Intro: Even Simpler Flood and Drain System - the Mosquito
Due to the response of the last hydroponics system Flood and Drain from Junk, I figured I'd get this down while it's hot in my head because it answers some of the questions. Please do refer to the link above as it explains much of the theory.
I've simplified the system further to lend itself to massive expansion. The planter bottle has been modified to eliminate the need for interconnecting hoses as well as make it accept ANY airtight, and I recommend RIGID, reservoir. It sort of reminds me of a mosquito and works much the same way. As the air pump increases the pressure inside the reservoir, the nutrient sol'n is forced into the body of the mosquito. When the air pump is off, the resulting lower pressure allows gravity to return the nutrient to the reservoir and empty the body of the mosquito.
Modify as required and desired. For simplicity, I've quickly built a two planter unit out of stuff I had on hand and have ignored any efficiency issues. This is more to show the concept and although it "works", this one will not be used as a unit itself. I have also not filled the planters with bags of grow medium and plants for this same reason.
It'll be real short, I promise.
Step 1: What You Need
One airtight reservoir
One air pump
1/4 inch air tubing as required
Two pop bottles
Two 12 inch pieces of 1/2 inch CPVC pipe with one end cut at an angle
1 ea 5/8 inch drill bit
1 ea 7/32 inch drill bit
1 ea 9/16 inch drill bit (please pretend that's what's in the picture)
One drill (not shown)
Step 2: The Mosquito
Drill 5/8 inch hole in lid of any plastic beverage bottle. I used 500 ml pop bottles for this one.
Cut the bottom off the bottle.
Place bottle upside down on pipe.
It kinda resembles a mosquito, don't ya think?
Step 3: Reservoir
In the lid, drill one 7/32 inch hole, through which, we will feed the tip of the air hose.
Also in the lid, drill two 9/16 inch holes through which we will gently force the pipes. Works best on warm plastic.
Any reservoir will work as long as the pipe can reach the bottom. The more rigid, the better.
Sorry, forgot to take picture.
Step 4: Assembly
Gently drive the angled end of the pipe through the undersized 9/16 inch holes like a hypodermic.
Insert tip of air hose through the undersized 7/32 hole.
Fill with water and turn on.
Seal any leaks as req'd.
Adjust min/max and timing as req'd or desired.
It was at this point that I realized that the more rigid the reservoir is, the better. I'm thinking 4" drainage pipe.
Fill planters with a grow medium. I would use a small chip bag with holes as a removable, grow bag "sleeve", but you can use any medium as long as it cannot flow through the pipe and into the reservoir.
No boring video. Trust me, it works.