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Thread: Hydroponics Growing Systems

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    Thumbs up Hydroponics Growing Systems

    Each of the hydroponics growing systems has its own way of supporting the plants. Plants require food, water, and oxygen for the roots to keep them from drowning. You can scroll down the page to see how each system works one by one, or you can use this menu to jump to any system. The main types of hydroponics growing systems are the...


    Hand Watering

    People often do not realize that hand watering can be one of the simplest hydroponics growing systems, but hydroponics boils down to this...the food is in the water.

    If you mix perlite, vermiculite, and coconut coir (all nutrient free) and use this to grow your plants in a container garden, you will HAVE TO include some plant food in the water when you hand water.

    By deffinition, this is an example of hydroponics gardening. A 50/50 mix of perlite/vermiculite would work just as well.



    Coconut coir and vermiculite retain quite a bit of water. By using more of them in the soiless mix, the containers will stay moist between hand-waterings (every day or two). Sphagnam peat is the base of many commercial potting soils and can be used as a substitute for this purpose also.



    Because of its simplicity, this is obviously an easy home method. This is one of the hydroponics growing systems that will easily support organics. No matter what type of system you choose, you will need to learn some hydroponics feeding tips.


    The Reservoir Method

    The reservoir method is one of the easiest of all the true hydroponics growing systems. A container holds about two inches of nutrient solution. Several plant containers sit down in the nutrient solution. An aquarium air pump constantly bubbles in the nutrient solution, keeping the plants roots from drowning.



    Often, small holes are made around the bottom 2 inches of the plant pots, allowing the roots to grow out into the nutrient solution.



    As in the example above, an effort is usually made to keep light from getting to the nutrient solution.



    Wherever there is light and nutrients, algae will grow. Algae eat the nutrients you are trying to feed to your plants, and when pieces of algae die they attract fungus gnats. Fungus gnats lead to many other problems.



    Because of its simple design and simple function, the reservoir method is a good choice for homemade hydroponics. Since there are no drip or spray emitters to clog, it is also a good choice for organic hydroponics growing systems.



    This system is well suited for volcanic lava chips media, or else a mixture of one part vermiculite to 5 parts expanded clay pellets.



    As with any hydroponics growing system, you will want to brush up on your hydroponics feeding tips before beginning.




    The Flood and Drain Method
    aka Ebb and Flow

    Of all the hydroponics growing systems, this is the system I use most often myself.



    In the flood and drain method, the plants sit in their own container separate from the nutrient reservoir.



    From time to time, a pump will kick on. The nutrient solution from the reservoir floods the upper container for a while, soaking the plant roots and the grow medium. The pumps than turn off, and the solution drains back into the reservoir.

    Your choice of grow media determines how often and how long you flood the container for. Fast draining, clay pellets may be flooded for a half hour 4 times a day, while the slower draining rockwool can be watered less.

    This system is also well suited for growing in straight perlite or lava chips.



    The parts and function of this hydroponics growing system are pretty basic, making it another good option for a homemade hydroponics system. With a good water pump, you can also use this method for organic hydroponics. It is always a good idea to have a filter before the pump in any system.




    Of course, you will make any hydroponics growing system work its best with the right hydroponics feeding tips.




    The Drip System

    With the drip hydroponics growing system, the plants are again in their own tray, separate from the nutrient reservoir. A pump pushes nutrient solution through many small tubes, which feed each plant from the top. Different emitters can be placed on the end of each tube to make the drip slower or faster.



    Once again, a faster draining medium (like clay pellets) will need faster dripping emitters (or more of them per plant). Slower draining media (like rockwool) would use slower dripping emitters.

    The standard media for drip systems is rockwool, although clay pellets and lava chips are also sometimes used. Straight perlite should work well in this system also, although I've never tried it myself.



    The flow rate is difficult to control on a drip system, and the emitters are famous for clogging. These problems are even worse when you try to make your own drip system. You will probably spend a lot of money and have a poorly working system if you try to build a homemade drip system (I know this from personal experience).



    Furthermore, organic nutrients are full of small particles that ALWAYS seem to mess up the drip emitter. If you are trying to do organic hydroponics, this is not the system for you.




