55 Site Acrylic Cutting Cloner Plans
The idea behind this is bloody awesome, and they work really good for 1000’s of different species without the need to use any hormones or chemicals. I run mine just using rainwater, but tap water works fine too.
It really surprises me that they are only really popular overseas particularly as a tool of the Cannabis industry, as I reckon every serious plant propagation organisation or nursery should have them too.
To use them all you do is remove a piece of the plant you want to replicate and poke it through the foam of the cloner. Then just wait a few days to a couple of weeks for the bottom half to callous and throw roots. This works in nearly every case and once it has strong healthy roots and it can be removed and replanted as per normal.
With Cannabis being notoriously tricky and it being a billion $ market it makes sense that they would have taken the idea and run with it. That doesn’t mean folks like you and me that don’t grow dope can’t just steal their brilliant idea and use it too!
As the roots are formed in a very clean environment there is no risk of soil-borne pathogens and this makes them very effective for delicate and rare hard to root species. So many species will very reliably throw roots in one of these, but won’t by using standard hormones and soil mixes, and I urge revegetation groups and Landcare organisations to consider making one and trialling it themselves on our rare Australian natives.
Another huge advantage is because of the high humidity in the semi-sealed dome you don’t have to remove as many leaves resulting in bigger stronger clones. I have had many species that “only grow from seeds” reliably take root using these very simple contraptions.
If you do make one be sure to trial different parts of each new plant species. Some grow best from a hardened branch, some from soft new growth, and some even do great from single mature adult leaves, Psychotria being a great example.
Even for super common easy to grow species that will root unassisted in a cup of water, this is a way better method as the super high oxygenation completely prevents stagnation and rot. The continual flow of water removes any build-up of bacteria around the newly formed delicate roots, and in my side by side trials, it’s two to five times faster than normal.
I have bought six slightly different commercially made products over the years at huge expense and I was never happy with the quality of the materials used especially considering the price! Even worse every single one of them has since broken cracked or fallen apart. I have also bodgied up about a dozen from various tubs, tanks and containers I had lying around to use myself or give to friends and I was always super happy with the effectiveness.
They just didn’t look really flash…
With that in mind, I figured its time I made a proper one that will last me a lifetime.
It fits 55 cuttings evenly spaced as 5 x 11 rows and it was super easy to make. Pretty cheap too considering the work out it’s gonna get from me and all up it was only ~$250 and a couple of hours work.
- 1x Hacksaw to cut the acrylic panels
- 1x File to smooth the edges, blunt the corners and remove excess cement
- 1x Drill with a 20mm diameter drill bit.
- 1x Y or T joiner to fit the hose and pump
- 1x ~130cm hose(garden, irrigation, doesn’t matter)
- 1x Submersible Fishtank pump ~$40.00
- 14x screw-in spray nozzles ~$5.00
- 1x Acri-bond 110 Acrylic Cement 500ml = ~$50.00(100ml would have been plenty)
- 7x Acrylic Perspex Plexiglas 600mm x 400mm x 6mm = $140 delivered
- 1x 10mm x 600mm x 400mm EVA foam mat = $10.00
What you are making is basically a fishtank, that contains a perforated platform sitting on a stand, with a submersible fishtank pump underneath spraying water up towards the stems to promote root formation.
I will name the acrylic pieces as numbers and list the cuts in the order that I made them.
- 1= floor of tank was left uncut 600mm x 400mm x 6mm.
- 2= left wall of tank was left uncut 600mm x 400mm x 6mm.
- 3= right wall of tank was left uncut 600mm x 400mm x 6mm.
4= was cut into two pieces.
- 4a= 205mm x 400mm x 6mm.
- 4b= 295mm x 400mm x 6mm
5= was cut into two pieces.
- 5a= 205mm x 40mm x 6mm.
- 5b= 295mm x 40mm x 6mm.
6= cut into three pieces.
- 6a= 15mm x 20mm x 6mm.
- 6b= 15mm x 20mm x 6mm.
- 6c= 585mm x 400mm x 6mm
7= sheet has a corner square removed
- 7a= lid piece with small square removed from corner.
- 7b=15mm x 15mm x 6mm
I then went back to piece 6c and two opposing corners were cut off and put aside as lid handles.
- 6c1= 20mm x 30mm x 30mm x 6mm
- 6c2= 20mm x 30mm x 30mm x 6mm
- 6c was then marked and drilled out with five rows of eleven holes each with a 20mm diameter.
4a and 5a both had a section removed from the middle of the longest edge. I just cut two lines about 10mm apart to make a slot with the hacksaw, then carefully held the sheet flat on the table, while pulling that cut strip upwards until it snapped off.
- 4a and 5a were slotted together to make an upright 3 dimensional X shape.
This X platform is what holds the spray nozzles and hose in place, and it is the support for the piece 6c to sit on holding the cuttings. The foam will sit on top of 6c, on top of the 4a and 5a X, inside the tank.
Glueing was far easier than I thought but you do have to work quickly without any mistakes.
The process is just suck up some cement with the syringe, and apply a very thin line before pushing the edges together to tack them in place. Once held in place they can be reglued again over the top with a thicker line to fully bond the pieces stronger and make a watertight seal. It actually dissolves some of the plastic as well as adding ~20% more to it, so it’s more like a weld in steel and the seal is permanent.
An extra set of hands and/or a little masking tape makes this much easier.
- 1, 2, 3, 4b, 5b, are glued in place to make a fish tank shape.
- The 4a and 5a X is dropped in with your hose pump and spray nozzles.
- The 6c is slid in too. File the corners and sides a little it doesn’t catch any glue residue or jam against the walls.
- The foam matt is cut to size and scored, then sat on top of 6c. This to allows the plant cuttings to be pushed through the foam, through the perforations in 6c, and hanging exposed above the waterline in the path of the sprayers.
- Finally, the lid piece 7a has piece 7b attached to the long side underneath as a stopper.
- 7a has 6a and 6b attached as rails for the lid to slide on underneath the shortest sides.
On the top side of the lid 6c1 and 6c2 are attached on either end as handles.
Now the cloner has a tank, a sprayer, a stand to attach the spray nozzles to and to sit the perforated tray on, a scored foam matt sits on top for the cuttings to be held by, and a lid that doesn’t interfere with the pump cord seals the whole tank.
Now all you need to do is take some fresh plant matter cuttings and shove them half into the foam so they are exposed to both the water below and the air above. Easy as!
The perspex I used has a 30year guarantee and I put multiple layers of cement on the joints so it should be the very last aeroponic cloner I ever need to make or buy.
Feel free to copy or change my design, but if you are going to share it online please be sure to include the link to this page so I get the credit for my work.