How to make DIY Hydroponic System?

Hydroponics is a subset of horticulture that involves growing vegetables, fruits, herbs, and leafy greens in a nutrients-water solution without exhausting the soil.





What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a subset of horticulture that involves growing vegetables, fruits, herbs, and leafy greens in a nutrients-water solution without exhausting the soil. Generally, the hydroponic systems offer roots suspension either in water or air and enable plants to absorb oxygen and nutrients from the water. Moreover, the growing media performs the role of soil and maintains the moisture level besides keeping the nutrients intact. The preferred media in hydroponics is again system-dependent and consists of perlite, coco coir, gravel, clay pallets, and oasis cubes. One of the advantages that hydroponics offer encompasses the precise application of mineral nutrients in liquid and dry formulations. The growers can easily monitor and control the growing environment, and in reward, they achieve the highest production milestones irrespective of the outdoor environmental conditions.


Best Hydroponic System for Beginners


Deep Water Culture (DWC)

Deepwater Culture (DWC) is the most common hydroponic technique that allows the suspension of plant roots in oxygenated water with dissolved mineral nutrients. Most hydroponic growers use an oblong tank that could store about 10 inches' deep water where essential nutrients are supplied precisely and plants float in the Styrofoam boards on the surface. Most hobbyists prefer to grow in a homemade hydroponic system using netted pots that allow the roots to penetrate through a growing medium besides holding the base of the plants. Airstone prompts oxygenation that links through the airline to an air pump. A deepwater culture, like all other protected environments, demands a steady regulation of temperature, oxygen, humidity, pH, and EC. Depriving any of these factors could lead to misadventure.


What Can Be Grown using DWC?

DWC often allows short maturing plants like herbs, vegetables, leafy greens, and microgreens. Overall, the basil, wild rocket, Swiss chard, kale, lettuces, Bok choy, sorrel, collard greens, red radishes, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are the preferred crops for growing in a DIY DWC System.


How to build a DIY Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System?

The freshly-produced and nutritious vegetables, herbs, and microgreens have always been a household need. Often people spend several hours visiting the supermarkets and grocery stores to bring such produce. The Pandemic turned all things down, restrained many officials from attending their offices, and allowed work from home. Besides the severe shortage of fresh food, market prices went up that intimidated gardeners to think something out of the box, and the first choice that came up front was growing such stuff at home. The DIY hydroponic system was the urgency choice made from the best available things at home. And those things that were not found in your home can be bought inexpensively from one of the hydroponics equipment suppliers. Let’s proceed with how they went through building hydroponics at home DIY- DWC;


Materials Needed:

    • Container for water reservoir

    • Plastic Netted pots

    • Air pump with check valve

    • Adhesive Tape (Double-sided)

    • Tubing for air pump

    • Airstone

    • Nutrients Solution (A & B)

    • pH & EC meter

    • Humidity meter

    • Thermometer

    • Glass beaker

    • Micropipettes

    • Drill with a hole saw


Adaptive Method

Selecting a Container for Water Reservoir

Select a suitable container that is about 12 inches deep. Plastic pots may occupy the upper 3 to 4 inches. However, the submerged roots could enjoy over 10 inches of water depth to utilize nutrients. A deeper container would offer you more time to change the water and adjust pH and EC. A black container lid is preferred. Otherwise, paint it black to prevent light from reaching plant roots.


Drilling Holes into Container Lid

Since we are supposed to grow our plants in netted pots, holes in the container lid are made that tightly hold pots and don't let them fall into the water solution. Holes may be between 4 to 12 inches apart, depending on the size of the plants to grow. Drilling holes in the container lid is a specialist job, do it carefully.


Assembling an Air Pump

Fix the air pump on the outer wall of the water reservoir using adhesive tape. Connect the check valve with the air pump using appropriate tubing and connect it with an airstone. Be sure that the arrow points towards the air stone.


Fill Water Reservoir and Add Nutrients

Fill the reservoir with clean, filtered water leaving the upper ½ to 1 inch. Bring the water to an ambient temperature. Check pH and bring it closer to an acidic level between 5.5 to 6 for most hydroponic plants need. Add nutrients as per product label. Often, Nutrients A & B carry instructions to add between 2ml to 4ml per liter of water that depends on the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, Ca, and Mg in the solution. You may follow hydroponic solution DIY instructions in the booklet that most nutrient manufacturers supply with the product.


Correct EC, Temperature, Lights, and Dissolved Oxygen

After adding nutrients to the reservoir, check EC. Most DWC crops prefer EC between 1.1 to 2.1 dS·m−1. Also, adjust water temperature between 65 to 77.0 °F and limit the air temperature to 75.0 °F during the day and 66.0°F at night. Hydrogen Peroxide is added to the system to reach the demanded dissolved oxygen level of >7 mg. Generally, the daily light integral must remain at an average of 17 mol·m−2·d−1 but, it varies for all crops.


Finish the Setup and Plugin Plants

Complete the setup after placing the airstone in a reservoir and plugging it into the air pump. Carefully close the lid and start placing plants in the netted pots. You're all set.


Tips for Maintaining your DWC Hydroponic System

• Contact between the roots and water is mandatory for the successful harvesting of crops. Do monitor water level regularly, and after every time you add water, add nutrients solution as well.


• Be assured what's the per liter requirement of each nutrient. After adding nutrients, check EC for sure.


• The temperatures, pH, and dissolved oxygen are the primal factors for growing successfully. Check all regularly within a maximum of 4 days intervals. However, a single disturbed factor could limit your plants from taking the nutrients needed to grow.


• Completely replace reservoir water not later than the third week following every addition.


• Whenever you add fresh water to the reservoir, clean the salts that deposit in the base. These are often unabsorbed salts due to the higher pH variations in the nutrient solution.


We are here to assist you whenever you need us. Feel free to contact us about building your own DWC Hydroponic system and correcting the growth factors.





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