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Aeroponic Design


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  #1  
Old 01-09-2011, 10:56 PM
Naviaras Naviaras is offline
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Default Aeroponic Design

I'm a new user but have been thinking about building an aeroponic System for some time. Below is a picture of a rough design I've been kicking around.

The idea is a vertical system, as space is at a premium, that would use a 6" PVC pipe as the body with a 1/2" PVC pipe as the nutrient source.

In the larger pipe would be cut out for the plant locations around the pipe. In one plane at multiple levels or a spiral.

The 1/2" PVC pipe would have sprayer nozzles or small holes to spray nutrients on the roots. The excess water would drip back down to the reservoir.

Any comments and advice would be appreciated.

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  #2  
Old 01-10-2011, 03:36 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello Naviaras
What you have described is on my list of systems to build, the only real difference is the main tube size. I plan to use a 8 or 12 inch PVC tube. You should be get them at most any pluming supply house (not Nome Depot and Lowe's), dedicated pluming supply places. Although I may use the 6 inch tube for smaller plants like herbs. But use what makes sense to you, and for what you plan to grow. I guess the main thing I might add is make sure your support will be sturdy, easy to build with available materials, and of coarse functional. You don't want it to become top heavy, especially as the plants get bigger. And if it's going to be outside you don't want a wind gust to knock it over.

Just for the heck of it, I thought I would add some images that I already had on my designs. I have drawn them up in various configurations. Mostly in a single tube design with the reservoir at the bottom, and in a multiple tube design with a single reservoir. Then with a few different options for support. And although the single 1/2 inch tube down the center was also my plan, I drew up another option for a couple of reasons. The second option would not need a bottom support to hold a vertical mister tube centered, and because water will drip down through the tube, it will take less mister heads to get the same basic coverage. That might be important depending on the water pressure the pump can put out, especially if using a multiple tube design.

Jet me know if you have any questions, I know witch pictures go to what design, and that may not be obvious to other people, also there not in any particular order. .
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2011, 04:44 PM
Naviaras Naviaras is offline
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Thank you for sharing your designs. All I have is MS paint to sketch my ideas out on.

Are you only using Misters at the top of the tube?

Are you afriad of over crowding the plants with the number of plant locations?
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:15 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Naviaras
I use the free Google Sketchup for my drawings.


I have not built this system yet, again it's on my list of designs to build. However I am undecided on on which misting design I will end up using. Though the ultimate factor will probably be how many misters the pump will be able to supply with sufficient pressure. Especially at the height it needs to pump it. In the long run I will probably go with the top misting system, though I would attach it in such a way that it's simple and easy to swap out for another one. That way if the mister heads clog, there will be minimal down time.

As far as over crowding the plants, that depends on what your growing. My design is basically just an example (that's why there are no measurements), and you can space them however it works best for you. Ultimately I had planed on using 2-3 inch baskets, and growing plants about the size of strawberry's or lettuce, placed about 6 inches apart. But I also would like to do the same design but growing green unions, chives, cilantro, parsley etc., but with smaller baskets about 1-1 1/2 inch spaced much closer.

I attached a picture of some chives growing at Epcot Center, you can see that they could be placed much, much closer. They could get at least 3 times as many of them in the same tube. So spacing just depends on what your planing to grow.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:07 PM
sylvestris sylvestris is offline
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Interesting designs both of you! You ignited my inspiration! I'm off to the plumber store!

One question though, how will the roots be placed in those systems? I'm guessing they will hang down. On top of each other sort of? And the nutes will spray/pour with gravity down to a reservoir?

Constant spray or intervals?
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:29 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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sylvestris
Yes, the baskets should setting in a way so as much of the baskets as possible is inside the main tube (and exposed to the spraying water). Than as the roots grow out of the baskets they hang exposed within that main tube. Because they are exposes, they will dry out faster than if they were in growing medium that holds moisture. Because of that, they need regular spraying in intervals (short but often), so the right timer is important. It can be as short as 1 minute on (just long enough to wet the roots), but you don't want the roots to dry, so I probably wouldn't want the off time to be longer than 10-15 minuets. But 15 on, and 15 off might work just fine (because a lot of timers have a 15 minute minimum on/off settings). It will just be a bit of trial and error to find what works best in your situation and with the timers you have.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:32 PM
sylvestris sylvestris is offline
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Yep!

15/15 sounds like a practical interval, as you said, most timers don't have shorter intervals. Do you know of any timer that does?

Do you think there's a risk the roots will stick to the inside of the tube? I'm not sure if that would matter though.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:58 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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sylvestris
Digital timers usually allow you to set short intervals like 1 minute and up. But you need to be sure it will have enough settings to last all day at what ever schedule you decide on. I bought one that said it had 140 settings, but I have only been able to manage to get 14 settings a day (7 on/off cycles). But I can have 7 different cycles every day of the week, that doesn't really help when you just want the same cycles every day. You can look up "cycle timers" they are digital timers that let you set a particular cycle you want, and run it all day. Like 1 minute on, and 5 minutes off, and run it all day at that cycle during a set on and of time (like 5am to 9pm). Some cycle timers also let you set it for even shorter minimum on times, some as short as 1 second on. But the more capable the timer the more expensive it usually is, and I have not found any at regular stores around town. I would need to order a cycle timer online.

The roots should not be sticky. If they are, something's wrong with the plants, or in the nutrient solution.

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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-13-2011 at 06:12 PM.
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