Build Your Bubble Bucket

Now that you’ve chosen the Bubble Bucket Method, it’s time to build and grow.

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Bubble Bucket Shopping List

To get your bubble bucket off the ground, you need:

— OR —

  • A container (or preferably, two of them) with size appropriate to your plant.I would recommend black, 3.5 or 5 Gallon buckets for most plants. Get these at your local hardware store.
  • A lid that fits your container (bonus if it already has a net cup built in!)
  • Grow Medium (hydrostone)
  • An air pump, air stone, tubing, and any fittings required

Additionally, you’ll need

Steps-by-Step: Bubble Bucket

A bubble bucket consists of a bucket, air pump, air stone, and generally a net cup to hold the plant with its roots suspended in a nutrient liquid.

Choose your crop

The size of your Bubble Bucket depends on what kind of plant you want to grow. Because you can use any container that will hold a stone, there are a variety of options. Small plants can easily get away with 2-quart containers, like a mason jar. Larger plants need at least a 3.5 Gal bucket for a sizable root mass. Kitchen herbs fit nicely in quart or gallon jars. Peppers and tomatoes can do in a 3.5 gal general purpose bucket. For larger, flowering plants (ahem) or exceptionally thirsty plants like cucumbers or melons, you are going to want a bigger bucket.

Procure a seedling with an inch or two of root growth. You can start any seed germinating in peat pellets. Soil-grown seedlings work as well, but remember to wash the dirt off the roots to avoid contaminating your nutrient solution or clogging your air pump.

Prepare your Bubble Bucket

If you have a lid with a built in net cup — move on.

If you have a lid you need to alter:

  • Measure the inner diameter of your net cup. You want the hole in the lid to be slightly larger then this measurement
  • Either find a circle to trace or a compass (like from geometry class) and mark the hole boundaries.
  • CAREFULLY use a utility knife to cut the hole and make sure your net cup fits in it.
  • If you are feeling fancy, sand the edges of the hole to remove any jagged edges.

Decide how you are going to provide access to the air pump. The path or least resistance is to cut a small notch in the lid to run the hose through. You could also cut a notch in the top of the container or drill a hole to thread the hose through.

Wash out your grow container(s) and lid. Set hem aside to dry. If you sanded your lid, hand dry it with a paper towel to make sure any plastic shavings aren’t sticking around.

Set it aside while you get the nutrient solution ready.

Mix your Nutrient Solution

Manufacturer’s directions differ slightly, but it usually comes down to:

  • Add silica supplement to water, if you’re using it
  • Mix the calcium supplement to the water if you are using it
  • Pour in each part of the grow formula and mix/dissolve
  • Add any other supplements you need
  • Test concentration with an EC (electrical conduct) tester — dilute if needed
  • Check pH — correct to ~5.8, if needed

Under-feeding is better than over feeding. Unless you are far from the manufacturer’s recommended concentration, don’t feel like you need to make it stronger.

“Plant” your Seedling

Cannabis in a bubble bucket

Place your seedling into the net cup and add grow media for stability. If you have a lit with a built in net cup, you can either use that one or nest a smaller net cup inside of it. You will still need to fill both cups with grow media.

If the nutrient solution does not touch the roots, fill with more water or add something to take up space You could use (washed) rocks, bricks, or anything heavier than water to take up space. We use water bottles filled with more water to bring the nutrient solution level up).

Final Assembly & Maintenence

Bring all of your Bubble Bucket components to their final home and stack them up. Setup the air stone in the full container and start it pumping air. Place the lid and seedling on top of the reservoir, being careful not to pinch the air hose. Put the plant under a light, and you are good to go.

Congratulations! You built a Bubble Bucket!

Remember to change the nutrients regularly… recommended is every 2 weeks, 4 weeks on slower growing plants is well within reason. Check the pH regularly and try to maintain on 5.8 for most plants (5.5-6.0 if your tester isn’t that precise).

Got Any Questions? Ask in the comments or contact us and let’s see if we can answer your questions.

6 years ago