Educational Resources

TheLaughingManNovember 14, 2012

I am just getting into hydroponics and researching as much as I can before I dive into starting my first system. Does anyone know of any books or in depth websites that explain a lot. I have found forums and some sites that explain basics however I want to know more then just how to build a system and run it.

I haven't seen anything that explains what each systsm is good for other then Deep Water is good for leafy plants like lettuce. I am wating to start with some hot peppers and was wanting to do either a drip system or a ebb and flow.

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Most of the free resources come from university extension programs and are aimed at helping small farmers. There are also a lot of free youtube videos that will at least show you examples of different systems.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:14PM
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And the reality is all systems work great for all plants. It comes down to what type of system you like to run.
For/To me:

NFT: light weight, tight and flexible spacing, less nutrient
but its more subject to crop failure is a pump goes bad and is a bit more technical in nature. doesn't work well with plants with large root systems.
EnF: tight, though fixed plant spacing. should retain water well so only needs watering a couple times a day. if plants are in individual containers, they can be moved and transplanted easily. don't have to worry about aeration.
But, they're heavy. they can build up salts in the medium causing uptake issues. you have to make sure your drain system doesn't get clogged.
DWC: plants dying from lack of water is almost a moot point. low maintenance.
but, they're the heaviest of systems. you have to make sure the water is aerated. they're more susceptible to moisture related infections such as pythium.
That being said, I started out using DWC and still use it, but I really like NFT for smaller plants or vine type plants and I really like EnF starting larger plants in pots (to transplant later) and for plants that need a bit more space.
I still, generally, grow tomatoes in DWC cause a full grown plant can just suck down some juice.
There is also recirculating DWC which has potential, but I'm not sold on it because of nutrient change issues and that's a lot of holes that need waterproofing. more holes means more chance to leak.

I know i didn't answer your Q directly, but deciding a system/style you like is probably most important in enjoying what you're doing. For learning, I would start with DWC, then EnF, then NFT. Oh! IMO, a drip system is most like an EnF system.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:57AM
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Thanks for the reply "grizzman" and sharing the information about the systems which work great for all plants. NFT, EnF and DWC are the systems but I prefer DWC system for my plant.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 1:28AM
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Learn about the types of systems first(grizzman did a great job of explaining them already) and then look up commercial products and figure out the parts they use.

Do a google search on the following:

- pH in hydroponics
- EC and ppm in hydroponics
- benefits of hydroponics

This should get you started. Really, though, its best to to just start building a system and stick some plants in it if you want to learn fast!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 1:12AM
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