A Sneak Peek At Basic Hydroponic Systems

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There is a huge variety of hydroponic systems that you can choose from on the market. And these systems are categorized into six main types:

"Wick system
"Deep water culture
"Ebb & flow system
"Drip system
"Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
"Aeroponics

These hydroponic systems are the basic types and other systems available on the market are modified versions. Hydroponic systems are broadly classified into passive or active systems. A passive system wholly depends on the growing medium for uptake of nutrients from the supplied solution to the plant whereas an active system works with the help of pump to provide nutrients to the plants. Now let"s take a sneak peek at the basic hydroponic systems that are widely used by the beginners as well as the advanced growers.

1.Wick System: Wick system is the first basic hydroponic system that is easily available on the market and is most preferred by the growers. This passive system with the help of wick conveniently moves nutrient solution from the reservoir up to the growing medium. There are many growing media that you can use in the wick system but the most popular ones are vermiculite, perlite, pro-mix and coconut fibers. But, just like other passive hydroponic systems, wick system is incapable to provide enough oxygen to the roots resulting slow growth of plants.


2.Deep water culture: Being an active hydroponic system, this is the oldest system among all the hydroponic systems. The plants in this system float in the nutrient enriched solution, and solution is pushed with ample oxygen to the plant with the help of air pump. This system is ideal one for water loving plants and not favorable for bigger plants with long growth cycle.


3.Ebb & flow system: This hydroponic system is growing in popularity among many hydroponic growers. Ebb & flow system can be useful in different types of growing medium. As the name suggests this active system works on the principle of tides. The nutrient solution used in this system can be drained and reused with the help pump adjusted with the timer. You can purchase a suitable timer depending on the main elements like size and type of plants, humidity, temperature and growing medium. But, with advantages there are also disadvantages like, ebb & flow system is prone to power failures that further leads to dry roots and disturbed water cycle.


4.Drip system: This active system works best with underwater fixed pump and timer. The recovery drip system uses nutrient solution in the best possible way because excess nutrients are recycled. Also, the use of affordable timer makes hydroponics a controlled method of growing plants. The non-recovery drip system work with precise timer that makes watering very precise and there is less wastage of water and nutrient solution.


5.NFT: With the help of a timer, Nutrient Film Technique or popularly known as NFT, works efficiently to provide continuous flow of nutrient solution to the plants for speedy growth. The best feature of this system is that the growing medium here is air therefore the cost of changing the growing medium is reduced. However, NFT demands regular check as there are chances of power cuts and pump failures that can leave the roots and plants dehydrated.


6.Aeroponics: The most advanced hydroponics, aeroponics like NFT uses air as growing medium. The hanging roots are timely misted. A timer is used to control the regular misting of these plants. However, special care needs to be taken because the misting cycles can be interrupted leaving your roots to dry out.
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Maria has 1 articles online


Maria loves to do gardening in her spare time and being a writer she prefers to write about Hydroponics, Hydroponics Nutrients and Hydroponic systems. For more articles visit her hydroponics nutrients blog.

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A Sneak Peek At Basic Hydroponic Systems

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This article was published on 2011/02/08