This is an attempt to follow the latest instructions for this kit: https://publiclab.org/notes/nshapiro/09-26-2016/build-a-plant-based-air-purifier
We followed some printed instructions via @liz to assemble this at a recent Barnraising event, and it went really well! We did have an issue with the pump voltage but are pretty sure we can find a locally bought pump that will work. We saw one at a nearby restaurant fishtank, in fact 😄
We found a plant that was sold in water already, which saved time, although we took it slow so the water would have time to soak into the gravelly material. Would it have worked to just
Here we are mixing and washing the gravelly stuff; we did it in a reusable plastic shopping bag, which we actually imagine might make for a good insert itself:
Here's the fabric insert. Some people were curious what other porous synthetic materials could be used here, for an even more DIY version. I was reminded of http://crochetcoralreef.org and thinking of textile arts a lot!
We weren't sure how to ensure that the hose stayed in the "J" shape shown in the instructions, and tried making a loop so that it held that shape while we put in gravel.
Here we're packing the gravelly stuff around the plant while trying to ensure the hose position above the eventual water level:
Actually putting the hose on the pump was a little harder than we'd thought!
But ultimately, besides the pump voltage issue, everything went pretty smoothly.
Ideas we had:
1. what about adding a bubble stone (https://www.amazon.com/Pawfly-Aquarium-Hydroponics-Airstones-Diffuser/dp/B01LYLNQWV/, also see image below) to help control where the hose remains? It could be held in place a little more easily, and might be less likely to be clogged
2. we worried about the hose going underwater. Is it a big problem, or is that a holdover from when the pump would run in reverse? Like, is it a problem if it bubbles through the water before entering the root area? Someone said it could create carbonic acid, but doing this is pretty normal in a fishtank with plants, so... we weren't sure.
That's it - I know @liz has a lot more notes, but just getting this up for starters!