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Powdery and Downy Mildew
Building your own Indoor Grow Room part 2
Building your own Indoor Grow Room part 1
The Benefits of Chelated Micro-nutrients
Is the pH really that important?
Getting Bigger Yields From your Hydroponic Plants
Tips for getting the most out of your nutrients
Millions of dollars lost in hydroponic tomato plant sabotage

What are some good hydroponic resources?


This is the best web page on hydroponics, the format and the picture illustration are great!!! I am a beginner in hydroponic in Thailand. I am growing lettuce with NFT ,after a few weeks of perfect growth, the roots become brown color and the plant growth is stunt. What is the problem and how to cure them?

Something isn't right with your nutrient solution if your roots aren't white. PPM or pH or both.

I have been surfing the net for about 5 years and this is the first site I have ever seen that was this informational without having to pay for something. If I ran a web site that allowed me to put up your banner I would. I am Building my own Hydroponic system just because I found this site. 20 minutes ago I had no Idea I would be gardening this summer but now I am. Plus if i build one good enough, my friends said they would by it off me for their controversial growing plants. I'm just growing regular plants. Keep up the good work!

Because big business has clogged up the internet with so much of their crap that I don't even bother to serf anymore. 

Very nice site and various design setups. I wish I could have read this material about 10 years ago when I was experimenting in hydroponics. I have recently been reading about fish ponds and various types of filters, one type being a vegetative filter utilizing water plants. These seem quite effective in removing excess nutrients from the water. I recently found a site where the pond owner has used a hydroponic filter stocked with land plants to remove excess nutrients from the water in a balanced ecosystem approach. I am intrigued by this strategy and would be interested in your comments on such a concept. I would also be interested in any design and suitable plants recommendations you could offer for an application of this type.

Ask Aquatic ECO-SYSTEMS, INC  to send you their product catalog. They specialize in fish and hydroponics systems and supplies. You can get a ton of information from their catalog even if you don't buy anything.

I called a hydroponic expert, he said I didn't have a draining system, what does a draining system do?

The water drains back to the tank when the pump shuts off and about 30 minutes later the pump comes on and floods the garden, then the pump shuts off and it drains again. It's that simple.

what is hydroponic?

hello, my class is learning about hydroponics. Like how they work and stuff like that.Right now we are growing lettuces the hydroponic way.the way we are doing it is we have a container with stones with our lettuces in it we the lettuces up the top and the roots hiding under the stones and another container with the water and when we put them together the roots dangle in the water and we have a straw to blow bubbles.Is this just home made way to do it or is there some fancier way of doing it? plese give me an answer!!!!

Trying to reduce the cost of my fertilizer:

Check out , Fruit Trees Alive- Build-Up Formula Fertilizer in their catalog. This fertilizer claims to have a high concentration of micronutrients. One catalog list copper and sulfur as some of the macro/micronutrients. At 9.95 for 3lbs, this stuff would be a lot cheaper, even with the $5 shipping than what I am paying for fertilizer ($12.50 for 1 lb at the local store). Given I have a fruit tree I can use this stuff on if it doesn't work, I am going to order a 3lb bag. Just thought I posted this, so, someone else might also give it a try. The real trick is figuring out how much to add to each gallon of water.

Also, I having been adding one liter of compost tea into each ten gallons of water along with my dry hydroponic fertilizer. My plants seem to love it. It also lowers my PH and seems to help to keep it low.

Hi Ron,

We just put a hydroponic garden (tomatos peppers and basil) out on our deck and find that we are constantly putting in pH down every day. Is this what is to be expected all of the time or will the pH problem level off. Also, is the 90 day harvesting rate for tomatoes from seed to harvest?

I haven't a clue about the pH problem.
90 days is what it says on most tomato seed packages.

Is There a way to make your own Hydroponic grow lights?

Please help

Hey Ron i was wondering if you can make your own Hydroponic Lights and in the 11 plant System do you need to put pea gravel in the cups or just the Plant by itself P.S You have really inspired me to a new Hobby

Yes if you buy a ballast, a socket and a bulb. But then you have to wirer it all together. Home Depot has a 175 Watt HPS yard light for $50.00.
Crushed lava rock would be better than pea gravel and better yet grow rocks.

what does it mean hydroponic

from the Greek words: "hydro" which means "water" and "ponics"  which means "working" Put them together and you got "water-working" gardens.

Dear Ron, I'm planting tomatoes hydroponically but using soil fertilizer because hydroponic fertilized is not yet available in our place. I've followed your instruction to add micronutrients, calcium nitrate & magnesium. Everything is ok (plant healthy & growth rate is fine). However, when flower start to bloom, fruit will not develop & my plant starts to die starting w/ the upper leaves curling up. Hope you can help me w/ this.

dear ron, i've just ordered your "hydroponic plant food" online my question is calcium nitrate still needed to make it complete or is it really a complete plant food to be added to water for plant feeding? otik

Yes It says just to add a little Epson Salt

I am fixing to buy a hydroponic system and I have a question about two systems I am in between. Eve's Garden 6, or the Waterfarm 6. I was thinking about the waterfarm because I wanted to separate three on one side (under 24 Hr. light) and the other three under in the other side of my cabinets (under 12/12 light). Could you help me with my problems? If you could send me your answer to

What does the future hold for hydroponic produce?

i don't get it, yet...

i am new to this site and i have a question: first of all, please don't mind my bad english. i am from holland, you know. if i build, let's say the 11 bottle hydroponic system, and i turn on the pump and fill the system with water/nutrients, then what happens? does the water drain off just like an ebb & flow system, or does the waterlevel drop because the plants absorb it? i can imagine the water running back through the pump after it is switshed off. anybody! please answer my question! if i can figure out how this thing exactly works, i might even try to build this system myself. greetings, reynold

I am building a hydroponic garden for a science project, and i came up with a problem. I built a Ebb and Flow garden with pvc pipe, and i cut a long slot instead of separate holes. Now i am wondering what would be the best way to insert my groing medium, and how to do it. Thank you.

I am building a hydroponic garden for a science project, and i came up with a problem. I built a Ebb and Flow garden with pvc pipe, and i cut a long slot instead of separate holes. Now i am wondering what would be the best way to insert my growing medium, and how to do it. Thank you.

I am building a hydroponic garden for a science project, and i came up with a problem. I built a Ebb and Flow garden with pvc pipe, and i cut a long slot instead of separate holes. Now i am wondering what would be the best way to insert my growing medium, and how to do it. Thank you.

How much does a simple hydroponic garden cost to set up? I'm thinking about using hydroponic growing as a science project experiment.

I invite you all to take a look at a new revolutionary hydroponic growing machine called the Wonder Grower. Go to and search for Wonder Grower or Wonder Herb Grower to learn more about it. It saves you space, has a low energy consumption, and has a maximum yield of 6 weeks. There is nothing like it out there. My e-mail address is

If i want to just grow 2 tomato plants in a hydroponic machine, what kind of stuff do i need? Including everything that you would need to grow...

what is the best hydroponic setup possible if i want to force feed and bulk up a plant in the shortest time possible! and what nutrient do i use

can i use miracle grow in water as a hydroponic solution?

If you add some calcium nitrate and epson salt to it you can.

i have heard of a idea of "hyper ventilating" please tell me if im just stupid and tired but is it true say if you enclose a hydroponic plant in a fish tank with the proper lighting and fill the tank for say 6 hours with co2 and then 6 hours of oxygen that the plant "hyperventilates" and forces the plant to suck up a lot of nutrients and makes it grow "beefier" and faster. i heard this idea from a pretty much rocket scientist who majored in growing plants (hydroponically) who was able to grow a choice plant in a week to say 4 feet

sounds interesting. 

one more question im a beginner and have a lot of them but any way can i use ammonium nitrate and a solution of miracle grow as my mix for your 11 plant system? and if so how much ntrate should i use

Read answer above. It's calcium nitrate not ammonium nitrate. Teaspoon per gallon.

Where on the net can I find hydroponic methods??-student

I have a 5.2 hector hydroponic for roses project from Holland to build in my ranch in Mxico, so Could you help me on letting me know any web addresses in which I can learn more about. (historical prices, growing methods, main seasons, etc for roses) Thank you. Julio Herrera

How can I grow hydroponic tomatoes and cucumbers together in a 20' x20' greenhouse?

It is not recommended growing different plants in the same greenhouse but I do. 

Hi to Whomesoever it matters.. HELP ...HELP...HELP.. I ma writing on behalf of the women and children of a village whose men have been either killed or disappeared in the air during the civila war that still is raging and harvesting lives in Algeria (North Africa), the women that suddenly found themselves obliged to support their families, would start a hydroponic culture starting with letuce as it is the easiest product to start with, these women have acquired a land about 2000 square meters and would like to use that for the production. Can anyone among you all there, help or contribute with what you may have to share in knowledge about how to start, what is needed etc... not as far as the culture itself is concerned for the time being, because the land is naked and tehre is nothing on it. Your help would be to explain what to do from scratch as to say take a step at at a time. The climate is warm and hot in summer, humid and grey in winter, there is access to nature gas for the warming if needed but the water sometimes cut off, so a recycled or closed irrigation system is highly appreciated.... so, what is to be done first ?? Build a house that will become a green house with time ?? please take it from here and share of your advice, comments, directions, tips, hints etc...and for that... your highest reward is that you are saving maybe 1000s of ppl that have no more hope for the future in a very rich country that knows no human values..thanks in beforehand for your valuable help.. M.S Noor.

I went to a store that sells hydroponic items. I asked the clerk if it was difficult to get a 6-10 tomato plant system. He said no but then I told him that I have no CLUE about gardening and I asked him "what percent of people that purchase everything that is needed have success without reading and doing extensive research." He said that the percent rate is between 75% and 80%. He was on the rude side and not to upfront with some of his response. My Question is

Why would the % of success rate not be 99% ?

Assuming 1% purchase everything that is needed and can not follow directions (or something)

Hello...can I advertise a commercial hydroponic greenhouse for sale on this site?


hi, we're doin an experiment in school where we plant rye grass seeds in potting soil with miracle gro and dirt with miracle gro. the controlled group would be potting soil with water and dirt with water. can anyone give me any info on miracle gro, and is it a hydroponic? any chemical info would be really helpful. thanks

Anyone looking to try out an Organic Hydroponic nutrient should check out the MetaNaturals line of nutrients. I`m trying them out myself - working very well too I might add. Trick thing about this stuff is that you don`t have to adjust ph once it`s in your system and the microbes are working. It takes care of itself. I thought they were pulling my chain on this one, but it does work. If it sounds interesting, they have quite a bit of info on their site. Check it out - Mike

Does anyone out there have experience in raising Hydroponic Watermelons?

i am doing a project on the effect of ph levels of water on the growth of hydroponic plants and i need help...e-mail me at thanx-melissa

hello first what a great site, Second i am a chef and I am trying to grow a hydroponic herb garden. Basil, mint, sage, chives, parsley, and maybe some heirloom tomatoes. All my plants keep dying and i dont think i have the correct fertilizer. Can you grow these plants hydropontically and what I am dong wrong. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Yes wrong fertilizer.

what nutrience would i use for a hydroponic system that is found in a house or normal store

what is the composition of hydroponic solution for cucumber? and in what page?

Hi Ron I have grown Hydroponic Tomatoes going on three years now, I just ran into your web site. Maybe you can help me with a question I have? Would there be a quick way to take Chlorine out of my 75gal. tanks of water before adding my tomato formula. I know I could let it sit for 24 hours and that helps. But I was thinking maybe something quicker. I ask this too hopfully better my formula for the plants. I do have a page to see what I have been doing if you cut and paste Thank you

I here those reverse osmosis filters are cost effective.

How does the temperature of the water in a hydroponic plant effect root growth?

I don't know

What are the best books to get a complete novice/idiot into hydroponic gardening. I want to grow peppers if that makes a diff. TIA

Hi, I was wondering if you had a good recipe for hydroponic nutrients, I live in an area that is far from modern civilization but I have access to just about any kind of manure you can think of, even elephant. but I'm nowhere close to any grow shops and having them shipped is out of the question. I sure would appreciate any help, thanx, Tim

I'm in the process of setting up a hydroponic system, I am going with a 400hps & 400mh I am in now in search of ideas for a sun circle. I have found them but not cheap, HELP.

Here is my first mover I built 15 years ago and it still works. Made from a barbeque rotisserie motor and a 90 degree gear reducer that weighs about 30 pounds. The light is connected to a ball barring made from a bicycle axel. The light cord is connected to a wall causing the light to rotate as the mover goes around and around. This set up will only work with one light because with two the cords would get tangled. 

hi there, I am very new to this and have a question, I am an architectural student and am designing a building which houses hydroponic tomatoes. I just want to know what the minimum height at which I can build my greenhouse would be or is that a how long is a piece of string question? is it really just case of how many tomatoes I want to grow will depend on the size of greenhouse??

thanks: euan

It depends on the type of tomato plants you grow. Some tomato plants can grow up to twelve ft. high. 

I am new to hydroponics, and would like to find a web page with a description and the pros and cons of each of the several hydroponic methods. Does one exist where this info is all together?

Hey RON, Per your comments on 25 MAR 2000.

damn why didn't I think of that. I got to figure out how to make money off my ideas instead of someone else.

Why don't you put a advertisement on ebay to let people know who you are. Also, So you can get the credit that you deserve rather that this guy stealing your pictures. I believe that you said you originally got the idea from a high times long ago. You can tell people about your web site. To bad you don't sell your hydro nutrients any more. You could sell that stuff on there and your pre-cut 11 plant systems. When people buy them, I bet you could whip up one in 5 minutes flat. Have it in the mail the next day and cash in YOUR pocket. "Food for thought"

I have been selling gardens for years and that's not the problem. After building them, boxing them up for shipping, driving to the UPS office, it was a lot of work for very little profit. 
Hydroponic How To software is what I am working on now.

Ron, Just signed on tonite . A comment about starting on a tight budget. I bought plastic shoe boxes w/tops @ Savon Drug store for a $1.00 a piece. Very carefully Drilled holes in the ends w/ 5/8" wooden doles for plugs. Started seeds from K-Mart Burpee. Experimenting w/ sand, Vermeculite,perlite potting soil. Tomatoes in the Nutrient of 9-4-15, are doing very well, laying the roots flat,compared to potting soil, parsley very slow from seed, cilantro,cucumbers, & sunflowers the same. My 1st year. Hydroponic Nutrient was ordered from HollistersHydroponics out of Irvine,Ca my home ter- ritory. Jim

I am desperately in search for a good source (be it internet/book) on algae control in hydroponic systems. Any or all information/sources you may know of would be much appreciated. This is for a college report, so if you have no answers please don't fake it Thank you kindly for your time. Josh

Here's an easy passive hydroponic system that I gave a try. Not meant for Hydro but I said what the hell. Very low maintenance too. Any way, I filled one of those terra cotta "self watering" planters with just grow rocks, started a plant in rockwool, then transplanted the cube and plant in the grow rocks. All I've been doing is filling the outer part with nutrients whenever it got really low. I found some cool painted ones at Home Depot, not the usual orange terra cotta. It's a small plant tho (Syrian Rue), but I have since bought 2 more store plants, rinsed them of as much dirt as possible, and stuck them in. They are both about 9-12 inches, and have started growing new leaves this spring already. The only planters I've seen like these are small, so only small plants would work, great for house plants tho, and beginners. Wonder if larger plants would work as well, if I could find or make a larger one? Maybe this will interest any newbies that want an intro with using nutrient solutions with low light plants. Inexpensive, no pumps or special lighting, atleast so far. Mark.

Im gonna bulid the 11 pipe hydroponic system. Im a new grower so i dont know much What the hell is a solo cup, I know it goes inside of the 2 litter bottle thats all. And what do you use to grow, I mean, What do you put inside of the 2 litter bottles, soil just water, rockwool, ect. Another thing is the pump. What is its specific name so i can ask for it in a store and were do i get it?

A solo cup is just a plastic drinking cup sold everywhere. 
The cup are used to hold the grow rocks. (a man made clay fired ceramic material.)
The pump used are called submersible pumps. They are rated GPH (gallon per hour) and you need one around 100 GPH.

Ron, How do you feel about using smooth textured lava rock for a hydroponic growing medium? I have a 1200GPH pump, can I use this monster for a 20 plant 1" system or will it blow my veggies out of the 2-litter bottles? Will placing several several over flow fittings in the system slow down the water flow? Thank you for this informative website.

All you can do is give it a try with smooth lava rock. Never tried ether. I think you can redirect as much as need be and with that size pump you won't have to put an air stone in your reservoir because the redirected flow will create plenty of bubbles. 

the guy from feb 1 has a good idea fitting the caps on the 3 litter bottles i saw those bottles at wallmart there just like the 2s only there 3 with bigger cap im going there

i have a question about hydroponic nutrient solutions i saw one that's called phat hydro from canada, it seems like the nutrient levels are kinda low it's a two part veg a and veg b, a is (1.5-0-2.6) and b is (.5-.5-5.0). then the bloom is a (2-0-2)and b (1-.6-2) what is the best n-p-k for veg and what is best for budding? great site by the way

I wouldn't worry to much about the formula as long as it says that it's for hydroponics on the bag or bottle. The important thing is feeding your plants the right amount at the right time. (the PPM) 

Hi Ron. I'm working on a report for one of my classes. I need to know what the biological aspect of bacteria are in a hydroponics unit. Or, How will the bacteria help the fish? Can you help? Thanks. Natasha

I would go to and ask for their catalog. They specialize in fish farming and hydroponic equipment and you can lean a lot from their catalog.
You can build your own aquaponics garden by placing the 11 Plant Garden without the container on top of a fish aquarium. Don't use the ebb and flow method but instead you need to run 1/4 inch spaghetti lines from the submersible pump in the fish tank up to each bottle/plant. This drip method doesn't use as much water as ebb and flow so your fish wont be sucking air ever time the pump comes on. You need to filter out the fish poop after it has release its nutrients in the water. Remove the old fish tank light and add a grow light above your garden that will serve duel purposes for plants and the fish.
Don't expect to grow high users of nutrients like tomato plants but stick to growing plants like bibb lettuce.
The problem is hydro plants like a pH of 5.5, 6.0 and fish like it at around 8.0 so you will have compromise on that and put it at maybe 7.0.  

