to Home Hydro Systems, the place where you'll be able to find
information about anything
related to hydroponics, as well as hydroponic systems and how to build your own
We don't sell any products or information, that way we can
remain objective. We don't just post the manufactures propaganda
designed to sell products like other websites. We
use information from trusted and
creditable sources, as well as feedback from actual growers. Not just
home growers, but also what we learn form commercial hydroponic farms
Through the years we have spent a lot of time searching
for good creditable information to grow our own plants, and Home Hydro
Systems was created to share what we have learned and found out with
everyone else too. Simply because we want to help everyone grow their
plants successfully also. At the same time we can help promote the
of using hydroponics for food production. We only have one
mind, and that's simply to help show people that you can grow your own
produce hydroponically, and without it costing a fortune.
plants successfully isn't all, it's got to be affordable too, or what's
the point. We aren't' interested in growing a $12 tomato, we strive to
show you that you can grow better produce at home
for less money than you can buy it for at the store, or even grow it in
the ground. After all, it wouldn't be worthwhile if it wasn't
economical to grow them hydroponically now would it?
don't need an expensive hydroponic system, expensive nutrients, or even
expensive grow lights to grow your crops hydroponically. You can build
your own very good hydroponic systems inexpensively. Also there are
plenty of very good commercially made cost
you can use. You don't even need any grow lights if you can make use of
free natural sunlight. It's easy to build your own hydroponic systems.
Regardless of what you want to grow, hydroponic systems really only
have, and/or need a few basic parts to work very well.
Hydroponic system only need a few basic parts to build
Chamber (or tray),
growing chamber is the part of the hydroponic system where the plants
roots will be growing. Simply put, the growing chamber is the container
for the root zone. This area provides plant support, as well as is
where the roots access the nutrient solution. It also protects the
roots from light, heat, and pests. It's important to keep the root zone
cool and light proof. Prolonged light will damage the roots, and high
temps in the root zone will cause heat stress to your plants, as well
as fruit and flower drop as a result of heat stress.
size and shape of the growing chamber really just depends on the type
of hydroponic system your building, as well as the type of plants
you'll be growing in it. Bigger plants have bigger root systems, and
need more space to hold them in. The designs here are endless. Almost
anything can be used as the growing chamber, you just don't want to use
anything made of metal or it could corrode or react with the nutrients.
If you look around you'll get lots of ideas of what and how you can
easily use many different things for building the growing chamber of
your hydroponic system.
reservoir is the part of the hydroponic system that holds the nutrient
solution. The nutrient solution consists of plant nutrients that are
mixed in water. Depending on the type of hydroponic system, the
nutrient solution can be pumped from the reservoir up to the growing
chamber (root zone) in cycles using a timer, as well as continually
without a timer, or the roots can even hang down into the reservoir
24/7, making the reservoir the growing chamber
can make a reservoir out of just about anything plastic that holds
water. As long as it doesn't leak, holds enough water, and is cleaned
out well first it can be used as reservoir. Read this article for more
big your nutrient reservoir should be
A reservoir also needs to be light proof. If you can hold it over your
head and see light coming through it, it's not light proof. But it's
easy to make any container light proof by painting it, covering it, or
wrapping something like bubble wrap insulation around it. Algae and
microorganisms can begin growing with even low light levels.
hydroponic systems use a submersible pump to pump the water (nutrient
solution) from the reservoir up to the growing chamber/root zone for
the plants. Submersible pumps can easily be found at hydropnic supply
shop, or most home improvement stores with garden supplies as fountain
and/or pond pumps. They will also come in a wide variety of sizes. Read
this page for how
to decide what size pump you need for your hydroponic system
submersible pumps are basically nothing more than an impeller that uses
a electromagnet to spin it. They can also easily be taken all apart to
be cleaned thoroughly. If it doesn't come with a filter, you can easily
make one by cutting a piece of furnace filter screen or similar
material to fit. You should clean both the pump and filter regularly to
keep them clean.
hydroponic systems water/nutrient solution delivery system is really
quite simple, as well as extremely customizable when building your own
hydro systems. Besides the pump, it's really nothing more than just the
pluming the water/nutrient solution goes through to get to the plants
roots in the growing chamber, and back to the reservoir again.
Typically the simplest and best materials to use for the nutrient
delivery system are a combination of standard PVC tubing and
connectors, standard garden irrigation tubing and connectors, as well
as blue or black vinyl tubing.
Depending on the type of
hydroponic system you build, you may want to use drip emitters or
sprayers as part of your nutrient solution delivery system. While they
can be useful, they also can clog. So if you do, make sure you have
extras you can quickly swap out while you clean the clogged ones. We
try to avoid using emitters because they do clog, as well as cost extra
on the type of hydroponic system you build, and where you place the
system to grow your plants. You may need one or two simple timers. If
you use artificial lighting to grow the plants instead of natural
sunlight, you'll want a timer to control the on/off times for the
lighting system. For flood and drain, drip, and aeroponic systems
you'll need a timer to control the on/off times for the submersible
water pump. Some types of aeroponic systems may need a special timer.
Visit the aeroponic
to find out more about the types of aeroponic
systems, and timers for them.
everyday light timers work fine for both the lights as well as the
submersible pumps. However we do recommend making sure the timer is
rated for 15 amps rather than 10 amps. Fifteen amp timers are often
called heavy duty, if not just check the back of the package or timer
for the 15 amp rating. Also try and get one for outdoor use, they
usually have a cover and are usually water resistant.
recommend the more expensive digital timers over the analogue dial
type. Simply because digital timers will loose all memory, as well as
your settings if they loose power or get unplugged, even for one second
for any reason (unless you find one with a battery backup). They often
don't have any more actual on/off settings than the analogue type as
well. Just make sure the timer you get has pins all the way around the
Other than in water
air pumps are optional in hydroponic systems. But using them has
benefits, and air pumps are relatively inexpensive. Air pumps can be
found anywhere they sell aquarium supplies. Air pumps simply just
supply air and oxygen to the water and roots. Air is pumped through an
air line to air stones that create a bunch of small bubbles that rise
up through the nutrient solution.
In water culture
systems the air pump helps keep the plants roots from suffocating while
their submerged in the nutrient solution 24/7. For any other type of
hydroponic system, the air pump is typically used in the reservoir. It
helps to increase dissolved oxygen levels in the water up and keep the
water oxygenated. Visit this page for more about dissolved oxygen levels
advantage's of using air pumps are that as the air bubbles rise, they
keep the water and nutrients moving and circulating, this keeps the
nutrients evenly mixed all the time. The circulating oxygenated water
also helps reduce pathogens from gaining a foothold in the reservoir.
lights are an optional part of hydroponic systems. Depending on where
you plan to put your hydroponic system, and grow your plants. You could
choose to either use natural sunlight, or artificial light to grow your
plants with. If you can make use of it we prefer natural sunlight, it's
is free and doesn't require any extra equipment. However if there just
isn't enough natural sunlight where you put your hydroponic system, or
at that time of year, you'll need to use at least some artificial light
to grow your plants.
Grow lights are different than most
standard household lights. Grow lights are designed to emit certain
color spectrums that mimic natural sunlight. The plants use these color
spectrums (wavelengths) of light to conduct photosynthesis. The plants
need to conduct photosynthesis in order to grow and produce fruit and
flowers. So the type, as well as the amount of light a plant gets will
greatly affect the plants ability to photosynthesize, and thus grow.
Visit our page on lighting
and grow lights for hydroponic plants
for more about the
different types of artificial lights used to grow plants.