High Pressure Aeroponics DIY System Step-By-Step Build

  • By: admin
  • Date: December 20, 2021
  • Time to read: 7 min.

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.

High Pressure Aeroponics DIY System drilled totes
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.
using a 2 3/4" hole saw and drilling 2 tops at onceYou 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.
drilling the bulk head in my aeroponics diy systemI 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.
bulk heads installedHere 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.
bulk heads and bottom drains - High Pressure Aeroponics DIY SystemThis deburring tool comes in very handy for enlarging and removing rough edges.
inside of totesI 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:

aeroponic misting nozzle tee
aero misterIt uses tefen misting heads which can be easily be taken out for cleaning or be replaced and even shut off.

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.
sprayers installed in my diy aeroponics build3/8″ 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.
High Pressure Aeroponics DIY System finished totesAnother view of the misting assembly. Placement doesn’t need to be exact but spread them evenly.
setting up the grow closetI 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.
High Pressure Aeroponics DIY System totes with drain linesHere are my 3/4″ drain lines. They will go between the boards and drain directly into the reservoir.

High Pressure Aeroponics DIY System pump and connections High Pressure Aeroponics DIY System showing pump intake pump intake and outtake connections

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.

High Pressure Aeroponics DIY System fired up and misting

You should see lots of mist inside the totes and your plants will love this.

totes in grow closet under homemade scrog screen

Here are the totes in place with a screen I built from scrap PVC and weed eater line.

Does My Aeroponics DIY System 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.

Biker Kush In My High Pressure Aeroponics DIY System

Here are my Biker Kush clones after 3 weeksbiker kush aeroponic grow showing under the scrog

Bottoms were cleaned up and branches too short to get through the screen were removed.nice healthy growth

It stated becoming a jungle of buds at 3 weeks.biker kush flowering

biker kush/hells angel og growing like crazy

One week later and almost hitting the glass. High Pressure Aeroponics DIY System nice bud set

End of week 4

More Aeroponic DIY Build Details To Come




    1. Pro Water Parts is an Amazon store that carries the filters in 1/4 and 3/8 at http://amzn.to/1PZG5Jv.

      I am familiar with the orbit system. I am sure it will work but I don’t want metal in my tote. Those systems according to Orbit are for cold water only and nutrients are corrosive and metals can react with some chemicals. I am trying to grow the best weed possible and not save a few dollars on my system. Metal nozzles make me nervous and I have used tefen nozzles for years and so will stick with them. That’s just me though and I wish you good luck on your grow.

      1. being related to the most puritanical organic purists on the planet I can relate to plastic parts only in your system & not being a metallurgist myself would not begin to argue the point of corrosion or transfer of same into product…apologies to any I’v offended was merely suggesting a set that includes metal john guest style “t”s w brass & stainless nozzles reasonably priced to those who would care to save 50$ or so I also used a Inkbird Digital Twin Timer Relay Time Delay Relay Switch 110-220V Black IDT-E2RH at half the cost that functions flawlessly seemingly forever for me and all other users for half the cost of the troublesome one you use but if you have been one of the lucky ones great! I have built 2 tubs with your ideas for under $200 that work unbelievably well many thanks for posting the simple aeroponic system . I apologize for any ire I may have brought about in my posting & thanks for the link on the filter

        1. Hi Tom,
          I am not the least bit angry or offended by your comments and am very happy to hear about anyone who is growing with aeroponics. So I am sorry if my response came off that way. I am very happy with my short cycle timers and they work flawlessly, however I would be first to admit they are overpriced. I have looked at the Inkbird as an alternative in the past and am thinking about giving it a try. I am not an electrician or very electrically inclined and it seems hard to figure out how exactly to wire it up. My guess is some readers may also be too so I went for plug and play stuff. One reason my plans are simple is because I am I guess. Building the tubs really isn’t that expensive no matter what system you use. The timer and pump is where the money goes as I am sure you know and it seems you have found a way around the timer rip off which is great. I will have to give it a try because it makes me angry that hydro companies overcharge so heavily on interval timers and worse yet many of them suck.

