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Hi All, you might be interested in an update to my original post linked above.  Here is a recent photo of our mini system, more details are available on the linked post.

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Nice Liz and Dan!

Did you make the vertical tubes?  If not, where did you get them?

I too had to solve the bucket brigade problem.  I hooked a 1/2 barbed fitting to some PVC that has a garden hose connection on the other end.  The only problem is forgetting you have it running... yikes!

Yes, we made the PVC tubes.  It was pretty easy, Dan cut them with a miter saw, then used a heat gun to soften the plastic and we used wine bottles with a tapered champagne-like shape as the form to make the pockets.

I think that's why I haven't hooked up a hose to it yet.  I'm notorious for leaving things running too!

Here's a nice "how to" with pictures that Kobus Jooste was kind enough to post a good while back if anyone's interested...

Nice looking set up Liz and Dan  What kind of medium are you using inside those towers?

Thanks Vlad, we've been using the round clay balls, aka Hydroton.  The wine bottle was nice as the forming shape because we got a pocket that depressed into the pipe but also flared out a bit to make it a bigger space for the plant.  We put pockets in symmetrically all around the pipe because we wanted water to flow evenly throughout, even though we had no intention of planting all around, only toward the lights.

Very cool...yeah, I can now see those little flares. That seems like a pretty smart little detail :)

Is the light souce comming from a south facing window? Or where is the light source?

The lights are discussed in more detail in the other post (, but there is no window.  There are 4, 4' florescent light fixtures with 2 bulbs each plus a 13" solar tube above.  It's not enough light and the plants get a little leggy.


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