Building a Small Hydro Tank out of a Tote

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Nelson

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Jul 10, 2011
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Well I almost bought a made up tote kit. The members all shamed me into building my own so I have. My bid bubbly tank has a problem all the babies are right in with the adults and it means that they start up under flowering nuits and the lights are too high to give them a good jump at life from the start. The solution is simply to give them a place of there own to start up on there own and grow for the first four or five weeks. It also means that I won't have to deal with any males that hide in the females and accidently seed up my females. Nobody wants seeds unexpectantly in their smoking pot. I was thinking of making my main bubbly tank a femmed seed only unit but this way I can still take regular seeds cause they will not ever see the bubbly tank.

I have 69 holes in my bubbly tank and I was thinking about 24 start up holes would be good but I might expand this to 36 if 24 is too few to keep the big tank full. The big tank uses 3 1/2 inch net pots so the start up tanks need to be the same so I can just lift the pots from the start up tanks and drop them in the main tank to flower up.

I went out to choose a tote for the job and decided that the Rubbermaid Poughneck model 2214 was the one for me. It is 24X16X8.75".

The first thing had to do was checkout how much thing bulged when full of water. I filled it up and the sides did bulge out enough so that the top didn't fit on well. I had to add a piece of wood to stiffen it up and also give the top a little support. This ended up being a 14 3/8" 1X2" piece of hardwood I had lying around. I drilled the sides of the tote and mounted the wood piece with 4 number 10 1 1/2 inch wood screws with some silicone to make sure the tank woule not leak where the screws went through.

The next test was to lay out the top. It turns out that the net pots fit best into a 3 5/16 hole. I cut a top off of a vegtable can down to that size by grinding the edge down on a bench grinder and them gave it a final sanding with 150 grit paper so the edge was smooth.

I drew my circles with a black sharpie onto the top and was pleased to find the top would hold 12 of the 3 1/2 net pots. I cut the holes with Diston dial type hole saw. If you don't have one you can just use a box cutter the plastic is not too difficult to cut. I cut two 1 inch holes at either end to accomodate the plastic air line. Icut two in case I wanted to add a water circulation pump.

With the top finished I added a tap to the bottom and used rubber O rings and more silicone for a waterproof fit.

I am going out to day to try and find some bubble rocks. If I can't find some I will put in a soaker hose.

I bought a Walmart silent pump for acquariums. I bought the biggest one they had but the outlet air flow is not great. I think a better quality air pump from a hydro mail order place would be way better.

Good luck with your project if you build one I am sure you can do better than I did and feel free to add your two cents on this post.
 

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Torched

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Even just a whisper for a bigger tank would help. what are you using for an air diffuser? Looks nice.
 

Nelson

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Jul 10, 2011
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What does "a whisper for a bigger tank" mean. I 'm a little puzzked. I went looking for air rocks at Walmart's and our local hydro store. Came back totally empty. I am considering soldering some copper tubing together and drilling a bunch of small holes in it. The tote is too small for a soaker hose. If I don't come up with something better that is what I will do. I am going to start the second tote tank right after St Patricks day I may go for three of them. what do you all do for starter nuits?


Even just a whisper for a bigger tank would help. what are you using for an air diffuser? Looks nice.
 

Torched

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Sorry, your air pump is a whisper brand (common fish tank pump) for a 30-60 gallon tank. I'm sure they make air pumps for 100+ gallon tanks if you do not have hydro shops to get something bigger, pet stores can still get those for you; Incognito style.
 

Nelson

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Jul 10, 2011
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Thanks I will try and get a bigger one at the pet store. Maybe they will have a few of those air rocks as well. I will check before I make the copper pipe thing.
 
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SeNiOr-FuN-gHi

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thats so bizarre that the hydro store didnt have any air stones, that seems like a pretty important product for making micro bubbles and increasing the dissolved oxygen in the water.. if you have the money, seymour i think posted a video of a serious air stone that was playing in slow motion which made it even cooler. but i think it was like 30$ which is f-ing ridiculous for an airstone. and for the record i love the set up, but quick question and maybe someone else could clear this up but if youre growing autos in that dont you run the risk of stressing them out and possibly stunting their growth temporarily when you change to bigger pots? I have never grown and have been hovering around the forums reading, and from what ive gathered because autos veg time is so pathetic it could really ruin the yield of your crop if they get stressed or possibly even herm up and that would also blow even more!! lol good luck my friend thats just my noobish 2 cents i have to offer:D
 
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HomieHogleg

Guest
thats so bizarre that the hydro store didnt have any air stones, that seems like a pretty important product for making micro bubbles and increasing the dissolved oxygen in the water.. if you have the money, seymour i think posted a video of a serious air stone that was playing in slow motion which made it even cooler. but i think it was like 30$ which is f-ing ridiculous for an airstone. and for the record i love the set up, but quick question and maybe someone else could clear this up but if youre growing autos in that dont you run the risk of stressing them out and possibly stunting their growth temporarily when you change to bigger pots? I have never grown and have been hovering around the forums reading, and from what ive gathered because autos veg time is so pathetic it could really ruin the yield of your crop if they get stressed or possibly even herm up and that would also blow even more!! lol good luck my friend thats just my noobish 2 cents i have to offer:D
I believe he is growing in net pots, and will transfer the plants net pot and all, from this starter bubbly tank, into his much larger bubbly tank to finish.

HomieHogleg
 

Jackal

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Jan 25, 2011
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Great write up Nelson, thanks for sharing that with us. I tried to give you some +rep but it won't let me, gotta spread some 1st.
 

Nelson

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Jul 10, 2011
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Thanks for the input. I learn from newbies as well as everyone else and it is a good question. I'm not changing pots. The main bubbly tank is the same size pots as the little tote. At four weeks the roots are still not enormous or tangled up. Just lift it out of the tote and carry it into the main tank I think it is how it will work. I was hoping this system will let me get the lights closer and let me use a little more nitrogen in the starting nuits. My main tank is at 850 ppm. I was hoping to give them a little more gentle start like at 400 ppm with a little more nitrogen and closer lights. It is all an experiment. I will update with pictures how it is working for me. In a couple of months when I get it dialed in. If it is really going well I will be adding one or two more of these little totes. The nice thing about having two totes the same I will be able to compare one set of nutrients beside another.

thats so bizarre that the hydro store didnt have any air stones, that seems like a pretty important product for making micro bubbles and increasing the dissolved oxygen in the water.. if you have the money, seymour i think posted a video of a serious air stone that was playing in slow motion which made it even cooler. but i think it was like 30$ which is f-ing ridiculous for an airstone. and for the record i love the set up, but quick question and maybe someone else could clear this up but if youre growing autos in that dont you run the risk of stressing them out and possibly stunting their growth temporarily when you change to bigger pots? I have never grown and have been hovering around the forums reading, and from what ive gathered because autos veg time is so pathetic it could really ruin the yield of your crop if they get stressed or possibly even herm up and that would also blow even more!! lol good luck my friend thats just my noobish 2 cents i have to offer:D
 
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Nelson

R.I.P. Gone, but not forgotten.
Jul 10, 2011
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You got it totally right. Homie


I believe he is growing in net pots, and will transfer the plants net pot and all, from this starter bubbly tank, into his much larger bubbly tank to finish.

HomieHogleg