There are many different styles of hydroponics, and each have their own pros and cons. So, if you’re thinking about growing hydro, reading these guides to growing cannabis in hydroponics, will help you choose what set up works best for you. And also guide you through the whole grow.
Hydroponics can seem difficult at first, but with some practise, it can be a very easy and rewarding method of growing cannabis.
If you have any questions about growing cannabis in hydroponics, then feel free to ask for help in our cannabis growers forum
Guides to Growing Cannabis in Hydroponics
Hydroponics Sections of our Cannabis Growers Forum
- When you grow cannabis in hydroponics, it is common to monitor the EC of your feed, and your runoff, to get a rough idea of how much your plant is eating. The best EC for cannabis plants, is not set in stone, and each strain, and even each phenotype will prefer different levels of EC. The only way you can really tell what the best EC for your cannabis plants is, is by monitoring what you are feeding them, and comparing it with what they are giving back in runoff, or changes to your reservoir. In this guide we will go step by step, and explain how you can find the best EC for your plants. This will help you feed them what they need, when they need it. Knowing how to find the best EC for your cannabis plant will keep your plants healthy and happy throughout their whole grow, which in turn will give you a better final product. If you have any questions about finding the right EC for your cannabis plants, then feel free to ask for help in our cannabis growers forum Contents What is ECEC MetersEC and PPM ConversionBest EC for Growing Cannabis in Hydroponic Systems What EC to Feed your Plants in HydroPH and EC Fluctuations in the ReservoirFinding the Right EC for your ReservoirLeaching NutrientsBest EC for Growing Cannabis in CocoWhat EC to feed Cannabis Plants in CocoHow EC works in CocoThe Dangers of EC SpikesHow to Test the EC of CocoTest your Nutrient Solution Before FeedingTesting the Runoff After FeedingFinding the Best EC for Cannabis Plants in Coco What is EC? Growing cannabis in hydroponic systems like DWC, NFT, and coco, is usually done with "salt based nutrients". These nutrients will be added to water, at lets say, 1ml per litre. As the salts are added to water, the water will become more conductive, meaning that an electrical current can pass through it easier. As more salts are added, the electroconductivity of the solution will rise. This is what EC is. By monitoring the EC (Electro Conductivity) of your nutrient solution, you will have an idea of how much of the salt based nutrients are available to your plant, in turn you will know how much you are feeding your plant. To check the EC of the nutrient solution for your plants, you need a good reliable EC meter. EC Meters You need to be sure that your readings are accurate when you test the nutrient solution. Accuracy and reliability are important, so you should buy from brands that are used by cannabis growers, and are trusted. Don't cut corners with the EC meter, get the best one you can afford, knowing the EC of your feed will keep your plants healthy and happy, it is worth investing in a good EC meter. EC and PPM Conversion In some cases, you may have a "PPM" meter, instead of an EC meter. EC is seen as a more accurate way of testing the strength of a nutrient solution, and it is used by growers all over the world. The problem with PPM meters, is that different models will have different readings, depending on their country of origin. They have certain conversion ratios that can be confusing. Sometimes you may find guides across the internet that use PPM instead of EC. The problem is you're not really sure what PPM conversion ratio the guide you are reading is using, and how it compares with your PPM meter. It's best to stick with EC, as that is a flat reading no matter what meter you use. Here is a chart, that can help you convert PPM into EC, it will also show how confusing the different PPM ratios can be. Keep it simple, and use EC: Best EC for Growing Cannabis in Hydroponic Systems In full hydroponic systems, such as DWC, NFT, and other methods where the roots are suspended in water, plants are said to be able to take a higher EC, than a plant in soilless mediums like coco. This is because plants growing in hydroponics, will have an airstone in the root zone which will provide air directly to the plants roots. This helps the plant eat and drink more. But, this doesn't mean you can push your plant full of nutrients, and hope it grows bigger, a plant can only eat a certain amount. You have to find the right balance, and feed the right amount of nutrients to the plant. What EC to Feed your Plants in Hydro