I have just transplanted some young tomato plants into a hydroponic system. The ends of the leaves are starting to turn brown. Any suggestions?

Mike Tesnohlidek

May be to high of a solution mix. That will turn leaves brown. 

see the worlds most efficient hydroponic garden on cbc. newsworld wensday sept. 26 4pm. or cbc. 6 oclock national news [canada now] also Wednesday, in the future now segment. the spot is about future home appliances. if you can,t wait check out or searching for omega garden via will yield even more interesting pics


I am going to be try to plant bulbs in a hydroponic solution. Do you think bulbs will grow hydroponically?



I would think so.

Anyone tell me what (which way) can household ammonia help a hydroponic plant? Please?!

Is there available in USA a hydroponic forage kit or plan for producing livestock feed via hydroponics? I know in Australia the whole system is available, but I am not aware of any such on this side of the pond. Thank you.

I am doing an assignment on merchandising, displaying and selling hydroponic lettuces. I need information on the nutritional value of lettuces, their use, storage requirements and recipes in which they are used. I also need information on display conditions (temp, lights), how you can tell when they aren't saleable, and what you can do to ensure freshness while on display

If I new all that I'd be growing and selling lettuce myself.

do you have plans of your banana tree bucket drip system anywhere? I would like to try it


Hydroponic banana bucket plans -

Kitty litter as hydroponic grow media?

non odorous and non clumping kitty litter as media

The argument is that the cheap stuff is just plain clay

So I wonder if you bake the kitty litter would it end up like growrox? Maybe ya have to nuke it instead? I am going to buy some tomorrow and experiment. Also has anyone ever heard of using crushed coral (aquarium grade) as a medium? I would think it would hold oxygen well with all those holes. It runs 6 bucks for 30 lb. 60 bucks for 50 liters of growrox is just a bit much for all I want. I checked the yellow pages online and the closest Hydro store listed is 78 miles away. I havnt called them yet to see if they even stock it. I tried the home depot route with orchid rocks per Tailwheels tip. They say they cant get(order)that item any longer. There is a similar product at the depot called orchid mix that has grow rocks and charcoal and some other ingredients in it. I am not sure about using that. I have sifted 5 gallons of smaller gravel out of a load of regular granite gravel and as soon as your hydro mix reaches me my sprouts are going in my 2 liter garden... Ready to hydro in Ga.

Grow rocks are clay fired in a kiln and that's pretty hot. Not your basic household oven. Coral or any inert substance can be used as a medium. All you have to do is make sure that it doesn't brake down to quick (like vermiculite) and it doesn't leach undesirable substance into your system thus harming your plants.
I promise to set up test gardens this spring to see which mediums work best.   

Hi Ron

ive been a long time viewer of your web site and enjoy it very much. Definitely the best hydro site on the web, congrats on your success with it. I have started up a system for tomatoes and wanted to know if you could tell me what variety of toms you have the best luck with and if they are indeterminate or determinate.

Thanx alot Scott

I use what ever they are selling at my local nursery. Big Boy, Better Boy, Heat Wave, Roma. But I am partial to Super Bush a stocky patio type that only grows about four feet by maturity. And they can be grown in the 2-liter systems or the gallon drip systems.
I am sure if I ordered the expressive real hydroponic seeds I would get higher yields but first I got to finish my greenhouse as soon as this cold weather is over. We have had more freezes this year than in the last 5 years. 

3 questions - Can you be a little more specific as how to mount the gallon jugs to the 4" PVC pipe, the pictures aren't all that clear? And, what nutrient would you use if you're growing a variety of vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, etc, all being fed from a common nutrient tank? What emitter rate do you use in your drip system?

I just drill a hole big enough for the gallon jugs to pop threw the 4" sewer pipe. The jug is held up by the wood or metal frame. The kind I sell is a general purpose hydroponic mix ( 10-8-22 ). It does say to add 1/4 teaspoon of epson salt to the gallon mix if you are growing vegetables like tomatoes or cucumbers. 
I don't use emitters I just let the solution flow every 20 minutes. 

I'm doing a project for school. 2 questions - what is hydroponics? Also, what are the benefits of hydroponics?

Hydroponics, from the Greek words (water-working). Hydroponics is a system of gardening without soil. In hydroponics, you provide all the nutrients to your plants through a water/nutrient solution. There are lots of ways to apply hydroponics but, basically, all of them supply nutrient solution directly to the plant's root system. In most cases you mix nutrients into water and feed this solution directly to your plants. Soil doesn't make plants grow. It's just something for the plants to hold on to while they search with their roots for the food and water that's mixed into the soil. Since the food and water are randomly scattered about, plants have to use up energy growing ever-larger root systems to reach out in a constant search for these elements. In a hydroponic garden, a soil-less, inert growing medium is used and food and water are delivered directly to your plant's roots. Your plants grow quicker and harvest sooner because they can direct all their energy into the vegetation growing above the surface instead of the root system below it. Ron

Please copy and distribute!

Thanks for doing my report Ron, I got a B+ it would have been an A but I got some bbq sauce and koolaid on it.

We are commercial growers of hydroponic tomatoes. We grow them under plastic. We are thinking of adding some HID lights to supplement the limited sunlight we get in New England during the winter. Does anyone have any advice or experiences in terms of types of lights to get; metal halide sodium, agrosun, etc., height from plant, length of time to leave lights on, differences in yield, ir cooled v. water cooled, etc? Thanks. Mike

how long does it take to grow a succesful carnation in hydroponic solution?

We are in a Agriculture class in Decatur, Illinois and we have a hydroponic test kit and we have just set up a hydroponic area where we are growing lettuce. We are trying to find out what is the exceptable ranges for growing lettuce. The ranges such as Nitrate Nitrogen range, Phosphorus range, Potassium range, Ammonia Nitrogen range, Sulfate range, Iron range, and Calcium and Magnesium range. This would help us a great deal if we would know these things.

Could any one tell me what the feeding cycle would be for a hydroponic garden. What i mean is how many times does the pump feed the plants in a 24 hr cycle. How many times and for how long of a duration do they stay on thx
Stuck in the mud.

GREAT SITE!!!! I haven't done any hydroponic gardening or soil gardening for that matter, but have been interested in it for many years. Your plans for the 11 plant garden are interesting and simple. I have a question though what size reservoir does it use? Some folks have asked about the "555" timer, Radio Shack has a book p/n 276-5010, that shows schematics for all sorts of devices that may be helpful w/ automation.

Hello Ron , l am currently studing year 12 VCE food technology and are featuring a topic of our studies on food and technological development. l am focusing my main topic on the hydroponic farming of tomatoes. l was wondering whether you could help guide me in the right direction and answer some of these simply questions The advantages of the hydroponic tomatoes over other similar traditional products? The growing, which enabled the prodcut of hydroponic tomatoes to be developed? And whether you have any significant points about hydroponic tomatoes? Or a diagram on how hydroponics works? Any of this help would be greatly helpful to help for my furture studies. And whether you have any other websites that focus on hydroponic tomatoes Hope to hear from you soon and thankyou for your help Thankyou

Ron- I am new at hydroponic gardening and I am building your 11 plant system. Reseaching the internet I located a timer that can be set 15 min. on and 15 min. off. It costs approximately $15.00 at and is manufactured by a company called Grasslin. I have not had a chance to use it yet but is appears to be perfect for our systems. Thanks for your web site as it is the best hydroponic site on the web.

how do pumpkins do in a hydroponic garden?

Do you have any information on expected crop yields for hydroponic production of veggies? Jaco, Bloemfontein, South Africa

I would love a couple marketing tips on how to market a new hydroponic retail store

Dear fellow hydroponic fans We have a hydroponic barley shed which has been operational for 12months. No problems till now, suddenly we have some sort of snowy white growth attacking the sprouted seeds. Any ideas what it is? How to treat it? We are at present shutting down for a week to completely clean out the nutrient tank and dripper pipes(system).It seems to become active when the sprouts are 3-4 days old. Any help would be appreciated.

Hi, I am From Rodrigues Island,Island Situated in the Indian Ocean,I want to start Hydroponic culture of Lettuces and Tomatoes.Want to have some advice to begin. Mail

Shawn Here!!! I was wondering do know if blueberries can be grown in a Hydroponic Greenhouse setting? Do you know of anygood websites or success stories regarding this topic?

Could you let me know which kind of hydroponic process is good for growing leafy vegetables like basil and pok-choy with the least cost effective in mind. Would it be possible to make one myself or I have to order from a manufacturer? BK

Attn: Pingman

Go to:

I'm not into pot, but this site has a lot of information on growing using a bubbler system. Explore the whole site, the guys setup really looks very sanitary to me.

FYI, I sent for and received a booklet outlining the proceedings of the first Non-Circulating hydroponic workshop held in Hawaii in 1997 from the Asian Vegetable Research and Development in Taiwan. Their primary goal is to develop systems for growing in HOT countries, SE Asia, India, etc.

They mention in the text that there are actually two sets of roots that a plant develops, one set for oxygen and one set for nutrient. I've just started studying the whole booklet (55 pages) and feel that maybe the bubbler system setup would exploit these two sets of roots and maximize plant growth. What you've mentioned seems to confirm that.

If you want, you can email me at and I will scan the booklet and send it to you in jpg format.

Maybe I'll just set up a system myself and see what happens. I've got a bunch of plants ready to go now and no place to put them. I could probably knock something out in a few hours if I can find the time.


I was wondering if you could tell me what the #1 selling hydroponic magazine in the world is? Also could you please tell what the #1 greenhouse manufacturer is? Thank you.

Saw an HPS light, the kind for outside use, at a home center for about $40. What's the difference between that and the expensive ones sold by the hydroponic companies?



I made my VERY FIRST hydroponic garden yesterday thanks to this website! It's a very basic gurgle garden but it works great. I'm using perlite now but would like to try grow rocks. I'm using organic nutrients from MetaNaturals:

Grow Rocks: Where can I buy them the cheapest? Are there any online sources?


Try to find them as close to you as possible because the shipping will hurt. 

What would you use for a nutrient solution in the 11 plant hydroponic system displayed on this site? Also I would like to thank the maker and members of this site it has been a big help with my project for school.

Any nutrient solution formulated for hydroponics will work fine.

How can I grow a hydroponic tomato garden in a limited space of 2'x2'?

Does anyone know anything about a volmatic valve system? It is widely used by the Danish people for their ebb and flow hydroponic systems. I am curious as to how it works. Does it have the same function as the American drain/fill and overflow fittings? If so, what are the advantages of using a volmatic valve system? Whatever info you share with us is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

We are a group of engineering students and we have been asked to submit a proposal for an urban gardening center. Where would be the best place to find information on hydroponics and where hydroponics will be in the twenty first century? We would apperciate your reply. Thanks, Team Solutions

Ron, I'm about to start my first hydroponic garden and I have a few questions

1. I want to grow roses and I would like to know which type of lights would be the best?

2. The set up I have right now is the cascade system is that good for roses?

thats it for now but I'll some more later for sure.

I'm in 8th grade, and I need to build a hydroponic garden for $25.00, or less, for my science fair project. I looked EVERYWHERE and found nothing for that price range. The garden isn't supposed to be the latest model, but it's supposed to GROW!!!!! If anyone has any information, or can donate, or lend something, PLEASE ANSWER. Leave your e-mail address, or something. THANKYOU FOR AT LEAST READING!!! Sincerly, I.M. Clueless

I am in Northern Maine, USA and I am interested in visiting a comercial or hobby hydroponic garden. Does anyone know of a place to visit near Camden, ME that would be willing to show me around? I am interested in starting an operation in the Republic of Panama. I will be in town till 2 October. Thanks I woulkd appreciate any response.

I just found your web page yesturday and think it it outstanding!!! Today I came back thinking of ordering your kit to get started ( wanted to have a working model). Now it is not there to order or see. Do you still sell the kit? Let me know, I want to get started soon!!


Ron how much Ph should be in the water for tomatoes? Also how often do I fertilize? Your input would be great. And no I'm not completely stupid I'm just a highschool student in an Ag class with an IDIOT for a teacher. Thnaks a bunch!

we are trying to create a tomato hydroponic experiment and would like some ideas on a simple experiment for a 10th grade project that is cheap and simple.

Does anyone know where the website for the Hydroponic Society of America has moved to?

The url given in all the search engines does not work.

To whom it may concern: I'm a freshman science student in high school doing a science project on growing hydroponic tomatoes. Is there a decent hydroponic nutrient solution on the market that's already mixed and ready to go? If so, what is it and where can I get some fast? AuntHC

hey ron... i went to my local hardware and garden shop and they didn't have hydroponic plant food so i bought an all purpose plant food that was 2-10-10, if i bought something to add more nitrogen to that would it be sufficient for growing tomatoes and (or) cotton?????

It might work if you add some calcium nitrate and some epsom salt to it. 

hey ron, george crescent city fl. planning to build a couple of your yard gardens for use this summer when i have to shut the greenhouse down. with the heat here in fl do i need some shade cloth over the garden or just clear plastic as in your pics? ps, you were right about greenhouses only good for winter use in fl.

I even tried a verity called Heat Wave last spring and they still didn't produce. I have manage for the first time to save 100 tomato plants this year by using kerosene heaters. I will be selling tomatoes online overnight express very soon. I will be building a large scale open field hydroponic tomato system next spring. Who needs a greenhouse?

Yes I don't grow without shade cloth or my tomato plants wilt from the heat.

Hi All,

I recently opened a website/store that offers hydroponic supplies. I did this for two main reasons: first, I'm a software engineer and wanted to build an ecommerce web site; second, hydroponics is my hobby and I wanted to get stuff as cheap as possible.

I talked to Ron about offering you guys a special deal. Everything I have is at least 10% off list (some 15% off and most following in the next couple of months) and you guys can get an extra 10% off with this coupon (at the checkout cart use the code: hydroponics). That will likely bring my profit margin to about next to nothing.

I'm adding new stuff to my database all the time. I'm a dealer for a couple garden supply wholesalers and one light wholesaler. If you want something that's not on my site let me know. Most likely I can get it but just haven't listed it yet.

So, please check out and see what I have available.


does n e one know about how much it would cost to make the 11 plant hydroponic system? And were i could pick up a pump and a timer? your info will be greatly appreciated!


i am making the 11 plant hydroponic system and i was wondering how should i fasten the pvc piping down to the nutrient container? thanx for your responoses!!

why? You growing in a hurricane. You can use bungee cords to hold the sucker down or if you need a more permanent way use elastic ties. Just ask the cops for some the next time you are busted. They use them for hand cuffs.   

How does one grow bog plants or emergent nymphaes ( lotuses, iris) using hydroponic systems ? Radha Krishna

This is John White again. My science fair hypothesis says that plants in potting soil will grow better than in a hydroponic garden. I said this because I don't know about hydroponics yet and wanted to learn if it was just as good as growing in soil. After reading my research I learned that hydroponics gives plants the same nutrients as potting soil but in a different way. I was hoping you could comment on my hypothesis for my project by saying whether you think plants do better in hydroponics or just the same as in soil. Thank you for your time. I think hydroponics is cool! John White

Attention: John White

There is NO comparison between growing in hydroponics and potting soil. Hydroponics wins hands down. Keep in mind that in hydroponic growing, the plants are being force fed nutrients whereas in soil, the plants put out more roots seeking nutrients in a form it can use.

I usually buy 6 packs of seedlings at my local Home Depot. Those that I don't put in a hydroponic setup, go into the ground. The difference in the growth rate and production of fruit is almost unbelievable using a hydro system. An added benefit is that I hav'nt had any bug problems in the hydro garden and am able to grow without using any poison sprays.

Hello Online,

Looking for some info on a hydroponic project for lettuce, living in the Caribbean and looking into the posibility of cultivating lettuce by hydroponic. Anyone with imput into this would be highly welcome, thanking you in advance I could be e-mail at, Eugene Duzant is the name to contact. Thank you again

Hello Ron (or whomever can answerer my query) I just started out on my hydroponic quest and I was trying to find some cheep growing solution. I remember finding a place on the web that had some in dry form for only $5.00 or sow. But please give me any information you might have. I'm just a beginner.

The cheapest I have ever used is Nutri-sol but I can't find it anymore. So now I mix my own.

Hello, my name is Ian. I have to do a science fair project at school, and I was thinking of doing something involving hydroponics (I'm not quite sure what to do, but I'd like to use hydroponics). If anybody could help me out with this (where to get hydroponic stuff, info. on hydroponics, etc.) it'd be greatly appreciated. If you could help me, my email is Thanks! Ian

The moisture probe will be used as a feedback to a controller to automate the hydroponic process. I plan on using the bag technique to grow tomatoes. I plan on using peat moss and perlite as the medium. My goal is to have the prob calibrated to keep the correct moisture level in the bag at all times.

