (about 60 GPH) transfers water from one capped end to the other. This sets up a continuous circulation of the nutrient solution, which evenly distributes Oxygen through all parts of the system and prevents your plants from drowning.


Homemade Netted Pots for your Homemade Hydroponics System

Cheap netted pots can be made from 16 ounce plastice "party" cups....like these Solo brand cups here.

To keep expenses down, 16 OZ disposable cups were used for the plant containers. Holes can be easily made in the cups with a soldering iron, but should be done in a well ventilated area (plastic fumes are very toxic). The system is filled with nutrient solution until the bottom inch of each cup is under water. When properly built and filled, the 4 inch PVC system holds about 10 gallons of nutrient solution in the PVC pipes themselves. It is easy to add an additional nutrient reservoir if more nutrient solution is desired in the system. As a general rule, I like to aim for about one gallon of nutrient solution per plant in my homemade hydroponic systems.


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YouTube once again censored my last video-- enjoy this throwback from 2016 when we were first getting started!

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High Efficiency

The ultimate 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! Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system....


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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 24 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.

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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!

The New LED System/ BlackDog LED!

The moment LED lighting can finally compete with HID lighting. Very sweet!

Also, I'm working on a new video host - YouTube sucks!

Going to try THETA video next!

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