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DIY Air Diffuser: 1/4" Soaker Hose

Hello 420 Mag Community. Apologies if this subject was already posted...I searched and couldn't find one specific to this subject.

Just wanted to post my results so far in my efforts to build some soaker hose air diffusers. Wasn't at all happy with my first grow with the little air stones and pump that came with the kit I got. Other than that, the kit is awesome for a first-time DWC setup...just under powered.

My goal was to come up with a single pump solution for a 4-site system much improved over the lame stones that came with the kit. I wanted to keep it as quiet as possible, but wanted to see LOTS OF BUBBLES! :)

After much research this is what I came up with and I am about to start my next 4-site run with. I have tested it and you can see some pics and video below of those results.


Stack of 4 above. Note that each are missing the two tees that connect to the air pump manifold via the 1/4" lines. Each diffuser has two air lines, one going to each side.


MATERIALS

1/4" Soaker Hose - I have read that the brand is important. Someone tried some from Amazon and posted in the review that it didn't work for this particular application. The stuff I used didn't even have a brand name...it was what I could find at Lowes and it works great! I believe there is currently an addon item on Amazon that matches this Model #: Model # 015005T and on Lowes: Item # 192389

EcoPlus Commercial Air 5 - 80 Watts 1300 GPH - At first, I thought this was going to be overkill...and when I hooked up one diffuser to it and closed off the other 6 valves, I thought for sure it was. And for that, it was! :) This baby came with a sweet 8 valve bulkhead. Each valve can be turned on and off.

1/4" Barb Drip CROSS Connector Fittings - Amazon, bag of 30. Teenitor Agricultural Garden Irrigation.

1/4" Barbed Tees - Amazon, bag of 50. Raindrip 307050B

3/8" x 1 1/2" Stainless Flat Washers

5/16" Stainless Lock Washers

1/4" Polyethylene Drip Irrigation Distribution Tubing





 
Got the next run setup with the new diffusers and off we go...

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TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
Good idea. (Very) high levels of DO in the solution is very important for DWC applications.

Might want to set the air pump at a height above your buckets so that, if the pump suffers a failure... your buckets cannot drain while you are at work. Going several hours without oxygenation supplementation would be hard on the plants, but going hours with that plus having all or some significant proportion of the nutrient solution would, methinks, be far worse.

One-way check valves might be sufficient to guarantee you won't have an issue in case of catastrophic failure, IDK.
 

Latitude17

Well-Known Member
Excellent find on the 015005T, RED FROG had a virtual monopoly on their pre-made version of this. Have you played with any other distribution patterns or was this more like a 'I can do it cheaper' DIY? Just curious, I love DIY'ers!
 
Excellent find on the 015005T, RED FROG had a virtual monopoly on their pre-made version of this. Have you played with any other distribution patterns or was this more like a 'I can do it cheaper' DIY? Just curious, I love DIY'ers!

Thanks...lucked out on that one.

I plan on using up to 10 or so in the long run (veg tent and flower tent)...so I first wanted to be sure I could make them myself so that I could also repair and replace when needed.

I do plan on purchasing at least one RED FROG to compare...assuming these DIYs hold up for a complete run.
 

Latitude17

Well-Known Member
Thanks...lucked out on that one.

I plan on using up to 10 or so in the long run (veg tent and flower tent)...so I first wanted to be sure I could make them myself so that I could also repair and replace when needed.

I do plan on purchasing at least one RED FROG to compare...assuming these DIYs hold up for a complete run.

They look identical to what you did. Close up below is the best I could do for comparing textures.

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Close up of line:

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Lady Antheia

Well-Known Member
This is great! Thank you for the pictures and video to help the rest of us recreate this.

Hydro is looking more and more like my next step.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
However, I do note a temperature rise in Veg already...and with decent external temps. This pump isn't hot, but it is warm.

Why is the pump in the grow room, then? Did you notice a big drop in aeration when you used an airline that was long enough to reach outside the space, or... ?

BtW, I've read many times - and believe it - that it's the interaction at the... err... (can't remember the correct terms) bubbles to surface interface, and that - given the same amount/composition of air - more, but smaller bubbles is better than fewer, but larger bubbles in terms of the actual RoA (amount of DO one is able to add to the solution per amount of air pumped). IIRC, people who insist on running "organic" nutrients in DWC have been told to remove the airstones (/et cetera) and just stick the bare air hoses into the reservoirs because that produces large bubbles and, therefore, one's actual rate of aeration is significantly lessened. So, again, it makes sense to me that the ability to produce small bubbles is useful.

