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What Do You Need for a Hydroponic System to Work

Posted by Jason Robinson on Sep 25th 2020

Hydroponic Systems

In the blog we will go through the things that are required for a hydroponic system to work .This can vary from system to system but in general there are just a few things needed .these being water ,nutrients and a container some systems may also require media ,pumps and timers .

The most basic of hydroponics is the kratky method .This is were the plant is suspended above a nutrient solution and the roots will grow down into the nutrient rich solution providing the plants nutritional needs that it requires for healthy prolific growth. This system requires some sort of container to hold the plant and nutrient solution .This can be a foam box or container with lid or even a bucket .The plant can be held via a foam collar or a small netted pot is used for the plant to grow into before the roots grow down onto the solution .The netted pot is mainly used to stabilize the plant and to keep it upright .This is a static system that relies on surface gas exchange and the air in the container to provide oxygen to the plants root system .This system can be improved with the addition of an air pump suppling air to an air stone in the nutrient solution .This provide higher oxygen levels to the nutrient solution increasing growth rates of the plant. 

Nft or nutrient film technique requires channels for the plants roots to grow in .These can be either a rectangular channel that is purpose built or round pvc piping .The pvc piping option isnt as effective as the rectangular purpose designed channels as there is less oxygen saturation in the round piping compared to the proper nft channels .The purpose built channel often come with a lid and base configuration making post crop cleaning easier as the old roots need to be removed .This system also needs a container for a sump ,just make sure the size of the sump matches the size of the system .A pump is required in this system to circulate the water from the sump through the channels holding the plants roots and the back to the sump via a return pipe .The last thing required in an NFT system is nutrients .These can be provided in a few different forms .The first is a single part solution such as Green Dream single part .This nutrient is manufactured as a slurry and needs to be shaken well before use once added to water it is fully soluble .Liquid nutrients are most commonly manufactured as a part A and Part B .Both part A and part B  are required to make the solution .Examples of this style of nutrient would be House and Garden ,Cyco and Optimum from Growth Technology .The Cheapest way of providing nutrient is a powdered form of hydroponic nutrients in this system we have a hydroponic base powder ,calcium nitrate ,potassium nitrate  and mono potassium phosphate .These are either made into a stock solution or added to the sump or reservoir raw and mixed until they are soluble .

Pot based systems are generally media based systems so these will require a plant media .There are quite a few types of media that can be used ,Coco coir ,perlite ,expanded clay and rockwool to name a few ,each of these media have slightly different properties so research which media will best suit your plant .