You are on page 1of 22

Home Sign Up!

Explore Community Submit

Modular, Windowsill, Air Powered, Hydroponics Herb Garden/Experimenter


by wiley coyote on November 25, 2008

Table of Contents

intro: Modular, Windowsill, Air Powered, Hydroponics Herb Garden/Experimenter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

step 1: Modular Reservoir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

step 2: Bubbler Assy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

step 3: DWC Module - Deep Water Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

step 4: Flood and Drain Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

step 5: Manifold Assy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

step 6: Modular Planters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

step 7: Assembly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

step 8: Operation and Operating Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Advertisements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Customized Instructable T-shirts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
intro: Modular, Windowsill, Air Powered, Hydroponics Herb Garden/Experimenter
Although this is an evolution of previously entered work, there has been significant changes to the whole modular idea as well as some control mechanisms added.

I have learned along the way that the back flow of air through the pump IS definitely a problem, especially when working with air tight systems or relatively low height
water columns. For this reason, I have added two mechanism to aid with the control of the fill and drain cycles. I have also added a central "manifold" through which all
air flows, allowing for expansion/experimentation.

The air escaping through the planters, when the reservoir empties, was also a problem, so I added a separate bottle that I call a bubbler. The bubbler redirects the
escaping air and reduces the bubble size, reducing splashing, vibrations and effectively extending the pump on time. I suppose it could be used as a planter as well.
Don't know what you'd call the bubble method.

The MODULARITY has been expanded so that the "HUB" of the system is the Bubbler and the TEE below. Everything else is swappable. You can change reservoirs
and/or reservoir types as well as "planter lines" and types of planters at your whim. This allows for experimentation and expansion without having to disturb that which
does need to be disturbed.

I do plan on improving/screwing with stuff as time goes on and required a "productive" window sill garden that accommodates different designs and methods, without
starting from scratch each time. This what I've come up with and hope to be adding "Modules" as time goes on.

Image Notes
1. Connect Air pump hose
2. Insert the tip of one air hose into 13/64 inch hole in reservoir cap.
3. Insert DWC unit's air hose into manifold hole.
4. cup hook pipe clip
5. Reservoir filled with tea for easy viewing.

step 1: Modular Reservoir


WHAT I USED

1 ea 2L pop bottle with cap


Approx. 18 inch length of 3/8 inch OD Vinyl tubing (trim as required in final setup)
1 ea 7/8 inch length of 7/16 inch OD tubing
1 ea 5/8 inch length of 1/2 inch CPVC tubing
Hot melt glue (Silicone would probably be best)

WHAT I DID

1. Drill one each 5/16 inch and 13/64 inch holes in the cap as shown.
2. Cut both ends of the 2 ft length of tube on an angle as shown.
3. Thread the 2 ft length of tube through the 5/16 inch hole in the cap as shown.
4. On the end of the same tube, that will be outside of the bottle (cap orientation), slip the 7/16 and 1/2 inch pieces over each other as shown to form an adapter.
5. This adapter will leak without tension applied, so hot melt glue as shown to seal.
5.Place cap on bottle and adjust tube so it reaches the bottom of the inside of the bottle.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Image Notes
1. apply glue to pieces with CPVC collar slid back to expose inner sleeve and Image Notes
then slip into place immediately to get the results in the next frame. 1. Inner sleeve is now recessed forming a "meniscus" type curve glue seal at one
end and a strain relief at the other.
2. Strain relief
3. Angular edge helps keep bubbles flowing in low pressure situations. You'll see
what I mean. Actually you won't unless to mess with it. In low pressure
conditions, surface tension becomes a big player and will act as a shut off valve.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
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.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Image Notes
1. Angled tip makes it a much easier to open hole.

