So if you are reading this its a good chance you want info on hydroponic growing , so I will get to it. I started with a single DW (deep water) bucket and I was so impressed I started researching hydro and the various methods
The system in the picture is a basic 4 bucket DW and I know the DIY guys are saying I can build it cheaper, and that is true some of the best systems I have seen come from the imagination of DIY guys. If you are not a DIY guy your covered, a lot of good companies have well designed systems ready to sell to you.
The first thing to do before you buy anything to do with hydroponics, research enough that you feel comfortable enough to try it out, problems will come up they always do so better that you can handle them rather than be one. So researching means endless videos good and bad, articles and anything else you come across the reason I stress this is all the disasters I have seen and huge amount of money spent, If you are not up to doing research call us at hydroponic system consulting.
Now as DW goes its basic all you need is light proof 5 gal. buckets, for each bucket an air stone and a net top also the pump is important and so don't bargain shop and also some airline is needed. The air pumps have an outlet that gets connected with airline to the Air Stone , Air pumps can have many outlets so one pump can handle many buckets, I run 2 air stones per bucket some nutrients can clog the stone. So to start you want to have rooted plants ready, fill the buckets with water/nutrient mix to just below the bottom of the net top for example if the net is 6 in" deep the level should be an inch below the net top. So if your nutrient mix is mixed and in the buckets you want to make sure the pH Range is correct for your plants so pH meter is a must, if all is good your plants can go into the nets then add stones to hold the plant in place. Once the plant gets the nutrient solution splashed from the air stone the roots drop into the bucket the plant will grow at a faster pace.
I think we can move to the different methods of hydro but keep in mind, just learning DW gives you the very basics which are roots need moisture and oxygen also the nutrient mix should be no higher than 72 degrees. Higher temps are perfect for bacteria which is a disaster for your plants. The DW type set ups are plentiful all with something a little different.
Now ebb and flow is extremely popular and there are many variations, so lets take the flood and drain table which is incredibly simple. The Flood table is set up so it sits over the nutrient reservoir with the flood and drain set up over a cut out in the reservoir cover. The tables come in a range of sizes we will use 4' x 8' a common size. So you need a submersible pump a timer and air pump and stone. The Submersible Pump is on the timer the table gets flooded for say fifteen minutes, the timer kicks the pump to fill the table and in fifteen it drains back into the reservoir. Now many things determine the amount of times a day to flood and the length of time, if the plant are in small hydro buckets and stones it will be running a lot. If you use rockwool blocks you will be flooding less rockwool retains water a 6 x 6 in. cube
holds a gallon so the 15 minute flood once a day. The table is a good system but like all equipment things happen at a time you least need it. You have a large res to chill and it will need an air supply.
I wanted to cover another method of hydroponics its the NFT system, which means Nutrient Film Technique. This type of system is found with more talented growers its a 24 hr constant flow nutrient solution allows for oxygen to the roots. Once a seedling or cuttings have roots they are then placed in growing channel or gully which has capillary matting on the bottom, the roots are hang into rapidly flowing nutrients. Now there is no medium so the roots have to be getting nutrient solution at all times a clog or failed pump can become big problems. On the other hand if you get your system tuned in growth is extremely fast. The nutrient solution travels in a circular path from the reservoir to gullies at an incline which causes the nutrients to flow over the roots back to the reservoir, so incline needs to be correct and the amount of solution and the flow all have to be right. Small net pots are most widely used then you can
get into different types of this system, a popular one is using using big rock wool blocks and drip feed, but then its similar to the flood and drain and more.
Thanks for reading