There are Many Hydroponic Systems to Choose From!

example of a hydroponic systemThere are many Hydroponic Systems that a grower can choose from and they are as follows:

1. Water Culture or Aquaculture. This is the method of hydroponics that is the simplest to set up on a small scale. In this system the plant roots are totally immersed in a nutrient solution. The major disadvantages of this system are the large amount of water required per plant and the need to aerate the solution continuously. The system must provide means to support the plant above the solution, aerate the solution, and prevent light from reaching the solution (to prevent the growth of algae).

2. Aggregate Culture. Growing plants using aggregates like sand or gravel is often preferred to the water culture method since the aggregate helps support the roots. The aggregate is held in the same type of tank used for a water culture system. The nutrient solution is held in a separate tank and pumped into the aggregate tank to moisten the roots as needed. After the aggregate has been flooded, it is drained to provide aeration. Enough water and nutrients cling to the aggregate and roots to supply the plant until the next flooding.

3. Aeroponics. In an aeroponic system, the roots of the plant grow in a closed container. A misting system bathes the roots in a film of nutrient solution and keeps them near 100% relative humidity to prevent drying. The container may be of almost any design as long as it is moisture proof and dark.

4. Continuous Flow Systems. The nutrient solution is held in a large tank and pumped or allowed to flow by gravity to the growing pipes. The continuously flowing nutrient solution bathes the roots and then returns to the holding tank. The solution aerates itself as it flows back into the tank.

5. The Ebb and Flow (or Flood and Drain) System. Many growers consider this the Rolls Royce of hydroponic systems. It usually involves the use of multiple modules or double buckets—the inside bucket or basket contains the grow medium, such as baked clay pebbles, while the outside bucket is flooded periodically by a pump on a timer for a set period of time, let’s say 15 minutes, then the solution is drained back into the reservoir. Aeration takes place automatically each time the solution is drained, since the resulting vacuum sucks air into the buckets.

Take your pick!

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    cultiv8or said,

    DWC is probably my favorite, that’s how I started growing and so I guess it’s got a special place in my heart.

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