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Deep Water Culture
Nature works in a special way. Only the most adaptable and the best species survive. Unfortunately, even the best plants have problems reproducing, so cloning them is sometimes the best ways to preserve the preferable genes. Cloning is also cost saving and an absolute fun activity.
Every perpetual gardener reaches a point of consistency and confidence in cloning plants. Gardening success arrives when one perfects cloning. While one could use rapid roosters or Rockwool cubes to clone, we prefer modern powered cloning machines. The best cloning machine helps in cycling the best plants for gardening success.
Anyone looking to duplicate the best plants will want to do so using a machine that is reliable irrespective of the type of garden. In this article, we provide a buying guide and outline some of the best cloning machines available today. To set the ball rolling, here are analyses of several machines under two umbrella categories: aeroponic and hydroponic.
Best Cloning Machines Reviews
Best Aeroponic Cloning Machines
A typical aeroponic cloning system comprises of cuttings suspended in air with a nutrient solution constantly misting their lower ends. A submersible electric pump provides the low pressure misting effect. For the warmth of the cuttings and the solution, heating pads may be placed beneath the system.
A plastic lid prevents the escape of the cloning environment humidity and thus promotes health of the upper parts of the cuttings. Note that the dome is not a necessity if humidity of the surrounding is suitable for the plants. Below are our top picks for this type of cloning machines.
1. TurboKlone T96 Aeroponic Cloning System
Quick start guide provides a few basics on TurboKlone set-up, operation & taking cuttings
As you shop for cloners, one thing that will surprise you is the great price difference despite the products looking almost similar. It is after using cloners for a while that one realizes that sometimes that price is justifiable. Here is one product that gives value for the money.
TurboKlone has demonstrated repeatedly that the best products do not have to be the costliest ones. This cloning system comes is arguably the best, but it is more affordable. So why consider a more expensive product and still get the same results?
The best cloning machines should offer enough oxygen, perfect temperature and enough sites. The TurboKlone T96 looks simple, but it offers the best combination of these three factors. It is designed to make cloning as easy as possible and carries all the necessary components, most noticeably the inbuilt fan.
A guide for user knowledge contains all you may want to learn about setting up the machine. The guide also provides operation information, as well as ideas for cuttings.
Overheating has proven to be a constant problem for cloning systems as it causes plant death. To counter this issue, the TurboKlone T96 comes with a shroud and fan that maintain a cool environment for the plants. Attached to the reservoir, the fan enhances the mixture of air and spray of water, thus maximizing oxygen concentration. The roots flourish because of this healthy concentration.
There was a time pumps would provide so much heat that the roots died, unless the pumps were timed. You will be pleased to note that the technology used by TurboKlone allows the pumps to keep running without any damage to the roots.
Even if you have come across many cloning machines, the design of the TurboKlone T96 will still astound as it is unlike any other. Very noticeable is the sleek design characterized by curves. Most cloning machines have straight lines. What edge does this design give this product? Apart from the attractive appearance, this design enhances strength, thus guaranteeing more protection for the plants.
You can order this product in four different capacities:
- 24 sites
- 48 sites
- 96 sites
- 144 sites
If you are ready to spend, take any of these TurboKlone cloning systems.
2. Clone King 36 Site Aeroponic Cloning Machine
Comes With Easy To Follow Detailed Instructions To Make Cloning A Snap
The Clone King 36 Site Aeroponic Cloning Machine is another excellent choice if you are looking for highly successful mass propagation of your favorite plant. It carries high quality components for this process: powerful submersible pump, reservoir, lid, 13 Spray Heads etc.
The product, which also comes with a light source, suspends the plant cuttings within an aeroponic environment. This way the plant receives a rich and continuous spray. Unfortunately, it does not feature a built-in fan. This is important for some users because high temperature can affect plant growth.
Are you a novice when it comes to cloning machines? Do not worry a bit. This machine is built for any user. Its components are extremely easy to set up- just follow the detailed instructions that come with the product and you done. This process will not even last 30 minutes.
You do not even need the guidelines if you have set up a cloning machine before. After everything is up and running, roots should start shooting within three to five days. After two weeks, you should be transplanting the plants. Meanwhile this cloning machine will last for many years thanks to its compact design and quality materials.
