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New Recirculationg DWC System on Ebay...


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  #1  
Old 03-12-2011, 02:05 PM
sfvhunter69 sfvhunter69 is offline
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Default New Recirculationg DWC System on Ebay...

Hydroponic aeroponic Recirculating DWC Bucket System - eBay (item 300535821762 end time Mar-18-11 18:49:08 PDT)

Has anybody bought this system or built one similar to it? How well does it work?

This system looks pretty sweet and isn't a bad price!

For the price compared to other hydro systems it might be worth buying to try out. Opinions?

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  #2  
Old 03-12-2011, 06:58 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello sfvhunter69,
It's hard to see how they have designed the inside of the buckets, and to see exactly how they have combined 3 type of hydroponic systems inside each bucket. But it's easy enough to do, just don't see the particulars. And without even seeing inside the buckets, I have a good idea how they have designed it.

I have now doubt it will grow plants, but I always prefer to build my own systems. The most expensive part of a system like that would be the pump, and that's a big factor for the aeroponic part of the system. From looking at the pump, I could be wrong but it doesn't look like a high pressure pump. I'm sure it will put out enough water to spray the roots with water, but a high pressure pump is needed for a true aeroponic system witch has a fine mist spray. It looks like a typical fountain pump like I use in my systems, and for a particular one I would use (and have) runs about $45.

Buckets are cheep, under $4 each (including the lid), $20 for five. They would need to be light proofed first though, and easy enough to do. I can't tell if the ones in the system for sale are light proof either (cant tell if any light can get through that gray plastic). The baskets for the plants only run a couple of bucks a piece. The misters/emitters inside the buckets, don't run much, you can probably get a 10 pack for about $5. They screw directly into PVC tubing that would be placed inside each bucket. I might even attach the misters/emitters directly to the lids to make sure the roots don't wind up obstructing the spray.

I would run the return lines a little different though. Each bucket would still have their own overflow, but they would run to a larger central tube (say a 1 1/2 to 2 inch PVC), simply cutting a hole in the PVC to stick the return line from the bucket into. Then back to the reservoir through just one tube, and it would run through the lid of the reservoir. That eliminated all the holes in the side of the reservoir (bucket, because of the rounded surface) that might wind up leaking in the future, it also eliminates the need to buy the 4 connector's they have them running through. I would also run the overflow from each bucket from the bottom of the buckets for a tighter seal, rather than the sides of the buckets (again a rounded surface). I'm not sure how they have the inside constructed for sure, but I would build it so the overflow height would be adjustable (easy enough to do).

I like the table setup, but I have some doubts on the way the buckets are actually supported. They appear to be supported by the lip of the buckets resting on the edge of the wood. I would support the weight from the bottom of the buckets. When you have about 3 gallons of water in the bucket (about 30 pounds) and the plants get big, there will be a lot of weight resting on just the lip of the buckets. All in all, I would expect to be able to build a similar system for about half the price (and no shipping cost), or a much larger one for about the same price.

Bottom line is, it all depends on how comfortable you are with building things, and how the 6 different types of hydroponic systems work on weather you feel comfortable on building your own system/s. For some people it's better to buy a pre-made system, and seeing how it works before taking on building their own, but I like to build and design my own systems.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:01 PM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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I have to agree with GPS on this one. I found for myself half the fun is building your own system. The parts are cheap and there are so many how to videos that anyone can do it. But if you are not a do it yourself king of person this might be a cheaper solution. Super Cropper Aero-Hydroponics | Hydroponic Systems aeroponics
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:50 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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That system is very similar to one I have plans to build myself. I attached the drawings of it that I created as a visual of the build. I do have some slight improvements planed that aren't in the images because I didn't feel like redoing them, but really only involve the way the overflow is setup. I got the idea from some strawberry's growing a while back and wanted to recreate something like it (I attached a picture of that too). I really liked the way the square tubing could be set on edge, allowing to offset the plants on both sides of the tube. That effectively allows me to double the amount of plants, but still have adequate spacing between them.

