I’ve had a lot of success growing tomatoes and cucumbers with this aeroponic bucket system. The system and build are simple and can be adapted to any size grow space.
I bought the square 4 gallon HDPE buckets from Uline in black to prevent the penetration of UV light into the buckets and stop algae growth. Uline carries a wide range of HDPE buckets in different sizes square or round. Here’s a link to the buckets I used in the build video:
I used two different sizes of irrigation tubing this build, the mister supply lines are 1/4″ tubing and the return lines are 1/2″ tubing. These are also black to prevent algae growth in the system. I purchased my parts separately but the kit linked below has most of what you need and more for a better price.
1/4″ irrigation tubing, 1/2″ irrigation tubing, misters, T pieces, teflon tape and extras.
Rubber grommets for 1/4 inch irrigation tubing
The 1/4″ manifold let me connect multiple lines to the 1/2″ riser connected to the outlet of my pump. This made for a clean connection without having a bunch of awkward joints and points of failure in my supply lines.
4 port manifold with flow adjustment
The 1/2″ fittings were the most difficult components to find because they need a shoulder to seal up against the buckets and prevent leaks. It is important to use fittings with a shoulder to seal against the buckets.
1/2 inch coupling for outside the bucket
1/2 inch T for connections outside the bucket
1/2 inch adaptor for inside the bucket
Submersible Water Pump
There are many options for water pumps. A small system like this one can be built using an aquarium or fountain pump that has a 250-400 GPH flow rate. I always recommend having a backup water pump on hand that can be swapped out if something happens to the one operating your system.
The timer I selected for this project allows me to operate in intervals down to the seconds. Many timers only allow minutes but I like to operate my pump more frequently at shorter intervals to prevent large water droplets from forming and dripping off the roots. Smaller droplets will cling onto the roots.
Net Cups & Grow Medium
I like to start my seeds in Rockwool cubes because they hold moisture better than many other hydroponic grow mediums I’ve used. If I work with cuttings that are propagated from an existing plant I tend to root them in a cup of water for a few days to a week and then wrap a Rockwool cube around them and secure it with an elastic or some thread. In this case I added some clay pebbles around the cubes to better secure them in the net cups.