What is a Hydroponic System? Different Types & How They Work

Move over soil— there's a new method taking the growing world by storm. As the concept of indoor hydroponic gardens has gained popularity in recent years (in part due to the pandemic), more and more people have been drawn to hydroponics. 

Hydroponics is nothing new though; it dates back thousands of years to ancient civilizations. So why are people suddenly drawn to this grow method? Read on the learn more about the basics of hydroponics and see if this system is right for your home gardening.

Table Of Content

  • 1. What is a Hydroponic System?
  • 2. Hydroponics vs. Soil
  • 3. Six Types of Hydroponic Systems
  • 3.1 DWC
  • 3.2 Nutrient Film Technique
  • 3.3 Ebb and Flow
  • 3.4 Wick Systems
  • 3.5 Drip
  • 3.6 Aeroponics
  • 4. Best Hydroponic System for Growing Cannabis
  • 5. Closing Remarks

What is a Hydroponic System?

Hydroponics means growing plants in a nutrient solution without soil. The soil, which normally offers roots stability, is replaced by a sterile medium such as rockwool, gravel, clay pebbles, sand, etc. Hydroponic plants are then provided with nutrient-rich water and supplied with oxygen via an air pump. Hydroponic systems promote fast growth, high yield, and great quality harvests.

Hydroponics vs. Soil

soil vs hydroponics

When people think of growing cannabis at home, they probably imagine a houseplant in a pot of soil. For beginners, the concept of hydroponic growing might seem unfamiliar. If you're still undecided between growing hydroponic vs soil weed, you can weigh the pros and cons beforehand:

Cons of Hydroponics: Higher Cost and More Setup

Many hydroponic systems are composed of multiple parts: air pumps, water pumps, inert mediums, nutrients, etc. Depending on the system, the initial assembly may also seem daunting, especially if there are not a lot of online resources to help guide you. Additionally, the setup always costs more than what you need for soil-based growing. It's no wonder that many people would prefer to buy soil and a pot and just call it a day. So why do some people still go for hydroponics?

Pros of Hydroponics: Faster, Fuller Growth

The biggest reason people choose the hydroponic system is the results. When a plant grows in soil, its roots are constantly looking for nutrients. But hydroponic plant roots have direct access to both water and nutrients, which means the plant doesn't need to waste any additional energy. This energy can then be used to support plant development instead. As a result, hydroponic plants tend to grow faster and fuller than their soil counterparts.

6 Types of Hydroponic Systems

what is a hydroponic system

1. DWC

The Deep Water Culture (DWC) system is one of the simplest and most common types of hydroponic systems. It involves suspending plant roots in a nutrient-rich water solution, using an air pump to supply oxygen to the roots. DWC hydroponics is low-maintenance and certainly an excellent choice for beginners.

2. Nutrient Film Technique

The Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) system runs a stream of nutrient-rich water flowing through a slopped channel, where the plant roots are suspended. Water trickles down the slope and is collected below where it gets pumped back up to the top of the channel. This method provides a continuous supply of both water and nutrients and water to the plants, but it may require more maintenance as the roots can easily clog the channel.

3. Ebb and Flow

The ebb and flow system, also known as flood and drain, involves flooding the plant's roots with the nutrient-rich solution for a certain period and then draining it away. This system is versatile and can be used for a variety of plants, including those that require different nutrient levels at different growth stages.

4. Wick Systems

The roots are supported with a grow medium such as rockwool or perlite. A nylon rope is then placed at the base of the root system and is fed into the nutrient-rich water reservoir. The nylon ropes transport water from the reservoir to the roots, which eliminates the need for any water pump.

5. Drip

The drip system involves dripping a nutrient-rich water solution onto the base of each plant. The solution is then collected and reused, making it an environmentally friendly option. This system may require more maintenance, but it provides better control of the nutrients and water supply for each individual plant.

6. Aeroponics

A popular choice for commercial growing, Aeroponics involves suspending the plant roots like in the NFT setup. The roots are then sprayed with a nutrient-rich mist. This method does not require a grow medium, but it is a little more difficult to initially setup.

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What's included in the Hey abby 420 Edition grow box kit
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Hey abby's best grow box for beginners with APP control

Hey abby Automated Grow Box 420 Edition

Hey abby Automated Grow Box 420 Edition
What's included in the Hey abby 420 Edition grow box kit
Hey abby 420 Edition hydroponics weed grow box LED lights
Hey abby cannabis hydroponic nutrients & expert support
Hey abby 420 Edition DWC hydroponics for weed growing
Hey abby's best grow box for beginners with APP control
40% OFF
Hey abby Automated Grow Box 420 Edition
What's included in the Hey abby 420 Edition grow box kit
Hey abby 420 Edition hydroponics weed grow box LED lights
Hey abby cannabis hydroponic nutrients & expert support
Hey abby 420 Edition DWC hydroponics for weed growing
Hey abby's best grow box for beginners with APP control
$469.00
$774.00

as low as $33/mo.

Best Hydroponic System for Growing Cannabis

best dwc hydroponics system for weed

DWC hydroponics is claimed to be one of the fastest ways to grow heavy-yielding weed plants. Among all the hydroponic systems, DWC is the simplest and most low-maintenance — making it perfect for beginners! One great thing about the DWC hydroponics system is that there are various automatic options available on the market today. 

These automatic systems allow you to start growing without needing to purchase individual components. One example is Hey abby grow box kits, which is both compact and discreet for your cannabis growth.

Hey abby uses a balanced combination of red, blue, and white LEDs to deliver a full spectrum of light. The device's smart algorithm then adjusts the light intensity over time to ensure your plant receives the exact wavelengths necessary for optimal growth and development. Complete with four built-in fans and an air pump system, Hey abby is an ideal option for beginners interested in growing hydroponic cannabis at home. Its compact and sleek design also makes it a great addition to any home.

Closing Remarks

best hydroponic system for indoor gardening

Hydroponic systems offer growers a higher yield compared to traditional soil-based gardening. There are six common hydroponic systems, of which, DWC is ideal for the beginner marijuana grower. Automatic grow boxes like Hey abby are also a great option for people looking to simplify the growing process even further. While hydro weed may seem daunting at first glance, the results certainly warrant the extra effort. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a complete beginner, hydroponics offers everyone a refreshing and effective cultivating experience.

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