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What do I need to get started with hydroponics?

hi ron,

i bought some Habanero pepper seeds. do you think this will grow well in hydroponics ? got any tips in growing pepper ?



Peppers grow very well in hydroponics because they are water loving plants. Start your seeds in vermiculite or dirt before you put them in the hydro system.

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.

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.

ron, last september i purchased a 1000w sunagro light for my eb-flow system(s). since this purchase, many generations of healthy sprouts have dwindled and died by the time they should have been ready to pick and eat. It's been eight months, and now the life of the bulb will be questioned...but i don't believe it's the life of the bulb. I believe there is something genuinely wrong with the spectrum or the quality of the light being emitted. I have grown hydroponics for many years now with metal halides and this is the first time i made the switch to a high pressure sodium. I have questioned everything (pH, fertilizer, quality of clones, ventilation, insects, ........), and I have still no answer as to why my once buldging tomatoes now look like cherry tomatoes by the end of the flowering cycle. I honestly believe it is the light I purchased. With the price of the light close to 500 smackers and all the electricity and time wasted, my faith in my favorite hobby is soon to be lost. So, my question to you is...

Have you ever heard of a high-pressure sodium light (sunagro to be specific) having a faulty spectrum (maybe showing a visible light that is possibly too red?

I contacted the dealer and he insisted that out of 17 years he has never heard of this problem before. But, i think the dealers are full of shit and they often times try to remedy the most pressing problems by getting you to buy their other products which don't even have enough evidence of being any type of help. I can give you a list of all the shit i've bought to fix this problem (ionizers, box fans, co2, bug repelents, hormone boosters, shock resisters, ......)

I am fed up spending the money on such a rewardless hobby. Help, before it's too late!

Because HPS lights are at the red end of the light spectrum and are more for flowering I can understand having a problem in your early growth stages of your plants but not threw the flowering stage. 
I would add a 400 MH on a sun circle to cover any missing light spectrum. But that means spending more money.

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!!!!

Has anyone used the new organic hydroponics solution called Metanaturals

Ron and anyone else who could provide useful input:

I realize that there is no one "perfect timer" for all aero/hydroponics setups, but I believe I'm on the right track. I've drawn up a schematic for a programmable timer (yes - it can be programmed by just about anyone!) that will have programmable ON and OFF times. The ranges for both are 1-255 seconds, or 10-2550 seconds (in 10 second intervals), or 1-255 minutes (in 1 minute intervals), or 10-2550 minutes (in 10-minute intervals). The On and OFF times do NOT have to be the same, as both will be programmed separately.

I realize that the upper range of this timer is a bit ridiculous; however, should anyone want to use it as a light timer ON for 16 hours and OFF for 8 hours, it would work for that, as well as for an aeroponics setup, where it might be required to come on for one minute, and off for four minutes. My 11-plant system that I built from Ron's plans requires 3.5 minutes to hit the overflow, so I can set the timer for that application to 210 seconds of ON time, and 20 minutes OFF time.

The timer is in the construction phase now (prototype), and I still have to program the microcontroller. Programming the timer will be an easy task - just look the required time up on the chart and flip the switchs for the ON and OFF times. Just to make sure I had an easy to use system, I showed it to my 12yr. old daughter and asked her how would it have to be set for various times. She aced the test every time, so I know it wil be easy to understand & use.

If this were to be the perfect timer for aero/hydroponics, would it require any other features? The reason I ask, is if I take this thing to a commercial level, I'd want to include all the features I could in it. I've already heard someone mention multiple outlets on it so as to use one outlet for the pumps & one for lights. Would there be an interest in this timer when finished?

Ron - I am looking for info here. If this qualifies as someone selling a product, I apologize. This isn't a product - at least not yet. I'm just trying to find out some info so that the final version could be pretty much universal as far as useability in the hydroponics/aeroponics world.

I thank you for your input.


I can't seem to find any info on this, so if someone could direct me...

I get the concept of hydroponics, but what do you do when the plant becomes too big for the system? Or does it? The roots have to expand, but does this sytem "keep them in check" or do you just have to eventually transplant to normal soil?


Hi, recently I have watched a TV program about world news and that was this segment on hydroponics research in UK (Dr David a famous scientist with TV program on nature discovery) They claimed that they use very little water. Can I have most info on this new hydroponics. Pls. advise, Thanks Eric Khoo

could hydroponics be used in an extremely large-scale basis?

Hydroponics is currently used on an extremely large scale on the west coast of Canada, you should see the size of some of these greenhouses. Some of them are over 5 acres. They grow awesome tomatoes, as the plant grows they keep hoisting it up to the roof of the building. The plants grow to 10 feet tall.

this may sound like a dumb question, but when starting off your hydroponics garden, i am wishing just to start the seeds off from the get go n the rockwool cubes, do i just put them in the cube hole and germinate, ,do i have to cover the hole with another substance, , how do i go about it? also i am using the 11 plant system, but i think i am going to make it with 3 liter bottles instead of 2 liter bottles, how much rockwool should i put in there? should i use the small bag of cubes, or should i intermix it with the slab? thanks for all your help:)

is this process cost effective, it sounds as though it takes a lot money to get setup and then to run atmosphere control. what i actually mean is can hydroponics be cheaper to run than normal outdoors soil grown farms?

Ron, I think the site is great. I have it bookmarked and come back often. I have built my own 2 plant system based off of the 11 plant system you sell. I have run into a few problems and have over come them.

Now I need some advice. I am still learning this stuff and I am only growing one tomato plant...well it was growing.

It looks half dead. I think I may have over feed it. I have a 10 gallon tank. I added 5 gallons of distilled water, with a tablespoon of Miracle-Grow for plants and tablespoon of Miracle-Grow for tomatoes for each gallon. I let it run a couple of days and then thought that it should have been 1/2 tablespoon for each gallon and added 5 gallons of distilled water to even it out. So I have 10 gallons of water, 5 tablespoons Miracle-Grow for plants and 5 tablespoons of Micacle-Grow for tomatoes. The tips started to brown and curl under. I then added 5 tablespons of Epson Salt. Any words of wisdom?

We are considering applying for a grant for a small hydroponics project for our kindergarten-1st grade classroom. I know this is great science learning, but I've no idea what we might be able to grow. Most importantly, I'm not sure what essential questions we should explore/generate or what daily activities we could pursue.

We would appreciate any responses or suggestions. I might add that we are in rural, remote Alaska with winters down to minus 50 below, so a successful hydroponics class would have implications for a much larger community project.

I look forward to any and all responses. Sincerely, Thomas Brock and the Aniak K-1 Class

dear ron, i am new to hydroponics and im on a budget. recently i was looking for timers or my pump, but i could only find a 24 pin one. i was wondering if i could do an hour on hour off cycle to water my plants Thnx smalls

Dear Sirs,

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affiliated to Kish Free Zone Organization (KFZO) Intends to hold & organize the

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, Bank of Agriculture & Mahestan Kish Hydroponics Company.

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Looking forward to receiving your letter of interest.

