Picture of Bubble-ponic system, Poor mans Hydro garden
Ever wanted a Aero garden but couldn't afford one, or do you just like gardening and trying differant things. Well here is a neat project to try with stuff most people have laying around!

--Tools needed for the build--
1.Razor knife
3.Drill bits
--Items for the build--
1.Old Cleaned out bucket or deep container with lid
2.Fish tank air pump (If you grow in a larger container you will need a larger pump)
3. Fish tank air tubing
4.Fish tank air stone
5.plastic pot for planting in ( must be smaller than bucket lid)
6.Light for growing your plant (i used a 60watt CFL bulb)
7. black trash bag (for covering the bucket)
--Items for pot--
1.Lava rocks
2.Coconut fiber

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Step 1: Clean the bucket

Picture of Clean the bucket
step 1.
clean you bucket and lid  with warm soapy water dry off and let air dry completely.

alittle3 years ago
I've built something similar before. You can also add a simple water level gauge to your bucket so you don't have to lift the lid to check it. Just drill a small hole towards the bottom our your bucket and seal a length of leftover airline tubing in it just as long as the bucket is tall. Tape the other end of the tubing to the side of the bucket, going up. The tube will only fill as high as the water level inside. I'm lazy like that. ;)
better than making a hole in yr bucket with chance of leaking, add a floater with a thin stick on top -piercing through the lid- that indicates how high the water is

Nice solution

diy_bloke2 years ago
That is a bit unclear. The tubing has one end outside the bucket so end do you connect to the air pump and bubble stone?

the outside to the airpump and the inside to the stone I presume??

Would that be enough to keep the roots/plants wet? The aerogarden pumps water directly to th eplants
Unlike the "aerogarden" which trickles water down the roots, with this system you need to keep the water level up to the basket so that the roots stay immersed in the nutrient solution. The bubble stone is important to be sure th roots get some oxygen.

You might need to purchase some decent hydroponic nutrient solution, a tds meter, and a ph balance kit (ph up, ph down and ph indicator drops or meter). Paying attention to the concentration and ph of your nutrients is key to healthy, hearty plants.
ok thanks :-)
0charles2 years ago
For lighting i would be sure to use a full spectrum daylight bulb of 26 watts or brighter. Use aluminum foil instead of black plastic to cover the top of the bucket, as well as the top of the lava rocks (or coarse perlite). Cover the walls with reflective mylar or use true white paint. Use primer first on unfinished or darker surfaces, like your paneling. These steps will make your lighting more efficient and your plants more robust.
knexfreak323 years ago
Some fertilizer can toxic if eaten.
vptony (author)  knexfreak323 years ago
yes it can, thats why people should use vegetable nutrients.
Yep I agree but I use my fish water.
ninjatails4 years ago
How did the Miracle Gro work for you? I have some of that same stuff because I am trying to do hydroponics the cheap way--did the plant ever fruit?
That's actually a good idea with the lava rock, summer's over, might as well use up the grill bricks.
bountycrops4 years ago
Thanks for sharing this nice setup. I am just wondering if there's any way that you can add several pots with it so that you can grow several plants? Did you have good results with the lava rocks? Some say that lava rock can raise the pH so high, have you encountered this problem?
vptony (author)  bountycrops4 years ago
i did not test the ph at all, but the plant seemed to do fine , if you can afford the actual hydroponic grow medium i would go for it, but i built this out of crap i had laying around, lol
Pyro19924 years ago
Yeah I too have got a mini one built out of a small tank that i spay painted , i had a breathing machine from the hospital for the bubbles. very loud...
downgrade4 years ago
I'm guessing with just it being a bubbler it wasn't as big of a deal, but did you have sediment issues with the lava rocks?
jspargur4 years ago

Great Plan!!! I also thought about the fish aquarium pump, but am going to see how the sonicare bubbling foot spa works. I think I will need lava rocks and styrofoam right on top of rocks with air holes poked in it for air release and plant support. I have posted my plan here if you look. Hope it works!!!! Good luck. Jman

vptony (author)  jspargur4 years ago
very cool! this was just an experiment that worked for me lol