I have been growing aeroponic weed for a couple of years now with great results in a high pressure aeroponics diy system. Here is my original diy aeroponics system. It works very well but I wanted to update it and improve it by incorporating some of the things I have learned along the way.
I have added another grow closet and decided to set it up with a high pressure aeroponic system and along the way I decided to update my original system too. Both builds are identical but their sizes are different. My other closet is larger so it has a 3 tote system and my original grow room now has a 2 tote system that I will be documenting here.
What Changes Were Made?
One problem I encountered was roots clogging the drains. Some roots will always slough off and they seemed to get stuck in the tees. To remedy this I now am using 3/4 inch drains. They also empty directly in to the reservoir from the totes.
I moved the reservoir under the totes. This makes drainage easier and helps keep water temperatures down. It also means more grow area under the lights because the reservoir is no longer alongside the totes.
My original system used a pump and misters designed for reptiles. I am now using a higher pressure version of the pump that can put out 150 psi. I found some Tefen misting heads that were set up for misting produce that not only work much better but are cheaper than reptile misters.
Also the configuration of the misting heads was moved from the ends of the tote to the sides because I am using larger totes now. So a lot has changed, I guess you could say everything has changed.
How To Build A High Pressure Aeroponics DIY System
Here are the totes that I used. You can get these at Home Depot for about $10. Lowes has a slightly larger tote with a square grid instead of a diagonal one for a few dollars more. If you have the choice go with the ones from Lowes, they are better. The squares on these are a bit small for a 3 inch net pot making them a PITA to clean up but the ones from Lowes have larger squares and are much easier to work with.
I am using 3 inch net pots in this system but if you drill 3 inch holes they will fall through though. I used a 2 3/4″ hole saw because it fit the squares on the lid a bit better. If you don’t want to ream out the holes use a 2 7/8 hole saw.
You can save time and drill more than one lid at a time. I put mine on the tote and drilled them so most of the crap fell into the tote making clean up much easier.
I am using all 3/8 tubing and fittings in this build. Drill a 3/4″ hole for the 3/8 bulk head. You may need to ream it out a bit to get it to fit.
Here are my 2 totes with bulk heads and bottom drains. I used 3/4 inch Botanicare drains. They vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so check before you drill. I used a 1 1/8 drill for these and had to enlarge my holes slightly but on a different build this size was perfect for a different brand.
This deburring tool comes in very handy for enlarging and removing rough edges.
I have added tees to the inside of the bulk head. You can see the drains too. I like these because the inside is threaded so I can put a fitting in there like an elbow to raise the water level slightly and help keep roots out.
The misting assembly is from Amazon and here is a close up picture of the assembly:
There is a special nut that makes this easy without needing any tools. I used to have to go into the totes with vise grips to remove misting heads.
These are the easiest way I know to build a high pressure aeroponic system. They really work great too!
Simply connect them together with 3/8 tubing in a loop and add a regular or 3/8 stem tee to the bulkhead.
You can get these these misting tees or replacement misters, in line filters and more HERE
These misting assemblies can also be found here. At this time they are selling them singly or in packs of 10 and they are white. The body color is unimportant.
I have been using the blue nozzles and they actually work better for me. The white ones will probably be even better.
I have found the black ones can actually put out too much water unless your pressure is very high. Over time the pump will gradually begin to put out less pressure because of wear on the diaphragm so the solution is to use lower GPA nozzles or add an accumulator system.
In the pic below you can see the whole thing assembled. The assembly comes with the mounting brackets and even the screws.
3/8″ tubing in a closed loop with 3/8 misting tee assemblies. They use Tefen misting heads screwed directly into the tees. 3 to a side gives plenty of mist.
Another view of the misting assembly. Placement doesn’t need to be exact but spread them evenly.
I built a simple shelf from scrap wood to place these totes on. There is a 20 gallon mixing tub I got from Home Depot underneath them for a reservoir.
Here are my 3/4″ drain lines. They will go between the boards and drain directly into the reservoir.
Here are pictures of my Aquatec pump installed. I use stem elbows at the pump and on the outside of each bulkhead. I ran a separate line to each tote by dividing the output with a wye.
There is an inline filter on the intake side of the pump. I also use a polyester felt filter bag to keep things clean. It fits in the space between boards and goes down to the bottom of the reservoir.
The intake goes inside this filter bag. The PVC pipe you see is just some scrap pipe that I insert the tubing into. I do this to keep it straight. It wants to naturally bend and could wind up above the water level.
If the tubing starts sucking air the pump could possibly lose its prime and you could lose your crop. Also before you put any plants in make sure to run your unit to get all air out of the lines. Just run the pump a while and if you still are not getting much action remove a misting head until water runs freely from it to remove any trapped air.
You should see lots of mist inside the totes and your plants will love this.
Here are the totes in place with a screen I built from scrap PVC and weed eater line.
Does It Work? Hell Yes!
I set 4 Biker Kush clones in one tote. They were about 8 inches tall. Within 3 weeks they were over 4 feet tall and in flower. That is what I call fast growth and you can only get growth like that from an aeroponics system.
Here are my Biker Kush clones after 3 weeks
Bottoms were cleaned up and branches too short to get through the screen were removed.
It stated becoming a jungle of buds at 3 weeks.
One week later and almost hitting the glass.
End of week 4