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What's a good location for a hydroponics system?

I would like to know if the hydroponics System would work on a tropical isalnd like Puerto Rico. And what types of plants would work here. Also waht would be the best design to use for a Hydroponics system. Does anybody have a design that I can use down here, it should be simple and cost effective? Thanks.

Misc Comments:

To the person who doesn't have access to electricity... I think you mean, to 120 V AC (like from the power company) -- hey, most folks in California are in the same boat (grin).

You have a couple of options for pumping water. One is not to hard and will let you use standard Rio pumps: Get a marine battery or deep-cycle batter (Wal-Mart, about $36) and run a power inverter ($30, if you shop) from it. The standard ($36) battery has about 1380 watt-hours energy (115 AH * 12 v). The converter is _supposed_ to be about 90% efficient, so that leaves you about 1242 WH. If you use the Rio 180 (rated at 3.4 W for about 45 gph at 2 foot head) you can run it for 400 hours continuous before needing to recharge the battery (remember, DEEP cycle or marine -- this kind of discharge will ruin an automobile battery). Seeing as you don't need to run it CONTINUOUSLY, you can get a longer time between charges. Suppose you use a timer and set it to do 10 minutes every 1/2 hour... (20 min/ 60 min), that's three times the amount of time... 1200 hours to max discharge. About 50 days. Personally, I'd do it much less -- how about once a month, give the battery a good charge. Heck, get two batteries and charge one while it rides around in the trunk of your car... once a month, swap'em.

Even easier -- the heck w/ the inverter, get a marine bilge pump. Get the smallest on you can find, as the larger ones will pump a LOT of water. Figure it this way... if you've got a multi thousand dollar boat at the dock, if there's ANY water building up in the bilge, you want it out ASAP. Anyway, if you get a 12v marine bilge pump, you run it directly. All you need to add is the timer.

If you've got more $$ than I do, you can charge your battery where it sits... The 3.4 W hydroponic pump, run for 10 minutes every 30 minutes, will only use 13-14 watts per 12 hour day (you don't have to run the pump during the dark, accord to the stuff I've read here). You only have to replenish those 14 watts to the battery each day. ASSuME 6 hours of good strong light a day, you only need about 2 and a half watts at 13.8 volts, or 175 milliamps to fully charge the batt. You can get some great solar battery chargers that will more than top that for not much $ (current prices are about $7/watt for solar cells). Heck, you can do even better with a stack of cheap surplus NiCd batteries to run the pump w/ the solar battery charger to recharge them. Wow, I think I'm on (to) something here... too much caffiene, I think. Sorry, I got a little carried away. Suffice it to say, if you've got enough sunlight to grow yer plants, you've also got enough to power pumps to circulate your nutrient. (I think I figured out my summer project... grin).

To the person who was talking about the "patio container system" (box), filled w/ soil (earth), with the reservoir in the bottom... it's call an "Earthbox" and there are a ton of pages that talk about it. OK, maybe only 50 pounds of pages. It's an over-priced system, meant for those who have no interest (or confidence) in experimenting. It's a very simple system -- water reservoir in the bottom, media (soil) area on top, and the two meet through capillary action where two columns of the media (soil) descend into the reservoir. From what I've read, you may have to replenish the reservoir a couple of time each WEEK (not each day) in HOT weather... in normal wx? Who knows. If you're lazy (I am), You'd hook up a hose and a float-valve in the reservoir, and let it replenish itself when it gets low. Because fertilizer is added directly to the media (in a "band"), you don't mess with mixing nutrients. Personally, I think that their way is probably not as good as good old hydroponics -- nutes in the fluids, nothing in the media -- but then, I'm not selling an over-priced system to old folks who don't want to build stuff. I'm all FOR building stuff (hm... where did I put those solar cells?)

You could build a similar system for about $10, or, you could pay $30 (and about $7 shipping) to buy one. The earthbox site tells you everything you need to know about it, including their "magic" "fertilizer band" -- it is not a hydroponics system, although it could be converted into one easily. For more info, read the container gardening forum at Garden Web...

Hey, they also have a hydro forum, but there's better info here, by far.

