If you’d like to grow many plants at once without having to worry about watering them or adding soil, you might want to look into hydroponic systems. These models can help you with the watering aspect of your plants which can help them grow faster. This article will highlight some of the top hydroponic systems on the market today and things you should keep in mind before buying one.
|General Hydroponics WaterFarm||13 lbs.||10 x 10 x 16.5 inches|
|HTG Supply||7 lbs.||13 x 13 x 13 inches|
|ViaGrow||105 lbs.||36 x 36 x 7 inches (Flood Tray)
3 x 3 x 2 feet (Metal Stand)
|General Hydroponics RainForest 66||32 lbs.||23 x 19 x 26 inches|
The Top Hydroponic Systems Reviews
General Hydroponics WaterFarm
This hydroponic kit is complete with everything you need for growing plants. It’s made of high-quality materials and features a square design. This square design helps with the density of the plants. This system can easily be used with many small, medium, or large plants. This product comes with a 2 gallon container, a small basket container, clay pellets, an air stone and pump, air tubing, and nutrients.
If you’re looking for an affordable option you should check this model out. It uses a 3.5 gallon single container. It has a 7.8 liter per minute adjustable dual outlet air pump that runs on 3W and a 6-inch lid which you can use to secure this system. This product also comes with a 4-inch air stone, HydroStone growing mediums, air tubes, and a ¼ inch connector. Besides being affordable, this model is also great with aeration.
This ebb and flow kit uses 16 1 gallon pots. You can plant up to 16 plants with them and monitor them thanks to the multi-pin timer. This timer can be set to go off at a certain time which will then drain excess water from the pots. This model comes with a 50 lb. grow rock bag which you can use in the pots to help with filtering water. A ViaStore ViaGrow 211 GPH submersible pump is included and uses a black poly tubing to help supply water to your plants. This model comes with a white flood tray and a metal stand.
General Hydroponics RainForest 66
This aeroponic system is great to use with medium and large plants. It’s a simple model to use which makes it ideal for beginners. This product uses a 17 gallon container as well as 6 plastic containers. It also comes with a sprayer you can use to help water your plants. In addition to all this, it also includes a 3 part flora kit to help you with successfully growing your plants.
If you’d like to invest in an aeroponic system that is somewhat affordable, this is one you want to look at. This model is made with a glossy black design and can grow up to 21 plants. It also has the ability to hold up to 4 mature plants. It uses a 3.5 gallon bucket with a cloning lid to help with growing your plants. It also comes with 4 3-inch net pots, a sprayhead that can turn 360 degrees, spray nozzles, grow stones, and a 160 GPH pump. This pump is water-proof and made with a ceramic shaft that is rust-resistant. It also allows you to easily adjust water flow so you can apply the water amount you prefer on your plants.
The Different Types of Hydroponic Systems
This type of hydroponic system is great for beginners. It’s a cheap and easy way to learn more about hydroponic systems before you invest in a more expensive model. These types usually come with buckets and air stones and are designed to house one plant per bucket.
Ebb and Flow
This type of system works to help soak and drain water from the roots so it doesn’t require the use of air stones like other types. It will help with preventing common water problems from occurring in your plants, like root rot.
While similar to a Deep Water Culture hydroponic system, Top Feed uses a timed pump. This timer can be set to a certain time to when the hydroponic system should release nutrients to your plants.
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Nutrient Film Flow
This type is similar to the models above, but instead uses a capillary mat in place of soil. This mat helps to keep the roots of your plants moist while draining any excess water.
Aeroponics and Misting
This type usually needs to be used in a grow tent. You can hang baskets full of plants off of one of these models. The system will then spray mist on the plants depending on the time you set for it to do so.
Accessories to Use That Will Help You Grow Plants with a Hydroponic System
There are a few important accessories that you need in order to successfully grow plants with a hydroponic system.
One accessory that you should definitely consider using is a grow tent. A grow tent can help keep your space clean and warm so your plants can grow well. It is a place where your plants can be safely kept inside without fear of outside elements hurting them. If you don’t already have one be sure to invest in one. Sometime certain hydroponic systems can only work well in a grow tent so it’s important to check with the type of system you plan to use before buying it.
It’s incredibly important that you have lamps (and enough of them) to shine on your plants. Lamps help to imitate the sun which is something plants need. If you aren’t using grow lamps on your plants, they might not grow very well (or might not even grow at all). Besides imitating the sun, lamps can also help to dry the growing medium out so plants don’t mold or rot. Be sure to look at the wattage of the lamps to make sure it is high enough to keep the plants constantly warm.
You need to invest in good nutrients so your plants grow up strong and healthy. These will help to give strength to your plants so it’s a good idea to buy nutrients that are well-made. You want to check for nutrients that have Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium in them. Nitrogen is important as it is what will help your plants grow, while phosphorous will help your plants bloom. Be sure to look at the amount your certain nutrient mix has to ensure it has enough of these elements in it to help grow strong plants.
- Growing Mediums
Growing mediums are special things that help to filter out and absorb water in hydroponic systems. As you’ll read below, there are many different types of growing mediums you can choose from. All of these types have their own unique abilities so don’t think that they are all the same. It’s important to look at the type of hydroponic system you have in order to buy the growing medium that is right for your system.