Maintenance and use of this cloning machine is equally simple. Placing and removing the lid is a straightforward process, while the pump cord is manageable. Furthermore, this machine is safe – it adheres to the laid safety standards.
The numbers of plants the machine can handle is easily one of the strengths. If you have many cuttings, the Clone King 36 Site Aeroponic Cloning Machine would be perfect. The success rate is not bad either. It should fall below 95 percent.
For the serious grower in need of many clones quickly, the Clone King 36 with its 36 sites makes the ideal plant system. Although the machine’s sprayer heads can become clogged and the machine looks a little too much compact, running quietly and all the other positives we have noted make it a preferable choice.
The Clone King Aeroponic cloner runs as effectively as the Ez and the Turbo. You will not even believe that is several times cheaper than these products.
This machine comes with a Submersible Pump (317GPH), 13 spray heads for coverage, inserts, cloning mixture and lid. A success rate of 100% is possible with this model if you do things as instructed and the conditions allow. That is why this cloner beats many others of the same price range.
3. TurboKlone T24D Aeroponic Cloning System
Humidity dome helps in the prevention of leaf transpiration & initial transplant shock
This is undoubtedly one of the most expensive cloning machines in the market today, but it justifies its price tag, especially with the inclusion of the humidity dome. While this product is a lower rank of the T96, it does not differ in performance and quality.
A standout component in this system is the fan. The fan plays two important roles: counteracting heat in the chamber and ensuring a constant supply of oxygen for healthy growth. Something more interesting about the fan- you will not even notice the system easily.
A mark of innovation is evident as the fan system is devoid of dangling cords and components that we see in other products. This does a lot not only on the aesthetics of the product, but also safety.
Also adding immense value to the product is the submersible pump/manifold that sprays the required amount of oxygen and water to the plant. The continuous mist ensures that the roots develop in a healthy and robust manner.
Application of the TurboKlone T24D in a controlled growing environment helps minimize root damage for a quicker and healthier growth as compared to conventional cloning methods.
The sturdy construction is complemented by a rounded design. This combination not only makes the TurboKlone T24D long lasting, but also easy to clean. At 7.6 pounds, it is obvious that this machine is heavier than most in this class, but it does offer more cloning sites.
Again, the design stands out from competitors, with sleek, rounded edges and curved walls giving the product greater strength and resilience from external and internal forces. Conventional cloning machines feature straight lines and angles, which are no more than planter boxes and storage containers. This sleek design also makes cleaning a simple task. There are no tight corners for bacteria to hang around.
Another notable feature is the humidity dome, which helps counter initial transplant shock and leaf transpiration. This removable component comes in handy for plants that work well in tropics and for growing environments that are dry or arid.
With all these exciting features, you can expect the TurboKlone T24D Aeroponic Cloning System to give an excellent performance. First, the machine has a higher capacity (up to 60% more sites than other systems of similar size). Then the results are amazing as it boasts of a 100% success rate for every usage.
4. Clone Bucket Aeroponic Plant Cloner
1.0 Gallon Black Clone Bucket (controls algae growth within the machine)
Clone buckets are among the most sought after cloning machine models because after setting them up, little or no effort is needed on maintenance. Simply fill the reservoir with water and make sure the sprayer is intact. Having done that, bring your clones or tops and place them inside the cutouts.
The 8 Site Aeroponic Plant Cloner – Clone Bucket 1.0 SM 8 site From Hydro West has demonstrated quality and is thus regarded one of the best cloning machines of this type.
Highly liked by many users, this plant cloner is not only amazingly easy to use, but also clones in record time. This is a nice addition to the fact that it costs so little. Of course, it is designed for small-scale applications, but you can scale it to the 18 Site Aeroponic Plant Cloner – Clone Bucket 2.0 SM 18 Site from Hydro West if you want bigger results.
Do not worry if you have never used even the easiest of best cloning machines. The 8 Site Aeroponic Plant Cloner – Clone Bucket comes with directions that are easy to follow. Follow them to the letter and you are sure of a success rate of up to 100%.
This is how you set up the machine: place the pump inside and place the plants at the top using the reusable inserts (provided). Then switch on the pump and wait for the results.
