Hydroponics is a method of growing plants that uses a nutrient solution as opposed to soil for the nutrients required for a plant's survival. PVC is used in many hydroponic systems to provide a supply of nutrient solution to the plant roots. PVC is cheap, durable and lasts for a long time. It is also resistant to freezing and other damage due to the environment. Building hydroponic systems out of PVC pipes also allows you to stack your hydroponic garden, saving on space.
Things You'll Need
- 3 pieces 4-inch diameter PVC pipe, 3 feet long
- 5-gallon bucket
- Aquarium pump
- 1/4-inch tubing
- Hole drill bit
- T-joint connector
- End caps
- Nutrient solution
Place the water pump inside of the 30-gallon plastic bin. Cut two holes in the lid, one hole for the outgoing nutrient solution and one hole for the incoming. Attach the hose for the outgoing nutrient solution to the water pump.
Place the 3-foot sections of 4-inch diameter PVC pipe on a table.
Cut holes into the 4-inch PVC pipe that are slightly smaller than the lip of the mesh pot using a large drill bit. Drill a hole every 6 inches along the pipe.
Place an aquarium pump into the bottom of your 5-gallon bucket. Hook up the supply line to the pump.
Drill a hole in the lid of the 5-gallon bucket wide enough for the supply tube coming from the pump to fit through. Drill three more holes at the end of the lid for the return lines.
Slide the ends of the three PVC pipes off the end of the support table and drill a hole through the bottom of each pipe. Fit a washer around the end of a piece of tube for each pipe and slide the tubing through the hole so the washer is on the inside of the pipe. These act as your return lines. Feed the return lines into the hole in the lid of the 5-gallon bucket.
Drill a hole through the top of each PVC pipe at the opposite ends of the return lines.
Attach a four-way connector, called a T-joint, to the supply line coming from the aquarium pump. Attach a piece of tubing to each free joint and put the tubing through the hole in the top of your PVC pipe.
Blow out the shavings from the pipes and place on the end caps, one cap on each end of a PVC pipe so the pipe is sealed.
Mix the nutrient solution according to the instructions on the label. Fill the 5-gallon bucket with the solution and turn on the pump.