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

I’ve considered them too but can’t do it out of fear of overflow that seems to happen to everyone once in a while when the valve gets stuck. All wood flooring in the room.


Part of my experience too. After a mishap one learns to PMCS (Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services, An Army term meaning check on and take care of your shit) his equipment regularly, identifying, and addressing any substandard issues before another mishap takes place. :+1: :sunglasses:

Key take away, never fill the reservoir with more water than will be needed before you can refill it again.


Just because you can put over 12 gallons in the reservoir doesn’t mean you should! :sob:

I mix up my water by the gallon so one should start with just 1 gallon in the reservoir, monitoring how long it takes your plant to sip it down as she pleases. Refilling with another gallon before it goes dry. Then learning when it is time to go to 2 gallons of water mixed and added at a time. For data nerds one can document your individual plant’s water usage, learning much about how the plant or its strain grows and uses water! :+1: :sunglasses:


@pillsbury to be honest it’s user error mass majority of the time.
The vavles don’t get stuck open unless one of 3 things happens, listed in order of most common issue

#1 people don’t push the valve in all the way into the pot
#2 top silicone gets wet, swells and people don’t notice it or think it will be fine (it won’t it will flood lol)
#3 roots, or other debree is nocked from the pot into the tray and jams the valve like a piece of perlite because coco won’t plug it.

Finally anytime you make a change it is key to let them fill, allow time to check on them and do it a couple times feel under the intake hose you’ll know if your leaking.

If a valve plugs it will just give no water so you’ll notice that.
I’ve used them for like 2 and a half years and I had 2 floods which 1 was the silicone I knew it was bad but though no it will be okay. Lol.
My other one I can’t even Remeber lol.

I have a 25 on reservoir and I use them in a 3x3 or 4x4 tent, your tents come with a flood tray that is water proof. Your tray fills up and takes a long time before it will flood out thst tray. I’ve never had one spec of water spill from a leak onto my floor and mines carpet so it would be a bad thing.

I worried at first but then I’m just double checking everything before I leave it. Never make a change and walk away before 12hr is my rule

Oh and yes you can use 3 gallon pots.


With the developing buds all engaged in the net it is a pain to have to undue all of them from the net to lift the pot out of the bucket and check water levels. A definite con of this bucket method. I have been going on pump noise instead of messing with the net. The Coco on top feels very moist and the pump was making a grinding type noise. 1/2 a gallon of water quieted it down some. Mixed up another gallon with full strength Si and Cal/Mag and 1/2 strength blooming fertilizer with 54 P for flower development. New gallon PH 5.9 ppm 1200 Added another 1/2 gallon to the bucket. Gave the twin photo “Gemini” a little drink from the new water just mixed up. Will check on moisture levels of the 2 SSH photos when they come out to sunbathe in this morning of clear skies!


You could always build a scrog and attach it to your bucket lid. That way when you lift the lid the plant goes with it. Another reason I chose to go with totes. :+1:t2::v::sunglasses:


I’m not sure how to build a scrog, and I don’t have a bucket lid, unless you call a piece of cardboard with a hole cut in it a lid. Got a picture of your totes for show and tell?


Sorry, I forgot this is more or less growing in coco/soil mix.
If you can go visit @merlin44 grow, he attaches a scrog frame to his plants. Not sure how you can do that with the way your growing.


Wow! Very nice work you’ve done there! A diagram of the totes piping? I see your air pumps to oxygenate the water with air stones I suspect. Any other use of the air pumps? The Phototron’s 5 gallon bucket reservoir used the air pump to pressurize the bucket and push the water up into the Phototron unit.


This is my setup as of right now and has been for the past three grows. Works like a charm.


This is my current grow if you care to have a look.

I’m like peach, just not as knowledgeable but I’m here if you need any help. Good luck! :+1:t2::v::sunglasses:


Na air pumps just provide air.


You aren’t one of those guys who buys shit off Amazon and claims it is crap.
You are a highly skilled “Make it Work” kind of guy! I salute you, Sir!

Quick question.
Would you also say your system allows plants to grow twice as fast as traditional in soil methods?


I buy from Amazon all the time. Some stuff is crap and some not so much.

:+1:t2::+1:t2: I try to make it as easy as possible.
I’ve grown in coco and will never grow any other way.