          1. All good The inkbird is simple 2 power lugs a blue & brown for 110v a ground – green…A & B timer sets I use the “A” set they are normal open —hot,neutral,ground & switch leads 2 that have no continuity i.e. ac or dc wire either way . I cheated & scrounged components – a used ro tank , a solenoid valve for water , not expensive components but free is good & saves the most expensive parts of our systems . I use a 100 psi shurflo pump 8000-543-238 on a 12v battery w a tender again I had the battery & tender the pump was a score at $73 the 60 psi can be changed to 100 psi w the $12 switch—Big fan of “simple things that work” many kudos to you —hope I’m not throwing confusion —- have been using kelpforless nutrient from the organic mechanic heating & filtering my solution have had no problems feel it makes it sweeter they also carry the pretty blue pure nutrients but I would still pasturize the solution [[[VERY POTENT NUTRIENTS use sparingly at 10% to start if you go that way —I have problems with plant suspension not using net pots or anything to house the roots just discs any thoughts? again this is the best info for us simple homies around Thank You

          2. I found the Inkbirds few months ago and have been meaning to try it but put it off after reading some reviews saying directions were unclear for wiring. Last thing I want to do is burn up a pump or start a fire so I put off ordering it but now think I will give it a try so thanks for the directions.

            The only thing I can think of if you really don’t want to use net pots is to just use neoprene collars but I would be concerned if the weight of a crop might push everything down. You might tie the plants up to something so they stay in place. Personally I like net pots, they are cheap and reusable. Also they help spread the roots out so the mist can get to them. Without them your roots might mat up which is not good.

            I have tried some kelp supplements in the past and they work great but my experience has been sooner or later anything with organics in it causes problems so I now just use straight A&B flowering nutes like Dutch Masters and some calimagic. I use a hormone and vitamin supplement from MB Ferts to boost things.

  1. I don’t run my pump on the timer as its bad for both using the 2 gallon accumulator tank & the solenoid valve my demand pump runs 2-3 times an hr & the amp draw thru the timer is .2 amps for the valve the only thing going into my tent for water is 2 hoses & 2 wires the valve is just before the wye connector …need to put in a relief valve for safety in case the demand switch fails …like murphy says if it can it will …good point on the pots …just set up the timer on the bench or coffee table power it up & familiarize yourself with the functions use a ohm meter to tell on & off on A & B set times etc. & once you have what you want lock the buttons & go if you don’t get enough with the inkbird google it in images for the lugs & settings paperwork ….I havn’t had probs w the nutes but I heat them & filter thru 10 micron had to put a wad of scrubbies in the sock to keep it open but works good I think 50 micron is coming ….always bugs to work out …everybody has preferences I havn’t tried dutch masters I am totaly sold on kelpforless.com in soil , in hydro , so far good in aero Peace Brother let me know if I can help

  2. the filter bags are seared for fuzzies on one side so they’er one way and need to be turned inside out when u get them so the lint don’t get to the misters …had to look w my loupe to see wtf

    1. I have gone over to 50 micron bags and may even go larger. I don’t pour my nutes through the bag, instead the bag sits in my res and my intake is inside it. I haven’t had much of a problem with the fuzzies. What has happened to me is that the nutes eventually will clog the pores on the outside of the bag if they are not really clean. Then water flow in can’t keep up with the pumps draw. That is why I stay away from kelp and even bud boosters that have a sugar like base. Periodically cleaning the bag is now something I do. But turning inside out sounds like a good idea. I did see some lint in the past but now I use an inline filter before the lines go to my misting heads. Also like the idea of using scrubbies to keep the bag open.

      1. I got the 100 micron screen …nice!…I use bathing scrubbies . Kelp for less has a “hydro grow blend ” & a “hydro bloom blend” supplemented w “extreme blend” & yucca …without sounding like a sales jerk I use some other additives & have to support my plants w yo-yos as they break from bud weight …fyi 100 micron is .0039″ so no prob passing anything that gets by thru nozzles …I just ordered 3 100 micron bags & I do run my solution thru the bags before it goes into my res

