I’ve had several people ask me how to get started with hydroponics and I always say the same thing, if you haven’t grown indoors before, don’t start with hydroponics.
A good friend once compared hydroponics to having a race car. Your first car shouldn’t be a race car, you need to learn how to drive a regular car first, but if you’ve been growing for a while and you want to step up to hydroponics please continue watching this video.
What you see here is called the bubble boy and I got this from HTG supply. They call it the four-banger because you can grow four plants at once. With this I would recommend growing plants that are about one to two feet tall. They do have several other options and there’s a bubble boy that has just one area for plants and using that you can grow plants that are three or four feet tall. What you see here is a three and a half gallon bucket reservoir. There’s a lid that the net pots can sit in. The net pots are what the plants go in. There is an air pump, there’s tubing, there’s what’s called an oxy stone to provide oxygen in the water and there’s a connector for all this and all of this is listed at under $35 on their website.
The bubble boy is very easy to setup. First you want to do is run the hose through the little hole that is specifically designed for this hose. Next attach the hose to the air pump, you can see that this model has two outlets to maximize airflow or you could even use this one pump for two different reservoirs.
If the air pump is making noise but you’re not getting good air flow the first thing you want to do is check for kinks in the hose and make sure there are none blocking air. Once the hose is through the lid and attached to the air pump. You’re going to attach it to the oxy stone. The oxy stone will simply sit on the bottom of the three and a half gallon reservoir and the air will flow through this adding oxygen which the roots need. Once you’ve connected the hose to the oxy stone and the air pump you will need to fill up the reservoir with water.
I’ve read many different opinions about what type of water to use. You can simply use tap water now if your water does smell like chlorine you want to leave it sit out overnight with the lid off so the chlorine can come out of the water.
if you do start to have issues later one of the things you can try is using a reverse osmosis pump or using different types of water but if you’re drinking your tap water you should be able to grow your plants with it. You want to fill up the reservoir so that the net pots, these little circles there, have water in the bottom of them about one to two centimeters or about an inch of water should be the bottom of the net.
I started my plants in soil which means that I have to clean all the soil off the roots. You should do this very gently so as not to damage the roots. Brush as much soil as you can off and then dip them or rinse them with water. You can skip the root washing step if you start your seeds in rock wool or you can use the starter plugs like I’ve done here.
Simply take the rock wool or starter plugs with the exposed roots and put them in the net pots you want to place the plant into. Then surround it with these which are called hydro stones. They’re expanded clay pellets these are gonna allow the roots to hold onto something so the plant can stay upright. I recommend putting your plants in first and then pouring the hydro stones around them. You want to make sure that the roots are at the very bottom of the net pots so they’re in contact with the water.
After a quick set-up of attaching the hose to the oxy stone and the air pump and putting it through the hole in the lid and putting the plants in the net pot you just have to put them into the bubble boy and you’re ready to grow.
Hydroponically everything is set up and these plants are in the bubble boy underneath a 90 watt LED light. In just a couple of days you should notice that the roots are growing out of the net pots and down into the reservoir in a few more days the roots should be growing. They should be white and reaching further down into the reservoir with the roots growing vigorously. You should also notice vigorous plant growth above the lid. There’s lots of different fertilizers you can use, the most important thing is whatever fertilizer you choose to use make sure you read and follow the directions for how to apply that fertilizer.
You can see here that this coleus plant is now vigorously flowering in the bubble-boy. If you’ve been wanting to try hydroponics I highly recommend trying it starting off with the bubble-boy
If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email at [email protected] I’ll have more videos about hydroponics and other growing tips. Good growing