There are a ton of different ways to grow, different styles, medium, you just have to figure out what’s best for your growing style.
Lights, I did not skimp on.

IMHO, that’s a loaded question. So many factors to consider. Lights, environment, nutes, training all play a big part in how they grow.
With that being said, hydro does have its advantages over soil or coco.
I don’t have to tend to my plants every day like I did when I was in coco.
Growing with Jack’s nutrients has also made a huge difference. It takes all the guess work out of the equation.

To answer your debatable question, in my opinion, yes it does at times tend to grow bigger.

If you decide to grow differently and are unsure of something, ask before you do something. If you have a question, it’s probably been done by somebody on here. Someone will be able to steer you in the right direction.
Hope this helps. Good luck! :+1:t2::v::sunglasses:


Army trains to KISS it. (Keep It Simple Stupid)
I’m doing my best to remember all my long ago sphagnum moss hydro experiences, and lessons learned.
Trying to incorporate all the new advances in tech, and even bio-engineering, into a more comprehensive bigger picture of growing that suits me and my lifestyle.

You could replace your pellets with some kind of a Coco mix and it would still be considered a hydro grow, No?

Maybe a plant progress report is in order:

The big picture.

Recent flower development seems to be doing well. :+1:

Bottom of my small tent’s enviroment.
I have 2 new LEDs arriving tomorrow to hang horizontally on the sides to replace the one there now.

Plus the mykos and my timers. I’m very interested in putting the pump on a 1/2 on 1/2 off schedule.
I’m thinking that the 1/2 hour wet/drying cycle will be better for the current set-up.
My WWA is going to expand and take up all the light from above, hence the side LEDs.
Both to keep my 2 SSH photos vegging properly, and as a booster light source for WWA’s lower buds.
So far I think I’m doing pretty well for my 1st time after a 25+ year hiatus.
I can picture in my mind those WWA buds filling out and finishing up. Should be good stuff.
The SSH photos will be trained like this as best as I can:

I’d like to implement a new auto-watering system on the SSH girls when I flip them to flower.
I was leaning towards that Autopot system, but you blew my mind with your set-up @spyonyou :+1:
I’ve got something new and DIY to consider now after seeing that
And then using that on every new grow after that.


Growing in coco is a growing method that is considered hydro because the medium has not nutrient properties, so technically, no. DWC, RDWC and maybe some others out there are true hydro. Autopots are a good idea which I think @Nicky has mentioned and a great way to grow.
My system is maintenance free until the end of the grow. Then it’s just a matter of washing everything out and put it back together. No leaks yet… :crossed_fingers:

If you could raise the plants on the floor to the height of the tallest plant, it would help them out.

Lots of remedies other that running more lights and electricity and making your grow space hotter possibly.

Brother, your plants are looking great. Keep’em growin! :+1:t2::v::sunglasses:


I was doing that before the WWA entered flower. But now I can see that it is very likely that the WWA’s canopy of bud growth will shade out everything below it, at least until I do a final defoliation nearing the end of flowering. So lights underneath that to help the WWA’s lower branches that aren’t getting enough light and also covering my vegging SSH photos with enough light to keep them growing properly. Electricity is not an issue, included in my rent, but heat might be. That is why I tried to buying the smaller non-adjustable output LEDs The LED already in there is like 4"x16" and does not get very hot compared to my top light LED. The new LEDs are 12" x 12" and should cover a little bit bigger area with enough light energy to make a positive difference in all 3 plants with little heat added. At least that is what I’m hoping for…

I think I figured out a way to tell the water level in my bucket without messing with the plant in the bag. I lifted up the cardboard and stuck my digital camera’s lense down between the bag and the bucket wall and took a flash picture:

I don’t want the water level to rise above the bottom of the bag. I think I should be able to see if that is the case. In these pics I can’t seem to see where the water level is, but can tell it is not over the bottom of the bag right now. I think?


Pump bucket update on my other thread:

:+1: :sunglasses:

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Autos love 20/4 cycle. The more light the better as long as they get some rest. Not ‘bro’ science but well documented out there.

Thanks so much for sharing. I’m new and learning as much as I can so I will go and read your grow!

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Awesome idea I have to follow this grow now.

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