Results come within 10 days! Why is the machine so successful? Its reliable 97 GPH Pump comes with a built in pre-filter that keeps all debris away from the sprayers. The black bucket is also deliberately designed to inhibit algae growth, thus maximizing the success rate.
Sometimes, the pump will turn over as has been reported by some users. By being keener when fixing the pump, you can prevent this problem. The issue of water becoming hot can be rectified by using a timer set for pumping every 15 minutes. Though an added cost, this measure can add functionality to the system and prevent unnecessary damages.
This cloner may appear simpler than its rivals may, but it gives super results for a fraction of the cost. Apart from the largest version mentioned above, Hydro West also provides 4, 6, and 12 units, all of excellent quality. You need to try out this cloning machine to believe. Do not forget that the inserts are reusable!
Best Deep Water Culture (DWC) Cloning Machines
This category is also called the reservoir method. It is touted as the simplest of all hydroponics because the roots are simply suspended in a solution. An air pump provides oxygen to the plants, but light penetration is prevented because it can cause algae growth. Two of the best cloning machines in this category are listed below.
1. Clonetray 30 – Hydroponics Ez DWC Plant Cloner and Seedling Starter System
Uses hydroponic technology that is superior and up to 10 times faster than soil
The first product on our hydroponic list of best cloning machines is this Clonetray 30 – Hydroponics Ez DWC Plant Cloner, which also doubles as a seedling starter system. It uses hydroponic technology, which has been proven 10 times superior to soil. Its propagation of plants is much better and it gives results in record time. There are many reasons why you need to check out this product.
Oxygen distribution within the system is excellent thanks to the Dual-outlet air pump that rated at 3.4w and is capable of supporting up to 75-gallon tanks. This product is exactly what the name suggests- 30 sites that form a compact product. The 24″ x 8″ x 5″ large cloning machine ideal for installing below fluorescent lights and shelving.
The powerful pump has fine-pore diffuser tubing that lines the entire tray for the best distribution of oxygenated water. If you are using this product on a larger scale, you will appreciate the way the pump design prevents clogging and makes maintenance easy.
Rich supply of oxygen ensures the growth of the plants in a suitable environment. But the air pump does even more because the cooling effect hinders overheating, which can be detrimental to plant health.
The 30 Seed starter foams that accompany the NEW 2018 Premium Edition are bacteria-free so they guarantee plant health. The fabricated cover adds immense value as far as construction quality is concerned. Because of the sturdy construction, this cloner promises many years of service.
Another impressive thing about the Clonetray 30 is that its reservoir does not clog or leak. We have seen poor quality reservoirs in some models that start to leak within a few weeks. The fact that this one will probably never develop this problem will give you peace of mind.
The other features that make this product have a staggering 100% success rate are 30 Neoprene inserts, 30 net pots and fine-pore weighted air diffuser tubing.
It may be true that trays are on the less versatile side, but these types of cloning machines are ideal for users who are after space optimization. A shelving system is all one need to design to take advantage of this system. The good thing is that you will not be building such a system every few months. Get a product that clones your favorite plant within ten days.
2. Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bubbler 8 Bucket Kit with 6″ Lids
Easy to use complete Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System! 8 Growing Sites!
This system is one of the simplest and most affordable hydroponic cloners in the market so it is the perfect solution for beginners. The setup and assembly is minimal and the easiest you can get. However, it is notable that this product is a large departure from hydroponic growth of plants.
What makes this product exciting is the omission of the growth chamber setup, which we have come to associate with systems in this category. Instead, the manufacturer offers are (8) 5 gallon FDA buckets that can carry eight plants.
What is the essence of this setup? It allows the plants to rely on the nutrient solution carried by the bucket, so the central reservoir of the recirculating systems is avoided. This design features an Industrial Air pump that pushes the water and oxygenates plant roots. So there is nothing like water going through a canal or a grow bed. Another positive over other systems is the inclusion of an air stone that dissolves oxygen into the water.
To add to the pump, eight buckets and eight air stones, this set also comes with 6-inch basket lids, Blue Water Level Indicators, Air Tubing and an impressive one-year warranty.
