Soilless Vertical Barrel / 3D-NFT


Half open vertical barrel to show pressure-less liquid flow using a waterbuffer fed from an internal hose. One creative way to set things up with internal irrigation.


V3 Vertical Barrel – Technical Info Sheet

The aponix vertical barrel uses gravitation for vertical irrigation whereas an inside wing system makes sure that irrigation is happening evenly between all grow spaces. Liquid nutrients always travel from top to bottom regardless how high your unit is. In order to understand the irrigation options please check section A) on our vertical barrel configuration page.


V3 Vertical Barrel – Flyer

Once the liquid reaches the bottom of the barrel there are options to keep it there or drain it to a central reservoir for re-circulation. That behavior can be changed by making the choice for a different base. See section B) on our vertical barrel configuration page for more details.

The idea is to assemble ring segments that provide 2″/5cm grow spaces for your crop, making space by using grow space covers and stack them to a variable height to provide just the amount of grow spaces that you can maintain.

Upgrade to Version 3 / 2021 – What is new:

By the end of 2020 aponix a new ‘Version 3’ soilless piece will be available that will incorporate all collected improvements from the existing user base from the last 3 years plus some amazing new features:

Some components that you can use to set up and organize 3D hydroponic grow spaces for many very different farming setups.

Some components that you can use to set up and organize 3D hydroponic grow spaces for many very different farming setups.

  • Liquid will be guided more thoroughly inside. It will have a new more robust and tighter click connection mechanism (hexagonally designed instead of square) and air traps to keep the liquid inside the barrel also on higher flow rates and prevent a permanent liquid film in critical areas on the inside. A unit will be 100% light tight. All micro gaps have been closed (Special thanks go out to the user who put a strong light source inside a unit in a dark room sending us a picture with some tiny little sparks in 2018). Former frequent leaks using V2 have been reduced by 70%. For the users who like to make the units super liquid tight, the connection areas have been re-designed and can now additionally be sealed with a tiny drop of mounting grease or food grade silicone when you assemble the ring segments in 2 spots on the connection. It provides an extra large and flat area for that.
  • aponix-growspace-options

    Reusable Plug Pot with optional metal trellis and grow space cover for unused spaces vs standard single use plastic net pot.

    There will be a reusable grow plug insert, that in general should replace 2-inch single-use plastic netpots and per design also in other soilless systems based on 2″ netpots. It will also have an optional plant trellis insert to grow larger flowers and fruiting dwarf varieties to increase the range of plant that can be grow in it. Get one available shape from us or bend your own.

  • In combination with the new lid-base setting up lines of vertical barrels is facilitated and sped up. This part is also used for rotating units by some users.
  • There is a dedicated sprinkler dome lid now to make irrigation using recommended but also own sprinklers more robust, easy and convenient. You simply can not hit any critical spot anymore.
  • V3 vertical barrels get more sturdy and stable when assembled and can be stacked higher than V2 was able to.
  • There will only be a single ring segment piece in ‘Version 3’ with 2 grow pod inserts that only allow 2 stacking positions – for 6 or 12 plants per level. If spaces are unused they can be closed with a nice green cover.
  • Compatibility: All larger and new parts will be backwards compatible. You can just not mix V2 and V3 parts in the same ring segment and you should not mix V2 levels with V3 levels within the same vertical barrel unit. Diameter of the grow spaces, diameter and metrics, wall thickness are exactly the same from V2 to V3.
Chained standing version with external reservoir

The most common use case is to arrange your barrels standing, for example in greenhouses or suitable protected urban spaces. Please also check a few integration examples on this page.

Chained vertical barrels
With the lid base we improved the initial multi barrel base into a more versatile and at the same time more compact base solution: The lid base has dual use: a) You can use a standard 40mm PVC pipe underneath to integrate drainage and a fixture for the pipe at the same time. And b) you can put it on a base with a diameter of 60cm to make it rotate. Irrigation input and output are located in the center and can be created without fixed contact.

Standalone version with own reservoir

Home and hobby users who are not afraid of managing a soilless setup can use our closed base and stack their soilless grow spaces on top of that. There is no need for an external nutrient reservoir. If you like to run a smaller farm without the need to maintain and setup an external nutrient reservoir, you can inter connect the closed bases to increase the amount of liquid in a circle. You can integrate one or even multiple revision parts in order to be able to reach inside the unit ones it has plants growing and is operating.

Standalone vertical barrels
These units use a standard submersible aquarium pump inside of the 36l base connected internally to the top waterbuffer. In this case the units were used outside. Irrigation was done in cycles using a simple mechanical timer.

Hanging Version of a soil-less barrel

The top lid can also be used as a hanging base. In this case you can attach 3 stainless steel ring hooks to the ribs that are then used to tighten strong nylon ribbons to hang a barrel to a swivel hook for example.

Each hanging barrel is strapped together using 3 ribbons. According to your lighting situation the barrel can be rotated using a swivel hook in order to assure even lighting for your plants.

Hanging version of aeroponic barrel in different sizes

Production Examples