I can't tell you the answer to this question, nobody can. Each plant, from each seed, in different environments, will use their nutrients differently. The best way to find out the best EC for your cannabis plant, is by monitoring what you're feeding the plants, against what they are giving you back in runoff. To put it simply, if the EC of your feed is 1.0, and the EC of the runoff rises to 1.4, your plant is not using all of the nutrients, and you're over feeding it. If the EC of the runoff falls, to 0.7, then your plant needs more nutrients. What you're looking for is the run off to come out at around the same EC as it goes in. PH and EC Fluctuations in the Reservoir Some hydro growers will be using a "recirculating system", where the runoff after feeding, will be redirected into the nutrient tank (reservoir). In situations like this, you can monitor the EC and pH of the reservoir, to help find the best EC for cannabis plants. If the water level in your reservoir is falling, then your plant is drinking, this is a good sign. As the plant drinks, it will take in some of the nutrients available to it. This will change the EC and pH of the nutrient solution. What you are looking for, is a fall in water level, and at the same time, the pH and EC of the water stays stable. This can be done by monitoring the EC over a few days and making slight adjustments to get the balance just right. Finding the Right EC for your Reservoir First off, you need to find out what your BG EC is (background EC). This is the EC of the water you're going to use, before any nutrients are added to it. This will count towards your final EC. If the BG EC is over 0.6, you should consider using reverse osmosis water, or diluting the water with mineral water to reduce it. For seedlings: use a very small amount of nutrients, that increases the EC by just 0.2 points. Feed this nutrient solution to your plants, in the recirculating system, and then monitor the EC and pH levels after 24 hours. If the EC falls, then increase the EC of the reservoir by 0.2 points. If it has risen, reduce the EC by 0.1 point. You continue this as the plant grows, until you find a nice steady balance. Don't push it too hard, it is better to under feed a cannabis plant than over feed one. Watch the EC and pH, and adjust accordingly. When you find the right levels, and everything is stable, your plants will have access to the right levels of nutrients, and it will grow healthy and happily Leaching Nutrients In some situations, the EC of the nutrient solution is way too low, and nutrients will leach out of the plant, and into the water. This will raise the EC of the nutrient solution, but in fact, the plant is losing food. This tends to happen only when there are big changes in the EC of the nutrients. The plant and the water, find balance, and there will be a certain amount of food in the plant, that is equal to that in the water. If too many salts are removed, the nutrient level of the plant is higher than the medium, and nutrients will start moving from the plant and into the water. This can expressed as deficiencies, but the EC will show signs of over feeding. So be careful of this factor. If you have reduced the EC of your feed by more than 0.4 points, the first test may show a slight raise in EC before it levels off on the second test after another feeding. Consistency is important. Tiny changes is what is best, so you can monitor the effects. Too much of a change in EC either way can shock the plants, so gradual changes should be made, unless there is a major problem. From seed, you can follow the plant as it grows and raise the EC as it is needed. But if you're checking EC for the first time on bigger plants, then you need to monitor the levels for a couple of feeds to get an idea of the right levels. Then you can adjust in small increments in the direction you want the EC to go. Best EC for Growing Cannabis in Coco Though coco is a form of hydroponics, it is treated a little differently, as it is not as easy to monitor the EC as it is in a hydroponic system. After watering your cannabis plants in coco, there will be run off, which is drained away, and then, the coco will begin to dry out. The plants will drink the water and absorb the nutrients, and the water will also evaporate. When it does, it leaves salts behind, and can cause EC levels to rise quickly in the medium. Coco should be kept saturated at all times to prevent EC spikes, and these need to be taken into account when testing the feed to find the best EC for your plants. What EC to feed a Cannabis Plant in Coco You should always start a seedling off at a very low EC. As the roots form, and the plant grows bigger and heads into veg, you can monitor the feed to find the best