No matter which type of hydroponic system you use, you need to have enough pots on hand. You can use these pots to place your growing medium in as well as your plants. You want to make sure to invest in enough so you can constantly have plants growing. Also, if something happens with one pot having spare ones available will allow you to quickly transport your plant into a new one.
While this isn’t a crucial piece of equipment to use, it is good to have. A hydrometer can help you with testing the moisture and water in your growing mediums. It is able to tell you the current amount and can inform you if you’re adding too much or too little water to it.
Tips for Growing Plants Using One of These Systems
Growing plants with a hydroponic system is simple, but it is a little intricate. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind when using one.
You always want to make sure to check the temperature of your plants. This temperature should be anywhere from 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature lower than this will cause your plants to freeze and any temperature higher can burn your plants or cause bacteria to grow in them.
Check the pH and Water
One thing that many people don’t realize when growing cannabis is that pH and water can impact how well your plants will grow. These two elements are crucial to monitor in order to make sure that your plants flower. You usually want to have a pH anywhere from 5.5-6.5. This has just the right amount of acidity for your plants. To test this you can buy special pH tests (like strips) that you can stick into the growing medium. If you find that the pH levels are too low, you can buy a special kit that will help to adjust the pH so your plants grow better. You can also add baking soda and vinegar to the growing medium. However, this is a very difficult thing to do so unless you are an experienced grower you probably want to use the kit.
The water amount is also important to keep in mind. You want to make sure your plants are watered but not drowning in it. You can touch the growing medium to see if it’s moist. If not, add a little water until it is. If water starts to flow out from the bottom you’ve added too much. You want to make sure to dry the plant’s growing medium out before adding any new water if this is the case. Too much water can cause root rot to occur which can destroy your plants.
Make Sure Your Plants Have Enough Lighting
Always be sure to check that your grow lights are located directly over your plants. If they aren’t, your plants might not receive enough warmth and heat to grow. Having enough light is especially important when growing with hydroponic systems as it can help to dry out any water and moisture to prevent root rot and other problems from occurring.
While it’s important to have lighting for your plants at the same time you don’t want to overdo it. You should keep the lights on for a few hours and then give your plants a break. You can usually have it timed as 12 hrs. for the lights to be on and 12 hrs. for the lights to be off.
Separate the Genders
To help create a large harvest with your cannabis plants, you want to remove any male ones. Male plants are only created to help with pollination and can actually hinder the females from growing and flowering. You can identify which plant is which by looking closely at the stems. Males will have pollen sacs on the edges of their stems while females will have white hairs.
Stop Giving Nutrients to the Plants When They Flower
When your plants finally start flowering, you want to stop giving nutrients to them. This will allow them to focus on flowering large buds. Adding more nutrients will only help add to the growth with could end up prohibiting your plant from flowering well.
Snap Off the Buds When They’re Dry
One aspect that many people find difficult about growing cannabis is knowing when you should remove the buds. However, this actually isn’t that difficult at all. You can tell when they’re properly dry by trying to snap them off of the stem. If they come off when you do so, you know they’re dry and ready to be used. If the buds only bend a little or you’re having a difficult time removing them they aren’t ready to be removed from the plant yet.
The Different Growing Mediums
Many hydroponic systems use different growing mediums in order to help your plants grow. Depending on your system or preference, these mediums will vary. However, there are a few popular ones that you’ll often find with these systems.
You’ll often find peat in many hydroponic systems because it is cheap and easy to use. Peat is made out of composted vegetable pieces. It helps with absorbing any water and moisture in the plant so it doesn’t get root rot.
This medium is created with coconut husks that have been shredded and woven together. Coco Coir is ideal to use with these hydroponic systems because the coconut husks are extremely absorbent.
Hardened Expanded Clay
Also known as HEC, Hardened Expanded Clay is excellent for hydroponics because it is tough enough to support your plants while they’re growing but at the same time able to drain water and moisture from them quickly.
This type is one of the best mediums to use in hydroponics because it can absorb moisture and liquid very well. However, this medium is very expensive which is why it can be difficult for one to use it often.
What is Root Rot?
One problem that can commonly occur in plants is root rot. So, what exactly is this?
Root rot is when your plant’s roots are basically just sitting in water. There is too much water for them to absorb, so they just float around in it. This water can eventually cause the roots to mold. This is evident when the leaves of your plants are starting to turn yellow or you find that your plants smell a little like mildew. If you find that root rot is occurring with your plants, you need to immediately stop watering. Let the growing medium dry a little before adding any more water to it.
If you find that even after you stopped watering your plants for a while that the root rot problem hasn’t ceased, you can try to use special root rot formulas to help with it. These formulas usually have special bacteria in them which removes the bad bacteria from your plants. If these don’t work, then you should probably remove your plant from the hydroponic system before it starts to affect other plants.
Also, keep in mind that lights can cause root rot. While lights help to warm the plants to encourage them to grow, they can also be a way for bad bacteria to grow. You want to be sure not to put too much light on your plants while they’re in a hydroponic system. If you do, it could create a very warm environment which can become a haven for bacteria and mold.
Hydroponic systems are a unique thing to use when growing cannabis. They can help with keeping your plants watered and do so in multiple ways. Be sure to consider all the types of hydroponic systems available to find the one that would work best for you as well as the many other aspects of them, like growing mediums. The models in this article are some of the top ones available so be sure to consider using one of them to help you with growing your plants.