        1. Greetings I have had no issues no leaks or failures the results are beyond any other grow method using the ro tank & solenoid this could be expanded to 4 tents with 1 pump just an inkbird & solenoid for each staggered timing to not crowd the 3/8″ tubing coming out of the accumulation tank…after the first round of looking , figuring I am quite proud of the simplicity & function of the assembly. I’v tried lp aero , bubbleponics , topfed , drippers always problems …full grow not 1 clogged nozzle with the reservoir remote my ph stabilized and stopped having to nurse the PH did however start using homemade clearres from swimming pool chlorine that you probably don’t approve of but I had the most beautiful white fluffy roots ever of my experience . Started using milk jugs with sugar & yeast for co2 in the tent made an astonishing difference I was skeptical made a overnight believer of me …just WOW!!! Again many kudos to you for steering me into this total winner . Hav’nt looked into them yet the water injection pumps for diesels run 300 psi are small 12v & very dependable …tripling the pressure is another can of worms ? luck & peace to all Tom

          1. Hey Tom, I am glad to hear it is working well for you. Mission accomplished!!

          2. been really busy & havn’t looked in a while . As u know I use a res & solenoid with the metal orbit nozzles .016 , been lazy & other that changing solution have done no maint & am on 3rd grow …no issues works like it did the day it started . A lot of questions about cycle times I have landed at 1 sec on 60 off …my res is outside of my tent & my nozzles don’t shut off instantly so it has the effect of double …the growth is off the chart …Amazing . My major error was fertilizer… too much ..the point you make of “less is more” can’t be stressed enough anyway “hats off to the chef” …about the inkbird timers I don’t think the contacts would take cycling the pump wo failing I hav’nt looked at the specs on mine but I’m sure its under 1 amp …I also started using a combo of lights my MH – HPS combo bulb is just to intense for my 4′ sq tent & I had gone to cree led lights but my overall growth just was’nt there so I reinstalled my HID & put it on 2 off 1 on thru the “day” cycle or 4 times a day ….very pleased with the results ..again so much said about expense this system not counting lights if you buy everything new is under $300 …I’m well under 2 & it saves me that in time easy …. just ordered netting for SCROG ….oh boy!! Peace keep it going brother

            Reply

  3. Nice setup, solid plants! I’m considering building a similar setup but have thus far only used low pressure aero cloners, DWC and NFT type systems.

    Would you say a high pressure aero system produces faster than those methods?

    Also how loud is the booster pump you use? I’ve used some of the larger commercial style air pumps for aerating my nutrient solution and they can be somewhat noisy but nothing you can hear in other rooms of the house of anything if they’re not resting on a hard surface. How would you say these types of pumps compare in noise/vibration to most traditional hydro pumps?

    1. I don’t really think HPA is any faster than low pressure. The main advantage is that you use and mix less liquid and that saves on nutes. I think nutrient absorption may be better because the root system is finer but really can’t prove it.

      As far as pumps go they are pretty quiet. A traditional pump like an Eco is silent. I have a grow tent with LPA for cloning right near my bed and all I can hear is the sound of water dripping if I listen carefully. The Aquatecs are pretty quiet and sound a bit like a car engine idling. So they are a bit louder but no you wouldn’t hear them throughout the house. Air pumps are way too loud to me. I live in an apartment, tried them, and got rid of them. You don’t need them for aeroponics thankfully.

      1. Are all the fittings in the new hpa 3/8 ….I’m going forward with the build and I am kind of confused about the fittings…. If it’s not a problem could you please list all the fittings and the size… I grateful for any and all the help you can provide..
        Thanks for sharing your experience

        1. All the fittings and tubing to connect them are 3/8. The bottom drains can be for either 1/2 or 3/4 tubing. Your pump will be set to use 3/8 tubing too so it is actually pretty easy to set this up. Fittings wise the misting heads come with the tees so all you need is a 3/8 bulkhead fitting and either a 3/8 stem tee if you can find one or a regular 3/8 tee connected to the bulkhead with a short piece of tubing. Good luck on your build.

          1. Thanks…. Is the pH perfect line from A Advanced Nutrients really that good or would you go with Dutch Masters having problems finding the DM

          2. I like them both but I think the DM is cleaner. There was a left over residue in the bottom of my AN containers. You can get DM on Amazon here http://amzn.to/1WxXdf8 and it ships free also you can try them both and see what works better for you.