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Secretarial of Greenhouse Produce Exhibition

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

Dear Ron. I am a student at Warwickshire college in England and i am trying to research a project on growing trees using hydroponics. So far i have only found information regarding herbaceous plants and tropical plants like banana trees. Have you any links/information that may be of use at all. -Thanks- Richard Johnson . e-mail.

I get tired of pulling weeds so I am building three 11 plant systems per your website's design. My questions are - 1)If I added dishwashing soap to the circulating brew to reduce surface tension, would that increase the plant uptake of nutrients or could it cause problems. Also I saw your banana plant picture 'Wow"! 2) Can Hydroponicly grown plants or trees be transplanted to soil without any problems?. Florida Fred -first timer at hydroponics

some one help im growing about 20 plant in a closet. i have 1 150 hps lamp...and no funds to buy anymore. how can i supplement the light? also i recently purchased "general hydroponics" flora series, grom bloom micro in what concentrations do i use these's? i want some good smoke this fall thanks please respond soon:)

please read answer above.

hi, how much water do you put in for the 11setup garden? also i couldn't find marical grow that say for hydroponics, only for veggs. steve

10 gallons and I refuse to answer the second question.

Here's an interesting site if you're into tomatoes.

This algorithm is set up for greenhouses, but gives useful nutrient and growing information anyway. Just slide the scale until you get 100% in the right side window, then read what you have to do to get optimal growing conditions.


hello Ron. well your web page has really inspired me i first came here to learn how to grow a certain "bud" that u self said to learn to grow tomatos before attempting to grow that plant but im not asking you to tell me how to grow it just to tell me if what i have learned from this site is correct. the 11 plant system with the bottles about 6 to 12" apart. grow lights: florescent to grow them then hps (dont know what that means) light for flowering. (the super big question i have no answer 4): not sure what to use as a nutrient??? mirical grow?flooding 15 on 15 off. light 24hrs on then when it matures 18 on,6 off hrs. can i use a sump pump? got one really cheap. keeping temp at 72 degrees. and im going to use rboken up cleaned lava rocks for the fact of unavalibility/expence of grow rocks. and it would be computer controled. and hopefully if it grows ill keep it all to my self. if it makes a difference hydroponics from your site has inspired me to look into taking a course in collage next semester as a elective. thanx again for your help whether u answer me or not! great site!

Hi Ron. I am new at hydroponics. I was wondering how long to you have the timer to come on and how long do you flood the plants for? I am using a homemade 7 plant system, Thank You, S.

15 on 15 off 24/7

TDS ( total dissolved solids ) means just that. Even though your TDS reads OK for the maturity of the plant you are growing it does not tell you if the combination of ingredients are correct. That is why you change your solution every two weeks because there is no way of telling how off you are with only a TDS meter.

Ok so yall say this over and over... I am new to hydroponics. I started in jan this year. I tested my Ph 3 times now. It was always near 6.7 I added Ph down and it goes right back up... I have never used a tds meter, when my water gets low I replace it and throw in some of Rons hydro food. I haven't changed my water once. My garden is gorgeous. I have already ate many spinach and bibb lettuce salads. I have zucchinis out the wazoo and 40 or 50 tomatos getting ready to ripen. I think all you need is some water and some hydro solution. Keep yer bells and whistles, they aint needed.

Now that's what I like to hear. I really think it's got something to do with Karma. I tell people to get your Karma right and you won't have a problem growing.

Hello -- I just want to mention that Art Smith from Alabama Hydroponics ( is kind enough to host Tomato Challenge 2002. The basic objective is to grow tomatoes hydroponically and you can use any system to achieve that objective. In case you are curious about the rules, please visit his website and learn about them. As a matter of fact, that site should be viewed as an excellent place to get feedback from other tomato growers. I had a lot of fun with Tomato Challenge 2001 last year and met some really cool people on the internet. hydroponically. Hope to see you all at the contest. Happy Growing, Wayne

looking for cheap, reliable, and easy to use hydroponics systems up to 3 to 4 m2.muchas gracias JV

I am doing a science fair project about hydroponics and need some more info and thought that this might be the place. e-mail me info at


Sorry I don't do homework.

HI Ron: I'm a novice to hydroponics. I built already my 11 plants pvc system. I have a fertilizer called: DYNA-GRO and the formula on the label reads: 7-9-5. and also says that it contains 11 trace elements (don't know what that means) but it has no indication about the correct amount of fertilizer per gallon for, say, tomatoes or peppers. I'm assuming that 1/2 tsp of fertilizer for a gallon would be enough to start. Do you know the brand? do you know the correct amount per gallon? PLEASE !!!HELP!!!. CARLOS ESPINOZA PLANTATION FL.

That's what my guess would be. 1/2 teaspoon is about standard for young plants then I would increase that to a full teaspoon as they mature. Trace elements are needed along with N-P-K for healthy plant growth.

Ron, first off GREAT SITE! I cant believe I've been working with hydroponics for ten years and haven't searched out this place before. Q- I've always used the same old drab system, double buckets an hydrocorn with a drip and just need a change. The system Im going to is 4" PVC, with 4" mesh pots inserted into precut holes in the pipe. Now... can I have a constant flow just running over the roots throughout the lighting cycle or would I be better off with a timed feeding? Theoretically I would feed in one end and drain out the other with the roots suspended into the solution. I looked around the site for the answer but didn't see this discussed, if it's staring me in the face somewhere (probably is) my apologies. Thanks in advance

That is just a form of NFT growing. Yes the water has to flow continuously.

Misc Comments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luck, folks

what is hydroponics and how is it similar and different from soil growing

RE: what is hydroponics and how is it similar and different from soil growing

Hydroponics is the growing of plants in a nutrient solution. There is no soil involved, only an inert medium in most cases.

all you new people learning hydroponics, go threw the pages on this site. learn that way before you ask simple questions, i did. give ron a chance to get to some of us with real grow questions.

what can you tell me that is bad about hydroponics?

my e-mail is

finding the correct nutrients and chemicals for pH control and the equipment needed like pumps, timers and lights at a decent price. 

When you plant in the bottles using the cups, what medium are you putting into the plastic cups that you have your seeds in?

I start my seeds in vermiculite and then transplant them to the 16 oz solo cups with grow rocks.

When you place the cups in the bottles, are the cups "planted" into a medium such as gravel?

The cup with the plant sits inside the 2-liter bottle.

PS: I am new to hydroponics and I found your site very helpful. Thanks for your efforts!

My name is Rock Ishijima, Los Angeles County, have been looking for those who have been enjoying hydroponics in my area. I would like to visit them and learn more about it.

Hello all My name is Ahren And i am building the 11 bay hydroponics unit that is posted on this site (for a school project) I need to ask all you ppl out there for the best nutrient solution that you have found, You can Reach me at thanks for your time

-= AHREN =-

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?

Hi there,

Living in Botswana and working in the clothing industry, I would like to start a small commercial operation and I am thinking of growing vegetables. I do think this systems could be an answer in this country. So the question is how much experience does one need on hydroponics or is this only for high qualified agricultural engineers. Any comment on this idea is welcome as well as any information for me to learn more about. Thanks to all of you.

It takes money more than experience to build an efficient commercial greenhouse.   