BtW², that air pump has (some) fins on it. If you can get it out of the grow room, put a small fan on it that runs when the pump does (constantly, I assume). Unfortunately, you'll still be adding some heat to the grow room (especially if those soaker hoses amount to a significant restriction) - and, more unfortunately still, (I'm guessing) the first thing in the grow room that heat warms is probably the reservoirs full of solution (and roots!) . For that... I suppose you could do the same thing that people like Mom's grandmother did during the prohibition era with their stills; that is to say, coil your airline so you can get a good bit of it into some kind of barrel full of water that's colder than the air that was heated by the pump. You could even use copper line for this part. I don't think that you can get copper contamination from running air through Cu lines and into your reservoirs; don't use copper for the portions that come in contact with your nutrient solution, though. IDK how much heat you're actually seeing (as a direct result of the air that's being pumped into your reservoirs), nor do I know how efficient such a setup would be at removing it. OtOH, a 55-gallon barrel full of water, even if it's at ambient temperature of whatever room is directly outside of the grow... is a relatively large potential heat-sink. If you could run two barrels and arrange to swap the coil from one to the other every 12 hours or so, that'd give you half a day for each barrel to lose however much heat it picked up in the preceding 12 hours. Better still would be filling them from your water line each time so that your water temperature would start off below ambient (you'd definitely want to insulate the barrels under this scenario) - but I cannot recommend that unless you've got some way to use at least most of the water instead of just dumping 55 or 110 gallons of water every day. However, if you can somehow route it to your toilet(s), washing machine, et cetera... And it was at this point that I realized I was rambling to the nth degree and decided I'd better "shut up and click the button."

EDIT: Oops, I didn't see that you run a reservoir chiller until after I posted this.
 
Why is the pump in the grow room, then? Did you notice a big drop in aeration when you used an airline that was long enough to reach outside the space, or... ?

BtW, I've read many times - and believe it - that it's the interaction at the... err... (can't remember the correct terms) bubbles to surface interface, and that - given the same amount/composition of air - more, but smaller bubbles is better than fewer, but larger bubbles in terms of the actual RoA (amount of DO one is able to add to the solution per amount of air pumped). IIRC, people who insist on running "organic" nutrients in DWC have been told to remove the airstones (/et cetera) and just stick the bare air hoses into the reservoirs because that produces large bubbles and, therefore, one's actual rate of aeration is significantly lessened. So, again, it makes sense to me that the ability to produce small bubbles is useful.

BtW², that air pump has (some) fins on it. If you can get it out of the grow room, put a small fan on it that runs when the pump does (constantly, I assume). Unfortunately, you'll still be adding some heat to the grow room (especially if those soaker hoses amount to a significant restriction) - and, more unfortunately still, (I'm guessing) the first thing in the grow room that heat warms is probably the reservoirs full of solution (and roots!) . For that... I suppose you could do the same thing that people like Mom's grandmother did during the prohibition era with their stills; that is to say, coil your airline so you can get a good bit of it into some kind of barrel full of water that's colder than the air that was heated by the pump. You could even use copper line for this part. I don't think that you can get copper contamination from running air through Cu lines and into your reservoirs; don't use copper for the portions that come in contact with your nutrient solution, though. IDK how much heat you're actually seeing (as a direct result of the air that's being pumped into your reservoirs), nor do I know how efficient such a setup would be at removing it. OtOH, a 55-gallon barrel full of water, even if it's at ambient temperature of whatever room is directly outside of the grow... is a relatively large potential heat-sink. If you could run two barrels and arrange to swap the coil from one to the other every 12 hours or so, that'd give you half a day for each barrel to lose however much heat it picked up in the preceding 12 hours. Better still would be filling them from your water line each time so that your water temperature would start off below ambient (you'd definitely want to insulate the barrels under this scenario) - but I cannot recommend that unless you've got some way to use at least most of the water instead of just dumping 55 or 110 gallons of water every day. However, if you can somehow route it to your toilet(s), washing machine, et cetera... And it was at this point that I realized I was rambling to the nth degree and decided I'd better "shut up and click the button."

EDIT: Oops, I didn't see that you run a reservoir chiller until after I posted this.

All good feedback, nonetheless. :)

I do have my chiller outside the tent...as it also gets rather warm. And yes, I could run this outside as well...but would need to buy new hose to reach.

However, some good news! While the pump is still warm, the temp on it has gone down considerably over the last 12 hours. I am now thinking it was just tight and new and needed to be worked in...as when it was warm I could smell the rubber. That is gone now and the temps have gone down as well.
 

Latitude17

Well-Known Member
If you have enough scrap line to spare, could you try a simple coil with the end capped for comparison? Sharp turns slow airflow. For example, a T-shaped tee fitting slows airflow more than a Y-shaped fitting. In terms of reduced air speed and efficiency, a 90-degree angle in your line is like adding a large amount of additional line. A simple spiral pattern with the end capped would probably have better results with less flow pressure required.

Similar to this, but with spacing of course:

https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1oFkK...uariums-Fish-Tanks-Pump-Hydroponic-Oxygen.jpg

I've read a ton on this subject, but stopped experimenting when I couldn't find source material (my Google-fu was weak!).
 
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