You can start your own home hydroponic farm with the right hydroponic equipment. Hydroponic farming is a great way to garden indoors. And it’s not a hard thing! You can grow plants, fruits, and vegetables in your own home all year round. In another of our blog posts, you can find out the best vegetables for hydroponics
Indoor hydroponic gardening requires different tools that serve different purposes. These tools are essential for growing plants effectively and efficiently using a hydroponic system (gardening without soil). Understanding the different hydroponic tools and equipment and how to use them can make a big difference in the kind of results you get.
Some of the hydroponic products you need include:
1. Hydroponic Grow kit:
As a gardening enthusiast, you may be asking yourself, “How can I get involved in hydroponic growing?”
Many beginning growers may not have the time and/or patience to acquire the necessary components to create a suitable propagation system.
This is where complete hydroponic kits come in.
Hydroponic grow kits can be thought of as indoor gardening equipment that can be easily assembled to get your hydroponic garden up and running. There are different types of hydroponic growing kits, but most common kits are made of PVC pipes that are connected to a reservoir of nutrient solution that delivers nutrients to the plants using a water pump.
Hydroponic kits are very good for people who are beginners or hobbyists because they help you learn about hydroponic gardening methods without spending a lot of money.
Some best and most common hydroponic kits are:
Sidasu Hydroponic Grow Kit
This single-layer system from Sidas comes with 36 spots spread over 4 pipes – the growing spots on the list so far. If you’re still not satisfied, you can opt for their 3-layer/12-tube system instead.
This easy-to-assemble hydroponic kit uses a timed circulation system and is made of food-grade PVC-U material. It is very user-friendly and requires no previous growing experience. This is the best Hydroponic starter kit.
Deep Water Bucket System
It consists of a 5-gallon bucket system that is simple yet effective in its ability to easily grow larger plants. This waterproof bucket system comes with a small air pump with a single outlet to allow oxygenation of the nutrient solution without the need for air stones.
Its forgiving, inexpensive and easy-to-use nature makes it the perfect hydroponic kit for beginners. Once you realize how much you enjoy it, you can upgrade to a 4 or 8-bucket system – both have larger outlet air pumps.
IDoo Hydroponic Growing System
IDOO has really outdone itself with this sublime, best-selling hydroponic starter kit.
High-powered 23W LED lights make this 12-pod indoor system a winner no matter what the weather. The kit system has 2 “Smart Grow Modes” for vegetables & fruits.
This, combined with the height-adjustable LED light, creates a product that is incredibly versatile. Best of all, it’s suitable for growers of all skill levels.
HighFree Hydroponic System Growing Kit
This hydroponic kit from HighFree contains almost everything you need to jump into your first grow. you just need to add your own nutrients and seeds & you’re ready to go.
Suitable for indoor vegetable growers, it’s ideal for anyone looking for a device that requires minimal space – you can even place it within easy reach if needed when cooking.
The set provides space for 11 plant habitats and is self-watering.
2. hydroponic grow box
The hydroponic grow box regulates the temperature, humidity, lighting, and humidity of the plant environment while protecting the plants from pests such as insects and harmful fungi. The box is usually rectangular and made of a shiny material that reflects the natural light inside. Its size depends on the size of the room in which it is placed and the number of plants grown.
These grow boxes consist:
Lighting System, Hydroponic System, Water filtering System, CO2 System, Ventilation System,
3. Hydroponic Tray and Pot System:
A hydroponic grow tray is a container built to hold many plants together in a hydroponic system. Some are designed to hold hydroponic growing media and others are designed to hold plants in mesh pots.
These trays are used in conjunction with a stand and hydroponic tank to create a hydroponic system. The tank contains the nutrient solution and the water pump sends it to the root zone of the plant
Pots and trays are also part of hydroponic equipment or kits, especially for beginners who may be trying to save on costs when starting out. They are most often used as flower pots for hydroponic gardening.
Some growers prefer to use rectangular or square pots because their shapes allow them to save and conserve space, especially where space is limited, as opposed to circular pots where dead space is often left between the pots.
There are different types of hydroponic grow pots and trays made of different materials like plastic, clay, fabric, etc.
4. Hydroponic Growing medium
The growing medium is used in hydroponic systems rather than soil. But growing medium is not a true substitute for soil.
Medium is used to support plant roots and stems, like soil, but does not contain any nutrients that plants need to grow.
As a result, the growing medium cannot grow the plant by itself. Growing mediums are typically porous to retain oxygen and nutrient-rich water.
While the growing medium is similar to soil, the nutrient solution is its true substitute. A nutrient solution is a water mixed with nutrients to promote healthy growth.
There are three abbreviations to keep in mind when choosing media: WHC, AFP, and CEC.
WHC stands for Water Holding Capacity, which indicates how well the medium holds water.