EC. Start off, with just 0.2 points over your BG EC, and monitor the run off from there. You should water at least once a day! Stay consistent, and do it at the same time everyday, about an hour after lights come on if possible. Feed the seedlings, and collect the runoff as it flows out of the pot. Test this water, to find out what the EC level is. If it is lower than the feed you have been giving your plants, then increase the EC of the next feed by 0.2. if it is higher, than reduce the EC by 0.1. Monitor the EC going in, and coming out like this for a few days, and your plant will tell you what the best EC is. How EC Works in Coco As you water your cannabis plants in coco, the nutrient solution will wash through, and push old salts out. Lets not get too complex but, as fresh salts are added, they carry an electric current, this helps them stick to the roots, like your hair does to a balloon. As the nutrient ion is used, it loses its charge too. When new nutrients are introduced, the ones with the weaker bond, get washed away, and the new ones replace them, and the process continues. Old salts will be washed out with the run off with every feed. If they are not, they will build up in the coco, and you will see a salt build up. This will cause your plants to be sitting in a medium with too many salts, and it can burn them. You need to have at least 10% run off with every watering when you grow in coco. And you should water everyday. As the plant drinks the water, and moisture evaporates from the pot, the salts will be left behind. This is another way of causing an EC spike that can cause problems with your grow. The Dangers of EC Spikes Your plant, and grow medium, will find a steady balance between each other. If there are sharp changes, there can be many problems that arise. As the water in the medium is used by the plant, and evaporates, salt based nutrients are left behind. The drier the medium gets, the more the EC will rise. This can cause damage to your plants roots and force your plant to take more nutrients than it needs via a process called osmosis. In worst case scenarios, an EC spike can damage the roots to the extent where they can no longer take in nutrients. If the nutrients in the medium are at a higher EC than what is in your plant, the nutrients will force their way into the plant, causing nutrient burn and excess. If the EC of the medium is lower than what is in the plant, the plant will leach nutrients into the medium, and it can cause deficiencies. Keep the medium saturated, and always have at least 10% run off with every feed. Consistency is important, small gradual changes are advised, anything too quick can cause damage to the plant and cause shock. If at some point you need to flush in hydro and coco, then flush with plain water at the correct pH, but always restore the medium to the correct EC and pH straight afterwards. Only ever feed just water, when you're flushing before harvest. How to Test the EC of Coco Firstly, you should know the EC of the feed you are giving to your plants. This will be your background EC plus any nutrients you have added to the water. For Seedlings, it should be your BG EC plus 0.2 EC of base nutrients. Feed this to your plant, and wait 24 hours, but watch the plants for any sign of changes. Now, you need to feed your plant with a nutrient solution that was the same as yesterdays, same EC, same pH. Get around 10% runoff, and collect it as it comes out of the pots mid flow. Test this water, and find out if the EC is higher or lower than the feed going in. If it is higher, then you may be feeding your plants too much, and the EC of your feed should be reduced. If it's lower, your plant is using up more than you're giving it, so it needs more nutrients to stay well nourished. Testing your Nutrient Solution Before Feeding It is important you get a good, correct reading of your feed, before it is given to the plants. For the best results use a good EC meter, and let your feed sit for a few minutes after mixing before you test it. Letting the solution sit, will allow the salts to properly dissolve and disperse through the water. This will improve the accuracy of the reading. If you go slightly over your desired EC, then add more water to dilute the solution. If you're below it, add small amounts of nutrients until the level is right. Stir well, let it sit for a few minutes, then test it. When you're happy, you can adjust the pH and feed it to your plants. Testing the Run off After Feeding After watering your plants, your trays will fill up with water, this is your run off. It has passed through the medium, and replaced old, used salts, with fresh new ones. This should be collected as it is coming out of the pots. If it is left to sit in trays, it