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Hydroponics Build 2

I am starting a Hydroponic system this year. It will consist mainy of strawberries but will also have room for some herbs.

The Build

After having good but mixed results last year I decided to rebuild my system a little differently. I re-designed it using a mix of what works great for others and to help fix some problems I had with my first setup.

This setup has about 200 gallons of water recirculating at 250 gallons per hour with an air stone in each tub to add oxygen and agitate the water.

Hydroponics Build 2

The water is pumped from the 55 gallon drum to the top tub then steps down by gravity to each tub and eventually back to the drum. The are no water leaks at all and it is completely quiet. The net cups sit in 2" Styrofoam to keep them sitting at the top of the water level.

Hydroponics build 2

The strawberries shown in the closest tubs were bare roots I bought online with no leaves. This picture is one week after setting them in their pots.

I was able to reuse a lot of the materials from the old setup so cost for the new one was minimal. I took apart the old rack and kept and reused the wood and all the deck screws. I reused the pump and 55 gallon drum.

It was setup so the pump has a minimum amount it would have to lift the water then step down 6" between each 27 gallon tub.

Another week and everything is growing well. 

Hydroponics Build 2

Week three and everything is growing well.


I'm even getting a couple of berries - Standard 4" potted ones


Bare root Pine Berries 4 weeks in


Bare root Mara Strawberries 4 weeks in

Mara De

Peppermint and mint (behind) are taking over


Eight varieties of cherry tomatos and a few other things like basil

mini tomatos

4/29/15 Pics 


Mara De Bios berries growing


A peek at the cherry tomato roots 



5/24/2015 I had to move the three strawberry tubs over about two feet to get them in the sun.

Mara de Bois. I get three or four a day

Pineberries. I get two a week so far

The mint and peppermint are growing well. I clip a i each week so my  wife can make mint tea.

The tomatoes are staring to bear fruit

6/14/2015 update

The tomato plants continue to grow out of control. They really love this setup. I am now having to add about 15 gallons of water each day to keep up with the requiremnts of these plants. I also add nutrients each week.

There are tomatoes everywhere and more flowers for future tomatoes

The berries are also doing well

As is the mint. It grows faster than we use it.

A collection of tomatoes

More Tomatoes

Another batch of tomatoes






Parts List for structure
(Reused from last year)

70 - 3" plastic net cups
250 GPH low wattage pump
55 gallon drum for resivour
50' - 16 guage extension cord

(New for this setup)
1 sheet of 4 x 8' x 2" styrafoam
6 - 27 gallon heavy duty totes (Costco is $4 cheaper each than BB stores)
1" PVC pipe fittings, elbows and scrap 1" pipe
12 - 13/16" O-rings to seal the joints
new 8' of 3/4" ID tubing and barb with 90* elbow
2 air pumps with 50' 1/4" tubing
6 air stones
6 suction cups for tubing