I’ll be showing you guys how to build a simple hydroponic system today. So step one, you’re going to need a reservoir. Now anything from ten to twenty gallons of water is what you’re going to need. Now in here is what you’ll put the nutrient solution in. Now the nutrient solution will need an EC of about 1.5 to 2.5, and that’ll be best for plant growth generally. Depending on the species, it’ll vary. A little bit of research, you can find which one is best.
You’re going to want to replace the solution weekly in order to maintain the electrical conductivity which is basically how many or how much in nutrients and minerals are in there as well as the pH.
Now after you have the selected nutrient solution, you’re going to need a fountain pump.
Now this is a 15 gallon per hour fountain pump. It’s just for aquariums depending on how much water you want moving.
It’s gonna be continuously recirculating so make sure it’s submerged
You’re going to need to check what the outside diameter of the little connection is. Then you’re going to want the correct tubing for it.
The outer dimensions of this one is about a quarter of an inch so I found a couple feet of quarter inch tubing. You’re going to want to cut a five to six inch length of this and just put it on there.
You want it so that when, it needs to be long enough that the fountain pump is completely submerged while it is directing water up to the upper layer.
Now this is what, this is the tray that the plants will sit in. Now you’ll see that I have two holes one at the inlet and one at the outlet.
Now one of these holes you’re going to have the tubing that you just cut popped into there, just slide it in. I used a simple drill bit to get these holes in. Even if they’re a little bit small, that’s probably for the best because you want it to fit snugly.
If it’s not snug, then likely the tubing will fall out from the force of the water and your plants will die because they dry out. So after you connect that, you fit it in here.
Make sure that the inner dimensions fit in the container and then the lip fell right over it so it holds. So now that we have everything put together, you can put the plants in here. For a beginner, lettuce is
a good option. You could also do spinach.
What I found is lettuce germinates really well. The whole thing will grow, and I can get a full lettuce plant in about 30 days.
What you’re going to grow the plants in for hydroponics is a little rockwool cube. Now a rockwool cube is made of an inert compound.
It’s a nice media for hydroponic growth because you can just put the seed in the top, and it’ll sprout and however long it takes to germinate. An alternative to rock wool is coconut core, and that’s biodegradable but this is not.
So I guess it depends on preference.
Before seeding, make sure to soak the rockwool cubes, so that they’re very well moistened and everything, and then you can plant the seeds in there. These seeds will then absorb the water and germinate that way.
You’re gonna make want to make sure that the rockwool cubes are always moist, and when each of these seeds germinates and grows to about two inches, that’s about a good time to transplant into the hydroponic system.
So as you can see, I have separated rockwool cubes right here, you’re going to want to place it into a net cup.
You put the seedling inside of here, and these little net cups are useful because they let the water flow over, they hit the roots, and the roots are able to easily grow through the net cup. Now what I generally do is I have a styrofoam sheet that I cut out holes with the various number of plants that I want. So right now I have six plants, this is optimal for lettuce or different leafy greens, and I just have holes cut out for the desired net cup size. And then you can take your seedling in your net cup and place it directly into here.
And then I can start up the pump and everything recirculates nicely.
You’re going to want to keep it in a well-lit area to make sure that it gets 10 to 11 hours in a well-lit window somewhere in your house.
You’re gonna want to keep the whole system in a warm environment. As long as it’s above sixty degrees Fahrenheit, then your plants will be happy and healthy, and there you have it: a simple hydroponic system.