    The Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

    In this hydroponics growing system, plants are placed in a tray or gutter separate from the nutrient reservoir. One end of the tray is lower than the other, to encourage the flow of water.



    A pump delivers a steady flow of water at one end, creating a constant stream of nutrient solution in the bottom of the tray. In order to make sure the water flowing through the bottom of the tray is nice and even, a layer of absorbant material (called capillary matt) is placed in the bottom.



    NFT is another method that is both easy for the homemade hydroponics do-it-yourselfer and also a good choice for organic hydroponics growing systems. Once again the parts, the design, and the function are all simple. once again, there are no drip or spray emitters to clog.



    There is one thing to consider, however. You must start with plants that have a root system large enough to hang down into the flowing nutrient solution. Your other option would be to top feed the plants with a drip system until their roots are large enough (which is a pain).



    It doesn't matter what type of media you start your plants in. Once they are in place in the system, the roots will be growing right in the water!



    This system, when the proper hydroponics feeding tips are followed, works very nicely.



    The Wick System

    In wick hydroponic growing systems, the plants are again in their own container, separate from the nutrient reservoir. Pieces of absorbant material (usually nylon rope) are buried partially in each plant container. The other end of the rope is allowed to dangle in the nutrient solution.



    The absorbant material pulls the nutrient solution from the reservoir up into the growing medium.



    The system is easy to make as a homemade hydroponics system, and will support organic hydroponics without any problems, but there are a coulple of things to consider.



    Sometimes it is difficult to get the right moisture level in a wick system. You will have to experiment a little with more absorbant growing mediums (vermiculite/coconut coir). Also, I have seen the wicks suck up less and less water over time (especially when using organics).



    If you want to give this method a try, I suggest a 50/50 mix of perlite/vermiculite. Perlite and coconut coir would work as well.



    Altogether, I think other systems are just as easy to use, and produce better results.




    The Aeroponics Method

    In these hydroponics growing systems, a large container like this contains several gallons of nutrient solution in the bottom. A pump pushes nutrient solution through spray heads that constantly soak every inch inside the container with a fine mist of nutrient solution.

    As you can see, there really is no growing medium in this method. The plants roots hang down into the container and grow mostly in air, except for the few that grow long enough to make it into the nutrient solution in the bottom.



    The pump used is a high-pressure pump, and the spray emitters are made specially to deliver a very fine, highly oxygenated spray.



    It is often very hard to assemble individual parts into a well-working system, and the individual parts can be expensive as well. Also, the fine-spray emitters will instantly clog if you try to use anything except high quality hydroponic fertilizers (no organics).



    Of all the hydroponics growing systems, this is the most difficult to master and the most tempermental. Ph changes and nutrient imbalances occur more quickly because of the increased absorbtion rates and high levels of oxygenation.



    Furthermore, with no grow media to protect the roots, the plants react negatively to these changes much more quickly.



    More recently, some innovative gardeners have begun to push this new area. Systems are beginning to pop up that are much simpler and that do not rely on pumps. Aeroponics does offer faster growth rates, which continue to drive the demand for it.





    Please feel free to post up any other systems you know of.

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    And there is my favorite.....

    ......the home made bubbler bucket.

    Consists of a bucket with a lid - hole in the centre of lid to hold a net pot.

    A net Pot

    An Air stone

    and a auqrium air pump.

    Cheap and chearful with great results.

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    NFT was a British invention and so with it hydroponics. We can go space age and try to first drown the plant and then keep it a live with air, but doesn't it make more sense to give the plant a rest?

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    yeah i wanna go with the aeroponics system and use regulators and back up regulators for everything/ my specialty is fabrication and plumbing. I want some more detailed ideas of some systems, specificly and 8 plant veg and 8 plant flower system for both rooms. running 1000w hortilux, mylar, c02 reg in both rooms, also any strains you can sugest that will flower quickly but still be coated properly,.thanks! great post!

