Aeroponics DIY – Easy Aeroponic System Build

There’s not a lot of information online when it comes to aeroponics DIY projects. If you have searched Google for aeroponic system plans you know what I am talking about. Even most ready made aeroponic systems are no longer being manufactured.

This post was kind of old and has been updated because I made some changes in the original system. Also some of the parts were no longer available but I believe you can still build an easy aeroponics DIY system if you follow it.

There is some info on homemade aeroponic systems but these are really just hybrid ebb and flow systems. Most use square vinyl fence posts or PVC pipe. This type of system works well but it is not aeroponics because there isn’t enough room for roots to hang suspended and be sprayed. I wont even go down the true/high pressure vs false/low pressure aeroponics rabbit hole.

So I built my first aeroponics DIY project and actually it was a low pressure aeroponics system using Rubbermaid totes.  It worked pretty well too. But I was setting plants from my RainForest in these totes and watching my beautiful fish bone roots slowly deteriorate. My yields were decent but I believe they can be higher by maintaining healthier roots.

Aeroponics DIY - Flowering UnitDIY AeroponicS Roots

I was using EZ Clone spray heads in my system. They work great, rarely clog but use a ton of water. The problem with this was my roots were getting hosed instead of misted.

To my knowledge no one is offering a ready made true aeroponic system at this time. So if you want one you have to build it yourself. There are scattered posts around the internet that talk about these systems but most seemed way over complicated.

Many of the growers that took up true aeroponics are engineering or techie types that seem to have lost site of the fact they are growing plants and focus on their systems. They think they have to grow like NASA even though they are not going to Mars.

Do I really care if my sprayer drips a drop of water when it shuts down? More importantly do my plants care? And will my grow really be a failure if some of my droplets are larger than 50 microns?

They also seem to have bottomless pockets. I just want to grow with a aeroponics DIY system that doesn’t cost a fortune to build and doesn’t require an engineering degree to run it. So I decided to build my own high pressure aeroponic system.

Updated High Pressure Aeroponics System


The plans that follow are great and will do a good job for you. I have been getting some really good and trouble free grows with this system. But I am always looking to improve. I have built a totally new  DIY Aeroponics New High Pressure Aeroponics DIY Plans that you may want to check out.

My aeroponics DIY system cost me about 200 dollars to build in the end. It has only 2 totes right now but I can add as many more as I want. Maybe it’s not as cheap as a homemade DWC bucket system but it is a lot cheaper than General Hydro’s Aeroflow and that is really just an ebb and flow system on steroids.

The main expense is the Aquatec 8800 booster pump, followed by the misting heads. The 18 gallon Rubbermaid totes are about $10 each at Home Depot.  Basically all you need is a drill, a hole saw and a couple of spade bits to build this.
aquatec pump

I looked at a lot of different nozzles and misters, foggers etc and many don’t even give a droplet size. In the end I chose to use reptile misting nozzles because they are easy to install and provide the 50 micron size I was looking for. They also don’t use a lot of water which in turn means I can mix smaller amounts of nutrients.

Double Misting NozzleThere are two places you can get this stuff and the tubing and fittings you need. They are and I chose to go with MistKing because I liked the design of their misting heads better. They looked to be wider and would fit on either side of my center row, which is what I wanted.

They also sell tubing by the foot while Reptile Basics only sold 100 foot rolls and I didn’t need a spare left over 80 foot roll of tubing laying around. Be warned though shipping is expensive! My order was $185 but cost $27 to ship.

I have found better misting heads and no longer recommend reptile misters. They are too expensive and all the articulation is actually detrimental as they can move and roots get caught on them because they stick out. Here is what I am using now:

misting nozzle assemblyThese nozzles require 3/8 tubing but you can turn them off or on, they don’t drip and are easy to install. They come with a mounting bracket too. Cost less than reptile misters and do a better job.

Unfortunately the links for these seem to keep changing on Amazon even though the sellers have them in stock.

They are sold by Pro Water Parts  an Amazon storefront and they have most of the fittings you need too. They work great just wish the sellers made them easier to find. Type nozzles into the search and they should come up. They come in black and white and both are identical.

