What are the different types of hydroponics?

While the traditional, soil-based growing system still has a lot to be said for it, there is growing interest in the hydroponic system of growing plants without soil, since it offers huge space-efficiency and maximum control over growing conditions. It also removes the threat of soil-based pests. In terms of marijuana growing, there are 6 main types of hydroponic growing systems in use.

The Wick System

This is the simplest, possible type of hydroponic system. Essentially the plants are put into growing medium as normal but this is placed on top of a tank of nutrient-rich water with a wick or wicks to deliver this water to the plants. The disadvantage of this system for weed growers is that some strains may be too demanding of nutrients for the wicks to keep up.

The Water Culture SystemWater Culture Hydro System

In this system, the plants are held on some kind of floating platform with their roots in nutrient-rich water. An air pump feeds into an air stone, which keeps the water bubbling and the plants fed. This system is great for quick-growing, smaller plants, but is generally unsuitable for longer-term, larger plants.

The Ebb and Flow System

Ebb Flow Hydroponic SystemIn this system, plants are housed in a growing tray above a water tank. The tank contains a pump, which is linked to a timer system. Periodically, the pump is activated and floods the growing medium with nutrient-rich water. It is then switched off and the water is allowed to drain away.

 

Drip Systems

Drip SystemThe drip system is essentially a very precise sprinkler system, which draws nutrient-rich water from a water tank below the growing tray and delivers it directly to the base of the plants, according to a schedule managed by a timer. Some drip systems recover the overflow for reuse. While this is more economical, it is also higher maintenance since it causes variations in the pH and nutrient strength of the water, which need to be managed.

Nutrient Film Technique

NFT SystemIn this system, a pump is used to feed a tube which delivers nutrient-rich water to plants which are held in containers without any growing medium at all. The overflow is collects and the cycle repeats indefinitely.

Aeroponics SystemThe Aeroponic System

In this system, plants are kept in containers with their roots open to the air. A timer controls a pump, which mists the exposed roots with nutrient-rich water every few minutes.

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