You can buy a similar setup to this, but I’ll show you how to build a simple but super successful aeroponics bucket for about $20. I use these for starting clones and growing out seedlings, which I can then transfer to another aeroponics system, a different hydroponics system, or into any growing medium I want.
Here’s what you need:
Aeroponics bucket includes:
- 5 gallon bucket
- Bucket lid with rubber seal to make it waterproof
- Small fountain pump with 1/2 inch barbed adapter
- About 2 feet of 1/2 inch tubing
- (3) 1/2 inch barbed tees
- (1) 1/2 inch barbed straight
- (10) 360° degree spray nozzles
- Small amount of plumber’s putty
- Plastic translucent cake cover (perfect size for a humidity dome)
- 2 inch hole cutter
- 1/4 inch drill bit
- Hole punch or tiny drill bit
- Tubing cutter (or scissors)
- Tape measure
- 12" circle of cardboard or paper
- Snips or scissors
For this bucket, I’m making a 12 site lid. I’ve got another one with 15 sites, and it’s possible to put even more in the lid, but 12 is the max if you use 2 inch net cups.
Cut paper or cardboard to fit inside the top of the lid like this:
Lay out and trace the pattern (it’s easiest if you do the next several steps while the lid is on top of the bucket)
Find the center point of each site
Use a sharp / pointed object to push down at each center point, being sure to clearly mark the bucket lid underneath. I used the 1/4 inch drill bit to create the marks (by hand)
After you cut out all your sites, now cut a small hole with the 1/4 inch bit near one of the sites, but not too close. This is for the pump’s electric cord. It should look like this:
Now take your scissors or a knife and connect the cable hole to the larger hole. You’ll be able to pull the cable up through the larger hole and over to the smaller hole.
OK - now let’s make the manifold for the pump!
I found that (2) 9 inch lengths of tubing fit nicely inside the bucket. You can go a little shorter if you prefer. Connect those 2 pieces to 2 of the 1/2 inch barbed tees.
See those 2 small pieces of tubing? Use them to connect the 3rd barbed tee to the other 2. You want them to fit tight, with the ends of that 3rd tee touching the ends of the other 2. Those 2 pieces of tubing are about 7/8 of an inch, which left no extra room. Perfect! It should look like this:
Now connect the manifold to the barbed fitting on the pump using the 1/2 inch barbed straight, and 2 more pieces of tubing. These 2 pieces are about 1.25 inches. Again, you want the barbed pieces to touch inside the tubing so they don’t sag or lean. It should look like this:
Alright, we’re almost finished! Get your drill and that tiny drill bit and make the holes for the spray nozzles. They make a hole punch for these nozzles, but I can’t find mine. If you use a drill bit, just make sure it’s small - you want the nozzle to fit very tight, then screw in each of the nozzles.
Here’s a pic with the lid on. I have a 2 inch net cup in there, but I usually only use cloning collars in my cloning / seedling bucket. You can also see how the cable comes out and is sealed with the plumber’s putty.
Here’s the bucket with the cake cover (humidity dome) on it.
And here’s the bucket in action:
For seedlings and clones, I start with RO water. To that, I add 1/2 tsp/gal of Botanicare CalMag Plus and 1/4 tsp/gal each of GH FloraMicro 3 part. With this setup, I get 100% success rate for clones. My seedlings also do extremely well in the bucket. I used to start my seedlings in jiffy pellets, but this bucket gives me more insight and control, and speeds things up nicely.