After looking around I found this pump on Amazon and shipping is free. It is actually a little better than the pump I bought because it’s the same 80 psi output but with the adapters you can run either 1/4 or 3/8 tubing if you are running a lot of misters.

I really like this pump and it has an adjustable bypass so you can crank the pressure up. My “reptile” pump did not have this.


Parts For Aeroponics DIY Build

To build a two tote aeroponic system you will need:

  • Aquatec 8800 Booster Pump
  • 4 tee double misting heads
  • 20 feet 1/4 inch tubing
  • One 1/4 X 1/4 X1/4 tee
  • Three 1/2inch ebb and flow drains
  • 3 – 18 gallon Rubbermaid totes
  • 8 feet 1/2 inch tubing
  • 1/2 inch tee

Putting Your Aeroponics DIY System Together

I use Rubbermaid 18 gallon totes. Others leak, these don’t and they are cheap and readily available. They also are tall so your roots will have lots of room to hang down.

You may want to build a platform for your totes. Mine are raised about 6 inches higher than the reservoir. This allows them to drain better but also allows you to adjust how much water remains in the tote bottoms too.

First you will need to cut holes in your lids to hold the net pots. You can use either 2 or 3 inch net pots for this. I would recommend using the 3″ pots. The 2″ pots are popular in many DIY builds but they are too constricting if your plants have vigorous roots and they are not stable.

You will have to stake your plants because they will tip. With three inch pots the plants will stand on their own unless very large and top heavy. Larger net pots are available but are a waste of space and not needed.

You will need a hole saw. Do not use a 3″ hole saw because the hole will be too large for most net pots, only General Hydro’s net pots will fit a 3 inch hole and all others will fall through. You will need a 2 7/8″ hole saw for 3 inch pots and a 1 7/8 inch saw if you decide to go with the  2 inch net pots.

These are not common sizes and you probably won’t find them in stock at Lowes or Home Depot. I got mine here.

Decide how many plant sites you want in each lid. I used 12 but you can lay it out any way you want. You can possibly squeeze 5 spots in a row but I didn’t because I was concerned the lids would be too weak to support that many plants

DIY Aeroponics 001

I chose three rows with a spray head on either side of the center row. I think 12 slots is a good number of plants. You don’t need to use them all. I just stick a party cup in the ones I am not using.

I used masking tape in 3 rows and then measured about 5 inch centers. It helps if you already have your net pots because you can lay them on the lid and visualize things.

Installing The Spray Heads

The spray heads come assembled with a bulkhead and for mine I drilled a 5/8″ hole with a spade bit. You can get these anywhere if you don’t already have one. The hole was very snug. You simply unscrew the nut on the end and push the bulk head through the inside of the tub and then tighten it.

As mentioned earlier I use different misting heads to update my aeroponics DIY project  but you can use reptile misters if you want. They all use the black Tefen misting nozzles so the flow, spray pattern and droplet size will be the same.

DIY Aeroponics 002

I used the mold line as a guide for the height of my misting heads and centered them. The nozzles are adjustable up/down and left/right.

They are running in the above pic but you really cant see the mist in the photo.  It fills the entire tote. The mist is very fine. When you put your hand in you cant even feel any water, just a cool sensation. But when you take it out after a few seconds it is completely wet. Plant roots are going to love this.

Installing The Drains

DIY Aeroponics 003

You are going to drill your drain holes next. You will need to get your drain fittings and measure them because there is no standard hole size. Mine were 1 1/8″ but yours could be larger or smaller. I used 1/2 inch fittings and 1/2 inch tubing. You can see my totes are raised above the reservoir. You can add as many totes as you want, just by adding more tees.

The fittings I used were designed for ebb and flow drains but you could substitute rubber grommets for the bulkheads without any problems if you want to.

There is a slight curve at the bottom of the tote and I was concerned about the bulkheads possibly leaking so I drilled my holes a bit above the tote bottom. This leaves about 3/4 inch of water in the bottom. I could eliminate this by slightly raising the rear of the totes. But I think its a good idea for two reasons. In the event of a power failure the roots have a source of moisture and it also allows any crud to settle.

Plumbing The Misting Heads

The misting heads are set up on a closed loop system, that way the pressure is equal at all the heads. If you set them up in a line the one at the end will have less pressure. The loop starts at a tee and wraps around the outside of the totes.