I live in the Atlanta area and I see a niche market for tomatoes in the winter months. Caterers and fine restaurants are begging for good FRESH vegetables. My goal is to build a business growing hydroponic vegs. Any advice is welcomed. Joe

I love the sight, so in appreciation, and to keep this sight the last word on the subject, here's a bit of trivia.

The only song (as far as I know) ever to mention Hydroponics Is the Title song of Donald Fagan's (Steely Dan) Kamakiriad. The Song (whole album) is about a futuristic car and the lyric goes

It's not a freeway bullet or a bug with monster wheels It's a total biosphere The farm in the back is hydroponic Good fresh things every day of the year.

I take comfort in the fact that somebody in pop culture not only knows what it is, but that he knows that it's not just for growing the #1 cash crop.

Where in the USA can I find hydroponic tomatoes and lettuce seeds? And the prices to those seeds? Cody Johnson Tarkio, Missouri P.S. If Any one wants to e-mail me about this matter my e-mail address is

I have been asked to give a report on hydroponic fertilizers and I need to know percentage wise how much nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium should be in the fertilizer to best help plants grow. Val in MT

Hey folks, came across a great link for a TDS tester. It is a cheap one, and I don't know the quality, but it is like half the price as any others I have seen. Ron, or anybody else, let me know if this is a great deal. I really appreciate this site.....I now have built three hydroponic systems, and a greenhouse to put them in. It is a great hobby.


I just came from one of your stores, which I had visited for the first time since it opened. Although your prices are quite high I was pleased with your selection of gluten-free products, and was planning to shop there frequently in the future. That was changed when I heard my car and license plate described over the public address system. When I responded, I was told that they page people routinely when they think a care has been parked for too long in their lot. The car owner then must come to the customer service desk to demonstrate that he or she is, in fact, in the store. I don't like being harassed when I'm shopping, so I will use your store only when I cannot get a product anywhere else. I suggest that this policy is counter productive from your viewpoint, and extremely distasteful for customers. James Duffy, jim-jane

That would be hard to do considering I don't have a brick and mortar store yet. I wish I owned every hydroponics store you happen to walk into I didn't invent hydroponics. And if you are talking about Worm's Way, they only advertise with me. I don't own them or any other hydroponic company that post on this web site except Pipe Dreams Hydroponics. 

could somebody send me information ref if it is possible to grow hydroponic asparagus in a commercial way, I am from Argentina thank you

can you skip from vegging to blooming in a hydroponic system??

I was wondering how long should veging take for hydroponic systems. To make myself clear it's grown on 6 by 8 tables with water pump up and then drains down. If possible can I skip the veging stage and start blomming.

Ron,I have a queston. I am new at hydroponic's growing. I am starting with a 7 plant water garden, and am going to try and start out with growing tomatoes. I was wondering how long should i let the timer go before it turns off? Thank You. S.

Just another quick question. When do I change my hydroponic solution to the flower mix? Should I do it at the same time as I change the lights to 12/12. Or should I wait a specified time? Please advise. Thanks, V_12(

Yes, No.

hey ron im using pea gravel as a medium with continuous watering during light operation. is this ok? also im using peter professional plant food 20-20-20 for my nutrient, please advise (tomato,pepper,assorted herbs)thanks t.j.o

No it ain't ok. They will start to die anytime now. Peter's does make hydroponic plant food but what you got their is for dirt. You can add some Magnesium Nitrate and some Epson salts to that and you might grow something but by using the most basic system you could use you would better off using real hydroponic plant food. 

Ron, I just found your site!!! Whoaaaa the best hydroponic website in the cyberworld!!

Can you kindly answer the following questions before I mess up my plants?

1) Im using 2 liter bottle setup to grow some kind bud. Once I put my 3" sprouts into the grow rocks, from then on how often do you flood the system? Like what's the water cycle from then to maturity? How many times per day and for how long? 

2) In growing with limited height (5 1/2') with a 400 watt hps, when is it a good time to switch to buddin stage?

I water every 20 or 30 minutes in all my gardens no mater what I'm growing and whatever age of the plants. I also water 24 hours because it's convenient not because you have to.

I am building an enclosed hydroponic system and am trying to anticipate whether it will work. I bought an extra large rubbermaid storage bin for $16.99 at my local Home Base store. I placed some plastic rectangular cubes inside and have set some baskets with growing cherry tomato plants in gro rocks on the cubes. The tomatoe plants are long enough that the tops stick out of some cutouts that I made along the edge of the lid. This way I can take the lid on and off without lifting the plants. The pump, tubing and spray nozzles are all inside the storage bin. The spray nozzles are low pressure 180 degree nozzles designed for drip irrigation systems but they seem to work well enough to cover the grow rocks inside the baskets. The plastic bin holds about 15gal of water and the pump turns on for 30 min and off for 30 min during the day and off all night. Do you think I might have since the roots and about 18 inches of plant stem are always inside the storage bin?

how do i level out the ph in water 4 a hydroponic unit?

Hi, I'm doing a science project on hydroponic farming, using the Water Culture method, i need to know how to get the best results, especially with pea plants & carrots, if anyone can give me some advice, than post it on the bulletin board, please address it to J.S. of Fl

hi ! i am interested in starting a hydroponic vegetable garden as a business, what size should the garden be to be commercially viable ? would appreciate a reply.

I was wondering if anyone knows how to make some sort of hydroponic solution yourself from stuff that is semi-easily accessible? If our society crumbles, it would be nice to have a hydroponic farm, but hard to buy the solution, you know?

I am a 11th grader in high school and I am considering doing a science project on the success of different nutrient solutions on hydroponically grown plants. is this at all possible? how much would it cost to set up a functioning hydroponic system?

heres a cheap and easy to build and maintain system that can built for around 20,30$ or so materials required: (1)rubbermaid type container (10 to 20 gallon) (2)16oz. minimum to (whatever)24-32ounce solo brand (solo more durable than dixie brand)plastic cups. with holes either melted with wood burning tool or cut with razor knife or similar implement. (3)gro-rocks or lava rock 1/4" to 1/2"approximate size (4)aquarium style air pump with hose and air stone(s) (5)aquarium ph test kit and a 1 part hydroponic nutrient (aquaculture hydroponics in az. and eco hydroponics in washington state make good inexpensive products)2 and 3 part may be used but get costly to use year round.liquid sea kelp 4oz. liquid measure per ten gallons water can be used as micro nutrient supplement/growth stimulant if desired. trace cup lip onto lid of container then trace a magic marker line inside that line so solo cup will be suspended in hole. carefully cut out with a razor knife.2 holes about 6" from handles works well for tomaters or pepper plants 6 or 8 works for leaf lettuce. fill container almost full,add 1/2 strength nutrient for sprouts to seedling stage,adjust ph to 6 to6.8 range ,add bubbler to nutrient tank add cups so nutrient is approx 1/2 to 3/4 covering cups kick back and watch em off tank with water as needed.more nutrient may be added as plants mature to bring up to full strength. thats all for now,happy growing! dudley groright says grow your own vegies, they just taste better.

For those of you looking for parts to make a NTF or Aeroponic system, here are the sources I use for getting some of the special parts.

See the plastic net growing cups in the hydroponic section of this web page. They have the best price I have found anywhere.

The spray nozzles can be purchased from a company in CA. They are made by TORO Agricultural Irrigation products division. The part part number is "HAR SFJ408". They are called Barbed Fogger - 2 GPH. A bag of 100 cost me $35.00. That's 35 cents each. Most cost 50 cents or more that I have used in the past. This is the only source I have found so far for this spray nozzle.

Robert Gates

p>hi!it's JS of FL, to answer your question Ron, i'm from the planet Zorglon3,[just kidding], i am however, from the space coast, which is why i'm doing this project, because i figure that it'd be awfully messy 2 bring soil into space, so we may have 2 use hydroponic farming. Also, if we ever do settle on other planets, most of them, including Mars, have stronger gravity, [could ya'tell i want 2 work at NASA someday?]so i want to see how well hydroponics would work in stronger gravity.btw, thanks for the info on the lettuce fertilizer!

FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO HYDRO-ZINE!!!!! to get a free subscription to Hydro-Zine, go to & complete the form OR send blank email to

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I just priced calcium nitrate. It was 23 dollars a pound around here. Can anything be substituted for it? I will eventually go with a normal hydroponic solution.....this is just to get me by for a bit. Thanks,


Not that I know about.

Ron, In the Hydroponic Society of America email comments someone stated that Bell Peppers only need about 400 - 500 PPM strength solution, otherwise they burn and/or don't grow well. I was thinking of growing Bell Peppers, is this true ? Thanks

Different plants do need different strengths of solution. I can't find any reference to the ppm for peppers in my books.  But I am feeding my peppers at twice that and they seem to be doing ok except for the wilting from the heat during the hot mid-day.

Hi would anyone want to stop by this MSN community?

Post some pictures share some knowledge!

I posted the first hydroponic picture on MSN when it first started years ago. I wonder if that black and white picture is still there.

Hey ron, Your site inspired me to build my own Hydroponic machine 2 years ago. I was going nowhere in life back then, 2 years later I have made aeroponic machines for people who needed to purchase them in a discreet manner. Although I only made one of your 11 planters and then went on into aeroponics. You were my inspiration and I would like to thank you for the site.

Remember me in your will.

Dear sir/lady Thank you for your attention to training hydroponic systems. My name is Majid Kazemnezhad. a 28 years old man. I am not graduated of agriculture university. But I love nature specially fast hydroponic systems , because it dosen't not need big places. Please send to me : 1- How can I study lessens about it in my own home. 2- Address of books, magazines, cd's, training films and etc. 3- Do you know any producer or your member in Iran or Turkey. How about the other countries... 4- As I am interested in establishing an institute in order to produce crops and ... which services you give to your members like me. E_mail: Thank you.

I am trying to grow a a 2-4 plant-hydroponic garden. I ordered the following unit, for $70,

from Harvest Moon Hydroponics.

here is the description The recently redesigned HomeGarden System is an outstanding unit for the beginning hydroponic gardener. The submerging the grow rocks. A full-length airstone and external air pump continuously supply oxygen to the reservoir. Capillary matting surrounds the grow rocks and keeps medium moist and helps deliver nutrient-rich water to the starter cubes on top of the system.

total cost is a factor (limited budget), my question is can someone rank in order from most important to get exactly what is listed on here and what items you can cut costs by purchasing something like what you need.

Example could be Lights or is what I already purchased really not needed ?


YOU ARE attend the 2nd Annual International Indoor Gardening and Hydroponic Expo at the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre on May 4th and 5th. There will be over 100 booths and displays and experts from all over the world will be present to share there knowledge of indoor gardening and hydroponics. This is a truly unique opportunity for all those with interest in these areas or someone looking to get a start in this rapidly growing industry. Saturday May 4th is designated as 'Dealers Day' with the doors open from 1pm to 7pm. Sunday the general public is welcome and the doors are open from 11am to 5pm. Entry to the show is FREE! Please contact us for more information via email. Hope to see you there. Cheers Steve

I have a multipart question. What is most important in a hydroponic environment or what gives hydroponics a greater advantage, the oxygen rich environment or the amount nutrients it can absorb in a given amount of time. Because I was wondering if it is possible to use a growth chamber that incorporates hydroponics with soil. Neo

No they are totally two different ways of growing. 

what is in hydroponic water????

hydroponic nutrient solution

Ron, I want to do a hydroponic study with my school. Could the 11 plant system work in a classroom or do we need to build a greenhouse? Do you know of anyone willing to donate a system to my school--Calvary Baptist School, New Orleans, La.

a cheap and easy way to start seeds is to take a 1 or 2oz plastic bathroom cup(the kind u use to put mouth wash in), put a hole in the bottom, shread sum newspaper, wet it, put in the cup, drop in a couple of seeds, add a thin layer of shreaded newspaper on top and water everyday with a diluted hydroponic nutrient solution(maybe 1/4 tsp per gallon), put in a tray in warm place that gets sum sun or under a grow light...hope someone can use this,


G'day from sunny Queensland!

I just wanted to drop a quick word to Ron to praise him not only for an excellent on-going tutorial in hydroponic gardening in text and pictures, but for the fantastic work he's done in educating the masses on this wonderful (and addictive!!) hobby.

I've been gardening for a couple of months now, using principles that Ron has displayed on the pages here, as well as other ideas I've gleaned over the internet.

All in all, I keep coming back, Ron... yours is definitely the best of sites! Please keep up the good work.

Dave Stygall Qld Australia.

We built your 11 plant hydroponic garden, but how do we put the plants in it? We saw the picture with a plastic cup in the bottle, but how does that work? Lathrop Adv. Tech. Class

Wash the dirt off the plant roots. 
Put a few rocks in the bottom of the solo cup. 
Place the plant in the cup and fill it up with rocks.

 About the little cups again: So plants go in the little cups and cups go in the 2-liter? And the roots are in the cup, or do they extend out? How big should the holes be? Thanks!

It's OK for the roots to grow outside of the solo cup but don't let the roots go down the pipes and plug up your garden. If you water the plants often enough the roots don't need to go looking for water. The holes in the solo cup should be small enough to keep the medium from going through.

how do i use a fish pump to use on a hydroponic plant system? --thanx:

have you tried growing star fruit plants hydroponically and was it successful

If they aren't to woody of a plant like roses or a dry plant like cactuses just about any plant can be grown in hydroponic systems. 

im a little confused about the chemicals you put in the water. Do they come in jugs, if so where can i get them and how much do i put in?, and what type

The more expensive hydroponic solutions come in bottles and can be ordered online from a number of links on this web site. Or if you are on a budget and can wait a week I will be selling 5 lb. boxes of hydroponic nutrient solution cheap.  

Can you grow green beans and asparagus and squash hydroponic?

yes and yes and yes

For co2 enrichment methods go to

So I go here and it says: When organic matter decomposes due to bacterial action, carbon dioxide is generated. Plants grow lush and vigorously on a tropical jungle floor as a result of this natural decay of dead plant and animal matter. This can increase the available CO2 content from the normal 300 PPM amount to over 1,000 parts per million. This can also be done indoors, for little cost, but is odorous and unsanitary. For these and other reasons, it is not highly recommended. The sterile conditions of a well-set-up hydroponic grow room or greenhouse could be disrupted and adverse bacteria, bugs and disease induced with detrimental effects on your plants.

I have to say that composting does not stink if its done right. Also the bacteria that get introduced to the greenhouse are the helpful types that destroy harmful critters. I would say that this company wants to sell you high priced co2 generators that could be replaced by scraps from your kitchen and 2 plastic trashcans. Tom

We are now organizing the 2001's China International Agriculture & Vegetable Fair in Shouguang City,Shandong Province, China. China has the biggest population in the world, and over the 60% population's vegetable consumption comes from Shouguang. The biggest national vegetable collection and distribution center is located in Shouguang. Shouguang's vegetables are sold to over 200 large or medium-sized cities of provinces. They are also exported to over ten countries and regions such as: Hong Kong, Macao, Russia, Korea, and the Southeast Asian Countries. Nearly 100 varieties of vegetables from over 10 provinces and cities are sold in this market. So it has become a center for vegetable collection and distribution, price formation and information exchanges for the whole country. Shouguang's Vegetable Wholesale Market was appraised as one of the 10 top specialized wholesale markets on subsidiary agricultural products in the country and was also called the biggest one in China. In 1995 it was named as "The Native Place of Vegetable in China" by the state. At present, more than 500 kinds of famous and fine vegetable categories from more than 30 countries, such as America, Japan, and Holland, etc. are being planted and produced in Shouguang City. China (Shouguang) International Vegetable Fair will open in Shouguang City on 20th to 26th April, 2001.There will be over 8,000 domestic enterprises concerned with agriculture, agricultural machinery & equipment (planting, breeding, aquatic food, fruit trees, green houses, seed, ecotype protection facilities, ecotype fertilizer, chemical fertilizer, pesticide, botany, flower, irrigation works, etc.) will be attending the fair. The State Ministry of Agriculture, the State Ministry of Science & Technology, the State Ministry of Financial, and the Governors in charge of agriculture in local provinces, will in attendance with their delegations at the fair. It is estimated about over 600,000 visitors will attend the six days of the Fair. The Fair will not only show the great achievements of vegetable planting and high-technology used, but also supply the best opportunity to meet the specialized enterprises for trading or hi-tech exchanging on the field of agriculture. You are warmly welcome to participate or recommend the enterprises in your country to participate the Fair. We regard this as a "Hot Commercial Opportunity", and it will make the enterprises much more popular in China--the biggest market in the world.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Mr. James Lee

Tel:+86 10 67189644/67160307/67157031 Fax:+86 10 67157027 Website:

Want to buy a few million hydroponic gardens.

Hi folks, here are a few real good tips I would like to share with you. most common Problems

These are the most common problems people encounter growing hydroponically:

Yellowing bottom leaves/older growth

The Nitrogen story:

Nitrogen is a transferable element (this means the plant can move it around as needed). If a plant is not receiving enough Nitrogen from the roots then it will rob Nitrogen from the older growth. In Hydroponics, usually the pH is too high and has locked out the available Nitrogen. Always check the pH before increasing nutrient level.

Save the plant: Leach! Check the pH, and adjust if necessary to 5.8 - 6.3. Check and maintain nutrient level. You may foliar feed (spray) with a pinch of CaNO3 (Calcium Nitrate) in a Litre of pH balanced water for quick results.