How can I talk to you Ron? My name is Louis Larsen #801-253-7695. I need to get advice on how to start doing hydroponics. I have built the greenhouse, and have different designs. I need to know which is best to suit my needs and space (6 X 10) feet. email:

With e-mail Contact Us 

dear ron,

i think i have a problem with my cabbage on hydroponics. after 5 weeks, it just grown by 3 nodes. i dont think its a very good progress.
somebody told me that i might be experiencing bolting. what is bolting ? how can i prevent it and what are the physical manifestation of bolting ?
btw, i am in Philippines where temperature runs above 32 C in the middle of the day. i keep the system cool down by placing it indoor with indoor lamps. i cool the roots with temperature control nutrient solution.

glad your back enjoy your site and i like hydroponics as a hobby

I built a 11-plant garden. The sump is getting algae. How to I get rid of it? Should I paint the RubberMade "sump" to keep out light? The "Home Hydroponics..." book by Lem Jones claims that you can prevent it by keeping a tight lid on the sump. I have a small 2.5 inch round hole for the cord, and water line. I can tape this up. Anyone else had this problem? thanks, mark

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

Dear Ron, I am 14 and I am really into hydroponics. I am wanting to make the 11 plant garden but I can't find the pump. What is the estimated cost and also, whats the best brand. I really like your site and I am a member. Thanks Cameron Burnett

Question on transplanting

Last Thursday, I transplanted squash, cucumber, and eggplant. The squash looks like it played 1 game with Michael Jordan. I mean, it's limp. The other plants look as if nothing happened. I went to the hydro shop the other day and the guy there told me to add a little vitamin B-1 to the nutrient solution. I use it all the time when planting in the ground and it works fine, but in hydroponics, Im wondering if I just plain overdosed the transplants cause I started feeding them Rons straight nutrient right off the bat. The plants old leaves seem to be withering, but the new growth is the healthiest green I've ever seen on a plant.

I guess the question is: Should I cut the nutrient dose in half for a week or two after transplanting? Then give then the full treatment. Seems to me that I read that I should do this somewhere on this website, but there's so much info. here, I can't find it now.

I'll send Ron pics when I figure out how to connect my camera to the back of the computer and transfer the images.


Yes I would cut way back for the first couple weeks. Then slowly increase the dosage every week.

hey ron, george in crescent city were right about greenhouses are too hot for summer use here in fl. using 70% shade cloth, 2 roof turbines, 2 exhaust fans & a small swampcooler still had temps in the 90's.i threw in the towel & moved 2 of the hydro units outside. peppers & tomatoes are alive but almost no growth. my question is for outside use in this heat does the nuit. solution need to be cooled for good growth or should i just forget about summer hydroponics & go fishing?

My peppers on my back porch are also suffering  because of the heat. I don't think they will make it to maturity because it ain't even august yet the hottest month.
I don't think cooling the solution will help that much.
My Heat Wave tomatoes in my pool garden are starting to bloom but I have to let the garden drip continuously during the hot part of the day. 
I'm just going to get my commercial garden ready for this autumns growing season. 

I'm a newbie at hydroponics. Sorry about the paragraph but without all the info it might be hard to help me out. I recently started a Dwarf Tropical Papaya in a large square of rockwool (2x2x3 I think), kept it in a mini greenhouse, and when the roots began protruding from underneath(about 4-5 inches tall, 10 leaves), I transplanted it into a powergrower. 
This is my second try with this plant and would appreciate it if anyone could help me narrow down what I might be doing wrong. 
The first plant showed the first signs when its older leaves, only one at first, started to wrinkle upward toward the edges. I then noticed super tiny white bugs running around in the rockwool, and kind of summed it up as a bug problem. Couldn't seem to keep them away, used liquid soap mixed in with water and poured it all over until soaked. This seemed to work, for a while at least, then they came back. The plant just got worse and died. I haven't noticed any of these bugs with my second plant attempt, but the same symptom is appearing. Except this time I felt the "mottled" leave which was curling and wrinkled upward around the edges, and it was dried out and crackly. I have some ideas, but need to know the most likely cause, might be a combo of all though. 
1st off, is it a bad idea to mix both growing mediums, will the rockwool end up being too moist while the grow rocks (Hydroton) might dry out=over/under watering? What might be a suggested schedule for water? Or should I start over and start one without the rockwool right in the power grower? 
Could humidity be a problem? It is sitting on a bucket of water, and I do have a humidifier on just about all the time located about 4 feed away from this plant. 
Draft? Its winter here, and its located about 2 feet away from sliding glass doors. I am trying to fix this by putting up plastic walls (saran wrap if I have too), until I find a suitable dome that would fit. Any domes made for a power grower?
Nutrient problem? I switched from Shultz seedling/rooting fertilizer works great!) to General Hydroponics 3 part system micro, floro- bloom) and kept it at mild general use, and only watered once a day for 30min. because the rockwool seemed to stay wet and I dug down a bit and it seemed moist in the grow rocks as well. I'm going to go back to using the Shultz diluted fertilizer and hand pour it until it comes back. it was doing so well before) 
Lighting problem? I don't have space for HPS or Halide lights yet and use a vita-lite(24 in.) and full spectrum reptile light.
Another bug problem? I have recently noticed super tiny white and round things that don't move on some of the leaves, only where the base of the stem meets the leaf. I also saw what looked like sap bubbles on parts of the tree trunk still somewhat green and soft) and leaf stems, as if something might be biting it, never saw this before so don't know if this could be something else. 
I am going to be looking closely every day and remove anything like these things if I see them. I think I summed up everything I could think of. I really need some help because all the books 
I've read have so many possible problems that could be effecting my plant that it's hard to narrow it down without experience. Sorry again for the long paragraph.

Want to know how to build a garden?

hi, I'm doing a project on hydroponics and i need to know the advantages and disadvantages of it, And i also need to know why it has developed please can u help me and reply a.s.a.p


Ron, What size (how many gallons per hour) pump do you use in the 11 plant garden that is made with 1" pipe?

You can use a small pump like a 60 GPH without a flow control. So you can use almost any larger size if you use a flow control valve to slow or redirect some of the water back to your tank. So if you add more units you just open up the valve to accommodate more units. That's why it is a good idea to always buy a larger pump because from experience you will want to expand when you catch the hydroponics bug.  

What size (how many gallons per hour) pump would you use for a garden twice that size?

You could probably fill 3 11 plant gardens with a 120 GPH pump if they were right above the tank. It would just take longer to fill more units which could be an advantage if your timer only has 30 minutes on/off pins. 

How do you figure gallons per hour for any size garden?

If a pump won't fill a certain garden or take to long to fill then I know I need a larger size. If water starts to come out of the little hole in the over flow pipe then the pump is to large for the system. So I can either add a flow control valve to slow down the water to the garden or I could add another over flow pipe somewhere in the garden to handle the increase in water volume.   

I have 2 questions, one about lights and the other about food at the end of a cycle. I am currently working with 2-1000W bulbs on a small 8'x4' bed and I have heard about rotating lights and lights that are on tracks. My question is if I use one of the lighting above, can I reduce the bulb size from 1000W to 600 or even 400W and still not effect the plants. There are two different bulbs at this time and I have been told that the would do good with all spectrums of light. 

