Now that we have all the parts we require as listed in part 1 (Build your Own Hydroponics System 1 – Shopping List) of this series. We can go ahead and start to design our mini hydroponic system. This easy hydroponics system is designed small so that it can be moved if required.
It will need to be placed in a well lit area of the home and if built in the winter time will need additional lighting to give it the 16 to 18 hours required to help the plants grow strong.
Let’s get started with the design part of our hydroponic system
Step 1: Take the empty 3 inch yogurt net-cup or the net-cup of your choice, turn it upside down on a piece of paper and trace around the edge.
Step 2: Cut out the circle on the paper, fold it in half then half again so you ended up with a quarter pie shape. Cut the tip of the pie as close to the end as possible so that and when you open it up you will have a small hole in the center of the paper. This is the template to be used to mark the center of each hole.
Step 3: Place the paper template on the container lid and mark the center of each hole.
I am only going to cut two holes in my hydroponic system but you can cut how many holes you like depending on the size of your container.
Step 4: Measure the rim of the net-cup (3 inch yogurt container) in my case it was a quarter inch. So that means the hole will be three inches minus the rim on both sides which equals a two and a half inch diameter hole. The holes can be cut out with a hole saw. If you use a hole saw be sure to run it backwards this gives a much smoother cut. Also a box cutter knife works well but be careful using it because it is very sharp. My hole saw was not quite large enough so I used the box cutter to trim off the excess.
Step 5: Now we are ready to install the air lines into the container. First I mounted the air line distribution valve onto the side of the container lid and secured it with cable ties. Then I drilled a quarter inch hole for each of the air lines in the top of the lid, close to the distribution valve.
I cut the air line hose to three different lengths so that the air stone would be positioned one on the left, one in the center and one on the right inside the container. I pushed the air lines through the holes and connected them to the distribution valve.
I then connected an air line to the air pump and the other to the distribution valve. This is the line you would fit the check valve in to prevent any siphoning of the water if the power went off the pump.
Step 6: Fill the mini hydroponic system with about three inches of water through the net pot hole in the lid and check that the air stone is working okay. Continue to fill the container (if all looks good) until the net cup has about a quarter inch of water in the bottom. I used a yogurt cup without the holes as a guide till it floated up a quarter of an inch.
Step 7: Now comes the fun part. Take your net pot and fill it with your grow material, I used a Jiffy compost pot and secured it in the net cup with clay pellets. I used a tooth pick to make three holes and put my spinach seeds in the hole about an eighth inch deep. Place your finished net pots into your homemade hydroponic system and you are good to go. You should be good for a week or more without any nutrients in the water until the seeds start to grow.
Place your hydroponic system in a convenient place with lots of light and warmth and in a few days your seeds should start to germinate.
For my second plant I used the celery bottom that I placed in a dish on how to grow hydroponic celery
If you ever need any feedback or support regarding hydroponics I would be more than happy to connect. Just leave your comments below and make sure you visit my site regularly. I am always updating my website with ideas and information that I come across which you will find interesting.
Just in case you missed part 1 click here > Build your Own Hydroponics System 1 – Shopping List