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How to Build a Cheap Homemade Cannabis Hydroponics System

How to Build a Cheap Homemade Cannabis Hydroponics System

There are many benefits associated with using a home cannabis hydroponic system. And in this article our resident grow expert, Stoney Tark,  explains what you will need to build a cheap cannabis hydroponic system for less than €100. 

What are the advantages of growing with cannabis hydroponics?

Growing Cannabis using hydroponic systems can be a great way to dramatically increase yields, reduce vegetative time saving electricity and nutrients, maximize space, and is far more advantageous from a commercial scale farming perspective. Generally a first time grower will venture into the world of organics and later when the desire is there, will decide to grow Cannabis with hydroponics.

Another great thing about hydroponics is how easy it is to replicate different types of systems using store bought equipment. Once you have a thorough understanding of how to grow Cannabis plants in hydroponics in the first place, the rest is easy and customising and maintaining your own systems can be as exciting as growing your Cannabis plants.

Equipment needed for a cheap home cannabis hydroponics system

The following list can be sourced online or at a commercial hardware store and will allow you to build different systems, depending on the goal and plant count. Growing Cannabis using a home hydroponics system does not have to be expensive – you can buy everything you need for less than €100.

Water Pump: It is these pumps that will keep your system circulating with hydroponic cannabis nutrients. They are the same as you would use inside a fish tank aquarium and can pump between 400-800 litres of water per hour. A good pump online will cost €15, but I always recommend buying a back-up pump too. If the pump stops working, it will cause issues.

Light Proof Tub: Once you have an idea of the type of system you will build, sourcing a tub that will act as the reservoir for your hydroponic cannabis nutrients is next. This may be a 20L black tub that will be converted into DWC (Deep Water Culture) systems, or it may be a black coloured 50L plastic tub. The lid from the tub is what can be used to turn the system from a top dripper system to an aeroponic / DWC or aeroponic cloning station.

Air Pump: An essential element of any successful hydroponics system is providing plenty of dissolved oxygen. DWC systems depend on a permanent air supply into the nutrient solution, so a good air pump and air stones will usually cost around €20-50 online, or at your local grow shop.

Air Stones: These typically small blue golf ball sized stones will connect to the air pump and create a large amount of bubbles and dissolved oxygen into the reservoir and into hydroponic Cannabis nutrients. Air stones come in various shapes, and sizes as well as air hoses, which work very well also. Not expensive to buy and it is always a good idea to have extra clean air stones on standby.

Plastic Pipe and Fittings: For those who want to replicate NFT systems using the white plastic drain pipe commonly seen in the U.S, then investing in drain pipes, 90-degree bends, and stopper caps can be purchased relatively cheaply. As long as they are thoroughly cleaned between harvests, using 10% strength hydrogen peroxide, then they should last a lifetime.

Spray Nozzles: This is only for low pressure aeroponic systems and is attached to a tube which fits to the water pump. When the pump is switched on the water is aggressively sprayed around the roots of the plants and the basis of an aero-cloner .

Drip Lines / Drip Rings: Setting up drip lines with either stakes or a drip ring is easy to do, and once they are in place should require very little maintenance. Drip rings can be better at distributing hydroponic Cannabis nutrients to the pots when Cannabis with hydroponics and have become increasingly popular in the U.S and Europe.

15-Minute Segment Timer: The same type of timers used for your grow lights that will be used to drip feed the Cannabis plants for 15-minute intervals. Drip systems and low pressure aeroponic systems require frequent feeding schedules, whilst DWC and NFT remain circulating permanently allowing the roots to be sat in the oxygen-rich hydroponic Cannabis nutrients.

Which grow medium to use with a cannabis hydroponics system?

When growing Cannabis using hydroponics, generally working with rockwool and hydroton are your best options. If your goal is to build an aeroponics or deep water culture system then suspending net pots with hydroton and rockwool is required, however if you have chosen a recirculating drip system then a 50/50 mix of coco and perlite will be perfect. Alternatively if you wish to keep your dripper system on 24/7 then using hydroton is required.

Home Made Cloning Systems for Cannabis Hydroponics 

As growing Cannabis with hydroponics has become more popular amongst home growers, many have converted to cloning with small sized bubblers or aeroponic misters. The system is like a miniature DWC system that keeps the bottom parts of freshly taken clones surrounded by bursting water droplets and oxygen, without the use of any hydroponic Cannabis nutrients.

Aero-cloners are extremely successful. A spray nozzle inside the reservoir will produce high amounts of fresh air and moisture, providing the ideal environment for clones to want to root well. The quickest way to build one of these at home is to buy a light proof black tub and drill holes through the lid where the 2-6-inch net pot will sit.

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