Everything To Know About Water Culture Hydroponics System

Source: flickr.com

Have you and your family members been thinking of using the hydroponics method to propagate your plants?

Water culture hydroponic system is the most basic method of growing plants within a dark-colored container that is filled with a nutrient solution while hanging on a light material. It does not require any soil – only water and an ample amount of sunlight – that’s why it is considered as an aquaponics process.

Advantages And Disadvantages

There are many compensations to using the water culture system. The first of which is that a low amount of funds is needed to create one on a smaller setting. It is easy to set up with the utilization of several tools that may be found at home. The plants can propagate well without being subjected to harmful chemicals, as the roots are submerged into the water the whole time.

The shortcomings, on the other hand, lie mainly on the fact that the plants cannot live without the aerator functioning. Just like humans, once the plants run out of oxygen, they will drown. Thus, the system will fail once the air pump breaks down or the electricity stops. Also, water refilling has to be performed manually, and not all plant varieties can survive in it.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Water Culture Hydroponics System

With the assumption that you will be setting up this method at home or school, below are the typical things needed to generate a water culture system.

• One fish tank or plastic bucket
• ¼-inch thick Styrofoam
• Net pots (the number depends on how many plants you wish to raise)
• One air pump
• One air line
• One air stone
• Plants of your choice
• Nutrient solution

Optional tools:
• Marker
• Tape measure
• Cutting equipment
• Paint
• Garbage bag
• Litmus paper or pH testers

How To Set It Up?

1. Find A Suitable Reservoir

A fish tank has equal dimensions which can make the distribution of nutrients equivalent for all the plants. In case this is not available, you can use a large plastic bucket.

2. Make Sure That The Reservoir Has Dark Hue 

It ascertains that any form of light will not reach the nutritious water and allow the development of algae.

3. Cut The Styrofoam

Because liquid does not permeate this material, it serves as a floating device for the plants. The ¼-inch Styrofoam has to fit well inside the vessel, and preferably generate as little gap as possible between it and the container so that light cannot shine on the nutrient solution.

4. Create Plant Holes

The holes should be spread out equally for every plant to obtain the right quantity of air, water, and sunlight that it needs. Each hole has to be the size of the net pot’s bottom, or else it will only fall through the space. You can draw first on the Styrofoam, and then get a knife or a mechanical cutter to cut them.

Source: flickr.com

5. Fit The Net Pots

These have to be dark-colored as well. The roots should be able to go through them and touch the water freely.

6. Get An Air Pump

How many gallons of liquid your reservoir can hold is your basis when you purchase an air pump from the store. Technically, if you put a tiny one in a 20-gallon container, it will not be able to produce more bubbles that give air to the plants. That is why you have to get an aerator that is proportional to the bucket or tank.

7. Link The Pump To The Air Tube

It will be best to get a new tube along with the pump to guarantee that it does not have holes wherein air can escape or even folded parts that will reduce the quantity of oxygen that gets transferred in the reservoir.

8. Place The Air Stone At The Bottom Of The Bucket

The air stone is connected to the air tube. Its role is to distribute the oxygen evenly among the plants, and not have it on one corner only.

9. Pour In The Solution

Fill the reservoir up to its maximum capacity. Since the plants are in a floater, they will not drown in the water, regardless of how full it is.

10. Fix The Styrofoam Atop The Water

The material is supposed to keep everything in place.

11. Start The Air Pump

The litmus paper or the pH meter will inform you about the acidity or basicity of the water. This test should be acted out often, with the intention of validating the well-being of the plants.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Recirculating Water Culture Hydroponics System

In case you wish to grow a lot of plants without using soil but don’t want to test the water in every bucket, you should consider doing the recirculating water culture technique. The idea is that there will only be a single vessel for the solution, and it will flow to all the containers connected to the source.

Here are the things you will need:

• Plastic buckets (as many as you want)
• Water pump
• Water tubes
• Air pump
• ¼-inch thick Styrofoam
• Net pots
• Plants of your choice
• Nutrient solution

How To Set It Up?

1. Line Up The Containers

The dark-colored buckets have to be positioned in a manner that the tubes can fit amid them so that water can circulate well. Designate the main reservoir as well.

2. Use A Water Pump 

As you are producing water for several vessels, the pumps for ponds or fountains can be utilized. Connect this to the primary container.

Source: flickr.com

3. Place The Air Pump In The Central Bucket

You only need to get a single pump for all the reservoirs because the movement of the water as it drops in each of them creates a bubbling effect, which is similar to what the aerator does.

4. Set The Styrofoam

It has to be the exact size for the inner part of every container. Construct the holes beforehand too.

5. Position The Potted Plants

Ascertain that the net pots will not plummet through the floater.

6. Let The Process Begin

Switch on the pump to allow the water to circulate in every bucket.

Source: sr.wikipedia.org

Final Thoughts

Simple or not, building a water culture hydroponics system will take less than an hour. Once it has been set up, you only have to check the water level from time to time and verify that the air pump produces enough oxygen for the plants. The costs will be minimal as well, especially if you already have the containers, the Styrofoam, the plants and other materials on hand.

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