On Hydroponics: My Experience Explained

Different Kinds of Hydroponic Systems

When thinking of hydroponics, you immediately imagine plants growing with their roots hung straight into water without any growing medium. However, this is but a single approach to hydroponic gardening. What people usually don’t know is that there are different methods and variations of hydroponic gardening.


This is the most basic hydroponic system today. The wick system is a passive system, which means none of its parts are moving. From the reservoir below, a number of wicks draw up your specific growth technology nutrient solution into the growing medium.

Ebb And Flow System (Flood and Drain)

These hydroponic systems call for the grow tray to be temporarily flooded. The nutrient solution from a reservoir will first surround the roots before it drains back. Generally, this is automated using a timed water pump.

Drip (Recovery or Non-Recovery)

Dip systems are some of the most widely used hydroponic methods today. A water pump is controlled by a timer, as it pumps water and the growth technology nutrient solutions with the use of a mesh of raised water jets. A recovery system then gathers excess nutrient solution and directs it right back into the reservoir. A non-recovery drip system, on the other hand, avoids this, preventing variations in the reservoir’s pH balance.

NFT (Nutrient Film Technique)

The NFT System is what most people imagine upon the mention of the words, hydroponic systems. Because the Nutrient Film Technique involves a constant flow of your growth technology nutrient solution, no timer is used. The solution in a reservoir is pumped into the growing tray. The growing tray needs no growing medium. The nutrients nutrients in the flowing solution are absorbed by the roots. The downward flow returns to the reservoir and will be recycled.


Aeroponic hydroponic systems are considered a high-tech type of hydroponic gardening . Just like the NFT system, air is the key growing medium. The roots are suspended in the air and nutrient solution is used to mist them from time to time. Interruption of the misting cycles causes roots to dry out fast. As with other hydroponic systems, a timer automates the nutrient pump, except that the aeroponic system needs a quick cycle timer that sets off the pump for a few seconds every few minutes.

For those of us who enjoy growing plants, these are interesting times indeed. We are no longer controlled by the season or climate as we pursue our harmless joys. Now, we can actually grow whatever plant we want, anytime we want. We can only be limited by our creativity. The basic yet highly effective hydroponic systems, together with contemporary horticultural lighting, have revolutionized our hobby and opened our options to extents we never thought possible.

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