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Step 2: Bubbler Assy

WHAT I USED

1 ea narrow and relatively tall soft drink bottle w/cap
Plastic mesh bag(s)
1 ea 1 inch length of 1/2 inch CPVC tubing
1 ea 1/2 inch CPVC TEE connector

WHAT I DID

1. Drill 13/64 inch "vent" hole in the bottom of the bottle as shown.
2. Strip mesh bag(s) of anything other than mess, such as labels or string.
3. Loosely stuff mesh into bottle as shown. Evenly distribute inside bottle to avoid channels where large bubbles can form and run.
4. Drill a 9/16 inch hole into cap and expand with a piece of 1/2 inch CPVC tubing as shown. Place cap on bottle.
5. Place the TEE on one end of the 1 inch piece of CPVC tubing and the bubbler bottle on the other as shown.
 
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prox5 years ago
what is the bubblers purpose? is it a place for the air in the resevoir to go when the water returns? does the bubbler eliminate back flow into the air pump? this is my main concern. ps. very cool, ive been trying to come up with something similar without much luck.
wiley coyote (author)  prox5 years ago
The bubbler's purpose is to give "most" of the air a place to escape through once the nutrient has evacuated the reservoir. The air will continue up the nutrient line and through the planters, otherwise. When the nutrient returns, it escapes through the screw hole and any other leaks in the caps. It should not siphon back because the air line tip is above the reservoir water line and the "screw valve vent" will be the path of least resistance for the escaping air. To eliminate siphoning completely, I would recommend installing a one way (check) valve between the reservoir and the pump as well as mounting the air pump above the water line. It probably isn't actually necessary, and for all I know, the bubbles may be good for the roots, but I put it in to reduce vibrations and noise from large bubbles making it through the system. It took an awful lot of boredom and anticipated future incompetence (not to mention present day incompetence) to motivate me this far, so don't give up...
gotcha, thank you. one think to consider and you mention it--aerating the resevoir water, the oxygen being good for the roots. i think simply running the air pump hose into the resevoir water should do the trick. what do you think?
wiley coyote (author)  prox5 years ago
Yes it would. You would then have the potential of siphoning and would, therefore have to add the other precautions. I did not do this to avoid the siphoning effect AS WELL AS avoid clogging of an air stone. On that note, like you said, just run the hose in w/o an air stone. I also do not believe that it is necessary for two reasons. 1. The roots are oxygenated by the drain cycle's vacuum effect within the grow medium. 2. The gas transfer takes place at the surface, so other than agitation, it would have little effect.
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