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hydroponics media getting started

Posted by cmate (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 6, 06 at 12:50

I am planning on trying out hydroponics by growing vegetables, and I want to use a simple system such as a pot with media in it, and overflow holes drilled in it. From what I have read, I then manually re-fill the pot up to the overflow holes with the formula (mixed properly)...

This hopefully a decent, but simple and small system and of course inexpensive. My question is, what is a decent media to use? Also, what fertilizer is good?

Any other thoughts are appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: hydroponics media getting started

The simplest most reliable media is expanded clay pellets.

All liquid nutrients I have tried work fine.

RE: hydroponics media getting started

Hi Cmate,

I have used coarse sand as a hydroponics media for over 30 years. Sand is cheap; it does not degrade or change pH, and it can be washed if it ever gets dirty.
As my system is not small, I make my own nutrients from first principles, but this would not be economical on a small scale. I use 6 inch plastic stormwater pipes as growing modules. You can make two modules from one length of pipe. Using this type of system allows variation in plant spacing, which would be difficult using pots or similar containers.


Here is a link that might be useful: Simple Sand Hydroponics

RE: hydroponics media getting started

Hi, well, if you find that a 5 gallon bucket is the right size for you to use, then I would recommend that you consider making a simple bubbler or gurgle system. With this system, you need only keep the nutrient level and the proper nutrient mix to have good results. The roots of your plant will not survive in a bucket full of sand and water. You need to control the amount of moisture and it's oxygen content. That is what makes the bubbler system work so well. The idea is that the container holding the plant is positioned above the nutrient container. I used a 5 gal. pail with the lid on for the nutrient tank, and some used large yogurt containers sitting on the pail lid. A 3/8 inch tube extends up from the nutrient tank, up through the yogurt container (filled with the clay or sand, gravel, ect. to extend a couple inches above the level of the growing medium. Air from a cheap fish aquarium pump is fed into the 3/8 inch vertical tube at a point about 2 inches from the bottom using small aquarium air hose. Air flow is regulated using an aquarium air valve. All this stuff is very cheap. The air going into the vertical tube causes bubbles to rise up the tube, and depending on the amount of the air pressure, the bubbles push nutrients up the tube to the plant container. The nutrients filter down through the plant container and drain out the bottom through holes drilled for this purpose. the lid on the 5 gallon pail also has a lot of holes drilled in it so that the nutrients run back into the pail to be reused again. Well check out a picture of the one I used on the web page link below. Good luck. Look for the picture on the right side of an orange pail with cayenne peppers growing on it.

Here is a link that might be useful: hydro stuff

RE: hydroponics media getting started

Link below has some ideas. Take a look.

Here is a link that might be useful: hydroideas

RE: hydroponics media getting started

expanded clay is good, but pea gravel, sand, or lava rock are all cheaper-more readily available alternatives. also rockwool is a new favorite of mine.

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