The water level indicators are important for one reason- monitoring buckets regularly can be a challenge. The drain works in tandem with the indicators to ensure that water level management is simple.
You cannot avoid changing the water at some point- the salt will eventually affect the pH. This is normal for all hydroponic machines so prioritize it in your maintenance schedules.
The little disadvantage is that the Industrial Air pump may make a lot of noise. However, looking at the balance shows that the DWC Hydroponic Bubbler 8 Bucket Kit is a quality pick because of the long list of advantages.
If you consider owning cloning machine, you will be amazed it costs less than $200 with all the value it offers.
Best Ebb & Flow Systems
This system floods the plants with nutrients in intervals. The next step is the nutrient solution flowing back to the reservoir. To achieve this process, the system comes with a timer that controls a pump.
1. Active Aqua Grow Flow Ebb & Gro 12 Site Hydroponic System + (12) Expansion Pot
A smaller reservoir (55 gallons) can be used with less water compared to flood & drain tables
Are you planning to clone plants that can withstand intermittent dryness? Some plants thrive when flourish when their roots search for moisture- the roots grow. Strong root growth translates into a healthier plant. For such a plant, consider buying a hydroponic system that also features 12 expansion pots. Active Aqua is behind the superb design and manufactured of this cloner.
An instantly clear characteristic of this system is excellent flexibility. It features (12) Active Aqua 2 Gallon Pots, which you can expand to 48 pots if you need a higher number of clones. Sounds good if you are planning to expand your growing capacity.
The heart of this system is the controller unit and the small 55-gallon reservoir, which carries less water than flood & drain tables. For the extremely busy users and anyone looking for automation, the product uses a programmable controller that is capable of controlling up to 48 plant sites.
Modern safety features are part of this extremely efficient and reliable cloning machine. In case the float valve stops, the LED indicator lights up immediately and the shut-off valve switches off the system automatically.
This prevents damage spillage that could damage the growing section. The Active Aqua Grow Flow Ebb & Gro 12 Site Hydroponic System is the only machine that features fail-safe overflow protection currently.
We also love the product’s ease of maintenance despite the many features. To complement the programmable aspect, this set comes complete and ready to use- fittings, tubes, reservoir and even a quart bottle of each FloraMicro, FloraGro, and FloraBloom.
Many are imitating this nutrient system, but they have been unable to duplicate it. The Flora series of nutrient system is so good in enhancing crop quality and yields.
2. Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow Hydroponics System (O.D. 41.3” length x 41.3” wide x 25” high)
Black Poly Tubing 16 - 1 gallon Nursery Pots Grounded Multi Pin Timer
The Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow Hydroponics System is a reliable product, especially for cannabis farmers, which comes with a pump, tubing, timer, tray, potting medium and a stand. Each of the 25 pots featured can hold up to one gallon, but you can replace it with a larger pot if the situation demands. Unfortunately, the cloner does not feature nutes.
Nevertheless, you want to own this cloner if you are a new grower, as it suits users who are still inexperienced in soil-free and robust settings. Starting out in hydroponics is normally marred with confusion because the number of factors involved is simply big. Setting up the first growing station is one of the toughest stages. It is not just watering the plants.
With this system from Viagrow, you have a 25-plant grow tray, a nutrient reservoir and a stand to get going. In fact, all the components you need serve the system with nutrient are ready. If your jurisdiction does not have problems with large setups, then the manufacturer has you sorted.
If you have a limited garden space, you want to consider this ebb & flow hydroponics system. With a version measuring only 2 ft. x 2 Ft. and capable of holding 14 plants, this is one of the best hydroponic systems for you. There are other sizes for this model:
53” length x 28.5” wide x 25” high
53” length X 53” wide x 25” high
What excites the most about this product is the short period of time it takes to deliver high quality yields. Also guaranteed are better flavors and fragrances, as well as increased nutritional value. With the durable pots, you can be sure to enjoy these results for a long time.
On the flipside, this Viagrow could need extra support for even distribution of water. Please note also that it will not be completely helpful if you are constantly growing many plants. A mini hydroponics system like this one demands careful balancing and monitoring to get the best results, but we guess that every grower is ready for such.