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    Hello How Are U I Was Womdering If U Could Tell Me About The System U Used It Is My First Time 2 Try Grow I Was Looking At Buying A Amazom Aeroponis Systems It Is A 16 Pot Systems The Length Is 1600 Mm And The W.750 Mm H.140 Mm That Is The Tank And The Chamber Is L. 750 Mm W. 750 Mm H.140 Mm And It Holds 100 Litre Of Water Do U No About This Systems And Is It Any Good Thanks Craneman

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    Abit late mate i no but i have used one of these systems for my last 2 grows with a 600hps with great results i would only use 8 of the 16 sites for the plants as they get a bit crowded(my way lol) and also spray the lid matt white as the heat from the lamp can cause the temp to rise in the root chamber and make sure you invest in decent e.c and p.h pens
    First rule of grow club is never tell anyone.Second rule of grow club is never tell anyone Third rule of grow club is .................................................. .................................................. .......................................

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    hi everyone, i thought i made my mind up on a bubbler system, but after reading this i dont know, would i be better off with flood and drain? i cant check on the grow too often, its at my m8s and dont wanna leave him with things like ph adjuster n stuff cuz hes thick as shit. i can check on it once maybe twice a week. also i dont like the idea of having to take the lid off the bubbler system all the while if im going to have a 3ft plant in it. someone help plz. thnx
    Who you trin to get crazy with ese? dont you know Im loco?



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    Hey hey,

    Hydroponics is my life, i have tried and dealt with almost all those Ikdj2003 mentioned.

    However i use a form a Deep Water Culture (DWC) that i personally think is superior to other techniques.

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    I'm on aeroponics right now and I love it. It all depends on the nutrients I guess, and not only have I got the right equipment, I have an insider scientist bloke telling me what's in my water, and I know before most if there's something wrong with the water supply, as in too much chlorine, not enough lime etc. Have only got a tiny set up, but it's coming on brilliantly, although quite costly to get everything spot on. Have to speculate to accumulate :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogpilot20 View Post
    Hey hey,

    Hydroponics is my life, i have tried and dealt with almost all those Ikdj2003 mentioned.

    However i use a form a Deep Water Culture (DWC) that i personally think is superior to other techniques.
    Well how about some details then amigo, don't just tease us with an elite hydro set up you got up ya sleeve

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    I just finished my homemade bubble bucket a couple of days ago, spend around £20 on the system (main cost was the dual air pump @ £12.99) and less then an hour to build it =)
    Drilling 4 holes (1x for tap on bottom to release nutrients / 2x for air supply / 1x for level of nutrients (to avoid over filling) If needed I can post some pictures of the bubble bucket and the home made (DWC) cloner.

    For the below information I cannot take any credit as I just copy and pasted this somewhere of the internet for research, while thinking of building such a cheap and cheerful system!



    Deep Water Culture
    aka DWC aka The Bubbler

    This is the simplest method of hydroponics and is used mainly by growers who only wish to cultivate a minimal number of plants. It is a true domestic incarnation of hydroculture. This technique is cheap and works well, however, is high maintenance and not very easy to manage.
    The system relies upon an air pump and an air stone to bubble air through the nutrient solution to mix it, but also in the beginning to generate spray, so as to get the clay pebble medium wet in order to establish the roots through the net pot. Consequently, the water has to be high enough to saturate the clay pebble medium by means of getting it wet or even moist via the actions of the bursting air bubbles. Once the plant has established a good root system, then it is advisable to lower the level of water in the bucket so that some of the roots can be allowed to hang in the air between the net pot and the water level. The majority of the roots live in the aerated deep water, 24 hours a day. With 24 hours a day in mind, as the roots are constantly submerged, it is crucial that the air pump is on 24 hours a day. If the pump is allowed to be off for any length of time, the roots will suffer from being waterlogged and starved of oxygen.
    You can only typically grow one plant per bucket. Any more and the roots that develop can engulf the air stone and if this happens, then again lack of aeration to the rootball will result in death. This system does not operate via a reservoir, as the plants live in the reservoir itself. As the bucket can only hold a very limited amount of water - 5 to 10 litres, and the plants are living in this small amount of water, the CF and pH of this water is in a state of constant flux and therefore in need of constant attention. Not only that, but larger plants can deplete 5 litres of water in a single day so you are also in constant danger of the system literally running out of water. To emphasise this a little better, as plants uptake water they do not necessarily uptake nutrients at the same rate and as this occurs, the plants might be drinking lots of water but not eating much food. The result is that in a matter of hours, as the water is depleted, the concentration of the nutrients in the bucket can reach toxic levels. So it is critical to always under feed your plants in this system.
    With this in mind, the pH will also fluctuate as the water is depleted but the nutrients are not. So, you are advised to keep a constant check on monitoring and maintaining this system. Maintenance of this system also presents a headache because in order to change the water and check the pH and CF, you have to physically remove the lid and the plant from the growing chamber. To lift the lid with a small plant in it is not so much a worry, but to be constantly lifting the lid with a large plant located in it will do damage to the plant and the rootball of the plant. Bear in mind that you will have to do this on at least a daily basis, so the practicality of this technique is very questionable. If you were to maintain several of these buckets in one grow room, then you could be looking at a full-time maintenance job – not really what hydroponics is about! Large plants that are grown in this system will also need extra support due to the fact that the plant is grown in a minimal amount of medium, which will not support heavy yielders.


