Aero Cloning System

This is an inexpensive do it yourself aero cloner that is very effective. It can be made in an hours time with as little as $15 in parts. This is probably the least complicated of all the various aerocloning systems I've seen. It has been tested and refined through feedback from users.

The problem most aero systems have is that they require high pressure pumps, hoses, fittings and misters. The misters tend to clog and need purified water to have any level of reliability. The systems are expensive and prone to leaks. I've seen a system for growing plants using low pressure pumps and that might be better for veg and flower growth. This uses the spray from bursting bubbles to promote rooting in cuttings.

Materials needed:

The airpump can be the cheap kind sold at Kmart or Walmart for aquariums. A single outlet pump will work but a dual outlet gives you flexibility in case you want to expand later. The container should be a low flat plastic tub or box with a lid. It only needs to be about 6" deep but a deeper container will work and as little as 4" deep may be acceptable. A shallow container will need to be refilled more often. Select the airstones so that they are the right length to cover the length or width of the box. Leave an inch on the ends at least so you will have room to attach the tubing without crimping it. A typical airstone will make enough bubbles to cover a strip about 4" wide the length of the airstone. Placing them about 3" or 4" apart should work fine. A narrow box may need only one airstone. Your airstones might have to be soaked in water for an hour before first use. Read the directions.

If you have more airstones than outlets on your airpump you will need a "T" or multi connection. I wouldn't run more than 2 airstones per outlet to be sure you have enough bubbling action. Some airstones can be connected to one another with tubing. The top of the container must have holes cut in it to allow the stems to enter. The holes should be at least 1/2" in diameter. You will need holes also for the air hose(s) to enter. You can make the holes about two inches apart and that should leave enough room for the clones themselves. After you have the airstones arranged and hooked up to your pump, add water and turn it on. You should see vigorous bubbling that covers the entire area the clones will be in. Hold your hand a couple inches over the surface of the water. You should feel a mist from the bubbles bursting as they reach the surface. Your aerocloner is ready for use.

The cuttings you use to make clones should be at least about 3" in length and have a growing tip. The small branches at the base of a plant are perfect for that. Some people keep a mother plant in veg just to take clones from. Trim the large leaves from the cutting and have about 2" of bare stem at the bottom with no side branches or leaves. You can trim the rest of the leaves by cutting about half the leaf away leaving the stem and part of the leaf. The tiny leaves don't need to be trimmed. You can use masking tape to hold the plant in place or some other system that gently holds the cutting. Shabang at overgrow in his system recommends using 1/2" diameter plastic tubing to cover the stem going into the box. Make sure you have at least an inch of stem projecting into the box and keep the water level so that it's about an inch below the stem. You don't want the cutting to touch the water. The spray from the bubbles provides enough water and they get oxygen from the air. Put 1/4 tsp of 3% hydrogen peroxide per gallon in the water to prevent stem rot. Renew it about every week.

The cuttings should show bumps on the stems in 3 or 4 days. In 5 to 7 days typically they have roots and are ready to put into your growing medium. You need roots at least 1/4" long to ensure survival and 1/2" may be better. Don't give the clones a lot of light for the first few days after they are in the growing medium. After they start to show growth you can give them higher levels of light. They only need low light levels while rooting and until they show new growth.

This system is just for starting clones. It hasn't been tested for growing out the plants but there is no reason it couldn't be used in that way. All that would be needed is to let the roots grow into the solution and provide nutrients. The difference between that and regular DWC would be that the plants would be held in the air and the roots would go through the air before entering the water. Plain water is fine for rooting clones but for growth you need fertilizer. Do some reading at or for more information.


green man