Building a 6 inch PVC aeroponics tube system
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Contributed by: Lothar
Submitted: May 19th, 2004
Images archived 2004
This is a larger variation on the Irish /
Webby tube system found elsewhere in the FAQ. 6 inch
tubes allow for more root space and larger plants.
Basically, I am showing how to build the root
chambers, rez, and feeder lines for your system.
Depending on what is available in your area, pick your
own misters and pump to match. No one builds them all
exactly the same.
Every system will vary to
suit your own needs and space but here are the basic
for this particular one:
6 inch PVC pipe (With this five-tube system, you
also use 4 lengths of 1 inch PVC as feeder / pressure
6 inch couplings, and 1 inch" couplings, along with
elbows and endcaps as needed.
Large reservoir - the larger the better for
stability and maintenance.
Pump - output and size to be determined by what
misters you choose.
Support for tubes (I used sawhorses)
The usual array of handy tools, but youll need a
hole saw to match the neptots you choose.
Main 6 inch pvc pipes
I am using
schedule 40 6 inch diameter PVC pipe. You can get this
at large plumbing suppliers. Just ask around at Home
Depot type places, if they dont have it, they will know
who does. As for cost, it varies. In Canada it was
anywhere from $5 to $9 per foot. Schedule 80 is too
thick and expensive.
I am also using 3.5 inch
netpots, spaced 6 inches apart, therefore you will need
a 3.5 inch holesaw. 3 inch or 3.5 inch pots are ideal.
The mass of your roots will be in the tubes, so dont
worry about the pots being too small (They are just
inch tubes will be joined by rubber couplers with hose
clamps. You can find these where you buy your PVC along
with rubber end fittings to close the tubes off. *See
At the end of one of your tubes (or set or
tubes) you will need a drain of some kind. I just made a
1 inch hole and inserted a pvc plug. This will drain
into the rez. (Here is looking down)
You also see a hole in between the netpots.
This is for your sprayline. I use one sprayer in between
each two pots, this seems to work just fine as they put
out a 360 degree spray.
The sprayline is held in
place by grommets or rubber corks with holes drilled
through them. You can find something that will work in
the plumbing section, or stores that sell beer/wine
brewing equipment (a huge selection of rubber corks and
stoppers) Choose your sprayline, misters and plugs
before you begin drilling holes!
The tubes will eventually be supported on
sawhorses with the drainage end ultimately sitting right
on the resevoir. Be sure that the far end of the system
is higher than the rez end so that your liquid will
drain back to the rez easily. There is a 2 inch height
difference in this system. You dont need much. These
stands are easy enough to make, you will notice also
that there are cutouts for both the 6 inch tubes, and
the 4, 1 inch PVC tubes that run along between them to
feed the spraylines.
Since each of my tube
sections is 15 feet (3, 5 foot sections joined) I needed
the same amount in 1 inch PVC.
used PVC couplings to join them on two sections and then
got fancy and used a valve to join the last section.
This way I can shut off water to the last section if I
am not using it (like when vegging out mother plants or
doing a smaller crop, you can also conveniently shut off
a section if something needs repairing).
At the end (not the rez end) the feeder
tubes are capped. Oh, and USE TEFLON TAPE, PEOPLE!! Or
some kind of sealant - you dont want to get it all
together and find out that you have leaks!
Along the 1 inch PVC feeder tube, I have
drilled (and tapped to match the threads of my sprayer
assembly) holes to mount the spray lines. One hole per
sprayer (Youll know what size holes to drill once you
decide on the type of sprayer you wish to use).
Here is the big funky rez. A 300 litre / 80
gallon monster. This rez is actually a dock float - they
are built to withstand great pressures and will not fail
It has 5 holes drilled in it that fit
the drain spigots of the tubes. You will need to drill
an access hole for nutrient access and the intake line
of your pump.
You can also see the business end
of the feeder tubes, they are all joined together in one
common pipe that leads to the output of the pump, which
will soon be sitting on the floor beside the rez.
pressure gauge helps you figure out what youre running
at and lets you know if there is some kind of problem.
Here is the drain spigot on the tube I was
talking about - it just fits into the rez. It is just a
3 inch bit of 1 inch PVC - some kind of connector I
found. Use whats at hand.
The rez end, with the 1 inch pvc joined
together with various elbows and fittings. The pump is
ready to be installed.
Here is the inline filter that sits between
the pump and the rest of the feeder lines. Filters are
essential to prevent mister clogs.
Here is a long view so that you can see how
the big tubes and the feeder lines lie beside each other
and how the spray lines are hooked up.
Look inside! - You can see the sprayer
coming in between the netpot holes.
Here is another full shot of the whole
thing. Notice that the ends of the 6 inch tubes are
capped and they are joined by those black couplers and
hose clamps. You can buy those wherever you get your
Next step: fill it with netpots, rocks,
water in the rez and then clones.
| Last modified: 15:34 - Aug 01,