Knowing the WHC of your growing medium is important as some hydroponic systems will be more compatible with lower WHCs and others will be compatible with higher ones.
For example, wick systems benefit from high WHC mediums such as coir because they keep nutrients readily available without waterlogging.
Conversely, nutrient film technique (NFT) systems benefit from lower WHC media such as clay pebbles because plant roots are constantly exposed to the nutrient solution. As a result, they use the medium for reasons of support more than saturation.
AFP stands for Air-Filled Porosity and refers to airflow in the medium. A low AFP means the medium can’t oxygenate the plants very well, putting them at risk of drowning and rotting.
Finally, the CEC, or cation exchange capacity, indicates how many minerals are in the medium.
In hydroponic systems, Due to the control of low CEC, you have good control over the nutrients of plants.
Higher CEC growing mediums such as coir may require a specially adapted nutrient solution to achieve the correct balance.
Some of the best-growing mediums are:
Rockwool, also known as rockwool, is a porous material made from spun basalt rock fibers.
This growing medium is extremely popular due to its high WHC and low CEC. It easily absorbs & drains well, it is a great choice for ebb & flow systems.
Unfortunately, rockwool is not biodegradable, so environmentally conscious farmers may hesitate.
Additionally, it requires soaking in water with a pH of 5 to 5.5 for 24 hours. Otherwise, the naturally high pH will make it habitable for plants.
Lightweight expanded clay aggregate
Lightweight expanded aggregates, also known as clay pebbles, are round pieces of heat-expanded clay.
Clay pebbles have low CEC and WHC and high AFP, making it difficult to pour over and easily supply oxygen. It is also reusable!
On the other hand, clay pebbles are heavy and can drain too quickly in some systems.
As a result, this medium works best for deep water culture (DWC) systems that keep plant roots constantly exposed to water.
Coir or coconut coir is an organic, biodegradable growing medium made from crushing the inner pith of coconut husks.
On the other hand, coir is a sustainable choice because it makes sense for a coir product that is usually thrown away. It also captures oxygen quite well and is similar to a potted plant.
Coir is somewhere in the middle in terms of CEC and AFP, but has a high WHC. As a result, a nutrient solution made specifically to balance his CEC is recommended and he is prone to overwatering.
These aspects make it particularly suitable for drip systems where water intake is highly controlled.
5. Hydroponic Lighting System
Plants need light for growth and other metabolic functions such as photosynthesis. Grow
Lights are used to provide the right amount of light that hydroponic plants need, as most hydroponic gardening takes place in a closed environment where light can be very limited. There are different types of hydroponic grow lights that can be useful for different types of plants or at different stages of their growth.
The most common types of hydroponic lamps are LED, fluorescent, metal halide, and high-pressure sodium.
LEDs (light-emitting diodes)
They are one of the newest forms of hydroponic lighting. They are the most economical and energy-efficient lighting methods. LED lights are usually sold as square panels or fluorescent-like tubes.
They work well for starting seeds and early seedling stages. The low heat output allows the seeds to grow without burning or drying out, they also work well for growing salad greens and flowers.
Metal halide bulbs
They offer a strong all-around light. They are best for lengthy day plants that want more light. MH bulbs help plants that have just finished sprouting and are now entering the growth or vegetation phase.
6. Hydroponic Nutrient Solution
Hydroponic plants get their nutrients through plant nutrients and fertilizers because the soil is not used in hydroponic gardening or farming. Inorganic nutrient compounds and fertilizers are mixed up in water to create a correct hydroponic nutrient solution, which is then delivered to the plants.
Usually, this nutrient solution is pumped into growing trays where the plants are fixed in the substrates and their roots absorb these nutrients from the solution. There are different types of plant nutrients and fertilizers that perform different functions in plant growth and maturity.
The chemical properties of the nutrient solutions are rigorously monitored to ensure that the nutrients are always available to the plants in the correct amount (concentration).
7. Hydroponic Water Pump
Water pumps are the center and heart of hydroponic farming, as these devices are responsible for circulating the water and nutrients that plants need to grow and thrive. In most hydroponic systems, water or nutrient solution is circulated or pumped from a reservoir into the grow bed where the plants are held.
There are certain factors to consider before determining the best type of water pump that will work best for your hydroponic farming needs. Some of these factors include delivery height, target flow rate, outlet pipe size, ease of maintenance, etc.
The submersible water pump is an underwater pump. It is located in your water tank. This is the most common water pump used for aquaponic and hydroponics applications.
The reason is simple.
A submersible pump tends to be cheaper, easier to use, quicker to set up, and less noisy
But its biggest drawback is that it creates heat in the tank it stays in.
Another important point is that a submersible water pump is not suitable for a large system, ideally less than 1200 GPH. And submersible pump performance is often measured in GPH, how many liters of water the pump can move per hour at different head heights.