DIY Aeroponics 004

Here is a John Guest stem tee pushed into the bulkhead. There are other manufacturers but they all work the same. This system uses 1/4″ tubing rated at 250 psi. The tubing needs to be cut square . You can do this with a knife, razor blade or even sharp scissors.


DIY Aeroponics 005

Here is the pump. You can see the tee connected to the output side of the pump. One side of the tee connects to the rear misting heads and the other to the front ones. Finally at the end the last heads, front and rear are connected together making a closed loop. This is why you want tees on all your misting heads.

I have tried this using ells for the end misters and it doesn’t work near as well. This is how golf courses can run multiple sprinklers all having the same flow.

DIY Aeroponics 006

Another shot at the pump and tee take off. You can just see the intake going into the tote.

Aeroponics DIY Filter

Water Filtration To Prevent Clogging

10 Micron 7"x16" Singed Polyester Felt Filter Bag Here is my filter inside the tote. These misting heads have very small orifices and you will need to install a filter to keep them from clogging.

I used a 10 micron filter bag. Unless something drops right in the filter sock there is absolutely no way anything can get into the spray heads.

These filter bags are machine washable and should last indefinitely. They are 7″ wide x 16″ tall which makes them a perfect height for these totes.

This may be a hard item to find locally. Get one here 

I found the 10 micron bags were too fine so I would recommend you go with 50 micron bags.

You Need A Timer For Your Aeroponics DIY System

If you run the pump all the time you will be defeating the whole purpose of an aeroponic system. The roots need time to dry out so you must cycle your spraying. Most timers can not give you a proper cycle because they are designed to work on 15 minute intervals. That is too long to water and too long to leave the roots dry.

You need a seconds timer that will allow short 30 to 60 second on cycles and will allow several minutes between cycles.

DIY Aeroponics 007

CT-1 Short Cycle TimerNo need to buy an expensive timer for your diy aeroponics system. This timer is a CT-1 Short Cycle Timer that cost less than $50.

Easy to use and you can run it days and or nights with adjustments from 1 second on to 1 second every 24 hours. I have mine set to run for 1 minute on and 5 minutes off.

I have been using this timer for over 6 months now with no problems at all. Why spend more for a CAP DNE that has less settings?

This timer is no longer available so here’s what I recommend:

Aeroponics DIY In A Nutshell

So there you have it, an aeroponics DIY project – a 24 site true aeroponic system for under $300  It really is a pretty easy build. I am probably going to add a third tote for 36 sites.

Some people may want to add an accumulator and solenoids but I don’t think they are necessary. The pump runs on 24 volts so power consumption is negligible. It is self priming and can even be run dry without damage.

Pressure builds up fast in a closed loop system so I don’t worry about needing an accumulator. I can always tailor my cycle in one second intervals if I find too much of the cycle is being spent pressurizing.

Stay tuned because I will be taking it on a trial run with my favorite strain C 99.

DIY Aeroponics Update

I added a third tote to my aeroponics DIY system and originally used misting heads I ordered from Reptile Basics. They were shipped promptly and shipped priority mail so I had them in a few days.

They work fine too, but with that said the Mist Kings are a better product. They are put together better and adjust easier. Also the spray heads from Reptile Basics do not have a bulkhead included. You can use them as is, but you will only want to drill a 1/4 inch hole for them.

The Mist King sprayers are put together with stem tees and the others have standard John Guest fittings held together with short pieces of tubing. They feel kind of funky. Also the tubing RB uses is not as rigid and is harder to insert and the fittings do not grab it as well for some reason.

Meanwhile my new aeroponics DIY system is working quite well and my plants are doing quite well in it.

Cinderella at 17 days 12/12


Cindy 99 plant at 17 days 12/12

23 thoughts on “Aeroponics DIY – Easy Aeroponic System Build”

  1. Just curious if you have made changes to this system?
    I didn’t see a date, so don’t know when you were working on this system.
    But I liked it as a starting point for me.
    I’m growing spinach and kale to start.
    I’m terrible at growing plants in soil.
    But I kept some saltwater fish alive for 16 years, so when I heard of
    aeroponics, that seemed the best direction for me to go with it.