          3. Thanks for the great guide. Couple stupid questions on how to attach all the tees and misters which are confusing me. How do you attach the tees which connect to the output to the bulkheads? What kind of tees are the tees you use to attach to the misters, and how do you have those attached to the tote? Appreciate the help.

          4. You can’t ask a stupid question! I need to add some info to this post. The misting assemblies I used are here

            I thought I had info about them in the post but either I forgot to include it or it got lost. So thanks for your question. I will update the post soon.
            aeroponic nozzle system
            As you can see if you check them out the nozzle screws right into the tee. You simply connect them together in a loop with a regular tee and a short piece of tubing going into the bulk head or using a stem tee if you can find one. Hope this helps.

  4. Hi could you please elaborate on how you connect your tee to your bulkhead fitting? Ive searched your site and the page under “High Pressure Aeroponic Fittings” that pertains to the subject does not make any sense to me 🙁 Please help! Thank you for everything!!!!

  5. I am awaiting the delivery of my hp Areo components .. I am using the same pump and filter..different nozzles mine are rated at .8 gph and will deliver at 50 microns . My tote is 3 foot long , 2 1/2 feet wide and 17 inches tall , going to run 4 nozzles . I plan to run it at 1-2 sec on 5 min off . My question is how much actuall runoff or you seeing? With this size tote an inch or so of water is close to 3 gallons . So I’m not looking to run a drain but install a mini pump to pump out built up runoff . What are your thoughts ? Thank you in advance .

    1. I would run more than 4 nozzles in a tote that size and would run them longer than 1-2 seconds. Redundancy can be a good thing if a nozzle fails. I don’t know how much water but I personally would run a drain to a reservoir and recycle your nutes. It sounds like you are talking about a drain to waste system which is wasteful. And it sounds like your short cycle is to produce less waste. You can try it but with only 4 nozzles and a second or 2 on you may not be able to provide enough for fast growing flowering plants. Good luck and I hope it works for you.

      1. My short cycle is due to just what I have read . My problem is I don’t feel that I have the head room to add a res to drain to. I am working with about 6 ‘ and by the time I remove the space for the tote and the add / remove min distance for the light I’m looking at about 3’ 4 ” of grow space. I chose a 17″ tall tote because I felt that would be great for the root system . Let me ask you this , by the end of your grow cycle how much of the root mass is on the bottom of your tote?

        1. I understand your height situation. You can never have too much headroom. Even with 8 feet ceilings I have to break necks on my plants. What I did was buy a 20 gallon mixing tub from Home Depot it is 2’x3′ and only 8″ tall and only cost about $13.I have my tote set on boards directly above it and draining straight into it. I leave part of it protruding out so I can fill and drain with a utility pump. I have a light weight cover over that part made of styrofoam.

          You might want to consider scrogging if height is really an issue. I have tried pumps like in your situation. They cant get all the water out so they will always leave some. Have you thought about them running dry which can ruin them? They can start to clog from the roots getting pulled in or pieces that break off. They are also hard to access for maintenance while a grow is going on. You will have to lift the lid every time and disturb your plants.

          1. I originally thought about doing the res that way I actually purchased a 27 gal low profile tote that stands about 6 1/2 inches tall. But when I came across this mini pump I started thinking of not having a tote underneath and regaining and applying the 6 1/2 inches overhead.

            I have been looking at methods to deal with Hieght , Scrog is definitely in my future.

            There aren’t a lot of write ups on Hp aero , lower pressure well there is a ton . So thanks for this one.

            Question on tote Hieght . Do you feel that your system would be more efficient with a taller tote or any less effecicient with a shorter one in comparison to what you are running ? I’m asking because I am focused on the optimum root envorment for this type of system. I have grown healthy 4’+ plants in my Areoflo20 and that chamber is 4″x4″ but I cannot say the roots where bright white and super healthy with a strong fish bone structure .

          2. I think taller totes might work better but there is a height limit for most of us. I think the roots would grow all the way down even in a 55 gallon drum maybe even further but not many could have a 2 story grow! Some strains definitely have bigger root systems than others. On the other hand aeroflows work great but restrict roots to too small an area IMO. They really are more NFT systems than aeroponic. So I think the totes I use are a healthy compromise. There is still plenty of room for exposed roots to hang down and the very bottom of the tote becomes an NFT system. The roots in the bottom are very healthy too.