Leaf tips curl up

This is usually a Magnesium deficiency caused by a too low pH level.

Save the plant: Leach, check and adjust the pH level. You also may foliar feed (spray) with a pinch of MgSO4 (Magnesium Sulphate) in a Litre of pH balanced water for quick results.

Leaf tips curl under / leaf tip burn (browning)

The Nutrient level is too high.

Save the plant: Leach and decrease the nutrient level.


Leaching should be done at every reservoir change and before countering any problem. This will rid the medium and root zone of toxic salt build up.

To leach, rinse the root zone with straight pH balanced water.

Use twice as much liquid as the hydroponic container would have held when empty.

I hope this info helps some one out there and thanks for all the info I have gotten from you all. Montana Mogy P.S. Ron I love the old bus.

Geez Ron!! From looking through your pics I must say, you are very ingenuities. Very impressive!! Just curious, are you making a living with your Hydroponic ventures??

Barely and only because I don't have a family to support. Also I work 12 hours a day every day including holidays. Can't afford to higher help yet. But my goal for the future is to open the largest home hydroponics grow store in the country in Deland Florida in a couple years. 

Dear Hydroponics enthusiasts,

I am a science writer, currently residing in Massachusetts. A few weeks ago, I e-mailed several United Nations refugee relief organizations, in the countries surrounding Afghanistan. I thought that, during the hard winter coming up, they might want to learn about possible ways to use hydroponics to help feed refugees. They responded to my e-mail today, and they are very, very interested.

They are anxious to hear more about websites or companies that focus on educational materials for hydroponics. Their return e-mail to me is appended to the bottom of this e-mail. I thought some of you might be interested in helping, and capable of doing so.

I don't know how you might wish to work things from a commercial standpoint, but it seems like this could be a terrific way to save some lives in Central Asia. They are interested in hearing about educational materials that would help them teach hydroponics. Here is the e-mail address of the UN's FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) office in Iran, followed by a website you may wish to peruse before contacting them, if you do decide to contact them. FAO-IRN@FIELD.FAO.ORG

In the e-mail I sent to the FAO, I very succinctly put forth the suggestion that hydroponics might be a way to help freezing, starving refugees make it through the winter, by helping them learn to grow some vegetables indoors.

I sincerely hope that you are able to come to some kind of arrangement with one another. Please only e-mail them if you have serious, constructive ideas. Also, please e-mail me if you have any questions whatsoever. Best, Ed Sugrue

>To: "'Mr. Edward Sugrue'" <EDSUGRUE@HOTMAIL.COM> >Subject: Message from FAO representation in Iran. Learning >Hydroponics >Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 15:46:00 -0800

>Dear Mr. Sugrue: >Your message of Dec 01 was forwarded to our representation in Iran >and we would like to welcome any information you may be able to > provide us with on low cost setup for hydroponic production. We will >do our share in preparing this material in Simple Farsi language to >be used both for Iran and Afghanistan for publicaion and possible >distribution. We strongly feel that these small initiatives can >sometime go a long way.

>We will also visit the sites which you have mentioned.

>Thank you for your assistance and Happy holidays. >Ali Y. Hakimi >Officer in Charge >FAO, Iran

Fellow Hydroponic Hobbyist's BEWARE!!! Please don't try using the tiny 5/16 Lava Rock as Grow media!! I thought it would be the perfect media,but now have found that I just about killed 3 of my banana pups. Apparently the stuff packs in so tight that it holds too much water (and doesn`t allow much airation). Roots started turning Black and rotting (and these are in a Gurgle setup). Also spoke with a fellow that says Lava is known for it's ability to hold bacteria. That is why it is used in pond filters. All this after spending hours trying to clean and sterilize the Damn things. I so badly want for nobody to make this mistake that I will sell them 50L bags for $22+ shipping (about $50 delivered) hope this doesn't get me kicked off message board but this is an issue that needs dealing with. If interested contact me through If you must try the Lava, use the 3/4-1 inch size (but beware) Mike

50L Bags of hydrotron is what I mean in my previous post ($50 is worst case w/shipping depending on where you live) Mike

With any hydroponic setup and when growing tomato like plants, what should the ppm be when you transplant the seedlings to your growrocks? 

600 - 700 ppm

Then as you go on thru the veg stage what should the ppm be?

700 - 1100 ppm

Lastly, what should it be during flower stages?

1100 - 1500 ppm

How well does citrus in a hydroponic system ? What are the optimum conditions ? Any advice or hint ? Maybe a book or website. I didnt find anything about it.
Thanks a lot.

I haven't tried citrus but get a load of this banana tree in my pool. I haven't figured out how I'm going to get it out next year if it gets an bigger.
Hydroponics don't do well with woody type plants like orange trees, rose bushes or other types of trees . Hydroponics is more for water loving plants like my banana tree.

Howdy Ron,

I have read and heard that every so often it is necessary to leach the system with fresh water. I know that soil and rockwool can retain salts and other stuff that can be toxic to the plants. Is this also true of your 11 plant system when using grow rocks?
Yes grow rocks can have a build up of fertilizing salts over time.
If so how often would you suggest doing this?
I would flush the system when you change the nutrient solution. Every few weeks. An easy way to do that is fill your tank up with clean water and let it water a few dozen times. Or if you have access to a drain then unhook the pump and run the hose from the garden to the drain. Then use a water hose and run clean water from the top of each plant cup. That will flush all the salts from the rocks and out though the system to the drain.
Right now my plants are nearly a month old and very healthy, about 4 inches tall. I initially was watering 6 times daily. Moved up to 8 times daily. I am now going to increase the frequency again to 12 times daily. When the plants get a little bigger I plan on one last jump to 24 on-off a day. The plants have been very healthy and their growth rate is admirable. Have you ever tried this type of gradual increase with an indoor system?
Yes that is exactly how you do it.
This is my first attempt and I feel fortunate that it has run so smoothly. I don't want to mess up. Will the change in watering cycle shock the plants or cause them to suffocate?
That is what I like about grow rocks so much is that they hold so much oxygen between watering. One of the reasons why  hydroponic growing  is so much faster is because you are force feeding the plants by watering them if they want it or not. As long as your pH and PPM is correct for the  plants age then you can't water to much. Most plants do need a dry out period so don't think by watering all the time will increase yields.
When I send my plant into flowering I was thinking of a conversion bulb, but I will loose 40 watts! Would you recommend that I just get a bigger HPS ballast at that time? I want the best fruit I can get and am wondering how much of a yield increase I can expect by going from a 400 MH to a 600 HPS or even from the 400 MH to a 1000 HPS.
Conversion bulbs are OK if you are on a budget but if you can afford it I would go with the 1000 HPS because theirs is no such thing as to much light when it comes to increased yield. Especially in the bud room.
Thanks for all the help you give us amateurs.
Later, Frank

Dear Hydroponic Growers could you help me start a garden somehow.
Start by reading every page on this web site and then get back to us. Ron

hi ron,
what is the best method to control or to remove the problem of damping off in a hydroponic system ?
im using sponge as a medium.
Oh Chin Singapore


Your site is the most informative hydroponic site I've seen. I plan to build a 20 bottle gallon system. Can I build it as an ebb and flow system, or should it be a top drip system? Could you give me the relative advantages of the one you prefer?

I would go with the ebb and flow if you have an intermediate timer so you can water correctly. And I would use the drip from the top if you use one of those cheep timers. The ebb and flow gardens work best when the water rises to the correct height and immediately drains back to the tank and then repeats every 20 or 30 minutes. You set how many minutes it takes to reach the height you want and you don't have to use an over flow pipe. Ron

Hi Ron I am interested in hydroponic fodder, I have started apilot plant small unit at home ,I have some questions about the system requirements . Any reliable reference please ?
Yours sincerely Mic Heja

Dear Hydroponics Experts, I need help for my 9th grade biology project. This project is planned to be on the effect of pH levels on the growth of hydroponic plants. I am a 9th grader at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia which is in Fairfax County. From most of my research so far I have been able to see what some of the effects may end up to be, but I still need a lot more information for my 9th grade bio-project to be a success. If you have any ideas or further information, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

About the CO2 trick .... read once that rabbit pooh gives out good level of CO2 too .... maybe have some rabbit under your growing frame. feed them with lettuce from your hydroponic system and they will give you good amount of pooh for CO2.

Can I have an hydroponic system completely outside using the 11 plant design. I do not know if I can put it straight light sun or I need any kind of shade.

Yes you can grow outside and it depends on the kind of plant you want to grow if it needs shading or not.

I want to now about hydroponic grass for beef cattle, where I can read about this (in spanish please) Thanks, Martin

I am going to be try to plant bulbs in a hydroponic solution. Do you think bulbs will grow hydroponically?


Does anyone know or have any idea about the hydroponics market. Like the market size, target market, the development and competition or the problem now exist.

Canada is a problem because their commercial hydroponic farmers are government subsidized against any and all loses they may incur. 

Greetings from Spain.

Where can I find free hydroponic system plans in internet ?

What about using halogen lamp as an artificial light source ?

Thanks in advance.

Wrong light spectrum from a halogen.

I'm tring to do a science Fair project for school and I'm having trouble find the right nutrient to put in the water for my hydroponic plant's environment. I want to use something that you found around a house. I told my teacher I was going to use lime juice but I don't know what effect lime juice would have on the plant. My teacher says I have to have something that say Lime helps plant grow. CAN ANYONE HELP ME OUT E-mail me at

If soil bound plants have the same needs as hydroponic plants...wouldn't straight water and miralce gro be sufficant to use in a small ebb and flow system, considering some of the solution would stay in the rockwool/grorocks after "flooding"?

p.s I am talking house plants, not organic.

Totally different ways of growing. With dirt you have a buffer between the plant and the fertilizer. A different chemical reaction with hydro than with dirt. That's why it's takes longer to kill a plant in dirt than hydro. With hydroponics you don't have that buffer so you see results immediately, good and bad.

You can use miracle-gro if you add what's missing. Calcium Nitrate and Magnesium Sulfate. 

yea i built the 11 plant hydroponic system what do i put in the containers i heard you have to put in rockwool or perlite and vermiculite but i dont know what they are?

Then you probably won't know what grow rocks are. What I recommend you use.  

i have two questions, but first i have been raising plants using hydroponics (built all my own beds) for ten years or longer. everything was perfect. then i moved. now i have built two new gardens. and lot of alga formed (a new problem for me but i did build these beds a lot different then my first ones) so i tore them apart and cleaned everything with clorax, painted the outside of the beds black to eliminate the light to the water storage. now one bed works beautifully, one kills everything i plant. i am presently tearing the bad bed apart again and flushing everything with clean water. is this the thing to do?


 can there be clorax residue remaining causing the damage?


 second while dismantling the bed i noticed that the pea gravel is staying damp between feeding, therefore the roots are also remains damp (not wet, just damp) is this a problem? if so why only one bed? 

Damp should be OK but check your draining for that bed. Flow control valves on every bed can equalize the levels to each bed. Then make sure all the beds drain completely before watering again.

i pump water twice a day (have done this schedule for years) for about 1 hour at a time. there are overflow drains in the top beds so excess water drains back into holding tank. there are also drains in the upper bed that drain all the water off the roots, after pump shuts down, in about 1/2 hour. anybody have any ideas? now back to work cleaning the bad bed until i hear from, hopefully, all or some of you. thanks how does one join this hydroponic club? wally i believe you will get my address but if not try (life isn't east for a boy named ruth so i go by wally)

this is wally again, forgot a couple of important facts that should have been included in my question. each of my gardens have their own pump and their own water/nutrient holding tanks (50 gallons) the only thing common is the timer that turns them both on and an hour later turns them both off. thanks again---wally at

Well then forget what I said up their and switch one garden nutrient tank that is doing good and use that one for your problem bed. If the same problem continues then that bed is possessed so call an exorcist.  

Have you ever tried mixing the miracle grow recipe with a commercial hydroponic nutrient? Maybe even alternating between the two when topping off. Never seen it discussed but seems to me this would save money while insuring the necessary nutrients are supplied. I have just started mixing half & half and am wondering if this is going to cause some kind of trouble later.

I wish I knew. Let us know if it works.

Can I make my own hydroponic nutrient solution?

Yes if you are a chemist.

Ron, I have just discovered your site, and I am finding it very useful, I am a bit of a back yard inventor and I have an idea for building a hydroponic setup using styro-foam can you tell me if there is any problem with this material being used in hydroponics, If not I would like to build a proto type and try it out, Thanks and keep up the good work, Thanks Chris

Yes you can use Styrofoam packing peanuts also known as ghost turds or just about any inert porous material that can hold oxygen. All the medium is to hold up the plant. The growing comes from the nutrient solution and not the medium. Send us a picture if you are successful. 

Re: Hot Peppers

You must visit

This site has info on how to build your own hydroponic garden just for hot peppers.


Does anyone know if the hydroponic garden in Naples, New York, called "The Living Wall" still exists? Robert A. Rowe

I am preparing to build a small indoor hydroponic garden.

I'm sure as I progress in this project I will have many questions, but 3 come to mind initially

First a little detail. I am planning this garden as a prototype for a future "off grid" garden. I will have electrical generating capability, but will have to be "careful" of electrical usage.

I want to be able to grow enough tomatoes for personal use 12 months out of the year. So the garden will be small, and needs to be energy efficient.

Q1. I have read that the primary growing mediums are various products that resemble small pebbles. How does the pumped nutrients rise up to the level of the small plants growing on top of the stomas (or do you pump the growing chamber so full of nutrients that the liquid reaches the top of the growing medium ?

Yes the water needs to rise high enough to wet the roots of the plants.

Q2. In order to minimize light requirements, is it appropriate to grow "arctic" varieties of tomatoes, or are they heavily compromised as to flavor and texture.

Hard to say. Some verities do taste better than others.

Q3. Since I want to minimize the use of electricity what would be the minimum wattage for an HPS (Or is there something better) light to bring 1 good tomato plant to good production during the winter?

I noticed Home Depot sells a 175 Watt HPS for $45.00. That would be my minimum for one tomato plant.

Thank you in advance for your time in helping out a beginner.

Regards, George Clay 1)


i built a 11 container garden and i am using lecca (round redish-brown rock) for a medium the question i have is how often do i water because i have excellent drainage and no fear of nutrient build up because i am not using rockwell cubes on this site it said every 20 to 30 minutes but my hydroponic salesman says start out at 3 times per day but that does not seem enough for i just switched from deep water where the roots were constantly submerged can anyone help i am very confused....jmycap

The advantage of Hydroponics is that you are forced feeding the plants if they like it or not. That's why with Hydroponics you can grow faster than with dirt. As long as you've got good and fast drainage then you can water every 30 minutes or so.

Dear Ron: Hydroponicsonline. is a fabulous service! Thank you, it's full of information and best of all the pictures are self explanatory. Do you have anything on hydroponic forage? I intend to build a hydroponic grass producing unit, and I want to know which is better, a mechanical (rotating) unit or a hydraulic one (with pump, hoses and sprayers. Congratulations again. By the way, what is your surname? Enrique Miralles Santa Cruz, BOLIVIA e-mail address:


I'm a student and I am conducting an experiment. I was wondering; How do hydroponics work? How do you grow a hydroponic plant?

A submersible pump comes on and pumps nutrient enriched water to plant roots that are grown in a number of inert materials as expanded clay aggregate (grow rocks), spun volcanic rock (rockwool), perlite, pores gravel, lava rock, or as with some hydroponic systems, no medium at all.   

Ron or anyone else - Since I had so many tomatoes that germinated a while back, I put one tomato to float in a small container of hydroponic nutrient solution with an air stone. It grew like crazy, and I transferred it into a 5 gallon bucket, again floating in solution with two air stones, and it quickly grew 7 immature tomatoes. I woke up one morning and all the leaves on the plant were completely wilted. It pretty much died that day. The plant (roots) have never touched soil, so it can't be a soil borne disease. Only thing I can think of is that the bucket sits on my cement patio, and the solution became too hot. Any ideas on what went wrong? I have two other aqaufarm type drip systems I built that are doing great, and another tomato floating that's small but doing great so far. Thanks, Tim

Sounds like a bad case of damping off. One of the reasons for damping off is to much watering and I would say your system qualifies.  

I would like to sell two 15X60 hydroponic greenhouses with all heaters fans piping everything. Call me Capt. Bill 252 321 3991 or cell 252 341 9312 Greenville n,c,or email Thanx

Hey Ron, I started the 11 plant garden and am using a commercial hydroponic fertilizer. I check and correct the ph daily. My timer is 15 min on and 15 off. Problem is the leaves on the plants are turning brown on the edges and dieing off. the plants keep growing and are about 2 feet tall and are blooming. What could be causing this dieing off

Cliff Lasiter

Alamogordo, New Mexico

I am looking for both tomato and pepper hydroponic nutrient solution compositions (in ppm). As exemplified in a Howard Resh text, Hydroponic Food Production, the formulation for lettuce was:

Ca: 200ppm NH4: 25 ppm S04: 113ppm Cu: 0.1ppm Mg: 40 ppm NH3: 165ppm Fe: 5 ppm Zn: 0.1ppm K : 210ppm P04: 50ppm Mn: 0.5ppm B: 0.5ppm Mo: 0.05 ppm Hence, for bell peppers and tomatoes, I am seeking the same types of profiles.
Would appreciate your assistance,
MO at MO38188@AOL.COM

Here is what's in the book. Page 1 (40 KB)  /  Page 2 (40 KB)

Hi Ron, About a week ago I built a 11 plant garden and when everything was going well. Until a couple days ago. I bought a timer from Wal-mart that is set up to water for 15 min on and 45 min off it was only $9. Every hour. Is that too much water for small plant? 

