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How do I build Irish & Webby aero tubes?

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
The system described here is the product of an experiment ('speriment according to irish) to build an effective, inexpensive, high tech MJ machine. Irish and webfish are the primary proponents, though much of the hydroponic community has contributed in one way or another.

SYSTEM ESSENTIALS
The basic design is a series of 4" pvc (schedule 40) tubes that are sealed on one end and drain back into a central reservoir on the other. Plants are held in net pots set into the tubes. Each plant is fed by a sprayer set in the tops of the tubes. This placement keeps the sprayers from becoming root clogged. The system encourages root growth into the tubes and even back through the drain and into the reservoir. The system combines the benefits of aeroponic, ebb and flow, NFT and deep water culture setups.

The sprayers are fed through manifolds that run parallel to the 4" tubes and branch off through either elbowed 1/2" pvc (Irish) or 1/2" flexible tubing (Webfish). A 1450 gph pump feeds webby's 4 tube system (pictured below), with 2 twin manifolds which emerge from the res and supply each sprayer site.

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DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
When designing your aerotubes, please keep in mind the following:

You want to be able to access all of your plants during the grow. At a bare minimum, that means being able to crawl under the system and go up between the tubes.

The recommended spacing between net pots is 10 inches. That can be narrowed to 6-7 inches if you are growing a sea of green, single cola plant. Conversely, bushy, branchy plants demand up to 11 inches of separation.

The system will easily support a SCroG application. Simply drill holes in the tubes for the screen supports. Again, access is critical.

By using separate reservoirs, a grower can propagate a perpetual garden or grow profoundly different phenotypes.

The system may be increased or reduced by simply adding or removing tubes and either capping or disconnecting their manifolds.

SYSTEM BENEFITS
The debate about spray particle size in aero systems can be overlooked with this system. The benefit of using the sprayers here is not the way they feed the roots, but rather, how all of that spraying and splashing aerates the nutrient solution. Irish reports that you can actually see the plants twitch as they grow during feeding time. The systems use an average 500 ppm nutrient mix fed in five minute on cycles every fifteen minutes. Webby says that he never goes over 800 ppm.

MEGA ROOTS
Note that the sealed ends of the 4" pvc are elevated to promoted drainage. Also, the two outer most 4" pvc tubes are elevated above the inner 4" tubes for the same purpose. Further, the roots tend to extend from the net pots and down hill until finally they grow to the reserviour. Webby warns that the plants can bust a 3" net pot. Make sure that you have some way of keeping growrocks out of your pump!
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INTEGRATED SUPPORT
Each plant site is 11" on center and offset 5" from the plant site accross from it in the adjoining tube. Irish devised this integrated method for supporting plants during heavy flowering (with yields of better than 3 oz's per plant, we can see that necessity is truly yo mama of invention).
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Irish's SPRAYER FEED LINE ALTERNATIVE
Apparently not satisfied with the relative simplicity of Webby's design, Irish devised the following method for constructing his sprayers.

Tools used here were:
(1) 9/64" drill
(1) 10-32 threaded tap
(2) rainbird full circle micro spray jet #360JET010
(1) 1/2" female pvc threaded cap with "nut" molded to the end
(1) 1/2" pvc elbow (slip thread x 1/2" male thread)
(1) 1/2" pvc slip cross
(1) small stick of pvc 1/2"
(1) pvc cutter
(1) 1 1/8" hole saw
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* attach fem cap to male elbow
* drill hole with the 9/64" drill bit into the cap (here you may do two as done, or one would probably work)
* tap the hole(s) you just drilled with the 10-32 tap, this is the thread size of the sprinkler
* insert sprinkler
* take the hole saw and drill the 1 1/8" hole where you have decided it should go. Web's suggestion is to place one hole on each side of the 3" netcup holes.
* insert cap and sprinklers into the hole, should fit snug, you can purchase an O-ring to seal the fit better, but it should be okay

Remember, all connections should be sealed with the pvc glue to prevent leakage. The o-rings for the sprinklers can be bought in the same irrigation aisle.

The pvc cross is used to make a connection to the main manifold. One extension from each side, leading to the "feeder holes"
 

LogSlyde

New Member
I am very intrigued by the sprayer design but I find it difficult to understand conceptually how to put it together. Do you have diagrams or photos perhaps? Thank you ;~)
 

hellboundkidd

New Member
is there anyway you could explain the sprayers? are they located at the top of the PVC and spray 360 so have 1 sprayer between each net pot? would be helpful. also, im not understanding how having the 2 inner 4 in PVC pipes lower than the 2 outer pipes helps anything?
 

FrostedFlake

On Vacation
I see a lot I like in this system. With some changes, it could fit into my space very nicely.

I think the best feature is the flex hose feeding every sprinkler, even if it doesn't quite line up with the manifold. That will save a lot of swear words for a better occasion. The way the sprinklers are mounted is real nice too. Inverted, so out of the roots reach, in a hole not quite big enough for its' cap to go all the way through. I like the plant support stakes, mounted just the same as the sprinklerheads, except right side up. Twine could be run through holes drilled at any level desired. Plants might be tied to the twine.

I have noticed that flinging water through the air is a great way to areate it. My homemade Rainstorm In A Box worked as well with or without an airstone. But there seems not so very much air in that 4" tube. I wonder what it would do to 'seal' the reservoir and pressurize with a muffin fan, or just an airstone, to send some air up the tubes and out of the netpots. It is probably easier to just put airstones in the tubes and feed them. The purpose of two feed manifolds per pair escapes me. There seems no reason, perhaps there is not. Missing, is a tap to empty the res with the feed pump, saving days of excruciating, backbreaking, mind numbing labor over a hot siphon hose every time the nutes need a change.

For my space, I am thinking two tubes in a 2'x6' closet with a light rail moving a Budmaster 180 LED over "THC Bomb" clones...

It's a nice little fantasy. Except for the very ugly heavy visqueen wading pool under it all. Something about that ain't right.
 

Aardvark

New Member
Very nice setup!

My grow journal has the details on a variety of mini-sprinkler heads; here is the one I am referring to; the others are pictured on my journal on the most recent pages, including water pressure requirements. Those blue feeder-connector tubes are pricey, mate! They are available at local home center stores.

I want to be able to sell these to members here but I don't want to be in conflict with any sponsor/vendors on this site. Anybody have an idea how to do that without breaking the rules? I would be selling them at cost.

I have 100 of these first two styles:

I just purchased a bag of 100 of these particular style, although mine are a little different because the valve can be separated from the spray head for cleaning, or even to eliminate the valve altogether:

Metered_Spinner.jpg


Everyone should recognize this style below (in different flow rates/colors) for being equipped in almost every Aerocloner I have seen. I tried them out and even after opening the feed tube a little with a drill bit, I did not like their uneven distribution pattern. I ended up using the blue & black ones above.

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I used these from Lowe's in my grow boxes and I have only seen 2 of them ever get clogged (among 12 heads) in 6 months:

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I used a few of these in a DIY Aerocloner and they worked perfectly; the only reason I bought the blue & black ones was because they were 25% cheaper in bulk:

Spinner.jpg


There are a few more styles for different applications in my journal.
 

webfish

New Member
Just so every one understands this material was copied from the net so questions can't be answered by the inventors.


This system can be made for very little all parts are from Home Depot or Lowes, I am the original creator along with my friend Irish, if you have any questions or need sources for the parts just post here Ill check back everyonce in a while.
 

Wa-Buds

New Member
Once you have the plants in the system, at what point do you pull them and move them into a larger pot or larger system? You can't grow them in this set up all the way through flowering can you?
 
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