The water culture hydroponic system is one of the easiest and most efficient hydroponic systems. This system is not only used by home gardeners, but also by professional farmers that sell their plants commercially.
What you need
- An aquarium-like container
- Air bubble makers
- Air line
- Planting medium
- Floating platform
Air Bubble Makers
Air pump is commonly used to produce air bubbles inside the liquid nutrients. You connect the air pump to the air stone at the base of the container through the air line. You can also use small tubes for smaller air bubbles.
Even though this type isn’t popularly used in the water culture hydroponic system, the surface of fallen droplets of water is a good way to produce air bubbles. The more water that falls, the bigger the volume, the lower they fall, the more air bubbles they produce. This method is used more in the commercial setting because it needs a lot more water than usual.
Re-Circulatory Floating Raft System
This system works like a never ending flood. You can prepare as many containers as you want to be connected to the main container. Every container has its own pipe that connects to the main container. Every container is filled with liquid nutrients and plants. Then, use water pump to pump liquid nutrients through the containers continuously.
Most farmers that use this method only use one air pump which is in the main container. The water pump is on 24/7. You can even use the falling water system to produce air bubbles in each container. You don’t need to check the water in each container to change it either. This method is quite simple and suitable for commercial use.
Floating Raft System
The floating raft system is more or less the same with the regular water culture system but it needs more than 8-10 inches depth for the container. This system is more suitable for bigger plants that need bigger room and more water. Regardless of the system you use, make sure to choose the right container and the water depth needed by your plants.
This is a variation of the standard water culture hydroponic system. It was founded by a lecturer in Hawaii University, B. A. Kratky. This non-circulatory hydroponic system does not flow water from the container to the plants, but it lets the water to solve into the soil. This is actually quite efficient and can be modified perfectly into the circulatory system.
This can be quite similar to the NFT system where the plants are hanging about over the water with distance between the water and the pots, but in this one, the plants touch the water so the roots can grow out underneath.
How High Should Your Water Be?
Should the water level higher or lower than the pots? That doesn’t really matter because water level changes constantly. When the air bubbles reach the top of the water, they burst and cause sparks of water around. Those sparks of water can wet your plant enough even though the pots don’t touch the water. It also depends on how well your planting medium absorbs water and retains humidity. The size of the plants also matter because if your plants are small and their roots are short, it’s better to make the pots touch the water at least until the roots grow long enough to be in the water.