I would put just one 1000 W on a 6 ft. track mover. If your garden is square (6X6ft.) then I would use one 400 HPS and one 400 MH on a two arm sun circle light mover. All spectrums is best if you can afford it.

The food question is that I am told that my tomato plants should be flushed with clean water at the before I am going to harvest. I was wondering if this is necessary and if so how long should this be done. By the way I have learned a great deal about hydroponics from your site and hope to learn more in the future.

I have never flushed mine and I sure don't get any complaints on the taste of my tomatoes. Tomatoes are harvested sometimes for months as they ripen so it would be a good idea to flush your system every few weeks anyway. 

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) 

Simple passive hydroponics. I am thinking about going passive. Will this work: Some grow rocks in 2 liter bottles, sitting on a tray in a tub of nutrient about 2 inches deep. Whenever it dries out I add more nutrient solution. Is that how simple it can be? How high should the rocks be and where should the seedling be? And I plan on using fluorescent bulbs. What wattages would work? All I want to do is grow two plants for fun. Sorry for the rambling. I just am pretty excited about trying something new. But I need to really keep it simple, I have roommates. Thanks..

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.  

What kind of science project could i do with hydroponics for a ninth grade science fair at a magnet high school?

What types of plants grow best using the hydroponics method? If you have any suggestions please email me at


Hi there. im a high school student whose doing my science research project on hydroponics vs. regular soil growing. I need help on how to build a low maintenance passive hydro system. I would deeply appreciate an email with any sites, tips, or advice. my email is thanks a bunch and please help me out! on page 1 of this Bulletin Board and start reading. Nearly every question you have has been discussed on this website before. Explore my friend. Everything I know about hydroponics I learned from this site.


Hi, Stan Putter, Re your reatives in RSA.There is a very good book on the SA market. HYDROPONICS By Dudly Harris ISBN 086977283x.It tells you everything you need to know about hydroponics. I am also prepared to help. My EMail addr. is

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.

What do hydroponics have to do with tetrahydracarbonol content?


How to grow Lettuce with hydroponics

In a NFT system.

I want to start a passive hydroponics project, and would like to know what kind of materials am i going to need to start?

My brother is into hydroponics. Any ideas for stocking stuffers? He lives in another state, so I don't have any info on the system he uses. Thanks, Colleen

Ron or anyone I was wanting to know if your guys every tried to grow a avocado tree in your systems. I'm starting some plants with my kids and thought i would transplant them in the spring to see how big they can grow. May be will get my greenhouse finished this summer.


I have had a problem trying to grow woody plants like roses and shrub type plants. Plants that love water do best in hydroponics so if avocado falls in that category it might be possible. 

where can I get some info on hydroponics in this website?

take another toke.

We are learning about hydroponics in our science class, and we are going to be setting up a hydroponics lab in our room. What would be the basic setup for making a lab, and do you have any tips? Thanks a lot!

For learning purposes a lot of small gardens are better than larger systems so they can be compared with one another for testing nutrients and light differences. 
Four students can be assigned to each garden to compare results. 
I will be setting up a virtual reality model this spring that schools can copy or just use the VR one as their teaching model.

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

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

Hi Ron I am a beginner in growing tomatoes with hydroponics. I heard i few different things from people on what to do and don't know which to trust

I have been growing a batch for maybe two weeks i am using two different seeds of tomatoes. So far the big ones have a long stem and two leaves. I have been keeping my light on 24/7 and i manually water them twice a day using a pump to fill my tank from a reservoir. I always make sure the rockwool looks as wet as possible.

Keeping the light on 24/7 is that bad for the plants at all?


How important is a micronutriunt tester?

I can't imagine growing without one.

How important is a PH tester?

Can get by with an inexpensive test kit that I will be selling nest week. pH meters have to many calibration problems.

What temperature should I keep my plants at?        

 75 degrees

Any suggestions would really help me out thanks...


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.

i've heard you can increase yeild of a hydroponics crop with oestrogen. when should it be added to the grow feed and in what quantities?

I am only beginner on Hydroponics Worlds. I wanna know that why we must treat water with ozone and UV light for using in Hydroponics. I mean both UV and Ozone at the same time. Why we must use both for high expenses

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

i am planning on an undergrad thesis on hydroponics could you suggest some possible areas where i could make a study on? please?

hi guys i am fairly new to hydroponics and want to build the 11 plant garden. i understand all about building it but dont understand the folowing: do you just stick your medium in the pop bottles then plant your plant and turn the water on? what is the whole thing about the PH? what is it suppost to be like? do you use a grow medium? or do you just make something to hold the top part of the plants out of the water? what size of pump shuold you use for the 11 plant garden? sorry for all of the questions but i really need to know. -jon

I am a student doing research on hydroponics. I am going to test how the different plant nutrients affect plant growth. I'd like to know which nutrients are the most essential (I'm assuming phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium) and how I might go about setting up different nutrient solutions to be able to do the experiment

O.K. I'm a little slow. Looked all thru previous messages for size of reservoir, then found it hiding in "Order Your Own Hydroponics Garden". Thanx anyway, Chris in N.C.

what exactly is hyfroponics? who found out about them or discovered this could work?

Hi My Name is Keena, I'm an 8th grade student in FL. I am in an association called TSA (technical student association). As one of our first activities we have to do a project (of course). In groups of two we had to pick either Aeroponics or Hydroponics and make a display board w/ report and make a working model. I picked Hydroponics, but I don't really know too much about it. I know what Hydroponics is, but I'm still kind of shaky. I want to do a really good project to help me on competetion level but I can't buy a kit, it doesn't need to be big and fancy, and I don't want to spend alot of money..............CaN ANYONE HELP ME??
I saw the picture of the Hydroponics gardens you had, but they are way too difficult, Can you show plans for simpler ones, and cheap parts, also would a fish tank pump work??(tryin to save money)

Hi. My name is Jon Whitsitt, and a friend and I are conducting and experiment with hydroponics. Our teacher wants us to mix all the nutrients ourselves, and we only need something called "trace elements" if anyone could give us a hand, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help.

My group in class has to do a project comparing hydroponics and aeroponics. Can you please tell us what would be the cheapest and quickest way to grow mint with hydroponics?

i love hydroponics, i wish that it actually worked

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

when did singapore started hydroponics?

Hi, you seem very helpfull with this stuff so I would like to ask you some questions. Is it possible to take a Cuting dip it in rooting Gel and grow roots in well filtered water with plant gravel and an air pump? The cuttings end would always be in the filtered water in gravel and in high humidity and low light. also What is the proper PH level for Hydroponics.. I have seen 5.8 - 6.8 Would it be better lower or higher here. Thanks

I am looking to set up a Hydroponics garden and I am just looking for a list of the required elements such as chemicals.. and lighting requirements...

where does hydroponics first develop?

will this work & whats it called?? a five gallon bucket filled with water/nutrient an air rock on the bottom, the plant being held in standard basket with hydroton clay,the roots are in water 24/7 the bucket is emptied,cleaned and fresh water/nutr. added every 7-10 days.comments?? suggestions???

