For saving space and soil, this method also has several
other benefits, including no soil-borne diseases, no
weeds to pull and no soil to till, run-of-the-mill side
benefits of soil-less gardening.

Tips on Making Your Own Hydroponics System

By Arian Osch

If you're going to build a hydroponics system, it's best to begin with a container to use as a reservoir. For homemade systems, it's best to use a fish tank or a similar object. Once you find a suitable reservoir, you must paint it black. The black pain will make your reservoir light proof, because if light enters the reservoir it will promote the growth of algae. It is also a good idea to score a line on your reservoir once it is painted (use a knife, and scratch off paint in a straight line from top to bottom), which allows you to monitor the amount of water in your reservoir. Some people may not have to score their reservoir if they use a floater (Styrofoam), which indicates the amount of water in the reservoir by sinking. However, the line will give a view of the nutrient solution level.

Hydroponic Supply

Styrofoam should be used in your homemade reservoir. Before installing the Styrofoam into your reservoir, you should use a tape measure to measure the reservoir, from inside of the reservoir from one end to the other. Once your reservoir is measured, cut the Styrofoam 1/4" smaller than the size of the reservoir. The Styrofoam should fit nicely into your reservoir, and have enough room to adjust to changing water levels. Making your own hydroponics system also requires you use net pots, and you should cut holes in the Styrofoam for the placing of the net pots. A hole should also be cut into one end of the Styrofoam to allow for the airline to run into the reservoir.

When creating your own hydroponics system, it is also important to consider how many plants you want to grow. The amount of plants grown should depend on the size of the garden you build and the types of crops grown. Plants should also be space appropriately so each plant receives a generous amount of light. It’s also important to choose a strong pump for your hydroponics system. A strong pump should be able to provide enough oxygen to sustain plants. It’s best to employ the help of a professional when choosing a pump from a hydroponics supply store. Giving the professionals information about the size of your reservoir should make it easier for them to make a recommendation.

After installing a pump attach an airline to the pump and attaching an air stone to the other end of the line. It’s important to make sure your airline is long enough to travel from the pump into the bottom of the reservoir. If the airline is not this long, then it should float in the middle so oxygen bubbles can get to the roots. The line should also be the right size of the pump you choose, and most pumps come with the right size airline. It’s advisable to use a one-gallon bottle to fill your reservoir, which allows you to figure the capacity of your reservoir.

Lighting is very important if you’re building a hydroponics system indoors. If the system is inside, you’ll have to provide artificial lighting for your plants to thrive. The size of the garden will determine how many light fixtures and how many watts will be needed to provide proper light. It’s a good idea to visit a lighting store, where you will be able to receive more information on lights to use for your system. When plants are in growth phase, they will need high intensity discharge lamps. When plants are in bloom, high-pressure sodium lights increase yields and will grow denser and heavier flowers. Using fluorescent lighting is also an option, but fluorescent lights don’t offer the same amount of lumens as the others. Fluorescent lights are better suited for starters and seedlings and for growers with ventilation problems. Fluorescent also burns cooler than other lights, which allows you to place your plant closer to the light source without damaging them.


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