Luck, folks

I want to start a hydroponics system but I have do it on a very tight budget. What are some things I can use to get the seeds germinated at home, without buying anything, or something cheap?

How's it going, Ron? Listen, I just bought a hydroponics system (250 watt MH) and have a nice a little variety of sprouts. I have already transferred the sprouts (4 leaves - 2 of which are spiked) in their rock wool starter block into the aggregate, lava rock. My question is, should I be using the 250 watt grow light for the vegetative phase or would fluorescents work just as well? And how far should they be away? I am also running the solution 3 times a day, at 8 hour intervals.

Fluorescents are only good for the first few weeks of plant life. Use the 250 W and put it between 18 to 24 inches from your plants.

Hello everyone. I just joined the club. My question is this. I am planning on making a homemade hydroponics system with a 10 gallon aqarium. Basically the system consists of an aquarium with the nutrients in the bottom and burlap on the top holding the growing medium and a pump for aeration. I am planning on trying tomato plants in this system. Has anybody tried this or would I be better off purchasing a small commercial system?

hi, i set up a hydroponics system that has about 12 plants growing in it right now. I use the formula 1 A and B for the solution. i am having somewhat good results, but i dont know what kind of lighting i should use. what do you recommend as the best for the cheapest price. thanks, cc

HPS or MH 

This is one of the most comprehensive sites about hydroponics I have run across yet! Glad I found you but I have been looking so long my eyes are swimming and I can serach no longer.

Can you reccommend an approach for a classroom hydroponics system? We already have equipment and basic understanding of the technology. I am looking for guidance on plant selection and the mixing of several plants in one table. I want the middle school students to track growth rates, adjust pH etc but last years group just had a tomato plant race.....seems like underutilization of the benefits of hydroponics (and I do not like tomatoes anyway).

I am thinking that a kitchen garden would be a practical application which could easily be replicated in a students home life. If I have four groups each grow a different plant and compare growth rates among groups, what plants would work well. Since we are in a school situation, fast growers are critical in order to have mature plant beofre the semester ends. Any ideas? This is a teachnology class in Idaho with a space station simulation which is an excellent application of the technology and the the primary educational link in the class to hydroponics.

Thanks, Gina Sartor

Can you tell me how my daughter and I can make a hydroponics system for science. She is in 6th grade so I would like to make something easy for her to understand. Is this possible?

In my hydroponics system, I'm growing basil. We have a major whitefly problem. I'm afraid of spraying with organic pesticides because the leafs will go black. How do I get rid of the whiteflies organically???

The only real safe way is with predator mites ( Encarcia Formosa) that lay there eggs in whitefly larvae. But you have to introduce them to your garden early and a lot of them to be effective. 
Or just use Safer Soap bug spay and yellow sticky traps like I do.  

I'm doing a ISU project for my grade 12 biology class on hydroponics. I've made a small hydroponics system and am growing peas. My project is on the effects of certain chemicals on the pea plants. I have 5 hydroponics systems which the peas are being grown in merical gro. In each container there is a different chemical (0.5 molar solution) along with the merical gro they are, potassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, sodium sulfate, potassium carbonate, and potassium nitrate. I was wondering if you had any tips or useful information. I would greatly appreciate it. Also in the container of sodium sulfate tiny black dots that are in a web have appeared on one of the pea seeds, just wondering if you had any idea of what they could possibly be.

Spider Mites

in the 11 plant hydroponics system what is used to keep the medium(perlite)from flowing through the bottom and into the reservoir?

Paint strainers work well.

I recently started my hydroponics system. (i'm doing the drip system.) I've got two questions. How often should I water the plant and am I supposed to recycle the water and nutrients that drips into my reservoir back into the plant?

With the drip system you can water continuous for large plants if you use grow rocks. If you don't then read reply below.  Yes you recycle the same water and when you need to add more water mix a gallon at a time with the correct amount of nutrient mix if you don't have a ppm meter. (About one tablespoon per gallon of water for most mixes.)  That way you can keep track of how much you are adding.

Dear Ron, I am setting up a hydroponics system in an inner-city 6th grade classroom and I want to use fish waste for nutrients. Are there any examples of this on a small scale? What plants work best for this scenario? Thank you!