Image Notes
1. I originally used a fine mesh to break the bubbles up finer, but later removed it
as it was counter productive. Please disregard the white mesh in any other photos.

step 3: DWC Module - Deep Water Culture


WHAT I USED

1 ea 2L pop bottle
1 ea small pop bottle w/cap
1 ea 13 inch piece of 7/16 inch Vinyl tubing (mine was a 12 inch scrap and was minimally long enough)
Hot melt glue
Approx. 4 inch piece of coat hanger wire
1 ea aquarium air stone
1/4 inch aquarium air tubing as required... at least 1 foot

WHAT I DID

1. Cut a 5/16 inch slot in one of the recessed groves on the bottom of the 2L bottle as shown.
2. Cut one end of the 7/16 inch tubing on an angle and insert same end just inside the slot. Put tension on the tube and glue in place as shown. I used two elastics to
secure will glue cooled, which are in the rest of the pics and are not necessary, but could be used as min/max markers.
3. Bend wire as shown and use it as a clip, at the neck of the bottle, to secure other end of 7/16 inch tubing in a vertical position.
4. Cut a 1 inch hole near the top of the bottle, opposite the tube.
5. Using scizzors, cut the neck off of the small bottle and insert into 1 inch hole as shown. Use a small bottle as they are not "flared" like the 2L are and it makes for easier
insertion into the 1 " hole.
6. Drill a 13/64 inch hole into the cap.
7. Insert air tube through through 13/64 inch hole and put the air stone on the end that will be inside the bottle (again, cap orientation).
8. Put cap on the "side" cap and adjust tube so that the air stone rests on the bottom.

NOTE : Stones, and any submerged hole for that matter, will clog over time changing the associated rates. Routine observations of the full cycle wouldn't hurt to keep
wandering variants under control if necessary.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Image Notes Image Notes
1. slot 1. Hose fits "smoothly" through slot without kinking to rest on the bottom.
2. reused tube, please excuse discoloration.

Image Notes
1. Bottle neck clips in here.
2. Level indicator/Siphon tube clips in here. If not held vertical, it will fall and
siphon the nutrient onto floor or other most inconvenient place. Trust me on this
one.

Image Notes
http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
1. Hole magically appeared one step too early.

Image Notes
1. Used to siphon nutrients without disturbing plant as well as a level indicator. In
real life, the reservoir would be opaque to prevent algae growth.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Image Notes
1. Fill station and air hose holder. Not secured with glue, so DO NOT over
tighten cap. It will be difficult to remove as neck will spin.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Image Notes
1. Discard rubber bands when glue completely cooled or use as min/max level
indicators.

step 4: Flood and Drain Module


WHAT I USED

1 ea 19 inch length of 1X4 pine (same length as a pop case)


3 ea 1 inch thread detergent bottle caps (convenient)
1 ea pop bottle lid
1 ea 1 inch length of 1/2 inch Vinyl tubing
3 ea 1/2 inch lengths of 1/2 inch Vinyl tubing
3 ea 1/2 inch CPVC TEE connectors
1 ea 1/2 inch CPVC 90 degree elbow

WHAT I DID

1. Drill four equally spaced 1.25 inch holes at 4.5 inch centers w.r.t. each other. (same spacing as a pop case)
2. Build "interface" from bottle cap to I/2 inch CPVC connectors. Please see pics below for details. I made 3 using detergent caps and 1 from a pop bottle cap.
3. Secure bottles and "interfaces" through holes as shown.
4. Interconnect the bottles using 1/2 inch CPVC or Vinyl tubing. I use Vinyl for this because of its' "flexibility", excuse the pun, but would probably use CPVC in a larger or
permanent setup for its' rigidity.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Image Notes
1. Sunlight detergent bottle cap
2. 1/2 inch Vinyl tube "sleeve"
3. 1/2 inch CPVC TEE

Image Notes Image Notes


1. Slip Vinyl sleeve into TEE and trim flush if necessary. Slip detergent cap 1. Drill 1/2 inch hole in cap and feed 1 inch piece of Vinyl tubing through hole.
nozzle into Vinyl sleeve. Should be very snug. Force together until flush. Reform tube in hole.(May take some playing with, but it will reform into a tube
2. Note - Using a movable seal, such as this, rather than a static seal, such as and make an excellent seal) Insert into TEE.
glue, allows for easy modifications AND turning the planter allows for even
foliage growth with minimal disturbance to roots.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Image Notes Image Notes
1. Same cap 1. Insert Vinyl tube and cap flush against TEE or elbow connector. Trim Vinyl
2. Trim so that CPVC connector butts flush against bottle cap. tube as required so that cap butts up against the CPVC connector.
3. 90 degree elbow used for end of last planter in row.

