Introduction: Hydroponic Drip Growing Starter Kit (featuring Chillies)

Picture of Hydroponic Drip Growing Starter Kit (featuring Chillies)

As part of research for a project I'm currently working on I tried to make a basic hydroponic system for under £15. 
So here it is, super cheap, super simple.

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

1x Fish tank pump (£6)
1x 1m 1/2 inch inner diameter tubing (£2)
2x medium sized plant pot (£0.50)
1x 1kg clay pebbles (£3)
1x Chilli plant (£3)
7x tie wraps (£0.50)
1x basin (free in my case but £1 in most shops)

Drill with 0.5-1 mm bit
small piece of wooden doweling 

Step 2: Creating Your Sprinkler

Picture of Creating Your Sprinkler

Take the length of tubing and insert the doweling at one end, plugging the end diameter of the tube.

Use your drill to put several holes around 20mm apart until you get to the midpoint of the tubing. 

connect the open end of the tubing to the fish tank pump.

Step 3: The Planter

Picture of The Planter

In order to keep the plant clear of the water source I used a spare plant pot and secured them together using tie wraps. 

I then passed the plugged end of the tubing through the hole in the top plant pot.

Using more tie wraps I secured the tubing in place. 

At this point test the pump system to make sure the water will flow through the pot in multiple directions. 


Step 4: Planting

Picture of Planting

If the water is flowing well put a base of clay pebbles into the pot.

To prepare your plant:
Take young plant out of pot.
Break off any soil left on the roots, careful not to damage the roots. 
Use running water to clean of the majority of the soil, shake in a bucket of water will also remove some soil.

Place the plant into the pot then fill the rest with the remaining clay pebbles.

Step 5: Enjoy

Picture of Enjoy

Fill the basin with fresh water and put the plant and the pump in.

I usually water the plant 2 times a day for about 20 minutes. I try to change the water every 2-3 days, however using a bigger tank will allow you to use the same water for longer. 

If you build this it could easily be converted to an aquaponic aquarium, using fish to fertilise the plant. I intend on trying that, but if anyone does it definitely tell me how well it works!

Thanks and good luck! 

Comments

Akin Yildiz (author)2015-02-21

hello brian. do you add any nutrition solutions in the water - or just keep it plain. will keeping it plain force you to change the water more frequently?

.

and also could we cover the ceiling of the bottom tank, to slow down evaporation and spills, etc. maybe?

brianmags (author)Akin Yildiz2015-03-10

Hi Akin, thanks for the comment, keeping it plain caused the water to develop a weird slime, so adding some solution is advised.

this was a proof of concept prototype for a bigger system, which would use a large drum barrel to hold the water, making a lid would be a good idea, you could integrate several smaller pots to grow more, and feed the pipe through each of these to improve yield.

I might revisit this in the future, short of time just now.

Happy growing

Nice and simple hydroponics system, thanks for sharing!

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