can pick up old salts from them, and alter the actual EC, so your reading will be inaccurate. Try and collect the runoff as it exits the pots, and take your reading from there. Finding the Best EC for Cannabis Plants in Coco By monitoring the EC and pH of the feed before you give it to the plants, and then monitoring the EC and pH of the runoff, you can figure out if your plant is being overfed, or under fed. You are looking for a stable EC, and a stable PH, with around 10% runoff. This means, you want the EC and pH to come out the same as it went in, or just a little higher then it went in. If the EC of the runoff is coming out lower than what you are feeding the plants, then you should increase the EC of the next feed. On the other hand, if the EC of the runoff is higher than the EC of the feed, then you're giving your plant more than it needs, and you should reduce the EC to prevent toxicity. Less is more! Follow what your plant tells you, this is the best way to find the best EC for a cannabis plant. Don't over do it, it is much easier to fix an under fed plant, than it is to fix an over fed one. Keep the EC low unless your plant asks for more. To Summarize EC for Cannabis Plants With small incremental changes and regular testing, you can find the best EC for cannabis plants easily. There is no easy answer as the best EC will differ, depending on a lot of factors. Get to know your plant, and understand what the EC and pH fluctuations mean. When you have found that correct leve, you will see how much healthier your grows will be in the future.4 months ago
- There are many different varieties of hydroponic systems. One of the most popular of these is Deep Water Culture, AKA, D.W.C. Growing cannabis in DWC will bring you big plants, with heavy yields. But, it can seem to be a complex system to work with, if you have not grow in DWC before. This guide is to help you get an understanding of deep water culture, and how it works. By the end of this guide you should be fully prepared to set everything up, and start growing cannabis in DWC. If you have any questions about DWC, and you are thinking about starting to grow in deep water culture, then feel free to ask for help in our cannabis growers forum What is DWC? Growing cannabis in hydroponics usually means, growing in a water, or a soilless medium. Deep water culture is a type of hydroponics, where the root ball of a plant, is grown into a large container full of water. This water will have nutrients dissolved into it, and an airstone will be used to provide the root zone with plenty of air. Together with air, nutrients and water, the root zone can drink, eat and breathe a lot! This will make plants grow quickly, and will result in bigger yeilds, in less time. DWC is one of the most popular ways to grow cannabis hydroponically. It is easy to do, and there isn't a lot of equipment you need to get started. You can buy a DWC system from many places online, or your local hydro store. And, you can also make your own. What you Need to Grow Cannabis in DWC We will assume that you already have your grow tent, and equipment ready to go, and you are just deciding what medium you are going to grow in. If you need help to decide on the right grow tent for you, then take a look at our grow tents section. For growing in DWC, you do not need a lot of equipment, and what you need is easily sourced: Large Container for Root ZoneAir StonesRockwool CubesClay PebblesYour choice of Salt Based NutrientsReservoir Cooler (Possibly) 1) Container for Root Zone: For each plant, it is ideal to give at least 20-25L of root space. The more space the roots have to grow, the bigger your plants will be. I would recommend you buy a DWC bucket, with a netted pot. These are designed specifically for growing cannabis in DWC. This kit will come with the netted pot for holding the cannabis plant and roots. An air stone and pump to supply oxygen to the medium. It also has a tube on the side, that will allow you to link multiple pots together, or easily drain the reservoir. This kind of pot, is for one plant, but there are DWC systems you can buy that will hold multiple plants in one reservoir. These can be expensive, and I would advise against growing many plants in one container unless you are growing from cuttings of the same strain. 2) Air Stones The roots of a cannabis plant need oxygen in order to eat. Because of this, airstones are a vital piece of equipment when growing in hydro. You must ensure you have a good, reliable model. Also, you must always make sure that the pipes are not blocked, or tangled with roots. If the air supply to the roots stop, your plants will stop eating, and the root zone will begin to rot! Do not underestimate how important it is to keep fresh air flowing to your root zone. Get a good airstone and pump, and have it running 24/7. 