No That sounds just right for small plants.

Also I can not find a place that sells hydroponic nutrients. Does Wal-mart sell it or maybe  I just can not find it?

No they don't. You can find hydroponics nutrient solution on the web. Use your favorite search engine to find some.  

I tested the ph today and it was above 7. Is this the reason the leaves are a little brown or is it too much water?

Yes to high of pH.

 I have been using a nutrient that is made for soil because I can not find another one. Is that the reason why they are browning? 

Yes you are cooking them.

The ph was fine when I transplanted them to the hydroponic system, and five days later it was over 7. How often do you have to adjust the ph? 

As often as necessary.

and what changes the ph so fast? 

From using non-hydropnic nutrient solution.

I appreciate all the help you have given me, the site is very interesting. Thanks.

Hello Ron, Thank you to post hydroponic nutrient solution compositions on date 19 feb 2000. Would you check page1 and page 2 ..are they the same ? Would you please re-post page2 ? Bangkok

Sorry. Good harvest this month. Page 2 (40 KB)

You told me to mix my used rockwool in the compost pile. COMPOST? Do you actually grow anything in the ground anymore? Does the rockwool make your compost a nice consistency, how does it help composting.
New2Hydro Holly

Just consistency and oxygenation.
Just about all the plants I have planted in my yard came from my hydroponic systems when they got to large. That's why I love it here in Florida because you can grow plants all year round.

what is TDS and what does it mean please help

The concentration of nutrients in water is measured on a numerical scale of parts per million (PPM). This number basically tells you how much fertilizer is dissolved in your water. By closely monitoring this concentration you can maintain the best level of nutrients to meet your crop's requirements. You will need a TDS (total dissolved solids) meter that measures PPM. You also use the this meter to gauge when it's time to fill your hydroponic system with a fresh mix. Generally, young plants prefer concentrations around 400 to 600 PPM, while mid-growth would be around 700 to 1000, and established or fast-growing plants need levels around 1100 to 1500.

why do the bottles you grow in have to be painted white, will the light from a HID lamp hurt the roots if the bottle is not painted please take the time to fill me in on this You are the only person I trust getting information from that wont put my garden at risk please respond and keep up the excellent work. CLUELESS

The bottles are painted to help cut down on the algae buildup caused by the light hitting the water in your garden.
A lot of people are concerned about the algae in hydroponic gardens. Even though it's not pretty, algae is your friend. You can't grow with hydroponics and not experience the green slime.
Algae is a sign of healthy water and robust life; not a sign of contamination or problems and only becomes a problem when it grows so thick as to cut off oxygen to the plant beneath. If that happens just rinse with tap water to remove

Dear Ron, Great site! But I've got a problem. I am trying to do a hydroponic garden on a very limited budget. Everything about hydroponics seems to be economical except lighting. The price of lighting is way, way, way out of my budget. Do you have any suggestions on cheap lighting? What about fluorescent lights? I have lots of 4 foot fixtures for free, I would only have to buy bulbs. What about the outside lights that come on at dark (street lights). I think they are HID. Any help would be great.

If they are Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium or Low Pressure Sodium at any wattage would be more economical than fluorescents. I found 3 - 400 watt MH at my local flea market  for 30 bucks apiece that came out of a factory. I had to buy new bulbs but I saved a lot of money. They are out their.

what is the size of the reservoir and where can I get one. For the 11 Plant Hydroponic Garden.

11 gallons and at any Wall-Marts, K-Marts, est.

dear ron,

wonder if you can help me out with this hydroponic problem.

you see, i tried my hand on pokchoy (oriental brassica) and the result was below expectation.

first, the stalk is smaller than organically grown second, the pokchoy in hydroponics wilt faster than expected after harvest.

however, the leaf size is ok, very green and no holes. no leaf miner. the root length is nice. long enough with lots of rootlets along the side.

could my problem originated from sunlight. i place my hydroponic system in a east-west orientation with opaque plastic on top of it to prevent rain water getting into the system.

or could it be temperature. my temperature ranges from 24C to 32C (yes, tropical Philippines I am from)

regarding the water stress, is it normal with hydroponic plants ? is water stress the main reason why after harvest, it wilts faster than expected ?


Stanley Ho

I am looking for a complete hydroponic system for growing fodder for livestock consumption. Does anyone know where I can find such a system?

Please anyone: I need help in setting up a system to grow hydroponic strawberries. I have a hybrid ebb and flow gully setup--6 rain gutters each 5'long.Can I utilize this system for strawberries? Larry Middleton, WI

Hey Ron, I'm planning on building you're 11 plant system. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how it works. I'm aware that the pump pumps the water and nutrient sol. into the pvc system and fills the bottles to the height of the runoff, at which point that's as high as the water goes. Then from what I've heard, I'm pretty sure it drains after it fills the bottles. This should happen on a 30 min. schedule, (if possible 20) My questions (if you have the time to answer please) are the following? 1. Where does the water go when the bottles drain (I know back in the reservoir), but how? I would maybe guess the runoff but it doesn't look like it work unless it siphoned the water out the system into the tank and the hole in the top is supposed to prevent siphoning.

It drains back through the pump when it shuts off. The overflow is only to keep the water from rising to high in the bottles. 

 2. What are some good hydroponic solutions for growing (particurly for the headers interest, if u get my drift)? Should I change solutions as the plant enters different life stages? How often should I change solutions (I read 2 weeks somewhere, but not sure)? 

Formula One from  is the best nutrient solution I have used because you use it through the hole life of your plants. Change your solution if you detect a problem with your plants.

3. Are HPS or MH lighting too hot for an inclosed space (I'm planning on ventilating very well with 4 10" fans or so bringing fresh air in)?

You have to vent the hot air out of your room from the lights some how. Blowing hot air around your room won't do anything.

If they are too hot, will 3 2-bulb cool-white 4' fluorescents fixtures work? One hanging directly above, and the two others on each side at 45 degree angles towards the plants?)

No fluorescents are useless unless used for seedlings.

 4. If I did use HPS or MH what watt would you suggest, should I use one or 2 bulbs?

One of each is best.

I love your site, you have some really good ideas, now I know what to get mom for x-mas next year :) She loves plants, especially ferns. Thanx

ron I am a 7th grader considering doing a hydroponics garden for a science fair project? Do you think this will be to difficult. We feel we could build the 11 plant garden-but we're unclear on what else we need to get started. Should I start the seeds in dirt 1st or buy plants already growing. I want to compare plants growing hydroponic to growing in soil. Thanks Matt

I would buy plants that will fit in the solo cups and wash the dirt off . Buy a few more to keep in dirt to compare with. If you can get the solution right then it won't take long to see the difference.

help I have complete plant collapse and the roots are brown and rotten whats happening?

TQ for your dedications, it teach me a lot and to understand more about hydroponic. TQ again.

I'm looking for ornamental hydroponic plants - apparently it is common in Europe and would like to find a vendor in the US, preferably in the Miami area...

How do you feel about using reverse osmosis to purify water. I have found a company which sells hydroponic reverse osmosis systems for $195.00 Canadian / $145.00 US. They produce 6 - 8 gallons of water a day.I want to build a small set up for about 4-6 tomato plants (is this considered a small set up?). Will the amount of water this reverse osmosis system produces be enough to keep up to my watering needs? Thanks for your help

what are the definitions of hydroponic?

I love hydroponic plants, they're my friends. :)

how often do you feed plants in a hydroponic long should the pump be on and off in a flood and drain system.

i am doing a major assignment at school and i am going to make a hydroponic garden and a soil garden and see which will grow faster and healthier, i know how to make the garden but i dont what chemicals you need and when to put them in, can you help me?

i am doing a major assignment at school and i am going to make a hydroponic garden and a soil garden and see which will grow faster and healthier, i know how to make the garden but i dont what chemicals you need and when to put them in, can you help me?

whatis the defination of hydroponic

Can I cultivate honeydew melon by hydroponic system.I have lot of land and growing honydew melon. So kindly advice me as above system. Thanking you Sir Yours sincerly Moammed Nabi Khan S-1/181 Saudabad Malir Karachi-75080 Sind Pakistan

Does anyone know of any hydroponic systems suitable for growing herbs and a range of vegetables in a window box type structure? (I live in an apartment which only has a small balcony.) The system would need to be suitable for 'outside use' as it would be exposed to the elements. Thanks, Jim

If your leaves are drooping perhaps you solution has a Na+(salt) build up. An increase in Na+ causes an increase in osmolarity of your hydroponic solution; thus the turgor pressure in plant cells decreases because H20 diffuses out of the cells and into the hypertonic solution solution. Your plant is now dehydrated. IN OTHER WORDS...Add more water to your solution. Also replentish your resevoir more often because plants make salts as they grow. Remember to record the results of your new concentrations.

I love your site Ron but, excuse me for being a tech-nerd needing the "reason behind the science". You stated that "every time you add water to your system, you need to add the appropriate amount of nutrients". This is difficult for me, and obviously others, to understand. Remembering back to my high school science class, if I had 1000 PPM of nutrients in a solution and somehow I magically made half of that solution evaporate instantaneously, I would then have 2000 PPM in my solution. Thus, by adding water with more nutrients, I have effectively brought the PPM ratio up to 1500 PPM when the container is full again (150% of the original ratio). Doesn't this also hold true with hydroponic solutions? Or do the nutrients also evaporate?

Hi Ron, Thanks for a wonderful site. I got a lot of really useful, relevant info from it. I'm setting up a 20 plant veggie experiment in 2 liter soda bottles in part of a 9' X 12' greenhouse. The greenhouse has mist nozzles and 2 exhaust fans that are thermostatically controlled to keep the temp around 85 deg. I'm in Northern CA and it does get hot here. I have a question about a plant food that we've been using here at home for house plants called Eleanor's VF-11. It's a concentrate that's used for both foliar and root feeding. It dilutes out to 1 oz./gal. Recently, I've recently heard several radio ads for using it for hydroponics. The analysis on the bottle of concentrate says: N 0.15%, Available Phosphoric acid,0.85%, K2O 0.55%. I was wondering if you have ever used it, heard about it or know anything about it's value as a hydroponic nutrient for veggies. I care to experiment with tomatoes, bibb lettuce, cucumbers, chives, eggplant, etc. but I do want to have some success for starters. I plan to get a TDS meter and a ph meter and run my pump for 5 min every 20 min. I'm also planning on using Gro-Rocks for the medium. Any thoughts, comments, or ideas from you would be greatly appreciated. I am a semi retired Electromechanical Engineer with a well equipped machine shop and electronic room so making controls, timers, gadgetry for this project is a snap. In a few days I'll have pics/info available for easily attaching/removing the bottles. I worked out a method that looks great now, but I need to be sure about it after I get up and running. Thanks again, Marvin PS I spoke with Eleanor today and she refered me to her website There's a testimonial letter on it from a guy she says is a real expert in hydroponic culture who's been using VF-11 for years. I've been unable to reach him today, but I'll keep trying. He's in Vallejo, CA, not too far from me. I will take a ride up to see him after I speak with him by phone. I'll keep you posted.

I am currently planning to build a hydroponic system, if anyone is interested email me at

I have set up a floating hydroponic garden for a science project, but only one seed has germinated in 10 days, and it is growing slower than the same plants in soil. WHY ARE MY SEEDS NOt GeRMinating???? This is a big problem... Should I take some plants out of the soil setup and transplant them into the rockwool cubes that I used to germinate the seeds? PLease HELp!

I am trying to come up with a catchy name for my hydroponic-grown plant essential oils. I like "waterborn", but it has been taken by a perfume company....any ideas?

what is the simplest hydroponic system?

I am impressed with your web-page and knowledge of hydroponics. I am just a beginner and am learning a great deal from hydroponics online. My e-mail address is I am wondering whether I can still purchase a pump and other hydroponic hardware thru your website??? Please advise... thanks. I am very interested in aeroponics too... Sincerely, Steve

Yes. Who said you couldn't.

Can anyone recommend a good fertilizer mix for hydroponic vegetables (namely corn)?

Thank you, Robin Harkey

TO: Robin Harkey Hey Robin. I was asking some questions about hydroponic corn a couple of weeks ago. I think we may be the only two wanting to try it. I have been to busy to look for universitys that deal with agraculture and/or hydroponics. I might just do that tonight. If you would like to compare notes drop me a line.

i dont know what you are trying to clone but the way i clone plants uses some dixie cups and some vermiculite. fill the cups with vermiculite and stick in a plant cutting. watter until damp but not WET and keep damp for about a week untill root nodes form then transplant into soil or hydroponic medium. (it helps to keep the vermiculite warm) ~Ryan

Can I use well water to feed my hydroponic garden?? Or do i need a water softner. I also notice that I have slow plant growth could this be from me using well water???

where in the world could i find a ph meter for hydro solution i live in gainesville florida

can i buy a hydroponic multimeter that reads ph and the nuitrient (cf).

I am planning a hydroponic garden, 4 meters x 8 meters, and am planning to cover it with shade cloth. I am living in Thailand, where it is very sunny, and can be very hot in the afternoon. I am not sure what color shade cloth I should use. We can buy both Black and green. second question is that I am planning to plant a variety of veggies and herbs, namely Tomatoes, Peppers, Spinach, lettuce, Chinese cabbage , and some beans. I do not want to have two separate nutrient systems, and would like to know the best nutrient for all plants mentioned.


do you know of any hydroponic commercial grower or aeroponic commercial grower in the NEW ENGLAND area or CALIFORNIA that i can visit ?

sixto ututin, south africa

No But maybe some other members out their might.


my hydroponic veggies wilt fast after harvest. some say its water stress ... hydroponic veggies are so spoiled and pampered that when you harvest them, the condition they are use to is not present anymore, that is why they wilt fast.
according to one, something to do with cuticles in their leaves. she said, i have to let the cuticles grow so that it can stay or look fresh even after harvest.
now my question is, do you have same experience ?

Here in Florida everything spoils quick. I got people waiting in line for my tomatoes so I don't keep them long enough for them to spoil. I chop up peppers and freeze them an I dehydrate herbs and spices. My compost pile gets the rest.

This is my first year teaching agriculture and I am trying to get some hydroponics going. My greenhouse is set up this way: I have feeder tubes for taking up the fertilizer directly into the water flow; I have lines that run across the greenhouse the spray spickets coming out of the main lines; I have a furnace and fans running on both ends. My questions are as follows: Can I grow tomatoes and watermelons on the same watering line with the same fertilizer and watering times? For my fertilizer I mixed Grow More (hydroponic) 4-18-38 (NPK) (8 ounces), 4 ounces of calcium nitrate, and 4 ounces of magnesium sulfate in 100 gallons. This was the recommendation on the sack for seediness Does it sound right? 

Yes that sounds right for a standard commercial hydroponic mix and can be used for a variety of vegetables.    

The solution is being sprayed on through the spickets. How often should I leave these on and how often?

You didn't say if your water returns to a reusable reservoir but from your description I don't think so. So watering cycles are tricky with a non retrievable system. You want to try and water only what the plants consumes so all your nutrient solution doesn't run out the bottom to wherever. Disney World does this by weighing 1 plant in each row measuring how much water the plant consumes thus letting the system water all the plants in that row the same.
I would which your garden to a reusable system if possible unless you have deep pockets.    

 I am transplanting them from a soil mix into perlite for the hydroponic substrate. How big do the plants need to be before transplanting?

Let them get well rooted before washing the dirt off and they will have a better chance for survival. 

 We tried to do some in class but I believe the watermelons damped off (looked like they had been pinched at the medium level) and the tomatoes leaves wilted, turned a brown color, and died. Any suggestions would be helpful.
My name is Mike T Tesnohlidek and I teach ag. science in Nyssa, Oregon. Thanks

I have seen people instead in Miracle Grow and Dyna Gro products time and time again. Growing either in a soilliess mix or hydroponically requires a very well researched fertilizer solution that is proper for that environment. Dyna Gro levels of mineral makeup are off balanced. Europonic Nutrients or Ionic seem to be the elite outstanding products. Also Bcuzz stimulators has popped up in a lot of growing magazines. Keep you eyes out for more. Tell me what yal think!

- Educated Hydroponic Grower -

my name is Casanova and I'm asking who can make my own hydroponic system by buying the products at a hardware store. can you help me . I need to know what are the supplies I need. thank you.

Jeez Ron, I've used transplanted nursery plants from Home Depot in my garden. The plants are just now recovering from the transplanting shock and are now setting blossoms. The plants are only about 1/4 inch in diameter main stem diameter, and about 2-3 inches tall. I don't think they are strong enough to support fruit yet.

Am I just being to used to planting things in the ground, or is this a phenome thing that I've never experienced.?

What is your experience in seemingly premature blossoming?

I have always had to tie up my hydroponic tomatoes and other heavy fruit plants so I wouldn't worry how big or the age of  the plant as long as it produces healthy fruit.

Can you please explain why salt is necessary in hydroponic nutrients, or is it just a byproduct?

I know it has to be flushed from your medium and system periodically so I would say it's a byproduct but I don't know what  I'm talking about.

What exactly is Hydroponic???

