$50 Hydroponics setup!!
This guide will show you how to make a decent hydroponics setup using only bare essentials and skimping wherever possible. This will not make the most bud ever, but is designed to be cheap and fairly stealthy. One thing I should point out immediately: this includes everything BUT the price for nutrients. The prices for nutes vary and no matter what, they are expensive.This is intended for a 3' X3' area. Let's think of the bare essentials of hydroponics in order to see the cheapest possible method. First you need a medium. then you need something to hold the medium. You need a container to hold the nutes and water for the plants to feed. you need a system to get air to the roots, and you need light. That's it. You probably could do fine without the air supply, as long as you can watch the plants carefully. Furthermore all these items can be found at wal-mart if you look hard enough.The materials are as follows:Materials:
- Oasis block (found at arts & craft stores nationwide) $4
- Aquarium rock $4
- 2-6 QT. storage containers $3
- 4 plastic 4" round pots $2
- Aquarium air pump $8
- Aquarium tubing $3
- 6" long air stone $8
- Small aquarium sealant tube $4
- 2 fluorescent grow lights $16
( I know it's more than $50 but these are estimates)Setup:
The Oasis block is a green, brick-like object found in the arts and craft section. This is usually used to arrange fresh flowers on to provide them with water. It is extremely soft and delicate. This is used by us to start seed and clones. To prepare, we cut with a butter knife or string to 1" square cubes. We then pole a little hole on one side and set them in a container and fill with water. Force the cubes under the water to help saturate them. Once they are fully saturated, take them out and place in a warm, dark place( like by your water heater). Then set a seed in the hole and wait for it to sprout (about 3-5 days). While waiting we can assemble the rest. Take the 4 plastic pots and drill as many holes in them as you can. The holes should be about the thickness of a pencil. Next we are gonna cut 4 holes in the lid of 1 of the containers. It is important that the holes be big enough for the pots to fit down into them, but not big enough for the lip of the pot to fit through. Now we drill a hole big enough to fit the aquarium tubing through on the same lid. We also want to drill a hole in each one of the containers. They will be side to side of each other so the holes need to be drilled close to the bottom of the sides that face each other. Now for the tubing setup. We want to run tubing from the air pump outside the 4"pots container into the air stone inside the container. Make sure that there is ample length inside for attaching the air stone. Remember, better safe than sorry. next we want to run tubing from the holes drilled in each container. When these are all finished seal all the holes with lots of sealant. Again, better safe than sorry. Allow to dry. You may want to cover the containers with duct tape if they are clear. Fill the pots with the aquarium rock. We suspend the lights above the setup by tying string to them and adjusting to the height needed. The system works like this: you fill the container without the pots with nutrients and water. This is your reservoir. When you want to feed your plants, you simply lift up the reservoir and the fluid flows to the feeding tank. When you are done feeding, you lift the feeding chamber to drain it back to the reservoir. The air pump is always kept on. Once the seeds sprout water by hand until you see roots coming out of the Oasis. You will need to read the nutes labels really carefully, and get a rhythm of watering down. Use guess and check to get the right feeding times down. I say maybe four times a day spread evenly throughout the day. Since this is a manual drain and fill system, you will need to devote yourself to being around everyday at the time of feeding. Not being able to care for the environment even one day could cause you to lose your whole crop. Well that's it! Good luck and happy smoking. If anything jumps out as terribly wrong, feel free to post comments.