Image Notes Image Notes


1. I used bottles in the case to show spacing and to provide stability for pics. 1. Screw caps to bottles through holes in wood.
Pretend these are planters of not so uniform size.

Image Notes
1. funnels
Image Notes 2. Empty planter
1. Interconnect with tubing and secure caps in place, if desired, by gluing to
wood holes for greater planter stability. Glue only caps to wood to maintain
"removeability" of all other pieces.
2. 1/2 inch Vinyl tubing or CPVC. CPVC would provide yet greater support as
well eliminate the danger of coming loose, but requires greater accuracy when
cutting.
3. To bubbler or feed line.

step 5: Manifold Assy


Note - Manifold only necessary if multiple lines required... aka DWC unit. Should the DWC unit not be desired to take advantage of excess air, as in my first unit,
Expandable Hydroponics System from Junk - Flood and Drain, the "self tapping screw valve" can be "installed" directly on the reservoir bottle cap. The soft plastic will
provide a good seal and it will cost nothing to fix if you screw up again and again and again..... Gotta love seemingly endless, FREE, building materials, eh?

Please note that a gang valve, with it's individual line controls, would be preferred for multiple lines, but for those who do not require such controls................

WHAT I USED

1 ea several inch length of 1/2 inch CPVC tube


2 ea end caps for same
1 ea 13/64 inch drill bit
1 ea 1/64 inch drill bit
1 ea small, self tapping screw
http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Air tubing as required during assembly

WHAT I DID

2. Install end caps on each end.


1. Drill 1 ea 1/64 inch hole, near one end, into, but not through tube.
3. Tap 1/64 hole using small, self tapping screw and screw in fully when complete.
1. Drill 3 ea 13/64 inch holes into, but not through, tube as shown.
3. Insert aquarium air tubing securely into holes as required.(not shown)

PRESTO - A one input / two output (at least in this case) air pressure manifold with a passive, adjustable, pressure relief valve. Please excuse any incorrect terminology.
Additional holes (ports) could be added as required until maximum air usage limit is reached or reservoir no longer empties completely.

Image Notes
1. Ports for 1/4 inch aquarium air tubing.
2. Tapped 1/64 inch hole. Will be used as a controlled leak to vent pressure if necessary.
3. Slot in self tapping screw works as an adjustable air valve when screwed in and out. DWC unit not actually required, to aid with drain cycle, with the addition of
this.

step 6: Modular Planters


WHAT I USED

4 ea 2L pop bottles

WHAT I DID

1. Cut the bottom off the bottles.


2. Drill several small drainage holes in the bottom piece.
3. Invert bottom piece and force into the top piece as shown. Trim if required, but it should be a snug fit.

In the photos, only one is complete, the other three are for demonstration purposes only.

Image Notes
1. 13/64 hole
2. Hole
3. Hole
http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
4. Hole
5. Hole
6. Hole

Image Notes
1. It's difficult to see, but it's inverted and being inserted.

step 7: Assembly
You are on your own for a support structure. I used what I had on hand and the rules are simply dictated by gravity.

Hopefully the pics speak for themselves.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Image Notes Image Notes
1. Shelving SO UGLY, camera refuses to focus on it. 1. Add one Modular Reservoir
2. Vinyl dipped cup hook, ever soooo conventiently, makes great 1/2 " CPVC
pipe clip.
3. Ignore this hook, it just holds measuring spoons.
4. Air pump and timer
5. Completed unit of slightly different construction hiding out of frame.

Image Notes Image Notes


1. Add one Modular (of course) DWC unit. Used to productively vent/use excess 1. Add one Modular Fill and Drain Unit, higher than the reservoir. Please note
air pressure as well as control fill and drain rates. that empty 2L "planters" will appear to be under filled. The actual fill level limit
will be a function, largely, of size/shape of container used as well as grow
medium used.

Image Notes Image Notes


1. 3.5 inch piece of 1/2 inch CPVC pipe interfacing bubbler and reservoir assy 1. Add one 3 hole air manifold. 1 hose to pump, 1 hose to reservoir cap and the
provides support for bubbler. other to the DWC unit's air stone. I could use a controlled valve, but I'm
2. Add one Bubbler unit. This directs the excess air bubbles away from the simplifying this to this point just to see what if.....
planters and breaks them down, keeping noise and vibration to a minimum.
Allows for safer and less annoying, extended air pump run time.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Image Notes
1. Connect Air pump hose
2. Insert the tip of one air hose into 13/64 inch hole in reservoir cap.
3. Insert DWC unit's air hose into manifold hole.
4. cup hook pipe clip
5. Reservoir filled with tea for easy viewing.

step 8: Operation and Operating Parameters


Turn on and inspect for and repair any leaks, both air or liquid.

