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The Ridiculously Useful Rotary Hydroponics System- 3 Designs to choose from

Rotary System

The rotary hydroponics system is at the frontier of agriculture as we know it.  As a result, there is simultaneously extreme and limited diversity in the types of systems available.  Without established customer preference data and limited performance indicators, we are still seeing things all over the spectrum when it comes to the rotary hydroponics space.

 

To briefly review our overview of rotary hydroponics, there are three main components of a rotary hydroponics system:  the ring, the fixed central light source, and the nutrient water reservoir.  As you might imagine, one of the biggest differences between systems comes down to the size and style of the ring.  However, with each change in ring size also comes quite a few variations in what can be grown, availability, and cost.

 

 

Tabletop Rotary Hydroponics System

 

Overview

The tabletop rotary hydroponics system is, by design, a small-ring system that can go in the kitchen or be placed on tables of potential consumers.  They could also be used in commercial kitchens looking to provide “farm to table” herbs and spices.  For these systems, the outer ring should be solid, with a stylish frame.

 

If you were a bit puzzled over the word ‘potential’ then you should just know that these systems aren’t currently available to a wider market, but you can currently sign-up for the waiting list on the Bace site or admire the beauty of the DesignLibero design for now.

 

Due to the brightness of the lighting required to effectively grow produce in a rotary hydroponics system, these can effectively double as lighting for the daytime.  On the flip side, this same lighting can be troublesome at night and potentially have the unwanted side effect of keeping you awake longer even after leaving the room containing it.

 

Since the systems are currently being designed to have consistent lighting, it can be expected that most systems will have a covering.  Bace’s Rotofarm includes an acrylic “smoked and mirrored” covering to reduce local light pollution for just this reason.

 

 

 

Budget

These systems are still being developed for public use and there is no real price tag put on them yet.

DIY $250

 

Build Time

The proposed commercial builds that we’ve seen so far should take virtually no “build time” other than some small setup.

DIY versions of this system could potentially take days or weeks depending on your technical know-how.

 

System Size

20 to 50 small herbs

 

Area –

Up to 24” long x 18” wide x 30” high

 

Pros

In the near future will be pre-built. Stylish conversation piece.  “Farm to table” friendly.  Extra interior lighting

 

Cons

Currently limited availability.  Small plants only.  Too much lighting!

 

 

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Dutch Bucket Designs

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Large Systems

 

Overview

A larger rotary hydroponics system takes a lot more advantage of the space efficiency that rotary hydroponics provides.  They’re also a bit easier to find commercially available at this time and even to make DIY builds.  The essential parts are the same:  a reservoir, a light source (try LED), a rotor, and a ring.  One of the more popular ways to build this system has a constructed frame for the rotor, ring, and lighting to sit in.

 

Large style systems are the most recommended build at the moment, you can even pick and swap parts to make the system exactly the way you want it, but that will require some building and quite a bit of setup time so please be sure to visit our parts and construction guides.

 

 

Budget

$2,000+

 

Build Time

Days or weeks.

 

System Size

50+ medium-sized plants

 

Area 

3 foot X 2 foot X 4 foot plus, depending on build and frame

 

Pros

Space efficient.  Grows most plants.  Extremely customizable.

 

Cons

Expensive.  Requires a lot of building

 

 

Learn more 

Dutch Bucket Designs

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Build this system

 

 

 

 

Walk-in systems 

 

Overview

Rotary hydroponics systems often have big aims, so walk-in-scale industrial systems are obviously going to be a part of it.  These systems include a door, two growing wedges, a strip of strong lighting, and a walkway for growers to use when working with the system.  Walk-in systems differ from most other rotary hydroponics systems in that they don’t utilize the full circumference of the ring due to the fact that people need to be able to walk inside them.  Similarly, they don’t include a central fixed light, so the grower can walk – not crouch – when harvesting and planting in the system.

 

One interesting quirk of these systems is that the plant installments are actually quite similar to more conventional “2d” arrangements since they aren’t installed around the full ring.  Instead, two large (but heavily curved) “flatbeds” are installed with holes that allow access to the nutrient bath below.  As a result of the curvature, more production time is required.  On the flip side, these systems allow just about any plant to be grown inside them due to their large size and ample room for ties and supports.

 

 

Budget

$4,000+

 

Build Time

Weeks.

 

System Size

100’s of plants

 

Area

20 foot X 8 foot X 12 foot plus

 

Pros

Space efficient.  Grows most plants.  Extremely customizable.

 

Cons

Expensive. Requires a large budget and a lot of building

 

 

Learn more 

Dutch Bucket Designs

Buy this system

Build this system

 

 

 

 

These three builds for the rotary hydroponics system are all really new and have a lot of room to play around with.  Rotary hydroponics is absolutely ripe for inventive and creative new builds to arise at any time.  Despite this, our collection and the builds above can really get you started on your first system in a way that works.  As this space continues to develop and smaller systems for the home become widely available we’ll be keeping our eye on them.  Similarly, there is a lot of excitement about the possibilities of taking these more expensive – but highly efficient – larger systems and making them more and more viable for hobbyist usage.

 

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Dani

I'm Dani, I come from a long history of migrant farmers. In high school I wrote a paper about how my father brought us over the Texas border to give us a better life. During college, I worked part time with him in the farming industry. After receiving a degree in Urbanism from Columbia University, I started to realize how important the role of the food chain was to urban inner cities. I began studying different types of Indoor and vertical faming solutions. I started designing and building my own hydroponic systems and have never looked back.