    Do you still have, and maintain, your setup described in this post?
    Any changes you’ve made that made it better?

    I just put some kale/spinach seeds in mine in rockwool cubes and with added
    hydroton surrounding that in the netpots.
    I only did two rows of netpots in my setup.

    I put the seeds in, and turned on the pump 01/01/2015.
    In 5 days, 5 of them have a single root about an inch long, and two have
    sprouted up just a little.

    And now I just adjusted the Ph to 5.8 and added nutrients and calcium (I’m
    using water from a water store, and I’m pretty sure they use RO, and I’ve heard
    it’s important to add calcium to RO water(?))

    Pics aren’t great, but here’s mine – a little different, but pretty much the same
    concepts and mostly the same parts and pieces as in your setup.
    Lighting is probably different, but I didn’t see what you used in the writeup.
    I used a starter flourescent setup.

    Here’s a couple shots of mine, and a sprout or two showing at 5 days…

    Do plants actually care if they have darkness, or will they grow even better if given light 24/7?

    • The system has been up and running continuously for about a year. I now have 3 totes and a reservoir. You can see my current system in my Sugar Punch Grow. The only thing I would probably change is using 3/4 inch drain lines. I just pulled over 21 ounces on my last grow and I feel it is possible to double that. I used to farm and grow a lot of brassicas of which kale is one. They all are heavy calcium feeders. Don’t forget about magnesium, its another important nutrient lacking in RO water in fact ro water is devoid of all trace elements so you want to add them. Just a thought if you like keeping fish maybe you should look into aquaponics.
      Light is really important for any indoor crop. I use 2 600 watt hps lights for my room you don’t need that for your set up, but you can never give plants too much light. For leafy vegetables I would seriously consider upgrading to an appropriate sized metal halide or an LED. Your plants will grow faster and yield a lot more. Good luck with your system.

      • Would love to get into aquaponics, with a Koi pond in the yard feeding into it, but that’s a down the road goal to work towards, so I’m working on steps towards that.

        You mentioned calcium and magnesium.
        I’m using water from a water store that I’m sure has gone through RO.
        I’m adding Botonicare nutrients.
        And also their CalMag – but I’m not sure how to tell how much of their CalMag to add.
        Both the nutrients and CalMag seem to affect TDS numbers.
        It seems like a tricky balancing act between TDS, pH, Calcium/Magnesium?
        Is there a best sequence to go through in adjusting them?
        Best to get a calcium test and get it right, then TDS and get it right, and then get pH right?
        Or some other sequence?

        My 17 day pic, starting from seed, of my kale and spinach –
        Probably not too impressive for experienced growers, but it’s a first for me at actually keeping plants alive.

        • Sorry didn’t see this or would have answered sooner. First you are doing right to use RO water but you may want to invest in a small RO system. Good for your plants and to drink. Usually RO water will be about 10 ppm while tap could be 250 or more. Test yours and make sure you are getting RO water. Test your tap water too. If it is under 50 ppm you could use it instead. I am really lucky because my tap is under 30 ppm so I dont need RO water but that’s unusual except places like Western Washington and BC where our water is from rain and glacial melt. Cal mag is going to affect your tds readings and so will anything you add to water. It will also affect your pH. What amount to add? Read the label and then start with half the recommended amount and watch your plants. You should add all your nutrients to your water first and then adjust your pH to about 5.8. As for ppm again all plants are different but I guess for weed 1000 to 1200 is about the norm for flowering. For veg, which would be more like greens I guess, you would probably want only half that amount and for very young plants about 300 ppm. Again the key is to watch your plants and less is more until you become experienced with them.

          Your plants look a bit underfertilized from the picture or is it the lighting? They look yellow which could be mag or even nitrogen. Mag usually shows between the veins. Also you might try Dutch Master if you can find it locally. If not you can get it on Amazon. It’s what I use. I know a lot of people like botanicare but I am not familiar with it. All the cal and mag you will ever need is already in there plus all micros. No need for calmag supplements or anything else. You would want the grow formula for leafy stuff.

          • Thanks for so much good info, and sorry as well for such a long delay. Dad died just a couple days before your reply, so needless to say my focus was there, and the aeroponics setup was a good first attempt for me, but I didn’t keep on it because of that.

