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Hydroponics system: the nutrient film technique

The nutrient film technique is a hydroponic system that consists of circulating a net of nutrient solution under the plants (the “nutrient film”).

The equipment for nutrient film technique

To install a hydroponic culture with the nutrient film technique, you need

An inclined tray, which will receive the crops, with a hole at the end to let the liquid fall back into the tank.
A tank, which will house the pumps and the nutritive solution. Be careful to choose a suitable plastic.
An air pump and an air stone, to oxygenate the solution in the tank.
A pump and a hose to transport the solution from the tank to the growing tray.
Net pots and some medium.

It is very similar to the tide table technique: the only difference is that, since a slope is used to accelerate the reflux of the solution, the solution can be allowed to flow continuously.

The pros and cons of NFT hydroponic system

Advantages for nutrient film technique

There is little waste and the need for substrate is minimal.
This creates a particularly healthy environment for the plant, as there is no stagnation.
The pump needs minimal power.
It doesn’t matter if the water is a bit cold.
This method would allow for high yields.

Disadvantages for nutrient film technique

As with the tide table, if the pump stops working, your crops are deprived of water and nutrients and can quickly die.
You have to be careful that the roots do not block the channels as they grow. This does not work well with plants that have a lot of roots.
Plants close to the nutrient solution inlet may take up more elements than those at the end of the channel.