Hydroponics: An Overview
Growing marijuana hydroponically is much cleaner, more efficient and maintenance free than growing in soil. When you grow with hydroponics you bypass the soil altogether and feed nutrients directly to the plants' roots. What this means to your plants is that they can expell less energy into growing roots and more into producing leaves and buds. If you only plan on growing a small number of plants, building a home-made hydroponics system can be inexpensive and easy. If you have never grown marijuana before though you may be better off using soil because it is cheaper and a lot more forgiving to setup. The basics of of all hydroponic systems are very simple; the plants are grown in a soil-less substrate and the roots are given a constant and consisent supply of nutrient rich solution. The solution is constantly recycled throughout the system. Two containers are used to hold the hydroponic fluid. One is on ground-level below the plants and one is lifed off the ground above the plants. Hydro juice is pumped from the bottom container up to the top container where it will run down through the plant roots and eventually return via a series of pipes and tubes.
The pump is on a timer, you will have to experiement with the timer and pump settings relative to your setup but it should be something similar to 15 minutes and and 15 off. You want it so Holding Tank B (see diagram) is alwysa about ½ full. The fluid level in Holding Tank A should be around ¼ full. It is important to ensure that Holding Tank A is large enough to contain all of the hydro fluid. If for some reason your pump fails or power goes out all of the fluid will be trapped in Holding Tank A.
The roots of marijuana plants are very delicate and need the right balance of nutrients and oxygen to survive. A drip mechanism that is attached to the pipe coming from Holding Container B will control the flow of hydro fluid to the plant. A constant flow of hydro fluid will be fed to the plants roots drain out of the bottom of the pot and eventually return to Holding Container A.
Using this basic concept your can add any number of plants by simply splitting the tube coming from Holding Container A and running one tube and drip mechanism to each plant.