Hydroponics is the method of producing food without using soil. If you want to venture into this system of gardening, it is important to know what is required first. Here are the factors to consider when putting up an hydroponic setup.
First, you will need a reservoir which will be holding the water that the plants will use. The reservoir will be holding water and nutrients that are necessary for the growth of plants. Depending on your budget, you can either go for a big commercial variant, or just a small bucket. The reservoir needs to have a lid. The lid will prohibit water evaporation which may cause chemical imbalances within the reservoir. This imbalance will affect the general growth of the plants planted in the hydroponic system. Also, metal reservoirs should be avoided because metals can react with water and the chemicals therein causing harm to the crops.
Another thing you need to have is the water pump. Water pumps will be necessary because they will ensure that all your plants get enough water and nutrients. You need to either choose to install submersible or non-submersible water pumps. While submersible water pumps need to be installed within the solution containing nutrients, non-submersible water pumps can only be used outside the nutrient solutions. The output of these pumps in terms of gallons is yet another classification that you should consider as well. For small setups, you can get a simple water pipes because they will still do all the work that is required. A timer is required to regulated a lot of functions within the hydroponic system which are very essential. The timer plays a major role in regulating essential functions such as ventilation, watering, and even lighting. You can choose an advanced timer or analogous and simple timer depending on your budget.
You also need to get the right grow lights which will be replacing natural light in the growth of plants. Fluorescent lights may be used to replace natural light, but they don’t produce the required light intensities. You can get metal halide lights because they mimic natural light to the closest extent. This type of lights produce high spectrums of blue light, which is known to support a plant’s vegetative growth. You may also decide to use high pressure sodium bulbs which use lesser energy and last longer. However, these lights produce a narrower light spectrums compared to the metal halide lights. Since there is no soil required in hydroponics, you need to get a growth medium for your plants. Whereas the medium needs to provide anchorage, it should also be able to allow for drainage and air exchange.