Homemade 5G hydro bucket system, using what I got for now. Request feedback

I have this water pump laying around doing nothing.


I also have a White Widow Auto in a 3-gallon fabric pot that just entered into flowering 3 days ago.
I have connected the 2 pieces I circled in red to the top of the pump and put it in a 5-gallon bucket.
The piece I put on the pump is the flow control 2-way valve with both valves wide open.
It basically pumps water straight up about 3 inches and horizontally against the wall of the bucket.
The horizontal spray is designed to oxygenate the water in the bucket, and divert the flow from going up much higher. My WWA is in “Pot4Pot” Coco and super soil mix. I have set its bag in the 5-gallon bucket right on top of the pump’s verticle output and the mouth of its fabric pot is right at the top of the bucket. Now I put 1 gallon of PH 6.1 water with Cal/Mag in it (ppm 475) in the bucket and put my pot on top of the pump. I turned it on and nothing drastic happened. I think the bottom of the pot is getting a good soaking and the majority of the water flow is spraying into the wall of the bucket at above the water level so it is splashing around and oxygenating the water well. Surprisingly this pump set-up is not noisy. I have 2 automatic electric timers ordered and my plan when I get them is to set this pump on 1 of them with a 30 minute on 30 off cycle 24/7 I am giving it a test run with the pump always on right now. My thoughts are that the pump will put enough water into the fabric pot to wet some amount of the bottom layer of the Coco soil mix for the roots of my plant to be able to reach down and get as much water as it needs. But not so much water into the Coco mix that it is like the pot is sitting in a few inches of water. I guess the water will go up wetting Coco mix to a certain level and diameter and then gravity will cause the water to move towards the edges of the pot and then drain down through the fabric pot back into the bucket. I understand if the light gets to the water in the bucket I might grow algae in the water. If necessary to keep light out of the bucket I plan to just take a piece of cardboard with a hole a little bigger than my plants stem in the center of it and a single cut from there to the edge so the flat cardboard piece can just be slipped on the top of the bucket until the plant’s stem is in the center hole. The plan will be to wait for the pump to be on its off-cycle on the timer to lift up the fabric pot and see how much water the plant has used replenishing whatever is necessary to keep the pump from running dry but not so much as to have the fabric pot sitting in water. Also testing PH and ppms at that time. I am looking for feedback on the possible pros and cons of my little auto watering hydro bucket system design so far. Thank you!

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@Hellraiser @Nicky @Caligurl @ADK_Guerrila @AfgVet @GROWWIZARD420 Please tag anyone who might have hydro experience and be interested in this. And maybe willing to give me tips on how to do it better with what I got for now?

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I have no info regarding this but it’s super interesting. Following!!

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A few pics to get a better understanding of my writing?




The pump has been on for 2+ hours now and nothing seems to have screwed up yet.
Maybe this can be my auto-watering hydro system that causes plants to grow twice as fast?
25+ years ago I had a Phototron with a 5-gallon reservoir auto-watering system that used a pressure relief system to pump in just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot and put positive pressure on the switch shutting off the water. When the plant sipped enough water off the bottom to expose this little air hole, it released the vacuum pressure built up on the switch turning on the pump again until water rose above the air hole and created positive pressure on the switch turning off the water again. A simple and extremely effective design. The pump would switch on and off again about every 1-2 minutes giving the plant just the right amount of water, nutes, and O2 for it’s root system. Little tiny sips! Damned if it didn’t at keast double the plant’s growth rate! :sunglasses:

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Might be better to attach a hose and re route the water so it’s not spraying up into the bucket from the bottom I feel you may get a plug using your current design.

Also go get a bucket lid, cut it to size, cardboard will get ruined. With mosture.

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Do you know any engineers on here, or at least guys like me with a make it work with what we got right now attitude? Please tag anyone who might have experience with DIY watering systems.

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Well it isn’t really spraying into the fabric pot. Without the pot on the pump there is about a 3 inch water-fountain vertical stream rising up, and at the edge of the bucket where the horizontal water stream hits the wall of the bucket a small splashing area which is adding O2 to the water. The splashing water doesn’t rise more than an inch or so and doesn’t even splash on the bottom of the fabric pot as far as I can tell. I guess it is time to stop the pump and investigate the fabric pot’s wetness to see how thing are going.

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I got access to plenty of cardboard. I doubt there is enough moisture rising up to the top of the pot to wreck the cardboard. Only 1 way to know for sure, cardboard pot cover being constructed now. :sunglasses:

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Simple cardboard cover to block light from getting to the water and making algae installed. I guess I’ll just let it continue to run a few more hours before I investigate the cardboard and effects of the water on the bottom of the fabric pot. It seemed as if my top colas were standing up straighter than last time I looked at her. :sunglasses:

Amazon running slow.

