5Gal Self Watering Bucket

Hello fellow Growmies! Wanted to take a minute and share some information on gots to make a self watering bucket. For those of you that are/were wondering about them, they are super easy to do. So total cost of 1 bucket $42.12+tax whatever that may be where you are. Here’s a list of materials used:

2, 5gal food safe buckets from LOWES $15.96
2, 5” net pots $1.54 (I got these at a grow store)
1, 1”x24” PVC SCH40 pipe (fill pipe) Lowes $3.37
65 cu. ft. Coco+Perlite (grow store) $21.25
1, 12” zip tie.
1, old t-shirt or, weed barrier, anything that will wick up water and keep the roots from going thru your drain holes.

Process was simple.

Cut 1, 5” net pot in half.

Cut a hole in bucket 1, just big enough for the WHOLE net pot to fit in so that it catches on the lip of the net cup.

In the same bucket drill drain holes.

In the same bucket cut a 1” hole to fit your PVC pipe
Cut the PVC pipe at a 45 degree angle at one end.

On bucket 2, drill a drain hole about 1/2” below the height of your net cup.

Place your cut nut pot in bucket 2, one on each side.

Place bucket 1 in bucket 2.

Place your whole net pot into bucket 1. Should fit nice and tight.

Cut t-shirt/? to fit bucket one, (remember before you cut, push the material down into the net pot, leaving enough to cover the drain holes. ALSO, cut a SMALL hole for your PVC fill pipe.

Drill 2 holes, one on each side of the fill pipe to attach the zip tie and holds the fill pipe in place.

And ur done!!

Fill with dirt.

Add your plant when ready.

If anyone has questions, hit me up.

Enjoy the build!



I ran into issues during 5th week of flower. Tried to correct with numerous flushes. Finally gave up. Drilled holes into outer bucket and finished top feeding weeks 7 to harvest.



What were the issues specifically? Was it a sediment issue? Cups get clogged up? Other than the issue, did the Grow come out ok?

Thanks man,


Do.you have finished product from this system to share with us?

I see more issues than I want to begin to list. With a singular enclosed system. Unless you change the water every other day…

Honestly this entire topic brings up nothing more than confusion for me. I don’t understand the point of it… there is no usable information? Just theories… Which are as good as fallacy in the scientific world…

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I had two issues. One I believe was of my making. First a little background. Previously I always used soil For nutrients I started with the Trio from Fox Farm and then progressed to Advanced Nutrients. I was changing all of that. In the 5-gallon SIPs I filled them with Promix Peat and 30% perlite. I also changed nutrients to Jack’s 321. My one problem is I believe I overdosed them with calcium and magnesium. About every third feed I added calmag and also increased Epsom Salt by 10%.
The second issue was pH. Around day 30 of flower brown spots and edges were forming. I took pH & PPM readings of the reservoir by lifting the inside bucket out. The pH had climbed considerably. pH was 7.1. ppm was good at 900. This was a hydro system and pH ideally should be around 6. No wonder problems were developing. At first I cleaned the reservoir of any sediments. It was very clean and the roots were white and healthy (day 35)

One plant was affected more than the others

Their leaves were not terrible but the color was off and I knew it was progressing

During the next week I would haul the buckets outside and top flush them with enough water to cause t
he reservoirs to overflow out the overflow tube of the reservoir bucket.
This is the group on day 43

The reservoir pH still remained high. Decided to end SIP by drilling holes in out bucket. Did major complete flush and allow to drip out and refeed and reset medium with 6.0 Jacks

This plant had it the worse

Others not as bad but I knew I had to discontinue SIP before I loss them

Thereafter top fed Jacks as any normal grow another forty days +_ until harvest
@Budz it ended up being a nice harvest. It would have been even better had they not struggled a couple of weeks mid-flower.

I will save the buckets and someday do an outdoor auto grow in them. If issues develop it will be easy to flush them clean. Also, autos having a general shorter cycle, will also help.
I think they can work but you need to monitor reservoir pH because it will climb.


Is it bad mid post I knew your issue? You were using nutrient lines. Like jacks. Which doesn’t allow for use of calmag. If fed Everytime. Which jacks is famous for having the ability of. Especially in a hydro environment. 100% jacks. No room for extra calmag. Only late amendments or rhizo boosts throughout. Otherwise never deviate from schedule.

Which is what I love about jacks and coco. I feed full strength every single day. Amendments added in late flower. Tribus bloom added throughout.

I use the grow buckets and so far so good. I went ahead and top fed the whole veg session and started to fill the res about 2 weeks into flower. I fill it with the gallon or so it takes and by late night to next morning there is nothing left in it. It is all basically same as u made but different. The net cups sets inside the bucket not hanging below if u haven’t seen it they seem to work okay so far I know I didn’t use it exactly right but for the stage they r in I love it as I water that a bit from top fill res and walk away for the day. So nice. Need to get me a solo setup like this where it’s a consistent feed cuz my solo drinks alot and I mean alot. I bet at least half gallon a day or more if I keep up with it. It’s getting old already. I give @kaptain3d @Arrow alot of credit because this is a real workout here. Especially doing blue dream in a solo. Gonna be about as bad as the runyz we’re to grow lol.


Yeah I was addicted to calmag. Having been soil and using FF Trio it was an automatic. I still used it with AN just not as much / often. Switching to coco, with its need for calcium, I thought I still needed it. Even though Jack’s users like you would say “Jack’s only” I figured a little calmag wouldn’t hurt and should actually help. LESSON learned.
These are Jack’s and coco babies. I probably have a short memory but I think these are healthiest, nicest looking plants I have grown.

I have two in my 3x3 and they are doing nicely too - Jack’s and coco

All of the plants pictured are clones from one of the plants shown in the green SIP buckets.
As a matter of fact I just put the last three in their frames. I have kept them going since Mid-May, 130 days.

It took some messing up but hopefully now have it squared away. I still use some advanced nutrients like Voodoo Juice, Piranha, Sensisym, and Bud Candy. I’ll also use Big Bud and Nirvana during flower as long as I am top feeding. If they are in autopots (which will be those in the closet) I won’t use them. They clog up the lines and valves.


I’ve never once said jacks only… My initial feeds in coco with jacks are jacks only… yez. But my amendments go into second feed. My coco girls get fed twice in late flower. Every… single… day.

So yes. First feed is jacks only. Second is barely half jacks. After it’s already full strength jacks.

In other words. I blow the jacks numbers out the water for a second feed every day. At half amount.

@Budz have you tried Jack’s MOST - Mix of Soluble Traces. Greengenes adds it.

Nope. In coco I use jacks part A, part B with high af grade magnesium sulfate (lamen being epsom salt. Which is a brand. Not a product.) Do NOT cheap out on your epsom. Or don’t come crying to me…

I feed full strength every day till run off. Then I use half as much as full strength with amendments added after. No adjustments for amendments either…now how the rhizo works anyway.

Meaning in total amount of water. The ratio is still 100%. Never deviate from the ratios. Just the amount of water given. If you are on a daily schedule… it would be absolutely ignorant to not feed them daily.

No worries