FILL CYCLE

Pump comes on and pressurizes the manifold, initiating the emptying of the reservoir up the tube and into the Flood and Drain unit, as well as the bubbling of the air
stone in the DWC unit. This continues until the reservoir completely empties or equilibrium is reached between the opposing forces. It can be "tuned", and will be
discussed seperately. As the reservoir empties, the bubbles will be redirected, largely, up the tube and into the bubbler rather than the air stone.

The greater the resistance from the air stone, the faster and more completely the reservoir will empty.

DRAIN CYCLE

Pump goes off and the water that has evacuated the reservoir returns under the force of gravity. The returning nutrient pushes the air up and out, into the manifold, and
out through the DWC air stone as well as any other leak available. The bubbling of the air stone will reduce as the weight of the returning nutrient diminishes, until all of
the nutrient returns or an equilibrium of the opposing forces is reached. This can be easily tuned as well.

Please see video for demo of unit w/DWC only as a vent -

Video

Please see video for demo of reservoirs only-

Video

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
TUNING

Tuning is achieved by varying the opposing forces, such as gravity and air pressure. Generally speaking, gravity affects various "thresholds", while air pressure affects
rates and the ability to reach the thresholds or a state of equilibrium. At least in my understanding and my ability to explain same. Lets just say, it's a balancing act.

The effects of gravity can easily be varied, and observed, by increasing or decreasing the height of the planters w.r.t. the reservoir or by varying the depth of the air stone
in the DWC unit.

The effects of air pressure, acting against gravity, can be regulated by the porosity of the air stone in the DWC unit, by varying the depth of the "self tapping screw valve"
in the manifold or reservoir lid, or any other method of controlling the "air tightness" between the air pump and the reservoir.

Using air tightness only, one can overcome the issues with the slow drain rates regardless of pump used, as long as it can supply enough air and pressure that is. With
the DWC unit eliminated, the excess air will simply vent out the screw valve thingy.

NOTE: Only one complete system can go onto any one individual pump because of the pressure loss that will occur when/if the reservoir empties. Any slower systems
will stop filling, and start draining, when the first one starts bubbling. One larger, shallow reservoir would be preferred over multiple reservoirs in larger systems.

Image Notes Image Notes


1. Pump off, system fully drained. 1. Pump on, fill cycle underway.
2. Prototype, made with pop cases. 2. Air pressure builds above nutrient, forcing it up the tube and into planters.
3. Caps hot melt glued directly to CPVC, with holes drilled though cap, without 3. Air not required to complete the fill cycle, aka excess air, is used to drive
leaks. Could not reproduce leak free connections consistently on second unit. DWC during fill cycle.
REAL CHEAP, but not reliable. 4. No nutrient or nutrient bypass.
4. One double air pump (Hagen Elite 802 approx. $20), upwards of 10 plant
potential.
5. Flood and Drain nutrient fully drained into reservoir.
6. Screw valve fully closed.
7. Depth of DWC unit nutrient determines the rate at which air escapes through
the air stone, which affects the fill/drain rates and limits.
8. empty, un-vented bottle allows for unused spot, temporary or permanent, w/o
leaks or wasted nutrient.
9. 710 ml bottles made into planters with plastic grow bags filled with gravel. To
block sunlight from roots, use chip bags as grow bags and/or cover planters
exterior. 3 inch ABS pipe makes a good sleeve and can add support.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Image Notes Image Notes
1. Reservoir almost empty 1. Pump on, fill cycle complete and held in flood conditions until pump turned
2. Vigorous bubbling increases in DWC as nutrient level drops in reservoir. off.
3. Pump on, fill cycle almost complete. 2. Reservoir empty, air now following the path of least resistance up tube,
instead of through the air stone.
3. No more bubbles or very few.
4. Nutrient suspended until pump on cycle is over. Also notice NO bubbles. If
you see bubbles at this point, decrease resistance inside bubbler by removing
mesh.
5. Air routed through bubbler and broken up to reduce noise and vibrations
caused by large bubbles breaking the surface. The louder noise is coming from
the reservoir.
6. Nutrient level in filled planters (1 ea 2L bottle and 3 ea 710 ml), would
overflow if reservoir was filled. Approximately 1 inch from the top of the gravel.