I am still looking for a cheaper source for the 4 inch square tubing I want, as well as longer pieces than what I have found. But even using the 4 inch square vinyl fence post tubing easily found at Home Depot and Lowe's it would still be much cheaper for me to build it than spend $500 plus tax and shipping on their 4 tube system. Don't get me wrong, if anyone feels better buying a pre-made system, go ahead. I just wanted to show a comparison in building VS buying.

So even using the expensive vinyl fence post tubing it would go something like this.

4, 4 inch wide vinyl fence post's, $15 ea for a 6 foot post ($60). I'm not really sure how much the end caps for the tubing run, but I'll figure they might be as high as $5 each (8x 5= $40). Then the through holes for both the overflow and inlet lines, the exact ones I like to use are $2 ea. 4 inlet, and 4 overflow ($16), although Here I will have some changes to what was planed, but it wont affect the cost much at all. Then black vinyl and/or blue hydro vinyl tubing (because it's light proof), $20-$40 worth should be plenty depending on the exact placement of the reservoir. Then miscellaneous "T" and elbow connectors for both the vinyl tubing, PVC tubing, as well as PVC tubing for the overflow system back to the reservoir, all together shouldn't run more than about $20-$30.

A fountain pump like the one I already have will work great for a system this size (even much larger), and runs $45 at Lowe's. Next is the wood for the stand to support the square tubing. Something like about 5, 2x4's and 2, 1x4's to rest the square tubing on, as as well as screws and wood glue to create a real sturdy base should run around $20-$30. Then lastly a reservoir, that can be anything from a $5 storage tote from Wal-Mart to a $10 32 gallon trash can from Wal-mart. So here's the estimate.

Vinyl fence post's............................................ ......$60
End caps.............................................. ...............$40
Through holes for both the overflow and inlet lines......$16
Black vinyl and/or blue hydro vinyl tubing...................$40 (high end)
Miscellaneous "T" and elbow connectors.....................$30 (high end)
Fountain pump.............................................. ........$45
Wood, screws, and wood glue for the stand...............$30 (high end)
Reservoir (32 gallon trash can is my choice)...............$10


Total estimate...........$271 or less

Building it myself will save me at least $230, not to mention shipping and handling costs. Plus I can customize it to the size and configuration I want.

Depending on the spacing you have for the holes for your plants, the amount of baskets (to place in the holes that hold the plants in) will vary. But depending on where you get them will probably run you about a $0.25 ea, 3" Net Cup.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 03-16-2011 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:20 AM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
That system is very similar to one I have plans to build myself. I attached the drawings of it that I created as a visual of the build. I do have some slight improvements planed that aren't in the images because I didn't feel like redoing them, but really only involve the way the overflow is setup. I got the idea from some strawberry's growing a while back and wanted to recreate something like it (I attached a picture of that too). I really liked the way the square tubing could be set on edge, allowing to offset the plants on both sides of the tube. That effectively allows me to double the amount of plants, but still have adequate spacing between them.

I am still looking for a cheaper source for the 4 inch square tubing I want, as well as longer pieces than what I have found. But even using the 4 inch square vinyl fence post tubing easily found at Home Depot and Lowe's it would still be much cheaper for me to build it than spend $500 plus tax and shipping on their 4 tube system. Don't get me wrong, if anyone feels better buying a pre-made system, go ahead. I just wanted to show a comparison in building VS buying.

So even using the expensive vinyl fence post tubing it would go something like this.

4, 4 inch wide vinyl fence post's, $15 ea for a 6 foot post ($60). I'm not really sure how much the end caps for the tubing run, but I'll figure they might be as high as $5 each (8x 5= $40). Then the through holes for both the overflow and inlet lines, the exact ones I like to use are $2 ea. 4 inlet, and 4 overflow ($16), although Here I will have some changes to what was planed, but it wont affect the cost much at all. Then black vinyl and/or blue hydro vinyl tubing (because it's light proof), $20-$40 worth should be plenty depending on the exact placement of the reservoir. Then miscellaneous "T" and elbow connectors for both the vinyl tubing, PVC tubing, as well as PVC tubing for the overflow system back to the reservoir, all together shouldn't run more than about $20-$30.

