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Different Types of Hydroponics Explained


Growers have different choices when they go to set up a hydroponics system. There are fundamentally different types of setups that cultivate plants in different ways. Here are some of the common systems and the ways that they work.

Deep Water Culture

This is one of the simplest hydroponic setups. Think of it as a tray or table approach. The plants rest on a surface, with their roots hanging down into a nutrient-rich reservoir. This way there doesn't have to be a tube irrigation process. Plant roots are exposed to what they need naturally.

The biggest part of deep water culture systems is the aeration and pumping equipment to make sure that the water doesn't become stagnant.

Ebb and Flow Hydroponic Systems

In some ways, the ebb and flow system is similar to a deep water culture system, except that water gets introduced to a plant root area at measured intervals. A timer controls the pump that pumps the water into the plant root area, and then drains it out after a certain period of time.

Drip System

A drip system uses various drip lines to inundate plant pots with water on a regular basis. A pump controls moving the water up to an area above the plant environment, where the water then trips down through the root area and back out into the reservoir.

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

With nutrient film technique, the volume of water introduced to plant roots is smaller. It drips down continually through the bottom of a reservoir, or more accurately, a secondary reservoir area. The primary reservoir is below the plants, which holds the majority of water. The pump generates a trickle of water where plant roots are, so that they get some nutrients. This delivers nutrients slowly, and is also very sensitive to any interruptions.


Aeroponics is an even more subtle method of sustaining plants. Instead of submerging plant roots in water, misting and spraying systems get aerated nutrient-rich water up from the reservoir water at the bottom. This is similar to foliar feeding techniques called FogPonics.

Take a look at any one of these kinds of hydroponic setups to cultivate green produce or other crops in your home or business space. Modern hydroponic manufacturers and retailers can offer you a diversity of systems to help you to maximize the value of your grow project.

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