3) Rockwool Cubes You won't be able to start off your plants straight away in DWC. You need the roots to grow long enough to reach the water first. If you are growing with a cutting, that is already rooted, then you just need to plant it into clay pebbles. But if you are germinating a seed for DWC, you need to give it a place to settle and grow, before it goes into the bucket. Start off by germinating your seed using the paper towel method. When tap root has shown, you need to plant it into your rockwool cubes The cubes should have been sat for 24 hours, in water, that has been ph'd at 5.8. Then, when you plant your seed into the rockwool, the ph will be perfect. After a few days, maybe a week the tap root will grow through the bottom of the cube, and can be planted into the netted pot. To help support the rockwool cubes, you should use clay pebbles 4) Clay Pebbles Place a few clay pebbles at the bottom of the netted pot, so there is a layer a couple of pebbles high, for your cube to sit on. Treat the clay pebbles like you did the rockwool. Leave them to sit for 24 hours in ph'd water at 5.8. Lower the root gently, through the pebbles if you can, try and get it close to the water. It doesn't need to be able to reach it just yet. Just get it as close as you can. The bubbles formed by the airstone, will splash up to reach the roots. You might have to feed from the top for a few days until the root touches the water, but it will not take long. After the rockwool cube is sitting comfortably, fill around the sides of it, and a layer over the top. Now, your plant is ready to go, and will live the rest of its life in this bucket. 5) Your Choice of Salt Based Nutrients. This is always down to personal preference and where you live in the world. Some foods might be unavailable to you, or they may need to be shipped to you, which will be expensive. When growing cannabis in hydroponics, it is always better to use salt based nutrients. It is possible to grow organically in DWC, but, it is not easy, and it can get messy! When growing hydro, stick to salt based nuits, if you want to grow organically, grow in soil. Advanced nutrients, Canna, Dutch Pro, Samurai, there are so many brands to choose from. They are all good, and when used correctly, can grow amazing plants. You will also need H2o2, and PH Up and Down. The most important thing you should consider is the BG EC of your water, and if you live in a hard water area. If this is the case, consider reverse osmosis, or nutrients designed specifically for hard water areas. 6) Reservoir Cooler The temperatures can rise in your reservoir, and it will affect the way bacteria grows, and the way oxygen is dissolved in the water. For ideal nutrient uptake your reservoir temperatures should be around 18c at all times. As summer months come, or if you're growing with HID lighting, it can be difficult to maintain a steady temperature in DWC reservoirs. You may need an aquarium cooler, that keep the temps at optimal levels. Feeding Cannabis Plants in DWC If you can find the right balance when growing cannabis in DWC, you can offer your plant the right diet. This means you can feed it correctly though its whole life cycle. By monitoring the water levels, the EC, and the Ph of your medium, you can keep track of what your plant is and isn't eating. When the plant first shoots above the rockwool, you should feed at a very low EC. Just add a small amount of grow foods, just 0.1 EC over your BG EC, and feed from the top, until the roots touch the reservoir. When roots are in the water, and the airstone is bubbling away, the plant can eat a lot more. But you should still take it slowly, and raise in small increments. The EC of your res for seedlings, should only be around 0.2 EC over your background EC. You can the follow the PH and EC of the res to determine how to proceed with the next feed. Reservoir Maintenance To ensure a healthy root zone, the reservoir of your DWC bucket must be kept clean! Keep your temperature of the res around 18c, and a constant supply of air, and problems will not arise often. But once a week, with a maximum of 10 days, you should clean out your reservoir and replace the nutrient solution completely. Your roots should be a healthy white colour, if at anytime the root zone begins to smell badly, and the roots turn mushy and brown, root rot is setting in. Use H2o2 to clean the root zone and res, and change the water. It is important to maintain a clean healthy root zone, as this is where your plant will get a lot of its nutrients. Give it the right environment, like you would do with your plants above ground, and the plant will thrive! Just do not over