Human beings have long been exploiting natural resources. To curb such ill practices, tank farming is a welcome solution to pertaining issues. Hydroponics is a type of horticulture that entails growing plants, medicinal plants, and crops with the help of water-based mineral nutrient solutions in aqueous solvents without the use of soil. This article talks about the different types of aquaculture systems and their advantages.
Components of a Hydroponics System
1 The Growing Medium
Nutriculture plants are cultivated in a secure medium that works as a substitute for soil. However, it does not provide any nutrition to the plant. The growing medium is porous and retains moisture and nutrients from the solution, which are then delivered to the plant.
2 Air Stones with an Air Pump
Air stones are used to distribute the oxygen bubbles throughout the reservoir that contains the nutrient solution. These bubbles help with the even distribution of the nutrients in the solution. On the other hand, the air stones cannot generate oxygen independently and need an attachment to an air pump.
3 Net Pots
Net pots are needed to hold the plant system in its place. They also provide the high-quality drainage required for the system’s successful implementation.
Different Types of Hydroponics Systems
1 Deep Water Culture System
A deep water culture system is the cultivation of plants and crops in aerated water. In this system, the plant’s roots are submerged in the solution, which provides it with the necessary nutrition, oxygen, and water.
2 Wick System
In a wick system, the cultivation is submerged in a growing medium on a tray that rests on a reservoir. Nutrients and water flow upward from the wick and provide a growing medium around the roots of the plants.
3 Nutrient Film System
In a nutrient film system, the plants are suspended over a stream of nutrient solution that washes over the roots of the plants. The tray holding the plants is tilted, which allows the water to run down, helping the plants stay moist and hydrated.
4 Ebb-and-Flow System
In the ebb-and-flow system, the bed of the plants is flooded with a nutrient solution from a reservoir that is present right below it.
5 Drip System
The drip system involves pumping nutrient-rich solutions through tubes to individual plants. This solution helps to keep the plants well-nourished and moist for successful cultivation.
The plants are suspended in the air in the aeroponics system, exposing the roots to a mist filled with nutrients.
Uses of a Hydroponics System
Hydroponics is used for the following purposes:
- Growing different types of vegetables.
- Growing florist crops, especially those that do not require much water.
- Growing crops such as lettuce, spinach, kale, strawberries, and peppers.
- Growing medicinal plants such as cannabis.
- Growing Arabidopsis thaliana for genetic research purposes.
Advantages of the System
The various advantages of the system are:
- It saves labour costs, including automatic fertilising and watering plants and crops.
- It can be set up indoors.
- The system uses less water for its successful cultivation.
- There is significantly less chance of pest infection.
- Plants grow faster and produce a better and healthier yield.
- They are low-maintenance.
- Complete control over the growing conditions.
- Climate is not a factor so a system can be installed anywhere.
Hydroponics is a great way to cultivate different types of crops and plants. The points to be kept in mind are to control the pH level and maintain the nutrient balance of the water, which will, in a way, affect the system’s success.