Hello I am just starting with Hydroponics. My first plants are so weak and and of are beginning to die. What it is supposed to be wrong. I live in Venezuela. Regards Hugo Perdomo

Fertilizer For Hydroponics. My ? is where in southern california or online can i purchase the ingredients to mix my own formula based on dr. hoagland formula? email me or reply here on the boards

i want to do hydroponics for a science fair project but i have some questions. Does it still count as hydroponics if you water your plants once a week but don't use any soil? could i just make a little rack that the plants are clipped to through a water bottle top and have the roots dip in the water? Do i have to have a "system" or is there anything way less time consuming and inexpensive i can do for my project?

I need advice. My name is Kiyon an I am 24 years old, I live in the caribean. There is greate demand for short crops in my country, example tomatoes, lettuce, sweet pepper and cucumbers. I would like to start growing tomatoes hyderponically, but there is no help or info on such. I have a market to tap into which is to provide 5,000 lbs of tomatoes pre week. I need to be educated. A system best suits my climate,size of greenhouse, seed that can be used, equipments and plans needed for construction, training in the field of hydroponics so I can also help others help themselves. what ever you offer will be of use to me in developing my business plan. Thank You.

I'm reading a book on hydroponics, and it has an example that I want to try, but I am having trouble finding some parts. The list is as follows: • One length of Marley Flowline UPVC square section-guttering 6.5ft (2m) long by 4.5in (11.4cm) wide. • Four stop-ends for the square-section guttering. • Four support brackets for the square-section guttering. • A length of black UPVC electrical conduit, 0.8in (2cm) outside diameter. (This is sold at DIY stores as ‘PVC round conduit heavy gauge black 2cm X 2m’. • Two tank fittings to adapt the conduit tubing into the UPVC house guttering. These are sold as ‘20mm adapter with male bush black’. An alternative to the conduit and tank fittings could be the downcomer unit sold with the guttering; this is, however, much larger and more suited to the greenhouse system. • A cold water UPVC tank sold as ‘4 gallon/18 litres with lid’. If a larger tank can be accommodated then this would give longer periods between solution changes; the nutrient balance should be maintained using a cF 1meter while topping up with water. • A spreader mat. • An 18W submersible pump with a head of 5ft (1.5m). • A tap to control the flow. Ok so I think I can use stuff from for the guttering, but where the heck am I supposed to get the two tank fittings to adapt the conduit tubing into the guttering?? (it says there will be a hole cut into the guttering for the adapter thing) And what the heck is a spreader mat? I found some stuff for the conduit but I don't think it's UPVC. And where am I supposed to get a tap? I'm completely LOST LOST LOST. Help?

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

HPS or MH 

Re: Difference between HPS lights

There is no real difference between the lights you buy at the hardware store and at a hydroponics store. The ones at a hardware store often times have a built in ballast, and a grow light has a remote ballast, making it a bit cooler. The light they put out is the same, given the same reflector, which you can build. If the wattage is the same, go for the cheaper light.


Science Fair:

I'm 15 and am in 10th grade. I wanted to do something with hydroponics and so I started researching. I don't know what the certain percentages are for the nutrients that must go into the plant solution or where i could get them. Any ideas?

Please read Q & A Page 2 thru 53 above. Or use the Search Page to narrow your search.
 It's just like homework ain't it. 


I am new to hydroponics and wanted to know if a pump that circulates the water is necessary. Is it okay to have free standing water if you have an oxygen pump. Also, is it okay to have a clear tank, or should it be so that light can't get in. Answers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Yes a pump is necessary and yes a clear tank will get slimy from the light hitting the water.

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.

Hi Ron. Here at unc charlotte scanning last years questions and comments pages. my assignment is to write a paper on growing a hydroponics garden in a limited space such as a small section like 3x3 ft. What would be the beginers garden and what to expect out of it when following instructions precisely. My example is using bean plants and what kind of maximum yield can I expect from using the basic elements. Food light pump water. sincerely henry ridenhour

Can I use Shultz Fertilizer in an EBB and flow system. Like the 10-60-10 stuff.


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

I have been wanting to start with hydroponics for some time now and bought some nutrient off the shelf 3 years ago. I eventually built a experimental plant now and used the nutrient,planting cabbage without success.

Does the stuff go off

Hannes Richard

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

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

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

Thanks, Gina Sartor

Hi. We are students at Providence College working on a hydroponics website for our environmental politics class. We are unable to find information on large-scale hydroponics operations. If anyone could be of assistance in providing us with information about publications or websites pertaining to this, please e-mail us at Thanks so much!!!

Hi, i´m very impressed of your work with bottles and pvc pipes, but how many pounds of tomatoes do you get for each plant a harvest ? , and how many harvest do you obtain a year crop ?. I´m thinking like you, that the hydroponics crop could be a very good business for now and especial in my country (Venezuela) where every thing is becoming expensive and bad quality. I´be happy if you answer me the question before, because is very important the fiel data in a system like yours.

from venezuela, please to meet you,


can i get info on hydroponics

Do you have any "how to" videos available for sale? It would help me a lot to be able to see how to build one of your units.

I would like to know if it is alright to grow hydro tomatoes in Eucyliptus, oak, poplar ,and pine shavings

Bruce McDougald

If anyone has or knows of a site with detailed designs of a hydroponics center, please email me at I'm working on an engineering project and have to design and urban gardening center! Thanks

Hello there Hydro World,

We are starting a commercial lettuce operation in Mexico and I am interested on people who want to share experiences on the Deep Flow Tech. We are in the lettuce growing business. Any Ideas about controlling Algae? Good growing to you all!


Algae is your friend when it comes to hydroponics. Without algae there is no nutrients in the water. 
Have you ever seen plants growing from of a swimming pool? 

Check out the lastest and great resources for Hydroponics!


Remember a good over all pH is 6.0

I have been growing a certain plant now for a number of years. I have been using soil i have had success i have become quite good at what i do. However I live in the UK and this particular plant is frowned upon by some (lets call them uneducated) people. I have decided to start growing hydroponically as people i talk to tell me i would get a better crop. Obviously i have also been reading all about hydroponics from a number of places. I have to say this site is definitely one of the better sites i have visited you explain in very good detail how things should be done. When i set up, this site will be visited over and over until i get it right..... keep up the good work......KENNY SWANSEA WALES UK

Happy Holidays! I recently found a Phototron II and it is fully operational (lights anyway). However, I am a complete novice on the system and how hydroponics work in such a device. What do I need to acquire to get started (i.e. growing medium, fertilizer solution, pumps, BOOKS, test kits, etc.). I dreamt of owning one of these thing since high school so I hope it has been worth the wait!

Sorry that garden is all hype. You can't grow much with florescence lights, the light source in them. 

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.


Hello my name is John W. .I'm in the 6th grade. I'm using hydroponics for my Science Fair at school. My teacher wants us to have an expert comment us on our hypothesis. My hypothesis is: I believe the plants in potting soil will grow bigger, stronger and faster because of minerals in it. Could you please comment on my hypothesis? Thank you John White at

ron: i am planning to make your hydroponics kit which you show in the 8 lesson hydroponics tutorial, and i probably plan to place it inside in a room with little to no ambient light. If i grow beans, what type of light/lights would be the best setup in terms of cost effectiveness vs. how well they provide the plants with light? i would welcome any input that anyone has on this topic.