Growing plants without soil.


hi there what is your source of P ?

you see, i tried using Monopotassium Phosphate as my P source and it turn out to be a failure. 3 weeks into that chemical and it seems my roots ain't growing the way it should

when i change to Peter's Hydrosol, just in 12 hours, new root hair starts to pop out.

wonder if you have answer to this mystery



I am using a :
5-11-26 Hydroponic Water Soluble Fertilizer                    - 5 ounces
Calcium Nitrate                                                                 - 4 ounces
Magnesium Sulfate                                                            - 2 ounces

I mix all three in a blender with enough water to liquefy it.
Then I mix that to my reservoir and use my  meter to adjust to the correct ppm and pH. 


I was just informed by someone who knows that I shouldn't mix the Calcium Nitrite with the hydro mix because of conflicting chemicals. 
So I will add the Calcium Nitrite separately to my reservoir. 
I should have known it was left out of the hydro mix for a reason.  

Nurse Duckett

on Peter's Hydrosol

give me your email address and i will send you my own little computer program on what other mix to use just to make my hydroponic solution

yes, peters hydrosol is not enough to make your plant grow well, need to put in more stuff in it


Is hydroponics more environmentally friendly than organic gardening? What are the benefits?

You can't get any more environmentally friendly than hydroponic growing because the nutrient water in hydro systems are retrievable and don't run off into the ground, season after season. Even organic gardening in dirt creates a problem over time.
Not even 20 miles from me here in Central Florida the state had to buy out the vegetable muck farms north of Lake Apopka. Because of decades of fertilizer runoff into the lake it virtually killed one of the largest lakes in Florida.  Birds are dieing and the alligators are even born deformed.
Their is a restoration project going on to try and save it.
Hydroponics is the future and will be the only way to grow as more dirt farms disappear. 

I am new to hydroponic gardening and I have small children. Are any of the materials harmful to children? Do I need to be careful about keeping them away from my garden (other than for the obvious reason of avoiding damage to my plants!!)?

Some houseplants are harmful to kids and animals but I don't know which ones. 

Ron, What is the best way to root tomato cuttings? Will the tomatoes not develop correctly if the cuttings have flowers on them. Im not growing indoors so i can't really adjust the light cycle.

Also, do you have a favorite homemade hydroponic design that I could try building? I'd like to try one that I could keep inside or out in case I decide to grow indoors. I built a decent water culture system as well as a scrappy ebb and flow.

Finally, I'm saving up for a MH light and mover. Where could I get a good deal? Thanks!

Trent San Clemente, CA

With vermiculite. Flowers don't matter. If they fall off they will grow more. You live in California the home of Indoor Grow Stores, You should have no trouble ordering a light close to home for shipping cost consideration.

how do i care for my hydrangia bushes ?

I don't do plants, I do hydroponic gardens.

what is the best hydroponic method to grow lettuce?


Is it good to cultivate Lettuce in Aeroponic or Hydroponic system , which is the best? Ibrahim Ali


Cam anyone recomend a type of tomato for hydroponic growing? Also, does anyone know what type of pepper is used in a chili rejeno? Thanks Mike

I'm looking for a company to assist our family farms in a complete hydroponics conversion. Not just an equipment supplier, but a company that can plan, build, install, train, etc. The whole nine yards.

Any suggestions?

There is a hydroponic company in Hawaii that will be partners with you and give you all the money and help you need. But they won't even talk to you if you don't have at least a 5 acre greenhouse. 
But I can't remember their name. They use to be here in Florida but moved to Hawaii because of the perfect greenhouse growing conditions. 

Differences between planting hydro and ground.

On June 1, I transferred plants bought from Home Depot into my 16 bottle system. I had a cucumber left over, so I put it into the ground. The plant in the ground is about 3 times the size of the ones in the hydro system. The difference is, that the hydro plants have several fruit and the one in the ground has only 1 fruit. The hydro plant roots are just now peeking out of the holes in the cups, so obviously, the hydro roots are smaller resulting in smaller plants and leaf structure.

The question? Is this normal?

The reason hydro plants do not need as much roots as with dirt is because you are force feeding the plant every 30 minutes. With dirt plants the roots need to go searching for food and water in the ground to grow. Thus all the energy goes into root production instead of fruit production as with hydroponic plants. 

I just finished another system 49 cups, using 1 liter water bottles and Dixie 16 oz. cups. I have a hell of a time finding 2 liter soda bottles, but the caps are the same and I can change later to 2 liter bottles when I collect them. I planted white corn from seed into most of the cups and transferred the plants from my first system to the new one. It looks pretty crowded, but if the thought about smaller plants is true, I should be OK. I'll try to get pictures off to Ron today. The system is 50 in. X 50 in. and uses a 20 gal. nutrient solution on a 30 min. timer. I plan to use it for corn, peas, and other crops that grow up, not out.

Yesterday, I bought a storage box at K-Mart that's 24"X36"X8" deep. I can make 9 4" dia. holes in the lid about 7-1/2 in. apart, and use 4 sprinklers inside the box which will be the tank. It's a 19 gal capacity and I figure that I can use a 10 gal. nutrient batch as the spray will be contained in the box itself. I will send Ron pictures as the project is finished. I experimented with several spray heads to find something that would work using a low pressure pump, and finally had to modify a off the shelf head to work. I can adjust the spray to any shape I want using a Rio 600 pump. I have a design in mind that I can connect 5 of these trays together and have 1 tank feeding all 5. The system will be 10 ft. long and 3 feet wide.

Finally, I have been using the 1 tsp. Miracle grow, 1/4 tsp. Calcium Nitrate, Epson salts/gallon formula. My first fruit I grew got blossom end rot. This indicates a lack of Calcium according to information I've found on the web. Ron, would you suggest that I increase the amount of Calcium nitrate in the solution?


Yes you should double the Calcium Nitrate and Epson salts for mature plants. The 1/4 teaspoon is for seedlings and young plants.

does the plant grow more fast while using the hydroponic method

Amigo Ron:
I just started with my 25, two-liter-bottle garden and I had a hell of a time trying to come up with the right amount of fertilizer and so on. My system works with a sumergable pump (2100 lt/hr) and the reservoir has an 80 lt capacity and I'm using triple 14 as fertilizer and 80 cc of folial fertilizer, too. The Ph level was too high and I used hydrogen peroxide (9% v) to make it go down to about 6.8.
What I would like to know, besides the rigth proportions of fertilizer, is what products can I use to rise or lower the Ph without ruinnig the plants and ,of course, the fertilizer mixture? Can I use the same products people use to adjust the Ph in swimming pools? If so, I will appreciate a list of what i can and cannot used and the amounts in grams, please.
Thank you and best regards
Julian Pena D Venezuela

Hey Ron, Quick Question. I am considering opening a hydroponic retail store in a large city. The closest place to buy anything hydro is at least an hour away. Do hydropnic dealers make a decent living? And can you direct me to some wholesalers that can get me started? Thanks.

I would like to start out real basic with a passive wick system. Any good literature on setting this system up? Pros/cons, wick thickness/# wicks for 1/2 gallon containers with 6" rockwool slabs? etc. Some say this is great beginner system while others say it keeps the medium too wet etc.

Hello Ron -- do you have a "minature greenhouse" plan for our perusal?? The one you built for your hydroponic systems is perfect for our needs since we have limited space and at the sametime, want a roof for our system. There are a couple of minature greenhouse snapshots in your picture index, using pvc pipes (for frame) and clear fibergalss/plastic (for roof). It would be greatly appreciated if you share the plan with us. Thanks, Wayne

Hi Ron, I am a novice at this and my results are varied. I'm using a commercial two step nutrient solution in a drip system with perlite and metal halide lights My tomato plants do well until they start to flower, and then the leaves start to turn yellow and curl up, sometimes with brown spots. I thought they were getting too much water so cut back to 2x a day, but from what I read, most other hydroponic gardens get watered much more often. Drainage does not seem to be a problem, but my roots did look somewhat brown last time I pulled a plant...Any suggestions?

looking at buying a Cropking 4 bay hydroponic system would like to know if anyone knows anything about Cropking and there systems please E-mail me at thanks

Question: I would like to get started on a beginner's scale with hydroponics in our hobby greenhouse that is 10 by 48. Do you have any suggestions where I could get a setup that would get me started? Mike S

i need to know how to/when to feed my homemade hydroponic system

Hi I have started a new hobbie with hydroponic gardening for the elderly folks I take care of and was wondering if anyone could donate some books or magazines on the subject? Would be much appreciated. Thankyou Sincerly Bonne

Would fish be able to grow in hydroponics solution? i have an idea for a very cool garden if you can lmk i am very curious.

No but some hydroponic plants will grow in fish water.

if mixing a two part hydroponic solutions together tends to precipitate some compounds, making them unavailable to the plants, would it be possible to feed the plant with solution "A" for five (5) minutes, followed by five minutes break, then finally five minutes of solution "B" Jerry Ching

I doubt it.

I'm having trouble finding calcium choride, is there any chemical than can replace calcium chloride in a nutrient solution? Or do you have any suggestions on where to find it. None of the places around here sell it or hydroponic nutrient solution.

I order everything I need on the internet. Me and the UPS driver is on a first name bases.

bulletV-J Growers Supply 800 222-4503

Could someone give me some basic info about hydroponic gardening in general. I am doing a science project and I need some help to get an "A"

How do you remove plants that are root bound from an NFT hydroponic system without damage to the plants that are left?

On the 11 plant hydroponic system can you please tell me what kind of pump is in the design. I am setting the system for a science fair project. Thank you for your help!!!!! -christa

Ron, you have a very informative sight on practical applications for building a inexpensive hydroponic system, keep up the good work. My question is what other house plants can be grown in a manner similar to the spider plant and ivy. Any info that you can share I would truly appreciate.

Thanks, JC

absolutely. houseplants grow so well that plants like the aloe-vera plant fall out off the cups because they grow so much.

i want to setup a hydroponic system. i looked at the 11 plant design. what do i do after i build this? how do i start it up? seeds? nutrients? any help for this aspiring farmer would be appreciated.

you need to read previous Q & A pages to find out. 

hi, i'm doing a research project for school, and i am trying to find out how varying the amount of nitrogen or level of pH can effect hydroponic tomatoes. any suggestions? thanks, crystal

hi my nane is james i'm in the 10th grade could you please tell me how to build the watch it grow hydroponic system

Kitty litter as hydroponic grow media?

I have been reading on various pond sites that some people use non odorous and non clumping kitty litter as media in slotted pots to grow various water plants. The argument is that the cheap stuff is just plain clay. There seems to be some agreement that the clay may bind phosphorous and thus limit undesirable algae growth. They also recommend adding potassium so that the plants may better utilize the phosphorus directly (potassium as a cofactor). What are your thoughts on these topics?

You have sparked my curiosity and I will pick up a bag and give it a try and post the results.

Ron. I am an experienced (Canadian) grower of hydroponic tomatoes. I am interested in locating a supplier for panda film grow tubes (1000 ft /roll works great for me, as it does about one house at a time). Any suggestions for suppliers? (by the way it has been almost -30c for the last week or two. Any chance someone wants to swap heating bills?

Are these tube lights your are referring to fusion lights. I am very interested in finding a supplier for fusion lights.

is hydroponics suitable for the tropics? i'm an indonesian

The largest hydroponic tomato grower moved from Florida to Hawaii because of the weather so I don't see why not. And Carol from Hawaii does OK.

How do I keep my hydroponic tomatoes healthy after I plant them?

Feed them the correct nutrients, Keep them at the correct temperature, adjust the pH every day, protect them from predators and play heavy metal music at the highest volume you can turn your stereo to. They like that.

How can Hydroponic plants grow?


yea i built the 11 plant hydroponic system and im going to get a pump right and ive seen pics of a tube coming out of a container does that connect to the 1/2 inch hose connecter does that bring water up back to flow or is that to give to oxygen to the roots ,sorry but im new to this

Yes it pumps water up to the system.

Ron, Trialbozz here from Victoria BC. I've been reading your discussion board and must say it has answered many questions I have had. I noticed you have shied away from questions regarding aquariums. 
I have a 50 gal tank and have a filtering problem and have been looking to hydroponics to solve it. 
As a test I am going to set up a one or two plant system using the gurgle garden setup just as a test. 
I have read peoples problems with the air pump working so i just did a little experiment and solved the problem of the flow not working. 
When I first installed the tee in the airline the air just shot right past it. 
So as a solution I took an old film canister and one of the aquarium fittings ( the clear kind used to mount air stones to the end of the hose ) I took and cut the air stone part flush with the shoulder on the fitting. 
Then I drilled a hole one size too small for the other end of the fitting to fit through and forced it through the hole from the inside of the film canister. 
Then I used a small piece of tubing just long enough to slip over the end sticking out of the canister bottom and attach it to one of the ends at the top of the tee. 
Then as in your diagram attached one end to my air pump and the other end goes to the plant.
Then using a suction cup mount for air hose mounted the whole thing open end down at the lowest point I could. This delivered about two ounces of water per min depending on how much air I feed to the canister. 
The reason this works is the canister fills with air to the point that the pressure is enough to push the water through the air line. 
Once the air has cleared the chamber water fills the line until the air pressure builds again. 
Hope this helps some of you out there. Cheap it is but hey it worked. If you are interested I'll keep you posted as to how the aquarium/hydroponic thing works.

ttfn Trailbozz

could u cut holes in the bottom of a bin and then put your plants in with perlite, rockwool, growrocks etc. in pots and just flood it with a nutrient solution and then it would be ebb and flow

Yes it would. It is as simple as that. Rubbermaid containers, a submersible pump, grow medium, hydroponic nutrient solution and you got yourself a hydroponic garden. 

hey ron

what would be a good nutrient solution for growing with hydroponics 

p.s. i built your 11 plant hydro system if it makes a difference. thanx for your assistance

Liquid hydroponic mixes cost more but are easier to use than powdered water soluble mixes. But as long as they are formulated for hydroponics and not dirt and you follow the direction on the label then all it comes down to is ease of use. 

Hi, I represent a company in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada that manufactures equipment that is removing scale (calcium) build up in water lines and preventing new scale from forming. Is this something that hydroponic greenhouses would be interested in

Yes Very much so.

Hey Ron,I represent a Hydroponic Wholesaler in both Canada and in the US. We offer the latest and greatest in Hydroponic growing techniques-although we have inexpensive (lighting and nutrient) systems available definitely if bigger yields (Tomatoes or otherwise) is what you want-spend a little more or re-invest into your system when you can afford to-it will pay for itself in no time-laughin all the way to the bank Shannon@www.washingtonlighting-ps  let's talk advertising

Give me a brake.

Greetings Ron, I have studied and built hydroponic and aquaculture farms for others and finally built a greenhouse of my own. Climate controlled, drip irrigated, 3000sq foot beauty all for under 10K...remind you of you? (inexpensive ingenuity) My question for you is this...I've been recently studying about Wasabi. I know that it has been done succesfully hydroponically in New Zealand. Do you have any info on this plant that might be helpful to me? I have found a source for the plant but I would have to transplant it from soil. If any other small hydro farms wish to comment pleast reply to I would love to hear from you.

Sincerely, Steve

What kind of a plant is a Wasabi. Do you look at it, eat it, or smoke it.

For the Gurgling Bucket. Turn the tee that's in the reservoir 90 deg so that the air in is going into the single end and suspend it so the liquid will enter the bottom and the air bubbles will push the nutrient up the line. Other words put the tee section as the input and one end as the pump output. Exchange the to lines and rotate 90 degrees. I hope this is clear.

I built it and now I'm not clear. Send me a drawing. Here is another Air Powered Hydroponic Garden (103 KB) that I got off the internet. You can modify this garden and use grow rocks or other medium instead of rockwool.

ive heard of people using fish emulsion as a nutrient for hydroponic units - can this be done? is anything else needed to make it work? by the way your site has helped me out a lot -josh

I have wondered the same thing. Can anyone help me and josh. We might have to do our own testing.

Hey hows it goin i am a first time hydroponic grower and i have just recently built your 11 plant hydro system but i dont know how far up the water is supposed to go into the rockwool medium in the 2 liter bottles so please help me out and e-mail me if you can!

Haven't never used rockwool with my 2-liter bottle gardens so I don't know for sure but my guess is about an inch because the rockwool will act like a sponge and soak up the solution.

Hey, Ron...I have ordered MH lights for my growing but green green green plants. In the meantime, I was wondering when someone would normally expect blossoming in tomato plants. Does it happen really quickly, or do they usually reach a certain age or size? I'm going to be impatient every step of the way! Thanks, Meredith

Sorry but I have never grown tomato plants indoors under lights. My only experience in growing tomatoes comes from natural sun light. I am in the process of building a high tech indoor hydroponic digital video studio to answer just those type of questions so stay tuned. 

I have a small hydroponic greenhouse for growing my vegeatables & would like to try a few roses in it also. I would like to grow the long stem kind like one would purchase in a flower shop. My question is, does this take a special kind of rose plant, because the ones I grow in my yard do not have the long stems like you would purchase in a flower shop or is it just the way you grow and prune them? Thanks for your help. J.B.

how long before u can add seedlings to hydroponic system...and long before i can put them under a 600w hps full spectrum light

Ok I've read all the letters to date [anybody else with a question should do the same, the repetition is mind numbing]
so a few questions?

When you gave your miracle gro formula you gave a mixture for seedling, and for mature; but then you gave ppm for 3 stages of veg + flowering. Is the first just a shorthand for those mixing there own without an expensive meter for PPM or shouldn't the mixture change with the 3 stages of veg + flowering?