Image Notes Image Notes


1. Pump off, drain cycle underway. 1. Pump off, mid-drain cycle.
2. Reservoir filling with nutrient, forcing air back through manifold. 2. less bubbles.
3. Air follows current path of least resistance through air stone.
4. Gravity is now the driving force and will diminish as levels drop.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Image Notes
1. Pump off, drain cycle going on and on.
2. Bubbles diminish to near nothing until drain cycle complete. Will act as a
switch and stop the drain cycle if stone is too deep and system is air tight.
3. It will drain completely. If it does not, system is too air tight and needs to be
tuned accordingly with screw valve or DWC levels.

Image Notes
1. Adjustable rate, self tapping screw valve thingy. The finer the thread the
better. You can make one by crimping the threads of a soft metal screw so that
a channel has been cut into the threads, up the side of the screw.
2. DWC line disconnected and plugged.

Image Notes
1. No DWC. Flood and drain cycles the same, except excess air is vented
instead of rerouted.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
Related Instructables

Hydroponics
Even Simpler grow kits - Grow Dirt Garden by Semi-Automatic Hydroponic Bog
Flood and Drain trebuchet03 Hydroponic Garden (Water
System - The Understanding Expandable it by Planter/Sprout Almost Free - Recycling) by
Hydroponics by Hydroponics hydroponicsgrowshop DIY Simple
Mosquito by Grower by wiley Biotank
wiley coyote dutchypoodle System from coyote Hydroponics by
Junk - Flood Mr E Man
and Drain by
wiley coyote

Advertisements
Customized Instructable T-shirts

Comments
13 comments Add Comment

tabletopphoto says: Dec 6, 2008. 4:24 PM REPLY


Have you tried bigger reservoirs like 10 gallons or bigger?

wiley coyote says: Dec 6, 2008. 6:19 PM REPLY


I mean no, 10 litres or bigger is what I meant. See below.

The theory is the same though, at least in my head.

wiley coyote says: Dec 6, 2008. 5:32 PM REPLY


Yes, but in a horizontal reservoir made of 4 inch drain pipe. The horizontal nature of the reservoir allows you to tap it anywhere as well as reduce the
vertical forces at odds with each other. I thought about larger bottles, but they would have to be shallow to be effective and could only be tapped, easily,
in one location.

The horizontal reservoirs could then be shelved vertically without the need of expensive water pumps pushing great heights of water. The "shelving"
would have to support the weight of the nutrient anyway....... I could go on and on and on...

Sorry you asked, eh?

One pump..... MANY plants would be my goal I guess.

wiley coyote says: Dec 6, 2008. 6:13 PM REPLY


This link will explain it better. The original size doc is easily readable.

Larger reservoir type thingy

tabletopphoto says: Dec 5, 2008. 1:38 PM REPLY


It would be so nice to see a video of that working. I just don't get it.

wiley coyote says: Dec 5, 2008. 8:39 PM REPLY


I'll be editing it into the Instructable momentarily. I didn't because of quality, but I managed to get enough detail on the reservoir and DWC unit to be
useful. Please try to extrapolate everything that is not in the frame.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
tabletopphoto says: Dec 5, 2008. 11:32 PM REPLY
Okay. I'm starting to get it. Atleast I believe I am. The dwc is a means to reuse air that would other wise be lost. That is efficient.! 'm not a person who
can read plans well and actually need to see the finished product in action to completely understand.