A fountain pump like the one I already have will work great for a system this size (even much larger), and runs $45 at Lowe's. Next is the wood for the stand to support the square tubing. Something like about 5, 2x4's and 2, 1x4's to rest the square tubing on, as as well as screws and wood glue to create a real sturdy base should run around $20-$30. Then lastly a reservoir, that can be anything from a $5 storage tote from Wal-Mart to a $10 32 gallon trash can from Wal-mart. So here's the estimate.

Vinyl fence post's............................................ ......$60
End caps.............................................. ...............$40
Through holes for both the overflow and inlet lines......$16
Black vinyl and/or blue hydro vinyl tubing...................$40 (high end)
Miscellaneous "T" and elbow connectors.....................$30 (high end)
Fountain pump.............................................. ........$45
Wood, screws, and wood glue for the stand...............$30 (high end)
Reservoir (32 gallon trash can is my choice)...............$10


Total estimate...........$271 or less

Building it myself will save me at least $230, not to mention shipping and handling costs. Plus I can customize it to the size and configuration I want.

Depending on the spacing you have for the holes for your plants, the amount of baskets (to place in the holes that hold the plants in) will vary. But depending on where you get them will probably run you about a $0.25 ea, 3" Net Cup.
I think your numbers are spot on. I think that this is the way I am going to go for myself in the summer. I have to save up for some lights first as I only grow indoors. It look like on the super cropper they use neoprine inserts on the net pots to keep the hydroton from falling out. Was this your thinking or did you have other thoughts? I was also trying to think of a way to secure the net pots in to the system. I feel like at that angle they may fall out. I think the super cropper has a small clip an each of the net pot sites.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:47 PM
Twilly Twilly is offline
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I have mentioned this on other posts... But I see 400 watt MH warehouse lights on Craigslist for 25-50 bucks everyday. It would work fine as designed, but I turned mine so the bulb runs horizontal and made a reflector out of a piece of 6 in galvanized heating pipe... My total cost 27 bucks... You can see one of each in the attached pic
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:20 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello cable24601,
The hydroton is to large to fall through the slats in the baskets, so the baskets themselves will hold them in. If using a growing medium like vermiculite, then you would need something like cheesecloth to line the baskets. I like using coco chips myself, a couple pieces of it will fall through at first, but they stay in just fine. I attached a pic of my 3 inch baskets with coco chips in it. The neoprene inserts are used to plug up any holes for baskets that you aren't using. That way the water doesn't evaporate through the open holes. Also so nothing can get into contaminate the nutrient solution, or an easy opening for pests to get at the roots. They can also be used to support small plants when not using any growing medium, but when they get bigger the plants will wind up to heavy for the inserts to support them. Another thing they can be used for is to place on top of the growing medium. Not to keep it from falling out, but to keep algae from growing on top of it, and/or to keep pests from getting access to the roots.

If your concerned about the grow rocks from falling out the top if you plan to be moving the baskets a lot (again I use coco chips so that wont be an issue for me). The neoprene inserts cost $0.95 each, but you can easily use much cheaper alternatives like Styrofoam (a small soldering iron will cut it like butter and eliminate those small pieces from falling off), or cheesecloth, or foam insulation (cut to fit) etc.. You just need to make a hole in the center that will be large enough to accommodate the trunk of the full size plant, and cut a slit down the side to allow you to put it on and take it off. Even so, I don't think there would be problem with having any grow rocks falling out the top of the baskets, even moving them around when growing small wide plants like lettuce and strawberry.