    Example of DWC System aka Bubbler

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    A better picture as above (please ignore the timer on the BB as the airpump runs 24/7 - lol)


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    I know that this post is a couple of months old but what i would like to know is i am thinking about doing a nft system, but has anyone got any more info on it like whats the PH got to be for it and how often do you change the water, and also whats the best feeds to use on this system and lastly whats the EC got to be on it as well???

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    Quote Originally Posted by lewiboy View Post
    And there is my favorite.....

    ......the home made bubbler bucket.

    Consists of a bucket with a lid - hole in the centre of lid to hold a net pot.

    A net Pot

    An Air stone

    and a auqrium air pump.

    Cheap and chearful with great results.


    to unforgiving great to make shit as a system they went out of fassion quick time

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris1985 View Post
    I know that this post is a couple of months old but what i would like to know is i am thinking about doing a nft system, but has anyone got any more info on it like whats the PH got to be for it and how often do you change the water, and also whats the best feeds to use on this system and lastly whats the EC got to be on it as well???

    ph 5.8 ec depends on plant size i start at 1.1-1.2 ec in the first week in any system except bubbler where i run a little lower then go up i point per week nute changes weekly but i go every 5 days or top up with ph adjusted water after 5 days change after 7 or 8

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    Red face hydroponics

    Quote Originally Posted by WS6WARHAWK View Post
    yeah i wanna go with the aeroponics system and use regulators and back up regulators for everything/ my specialty is fabrication and plumbing. I want some more detailed ideas of some systems, specificly and 8 plant veg and 8 plant flower system for both rooms. running 1000w hortilux, mylar, c02 reg in both rooms, also any strains you can sugest that will flower quickly but still be coated properly,.thanks! great post!
    go 4 a wilma 8 and have a look at growing afgan kush or LSD from barneys farm seeds it stays short and flowers in 8 wks and there feminized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hull-uk View Post
    to unforgiving great to make shit as a system they went out of fassion quick time
    gone out of fashion? Have you seen sharks waterfarm grow?

    DWC (aka bubbler) systems do seem to be a lot of work, though if you wanted to you could set one up like a flood and drain with a big reservoir, and just drain and adjust the ph/nutes from there. You could even have a float valve set to keep the grow res topped off. It seems to me though all hydro setups benefit from a lot of attention.

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    anyone know what ppm levels to ues in the bubblers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bravo View Post
    A better picture as above (please ignore the timer on the BB as the airpump runs 24/7 - lol)

    I know this old article, but made a little simple. You need 1 5gal bucket and 1 2 1/2gal bucket, you drill drain holes, also holes for pump line and pump power cord. Insert 2 1/2 bucket into 5gal bucket mark on outside of 5gal bucket where 2 1/2gal bucket ends. You get small pond pump at home depot run cord and pump feed up thru 2 1/2gal bucket. Drill a hole thru lid for feed from pump, on top side of bucket carve a grove for power cord. Sorry jumped a step cut desired hole in cover for size pot you would like, then set up drip line from feed and your set.To replace nuitrients just lift the 2 1/2gal bucket and pump and roots lift up with out any problems, also out of window screen cut out a circle the size of bucket bottom they will hold up most of roots. I hope I explained it correctly ( like Ricky Ricardo would say to Lucy you got some splaining to do. LOL) Hope this helps

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    Quote Originally Posted by medicatedman View Post
    ( like Ricky Ricardo would say to Lucy you got some splaining to do. LOL)
    lolz.... wtf is this???

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