P.S. i am building this for a science project

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.

what is the environmental impact of hydroponics?

How can you recycle Nutrients using hydroponics?

What is one future use of hydroponics?

Hello, i am a 4th grader with a science project on hydroponics. i need as much information as you can possibly give me. step by step procedure, list of materials, authors of books on this subject, sources, my teacher told me to get it from encyclopedia, researchers, librarians, or from my computer. if you can help me please send information to my mommy also thank you

What is some statistical information about hydroponics?

I would like to know if any1 know a good source for hydroponics

I have to do a chemistry project for school using hydroponics. The thing is I don't have any experience in hydroponics. I already did some research and i have purchased the following equipment: 400 watt MH lamp, 5 and 10 gallon Rubbermaid containers, air pump, water pump. I don't know what kind of nutrients to use or growing medium. I also need ideas on something easy to grow that would react well to different types of nutrients. Ideas on home-made nutrients are the main point that iam aiming for. And you have to keep in mind that this is for a school chemistry project.

You can Email at

Hello, I am new to hydroponics and am going to build the basic 11 plant garden to try to grow tomatoes. There are two questions I have at the top of my head.

1) what kind of pump should I use:

2) is there anything I should know about growing the tomatos?

Can I use calcium chloride for hydroponics, I have no access to calcium nitrate.

I'm a small-scale veggie grower, using hydroponics for some of my crops. I'm thinking about starting up a hydroponics ezine (online magazine), to share information I've found about cost-effective building methods, growing strategies, online resources, etc. I'm trying to determine how much demand there would be for such an online magazne, before I go through all the work of creating it. Would any of you be interested in subscribing to such an ezine, for about $10 a year?

What are some negative things about hydroponics?

Many people seem to have no idea as the the chemicals involved in hydroponics, so I'll take a shot at these. Fist off, Calcium chloride is NOT a substitute for Calcium nitrate. Some of the chemicals that are absulutely necessary include: Calcium nitrate, Potassium phosphate, Magnesium sulfate, small amounts of chelated metals (Fe,Cu,Mn,Zn EDTA) and trace amounts of boric acid, molybdic acid, and cobalt sulfate. Other chemicals are necessary for pH control, acids to lower pH -phosphoric or nitric acid, and Potassium hydroxide to raise pH if necessary, or sanitation chemicals like hydrogen peroxide. For those people who are not chemists, it is best to use a nutrient specific for hydroponics - Look for high percentages of nitrate verses ammonia/urea. Stay away from soil nutrients like miracle grow as they do not use calcium nitrate, but rather urea.

Hi Ron i am interested in hydroponics, i live in Cavite philippines, can you advise me of shops/businesses that supply nutrient and hydro growing equipment in my area or Manila Thanks Ray (aussie as well)

FYI CoCo Bricks
For the article, go to
Upper left hand corner, click on : "General Hydroponics"
On the next page, in the left hand column, click on: Growing Media, click on "CoCo Peat"
On the next page, click under Description, click on: CoCo Peat (Case of 24). The article is here.
Sorry, but you must go through all these pages to get it.
More information is at
Haven't been signing my posts, but I'm Tailwheel

i need some help with a class project where i want to compare growing plants w/hydroponics to growing plants in soil, & vice versa.

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

Been busy building a list of on-line suppliers for us hobbyist. Lights, medium, nutrients & pumps. For lights go to The grow max jr mh is $154, the hps-$189. For water pumps go to Cheapest anywhere. Nutrient is hard to figure out cause mixing ratios are different but if your looking for cheap, has a 3 part solution for $6.00 per liter. Medium, depending on how much you need is $30 for 50ltr at or has the best price for a smaller quantity, 3.5 gallons for $10. I got all my supplies, except nutrient, from these people and am happy with all of it.

what is hydroponics

growing plants without dirt

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.

I'm a High School student, and I'm doing a science fair project on growing grass in hydroponics,and seeing which type of fertilizer works best. If yall could give me any info. about what types I should use and which types work best, I would appreciate it a lot! Thanks for yalls time! P.A.

back to dirt it was nice at first then low water fert. burn next time pump burn out whats next back to dirt will still read your great site iv done tests & dirt seems to grow faster hydro no way you just have to judge for your self

All you have to do is watch as my tomato plants mature then you will have good idea how fast one can grow with hydroponics . Read the dates on the pictures as I post them everyday. Pictures don't lie. 
You can also watch them all die if we get an early freeze here in Florida before I get my greenhouse enclosed.

Does anyone have the pdf file edition 2 of How-to-Hydroponics? This is one that used to be able to be downloaded, but required the Soft-lock key that you had to purchase before you were able to open the pdf file. I've managed to screw up my drive, and don't have a copy, and you can't download that version any more. I doubt that it has enough info to be worth another $20. And, I've already purchased the key to edition 2. Thanks for your help. Jim Bradley -- Maryville, MO USA (

Please disregard my question regarding a copy of edition 2 of "How-to Hydroponics" that I'd posted earlier. I found a copy on an archive CD that I'd burned. Jim Bradley

I would like to know if anyone has tried growing Okra using hydroponics and what the average yield might be. You can email me at

I got four okra plants just starting. I will let you know how they do.

first off would like to compliment on the wonderful site. my question is i would like to start in hydroponics and i am planning on building the system out of two 5 gal. buckets can i use aquarium gravel as my medium or should i use clay, i want to grow bananas so any help with that would be helpful thanks

The more porous the medium the better.

I'm doing a science fair project on hydroponics and it is very hard to find information on this topic. It would be very helpful if you could help me find valuable information on this topic. Thank You.

Hi my name is Matt! I am doing a project for PJAS (Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science) and I want to do a topic dealing with hydroponics. And I was wondering if anybody had any ideas. If you do please post them on. THANKS!!

Information about hydroponics is all over the web. You can start by looking through this site. If that ain't enough, try the below sites for info & do it yourself units. There are a bunch more, you just have to look!!!!!



Hey Ron! I am wondering what plant will grow good in this weather using hydroponics.

I am growing tomatoes, peppers, and herbs of all kinds. It is getting kind of cool at night (45 degrees) now. My tomatoes are just showing and if we have an early frost they will be history. I will try to cover them if that happens. 

the pH level in my hydroponics solution is to high. how do i lower it?

