Waterfarm recirculating reservoir and scrog screen add on

Dr Fish

Well-Known Member
Waterfarm owners all seem to have the same complaints... It's such a pain to fill and drain and daily maintain........ This will help with that by having a controller and add back reservoir which will let you drain/fill, as needed, every 7-10 days....
Waterfarms are a great option for those who want a high yield hydro for one plant... This thread will show a major change in how a regular WF can be modified to circulate a reservoir with no other pump.... It uses only the drip ring pumping column to do the job..
How is this possible you ask?? Simple, it's done adding a standing column of water to the Waterfarm ... That column of water is connected to, and draws water from, the controller... The drip ring now goes in this column of water... When the drip ring pumps water out of the water column , it refills by gravity from the controller.. Gravity now returns water pumped into the WF from the water column, back to the controller by the way of a return line... That return line is connected to the waterfarms old sight/drain barb... A sight drain tube is added to the controller for a daily ppm/ph and water level check... Same old waterfarm type system, with a major twist....
A bonus is that the more waterfarms used, the faster the water moves.... Eight WFs setup this way will move water 7 times faster than a GH waterfarm recirculating kit... Each pumping column doing it's part to move the water along... I would up the size of the reservoir and up the feed/return to 3/4" for multiple WFs....
The add back reservoir and controller are 5 gal buckets.. In use, the controller is set a little lower so most of the 5 gals is used for solution....... About 7+ gal total in the WF and controller.. a 5gal add back reservoir should get a grow through a week.. I've got a bunch more pics of other mods to upload.... I probably missed something important, but this will get the thread started....
All the parts, except the 1/2" grommets and 1/2" barbs can be bought at Home Depot

1 13/16 spade bit for all the holes except the the hole for the float valve.... drill very slow with this bit, and level... it cuts fast...
2 - 5gal lids I got the white lids and sprayed black..
4 - 2.5 in cut off sprinkler risers
4 - rainbird 1/2 inch threaded barbs [Rain-Bird barbs fit 1/2" tubing better than the other 1/2"barb they carry]
1 -18" piece thin wall pvc [to be cut for the water column]
1 -1/2" threaded to 3/4" slip 90*ell [for water column.].
1 pack of hose washers... I like the red ones best, but the black o-rings work... It's best to pre streach the red ones over the riser threads several times... it serves to make them a little bigger and they fit better..
1 float valve and the hardware to mount it in the controller..
Teflon tape, three turns all threads..
A sight tube and the grommet for a 90* barb to mount on the controller for the daily ppm/ph sample and water level check......


Dr Fish

Well-Known Member
Might as well move on to the scrog screen..... The movable scrog if need be..... This is not a difficult add-on, This one is a 24"x 32" screen... You could go as large as 36"x 36"... Not a lot of weight with this screen.... All the fittings are pvc 1/2" slip fit... 4-1/2" 90* elbows, 4- 1/2" tees, 4 - hose clamps... Also enough 1/2 pcv pipe to make the frame... oh, and 2 pieces of flat plastic to reinforce the handles... the stuff I used was.083 abs that I had from another project.... Without reinforcement the handles will break when you tighten the clamps... ask me how I know... You'll also need to cut 2 slots in each handle for the clamps to fit through... zip ties attach the screen...
I like this pic size better.... Different pic upload than I'm accustomed to.. Also no glue, all dry fit... You will need to tweak the the alignment in the beginning...


Dr Fish

Well-Known Member
Summertime Waterloo, keeping it cool.....

By now I'm sure you think I'm a dyed in the wool Pimp for water farming... I just can't deny, it's true..
Where I live it's very hot in the summer... Here's a pic I took in the afternoon last July.. I had stuffed insulation in that planter so it held the heat... It's not so hot now, it was 56*f last night with a high of 65*f today :slide:


Dr Fish

Well-Known Member
Waterfarm pump with filter addon... -Two sided tape does a neat job of it... Same filters I use on my painters mask... No back pressure, so no extra effort for the pump.... -Spores and other nasty shit looking for a water home don't get through to the water... Pumping unfiltered air through water seems like a bad idea to me... Doing that cleans up any particulate in the air, dust, spores, bacteria, whatever, and adds it to the water...
The filters seemed like a good idea at the time to try and keep that stuff out... :51:


Dr Fish

Well-Known Member
Re: Latest Waterloo update

I'll be using this version of the Waterloo that includes this lid, in my upcoming journal.... Pics show the lid with holes cut inside and out to fit the an 8" bucket lid basket... . The rim of the basket needed trimming for a lay flat fit.
The lid is insulated with the same split foam insulation used for pipes... 1/2" ID foam insulation, inside 1.25 ID" foam, using this fills most of the empty space inside the lid. A small piece of 1/2" foam was put in the outside rim for a better fit.. The 8" basket fits nice and snug against the foam... Using the lid gives the grow/reservoir another 1/2 gal, for a total capacity of 4.5 gal... The standing water column is the same as the regular WF mod, with a couple small changes....
There were a few learning curve leaks.. My first dry run with the Waterloo turned out to be not so dry..... The outside skin on the Igloo isn't as strong as I assumed it was... When tightened, the fittings had pulled the washers into the outside skin.. The seal didn't hold up to much movement before it leaked.... Some thick washers out of 1/8" abs will spread the force over a larger area this time...
The reasons are two fold for using insulated containers and tubing... One is to beat the summer heat, but the other, and probably the more important is the slow pumping rate of the air pumping column itself.. According to my measurement, one pumping column moves about 6 gph, 144 gal a day... Using two Waterloos, the two pumping columns will change their shared nine gal reservoir/controller 32 times a day, and each Igloo is changed 32 times a day... I'll monitor and do the add back and daily ph, water level check.. an auto add back reservoir will come after I get a feel for this new setup...

