As I mentioned earlier, I recently decided to finally put all those little bits I had bought since last year to make a hydroponics set for chillies.
So, here's a step by step guide to the wonderful world of DIY hydroponics.
I should warn you, though, that this is a purely experimental design, and there is every possibility that it will be a complete flop!
But then again, it might just work.
Part of the fun is finding out.
Right, first things first. You'll need the following stuff:
-Some gloves (protection first!)
-A good, well lit work surface
-A large bucket or plastic container
-Some empty, clean, used plastic soda bottles
-Some air tubing (the kind you use for aquariums)
-Air Stones (Ditto)
-An air pump (yup. Aquariums)
-A few splitter valves
-Some LECA (Light Expanded Clay Aggregate, though really, what you need is some medium for the plants to grow)
-A pair of scissors
-Some chilli seeds (key item here, otherwise you might not grow anything)
-Some water and nutrients (also key)
Except for the water and nutrients, the rest of the items are down here:
So, grab your bottles, and cut them down the middle, about 75% of their circumference so that you can open and close them without having two bottle halves. The bottle will become your individual container for the plants.
Then cut small holes at the bottom of the bottles (this is important for drainage)
Insert one of the air stones into the bottle, preferably by punching a hole through the side of the bottle (since if you try to run the air tube under the bottle, it will either not be stable, or you'll restrict air flow to the bottle).
Take the bottles, and fill them with LECA up to the cut off point. Then place all the bottles into your container. Then, take all the air tubes and connect them to the splitter valves.
Grab a sponge, and cut it into small segments. Punch a small hole in the middle of each sponge (the seed goes in there)
Place a small segment into each bottle, so that it sinks into some of the LECA.
Add the seeds!
Add the water and nutrients, so that if fills up about a third of the container (or if you've got a larger container, fill it with about two-three inches of water. You don't want to flood the bottles with water. The air pump and the air bubbles created by the air stone will move the wather via the LECA slowly but continuously up to the sponge).
And presto! one giant contraption built to grow (fingers crossed) some chillies.