            Because the roots will hit the bottom I think using a pump there could harm your plants. Why not use the res you bought and put in a scrog screen. Or you can just keep super cropping your plants if they get too close to the light.

            supercropped

            If you look at the zig zags you can see these plants were supercropped 2 to 4 times each. 24 inches from tote to screen and 24″ from screen to lights.

  6. Hmm the reason I ask is because I am designing a system that does not have a drain and looking at space and functionality. The tote is 17″ tall x 3 ‘ long x 2 1/2 ‘ wide . I’m going to be running 4 misters that have a flow rate of .8 gph ( 50 micron mist)with 1-2 sec on 5 min off time. One inch of runoff is about 3 gallons . If I had 100% runoff @ a 2 sec on time it would take 6 days to give me an inch of solution in the tub. to evacuate that inch of solution I would have a small pump and my math is telling me it would only need to run every 6 days. In your opinion does this seem practical and functional ?

    Nice write up. Sorry I meant to say that earlier . It really helped me a lot .

  7. Thank you for your input . I would have replied under your last response but I did not see a reply tab. I went with a smaller tote, built a stand out of pvc with a slight angle so that run off goes back into the 10 gal res through two 1′ 1/2 drains. I have installed 6 nozzles on the top for easy access and the timer is running 10 sec on 4 min off with a 140lb line pressure . I would post a pic but I don’t see that option.

    1. Sounds good. I think you will be happy you added the res. 140 psi is great and will give nice small droplets. Thought about nozzles on top but decided to go with them on the side because I was afraid young seedlings wouldn’t get enough mist. Always keep an eye out for clogs. Watch your roots as the plants grow. When they get larger and are flowering you may need to increase the on time. Also I have noticed the corners of the tote can be a bit dryer than the rest. Good luck with your grow!

  8. Which Tefen mister head do you recommend. Does a higher GPH per hour work better than lower ones, This build is sick, I planning to raise my 35 gallon totes 6 inches and I have a 15 gallon reservoir. Would the run off be flowing freely you think if I have it holed in the bottom?

    1. I use the black ones but I think any would work, but if you are running multiple totes I would use the lower flow rate ones so your pressure stays higher. My set up is totes about 6 inches above my reservoir too. I have holes drilled in the bottom with a 3/4 botanicare ebb & flow fitting and short length of tubing going into the res so I can direct the flow where I want it to go. I use 2 boards between the totes and the reservoir with a 2-3 inch space between them for the fittings and tubing. You could probably just drill a hole to drain directly into the totes but that might get messy if things get out of alignment for some reason.

  9. Hey Great site! Lots of great info here. I am considering trying this system out and have a few question about nutes. What nutes have you used (brands)? What nutes would you recommend? I know you say to use less nutes. So if I am going with a brand that has hydro nutes, are you saying to go with less then they recommend? If so how much less? Or is it just in general less nutes then recommended? Thank you for your help!

    1. I regularly use Dutch Master Gold Flower A&b or Canna Aqua and they work well. I would recommend either.

      Tried Heavy 16 and Advanced Nutrients Connoisseur. Heavy 16 is really not for aero, you can’t use their Fire either. Their base works but it is really too dirty for aeroponics. Same for Advanced. I like what it did but too much carbs in it. You want really clean nutes or you will end up with clogged misters.

      If you are growing OGs or OG hybrids you will need to add Cal Mag at 3-5 mg per gallon. I use CaliMagic from General Hydro.

      You need a TDS meter. Also a pH meter. Otherwise how will you monitor your reservoir? Most manufacturers recommendations are way to hot often even for soil. In aeroponics you will hurt or kill your plants following the label. I go 300ppm seedlings, 600 veg, 800-1000 flower. Read your plants! Every strain is different.

    1. I use either dutch masters or canna aqua they both are good. Also calimagic for extra calcium and magnesium. No sugars, bloom boosters or other additives.

