When you start hydroponics, the first question to answer is: with which hydroponics system?
Indeed, you need to know:
- Where do we place the plant in relation to the nutrient solution?
- How do we get the nutrient solution to be absorbed by the plant?
- Where do I store the nutrient solution?
- How do I avoid the alteration of the nutrient solution stock?
All these questions are answered by the choice of the hydroponic system. There are 7 systems, which are divided into two categories: passive and active systems.
Passive hydroponic systems
Passive hydroponic systems have the advantage of being very simple and do not require a pump. The nutrient solution is passively put in contact with the plant’s roots. There are two of them: the Kratky method and the wick system.
The Kratky method
The Kratky method is very simple to implement: in a container, the roots of the plant fall into the nutrient solution.
The wick system
The wick system is identical to the Kratky method, except that the nutrient solution is in a separate tank and a wick dipped in it transmits the nutrients to the roots.
Active hydroponics systems
They are more productive, but are also more complex and depend on the operation of a pump. If the current cuts off, the plants are no longer fed and can quickly die.
Deep Water Culture (DWC)
Deep water culture consists of immersing the roots of the plants in the nutrient solution and supplying them with oxygen through an air pump.
Tide table (Ebb&Flow)
The tidal table imitates, as its name indicates, a tidal system: the nutrient solution passes from a tank to the table where the roots of the plants are bathed.
The drip irrigation system
The drip irrigation system consists in watering the plants with a drip irrigation with the nutritive solution.
The nutrient film technique (NFT)
The nutrient film technique (NFT) consists of placing the plants on a table with a slight inclination and letting the nutrient solution flow gently to the base of the roots.
Aeroponics consists of spraying the nutrient solution on the roots.