So I know it's not Calcium Chloride it's Calcium Nitrate. I have a book Beginning Hydroponics by Richard E. Nicholls 1977, that suggests Calcium Sulphate which is what gypsum and Plaster of Paris are made of. Household item [plaster of paris] anyone know why I can't/shouldn't use it. It's very soluble does it precipitate out easily?

Just curious why is there never any discussions about NPK. Is it just understood that whatever formula you use these three are in over abundance?
P.S. The site is much better than a lame book from 1977!

The formula for seedling and mature plants is from a commercial mix of Fertilizer (Miracle-gro), Calcium Nitrate, and  Magnesium Sulfate.
The ppm discussions were in reference to liquid hydroponic solution formulated for hydro like General Hydroponics or Formula One.
 I am using the commercial mix with the tomato plants I am growing now.
Never heard the plaster of paris thing.

One of the hottest products to ever hit the Hydroponic gardening stores in British Columbia is now available throughout North America. Go to the following website and if you are interested in this product please email us at and we can tell you more.

hey ron,george in crescent city fl.this will be my first year with a winter greenhouse.will be growing various hot peppers,tomatoes,& some herbs using the drip system in a 12 x 24 greenhouse.i am trying to estimate how much heat i will need to get thru the winter.books say 75 degrees is the optium temp.should i try to maintain this temp 24 a day or just during the nite & exceptionally cold daytime temps.don't want to under or over estimate the system.tia,george

75 degrees is strictly for indoor growing. Green house growing is a whole new ball game. The ideal system for hydroponic growing would be a covered greenhouse with plastic sides that could be rolled up as soon as the sun started to heat things up. Shade cloth also helps when it gets too hot and also helps to keep the bugs out.
I hope to have my greenhouse roof on before the first frost or all the pictures of plants that you see in HydroRon Live will be dead.

Suggestion for the person looking for a moisture meter. Look at They have one listed but it doesn't give a description or picture. I have never needed one and am not sure why one would be needed, but if I'm missing something, someone please let me know.

I'm doing a project for school. 2 questions - what is hydroponics? Also, what are the benefits of hydroponics?

Hydroponics, from the Greek words (water-working).   Hydroponics is a system of gardening without soil. 
In hydroponics, you provide all the nutrients to your plants through a water/nutrient solution.
There are lots of ways to apply hydroponics but, basically, all of them supply nutrient solution directly to the plant's root system. In most cases you mix nutrients into water and feed this solution directly to your plants.
Soil doesn't make plants grow. It's just something for the plants to hold on to while they search with their roots for
the food and water that's mixed into the soil. 
Since the food and water are randomly scattered about, plants have to use up energy growing ever-larger root systems to reach out in a constant search for these elements. 
In a hydroponic garden, a soil-less, inert growing medium is used and food and water are delivered directly to your
plant's roots. 
Your plants grow quicker and harvest sooner because they can direct all their energy into the vegetation growing above the surface instead of the root system below it

I'm trying to build the 11 plant garden for students at a high school. Can you give me any more instruction on how to?

Click here.

 How is the piping attached to the bin,

It just sits on top.

 what kind of pump is in it,

60 to 120 GPH submersible pump can be used.

 and how do you attach the pump?

With a 1/2 inch rubber hose that connects to a 1" PVC tee with a 1/2" connector on the garden.

Another question: what is a very simple nutrient solution we can use for our first system at a high school.

No such thing as a simple hydroponic nutrient mix but check here for members ideas.

 This is all new for me and the students. Please help us.

Can a modest living be made with hydropnic farming? Doesn't seem to be many farms around. Is it impractical? Tired of the rat race. My pipe dream would be a small home with greenhouses in my back yard, room for a horse and a dog and be able to make a living with hydroponics. What do you think?

If your can lean to grow good hydroponic vegetables, you will have people lined up to buy them at any price if the quality is there.   

Hi ron, My name is Curt and i am doing a project for my science class. It is hydroponics. And i was wondering if it would be all right to use miracle grow as the hydroponic solution and if it is how much should i use?

Miracle Gro is ok for a short period of time before you have problems. Use at a low mix like 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water and throw in a dash of Epson salt if you have it.

re: confused about 11plant13html

its a bad drawing. there is only one over flow pipe which in the picture is crossing blue water with the horizontal feeder pipe- it should be broken in diagram cause it does not reconnect with the feeder pipe. the feeder pipe should also be broken at its end to show that it could extend to other bottles.

i think im going to make something similar without the cut off two liter bottle. in its place could go a plastic sack (filled with 10 liters perlite) supported by a thin wire upside down lampshade type thing and sealed around a tube extending from the tee with a rubber band. a screen would have to be stuck in the extension tube and pea gravel laid on top of perlite. What can you grow in a cut off two liter bottle? a head of lettuce?

Yes Lettuce and Tomatoes and Greens and Herbs all grown not in a two-liter bottles but in a 16 ounce cups sitting in a cut off two liter bottle. Hydroponic plants don't need a lot of roots when you are delivering all the nutrients to the plant. Hydroponically grown plants don't need a lot of roots unlike with dirt growing where the roots have to go looking for water and food. You want all the energy  for producing fruit and not for root production. Unless you are growing potatoes or carets.  

I've never had a "chemical" taste with any of my hydroponic vegetables. However, I have heard it said, that flushing the system with water 2 weeks before harvest is good.

hi RON. My 11 plant system !!!works!!! I have 5 tomato plants and left one of the same age planted on plain soil. The growth difference has been dramatic, but lately my hydroponic tomatoes have a white powder like in the stem at the base where come from the growrocks. Is this salt? or maybe fungi? What could cause the problem? Even if my plants die I wouldn't call it a failure. I plan to keep trying. thanks for the help CARLOS AT PLANTATION

Yes that is fertilizer salts residue. Nothing to worry about. You can flush with clean water every couple weeks to get rid of salts buildup and any mold that will inevitable be present.   

Steve: Go to Hydro Gardens and Parts. It is the third item down listed under Hydroponic Plant Food. Nurse Duckett

Can you recommend any sources of seeds that are especially compatible with hydroponics. I am looking for vegetable seeds like tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. Thanks

Does anyone know of companies that will insure hydroponic greenhouses?

last december 14, a Malaysia guy raised to question on the possible connection between hydroponic produce and cancer causing chemicals in the nutrient solution. well, i made some research and found out that too much NITRATE can cause cancer and this problem does not confine to hydroponic farm produce but also soil farm produce too. as a matter of fact, some years ago, somewhere in China, they have to relocate the whole village when they found out the nitrogen content in the village soil is too high and the cabbage they grow causes cancer.


Rick: I was not able to add this before in response to your posting on ppm and percent fertilizer, but here is some more: you can guesstimate that 1 mMHO is somewhere in the range of 635 to 650 ppm. I consider this only an approximate value since it really deppends on many factors such as salt index of the particular fertilizer salt, the temperature at which the reading is taken, etc.Anyway, 640ppm for each mMHO is more or less OK for calculating a nutrient formula.

Hola Ron; My name is Ivan and I am a hydro-loco from Puerto Rico.I have gone all over the net looking for anyone growing cherry tomatoes in a hydroponic outdoors system like I do; and I've had no luck. My home brewed system is a top-spray (peat-lite in 5 gal.pots)system placing two plants/pot. Nutrients flow is timed in 14 individual stations of 200 pots each,fed from a 2000 gal.tank (lots of work every day). I sell my tomatoes to a local chain and I'd like to try some other crops like zuchini so I dont have to trelis them(still more work).I dont grow my tomatoes in a greenhouse because we have no winter frost in the caribbean plus the wind does my plant shaking for me (nice!).If there is someone around doing something like my cherry tomatoes I would like to hear from them. I enjoy your page very much; Nice job. My english is just fair, sorry about any mistakes.

Ron, would you have any infro on growing pototoes using a hydroponic system.thanking you in advance.jim at plantdr@gate.met

Hi Ron, I am considering designing and building a larger hydroponic system for tomatoes. I plan to change the nutrient solution every 2-4 weeks, as recommended. Can you give me a rule of thumb for how much nutrient solution is required per plant (gal./plant) so that I don't waste nutrient or the nutrient doesn't become too weak before the next change. I hope to have my system up and running this spring.
Thanks a bunch.

I am a college student learing about the agriculture buisness. A project of mine is to set up a working buisness plan for a commercial hydroponic tomato greenhouse. Because of the extreme amount of information on the web I am having trouble locating reliable information on expected typical yeilds, and about average timing from propagation of seed to harvest. If anyone can help locate this information it would be very helpful. Thank you. Danny

Hi! I'm looking for help with my 5th grade son's science fair project. He really wants to do a great job with a Hydroponic Plant. He wants to demonstrate how it grows differently in soil.

Which plants, how long will it take? Interesting facts?

I have a few Q. I'm in the 6th grade and I'm doing a science fair project... I'm doing my project o hydroponics. My teacher told me to compare plants grown in soil and seeds grown in a hydroponics solution. I want to know if I could make a hydroponic solution at home and not spend any money. If I'm off track please email me at thaks jessica

dear Ron,

will a 30-10-10 NPK fertilizer be good for hydroponic cabbage growing ?

generation Y

I would like to know the source for seeds that are recommended in Howard Resh's book Questions and Answers. I have a small hydroponic hobby setup and do not wish to buy a hugh amount of seeds. Can you help me.

Do hydroponic gardens need to be in a greenhouse or can they be outdoors (no overhead cover).
I can imagine that rainwater could get introduced into the hydroponic solution (via the plant sites) and weaken it. Do you see this as a possible problem? Have you heard of any possible solutions?
I plan to grow tomatoes in my backyard and need to know if I require an overhead cover.
Thaning You In Advance, Oscar

Hello Ron -- please comment on the potential of using pvc gray pipes (plastic electrical conduit pipes) for 2-liter hydroponic systems. Those pipes are UV-protected, but I am wondering if they are safe compared to Schedule 40 pvc pipes. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks, Wayne

Hi, First off I have to say that this is the most informational and helpfull hydroponic site I have found. I based most of my research for building my own setup off of this site. I had an idea about getting moisture to my roots and have it be extrememly oxygen rich by using the discharge of a small humidifier that would spray mist nutrient solution directly onto dangling roots. Would this work? Also, how do I go about posting my own pictures on this site. Thanks Again, Big Pepper Paul

do you know of any supplier of hydroponic water pumps run by solar energy?

Is it feasible to use hydroponic techniques outdoors? Here in North Carolina my soil is extremely prone to fus, and vert, wilt.

I just transplanted a Grand Nane banana plant (1 ft.tall) to my 5 gal. constant drip hydroponic system, Im using a 8" net pot with 4" rockwool and grow rocks and was wondering if this size is big enough and if the holes in the net pot are also big enough for the roots to get through? can anybody tell me a good nutrient recipe for this system and plant? I also heard that epsom salts was not good for banana plants, is this true?......Thanks, Bob

how do you make a hydroponic system using a rubbermaid container?

I am looking for a manufacturer who produces a 1/2 inch rubber (bulkhead) grommet seal to insert a plastic barb fitting into a plastic water container. I am trying to make a dutch bucket hydroponic system and need this grommet for the nutrient flow lines. Larry

Try they have a good selections of bulkheads.

Could we use a tank made of steel plate for hydroponic?

Line it with a plastic bag or you will have one rusty mess.

Today what is the most common hydroponic crop in the U.S

tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce

Ron, What nutrients if any should be added to the hydro solution for the flowering phase?

Ether start using a hydroponic fertilizer that says bloom or if you use only one fertilizer then you just increase the amount of fertilizer for blooming thus increasing the ppm.   

I'd like to know if anyone has tried to grow PALM seedlings using the hydroponic method? Palm seedlings are notoriously slow growers, so I'm looking for a way to speed up that stage of growth. Also, the seedlings would require transplanting into a soil medium at some point - would the "shock factor" be too much?

I've always had a problem growing woody type plants like trees and shrubs with hydroponics. As for the shock value. From hydro to dirt is easier than the other way.

Ron, what type of fertilize are you using. I've been buying the more expensive hydro- fert but if another works fine let me in on it?

What an incredible collection of pictures Ron. I haven't had good luck with hydroponic chives. Have you started any fro seed or just transplanted existing plants?

Adriana, Sarasota

You need calcium nitrate and magnesium sulfate added to standard fertilizer like Miracle-Gro for tomatoes. Or real hydroponic nutrient solution if you are are serious grower.

I have a question about indoor lighting. I am on an extremely tight budget with my hydroponic growing, but I need to get some sort of lighting for growing indoors. I know that metal halide, and high pressure sodium are the best but are way out of my price range. I have 2 choices: halogen and flourescent. I know halogen lights are not cost efficient, but since I don't pay an electric bill this is of no concern to me. Which would you recommend? I made the 6 plant garden and it's all ready to go except for the lighting. I'll be growing tomatoes and peppers. Any info you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Hi, my name is Ariel and Im new in this tecnology. Im looking for advices about using coconut fiber (cocopeat), peat moss, rockwoll, etc. Id would like to know what are the advantages and disadvantages for using this substrates (prices, quality, quantity, etc.). Im not sure if this items are used in hydroponic areas but id like to use in tradicional farming. Is there somebody than could help me??? Thanks a lot


My son is going to start on a hydroponic project in his ag class at school. We live in Central NC. Is there anyone else close by that has some hydroponic systems setup that we could come look at? I did notice on the members garden area, that there is someone in VA.
Write to Ray at

Hi I am a sixth grade student in Palm Beach, Florida. I am doing a science project with hydroponics. Do you have any advise?

From: "Clone Phone Home"

Regarding: Aeroponics Pump and Rubbermaid "Cloneinator".

Yet another problem, surely the worst: After making appropriate adjustable spray nozzles from pump bottle sprayers, I find the pump provided in the "Cloneinator" provides ample flow (GPH) but totally inadequate pressure.

Higher pressure is Required for properly functioning aeroponics, as this is how the water is atomized, that is, turned into a very fine mist. Large droplets soak the medium with a low-oxygen spray, thus negating any postive results from an aeroponic system.

Note: Rubbermaid reservoir-basket is the only part of the entire system that functions as anticipated.

Note: I found that most any soil fertilizer- bloom or veg, does not contain necessary micronutrients REQUIRED for aeroponic (or hydroponic) success.

call me Aero-head

First, I would like to comment you on such an excellent site. Hydroponics is gaining popularity here in Australia but there is still little information for the commercial grower.

My question might be "too scientific" for you to answer, and at the end of the day we might need to consult a hydroponic consultant but here goes: we are growing parsley on a commercial basis and I have a major problem being that after harvesting, the parsley droops or wilts. This is a major problem for a commercial setup as it brings in much less money per bunch. Our system is nft with 1250 plants, with the hope of doubling this, when I can solve this problem.

I have an E.C meter which I use daily to check the e.c on the water and also do a ph test daily with both - drops and litmus paper.

I have a "gut feeling" that I should change the nutrient. I currently use a local "brand name" for hydroponics. I try and keep the EC at 1.2 to 1.3 and PH at 7.

Have you any idea why the stalks would droop after harvesting? Thank you in advance and again, I commend you on such a useful and informative site. After all the websites I have pursued, yours in definitely no.1 for useful information.


Ron, I hope you don't mind me giving tips here, I dont want to interfere with your professional and experience knowledge, which, I might add, is much more than I have myself. However, after reading the messages, so many have asked how to strike seeds and when to transfer them to the hydroponics so I thought, with the little, but successful knowledge I have striking seeds, here is a tip or 2.

I have 1250 commercial parsley plants. Parsley, is one of the most challenging seeds to strike due to its slowness and less vigorous characteristics compared to other plants.

I have successfully sown about 2000 parsley seeds using the following technique (these plants then go into a NFT commercial set up)

I use vermiculite only I fill the tubes with vermiculite (the tubes I use, are the ones that then go straight into the system later, so there is no transplanting shock to the plant and much less labor for me).

I then water the tubes to add as much moisture as I can to each tube

I then plant about 6 parsley seeds to each tube. I add about 6 as parsley seed is very small and difficult to handle individually and it gives me more success with striking as if 5 do not strike, I still have 1 which will strike.

I cover the seeds with about a cm of vermiculite and water in with a very fine spray

For the first 2 days, wait till late afternoon to water as then, the sun here is Australia has warmed up the water in the hose and water the seeds with the warm water.

After day 2, water once a day, at any time but prefer afternoon, when the water is not as cold.

After 10 days, my seeds sprout and I continue watering daily, and also foliar spray with a very weak nutrient, after 3 leaves are evident.

Prick out all but the 2 strongest seedlings.

When the roots appear from the bottom of the tube, transer it to the hydroponic system and watch them grow before your eyes, so to speak.

Prick out the weakest of the 2 seedlings but note here with parsley as a particular plant:

we have found that parsley is happier with competition from other plants. With competion from other plants it produces longer stems which is what we want to achieve to harvest it commercially. So, sometimes, I will leave 2 or 3 seedlings in the one pot, however this is speaking from a commmercially viable unit only.

Note that I use a commercial seedling table - the table is simply a table with a drainage point to allow all excess water to flow through.

Parsley has a reputation of taking about 30 days to germinate but I germinate mine in about 10 days, 15 days in the middle of winter which is still an excellent result.

What is the best way to control the water's Ph in a 11 plant system.


pH up or down from any hydroponic supply source. 

Hi. Elvis here. Just to thank you for all the information you sent me on hydroponic growers. Geez I never expected hydroponically grown pickles & suchlike to become popular. Please dont tell the feds im still alive as I noticed you had sent an "enc" of your hydroponic growers to the FBI. Regards Elvis "Hydro" Presley

I don't think you are growing pickles.