      I run seedlings at 300 ppm once they have 4 true leaves, veg 600, flower 800-1000 pH 5.8

      I have been experimenting with different timings. I started at 1 min on and 5 off but right now I am running 30 seconds on and 5 minutes off. I may go to 15-20 seconds on. Also looking at possibly going from 3 to 1 gph nozzles. This is for the 3/8 tee tefen nozzle set up because there is no drip and no hesitation. When the pump kicks on the mist is there right away. With other set ups there will be a lag between when the pump kicks on and nozzles are pressurized unless you use an accumulator.

      The best thing is to check your roots. They should be damp but not soaking when the next cycle starts. Also the number of nozzles and their placement, stage of plant growth and size of the root system are factors that can determine cycle times. I recommend starting at 1 and 5 and then adjusting down if necessary.

      1. How many plants would you say is optimal for a 30x30x60 tent with a 600W light? I went with two, does that seem like a good use of the space?

        1. I think that’s OK but it really depends on strain and training method. You could even do a 1 plant scrog in there, all depends on how long it is vegged and how big you let them get before flowering. Then again if I were growing an OG I might do 4-6 because they are so upright. With 600w you will have plenty of light and should be able to grow some really nice weed in there.

          1. Thank you very much. One last question – my pump is extremely loud, do you know of any way to make it quieter?

          2. Aquatec pumps are usually pretty quiet mine sound kind of like a car idling slow. Can hear them only if nearby but its pretty quiet. If your pump is loud you may be getting air trapped in the system. Make sure your inlet is totally submerged at all times. You can try to unplug a nozzle and let the pump run to drive any air out. The other thing that can make noise is the tubing itself banging against the tote. Check the lines for vibration while the system is pressurized. If you find vibration you may need to add a bit of padding to stop it. If it is the pump itself making noise you might be able to put it in a foam padded box and muffle the sound a bit. Hope this helps.

  10. Help! I transplanted my plants 2 days ago and the entire plants have now collapsed. I think from overwatering. I had the cycle on 45 seconds on and 5 minutes off. I put it on for only 5 seconds and there was noticeable improvement but they still were not standing up. I put it on for 2 seconds and same thing. It’s now on for 1 second and I’ll see what happens. Have you had this problem before? Im using the black 3GPH tefen misting heads, do I need to buy weaker misting heads? If it affects it, I also don’t have a reservoir. I only have 1 bucket and the water intake goes straight from the bottom of the bucket.

    1. It is hard to say what you have going on but I don’t think its from over watering. It sounds more like your plants are damping off which is a fungus disease. How big are your plants and did they have healthy root systems when you transplanted them? It is almost impossible to over water and aero cloners go 24/7. Have you checked your roots? Are they white and with fish boning? Are they moist or dripping wet at the end of a cycle. I am assuming that your misting heads are not clogged.Do you use a filter bag or inline filter? A bucket can work provided it has a lid to keep dirt and stuff out. Also how many PPM are you feeding these plants and what nutrients because overfeeding can cause wilting before it burns.

      1. The plants were completely toppled over before, super flimsy and couldn’t hold their weight at all. Currently they are standing up and are fairly firm except the biggest leaves are hanging down and still can’t support themselves. They are about 4 inches tall with 2 sets of big leaves, I topped them a couple days ago. The roots are definitely white, not so pretty in terms of fishboning since I had to get all the dirt off but the roots have had a little growth. Before the roots were dripping, now they are just moist (currently I have it 1s on 8min off). I have both a filter bag around the intake and an inline filter. I don’t have a ppm tester but I used Dutch Master nutrients at standard strength and CaliMagic.

        1. You need a TDS meter under $20 on Amazon . All manufacturer recommended nutrient levels are too high especially for aeroponics. 3-600 ppm max for young plants. Soil or plants grown in soil should never be put in an aeroponic system. No matter how much you wash them they are not sterile. Are you growing cannabis or something else? Your plants could be suffering from a soil born disease. Watch your roots and if they turn grey or get mushy you have pythium which causes plants to wilt too.Your cycle of 1s on 8 off seems way to short for healthy plants.

          Aeroponics is not a silver bullet and it can not make sickly plants well. I would personally not take a chance and throw away those plants and disinfect everything even my pump with strong bleach solution and then also run h2o2 through my lines. If you are going to start from seeds use rockwool. I know this is not what you want to hear but it is the best advice I can give you.

