Introduction: DIY Hydroponic Grow Box
The original post can be found here: DIY Hydroponic Grow Box at Home
After searching online for a hydroponic grow box I found a bunch of systems ranging from $200-$2000+. So I decided to build my own.
- Any size dark container bin (with lid). Use a size you’ve got the
space for. I went with a 18 gal. dark gray bin from Home Depot.
- A submersible pump. GPH depends on size of tub, and your PVC sprinkler system. I went with a Hydrofarm 250-GPH Submersible Pump
- PVC pipe. I purchased ½” width with one t-joint fitting and two end caps. Which is slightly different then I’ve seen done in demo videos on YouTube (also different from initial photos – where my first build was with two L fittings with screw caps). Remember, it’s a DIY Hydroponic Box, and you can build it how every you see fit.
- Irrigation sprinkler heads. I picked up a 50 pack of red 360º micro sprayers on amazon after the 5 pack from Home Depot failed twice on me.
- The proper drill tap for your sprinkler head.
- Net cups. Size varies on bin size and number of cups in use. I would suggest the 2 to 3 inch cups for around 6-8 pots per bin.
- Clay (grow media). Can be found on Amazon or at your local grow shop.Rockwool Cubes or what I found to work better is the Aerogarden grow sponges.
- Flexible hose to attach pump to PVC sprinkler system (dishwasher hoses work best).
Aquarium Air Pump with hoses, a one way check valve and a air stone.
PVC pipe cutter
Tape measure or a ruler
Closet hanger “shelf” (holds the PVC tubing)
Step 1: Step 1: Building Your Grow Box
After choosing your storage tub, measure down from the top the distance
your PVC pipe with sprinkler heads plus the height of your net pots. This is where we’ll place the closet rod hangers.
I also used a utility knife to scratch up the plastic to get the non-toxic epoxy/non-toxic hot glue to adhere the rod holders. If you’re comfortable you can screw it in, but remember to seal the hole with something as there will be water
Step 2: Step 2: Spinkler System
Measure the width of the inner bin and then cut your PVC pipe to fit. In my bin I found the inner width to be 19″.
I then measured the fittings; the t-joint was 2¾” wide and each end cap was 2¼ wide. With the subtraction of those totals to the total width and adding and eight (times each fitting entrance) I had my inner PVC length.
Do a test fit with all the pieces together to make sure you’ve got the correct length and that it will fit nicely into the bin. Note: I found adding some hand lotion to the ends helps test fit the connections without them getting stuck together (I used some mini hotel lotions I had laying around for this).
With everything still test fit together, mark your sprinkler head locations and drill your pilot holes and then tap them with the proper thread (usually supplied with your sprinkler head package – or at least listed so you can purchase the correct thread tap). Be sure the t-joint is pointing down. :)
Step 3: Step 3: Adding Oxygen (optional)
This step is not required as the sprinklers create a aeration effect. But I chose to add in two air-stones and a dual aquarium air-pump to introduce extra oxygen into the bin when the roots reach down and the hydroponics system becomes a deep water culture hydroponic box.
Place the air-stone(s) at the bottom. I chose to glue them down and run the tubes up the side. I also drilled a small hole to run the tubes through in the top to allow the bin top to seat tight against the bin when closed. Also note the optional weather stripping around the top.
Step 4: Step 4: the Pump
Place the water pump at the bottom with the screw-in connection cap and measure out your flexible pipe to connect the pump to the PVC sprinkler system.
Run the plug out the top (I cut the bin to allow the cable to run up and over to allow the top to seat flush). Notice the optional weather striping.
Step 5: Step 5: the Top
Now that the innards are complete, we need to cut the top to allow the net pots and an (optional) access hatch to add nutrients and additional water.
I chose to flip the net cups upside down and measure the holes equally spaced around the top. Since the top is plastic, it will cut real easy with a sharp utility knife.
After I cut the access hatch, I added some electrical tape to the bottom to re-enforce the swinging hatch.
I then measured around the hatch and ended up with seven holes for pots.