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@MacGyverStoner @bio-engineering @Bogleg @peachfuzz ?

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Thanks Caligurl!

MacGyver and a bio-engineer seem like names of people who understand my make it work with what we got attitude.
We can always come back later and make it more efficient, prettier, cheaper, etc.
In my mind the important point is to just get it working, accomplishing what I need it to do.

What I need this bucket pump system to do is to automatically feed my White Widow Auto optimally so that she really packs on the weight on her budding sites now! I just got 2 new nets yesterday and have installed 1 of them. Using it to bend over the tops that were growing too tall and approaching my light hung at near its maximum height in my short tent.




It is sort of a panoramic view from the left side of my tent to the right.
After getting the taller branches netted down I tried to get all the lower budding branches spread out at the same level with all of the buds getting as much light as they can. Because the tall branches that were approaching the light are now bent over at a lower level I was able to lower my light closer to the plants again. I am hoping that with optimum feeding the lower branches will all take off now and maximize this plants bud producing capacity. I have had the pump working under this ones fabric pot for over 12 hours now. I did add more PH 6.0 water with Si and Cal/Mag supplements included bringing the ppm to 500 to the bucket. My cardboard light cover did not get wet overnight and is working to help stop Algae from growing in my bucket. :+1: :sunglasses:

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I rigged this bucket pump watering system after looking at systems like this:

Has anyone used this? With 3.9 gallon pots, will this system still work properly if I just put my 3 gallon fabric pots in these plastic pots? I’m really leaning towards buying this system.
As long as my pump system will work properly to quickly grow my WWA plant, I can delay buying this one.
Advice from experienced hydro growers would be much appreciated!

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Everthing lookin good…
Just don’t overwater…
Here if you need me…
:v: :sunglasses:

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Minor changes in the tent environment. Plugged the pump into the timer with the lights.
Running 5 on 1 off lighting schedule for 20 hours of light and 4 hours of darkness per day.
Put the fan inside the tent on the always-on power strip with my carbon filter exhaust fan.
So now when the lights go off the pump stops and any excess water built up in the pot has an hour to drain out now. After the plant’s 1-hour cat nap the pump along with the lights come back on together. :sunglasses:

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Are you running autos…?
I’m not understanding your light cycle…
:v: :sunglasses:

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Yes, White Widow Autos, but also 2 Super silver Haze photo fems.
My plan is to run the Auto to harvest on this lighting schedule while keeping my SSH plants in veg while doing serious LST/HST to them to shape them the way I want to and switching to 12/12 as soon as I harvest the WWA.
I was running 6 on 2 of for 18 hours of light per day.
I forget who but someone answered my question about Autos being able to flower without the 12/12 schedule. They told me to run Autos at 20 on 4 off straight through to the end. So I figured if 6 on 2 off has better results than 18 on 6 off, I might as well try 5 on 1 off then. This is the 1st time I’ve used 6/2 and now 5/1 and so far it seems to be working well.

Over 25+ years ago when I grew in my closet with my Phototron I ran 24 on, always on to go from flower back into veg. 18 on 6 off for veg and 12/12 for flower again. Back when there was no such thing as an Auto only photos :sunglasses:

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For super cheap u can get gro buckets and so far they seem to work rather well. Get a 3 pack for like 20 something bucks then u buy black 5 gal buckets and go to town. For your system u have going u might wanna give the ultra oxy pots a shot but for safety of materials falling thru bottom id line screen or somekind of fabric along bottom of it even an inch layer of perlite then coco or soil. I got a 1 inch layer of perlite then coco the rest with minor perlite in my oxy pots and gro buckets. Gro buckets r a wicking system basically.

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Buckets seem to use up and even waste some for my tent’s precious vertical space. My tent is 53" tall and fits perfectly in my current closet. I’m trying to make it work the best I can with what I’ve got now. :+1:

The Autopot system for $145.95 that I’m thinking of buying before the harvest of the WWA has pots smaller than a 5-gallon bucket giving me back some more precious vertical space. I’m wondering if I can just drop 3-gal fabric pots into those and the sysstem will still work correctly, or if I need to just fill those with my Coco mix. That way would give me back the most vertical space. I was just thinking that with the fabric pots inside of those it would be easier to move my plants around, like in the morning when the sun shines directly in my window, and also for being able to disassemble and clean the autopot system if any PH/Algae/mold issues came up?

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Ask @Nicky he uses autopots alot an likes em

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In my own experience, a hydro watering system that perfectly allows the plants to sip or drink as much water as they want but not a drop more than they want. Absolutely does double the plant’s growth rate at a minimum!

And I know why! :sunglasses:

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