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Methods and Monitoring of Hydroponics Unit 3 – Soilless Systems Lesson 3.2 Hydroponics. Principles of Agricultural Science – Plant. Types of Hydroponic Systems. Media Based (Aggregate Culture) Ebb and Flow Drip System Wick System Water Culture NFT (Nutrient Flow Technique) Aeroponics.

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Methods and monitoring of hydroponics unit 3 soilless systems lesson 3 2 hydroponics
Methods and Monitoring of HydroponicsUnit 3 – Soilless SystemsLesson 3.2 Hydroponics

Principles of Agricultural Science – Plant

Types of hydroponic systems
Types of Hydroponic Systems

Media Based (Aggregate Culture)

Ebb and Flow

Drip System

Wick System

Water Culture

NFT (Nutrient Flow Technique)


Ebb and flow
Ebb and Flow

The growing media is flooded and drained manually or mechanically

This method relies on a media, such as peat moss that will retain the moisture and nutrients after flooding

Drip system
Drip System

Contains a drip line that slowly adds nutrient solution to media

Nutrient solution drains back to a reservoir

Nutrient solution is recycled via a pump

Wick system
Wick System

Bottom feed system

Media contains a wick that will absorb the nutrient solution through capillary action from a container below the plant

The wick must be primed to maintain the absorption of the nutrient solution

Nutrient flow technique
Nutrient Flow Technique

Plants are supported with rockwool cubes or cups allowing the roots to dangle in solution

The tubes or cups sit in channels where the nutrient solution runs along the bottom

The nutrient solution will be recycled via a pump and reservoir


Plant roots are misted with the nutrient solution

The misting may be constant or cycled on a timer

This type of system will conserve nutrients and water

Management of a hydroponic system
Management of a Hydroponic System

You must monitor the levels of the following requirements:


Salinity or Electrical Conductivity

Dissolved Oxygen

Nutrient Levels


Remember from soils:

pH is measured from a range of 1 to 14 with 7 being neutral, 1-6.9 acidic, and 7.1-14 being alkaline.

The pH of the nutrient solution will determine the amount of nutrients absorbed by the plant.

Most nutrient ions are absorbed between a pH of 5.5 to 8.0.


Just as you learned in soils, salinity causes root absorption problems and should be monitored.

Electrical conductivity ec
Electrical Conductivity (EC)

EC measures the amount of electricity conducted by the nutrient solution

The higher the EC the more nutrients found in the solution

The higher the EC can also lead to problems with salinity – make sure the EC levels are optimal for the plant species being grown

Dissolved oxygen do
Dissolved Oxygen (DO)

Because some hydroponic systems submerge the roots underwater, oxygen must be present in the solution or roots die.

Ways to increase DO concentration:

Aerate with bubblers

Allow water to run over objects to create turbulence in the flow


Plants will use nutrients from the water. A closed system will need to have these nutrients replenished to maintain growth.

The three main nutrients to be concerned about are:





The Growing Edge. (2008). The growing edge of hydroponic basics. Retrieved November 1, 2008, from