Instructables

DIY Hydroponics using PVC gutter (prototype)

Picture of DIY Hydroponics using PVC gutter (prototype)
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This Instructable outlines the construction of an indoor hydroponic system, which is a design project by a team of four First Year Engineering Science students from University of Toronto. The system is conceptual and experimental, and has not been tested in actual use. It uses the NFT technique to grow plants in PVC gutters. The system is designed to grow plants by a window that does not have table already. If a table is present, the frame can be easily modified to sit on the table. Any suggestions from people more experienced with hydroponics would be appreciated!
 
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Step 1: Parts and materials list

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Most of these parts can be bought at a Home Depot or equivalent. The pump, the tubes, and the "tee"'s might require access to a hydroponics supply store. Items such as the nutrient solution, growing baskets and medium depend on what you want to grow.
- A submersible pump with at least 5' head ( we used an EcoPlus Submersible Pump - 132 gph)
- 10' flexible vinyl tubing, 5/8'' outer diameter, 1/2" inner diameter.
- Three 1/2" plastic "tee" connectors.
- Two 10' traditional style PVC gutter. We designed the frame to be used with Canadian guttering, which have different dimensions than the USA equivalent.
- Nine 8' pieces of 2x4 lumber
- 3" wood nails
- Carpenters glue
- Corrugated plastics (Optional: if you prefer to have the gutter covered)
- Water reservoir (Optional: any suitable container will do)

The total cost of this design ranges from $90 to $130, depending on the amount of resources the users have that can be used in building this system.
How do you keep algae from growing with open top gutters?
gkeys4091 year ago
Yes, The side to side drain is the most efficent. Also, how about . . . less angle too from left to right and top tray to bottom tray, then as soon as it runs off (into a container at the same level as the bottom tray) the "solar powered" 12v pump can run the water back up. Less angle=easier to pump the water back up. With a rechargeable battery backup (maybe?) it could be continuous.
I seen one similar to this only it was capped at each end and a tube ran from the top right to the one below it, then from that one on the left to the one below it. So it more or less made a serpentine effect. I allowed for more water and nutrients to stay in the trough for a longer period of time. I think the water was controlled by a timer as well.