          1. Thanks for the help. I’m growing cannabis. However I don’t think it’s a fungus or disease. Once I changed the cycle to 5s/5min, they went from completely limp to standing up over maybe an 8 hour period. I don’t see why that would happen if it was a disease.

  11. if i were to do this type of grow for only two plants in one tote with 4 maybe 5 of the same misters you use. with a AQUATEC CDP 8800 high flow booster pump would i need a accumulator with a prsv if the pump if running over 100 psi on this kinda grow?

    1. No you don’t need an accumulator just a seconds timer. An accumulator will save wear and tear on the pump especially for short cycles like 3 sec on 1 min off but I don’t run cycles like that and there is no need to. The pic in the article is 6 heads on a 150 psi pump.

      You will crush it with that set up and a few plants and get a very fine mist which is awesome. I would run a short cycle like 15 sec on 5 min off and probably go with the white misters because they have a lower GPH flow rate than the black ones. The heads are interchangeable too. The pumps have a built in bypass so you will be fine. I believe they are factory preset at about 85 PSI. There is a 1/16 allen head screw on the front to adjust pressure and bypass. Try factory settings first and don’t mess with the screw unless you have a pressure gauge hooked up.

  12. How do you make a decision on the cycle times? I have the same setup as described above (Aquatec 8800, 5 misters, white misting heads) and I’m currently running it at 2 seconds on and 5 minutes off. I started with it on longer and have been shortening it every other day and I think the plants are responding well but I really have no idea what I’m doing. The roots all have really thin hairs covering the full length of the roots so that’s a good sign but they’ve had those no matter the timing I run it at. So basically what I’m trying to ask is, how do you come to a conclusion on the best times to run your cycles?

    Also on another note, the way my bucket is set up one of the plants has 2 misters on opposite sides of it, and the other plant has misters on 3 sides of it. The plant with 3 misters has grown almost twice as much as the other one (though that’s limited, the plants are less than 6in tall). Have you noticed this, or should I hesitate to fully attribute that to the amount of misters?

    1. There is no right or exact answer other than to watch your plants. You don’t want the roots too dry or too wet when the next cycle starts. If you have fish boning you have aeroponic roots. If you lose that and start getting smooth roots you have hydro roots and need to decrease watering time. Remember the root mass will get bigger as plants grow so you may need to increase your on time. The fact that one plant is growing faster with 3 misters may mean your cycle is too short for the others. I only have used an even # of misters in my totes, 3 to a side and have not experienced this.

      I usually run about 15 seconds on but I usually have 6 – 12 large plants in a tote. Personally I would rather over water a bit than under water.

      Not sure if any of this helps much. There is a learning curve and you will need to experiment and find what works best for you. Good luck with your grow!

  13. can you edit this post and have a section that list just for the parts needed? It’s kind of a pain to skim through this whole post to get links for each part.

    1. I was going to do this. Unfortunately the links keep changing on some items. That is something only Amazon and the merchants have control over. Sorry, but if you cant take the time to skim the article for a few parts how will you be able to take the time to manage your grow?

  14. Questions on nutrients. I read your earlier comments and I’ve been using Dutch Master Gold Grow A+B with Calimagic for veg at ~600ppm. I can’t find Dutch Master Gold Flower so I think I’m going to go with Canna Aqua Flores A+B. Do you use any other additives other than Calimagic? I don’t really know anything about nutrients, especially regarding their compatibility with the system, so I can’t tell snake oil from actual beneficial supplements. I have a friend that works with Mammoth P nutrients so I was going to start using that as well.

  15. Thanks, this is a great resource! Way more detailed than any other DIY HPA build I’ve found. Quick question – is the tubing 3/8″ ID or 3/8″ OD? I see links to both sizes on the sidebar of this page, and I’m not sure which way to go.

    1. Also, I can’t find any note on the bulkheads or tees used in the build. Sorry to be a nag – I don’t have a store in my area to mess around with fittings in person, and hate to play guessing games with online ordering.

