Aeroponic AeroGarden Conversion...

Taxonomy upgrade extras:

OK, next mad project... convert the AeroGarden into a proper aeroponic unit...

This is how I want to build it. I have no idea if this will work, leak, flood my house or grow stunning plants quicker than hydro...

 

Blue Print

Blueprint

The parts...

1. Sicce Nova (flow adjustable) water pump, 250-800 lph (66-211 gph), 13mm diameter water outlet pipe.

    Edit: this pump was found to heat the water up too much, trying another one! (Sicce Mi Mouse, 30 to 300 lph (7.9 to 79 gph) ).

    Edit2: this pump works a treat, it does not heat the water up and the spray is much more gentler - sorted!

2. Rigid plastic pipe, 13mm diameter.

3. Various 'T' pieces and pipe end caps, 13mm diameter.

4. Air pump (for water bubbler), already have this from before, it's a Rena 400 model. I will attach a cylindrical air stone to this.

5. Two types of sprayer to see what works best - the green one has 360 degree spray pattern and a small spinner, the brown one has two 180 degree fixed spray outputs.

Pump and both types of sprayer   Sprayer patterns from both sprayers   Undergoing testing...  Sicce - Mi-Mouse Water Pump

The Build

1. Remove the AG water pump and central column from the AeroGarden to free up the space, the column is only held on by one screw.

2. Cut two sections of rigid plastic pipe, each 5½ inches long, I used a very sharp knife for a clean cut.

3. Measure and cut another section of pipe to go onto the water pump. This measurement will vary depending on your model of pump, you want the sprayers to be just below the top of the AG lid once it's clicked into place.

4. Assemble all the pieces, pipe, 'T' piece and ends as per diagram below.

All pipes pieced together   End caps and 'T' piece

 5. Drill 4 holes in the pipe and screw in the 4 sprayers, 2 in each side and equally spaced.

Final assembly, complete with sprayers

6. Mount the whole assembly in the AeroGarden, put on the lid and check the bar runs centrally in between both sets of pods.

 Fully assembled

7. Check the operation of the device, I have fitted an optional cylindrical airstone at the front to provide an injection of extra oxygen to the water. Once it's all going, then the task of checking for leaks begins... It will leak from the back, because of the hole left by the AG pump and also from the front lid - both solved by using some duct tape to seal the problem off. I have not tried different ways of doing this yet, work in progress...

In full operation

 

Due to the aeroponics system, the possibility of the sprayers getting blocked is increased. I would recommend you put the water pump in a fine micron mesh bag (which you can buy in aquatic shops) that can filter any debris from the plants, wayward roots etc. Failing that, you can use some panty hose which acts as a good filter.

 

 

5
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)
Peat
Peat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: 2008-10-27 13:13

Week 2 (ish)

End of this grow, pop along to the DIY Aeroponic System to see them transplanted...

Conclusion: They grow just fine using my modification, nothing spectacular, about the same as a normal really. The Tom Thumb lettuce has done particularly well, shooting up very quickly.

It's been an interesting project to do, has taken up many hours and I've learnt quite a bit about aeroponics in the process.  

 

 

Peat
Peat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: 2008-10-27 13:13

Week 2

Probably just about on par with all the other lettuce grows timewise. The pod at the back didn't germinate so was replanted, I also threw in an old AG salad green pod at the front.

I wanted to increase the nutes but have had to keep them low due to the new pods, too strong otherwise.

Mild Growth Stage, Flora Micro 4.2mL, Flora Grow 8.5mL, Flora Bloom 4.2mL (all per 3.2 litres), pH is 6.0, EC (after adjustment by adding more water) is 1.5
 

Week 2

Peat
Peat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: 2008-10-27 13:13

Week 1

First full week now, the system is working fine so far. There is one at the back however which is slow to get going.

Feeding schedule changed: Mild Growth Stage, Flora Micro 4.2mL, Flora Grow 8.5mL, Flora Bloom 4.2mL (all per 3.2 litres), pH is 6.0, EC (after adjustment by adding more water) is 1.5

Week 1

Peat
Peat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: 2008-10-27 13:13

Hi Judith, it just so happens that I have already done a blog about this.

If you drill down to post number 10, you will see how I got over the air line problem. Drilled a small hole in my Classic, put a small rubber grommet in and passed the air line through this. It makes a very good waterproof seal - just make sure you don't put the hole too low, don't want wet feet with all the water coming out.

Would you want to do this though?

The other alternative is to give up a pod hole, run the air line through this, not what you want though - decisions, decisions...

The air pump MUST be run 24/7 to aerate the water, let the water stagnate and the plants will object. Keeping the pump on will also fend off a variety of fungus/bacterial problems that would love to flourish in your water.

That's great news on the cuke, I'm so pleased that my nute plan is working for you.

Orlando Jude (not verified)

Hi Peat:  I'm watching this with great interest.  But I won't be going to such great lengths with my classics.  All I want to do is add an aerator.  Is there an easy way to do that?  Or should I just use one of the pod areas, maybe with the hose going thru a space saver?  I don't like losing a spot, but don't know if there's another way. 

On my classics, the pump goes off with the lights, and the new design in the 6's seems to show that it's better to have the aerator run 24/7. 

Thanks for any help.

(your nutes plan for my cukes is working wonders!  One has already got it's first tendril!  No pics up yet,  in the next few days probably)

 

Peat
Peat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: 2008-10-27 13:13

Day 1

A small update on day 1, the unit is still leak free and running well. The pods have quite a bit of condensation in them, much more than I have experienced.

Could be a good thing - I probably have 100% humidity (due to the sprayers), which is ideal for hydro.

Could be a problem - could cause damping off, and could mean the rockwool is too saturated and subsequently not getting enough air.

We shall see then...

Condensation

Peat
Peat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: 2008-10-27 13:13

Thanks. I tried to grow that in soil last year, it bolted and died.

Anyhow, time to give it a go in hydro/aero, hopefully it will come good this time.

Ginger
Ginger's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 5 hours ago
Joined: 2008-06-23 15:55

Nice, Peat - the Tom Thumb butterhead looks interesting.

Peat
Peat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: 2008-10-27 13:13

Week 0 - (starting week)

At long last we have a go on this little project.

I've planted Tom Thumb, back right and left. In the other 4 are a a mixed leaf lettuce/brassica - Euro Mesclun Salad, something like the AG one but more variety.

All seeds went into my usual rockwool grow medium.

I'm only going to run this for germination purposes only, once the seedlings are a decent size they will go into my DIY Aeroponic System I built. If they grow OK then it should be a matter of weeks before I can get them across to the other system. You will notice that there are only 6 pods planted, the DIY system only has 6 holes.

If this modification succeeds then I will have to think up something else to grow, I kinda like the idea of peas - but we will see.

Week 0 (starting week) - Seedling Stage, Flora Micro 2.1mL, Flora Grow 2.1mL, Flora Bloom 2.1mL (all per 3.2 litres), pH is 6.0, EC (after adjustment by adding more water) is 0.8

Not a very inspiring photo, I tried to take the inside with the sprayers running but kept getting the camera and myself soaked!

Week 0 - starting week

Peat
Peat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 week ago
Joined: 2008-10-27 13:13

This has not been forgotten.  

I've been running the AG for some time to see where the leaks are, pretty much sorted now - probably plant this up this weekend with some mixed lettuce.

A few alterations, the two struts that run through the bowl have been put back in, this holds the new pump securely in place - it's very light and was apt to wander around inside! I've found that a small plastic bag placed between the lid and top of the bowl sorts out the water leaks - no more duct tape.

Pages

Log in or register to post comments