feed, and follow the EC and PH of the res regularly. Final Notes on Growing Cannabis in Deep Water Culture. Growing cannabis in DWC will take more time, and maintenance than growing in soils. But, for some people it works better. Regular routine checks and a system to follow can make it very easy. You pretty much just have to follow the instructions from the plant. Reservoir temps, air to the root zone, and a regular check of EC and PH, will see your plant reach harvest healthy. Just make sure you do not over feed the plants, as it is very easy to do! Our Cannabis Growers Forum Thanks for reading! You can find more information on anything related to growing in our cannabis grow guides. All of our guides are written by experienced growers, and members of our cannabis growers forum. If you have any questions, sign up. It is free, and we are always happy to help! Stay safe out there, and happy growing.9 months ago
- 9 months ago
First post and replies | Last post by percysgrowroom, 9 months ago
- When growing hydroponically, there can be changes in reservoir levels, that sometimes, can cause imbalances. You can measure EC, and pH, and water levels for optimal feeding. This guide is for anyone suffering with EC and pH fluctuations in hydroponics systems. There are 18 different conditions you will find your reservoir in when growing hydroponics. Most have common solutions. Such as a falling EC, which is a good sign, as this means your plants are eating well. A slight raise in EC may be needed. These 18 conditions, will be broken into two parts. One, where the reservoir water level is falling, meaning the plants are drinking. And two, where the water level is not falling, which means your plants are not drinking. Before running tests on your reservoir or feed, make sure your EC and pH meters are calibrated, and working properly. If you are having pH and EC fluctuations, and you need help, then feel free to ask for help in our cannabis growers forum Check Ec and pH Meters The equipment you use to check for EC and pH fluctuations in hydroponics, must be good and reliable. You need to ensure the readings are accurate, so you can be sure the levels of EC and pH in your reservoir are correct. Make sure both meters are calibrated, and clean. Use a second meter or pen, if you have one. You can check the readings on both and see if they're the same. Checking pH The pH in hydro should be between 5.8 and 6.2. If your pH levels are in this range, there is no immediate rush to change things. It is good to let the pH "swing" between these levels. It will give the plants access to a wider range of elements. The pH of your reservoir, will also change depending on the temperature of the water. Keep res temps around 18c for best results. Also use a pH pen that will adjust the reading according to the temperature of the feed. Measuring EC A safe EC for a fully grown plant is usually around 1.2 to 1.4. But this will depend on strain, background EC, and brand of nutrients. You should raise the EC gradually, as the plant grows bigger. For young plants, and seedling or cuttings, start at a very low EC of around 0.2 above your BG EC. As the plants grow bigger, adjust EC accordingly. Raise it by 0.2 at a time, until the plants show signs of excess. The EC may rise without the water level falling. In which case, change the res and raise the EC, as the plant is leeching food. Hydroponic Grow Mediums If you're using rock wool, clay pellets, or another kind of hydroponic medium, then you must make sure the pH is set properly, before planting anything into it. Soak the medium, before use, in pH'd water, and adjust it over 24 hours to ensure it is on point. Making sure the medium has a pH of 5.8 will give your plants the best start. Some issues can be caused by transplanting your plants into a new medium, that hasn't been balanced first. Reading EC and PH Fluctuations in Hydroponics Now we know the meters are good, and the medium is on point, we can go into the water, EC, and pH levels of your reservoir, to determine what your plants are eating. You can judge this by the EC and pH fluctuations in hydroponics. This first guide, is for when plants are drinking, but there are fluctuations in the pH and EC of the medium: The ideal situation to be in, is where the EC is either dropping slightly or remaining static, with a static or slightly rising pH. If those are your readings, then keep doing what you are doing, your plants are feeding and drinking healthily. A moderate sized cannabis plant can drink around 3 or 4 L of water per day. Some cannabis plants that are very big, can drink up to ten litres of water a day! If your cannabis plants have stopped drinking, it is a cause for concern, and needs to be addressed straight away. Cannabis