A Hydroponic bucket system uses anywhere from 1 to 32 buckets for growing and one bucket to act as a tank or reservoir for the returning water and nutrients from the growing chamber buckets. Gravity allows the water to filter through the rock down to the bottom and returns the flow water to the “reservoir bucket.”
Using Water pumps with a Bucket System
In this bucket a low volume pump such as a 80 gallon/hour or a 65 gallon/hour are sufficient to pump the volume needed. From this pump a feeder line of soft vinyl PVC pipe is run along the floor to the end of the system. Feed lines of .220 spaghetti tube are stretched to the top of each bucket to “drip” the water and feed water nutrients onto the rocks holding the plants roots in place. Special emitters can also be used to allow a precise measured amount of water to feed each plant. Usually 1/2 gpm emitters are used. The return feed line from the bottom of each of the buckets to the reservoir bucket is generally yellow flex hose of 5/8″ or 3/4″.
Drip Lines for Hydroponic Bucket System
For larger plants, some growers choose to use two drip lines to each bucket. Generally, the pump is left on 24 hours a day to prevent the roots from ever drying out, even during the dark period. The danger of this is too much humidity and possible diseases. This probably can be avoided by the addition of large fans for rapid air movement. The greater advantage is increased growth during the early stages of the plants life. After the plants have developed multiple roots deep into the Hydro-corn rock, the grower can begin to cycle the shut off time from two to six hours, returning the feed cycle to on just before the lights cycle begins. Be sure to have the water dripping on the rock or the starter cube but never on the plant stem itself. Use a water treatment such as “Fizz” to prevent bacterial growth or “Ascend” to build the healthy bacteria in an active bucket system.
Adding Plants to a Bucket System
These bucket systems are modular and can be expanded to include more plants as needed. Always use a very high quality plant food such as General Hydroponics “Flora Series” for the best results. To find the materials to build this Hydroponic Bucket System, contact your local hydroponic supply store.