There wont be any issues with the baskets themselves falling out. If you really wanted to, you can easily create a slid clip using a small piece of plastic or metal. Screwing it to the main tube near the bottom of the baskets (using stainless steel screws). Then just slid it over the lip of the basket to hold them in. I don't see any clips on there system, and I think that would be completely unnecessary, even for taller plants. Take a look at this picture of their system growing peppers, click on the picture for the large version of the picture. Then look at the basket in the center of the far left tube. It only tilts about a 1/4 of an inch. That's about all they will tilt. In fact that's a benefit to me.

http://supercroppers.com/wp-content/...3/IMG_0144.jpg

The reason I want to use square tubing and not round tubing, is so that the water level in the tube when I flood the system can be higher without leaking out, take a look at my attached images of round VS square tubing. When the baskets tilt like that, the bottom of the baskets will be even farther down in the water. If your worried that as the plants get larger and somewhat top heavy they might be more inclined to tip/fall over, the root mass inside the tube will hold the plants in place. Take a look at the image of the plant's roots in the basket that are growing in the tube. On larger plants the root mass will get so big you cant even pull the basket up to look at the roots.

P.S. That brings me to a design hint.
Make sure that you can open at least one end of the tube. Don't permanently glue both end-caps in place. If you do, you will never get the root mass out of the tube without cutting the tube in half. Like I had to do the first time, then you'll need a coupler to reconnect it later. See how big the root mass was for my peas? The root mass on that side of the tube was from only 4 dwarf pea plants (about 4 feet tall). I Had to pull the baskets up as much as I could and cut the roots off with a steak knife until I had them far enough out that I could cut the roots coming out the bottom of the baskets. Then I cut the tube in half with a hack saw to get the root mass out of the tube, and clean the inside for reuse. I would suggest sealing at least one end with just 100% silicone to keep it in place, and water tight. Then you can just use a wooden dowel and a hammer to pop it off later to clean out.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:39 PM
ProZachJ ProZachJ is offline
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Hey guys noticed you where discussing the Super Cropper. I am Zach from Urban Hydroponic Growers Union we invented and began selling the Super Cropper last year.

You're breakdown on cost is pretty close to what our costs are to build one plus labor and since we include shipping in our pricing you can see that we have worked really hard to create a great system at a very reasonable price. We only sell systems so we can afford to do more growing ourselves

Looking at your drawing the only problem I see is that it looks like the spray line is in the bottom of the rails. That is problematic because the roots will grow into your spray holes and clog them up.

To build one it takes about a weekend. I do feel sorry for anyone trying to build a 72 site version. Drilling all those holes is quite a task which is why we use a CNC router to mill out all the holes.

About attaching the netcups: early super cropper versions did have a clip for them but we found that once a plant has a large enough root mass or is supported in some way they don't ever tilt at all. I am growing some pretty large eggplants in one and don't tilt even a bit. Another strategy is to put loops in a string and use the plants on opposite sides of the rail to support each other.


Last edited by ProZachJ; 03-18-2011 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:22 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Looking at your drawing the only problem I see is that it looks like the spray line is in the bottom of the rails. That is problematic because the roots will grow into your spray holes and clog them up.
Actually it isn't designed as an aeroponic system, so there are no sprayers. But your absolutely right, of there were I would place the spray line at the top apex, spraying down. It would be fairly easy to construct as an aeroponic system using PVC tubing, and creating a support for it on both ends, then just screwing the emitters/misters directly into the PVC tubing. However depending on the amount of misters in the system, that may require a larger pump to be able to provide enough pressure to all the misters for a good spray coverage. I haven't tested the pump in my estimate using misters yet.

P.S. I did forget one part, a timer for the pump. Though even for a aeropponic design a 15 minute minimum on/off timer would do just fine, and run $10 or less at Kmart. I got a 30 minute minimum on/off timeer (they call a heavy duty timer), at Kmart for about $7 that works nicely. just make sure it is a 15 amp timer (usually called heavy duty).