Best Drip System
This is another simple system. As the name suggests, this system drips nutrient solution from a reservoir to the plant roots. A pump is normally part of the system.
1. General Hydroponics EcoGrower Drip Hydroponic System
Can be used to grow very large plants
General Hydroponics has demonstrated design departure from the modular system that is associated with the WaterFarm series. In this product, a single structure carries several grow sites arranged hexagonally. The six sites are placed on top of the lid inserts and everything sits on a reservoir.
When it comes to six growing sites, the water needs can be enormous. The GH Eco Grower Drip Hydroponic System is ready for that, offering up to 17 gallons capacity. We like the spider drip system for its effectiveness in delivering nutrients to every grow site. The power behind this system is the powerful Elite 800 air pump.
The performance of this cloning machine is also nice. The 6-inch ports in the lid inserts are capable of supporting a cutting to maturity. The clay pebbles that come with the product support this process.
Saying that the EcoGrower is easy to use is an understatement. This system is ready to use and straightforward as it contains nutrients and growing medium to add to lid inserts, net cups, reservoir and pump. You only need to include grow lights, power, water and of course, the seedlings.
Good news about maintenance! This cloner system has very few moving parts so lubrication and replacements are minimal. What may not be good news enough is that the 17-gallon reservoir needs a higher level of maintenance.
While the cloning machine is relatively heavy at 31 pounds, we do not think portability is a problem. The compact design means transport and storage is manageable.
If you already have a beginner system, the EcoGrower is an ideal upgrade, as it comes with a good number of growing sites and everything is all set. The fact that General Hydroponics are planning to release an upgraded solar-powered version should excite anyone who cares about the environment.
As most cloning machines in the market today, this cloner comes with a comfortable warranty that should cover several components. To know the specifics of the warranty, you need to visit the manufacturer’s website or alternatively, contact the dealer directly.
2. General Hydroponics WATERFARM MODULE
Shipping Weight: 2.69 pounds
Beginners have an interesting solution in this simple and compact hydroponics cloning system. Portability, small footprint and usability make the price look like a joke. At 15x10x7 in, this General Hydroponics WATERFARM MODULE qualifies as one of the smallest ones. However, the performance of this standalone product is impressive.
It can support a wide range of plants including tomatoes, flowers, herbs and cucumbers. You can grow several plants together since the product is made from high quality plastic.
As expected from the design, the system is easy to set up and use. It will be ready for growing plants within a few minutes. It comprises of two major parts: a 2-gallon chamber within a 4-gallon plastic reservoir.
Unfortunately, the small reservoir size may be a hindrance for the ambitious grower. This completely autonomous unit comprises of an in-built pumping column drip ring that does a splendid job in watering the plant, which is crucial for the first few weeks.
We love systems that feature drip or feed systems as this means better plant health. The fact that this cloning machine comes with a top feeding mechanism is good news for beginners who are looking for the best results.
General Hydroponics offers two options for this package. The complete package is referred to as the WaterFarm system. You could opt for the second option, which comprises of the pumping system, bucket and growing chamber.
The module makes an ideal choice for experienced users who intend to join several sites to make a complex system. In other words, this system offers unmatched freedom. Less experienced growers can opt for the WaterFarm 8-pack or WaterFarm Individual from the same manufacturer. The square shape makes the system ideal for tight spaces.
When complete, the system comprises of air pump, water level indicator, growing medium, bucket and drip pump. Do not be intimidated by this list of components. The setup is easy, but if there are any issues, you can always refer to the detailed guide included in set.
The only measure to take is to make sure the acid levels and pH levels are correct for the young plant. Testing and making the appropriate adjustments will do the trick.
Buying Guide For The Best Cloning Machine
Gardening is a precise art that needs the right combination of environment and timing. Cloning machines are designed to make the process of making plant replicas easier. Their basic components are square/circular box, spray bottle, water pump and others. All cloning machines may be designed to make the cloning process easier, but they are not equal.
Before buying the product, it is important to make a few important considerations as discussed below.
Alongside budget, your gardening needs should inform your best pick. Each plant has different growth requirements such as temperature, moisture and nutrients. In the same breadth, user preferences differ all the time, especially if you pit professionals and novices together. There are many types of cloning machines, each with a specific market audience.
