Various Types of Hydroponic Systems

Thinking of hydroponics, you automatically imagine plants grown with their roots hung directly into water and having no growing medium. However, this is but a single approach to hydroponic gardening. What most people don’t know is that hydroponic gardening is possible through numerous methods and variations.


This is viewed as the most elementary hydroponic system. The wick system is known as a passive system, meaning it has no moving parts. From the reservoir below, your specific growth technology nutrient solution is going to be drawn up into the growing medium with the use of some wicks.

Ebb And Flow System (Flood and Drain)

These hydroponic systems call for the grow tray to be temporarily flooded. Before draining back, the nutrient solution from a reservoir surrounds the roots. This is usually automated with the use of a water pump that comes with a timer.

Drip (Recovery or Non-Recovery)

Dip systems are some of the most widely used hydroponic methods today. A water pump is controlled by a timer, as it pumps water and the growth technology nutrient solutions with the use of a mesh of raised water jets. A recovery system then collects unused nutrient solution and puts it back into the reservoir. A non-recovery drip system, on the other hand, avoids this, preventing variations in the reservoir’s pH balance.

NFT (Nutrient Film Technique)

The NFT System is what most people imagine upon the mention of the words, hydroponic systems. Because the Nutrient Film Technique involves a constant flow of your growth technology nutrient solution, no timer is used. The solution in a reservoir is pumped into the growing tray. No growing medium is needed by the growing tray. Absorbed by the roots are the nutrients found in the flowing solution. The downward flow goes back into the reservoir for recycling.


Aeroponic hydroponic systems are considered a high-tech type of hydroponic gardening . As with the NFT system, air is the main growing medium. While hung in the air, the roots are misted with nutrient solution every few minutes. The roots will dry out fast if the misting cycles are disrupted. Like all other types of hydroponic systems, the nutrient pump is controlled by a timer, but the aeroponic system relies on a short cycle timer activating the pump for a few seconds every few minutes.

For those of us who enjoy growing plants, these are interesting times indeed. We are no longer controlled by the season or climate as we pursue our harmless joys. Now, we can actually grow whatever plant we want, anytime we want. We can only be limited by our creativity. The simple yet effective hydroponic systems, along with modern horticultural lighting, have revolutionized our hobby and liberated us to grow our favorite plants wherever we choose.

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