The way I plan to use the system is as a flood and drain system (although it can easily be modified to run as a NFT or aeroponic, and back again). There's a couple or reasons that I would choose a flood and drain over a aeroponic design. The biggest is that the misters can clog from the mineral buildup, and being inside a tube like that, it would be hard to notice (until the plants were showing signs of wilting/dying). Basically each mister is a potential problem, and unless you had extra misting tubes ready to install/swap out for a clogged one (so that would make the exchange quick), there's even more risk of damage to all the plants in the tube, and/or entire system because of maintenance downtime. That can be a real problem when growing outside, in direct sunlight, and in the summer heat like I do (where you can't control the climate like you can growing inside).

Another reason is even though an aeroponic design wouldn't require nearly as much nutrient solution to get the roots wet that flooding the tube will, I don't really see that as a benefit. I would still want the reservoir to be about the same size. Smaller volumes of water just wind up having pH swings, and much larger fluctuations in the mineral salts (nutrients) in the nutrient solution. Larger volumes of water have what I call buffer water, and buffer against these swings.

From my experience a 10 foot long (4 inch wide) round tube (that I grew my peas in) will take 5-6 gallons of water to flood. So 4 five foot (4 inch) square tubes should take about 10-12 gallons to flood. Depending on how you space your plants, even at a 1 foot spacing that would be about 10 plants per tube (but I would probably space about 9-10 inches apart). So even for small plants like strawberries or lettuce that are recommended to have 1/2 gallon of nutrient solution per plant as a minimum. For 40 plants that would be a minimum reservoir size of 20 gallons (18 gallons for 36 plants). So even going by using the minimum recommended volume of nutrient solution for small plants, as well as the amount of plants, there should be plenty of water to flood the system without running the pump dry. But I use more than the minimum volume of water recommended, as a buffer against nutrient and pH swings.

Something that you cant see in the images is the overflow tube adjustment. It's a simple insert that adjusts the water height in the tube, changing the height of the tube will change the height of water level in each tube. And I can use the system as a NFT by simply taking the adjustment tube out, or if I want water level higher, insert a small adjustment tube (and still use it as an NFT system).

Quote:
I do feel sorry for anyone trying to build a 72 site version. Drilling all those holes is quite a task
Making the holes isn't a problem for me, I use a simple rotary tool (picture attached) that I bought at the swap meet years ago for about 10 or 12 bucks. I just use one of the baskets, and draw a template on a flexible piece of plastics like a sour creme lid, and cut it out. I used a flexible template so it would bend on the round tube I used when I went to draw the outline I was going to cut on the tube. Making the template just smaller than the basket, so the the lip of the basket rests on the edge of the cut hole. I cut all 12 holes in the tube for my peas in about 10 minutes. In fact, it took longer to measure the spacing (and making sure they were in a straight line), than to actually cut the holes. Any hole saw will work fine as well, it is just a mater of getting one the right size. They do make adjustable size hole saws, but can be pricey. I think the one I saw was about $40. I'll stick with the rotary tool, it's a lot more versatile anyway. I have plans to use this same concept/design on a larger scale, using 20, 10-15 feet long tubes (picture attached).

P.S. ProZachJ
You can easily upload pictures using the manage attachments button, located below the Submit reply and preview post buttons in the additional options sections. Just click on manage attachments button, and use the window that pops up to browse to the picture on your computer, then just double click on it. You can upload as many as 20 images to each post (5 at a time), and it will create a clickable thumbnail image, just like I did in this post. That way the picture/s wont blow out the the thread.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:06 PM
ProZachJ ProZachJ is offline
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Looks awesome! Can't wait to see it growing.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:13 PM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProZachJ View Post
Hey guys noticed you where discussing the Super Cropper. I am Zach from Urban Hydroponic Growers Union we invented and began selling the Super Cropper last year.


About attaching the netcups: early super cropper versions did have a clip for them but we found that once a plant has a large enough root mass or is supported in some way they don't ever tilt at all. I am growing some pretty large eggplants in one and don't tilt even a bit. Another strategy is to put loops in a string and use the plants on opposite sides of the rail to support each other.

I thought that I saw some sort of cilp in one of your videos. Looking back I think it was a prototype.

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