For instance, the Deep Water Culture (DWC) and EAF & Flow (Ebb System) have somehow contrasting appeals.
Beginners may want to go for the Deep Water Culture (DWC) for its simple and manageable design. Large reservoirs that carry nutrients are the trademark of DWC models. Cuttings are placed in inserts and when they are ready, they can be transferred. Rooting may take as much as over a week.
Professionals prefer the EAF and Flow (Ebb System), which is ideal for plants suited for dry areas. This will often feature an advanced pumping technology and is more complex than the DWC system. A micro-jet sprayer connected to the pump ensures that the plants are constantly fed via a mist spray.
Although this technology is complex and obviously more expensive, the fact that it gives results in an incredible four days makes it popular.
Number of Growing Sites
How many plants are you planning to plant? The number will determine the number of growing sites you need. Note that different models have different number of sites. You want to consider your requirements carefully before you can settle on any particular product.
The most common number in the market is 30. However, if you are looking to scale the system later, we would rather you take fewer sites now.
The number of plants is directly proportional to bucket size. Most measurements for this size are in gallons. We recommend the bigger sizes because they allow for convenient removal of the crops once they are fully developed.
Active or Passive Hydroponic System
In regards to the hydroponic system, there are two options- passive and active hydroponic systems. For the mere fact that the active system provides stronger plants, we suggest that you go for it. The system’s pump offers the plants the necessary nutrients. Note that it is costlier than the passive system, but it offers good value.
Functionality of the Machine
Depending on your budget, you may decide to go for a multi-function machine or a simple one. We can all agree that the price rarely lies- the costlier products are usually better. Apart from premium design, these products offer built-in fans and a host of other add-ons.
Expandability of the Kit
An expandable feature is necessary for the cloning machine if you are planning to grow bigger plants in future. While missing this feature is not a big deal, but you will have to go back to your pocket when this need arises. That is why we prefer an expandable cloning machine to a general one.
Organic Vs. Chemicals
Organic farming is gaining popularity every day, as people continue to switch to chemical-free planting. However, not all machines have organic capability. When purchasing the item, you need to choose between chemical aided and organic systems. If unsure, ask for the dealer for confirmation about this feature.
For plants that work well in humid conditions, using a cloning machine with a humidity dome can make all the difference. While light and humidity are mostly reliant on the environment, it would be unwise to ignore this factor.
Some models feature humidity domes, but others do not. While the dome is only necessary for humidity levels lower than 60%, you want to expose your plants to the perfect environment. When looking at this feature, probably questions revert to your budget and preference.
Assembly or Setup
Setup is another area where cloning machines tend to vary a lot. Try to stick to machine that is not too complex to assemble. You may assemble a machine and it does not perform as expected, only to discover later that you did not set it up properly. You probably missed a component.
You will find both pre-assembled and disassembled cloning machines. If you are a beginner, you will want a pre-assembled machine or one that is easy to assemble.
Maintenance and Care
Upkeep of the best cloning machines is another consideration you cannot afford to ignore. Plant debris clogging the nozzles or pumps is not a rarity in a hydroponic system. Some users may not have the time to deal with this problem and the contamination that affects the reservoir.
For ease of maintenance, choose a model that features an easy-to-clean reservoir and working filters. Some cloning machines have hard-to-reach corners, thus they are undesirable.
Maintenance does not stop at filters and pumps. It also encompasses resistance against temperatures, hard knocks and other factors. Watch out for susceptibility to leakage, which is common problem for plant cloning machines.
Size of the System
As you choose the best cloning machine, remember that the equipment needs adequate light, a power outlet and external stress protection. That is why you need to set aside enough space, especially for more sites.
Take into account the individual element size too, noting that things such as sites being close to one another occur. Some workers do not mind proximity of root systems though.
Well, we have outlined some buying tips and reviewed some of the best cloning machines in the market today. After going through this article, you should now be ready to enter the market with confidence. Not every product on this list may suit your needs, but there is that one cloning machine just for you.
Let your budget not discourage you. You can join the growing league of modern farmers at any level and still enjoy faster and improved results. If you have any queries about these machines, please leave it in the comments section. We will be pleased to guide you or share our experience.