            So I just fired it up again this year and will be attempting red bell peppers this time 🙂

            Flowering and fruiting seem to need the same thing – additional potassium. So in your growing cycle is that what you bump up when they start to grow the buds/flowers?

          • You bump both P and K with a slight boost at the start of flowering and a heavier boost at about 6 weeks as buds size and mature. I don’t know if the same would be true for peppers but guess they would be similar. If you are using good nutes like dutch masters or canna aqua I wouldn’t think you really need to do anything extra except keep your cal/mag levels up. I generally just use straight flowering nutes and supplement some extra cal/mag. You might want to try canna aqua flores and they have a 0-15-15 to use as a booster during flower. Also although it is a bit pricey drip clean not only keeps stuff from building up in your tubing and misters but provides some extra P and K.

          • Another question, I hope you don’t mind…
            I finally got my red bell peppers going in the aeroponics setup a few months ago. I’m only doing a couple because I want them to be short/wide/bushy I think.

            These were the roots on 3/10/16 and 3/19/16 (the two on the left switched locations.)

            I’ve heard the whiter the roots are, they healthier they are. I’m not sure if that’s true. But, just from looking at the roots, can you tell if I might be missing something? While the roots look good I think, is there any reason to think they could be looking better on that right plant?

            Trying the Kratky setup on the next setup I think – want to try Bok Choy in that one to see how it does and how it compares to the aeroponics style. But I think the plants really love the aeroponics style – nutrients and oxygen – gives them just what they need and want. I never realized they actually need oxygen.

          • The roots look OK. 2nd pic looks better because there is more branching. Don’t run more than 1 minute on and 5 off. My roots are white but sometimes the nutrients used can color them. Not sure what nutrients you are using. If you are concerned you can add some H2O2 to the res. It will add extra oxygen and whiten the roots. Google H202 hydroponics.

          • Tried red bell peppers in the setup, and also Kratky box above it – both failed miserably. Overrun with aphid infestation, even in the garage. Aphids were on a plant outside, so they found a way in.
            Now growing Bok Choy in the setup, and it’s going good – been harvesting it for the past couple weeks, and it just keeps producing –

            So I’ll stick to growing greens in it. Now that it seems I can keep it working okay, looking to build a little structure to expand to 4 tubs.

            I know this site isn’t about growing veggies, it’s more about herbs, but thanks for sharing your setup – I’ve never seen juicy bok choy stems until now, and the taste of the leaves – without a doubt better than store-bought.

          • Hey glad your getting results. I used to grow bok choy for market. Love it and yours look pretty good. Here root maggots always got into them but they were so fast they outgrew them. Greens are easier because they are a shorter cycle and in and out before pests can do much damage. Aphids can be easily controlled many ways without harmful pesticides. Google it and you will find answers. There is no reason why you cant grow peppers or tomatoes(very similar to growing cannabis) or just about anything else you might want. Good luck

        • Yes I run high pressure aero. I don’t have any plans other than what is in the post because everyone has different size spaces. I assume you are talking 1000W HPS. Figure a 4×4 area for each light for flowering. If you use the same totes I do you can get 4 under each light. You will probably want to use 3/8 supply and tee off to 1/4. I don’t know how many heads you will use or how many totes you will have or how much space for walkways etc but you may want to consider splitting your system and using 2 pumps. I recommend raising your totes up at least 6 inches above your reservoir so they will drain and you can fill the res without water backing up into the totes. Hope this helps.

  2. Just curious about your light set up. I see in the comments that you have two 600watt hps lights, is that viable for water temperature? I have heard that and HID light can effect the water to much and have negative effects. Also, are you just switching out the bulbs at the flowering stage, or do you have a second room you move them to? Also, you said you harvested about 21 ounces in the first run, is that from 6 plants?

    Thank you!

    • I have a Rainforest that I raise clones in another closet and I also grow straight 12/12 from seed. The Sugar Punch grow you are referring to was straight 12/12 from seed. Seedlings were under HPS from day 1. You don’t need MH to veg, that’s a bullshit lie to make you buy more stuff. Your plants may be a bit leggier but otherwise they are just fine. For vigorous strains you really don’t need to veg at all. Plants will grow 2 or 3 weeks before they start to stretch and flower regardless. The clones go to 12/12 as soon as they are rooted and they are under a 150W HPS and a 6500k CFL until then. So there is no changing bulbs for me in the flower room.

