The Essentials of Products – Revisited

Different Kinds of Hydroponic Systems

When you imagine hydroponics, you think grown plants with roots that are suspended directly into water and have no growing medium. However, this is but a single approach to hydroponic gardening. What people usually don’t know is that there are different methods and variations of hydroponic gardening.


This is considered to be the most simplistic of all hydroponic systems. The wick system is known as a passive system, meaning it has no moving parts. From the reservoir below, a number of wicks draw up your specific growth technology nutrient solution into the growing medium.

Ebb And Flow System (Flood and Drain)

Such hydroponic systems require temporary flooding of the grow tray. The nutrient solution from a reservoir will first surround the roots before it drains back. Generally, this is automated using a timed water pump.

Drip (Recovery or Non-Recovery)

Some of the most common hydroponic methods nowadays are dip systems. A timer controls a water pump, which then pumps water and the growth technology nutrient solutions using networked elevated water jets. A recovery system then collects unused nutrient solution and puts it back into the reservoir. A non-recovery drip system, however, does not have this feature, allowing it to avoid pH variations in the reservoir.

NFT (Nutrient Film Technique)

Each time hydroponic systems is mentioned, people usually think about the NFT system. The Nutrient Film Technique makes use of a constant flow of your growth technology nutrient solution, meaning a timer is not required. From a reservoir, the solution is pumped into the growing tray. The growing tray needs no growing medium. The nutrients nutrients in the flowing solution are absorbed by the roots. The downward flow returns to the reservoir and will be recycled.


Aeroponic hydroponic systems are a high-tech form of hydroponics. Similar to the NFT system, the growing medium is mainly air. The roots are suspended in the air and nutrient solution is used to mist them from time to time. The roots will dry out fast if the misting cycles are disrupted. Like other types of hydroponic systems, a timer controls the nutrient pump, but the aeroponic system requires a short cycle timer that activates the pump for a number of seconds every few minutes.

For those of us who like growing plants, this is an exciting time indeed. We are no longer dependent on the climate or season in pursuing our pleasures. Now, we can actually grow whatever plant we want, anytime we want. Only our own ingenuity can limit us. The basic yet highly effective hydroponic systems, together with contemporary horticultural lighting, have revolutionized our hobby and opened our options to extents we never thought possible.