Ron, You have a neat site. I teach science and I just got a new science lab with attached green house. I want to grow tomatoes, peppers and lettuce with your 11 plant hydroponics system. I know very little about hydroponics. Is there any books or sources you could recommend for me to research?

As we speak I have been working on a special Hydroponics Projects Section where individual and groups like class rooms can collaborate on projects across the country or the world. Coming in the next couple of weeks. One of the best how to books is HYDROPONIC Home Food Gardens by Howard M. Rush

I am looking for information and would like any pointers anyone can give me on where to find it. What I'm looking for is:

1. Measure of edible food produced per given area of common grains and vegetables. 2. Measure of Oxygen produced and CO2 recycled per given area. I am interested in making a small air-tight environmental hydroponics system. I need to know which plants produce and consume X for a given quantity of edible foodstuffs. Thanks!


Yea Right.

is there a worlds biggest hydroponics system? tegan perkinson and nadia mantell whakatane intermediate school technology block

Hello, I have never tried hrdroponics only outdoor dirt growing. Would I have enough room for a small scale hydroponics system in a room 3 feet*4 feet*8to12 feet high?

I am new to hydroponics and have a general question.

When do you transplant the seedlings to the hydroponics system. In general I am talking about the 11 plant system that you have plans for. Also what is used to support the plant?


When they are well rooted wash off the dirt or vermiculite . Place in a half cup of rocks. Fill  the rest of the cup with rocks.

I'm want to build a aero-hydroponics system like the one made from round PVC piping is there anyone who can tell me where to get directions or has them to give me I'm figuring about 5 pipes wide and 6 feet long give or take. Please email me if you can help. I just think you can make something as good or better than the aeroflo unit by yourself with a little advice.


I'm setting up an indoor hydroponics system and wanted to know how to manually cross pollinate tomato or other plants since the bees can't do their job indoors? Also, do you need to grow male/female plants for this?

Thanks Tim

Hello Ron!!

Why are my plants yellowing towards the end of the flowering cycle? I'm using an all-round nutrient pre-mixed solution, is this the best thing to do? Also, while you're there, which hydroponics system of growing do you think is the most energy efficient? Thank you, from Peaches.

I would increase the strength of your solution. The big lower fan leaves do turn yellow in the flowering stage because they aren't needed anymore and should be removed.  

Gudday there. Firstly, this site is fabulous. Wonderful what you have done here. A true center for knowledge. Well anyway...I am starting a hydroponics system. Finally got sick of dreaming, started building. However, I want to grow something different, something pretty. Does anyone know of a good flower, small, that loves water and would be good to grow from a seed? Would love some info. Thank you very much. I appreciate immensely how you approach this web page. Fabulous, fabulous!!! Russó

I have discovered that almost any ornamental plants like flowers grow very well in hydroponics and they transplant well to dirt pots for resale with minimal shock. 

Is growing plants in sand, considered "Hydroponics system"?!

RE:Is growing plants in sand, Considered "Hydroponics system"?!

Yep - _any_ inert medium can be used in hydroponics. beach and river sand contain no nutrients, and is therefore inert.

What are the economical impacts of using the hydroponics system?

What are the economical impacts of using the hydroponics system?

can i put fish in my hydroponics system to provide nutrients to the plant

yes but don't put hydro fertilizer in their with them.

what is the best hydroponics system for watermelons?

whats up ron? Im going to build a aquafarm hydroponics system to grow my super dwarf banana plant and need to know a good brand of nutrients. I cannot mix my own because i am not that intelligent haha... So do u know any good brands that will work for my plant? thank you very much, Nattycongohermit

is the water from a pond inhabited by fishes and decayed leaves be beneficial for use in a hydroponics system? and why?

not enough fish and that other stuff would too.

Hi Ron, I'm thinking of using Miracle Gro 15-30-15 for my hydroponics system. Do I need to add anything else to this solution? Thanks Jack Minn

What kind of hydroponics system Should I buy to grow some kick ass green bud? (Marijuana)

Kind of hydroponics systems has nothing to do with growing KAB. What ever kind you buy or build you should try keeping tomatoes plants alive before you waste a lot of money on KAB.

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