Intro: Hydroponic Bubbler
I was in the market to buy a hydroponic bubbler to attempt to grow some fresh herbs for cooking. I saw several online and looked at a couple locally and figured I could make one of these. Either way here is how I made it, what you will need etc.
Step 1: What You Need
This is what you will need. Cost of materials was roughly $40.00 bucks. Average cost of typical bubblers is like 200 - 300 bucks so well worth it.
Step 2: Paint the Storage Tote.
You are going to want to paint the tote a solid black. (Hence the need for the paint). The reason for this is so that the bubbler does not become a breeding ground for various nasties.
Step 3: Cut the Holes
I was able to fit 10 1.25" holes in the top of my lid. After cutting the holes I had to recoat some areas that the paint peeled back on. So you may or may not wish wait to paint the top until after this step. Either way.
Step 4: Air Stones
Position the air stones where you want them.
Cut two holes in one of the sides of the storage tote. These holes need to be big enough to fit your tubing through. Hindsight being what it is...I actually cut these holes a little low. The splitter valve that I purchased was a little bigger than I initially thought. So you may wish to drill these a little higher than what I have here.
Step 6: Splitter Valve
Attache the splitter valve how ever you see fit. My personal opinion was to attach it with the hot glue gun. It holds pretty well. You wont be making too much movement in this area so it holds well.
Step 7: Run Your Tubing
At this point run your tubing into the storage tote and connect them to both the air stones and the two way valve. Connect the pump to the valve. Put in some water and then plug in the valve and watch the pretty bubbles.
At this point you can cut the foam to fit the holes. Some things to note. you will not be able to use the 1.25" hole bit for this. The cut out will not be large enough. So you either want to use a bigger bit (maybe 1.5") or manually cut them out. As you can see from the picture I went the manual route. I didnt have the larger bit on hand. I used the bottom of a shot glass that happened to be 1.5" in diameter. After you cut them out you need to make another cut on them that will allow you to insert the plants. Just a slit from edge to middle to make what can only be explained as little pac men.
Just a final word of thought on this. You really dont need to worry about putting too much water in the bubbler or having the tips of the roots in the bubbler either. As you can see from this picture taken about an hour after continuous running there is plenty of condensation on the bottom of the lid. And actually there was quite a bit more as well that ran off after I lifted the lid that is not visible here. So just have everything just above the surface of the water and you should be fine.