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Different Kinds of Hydroponic Systems

Thinking of hydroponics, you automatically imagine plants grown with their roots hung directly into water and having no growing medium. But this is only one type of hydroponic gardening. What people often don’t realize is that there are many methods and variations of hydroponic gardening.


This is viewed as the most elementary hydroponic system. The wick system is a passive system, which means none of its parts are moving. From the reservoir below, your specific growth technology nutrient solution is going to be drawn up into the growing medium with the use of some wicks.

Ebb And Flow System (Flood and Drain)

In these hydroponic systems, the grow tray is temporarily flooded. Before draining back, the nutrient solution from a reservoir surrounds the roots. This is often automated using a timed water pump.

Drip (Recovery or Non-Recovery)

Dip systems are some of today’s most widely used hydroponic techniques. A water pump is controlled by a timer, as it pumps water and the growth technology nutrient solutions with the use of a mesh of raised water jets. A recovery system then gathers excess nutrient solution and directs it right 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)

The NFT System is what most people imagine upon the mention of the words, hydroponic systems. Because the Nutrient Film Technique involves a constant flow of your growth technology nutrient solution, no timer is used. 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 goes back into the reservoir for recycling.


Aeroponic hydroponic systems are considered a high-tech type of hydroponic gardening . Just like the NFT system, air is the key growing medium. The roots are suspended in the air and nutrient solution is used to mist them from time to time. Interruption of the misting cycles causes roots to dry out fast. Like all other types of hydroponic systems, the nutrient pump is controlled by a timer, but the aeroponic system relies on a short cycle timer activating the pump for a few seconds every few minutes.

For those of us who like growing plants, this is an exciting time indeed. We are no longer restricted by climate or season while enjoying our harmless pleasures. It is now possible for us to grow practically any plant any time of the year. Only our imagination is our limit. The simple yet effective hydroponic systems, along with modern horticultural lighting, have revolutionized our hobby and liberated us to grow our favorite plants wherever we choose.