Hydroponics gauge

Hydroponics gauge

Building a water gauge for passive hydroponics could not be easier, no need to have DIY skills.

Some of the materials you probably already have around the house, other materials can be found for free (a leftover PVC pipe from a building site) or purchased very cheaply (Pasteur-pipettes can be purchased at the local pharmacy or drugstore, a grow shop…).

Just be careful: to saw the PVC pipe and cut the indentations at the bottom, clamp the PVC pipe in a vice, your fingers will be grateful.

Material needed:

  • a length of rigid PVC pipe (diameter approximately 0.5 to 2 cm)
  • a saw
  • a box cutter
  • a plastic Pasteur-pipette or drinking straw

Instructions:

  1. measure the height of the pot you will put the water level meter in
  2. mark the PVC pipe to be cut at that height
  3. saw the PVC pipe
  4. cut indentations with a box cutter at the bottom end of the PVC pipe so the water can flow in but not the substrate
  5. the Pasteur-pipette can be inserted upside down in the PVC pipe
PVC pipe and pot

PVC pipe and pot

Opening bottom pipe

Opening bottom pipe

Pasteur pipet

Pasteur pipet

Opening bottom pipe



Installation:

  • insert the PVC tube in the planting pot with indentations at the bottom
  • fill the pot with substrate and the plant, up to 1-2 cm (0.5-2 inch) below the upper rim of the pot
  • insert the gauge (Pasteur-pipette or straw) in the PVC tube
  • mark the current position on the gauge, this will be your indicator of minimum water level
  • fill the pot to about 1/3 of the height with nutrients solution and mark the gauge again, this will be your maximum water level

Image sources

  • Hydroponics gauge: Own work
  • PVC pipe and pot: Own work
  • Opening bottom pipe: Own work
  • Pasteur pipet: Own work

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