Plant Not Drinking in Hydroponics If the water level of your reservoir isn't falling, your plants have stopped drinking. Along with this, as the plant isn't taking in any water, it is taking very little, or no nutrients at all. In a situation like this, you need to act quickly, your plants will begin to suffer within a few hours if they can not drink. Here is a chart, that easily displays the remedy to the problem: As you can see in some instances, the EC of your res can rise, even though the plant isn't drinking. This is happening because the nutrients are moving from the plant, into the medium, through a process called Osmosis. (High concentration, to low concentration). The osmosis process will always try to balance out the EC, taking from the higher concentration and giving it to the lower concentration, to try and restore balance. If the EC of the nutrient solution is lower than what is in the plant, then food and water will flow from the plant via the roots, and into the medium, raising the EC. This also works the opposite way around, if there are more nutrients in the medium, than in the plant, the plant will absorb more, which can cause excess nutrients, and nuit burn. Some things to note when feeding cannabis plants in hydro Nutrients will flow around a well hydrated plant effectively and faster than one which isn't as well hydrated. By feeding your plants at low EC, the plant needs to take on more water in order to get the nutrition it requires. So by feeding at moderate levels, the plant is forced to drink more.This will result in a better hydrated plant. Which in turn, will need more food, so it will grow faster. Feed at moderate levels, it is easier to fix an under fed plant, than it is to fix an over fed one. Monitor the EC, and pH, to follow your plants needs, and feed accordingly. Pushing the EC until you see signs of nuit burn is damaging to the plants. If your plant is drinking, and the EC of your res is falling, raise the EC a little. On the other hand, if the EC is rising, reduce the the EC a little. Final thoughts on EC and PH Fluctuations in Hydroponics. It can sound complicated, but using the picture guides above, you can grow in hydro and follow what your plant needs. Regular checks of water levels, EC and pH will keep you well informed of your plants diet, and if it can eat more, or if you're pushing it too hard. If you need anymore help with EC and pH fluctuations in hydroponics, you can find me, and many other experienced cannabis growers in our forum. We have many growers who are experienced in different hydroponic setups. Ask for help! The only stupid question is the one you don't ask Sign up to our Cannabis Growers Forum Thanks for reading! You can find more information on anything related to growing in our cannabis grow guides. All of our guides are written by experienced growers, and members of our cannabis growers forum. If you have any questions, sign up. It is free, and we are always happy to help!9 months ago
- 9 months ago
First post and replies | Last post by Macky, 9 months ago
- 9 months ago
First post and replies | Last post by Macky, 9 months ago
- There are many different types of hydroponics setups for growing cannabis. Each one has their own pros and cons. Here is a guide to hydroponics and the different systems. This will help you decide what hydroponic growing system is going to be best for you. When you are considering growing, cannabis hydroponically, you must understand it takes a lot of maintenance. You can buy automated systems that will make it easier for you, but they are expensive. You must have time to check on your crop at least once a day, or even twice. Things can change quickly in hydro, you need to be ready to adjust things when it is needed. If you have any questions about any of the hydroponic methods used here then feel free to ask for help in our cannabis growers forum Soilless mediums and Hand Watering Growing cannabis with hydroponics doesn't mean you have to grow your plants in water. Hydroponics is where the nutrients are delivers to the plant via water, as the medium does not have any in it. Coco is the most popular form of soilless mix, and is used by many cannabis growers. It is made out of the fibres of coconut husk which are void of nutrients. Coco also has very good drainage, so it's supplies a large amount of air to the roots. By hand watering in coco you can give the medium a chance to dry out in between waterings. This will deliver more air to the root zone. Also, you can mix up specific feed for each plant. This is ideal when growing different strains. When growing in coco and other soilless mediums, you need to get at least 10% run off, with every feed. This will wash old salts (nutrients) out of the