I hope you could post a video showing the whole system in action, and for those of us who start out a bit slow, explain what is going on. That would
be really useful for pple like me who don't always get something unless you draw us a picture (or vid)

Thanks again! I appreciate.

wiley coyote says: Dec 6, 2008. 3:44 PM REPLY


I've added another video of one complete unit, using only the DWC as a vent (and any lack of air tightness), as an edit into the final step. Hope it
helps.

tabletopphoto says: Dec 6, 2008. 4:23 PM REPLY


I'm kinda suprised that the plant doesn't drown in the DWC since it only gets air durring the cycle. The pump runs how many times a day?

wiley coyote says: Dec 6, 2008. 5:22 PM REPLY


Just set it up, but the plant that's in there is virtually indestructable. It's been sitting in a virtually dry kitty litter container DWC unit for ever,
the air stone was not even fully covered and the thing just does not die.

These philodendrons are great for testing conditions because they show the signs of stress immediately, but haaaannnnng onnnnn
forever and then bounce right back when given favorable conditions. It does look a bit better and there is a rootless piece that broke off in
there too. I want to see if the roots will take under these conditions as well.

Anyway, I just set it up to go off six times a day for 4 minutes which should drive the flood and drain cycles near perfectly. The plants will
be the proof of anything, although I do have a habit of stressing them on purpose.

wiley coyote says: Dec 6, 2008. 12:08 AM REPLY


That is exactly correct.

No problem. I'll post something, if I can produce something of useful quality.

nolte919 says: Dec 5, 2008. 3:49 PM REPLY


I have to say I am quite confused which is a shame because you definitely have something spectacular going on here. First of all I don't see the point of the
DWC at all. It looks like a complicated way of letting air escape. And why did you put a hole in the side when you could just have easily put the tubing down
the neck that's wide open. And why did you attach tubing to the bottom of the DWC. You mentioned draining and checking the level in there but can't you
just look at it and tip it upside down to drain? That tubing at the bottom seems like a leak waiting to happen. And why does the DWC need min and max level
markers? If air is just bubbling through it how would the water level ever change?

Also, I don't understand if air pressure is rising, pushing up the water in the planters, why would the bubbles be decreasing in the DWC? Wouldn't you get
more and more bubbles as the water level in the planters increased?

You've clearly put a lot of effort in explaining how you built everything and did a wonderful job I might add. But maybe a little more explanation as to why
decided to do some of the things in the first place. I understand the bubbler just not the DWC.

I don't mean to be a downer. I actually think this project is brilliant and I don't even know what that DWC is for. After I figure that out I'm sure I'll be blown
away.

wiley coyote says: Dec 5, 2008. 8:29 PM REPLY


I will try to answer as clearly as possible, in the order you ask and I don't blame you for being confused because you are correct. The DWC is absolutely
unnecessary. The screw valve would have been enough, but that actually came later.

In my previous designs posted, people were having problems getting the drain cycle working due to air tightness. I did eventually as well, requiring me to
solve my own problem. Having a DWC unit available, I tried it out and it worked. It was only an afterthought to add the manifold and screw valve as a
simpler fix.

All of my designs will be moving toward accessing everything for maintenance/replacement w/o disturbing the rest. With that in mind, I will explain the
DWC unit's design when it could've just been an unmodified bottle.

The hole in the side is for filling with a funnel and for access to the air stone, separate from the opening that the plant is in. Once the plant is secured, I
use polyester fibre for aquarium pumps, you would not be able to access the nutrient w/o the second hole. I attached the tube at the bottom so that I
could drain the waste nutrient, again w/o disturbing anything else. It also would allow me to view the nutrient level once the bottle is covered back up to
protect the roots from light. Plants also might not like being tipped upside down once past the seedling stage. You are correct, it is a leak waiting to
happen. The DWC unit is a Deep Water Culture is unit meant to grow plants, not just bubble air through it.

Once the air starts travelling up the tube, it becomes the path of least resistance to the air. The pressure increases until that point, as do the bubbles. At
that point, the larger bubbles travelling up the tube MUST be easier. It surprised me too.

I would like someone to explain to me why I do the things I do. Looks like were both out of luck on that one......

You're not being a downer. I expected every question you asked.

Although I think I've already answered this, I'll be clear. The DWC is actually a separate planter using a different growing technique. It is unnecessary,
but was available to be added to the beast to solve a problem so I MacGyvered it in. I also plan on building more completely useless "modules" to add to
it whenever I can. For no reason other than, I can and virtually for free. Someone somewhere said something about air powered aquaponics. Hmmm.....
http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular_Windowsill_Air_Powered_Hydroponics_Herb_Ga/