What is hydroponic system? Hydroponics is a way to grow plants. Hydroponic systems have been growing in popularity because they utilize a water-based solution that’s rich in nutrients to grow plants instead of soil.
Plants that are grown hydroponically have high growth rates, greater yields, and are healthier. They also save space, conserve water, require fewer chemicals, and can grow indoors. If you’re interested in growing plants at home, a hydroponic system is a great solution!
Hydroponic systems require that you keep the water used for the solution free of impurities, which make having a hydroponic filter essential!
If you’re just getting started or would like to learn more about hydroponic systems, we’re here to help! There are many combinations and variations of hydroponic systems, so we’ve listed the six basic types of hydroponic systems below.
- Wick System: A wick hydroponic system is the simplest of hydroponic systems. It is the only hydroponic system that does not require electricity. Wick hydroponic systems also do not require aerators or pumps. Plants grown in this type of hydroponic system are placed directly in an absorbent substance like perlite or vermiculite. Nylon wicks then are positioned around the plants before they are set straight down into a nutrient-rich solution.
Good for growing small garden plants and herbs.
Cons: Nutrients are not absorbed evenly, so it can lead to the buildup of toxic mineral salts.
- Water Culture: A water culture hydroponic system is easy to use because it places the roots of the plants directly into the nutrient-rich solution. Plants are secured into position by net pots. Oxygen is sent into the water by a diffuser or air stone. Plants grown in this type of hydroponic system will grow very quickly.
Works well for any kind of plant.
Cons: Potential for the plants to develop root diseases.
- Ebb and Flow: (aka: Flood and Drain) Is probably the most popular of hydroponic systems because it is used by many home gardeners. The plants are positioned in a spacious grown bed that’s packed with mediums like Rockwool or perlite. The bed is flooded with a nutrient-rich solution via a pump. Ebb and Flow system pumps feature a timer that will shut off after a certain amount of time. After the pump shuts off, the solution will be drained and sent back into the pump.
Effective for growing most types of plants including certain root vegetables.
Cons: The pump controller can malfunction which will halt operation.
- Drip: Drip Hydroponic Systems can be altered for different types of plants and are very easy to use. A drip system is pumped into a tube that sends the nutrient-rich solution straight to the base of the plant. The drip emitter controls how much solution is placed into the plant and can be adjusted to be circulating or non-circulating. A circulating system will drop consistently, and any extra nutrients will be sent back to the tank that contains the nutrient solutions.
Works well for any kind of plant.
Cons: Needs consistent maintenance because of the fluctuating nutrient and pH levels when the solution is re-circulated.
- Nutrient Film Technology (N.F.T.): N.F.T. Hydroponic Systems are widely used by commercial and home growers because of they are easy to scale. The nutrient-rich solution is placed in a large reservoir and is pumped into sloped channels that allow the excess solution to flow back into the reservoir. Because of its simple design, the solution is sent into channels and flows down to the roots of each plant so that they each get the right amount of nutrients. Net pots are recommended for N.F.T. hydroponic systems.
Best for plants with smaller roots because the channels that are used are relatively small.
Cons: There are no known disadvantages that we’re aware of.
- Aeroponic Systems: Aeroponic Hydroponic Systems are easy to understand but can be difficult to build. Plants are suspended into the air with mist nozzles positioned underneath. The nozzles spray the nutrient-rich solution onto the roots of the plants which has proven to be very effective. Aeroponic systems the most efficient of all hydroponic systems because they use less water.
Can grow most plants if the right dimensions are used.
Cons: Costly to build and the nozzles can become clogged over time.
Have a question about hydroponic systems? Let us know in the comments below!
EcoBlueLife.com is a replacement water and air filter company located in the United States. The views and opinions contained herein are solely those of the original author and do not represent Eco Blue Life or its affiliates. This article was originally published on FiltersFast.com