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How to Build a Hydroponic System With Rubbermaid Tubs

bucket image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Hydroponics is a way to grow plants without the use of potting soil, and instead using a nutrient solution to provide the plant with the food it needs. You can buy a good nutrient solution from a variety of garden centers and specialty online vendors, and the rest of the hydroponic system is built using spare pieces of material found around the home or bought from a hardware store for very little money. Building a hydroponic system with a Rubbermaid tub requires little investment.

Building your system

Draw a circle slightly smaller than the rim of the pot you are using on the lid of your tub. Cut out the circle from the lid.

Drill a 1/4-inch hole into the lid of your tub and insert your 1/4-inch tubing into it, cutting the tube so that it reaches the bottom of the bucket.

Attach the 1/4-inch tube to the air stone and place it at the bottom of the bucket and attach the other end of the tube to your air pump.

Clean out the inside of the tub then fill it with water. Test your air stone and pump to ensure it is pumping water.

Fill the pot with a growing medium such as perlite, vermiculite or hydroton and place your plant inside the medium.

Fill the Rubbermaid tub with your hydroponic nutrient solution, mixed according to the instructions on the solutions container. Test the pH level of the nutrient solution and check it against the required pH specified on the solution.

Fill the tub with nutrient solutions and place the lid on top. Put your potted plant into the hole at the top and turn on your air pump to get the solution moving.


Check the pH regularly and change the nutrient solution or add water once the nutrient solution gets weak or becomes too strong accordingly.

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