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

Hi all, I am stuying on black pumice rocks- volcanic lava rocks for Hydroponics uses and about the demand of it in Hydroponics market. I need all kind of information about it... Even only one sentence!!! Thanks, Yonca

I want to grow blackberries with hydroponics and controlled lighting to increase the harvest season. Is this being done anywhere else? How can I get reliable advise on the system I should build and the nutient solution?

hello i am trying to grow some of that indoor, where can i find a a sealed and odor less hydroponics or some other indoor(greenhouse)

hello i am trying to grow some of that indoor, i am trying to grown some northern lights. where can i find a sealed and odor less hydroponics or some other indoor(greenhouse)..easy to use ,,i looking for something new or used..a good price.. thanks,,JPitz

hello, i hope someone can help me with this.i am doing a feasibility study on hydroponics as part of my college curriculum...its my thesis.can anyone send me info on the equipment needed, materials, and the cost and where can i purchase them? im from the philippines...thank me at

hello, i hope someone can help me with this.i am doing a feasibility study on hydroponics as part of my college curriculum...its my thesis.can anyone send me info on the equipment needed, materials, and the cost and where can i purchase them? im from the philippines...thank me at

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. 


do you grow marijuana not that u would post it if u did but u mite

I am a marijuana decriminalization  proponent and not afraid to speak out after living and learning the facts of our 30 year old drug war. 
Everything I learned about hydroponics was from pot growing books and magazines like High Times in the early 80's because that's all I could find. "Ask Ed"
After building my first greenhouse in 1991 I had a sheriff helicopter hovering over it checking what I was growing.
My neighbors freak out. I don't know what they were growing but I was growing veggies.
I didn't realize I bought land in an area known as marijuana row. 
So with a sign like Pipe Dreams Hydroponics out in front of my place do you really think I got balls big enough to try and grow pot.
I will admit that this web site was first started as my way of thumbing my nose at our elected officials for being so stupid but now has grown into a business.
And because of that you may have noticed that I do censer some pot questions because our paid politicians have passed a law making it a crime to answer such questions over the internet. 
So until you pot heads start getting involved and petitioning your elective officials  we will only be growing veggies on this web site.

What are the differences between Hydroponics and Aeroponics?

Why Hydroponics are more common in Singapore?

Anyone have experience doing hydroponics outside in South Florida?

concerning hydroponics outside in florida. i am goin to try it next week after this cold gets out of here. ron doesn't seem to have a problem. he has some outdoor gardens on his site. i'm in crescent city & i am getting temps. of 115 in the greenhouse already. time to move outside. george in cc fl.<>

what kinds of nutrients does a plant need in hydroponics.

what are the disadvantages of using hydroponics?



First, I have to thank you for such a wonderful web site, and the obvious time and effort you have put into it at no charge to us. I've been able to establish some great hydroponics garden setups on my apartment patio. This hydroponics thing is so cool.

Question - I've been using Formula One nutrient and my plants have been blooming and producing fine for a while now. In your opinion, is it any benefit to use the Florabloom (General Hydroponics product I think) during the blooming stage or does the Formula One work just as well. Thanks again.

I have been using Formula One for 15 years and I swear by it. You don't need to add anything. Just increase the ppm for blooming. 1500 ppm or higher.

hi ron,

i am growing my lettuce on hydroponics. well, its 2 weeks to harvest, yet the leaves are still too open as in its not closing.

is it a problem of K ? will a higher K keep the lettuce open ?



Here is a head of lettuce I grew that wouldn't turn into a head but it still tasted good. Bibb or Leaf lettuce is better for hydroponics. 

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.

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!

Hi Ron, My name is Leslie and im new to hydroponics. I have my 9 plant garden in the works and a couple questions arose.

1) I have a 11.5 Rubbermaid reservoir and the only pump that I can locate is a 150 GPH. I already built my overflow pipe , is this pump considered small enough? I don't need a valve controller do I?

That size is fine and you will know if you need a flow control valve if water comes out the little hole on top of the over flow pipe.

2) Also what is a good timer? What timer do you use??

I use the cheap kind for some gardens with overflow pipes and an $80. Dayton cycle timer for my large gardens without overflows.

3) I know that you cap off 3 corners of the tees in the 9 plant garden, but the 4th is where the pump hose goes through. I know that but if im using 1 inch pvc, do I use a threaded tee and 1/2 in hose connector for the 4th corner??

That is correct.

Thanks Ron Ill keep in touch!

Hello Ron! Thank you for the opportunity of this site.

I'm looking for a job with hydroponics in Florida. I have good experience with lettuce and other folliages. My home phone is (813) 661.4841 or e-mail:

If this could be posted, I'd be most grateful. Yours, Fernando Santana.

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.

I am just getting started in the hydroponics world and wanted ordered a 3-way light, soil, water PH tester. The company I ordered it from said they were out of stock and would not get any more. I have looked elsewhere online and have not yet found another. Do you know where I can find one or are they reliable? What kind of tester should I get? I did not want to spend a lot of money. Any info would be appreciated.

Careful those dirt pH and soil testers are different than hydro testers. It might be a good thing they were out. 

hi, I´ve built the 11 plant system and I have some tomato plants growing in grorocks & Flora series. I put the tomatoes in the system less than 2 month ago. The tomatoes don´t grow very much (are 7 or 8 inches high) but they started flowering already. Should I leave these flowers or prune. This is my first attempt with hydroponics. I'm in Mexico City, lots of light and warm weather, not very hot yet. Thanks a lot, Victoria

Flowers turn into tomatoes so if you prune the flowers then you just lost your fruit.

hi, I have to do a science fair project. So I chose hydroponics because it looked interesting. I am growing yellow peppers. My set up is my plants are in a small tin with different watering solutions because I want to see which one works best. I have been trying to grow my plants for about 5 days but they just aren't germinating if you could please give me some advice please write me back at

Hello -- I just want to mention that Art Smith from Alabama Hydroponics ( is kind enough to host Tomato Challenge 2002. The basic objective is to grow tomatoes hydroponically and you can use any system to achieve that objective. In case you are curious about the rules, please visit his website and learn about them. As a matter of fact, that site should be viewed as an excellent place to get feedback from other tomato growers. I had a lot of fun with Tomato Challenge 2001 last year and met some really cool people on the internet. hydroponically. Hope to see you all at the contest. Happy Growing, Wayne

This is going to be the first year I will not have a garden of tomatoes and peppers in my yard since I retired 14 years ago. Arthritis has claimed most of my body and my ability to garden has been cut by 90%. I would like to try hydroponics so I can still have a crop. I need something simple and with low maintance. Please can anyone help me.



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

Attn: All Tomato growers

Here's a list of URL's that you may find interesting on different things that may harm or kill you plants.


I am really interested in Purchasing a Pipe dreams 160 but I am concerned that it may not produce the same weight you might get with soil. The cup spaces look to be too close together. I would like to get at least an ounce of my favorite vegetable after a seven or eight week flowering cycle. I know it can be done in soil with a 3 week veg. cycle first but can the same thing be done with this system? If so what is the recommended veg. time to do this or maybe recommended plant height. Anyone out there know what I'm talking about? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, James

Weight has more to do with seed verity than with growing in soil or hydroponics. 

hey, ron where do you go to buy grow rock and will fish tank rock work.If I use merical grow for my nuteints will it work. I am doing this for a scince project and think that Hydroponics are really think that it is COOL!!!!! I built your 11 plant system and everone thinks it's COOL. Thank you for your site and hope your buiness does Great this spring and summer.

At the grow store. No. And No.

This week I was going through the web and found so many places to buy pumps and so many pumps to choose from. The best I found so far was

Any insight on this or any one of you tried this company before?

A friend of mine on-line said that the VA2600 worked well for him but I would like a more expert outlook on this.


