Hydroponic systems need not be confusing. Your plants require food, water, oxygen at the root level, and physical support. Each system is simply another way to make sure all of these needs are met. In this section, I will answer all of your questions related to system setup, including store bought systems, homemade systems, material selection, system construction tips, leak-proofing, and troubleshooting. This includes questions about aeroponics and cloners (as well as any other type of hydro system).
Many answers can be found at the bottom of this page. I have written much on this subject over the years. Also check out a few of the following pages before you ask your question….
Different Hydroponic Systems
Homemade Hydro Systems
Choosing a System Design
System Construction Tips
Common System Problems
Hydroponic systems always generate lots of questions….both homemade and store bought. Once your garden is started, however, unanswered questions can become horrible, nagging problems that prevent you from getting the results you want! Don’t waste your time building a system that doesn’t meet the needs of your plants! Drop me a line and tell me your story….my experience can help you avoid or fix most problems.
Other Hydroponic System Questions:
Click below to see questions from other visitors…
Aeroponic System Spray Hole and Pipe Length Not rated yet
For the design listed on your site, using the 4″-6″ PVC pipes, about how big of a PVC section are we talking about? Typically at the hardware stores around …
Aeroponics Pump and Timer Not rated yet
I’m in the process of installing a greenhouse (30 x 72) in which to grow vegetables for sale (tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash), particularly in the winter …
Hydroponic System Pump? Not rated yet
What would be a good pump to run your most successful hydroponics system? (I’m thinking of building your most successful hydroponics system) Answer: …
Aeroponics using Ultrasonic Fog Not rated yet
I was looking at your aeroponics system and was wondering if you have thought about fitting a fogger/mister on the system? Would this eliminate clogging? …
Timer for a Homemade Cloner Not rated yet
I built a homemade cloner, but for it to work I need a timer where it runs for 1 minute and off for 5 minutes throughout the day. Do you know where to …
Compliments & Gratitude….& Microgreens? Not rated yet
I am working on building an indoor micro-green system using sure-to-grow mat. I’ve considered NFT, but there are two drawbacks: 1) the edges roll up and …
Water Pump for an Aeroponic System Not rated yet
Just about to start my own garden….I am looking at water pumps and cannot decide which one to get. None of them say anything about psi on it, just …
Vertical Hydroponic Gardens Not rated yet
I have a couple small greenhouses in which I grow my bedding plants. I would like to grow vertical produce for my family all year. I have very little …
NFT or DWC?? Not rated yet
I want to try hydroponic food, or flower, growing…again. What plant should I try? Which system is most successful? Which system is the least troublesome, …
Click here to write your own.
Feedback on My Homemade Hydroponic System Not rated yet
I am a complete beginner to hydroponics, having literally built my homemade hydroponic system and started attempting to grow this week. I built a …
Click here to write your own.
Leave this page and
Check out My Most Successful Homemade System
Hi everyone, Jason from Jason’s Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 20 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients….and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden….but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people.
I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn’t have a whole lot of money to work with and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as possible….and in the last 20 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!
As you browse through Jason’s Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks….and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol).
And, regarding the cost of the nutrients….I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas….like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.
What is colloidal humus?
Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 20 years and I have only just recently mastered this difficult skill….and even then, only because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole year! I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food production system.
And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients.
One final solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants is concerned. Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle, you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system!
This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 20 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.
Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!
This is where my advice ends for people growing in water. But some of you out there are in love with soil gardening and organic gardening, and rightly so! It’s a pro-human activity. It is pro-conservation. It is pro-life. It nurtures and promotes life at all levels, from the micro-organisms to beneficial insects, to healthy humans. It’s natural. it’s spiritual. Gardening is written deeply into our DNA, like how you feel watching a bonfire or sitting by the ocean or next to a river.
My friend John at Food4Wealth has more than 20 years experience organic gardening, so he reminds me a lot of myself. He knows organic gardening like I know hydroponic gardening, and over the years he has learned just about every trick there is to organic gardening. He knows what makes the plants grow, and he knows how to do it with as little effort as humanly possible. His garden never needs digging, naturally repels pests, has no weeds, always produces more than his family is able to eat, produces vegetables everyday all year round, and….only requires 8 HOURS of light, easy effort PER YEAR!
Years and years of experience and results can’t be argued with….the Food4Wealth gardening strategy is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work….specifically for organic gardeners who love soil gardening. THIS is the most efficient and productive way to do organic gardening, period! And combined with the ability to make a years’ worth of colloidal humus compost in just one week (see World’s Best Compost), this overall organic soil gardening strategy is just unstoppable- foolproof, low cost, and low effort!