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Hydroponics Gardens

Release status: experimental [box doku]

Description Growing plants in water, indoors
Author(s)  tiefpunkt

We have a small hydroponic garden in our space, currently consisting of one deep water culture box with 4 plants.

Hydroponic system

The plants are set in a deep water culture, build from a 22l IKEA Samla box. We are using the black version to discourage algae growth. The box is completely filled with water (and some nutrition solution). For air supply, it has a 30cm air stone on the bottom, which is supplied by a 165 l/h air pump. We are using 8cm net cups for the plants.


There are currently 4 plants:

  • Bell pepper
  • Mini cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Jalapeño chilli

All 4 were not grown from seeds, but bought when they were ~10-15cm tall, and replanted from soil to hydroton.

Nutrition, Pest Control

Normal fertilizer won't be enough for hydroponic systems, as we have to replace the minerals that are in the soil as well. There's special fertilizer for hydroponic systems, which is unfortunately fairly hard to find in Germany, especially in "normal" gardening stores. We chose Scotts Substral Pflanzen Nahrung, 500 ml, which can also be used for hydrocultures.

Unfortunately, we had some probems with greenflies on our plants. We assume that this was due to the use of potted plants, which might have brought them along. As we are inside, there are no beneficial organisms such as other flies to take care of that, so we had to spay some insecticides. After consultation at the local gardening center, I went with Neudorff Neudosan Obst- & Gemüse-Schädlingsfrei, which is some natural soap-based stuff that can be used on veggies and leaves no traces in the produce of our plants. We sprayed it on a few times, and it worked like a charm.

The hydroponic fertilizer we used


The plants are under a 40W CFL daylight lamp, which is on a timer to be lit for 12 hours a day.


There are currently 3 sensors in and around the system, monitoring 4 values:

  • Outside temperature (Sensor: DHT22)
  • Water temperature (Sensor: DS18B20)
  • Humidity (Sensor: DHT22)
  • Water level (Sensor: HC-SR04)

Values from these sensors are posted to MQTT (MuMaBus), and then pushed to our ThingStore [1].

In addition, there is a webcam in front of the plants:


Item Price Amount Bought where? Notes
Ausströmer 30cm 3.61 € 1 Amazon Marketplace (+ 3.18€ shipping)
Tageslichtlampe 40W (200W) 17.75 € 2 only need one (+3.57€ shipping)
Membranpumpe 165 l/h (Luft) + Schlauch 12,98 € 1 Amazon
SAMLA Box, 22l, Black 2,99 € 1 IKEA black one to stop algae growth
SAMLA Box COer, Black 1,00 € 1 IKEA
FOTO (38cm) 19,99 € 1 IKEA For the grow lamp. Basically, almost any open light fixture will do. We just happened to have a few of these on hand.
Blähton (Hydroton) 6,99 € 1 pack Dehner
Electric Timer 3,99 1 Dehner for the lamp
10 x Netztopf schwarz ø 5 cm 1,99 € 1 pack eBay not used currently
10 x Netztopf schwarz ø 8 cm 4,00 € 1 pack eBay used 4 of them in the current setup


Item Price Amount Bought where? Notes
Peperoni 1,99 € 1 Dehner Potted plant
Spitzpaprika Toskana 2,99 € 1 Dehner Potted plant
Minigurke 4,29 € 1 Dehner Potted plant
Zuchini 2,79 € 1 Dehner Potted plant

Nutrition, etc.

Item Price Amount Bought where? Notes
Scotts Substral Pflanzen Nahrung, 500 ml 4,99€ 1 Dehner
Neudorff Neudosan Obst- & Gemüse-Schädlingsfrei, 250 ml 8,99 € 1 Dehner

See also

Other Projects