Best 6 Hydroponic Growing Systems

6 Mins read
Hydroponic Growing Systems

Hydroponic Growing Systems help gardeners grow plants without soil. One of the main advantages of hydroponics is that the you are in total control of the growing environment and the growing conditions you provide.  

What is a Hydroponic Growing System?

One of the first and most important decisions you have to take as a farmer going towards hydroponics is which hydroponics system you will use. Hydroponically grown plants are using only water and nutrients instead of soil.

The hydroponics technique you use to grow your plants is called a hydroponics system or hydroponics growing system. There are slightly differences between each technique, but in general most of them use timers, pumps and growing medium and based on your particular gardening applications and crop varieties, some hydroponic systems are better than others. 

The hydroponic systems can be divided into 6 main groups. Let’s look into each works and the hydroponics kits for each hydroponic growing system. 

Best 6 Hydroponic Growing Systems

Aeroponics – Hydroponics System

Plants are usually suspended on top of a reservoir, in a typical aeroponic system, within a tightly sealed container. A sprinkler system and a pump creates vapors out of a solution rich in nutrients and sprays the result in the reservoir, engulfing the dangling plant roots.

Advantages of using Aeroponic hydroponics growing systems

  • Fast plant growth
  • Easy system maintenance
  • Less need for nutrients and water
  • Plants can be moved around without too much effort
  • Requires little space

Disadvantages of using Aeroponic hydroponics systems

  • Dependence on the system
  • Technical knowledge required
  • Regular cleaning of the root chamber
  • High cost

Recommended Aeroponics Systems

Rainforest 66
Rainforest 66 aeroponics system
  • Great for medium to large plants
  • Vortex Sprayer works to provide oxygen to nutrient solution
  • Includes 17-Gallon reservoir with lid, sprayer, 6 lid inserts, plastic cups, liners, caps, and Flora kit
AeroFlo 2
AeroFlo 2 aeroponics system
  • 60 sites for serious aeroponic growing
  • Excellent oxygen/water/nutrients ratio
  • complete w/ 36 net cups, pump, plumbing and fittings, coco inserts, nutrient solution, and leg stands
Aeroponic Cloning Machine
Aeroponic Cloning Machine
  • Includes 25 sites, reservoir w/lid, spray with misters, 317GPH pump and inserts
  • 13 spray head for full coverage
  • Organic – no need for growth hormone or chemicals

*Photos: Amazon

Deepwater Culture (DWC) – Hydroponics System

Deep water culture (DWC) is a hydroponic method of plant production by means of suspending the plant roots in a solution of nutrient-rich, oxygenated water. Also known as raft/pond or float systems, this method uses floating rafts to suspend plant roots into a pond of water often 8–12 inches deep.

Advantages of using Deep Water Culture hydroponics growing systems

  • Simpler setup and easy to make at home
  • No Nutrient Pump needed
  • Reliable and extremely low-maintenance
  • Recirculating, so less wasted inputs

Disadvantages of using Deep Water Culture hydroponics systems

  • Risk of root rot if not cleaned regularly
  • Need frequent refilling to keep the reservoir full
  • Does not work well for large plants
  • Slower growth rate

Recommended DWC Hydroponic Systems

Aquabuckets DWC Hydroponic System
Aquabuckets DWC Hydroponic System
  • 4 site, 5 buckets, with mixing cell and 200 mesh filter
  • Constant, recirculating oxygenated water provides a good mix of nutrients, CF and stabilizes pH levels
  • Made from high quality material, all parts and fittings needed are included
Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit
Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Bubbler
  • Easy to use, set up, and maintain
  • Allows you to grow 8 different plants in one system
  • Deep water kit includes quality pump, air lines, 8 air stones, 6″ basket lids, and 8 5-gallon buckets
DIY Hydroponic System Kit
Aunifun Hydroponics Grower Kit
  • Simple design, made with eco-friendly materials
  • 11 pods allow you to grow up to 11 plants at once
  • Great for transplant, cloning, propagation, and other indoor hydroponic growing

*Photos: Amazon

Drip System – Hydroponics System

Drip Growing System is similar to the drip irrigation and it is a type of micro-irrigation system that has the potential to save water and nutrients by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either from above the soil surface or buried below the surface. 

Advantages of using Drip Systems

  • High level of control over feeding and watering schedule
  • Less likely to break
  • Sufficient Oxygen Flow
  • Relatively cheap

Disadvantages of using Drip Systems

  • May be overkill for a smaller setup
  • Prone to Clogging
  • Prone to algae growth
  • Requires regular cleaning
  • High amount of waste

Recommended Drip Systems

EcoGrower Drip Hydroponic System
EcoGrower Drip Hydroponic System
  • Ability to grow large plants
  • Spider drip system is air driven
  • Complete kit includes 17-Gallon reservoir, spider drip system, pumping column, lid and inserts, net cups, CocoTek liners, air pump, Flora nutrients, and clay pebbles
Waterfarm Complete Kit
Waterfarm Complete Kit
  • Simple system with easy set-up
  • This module includes outer reservoir, inner growing chamber, drip ring and pumping column
Eco Complete Power Grower
Eco Complete Power Grower
  • Grow small, medium, and large plants
  • Hexagonal design allows you to pack many units close together for large installations
  • Kit includes 5.7 gallon reservoir, 3 gallon growing chamber, air pump, pumping column, column support tube, drip ring, 1/2″ gromment, drain level tube, 9L of clay pebbles and 3 part Flora series nutrients