Klovneposen, Are you by any chance involved with helping bulls and horses fill those containers??? :laugh2:



Well-Known Member
Re: Latest Waterloo update

Klovneposen, Are you by any chance involved with helping bulls and horses fill those containers???

:19::19::19: No im by no means businesswise/nor on a hobby basis, jerking off or by any other way ejaculating farm animals :) I just saw some of those containers in some documentary something about pigs or some shit, at some point in my life, and those iglos just reminded me a bit of those. You know how it is with cannabis. Make some people "dumb", makes some people collect an obscure amount of useless knowledge. not only do i have sticky fingers i also have a sticky brain unless its my mothers birthday or something important. actually everything i don't have to remember in life, sticks to my memory. Everything i need to remember, i forget. :Namaste:


New Member
Subbed love it. I'm a d.i.y man. Glad I found the other grow. Love the system. As I know my grow area will get hot in the next month. Is this knowledge here for all to share? Check out my blog entry top left under my name... Not a lot of use to you using led though. you can see I'm exactly like you I tinker and I have the same sort of memory too. Lol

Dr Fish

Well-Known Member
Still refining the Waterloo as it is difficult to get a good seal on the through the side wall fitting on the igloo... Think I've solved that problem and will post what I think will be a good fix..... Also I've fixed it so the basket can be removed during the grow without the hydroton falling into the igloo.. Some people just aren't happy unless they can lift their girls skirt to see what's going on.. ;)


New Member
Yea. I like to see my roots. Hard for me. I have to half empty res or just wait patiently for my girls to drink. And then I can only peek through a 5 inch hole with a torch lol. That's why I'm researching new systems I can play with. And or adapt a system into a cloning system for 4 big cuttings... I mean big woody cuttings. But that's another experiment all together.

Any way I cant wait for this to unfold further.

Dr Fish

Well-Known Member
Basket pass thru mod, and scrog screen reflectors

The biggest drawback to the original Waterloo water column modification was that the basket couldn't be lifted to look at the roots without hydroton falling through the hole into the water... Same problem with the regular WF using the added water column... It took a while before I solved that problem, this is the solution I came up with... What was needed was a tube added to the basket for the water column to pass through... same with the WF top bucket..
Found some 6"x 1-1/8" id abs cabinet speaker ports..... Speaker Cabinet Port Tube 1-1/8" ID x 6-1/2" L Flared The 3/4" water column fits neatly inside one... Cut to the proper length, and glued to the bottom of the basket with Liquid Nails, it keeps the hydroton in the basket when lifted for root inspection....
A better through the side wall mod is in the works for the Igloo to insure the best seal... I'm thinking that cutting my own, better, Vitron gaskets may help with that.... Set up the way it is, it doesn't leak but could if treated harshly.... Won't stop till it's a bullet proof seal... The cup holder on the Igloo makes a good shelf holder.....

Now for another change, this time to the scrog screen frame.... The corner elbows were replaced with 1/2" 3 way slip,slip, threaded 90*s... Using a 1/2 male thread, to 1/2" slip fitting, an upright 1/2 pvc pipe can be added to each corner to the length needed.... One inch foil covered foam reflector panels are hung on all 4 sides of the scrog screen with simple wire hooks... A 24"x30"tall box with no top and no bottom that reflects almost all the light onto the plant in the screen.... Well... at least that's the hoped for result....

Here's an 11z girl in an Igloo that was used as a regular waterfarm, no circulation... The only problem was that the 12" basket let the roots grow out the sides of the basket to high above water, those roots died before reaching it... Looks like I can't edit the pic into this post....


Well-Known Member
Hi Fish, I'm in the middle of my first grow right now (coco) but saw you mention the Scottyballs thread in another post and would really like to try that on my next round. I like the idea of the added controller bucket/reservoir that you explain in your first post in this thread. I think that I can follow the mods that you have done to the Waterfarm (as detailed in your pictures). But I'm unclear about the details of building the controller and how the two units tie together.

Thanks for any help!

Dr Fish

Well-Known Member
I'll be adding pics to this thread for a diy waterfarm and reservoir, using two 5 gal black buckets and a 8" lid net basket... I'll try and get that unit posted this afternoon or evening... The main issue is to be able to keep the water temps below 70*f
In the winter you can keep the room under 70*f using the cooler outside air... I mostly have done coco/perlit in the summers... My yield was always lower, but i never had any heat problems... I use a swamp cooler so the house temps get up to 80-82 inside for a few hours each day.... That's how it is every summer, not surprising since I'm only 55 miles from where they measured the hottest temp ever recorded... The frozen water bottles work well, but changing 4 times a day gets a little old... Not so bad for one plant, but it'll be a pia for 3.. I gave in and ordered a chiller and a SS 315 watt lec yesterday....


Active Member
Fish, is 70-73 deg that harmful? Are you seeing root rot? Could a low dose of peroxide or bleach work? I'm a consistent 72 deg.
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