Is anyone out there practicing aquaponics (i.e. aquaculture and hydroponics)? Would appreciate some discussion as we just completed the fish tank (2000 gal) and started building up the hydroponic beds, outside in West Central Florida.

Not yet. Everything I know about it I read in Aquatic Eco-systems catalog. I'm sure you have it if you are into fish stuff. They are in Apopka FL 

I hope to legally grow pot for medicinal purposes. I plan to use the 2-liter system. My questions: How far apart should the 2-liter bottles be spaced, center to center, to grow pot to full term.

Indoor pot plants need one square foot per plant so that's 12 inches from center to center. Try to keep your plants small, under 30 inches at term.

Second, which hydroponic fertilizing solutions would you recommend for the growth stage and the budding stage?

Any of the liquid concentrated hydroponic solutions work well but my favorite is Formula One A & B because it's cheaper than the others and you use the same mix for veg and bud stage, you just increase the PPM for budding.

Ron, I've studied hydroponics in books and on the Net for many months. No other person has more solid knowledge on hydroponics than you do. Thank you so very, very much for the incredible work you're doing to help people like me throughout the world. You're truly one helluva human being!

Ah shucks

hello Ron, i am a high school student from s. west Washington, and i am starting my own small hydroponics growing system. i have all of my equip. and i am ready to plant. i have two questions for you; 1.can you recommend any fertilizers to promote fast & healthy growth of tomatoes?

Any of the liquid concentrated hydroponic solutions work well but my favorite is Formula One A & B because it's cheaper than the others and you use the same mix for veg and bud stage, you just increase the PPM for fruiting.

2.what are some of the differences between tomato cultivars used in hydroponics? Thank you for your time, chris

Hi!!Ron, I'm new, in hydroponic stuff, and I really need to know all about de nutrients and chemical substances. I live in Mexico, so please forgive my English. My name is Itzel Morales, thanks. This is very important to me.

Click Here.

Can I get a paragraph on hydroponics?

Hydroponics, from the Greek words (water-working).   Hydroponics is a system of gardening without soil. In hydroponics,
you provide all the nutrients to your plants through a water/nutrient solution. There are lots of ways to apply
hydroponics but, basically, all of them supply nutrient solution directly to the plant's root system. In most cases you mix nutrients into water and feed this solution directly to your plants.
Soil doesn't make plants grow. It's just something for the plants to hold on to while they search with their roots for
the food and water that's mixed into the soil. Since the food and water are randomly scattered about, plants have to
use up energy growing ever-larger root systems to reach out in a constant search for these elements. In a
hydroponic garden, a soil-less, inert growing medium is used and food and water are delivered directly to your
plants' roots. Your plants grow quicker and harvest sooner because they can direct all their energy into the
vegetation growing above the surface instead of the root system below it

I am new to this hydroponic system. I built your 16 plant one, Mr. Ron.

Of course I had leaks all over the place but my observations were.

You need to save that seal that is in the bottle caps and cut a hole in it and put in back in the cap. Or go buy rubber washers at the hardware store.

I was expecting the water to completely drain from the system. However it did not. It wont hurt the root systems to be under water? Does the water stay there till the plants use it up? Have I done something wrong?

The garden will stay full until the pump shuts off. Then the water drains back through the pump to the container.

How long do I run the pump?

Until the plant roots are soaked then drain immediately.

How many minutes an hour do i do this?

3 times an hour

\ The overflow worked well. I am not sure what to expect.

Hello, I am in the process of building a 24x72 green house. I will be using hydroponic methods to grow vegetables. I am curious about yields for certain plants. I cannot find any info. I especially want to try peppers, green beans and tomatoes what kind of yield will these give me. I am familiar with what they'll produce in the garden. I have seen so many stat's on what I can expect. Would any be able to lend me some insight on pounds per plant per growing period. Thanks MW

I am growing in an hydroponic system. About a week ago, I noticed small brown spots started appearing on the margins of older leaves. Now it seems to be spreading to the younger ones as well. Can anyone help? TIA

Is there a good rule of thumb that I can use to relate the dilution rates of soil fertilers for hydroponic solutions? For example, I've got some Green LIght Super Bloom (12-55-6) that calls for 2 tsp per gal of water. To make a hydro soln, in general, would it be good to use the same dilution rate and just add 1/2 tsp of calcium nitrate and 1/2 tsp of epsom salt?


That would be my guess. Watch your plants though and cut back if you notice fertilizer burn.

Date: 20 May 2001 Time: 13:10:45 Comments I have started a hydroponic tomato garden. The plants have been in it about 18 days and have really been looking good. I have noticed in the past few days that the better boy's leaves have curled up. The others are doing well though. Also, there is a brownish looking residue in the tubes and some of the roots have this brownish look to them now. The roots used to look white when they first started to grow. Is this some sort of fungus or algae growth? Should I do something about it? If someone could offer some info, I would welcome it.

Thanks, Eric

18 days is to early to worry. Just keep an eye on them longer before you panic.

New reponse:

It has been just over one month now and almost all of my tomato plants are gone. The leaves continued to curl up and they stopped growing. They arent dead yet, but they might as well be. I was using a hydroponic fertilizer and adding one teaspoon per gallon of water as directed. If anyone knows a better fertilizer to use or know what I am doing wrong, I would appreciate the help on it.


If your pH is to low or to high it won't matter what kind or how much fertilizer you use it won't help.

What type of hydroponic is a tomato plant?

the regular kind

I am interested in starting a hydroponic garden. Who is the cheapest online retailer where I can purchase my equipment?

probably not from me right now 

Ron, I am working on a new system; it is a sub-level hydroponic grow hole for production of tomatoes, basically. My plans are for a 14x70 ft. 6 ft. below ground level to use geo therm temps. after looking at all the systems, your pipe dream is really impressive. Is it possible to get more info from , and about your system ?

what kind of info? everything I know about hydroponics is on this web site. what else do you need to know? 

I have started a hydroponic tomato garden. The plants have been in it about 18 days and have really been looking good. I have noticed in the past few days that the better boy's leaves have curled up. The others are doing well though. Also, there is a brownish looking residue in the tubes and some of the roots have this brownish look to them now. The roots used to look white when they first started to grow. Is this some sort of fungus or algae growth? Should I do something about it? If someone could offer some info, I would welcome it.

Thanks, Eric

18 days is to early to worry. Just keep an eye on them longer before you panic. 

Where can I find information about growing roses in a green house with hydroponic methods.


The timer turns the pump on. The pump sitting in the nutrient solution reservoir pumps the solution up the hose to the garden to supply the plant roots with food. The plant roots will use as much nutrient as it needs and the rest is returned back to the reservoir for the next feeding. Determined by your timer setting. About every 15 minutes. The overflow pipe keeps the water from rising to high in the cups. This is the ebb and flow or flood and drain hydroponic system.   

I am a first time grower. I want to know what the best timing schedule for an indoor hydroponic system would be. I have a 460 watt bulb.

It depends on what medium you use. Grow rocks hold a lot of oxygen so you can water every 1/2 hour. Rockwool holds moisture more so you can water less maybe every hour. And it also depends on the size of your plants. Small plants don't need to be watered as often as larger plants. You might be a last time grower after that answer.

Hi I would like to grow some hydro. I am planning to use the 11 plant garden. Anyone with tips for a successful batch would greatly be appreciated. I plan to germinate them by leaving them in a wet towel for a day or two and then putting them in.

What kind of nutrients should I use to get a potent crop?

Any concentrated hydroponic nutrient solution will work.

I am growing them indoors so can you tell me what type of lighting I should use as well? I know the lights can get pricey, what is the price range usually at, and how much does it cost to operate them, because I heard that in the early stages the lights should be on 24hrs a day.

About 60 dollars per 1000 W room per month. That includes vents, fans, pump and light.

How long does it take before, I can enjoy the fruits of my labor?

About 6 months from germinating the seeds, sexing the plants (male & female), Cloning mother plants, 6 weeks veg. stage, and 8 weeks bud stage. Enjoy. 

Thank you in advance for any help that can be offered. I would like to also say this is a wonderful site. Hydroponics is very cool!

novice KB (kiler bud)

I'm in the process of setting up a hydroponic system, I am going with a 400hps & 400mh I am in now in search of ideas for a sun circle. I have found them but not cheap, HELP.

Here is my first mover I built 15 years ago and it still works. Made from a barbeque rotisserie motor and a 90 degree gear reducer that weighs about 30 pounds. The light is connected to a ball barring made from a bicycle axel. The light cord is connected to a wall causing the light to rotate as the mover goes around and around. This set up will only work with one light because with two the cords would get tangled. 

Anyone using computer control for their hydroponic systems? I'm in the process of building a system which will be controlled by an Applied Digital programmable controller. The control program will be written on a PC using their Windows based software. I will be controlling such things as pumps, fans, lamp heat exhaust. System will also monitor temperature, humidity, and tank liquid levels and sound alarms when things are not going right. Anybody out there using control technology on their hydroponic systems? I would be interested in hearing about your application.


I have the capability to computerize my hydro systems if I had the time by using X-10 technology. I have the hole house system that can control everything if I ever take the time. It works though your electrical system in your house. Very inexpensive. or  


Where do you buy your Hydroponic Special nutrient mix? What sizes does it come in? I'm assuming a 50lb bag?


From Hydro-Gardens Inc.

Hi im building my own hydroponic system{11 plants} using the instructions you provide using pvc and my question was. How do i plant the seeds? we have everything ready and working but if we put a seed in there it just goes into the system. So what do we use to keep that seed in bottle with out it going into the system?

Check out some of my recent Hydroponic projects:

Very cool. Hydroponics don't get any simpler than that.

Re: Recent hydroponic projects
Great page!
My first attempt was using a 4" pipe system and 3" net pots in a ebb & flow system, but I discarded the idea because of roots clogging the pipes.
I've also tried other systems, too many to list again, but you can seamy history by reading all the posts here.
Presently, I'm trying a system where I'm using a 20 gal. sterlite box and 32 oz. cups with tomatoes. I'm top feeding the plants using a circulating pump and a airstone in the tank. The cups are NOT immersed in the nutrient, but the roots do hang down and are in the nutrient. So far, so good, I have many fruit and the plants are really healthy.
I might suggest that instead of fabricating the tank out of foam, you check at Home Depot for a concrete mixing tub that is generally the same dimensions of your fabricated tank, only it's 6" deep. Cost is about $3.50. I'm going to use one for a floating lettuce/spinach tray this winter to see how I do. By next spring, I will use them to make a constant flow system with a foam lid and holes for the 32 oz. cups.

What is the ratio of space required for hydroponic or even aeroponics cultivation as compared to traditional outdoor gardening??

It has been proven that 2000 square feet of outdoor garden space is able to produce 700 lbs of fruits and vegetables in one year (if done just right). If this is so, how much space does it require to produce the same amount of produce using hydroponics and aeroponics. This can be a general number or ratio because we are not talking about any specific crop. This might be easier to answer than the last posting. Thanks!!

Please e-mail answers back to me at ASAP Thanks!!

Daniel Ashworth, Jr.

About the same space. The benefit comes by the fruit finishing sooner and more weight.

anyone ever tried to grow roses in a hydroponic greenhouse?

Dear Ron: My wife and I live in Queensland, Australia, & are small commercial growers of culinary herbs in 2" propogation tubes. We only produce 100doz per week in a gravel system and a few in pipes. The gravel is in a material called "clip lock", which is an industrial galvanised steel roofing; the flat tray being about 200mm wide(8"). The beds are 1.8m (6') wide and 40m (? 130' long). We get this product 2nd hand from large industrial buildings when demolished, for about 80c to $1 a linear meter.Now we also do similar numbers of potted colour (which are annuals like petunias, marigolds and doz of others)in 4" pots.We always grew these on weed-mat on the ground and overhead watered, until one day I decided to clean out a spare hydroponic gravel bed of the gravel, and put the potted colour in, and irrigate them by pouring the water in one end and returning it to the dam from the other.(identical to the hydroponics). Our total losses have deminished by around 8-12%, our overhead irrigation had used 15,000litres/day. Now we use 1,200 litres day(recycled of course), and it now seems it is costing me more in electricity and annual repairs to run my pump off the dam than it would cost me to purchase water from my local Council (throw the pump in the bottom of the Dam and fill it in). Now for the CRUNCH: We are moving in to seedlings (veg and flower) in small 6 & 8 cell punnets. The traditional method of delivering water is by overhead propogation misters, with an array of balance arms, heads, pipes etc,etc. My question to your readers: (1) has anyone sucessfully raised seedling in punnets by "flood & drain" (2)Has any one any ideas on what I could use as a container to flood and drain, keeping it mind it must be around 2.4m (8') x 1.2m(4') (32sq feet). I could (and probably will) try my clip-lock roofing material, but I am looking for other ideas,so if anyone can comment, I would be pleased to hear from them. Cheers, Phillip.

Dear Ron, I just found this web site. My daughter would like to perform and experiment for her science fair comparing soil planting to hydroponics. I have taken out several books for her and have searched several web sites, and yours so far has had the best information. Any ideas as to the best and least complicated way for a 9 year old to set up a hydroponic test garden? I bought gravel, some seeds and a plastic container. I'm unsure of the nutrient mixture, if I can buy it and dilute it or if I have to find all the ingredients separately. Any advice would be a tremendous help as I am a novice hydroponicist. Thanks! Cheryl Long Island

Could anyone please tell me some of the Colleges & Universities particularly good to go to for learning how to own a hydroponic food production business? any replies would be greatly apprieciated. much thanks, -

Hello All,
I live in the Midwest and was considering converting my spare bedroom into a room devoted mainly for growing hydroponic tomatoes. The room measures about 12'x10' and is made from wood and plaster. Can someone point me in the right direction please?

dear Ron,
i am having difficulty in getting nutrient for hydroponic system from where i am. furthermore, i cant find any chemist who will do the formulation for me nor guranty that the nutrient mix is correct.
right now, i am using 30-10-10 for my veggie. the content are as follow :
N ... 30% P2O3 ... 10% K2O ... 10% Magnesium ... 0.120% iron ... 0.040% manganese ... 0.020% boron ... 0.015% copper ... 0.007% zinc ... 0.005% molybdenum ... 0.002% calcium ... 0.090% vitamin B1 ... 0.075%
will this water soluble fertilizer work in hydroponic system ?

Have you heard of Israel Corporation of Agricultural Applications (I.C.A.A). We are asking proposals from them for developing a controlled greenhouse for commercial use.


No but their is a lot of hydroponic greenhouses in the mid-east. Something to do with their soil like not any.

at what temp. should hydroponic crops be grown?

75 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for most plants.

High, I'm a newbie at hydroponic gardening and I need to know how I can produce a successful crop with in 3 to 4 months with minimal risk. I live in a isolated town of about 100 people and need to make some extra cash to enjoy life and of coarse stay high can anyone help me? my e-mail for this purpose is:

I wouldn't touch that question with a ten foot spleaf.   

Greetings can u suggest some good cash crops to be grown hydroponicly? also, how organic can hydro farming get?

First see what can be grown in your area then you will know if you will need a greenhouse. I grow tomatoes under shade cloth here in Florida to extend the growing season when it gets hot. Vegetables especially organic vegetables bring the best prices. Their is a number of organic hydroponic mixes on the market. I tried some years ago made from 10,000 year old bat shit. I'm glad I had an open greenhouse because of the smell. 

In the 11 plant hydroponic garden, what type of timer is available to create an ebb and flow on a regular basis? The regular timers I have only have an "off" time and "on" time once in a 24 hour cycle. Also, what medium is used for the original starters in the halved plastic 1 liter bottle plant holders? Thank you very much, Bobby

They are hard to find but they are timers out their that have 48 pins that gives you 30 minutes on time and 30 minutes off time for 24 hours. Keep looking. I use nothing but grow rocks in the 2 liter garden.

This is not a English spelling web site .... this is a hydroponic web site.

What is hydropontics?

Do you mean hydroponics: 
Hydroponics, from the Greek words (water-working).   Hydroponics is a system of gardening without soil. 
In hydroponics, you provide all the nutrients to your plants through a water/nutrient solution.
There are lots of ways to apply hydroponics but, basically, all of them supply nutrient solution directly to the plant's root system. In most cases you mix nutrients into water and feed this solution directly to your plants.
Soil doesn't make plants grow. It's just something for the plants to hold on to while they search with their roots for
the food and water that's mixed into the soil. 
Since the food and water are randomly scattered about, plants have to use up energy growing ever-larger root systems to reach out in a constant search for these elements. 
In a hydroponic garden, a soil-less, inert growing medium is used and food and water are delivered directly to your
plants' roots. 
Your plants grow quicker and harvest sooner because they can direct all their energy into the vegetation growing above the surface instead of the root system below it

I have a rock wool construction board that was given to me. Can I strip the backing off both sides and use this as my hydroponic media after rinsing it?

Even though it basically is the same material it isn't used in growing plants because of building codes they have to treat it with fire retardant. Plants don't like fire retardant. 

dear ron,
i have been doing hydroponic veggie growing for 2 months only but i noticed that my hydroponic veggie (pok choy) wilt faster than soil grown.
one friend of mine attribute it to the growing condition of hydroponics which is water abundant. once its harvested, the water loss is too fast for it to cope up that is why it wilts faster.
can you please confirm this and what remedy can be done with this problem ?
Stanley Ho

I don't know what pok choy is but may be you can stick them in a water vase like flowers until use.

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