      My flower room has 2 air cooled reflectors which really help keep the heat down. It is actually cooler with 2 600 watters than it was with a 1000 watter without air cooling. My water temps don’t get very warm. With this type of system you are adding cold water and some fresh nutes most every day. The totes and reservoir are also almost totally shaded by the crop which also helps. Also with aeroponics water temperature isn’t important like it is in hydro. The roots hang in air, they are not submerged so root rot is not a problem.

      I actually harvested more than 21 ounces but 2 plants were really scraggly so they went to the hash trim pile and I didn’t weigh them. Hope this helps. If you have other questions let me know.

      • Thank you so much for the quick reply!

        First off, when you say leggier, do you mean longer?

        So how many plants yielded the 21 ounces? Do you think a setup with two 600w hps could fit 2-3 rubbermaid containers with at least 6 plants in them?

        Also, did you notice a difference in yield from seed to harvest & clone to harvest?

        Again, thank you for the quick replies and the great article!

  3. Thank you so much for the quick reply!

    First off, when you say leggier, do you mean longer?

    So how many plants yielded the 21 ounces? Do you think a setup with two 600w hps could fit 2-3 rubbermaid containers with at least 6 plants in them?

    Also, did you notice a difference in yield from seed to harvest & clone to harvest?

    Again, thank you for the quick replies and the great article!

    • By leggier I mean the internodes may be a bit further apart under a HPS.

      The 21 ounces came from 6 plants but my best 2 yielded 6 and 7 ounces each. There is more variation between plants when you grow from seed but you also have a chance to find some real keepers. Sugar Punch is a great strain but because the strains that made it were clones that were selfed a breeder really cant go in and refine it. But now I have 2 killer plants so next round should yield much more.

      A 600 w hps will flower a 3×3 area so 2 600W HPS will cover a 3×6 area. My “room” is 2.5′ x 6′ and I have 3 totes and a reservoir. So yes you could fit 3 or 3 totes.

      Harder to say how many plants because different strains are different sizes and how you train has a lot to do with it also. Sugar Punch is big and I use 2 plants per tote and thats with no veg time at all. On the other hand a plant like C99 is smaller and I might go 4 to a tote but I could go more if I were running a SOG I might go 6 or 8 and lolly pop everything but the top cola.

      Actually I seem to get some of my best yields and quality on seed grows. I don’t see much difference in maturity. I always thought clones would be faster but I don’t see that much difference if you don’t count the germination and sprouting time. If you do then clones are maybe a few days to a week faster.

      Good Growing

        • It should work and you should be able to view it any time you want once you have liked it. The only thing I can think of is if your browser has cookies disabled it may not work. Make sure it accepts cookies and try refreshing it. I have just tested it and works perfectly. Pins don’t count you have to like,tweet or plus one to see it and then you can view it as many times as you like without doing it again. I am guessing you need to have a valid account with one of these services too.

  4. Good day! I came across your site because I want to start my own DIY aeroponics. So it has been almost 1 and a half years since youve been running your system right? May i know if you had any clogging issues with the misters? May i know what kind of fertilizer NPK ratio you use?

    Great site btw! Thanks!

    • Actually it’s been over 3 years that I have been running high pressure aeroponics. I don’t have problems with clogged misters because I have a good filtration system and use clean nutes. My intake is in a 50 micron filter filter bag, 50 microns is the thickness of a human hair so no junk gets in that can clog.

      By clean nutes I mean no organics or sugary boosters. I use Dutch Master or Canna Aqua, both are good but I like Dutch Masters better. I don’t pay attention to NPK ratio. Just use from the bottle.

      I run OG and OG hybrids and go at about 800 to 1000 ppm with pH of 5.8-6 and I only use flower nutes and no veg nutes. The only thing I add is CaliMagic at 3 to 5 ml per gallon. No other additives except some Drip Clean.

      Hope this helps. There are some diy aeroponics articles here on the site you might want to check out. Here’s a link

Leave a Comment