Hydroponic Water Culture System

The water culture system for hydroponics is a new method for growing fruits and vegetables that can provide some outstanding results.

The water culture system works by filling a reservoir with nutrient solution and allowing the roots to bathe in the solution with an air pump supplying air to the water and roots.

The plants are put into holes on top of a chamber that stands them up with the roots suspended in the reservoir.

There is no need for water pumps or sprayers or any extra unnecessary parts.

The ease of putting this system together, combined with the incredible results is what makes the water culture system so attractive.

What can go wrong with the water culture system?

Like the aerogarden, if you have a water culture system set-up that is working properly and you turn your back for 1 hour, it is very possible that you will have an entirely different situation when you return.

Since you really only have to worry about 1 piece of equipment, the water culture system is fairly easy to do.

The only problem is that if something goes wrong, then you only have about an hour or so to prevent disaster.

If the air pump stops working or is disconnected for some reason, there will no longer be any air supplied to the roots.

The plants will quickly drown in the stagnant water.

Method #1 5gal Bucket Water Culture System

With this method all parts are purchased separately.

This is a very easy to master once you understand how it works.

Supplies:

drill (optional)
1/8in drill bit (optional)
5 gal. lid with netted center (6in diameter hole)
air tubing
air stone
5gal bucket
air pump
clay pellets or diatomite rocks
barbed tee (optional) and/or
elbow fitting (optional)

Step by Step

Steps 1 and 2 are optional in case you’d like to try and keep the roots from growing around the air tubing. I usually did this to make changing the air tubing a breeze.

Step 1)
Drill a small hole about 2in from the outside edge of the lid.

Step 2)
Measure, cut and insert the required amount of air tubing for this set-up into the drilled hole and attach air stone.

Step 3)
Fill the 5gal bucket with nutrient solution to the bottom of the netted center of the lid.

Step 4)
Insert plant into netted center of the lid and fill with clay rocks or diatomite rocks.

Step 5)
Put lid on 5gal bucket.

Step 6)
Attach air tubing to air pump and plug in.

Method #2 20gal reservoir

This method is virtually the same as the one above with just a few more holes for the plants.

Supplies:

drill
2in or 4in hole saw drill bit
box cutter
20gal tub/reservoir with lid
scissors/shears
net pots
air tubing
air stone
air pump
clay pellets or diatomite rocks
barbed tee (optional) and/or
elbow fitting (optional)

Step by Step

Step 1)
Cut 4in holes along the lid of the reservoir. Place the holes about 2-6in apart. The amount of holes will be determined by the size of the reservoir and the amount of plants you wish to grow.

Step 2)
Drill another 1/8in hole on the center of the lid. This small hole will be for the tubing of the air pump.

Step 3)
Insert plants into 4in netted cups, place into pre-cut 4in holes on the lid and fill the cups with medium.

Step 4)
Fill the reservoir with nutrient solution to the bottom of the netted pots on the lid.

Step 5)
Put lid on reservoir.

Step 6)
Attach air tubing to air pump and plug in.

Keys to Success

The key to making the water culture system work is make sure your air pump is always working.

Don’t take anything for granted with this system.

Make sure you have a high quality air pump and that it is working properly.

If you have many plants and would like to make watering easier, then attach a 1/2in fitting to the bottom of the bucket or reservoirs about 1-2 inches from the bottom, and then connect these fittings with 1/2in tubing to the other buckets (some buckets or reservoirs will need 2 attachments).

As the plants grow the watering needs will change so you may need to change the nutrient solution more often as they grow.

As with any system there is no substitute for vigilance.

When using the water culture system, (as with any system) pay attention to your plants and you will be rewarded with a great harvest.

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