medium and prevent salt build up. Always remove run off too! Never let your plants sit in old food. Coco is one of the best ways to grow cannabis indoors. By hand watering you will have daily control of the nutrient intake of your plants. This will give your plants the exact diet they need. Deep water Culture (D.W.C) The first system in our guide to hydroponics is Deep Water Culture, which is one of the most popular hydroponics growing systems. A container holds a large amount of nutrient solution, then a plants root zone is suspended into it. Air stones are used to deliver a constant supply of air to the plants roots. This give the plants the ability to eat, drink, and breathe more. Which in turn, makes them grow bigger and faster. Because of its simple design and simple function, DWC is common in homemade hydroponics. All you need is a bucket that is large enough, an airstone, and something to support the plant (usually a netted pot with clay pellets). Your cannabis plants will eat or drink, at different rates, which will have an effect on the PH and EC levels of the medium. DWC can take more work than growing cannabis in soils, or coco, but it will deliver bigger yield faster. Flood and Drain, aka Ebb and Flow Ebb and flow is another very popular method of growing cannabis hydroponically. In the flood and drain method, the plants sit in their own container separate from the nutrient reservoir. Using a pump, on a timer, a nutrient solution from a reservoir floods the upper container. This will soak the plants roots and the grow medium. After a set time, pumps than turn off, and the solution drains back into the reservoir. The ebb and flow hydroponics growing system are pretty basic, which makes it a good option for a homemade hydroponics system. The Drip System With the drip hydroponics growing system, the plants are in their own tray, separate from the nutrient reservoir. A pump pushes nutrient solution through small tubes, to feed each plant from the top. Over watering can be an issue if you feed too much. Faster draining mediums such as clay pellets, will need faster dripping emitters (or more of them per plant). On the other hand, Slower draining media (like rockwool) would use slower dripping emitters. The emitters can clog easily, so they must properly maintained. This will prevent problems such as, spillages and blockages. The most common used medium for the drip systems is rockwool. Although, with a good water pump, and timer, you can also use this method for automated feeding systems in all cannabis growing set up. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) In this NFT growing systems, plants are placed in a tray or gutter, separated from the nutrient reservoir. One end of the tray is lower than the other, to encourage the flow of water to the lower end. A pump then delivers a steady flow of water at one end. This will create a constant stream of nutrient solution. A material called a capillary matt is placed in the bottom. This is to make sure the water flows to the bottom of the tray evenly. NFT is a method that you can build yourself at home at a low cost. The parts, the design, and the function are all simple. Because of this NFT is a popular form of hydroponics. Aeroponics Last up in our guide to hydroponics is Aeroponics. In aeroponic growing systems, a large container holds several gallons of nutrient solution at the bottom. A pump is used to push nutrient solution through spray heads. This constantly soaks the inside of the container with a fine mist of nutrient solution. There no growing medium in this method. The plants roots hang down into the container and grow in air. Growing cannabis in aeroponics can be difficult to master and very tempermental. Ph changes and EC imbalances can occur more quickly because of the increased absorption rates and high levels of oxygenation. Furthermore, with no grow media to protect the roots, the plants react negatively to these changes much more quickly. Aeroponics is for advanced growers, who have experience in growing cannabis. Final Thoughts on Hydroponics Hydroponics can be very rewarding, but it comes with a lot of maintenance. EC and PH will fluctuate often. You will need to monitor and correct it regularly. Growing cannabis is easy, you just have to do the research first, and have the correct equipment. We can guide you though your grow, step by step, no matter what method you choose. Sign up to our cannabis growers forum Thanks for reading! You can find more information on anything related to growing in our cannabis grow guides. All of our guides are written by experienced growers, and members of our cannabis growers forum. If you have any questions, sign up. It is free, and we are always happy to help!10 months ago