okay, i have done this once before and this is my last time, i am all about cheap, the subject title is "ghetto growing gear", so this is the last time i do this and show my trailer park trash ways!
here is my homemade hydroponic system made of recycled product. i will explain what you are about to see:
2, 3 gallon totes, each has to be at least 10 years old, they sat in the garage for years with kids toys in them. i decided to convert them into dwc systems one day. my neighbour lent me his circular drill adapters to drill holes - he bought them when Kmart went out of business in Canada, sometime in the mid '90's. i drilled the holes in the top of the totes with an old drill my dad gave me in the '80's, it barely worked then but he knew his son wouldn't use the drill so what's the harm. i got the holes drilled with minimum smoke from the drill motor. but that burning motor smell is addictive!
in the tote holes are recycled yogurt cups that i sliced by hand using a carpet cutter in the shape of net baskets. that would hold my plants. for seedlings, i would cover seedlings with fruit cup containers, washed of course but i may have used dirty water.
to keep the plant root base moist, i cut cardboard wedges and taped them over the yogurt cups. the totes are driven by 2 airpumps that came with my old aquariums that had to be almost 20 years old, 1 airpump has to be at least 35 years old. in the totes are airstones and God only knows how old they are but they work. in between the totes are simple dish clothes to soak up any water the drips from the container edges.
to the right of the totes are 2, mayonaise 1 litre plastic containers that i converted into standalone dwc. 1 of the containers contained nails and sat in the garage for almost 20 years. i had my daughters make drawing on 8.5" X 11 sheets to circle the mayonaise containers to keep the light of the plant roots. the lights with Y adapters are sitting on 2X6's with 1X1's screwed into them to give the lights a little more height. the lights and airpumps are on 2 separate timers that are at least 20 years old but still work just fine and start up and off twice a day.
the plants are just in rockwool that i bought on clearance for $11.95 and that was the most expensive item. since, i have filled the yogurt cups with pea gravel the city spreads during snow storms and when the roads become icy and vehicles need traction. i do wash the gravel.
just when you think things couldn't get any cheaper i read about greenhouses using CO2, so i decided to make my own CO2 generator with an old 2 litre pop bottle(actually it was a clubsoda bottle as we don't drink pop). i drilled a hole in the top of the cap and then filled the bottle with water, yeast and sugar. no i didn't go out and by yeast, i had some in the kitchen cupboard with an expirey date of 1996, i mix the brew and fed it into my germination chamber, it bubbled just fine.
here are a few other pics of my dwc as time moved forward:
i have done some other really cheap, macgyver setups but didn't take pictures. but i am constantly looking for ways to use and recycle materials without spending my money. my wife just wants to run out and buy me nice clean aerogardens but she knows how disappointed i would be.
thanks for viewing my ghetto post!