Homemade Hydroponic Equipment


A hydroponics system includes a container to hold the plants and growing media, a container of nutrient solution, a pump to recycle the solution and an aeration system for the solution. A drip hydroponics system is the easiest to set up and use. A pump moves the solution from the reservoir through tubes to individual containers. The solution drips past the roots of the plants and collects at the base of the container or runs off into the surrounding soil.

Step 1

Use a utility knife to cut a circle of plastic twice as big as each hole in the bottom of the 12-inch pot. Glue a circle over each hole with silicone aquarium sealant. Spread glue over the plastic piece inside the bottom of the pot also. Dry six to eight hours, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 2

Place the 12-inch pot, which is the reservoir, where you want the system. Connect the pump tube to the submersible hydroponics pump, tighten a hose clamp over the tube with a screwdriver and connect the tube to the air stone. Set both in the bottom of the pot and anchor with a clean stone or rock.

Step 3

Cut a 3- by 4-inch opening with the utility knife in one of the pot saucers. Cut a 2½- by 3½-inch opening in the second pot saucer. Glue the smaller cutout on top of the larger cutout, leaving a ¼ inch edge on each side.

Step 4

Set the saucer with the smaller hole in the saucer with the bigger hole, matching the holes. Use the drill to make a hole through both saucers 2 inches from the opposite edge of the rectangular holes large enough for the water pump tube to pass through. Drill another hole large enough for the air pump hose and the water pump cord to pass through. This is the lid for the reservoir. .

Step 5

Insert the water pump tube, the air pump hose and the water pump cord through the lid. Set the lid on the reservoir. Use the glued-together cutouts as a cover for the rectangular hole, which serves as the access port for the reservoir

Step 6

Drill drainage holes in the bottom of the 8-inch and 10-inch pots, if there are none. If the expanded clay growing medium can fall through the existing holes, cut and glue plastic pieces partially over the holes.

Step 7

Drill a hole in the back of each pot about 1 inch below the rim large enough for the water tube. Insert the tube from the outside to the inside of the 10-inch pot, and set it on the reservoir lid. Hold the tube above the edge of the pot while filling the pot with growing medium to within ½ inch of the rim. Do not drop growing medium in the tube

Step 8

Insert the water tube through the hole from the outside to the inside of the 8-inch pot and set it on the growing medium in the 10-inch pot. Hold the tubing above the edge of the pot, while filling the pot with growing medium to within 2 inches of the rim. Do not drop growing medium in the tube. Cut the tube even with the top of the 8-inch pot with the utility knife.

Step 9

Form and cut a 6-inch circle of the water tube, and join the ends together with the "T" connector. Lay the circle on a flat surface with the remaining opening of the "T" connector facing up. Drill 1/8 inch holes every ½ inch in the tube. Connect the "T" to the tube in the 8-inch pot with the holes in the circle facing down into the dirt. Cover the tube with growing medium to within ½ inch of the rim of the pot.

Step 10

Pour water in a clean container, leaving enough room to add the hydroponic fertilizer. Use the pH test kit to determine the pH of the water. Add chemicals, if needed, to adjust the pH between 5.0 and 6.0. Add hydroponic fertilizer following the manufacturer's directions to make the nutrient solution. Fill the reservoir with the nutrient solution.

Step 11

Attach the air hose to the air pump. Plug the air hose and water hose into an electrical socket. Turn the pumps on, if necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Thin plastic
  • 12-inch plastic flower pot
  • Glue
  • Submersible hydroponic water pump (approximately 160 GPS)
  • 3 feet of tubing to fit pump
  • Hose clamp
  • Screwdriver
  • Air pump
  • 2 feet of opaque air tubing
  • Air stone
  • Stone or rock
  • Two pot saucers
  • Drill
  • 1/8 inch and ¾ inch drill bits
  • Expanded clay growing medium
  • "T" connector for water tube
  • Container
  • pH test kit
  • Hydroponic fertilizer


  • Hydroasis: What Is Hydroponics
  • The Growing Edge: Systems
  • University of Illinois: Hydroponic Systems

Who Can Help

  • How To Build A Small Drip Hydroponics System
  • Texas A&M University: Hydroponics As A Hobby
  • Homemade Hydroponics: How To Build A Homemade Hydroponics System
Keywords: homemade hydroponic equipment, homemade hydroponic system, homemade hydroponic garden

About this Author

Melody Lee worked as a newspaper reporter, copywriter and editor for 5 years. In addition, she has edited magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design and is a Florida master gardener. She has more than 25 years of gardening experience, which includes working at nurseries and greenhouses.