    2. The tubing is 3/8 OD in my build. THE TEES AND NOZZLES ARE HERE The 3/8 bulkhead union is here They are pricey for sure and if you drill a 3/8 hole and run the tubing through you should be OK. TBH you are going to need to do some research online and it is pretty unlikely anyone has a store around with all the stuff you need.

      1. I understand that there will be a lot of trial and error, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to jumpstart the process with a few questions. Thanks for the super fast response!

  16. Hey Steve,

    Sorry if I missed it, but have you ever put together a concise list of parts needed for your current setup? I’ve been adding adding stuff via your affiliate links and there is allot of overlap between your old setup and the new one that uses the 3/4″ tubing. Also have you moved to a 150psi from the 100psi 8800?

    1. No I never made a concise list because people do things differently and make substitutions. Also the biggest update from old to new is the 3/8 tees. I don’t use 3/4 tubing it’s 3/8 and because it is larger diameter I upped my pump size to 150 psi but the real difference between pumps besides pressure is the volume of water they move. The new er system is basically plug and play. Just connect the tees which already have misters and hook to your pump. Use any size drain you want 1/2 or 3/4 it’s up to you. So besides the pump and some kind of filter bag all you need is the preassembled misting tees and tubing. Bulk heads can be used or you can just drill a really clean hole to feed the tubing inside the tote. As far as top goes you can run 2 or 3 inch net pots but I use 3″. Your hole saw needs to be a bit smaller or your pots might fall through. Also number of pots is up to you. Easier to drill more and fill empty ones with a pot and insert or even a solo cup. I like extra because that way I can use a tote to clone, veg or flower. Hope this helps.

  17. Great write ups!

    I purchased the 2 HDX 55 Gallon totes (21.37 W x 19.5 H x 45.88), and am trying to decide which aero method to use, low pressure vs high pressure. I’m well versed in all hydro growing methods.

    My quandary is that I will need a reservoir that is outside on the tent, no matter which method I use. I’m in the tropics so I cant let water stand in a tent even with LEDS and I have no room underneath the totes for a reservoir anyway.

    You mentioned before how you opposed return pumps, but if its only cycled for once or twice a day, with necessary filters then that should work?

    Suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    1. It sounds like you might need a chiller if you are in the tropics. If you can’t raise the bottom of the totes above the res waterline you will need to pump the water out I guess. I am not sure how you would do this because you are not creating a lot of run off in the totes and seems like you would end up running your pump dry.

      You could run a hybrid kind of like a RainForest. You wouldn’t drain the totes at all and use them as a reservoir instead. Then you could pump that into a chiller and back again. But chillers aren’t cheap. Here is a link to the cheapest one I could find

  18. Thanks for the quick reply!

    My ambient air temp in my location is 77 F for low and 80 F for high!

    Ah chillers! I use to own an 8 site Current Culture DWC, then made one out of 5 gallon buckets, yeah I know chillers :{

    I had thought about using a 12 gallon cooler fora reservoir outside of the tent. The other option is the take the XL totes back, get smaller totes and a 20 gallon mixing setup.

    1. I run a 20 gallon mixing tub from home depot directly under my totes its 8″ high and they have a smaller one only 6″ high. Can’t you spare 9 inches for one? I like the roughneck 18 gallon totes they are smaller but just as tall. They actually seal better and the top is black so no light gets in but definitely made of lighter material. Roughly 16 x 24 and 16 deep

  19. I’ll give it a trying with the current totes. The tent height is 80 inches, the strain in mostly indica, so if they stay under 36 inches I think it will be all good!

    Thanks again

  20. HI I haven’t commented in a while…many grows ago…best was 35 oz from a 4′ tent…last was “Train Wreck” WOW…the contacts in the “Inkbird” timers go bad after 4-5 grows so I incorporated a “Relay solenoid” for the spray solenoid…like the dozens in everybody’s car & see how that goes/grows LOL also added a “drain line” to pump out the spent nutes or change them per growing phase…for ease of growing & after blowing out a “Sur-flo ” pump by cranking up the pressure I backed off to 80 psi…no effect on growth…the net pots I cut down to 1 ring of holes & use the neoprene collars…the plants root themselves thru those holes & support their weight & by the end of grow the root ball fills the 5 gallon buckets…thats the list of probs for 5 years…kudos to you for the great ideas & happy trails

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