What are bubble buckets

Bubble buckets are a very fun way to get acquainted with growing marijuana on a hydroculture. In bubble buckets, the roots of your plants are placed deeply in the water, instead of in the soil or in rockwool. In this course I will teach you everything you need to know about growing in bubble buckets.

In this guide you will learn

First, I will explain how the system works and what the plants need. Then I will show you how to build a bubble bucket system and what equipment you will need. Lastly I will develop a grow journal in which I keep track of all developments during an entire harvest and I will tell you what you need to do from day to day. Have fun with this course!

What are bubble buckets

A bubble bucket is a bucket with water where your plant hangs its roots in. The bucket has a lid with a hole the little pot with the plant goes through. This can be a very small pot, because the roots will eventually grow into the bucket. Since the roots need a lot of oxygen, you need to place an airstone on the bottom of the bucket and connect it to an air pump. These airstones and air pumps are materials that are often used for aquariums, so you can buy these are a regular aquarium store. Most garden centers also sell these products.

It’s very easy to connect multiple buckets to each other and pump the water through them with a circulation pump. These can also be bought at aquarium stores or garden centers, and ensure that the pH and EC levels in every bucket are the same and the water is not stagnant. Stagnant water is a source of harmful bacteria. You can also connect the entire installation to a water reservoir, so you’ll only have to check your plants once a week, theoretically speaking. Sounds exciting, right?

Pros and Cons

Each system has its advantages and disadvantages, and bubble buckets are no exception. I will make an overview with the pros and cons, so you can decide whether you want to use this method. But if you have the time, space and money, I think you should definitely try it at least once, because it’s a very fun way to grow marijuana. 


Costs: growing on bubble buckets doesn’t have to be very expensive, but it’s more expensive than growing in soil. You can make your own inexpensive system for about $100. You can grow four plants in this system. Buying a professional system from a store will set you back about $500 for four plants.

Technical: connecting it all is a bit more difficult than filling a pot with soil. If you’re going to build your own system, you have to be a bit handy. The advantage of buying one is that you can get support if you don’t know how to install it. For the journal in this course, my friends at Alien Hydroponics provided me with a system to try out. But I will also show you how to make your own simple and inexpensive system.

Not organic:many marijuana growers are also nature lovers and prefer to grow organically. It’s better to not use organic fertilizers in your bubble buckets, because it could cause the water to rot. It is however better than rockwool or other hydro mediums.


High yield: plants grow faster on a hydroculture, and the EC and pH levels can be managed better. This leads to a higher yield. Most professional growers grow on hydro. This is also the case in greenhouses and horticulture.

Never overwater: since there is no medium such as rockwool or soil that can retain the water and suffocate the roots, it’s impossible to overwater your plants. This is because the roots are actually in the water. This is only possible if the water is very oxygenated, which is why you need to place an airstone.

Less pests & diseases: if you grow on hydro, you have a much lower chance of pests and diseases. Soil has a whole soil life of micro organisms that help the plant grow. However, harmful bacteria and bugs can also nestle in the soil. If you’re growing on bubble buckets, you have a lot less problems with this. Spider mites and thrips remain a threat.

How to start

There are certain things to take into consideration if you want to start growing on bubble buckets. You should definitely try it if you have the time and money, because it’s a beautiful system you can achieve nice results with. But take the following three points into account:

1. Investment

Bubble buckets are a lot more expensive than growing on soil. If you buy a professional system for four plants, it will easily cost you $500. Installing something yourself will cost you over $100 in materials. You also can’t go without an EC and pH meter. And the water from the tap doesn’t contain any of the nutrients your plants need, so you’ll have to buy those as well. Also take these costs into account.

2. Knowledge

Despite the fact that you can never overwater your plants, growing in bubble buckets is a bit more sophisticated than growing in soil. Besides the temperature of the air and the humidity, you now also have to continuously check the water temperature and the EC and pH levels of the water. Possible mistakes have quicker and bigger consequences, because there’s no soil to form a buffer for the EC and pH. Fortunately you have access to this course in which I tell you exactly what you need to do. But just know there are multiple factors that influence the development of the plants.

3. More marijuana

Bubble Buckets can yield considerably more than soil, is that really what you want? No, seriously, it’s about the way of growing. Soil gives your marijuana this delicious taste, and you can do it completely organically. Growing in bubble buckets is a bit more sterile and gives your marijuana a different flavor.

You should just try it out. In the next chapter I will show you how to set up the Alien system and what it consists of. This is professional bubble bucket system and comparable to other systems in the same price range.

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Robert Bergman

Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations. His passion for growing lead him to develop his own Gold Leaf strain. Now, Robert is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with the world.... [Read full bio]

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