*Photos: Amazon

Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain) – Hydroponics Growing System

Ebb and Flow is a form of hydroponic growing system that is known for its simplicity, reliability of operation and low initial investment cost. Pots are filled with an inert medium which does not function like soil or contribute nutrition to the plants but which anchors the roots and functions as a temporary reserve of water and solvent mineral nutrients. The hydroponic solution alternately floods the system and is allowed to ebb away.

Advantages of using Ebb and Flow hydroponics systems

  • Efficient use of water and energy: Excess nutrient solution recirculates
  • Highly customizable to your specific needs
  • Affordable

Disadvantages of using Ebb and Flow hydroponics systems

  • Possible technical failure can lead to quick drying out of Roots
  • Uses a lot of growing medium
  • Prone to Algae Growth

Recommended Ebb & Flow / Flood & Drain Hydroponic Growing Systems

Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow Hydroponics System
Viagrow Complete Ebb Flow Hydroponics System
  • Rapid, efficient growing of up to 25 plants in a small space
  • Automatic delivery of perfect amounts of water, oxygen & nutrients
  • Includes 50 L bag grow rocks, submersible pump, tubing, 25 – 1 gallon pots, timer 40-gallon reservoir, lid, white flood tray stand
Active Aqua Grow Flow Ebb & Gro Hydroponic System
Active Aqua Grow Flow Ebb Gro Hydroponic System
  • Includes 12 pots (can be expanded to 48 pots) and a 55-gallon reservoir
  • Self-managing with pumps and timer
  • Automatic emergency shut-off valve safety feature
Aeroponic Cloning Machine
Complete 2 ft. x 2 Ft. Ebb Flow Hydroponics System
  • Complete flood & drain kit
  • Automated ebb & flo hydroponic system delivers perfect amount of water, oxygen, and nutrients
  • Multi-pin timer with 48 on/off daily settings and easy to use trippers

*Photos: Amazon

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) – Hydroponics System

Nutrient film technique (NFT) is a hydroponic technique where in a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients required for plant growth is re-circulated past the bare roots of plants in a watertight gully, also known as channels.

Advantages of using Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) hydroponics systems

  • Minimal growing medium needed
  • Recirculating system means less waste
  • Excess nutrient solution recirculate
  • Good Oxygen Flow
  • Space efficient

Disadvantages of using Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) hydroponics systems

  • Pump failure of any kind can completely ruin your crop
  • Roots can become overgrown and clog the channels

Recommended NFT Hydroponic Systems

Rainforest 66
NFT Hydroponics system
  • 36 sites of net cup, no grow medium required
  • Timer controlled feed cycle can be intermittent or continuous and produces rapid plant growth
  • Includes frame, hose, pump, timer, tube, foam cube and net try for seed starting
NFT Hydroponic Grow Kit
NFT Hydroponic Grow Kit
  • Food grade PVC
  • Hybrid model: Can be used for Ebb and Flow (use a time controller) or a recirculating Deep Water Culture
  • Includes (1) holder and (8) Main Pipes; 72 planting sites; 110V water pump; planting sponge; 15.25ft hose

*Photos: Amazon

Wick – Hydroponics System

Wick Hydroponic Growing systems are one of the easiest hydroponic growing systems you can build and operate. This is the cheapest hydroponic system and are great for people who just starts with hydroponic.

Your system can have only five individual components. The way how wick hydroponic growing systems works is by sucking water and nutrients up from the reservoir to your plants, as they need it.

Advantages to using a wick system 

  • A porous growing medium will increase oxygen absorption by your plants
  • Cheapest and easy system maintenance
  • Wick systems can be made from anything

Disadvantages of using a wick system

  • Slower Growth Rate
  • Larger plants will require oxygenation of your nutrients
  • Need to change your solution to keep nutrient levels constant
  • Possibilities of mold increases because the water is not circulating

Recommended Wick Systems

Kitchen Herb Kit – Three Self-Watering Indoor Planters
Kitchen Herb Kit – Three Self-Watering Indoor Planters
  • Passive wicking hydroponics system automatically brings water up to the roots
  • 3 kits, each includes reusable glass mason jar, stainless steel net pots, grow medium coco pith, wick, nutrients and instructions
  • Eco-friendly materials, including organic basil, parsley and non-gmo mint seeds
SL1600200 Grow Light Garden
SL1600200 Grow Light Garden
  • Simple bottom watering system employs a mat for capillary action
  • Sun blaster 6400K T5HO grow light simulates natural sunlight for cuttings and vegetative growth
  • NanoTech reflectors are included to increase lumen availability

*Photos: Amazon

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