I have just got into hydroponics and started looking on the web for pumps. The best place I found was: The VA1300 and VA2600 are working best for me and prices are so low for the quality.

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. 

Hello, does anyone out there know much about growing strawberries hydroponicly. I live in Taiwan and its hot and humid most of the time. I know the plant likes cool temperatures and have read that you can cool the nutrient solution, and use shadecloth with fans to reduce air temps. Is there any problem with nutrients at 60 or 65 and air temps at 80. If you have any information, I would appreciate it. Its especially hard to find much information on hydroponics in tropical places. Thank you. Jack

I am a South African who would like to establish a commercial hyroponics operation. I have absolutely no experience in hydroponics, but strongly believe that it is the way to go in SA, particularly as we do not have a lot of arable land. please advise on I should go about establishing a commercial hydroponics operation, in terms of costs, requirements, crops, etc.

Thanks MN

Dear Ron, Thanks for a great site, I really has helped me with various questions. =) I have a Hydroponics Waterfarm and a drip system using a aquarium pump (aerophonic?). My plants are in Grodan Rockwool and planted in legga. Can I leave the drip system om 24/7 or how often?

Regards Dan from Denmark, Europe

That might be to much for rockwool. Rockwool stays wet longer than grow rocks so you might have a root rot problem.

hi ron,

just wondering ... can one grow orchids using hydroponics ?



Yes but what nutrient mix to use I don't know.

How easy is it to grow mint using hydroponics?


What plants are easiest to grow using hydroponics?


I am new to hydroponics, and i have a few plants in soil and a few in the 11 plant garden. I have taken clones from the plants in soil, and they are doing fine in vermiculite and plain water. I also have taken a few clones from my hydro-plants, and they are not doing fine in only vermiculite and water. Do I need to use a mild nutrient solution for theses clones? Is vermiculite o.k. or should the clones be put in the 11 plant garden? and watered 3 times per hour? any info will help out alot, thanks

Yes you should use 1/4 strength solution for clones.

Growing Asparagus hydroponics how long before you would get to harvest it? And can you make a profit at growing it hydroponics? And do you know of some one that is doing it now?

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. 

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

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

Have you ever heard of Peter's Fertilizer? I cannot find it in the stores anymore. I read something about the Scott's Company selling the Peter's line to Alljack Celex. Then I found Alljack makes the KGRO GRO BEST products. Is this the same as Peter's?


Peter's is a well known company that makes fertilizer for dirt and hydroponics. 
In this age of big business who knows who owns what. Pretty soon a few companies will own everything. They already own our government.

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

Attn: Pingman, Re: boxes

Yep, I found under bed storage boxes at K-Mart that look like they could be used. Go to the storage box area in the store and look way up high next to the wall for them. They won't be displayed with the regular storage boxes. Cost is around 15.00. Some are plain boxes, some have wheels and some have a drawer built in. The plain box w/lid is maybe 4 ft. lg. X2-1/2 ft. wide and has a reasonably flat lid.

You may want to hit: and take a good look there for plastic boxes. The prices seem pretty good to me.

I'm still looking for a pump that will give me between 20-30 psi for the spray system. I ran a test on my little 160 gal/hour pump and there's not enough pressure to operate the sprinkler.

If anyone knows shat pump to use, let me know.



Hi, I have some free time this summer and I want to try growing a plant hydroponicly. I don't want to spend a lot of money because I don't have much, ha ha ha. Anyway, I want to do this in a water solution. Anyone give me some tips or links to where I can find a picture or plans for a 1-plant aqua hydroponics setup? Thanks.

Oh, one more do plants grown hydroponicly get the carbon necessary for them to grow?

Thanks: arjun

Chlorophyll, the substance that gives plants their green color, converts carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, water (containing nutrients) and light energy into carbohydrates and oxygen. This process is called photosynthesis. What results is plant life. You then eat the carbohydrates and breath the air.

Hi. I'm the guy who asked about the cannabis plant. I am thinking of making an ebb/flow system for my plants, for the simple reason that it would take up less veticle space than using the 2 litre system. I am gonna be growing in 4ft tall grow box, and the reservoir and grow tray alone are going to take up about 20 inches, so I need to spare as much room as I can. I am going to be using sterilized lava rocks in the grow tray which will hold six plants. I have 3 questions.

1. Will the 2 inch pvc hose connector that I am using to both fill and drain the system get clogged up by the lava rocks, and prevent the system from draining? If so, how can I prevent this?
No lava rocks should not clog up any size.
2. How often should I flood the system? I will be on a 24 hr. lighting schedule for veg. growth.
Every 20 or 30 minutes.
3. I want to try to use Miracle grow as my nutrient. What would be the best kind to use for growing buds?
I wouldn't use Miracle-Gro if I was growing pot. I would use a real hydroponics solution from any of the grow stores mention on this web site.
I know this is a lot of questions, but I want to make sure that I get everything right the first time. Thank you for your time.

How well does citrus in a hydroponic system ? What are the optimum conditions ? Any advice or hint ? Maybe a book or website. I didn´t 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.

Hello Ron,
Your site is great, and already a 'mini-history' of hydroponics (going back nearly 3 1/2 years)
I couldn't find much on using anything but 2L or 1 gal containers--but it seems that a 'hybrid' system using 3L+ and 1.5L bottles would be ideal for say letuce and tomatoes, etc. Any ideas about a design and pump, etc?

Also, re: lighting. What do you suggest for a greenhouse that is in the shade (east side of house) for at least half of the day: sodium or MH, or one of the newer 'warm MH' Phoenix Gary

Because your greenhouse is sunny for the first half of the day with mostly white sunlight then I would use HP sodium because that's the kind of light you would be lacking the last half of the evening. Ron

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

Spider Mites

I'm starting a hydro system and wondering if i can continuously run water through my system. I'm new to this whole process and would like to know about active hydroponics thanks

You can if you put an air stone in your tank to add a lot of oxygen but it's not recommended because your roots do need that ebb and flow action for healthy growth. NFT systems are continuous running and work well because the water is flowing and doesn't sit in almost stagnate water. Ron

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

Paint strainers work well.

Can we use liquid from a first, second or third stage hog lagoon as a source for our hydroponics nutrient stream?

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!

Are there currently any studies or unanswered questions in hydroponics? Does anyone have any ideas about a science project I can do on hydroponics? here is the link to the algorythm site it is the answer to a lot of my questions! thank you all ! can anyone help with the sea of green questions?

Help! My plants, now about 12 days under a 1000W MH lamp (18 hour veg stage), are doing something very strange. Some of the stems, for about 1/4” just above the growing medium, are turning brown and shriveling, making it necessary to stake the small plants. Not all plants are doing this – only about half of them. So far they are not dieing but I fear they will in time. I’m using a (General Hydroponics) mild nutrient solution, 900-1000 ppm, ph of 6, grow room has plenty of ventilation and temp about 70 degrees, feeding sparingly – 1 time a day with ebb & flow system in grorocks medium (started plants in rockwool cubes). Water temp is kept about 80 degrees. Any suggestions?

Watering one time a day! I water every 20 minutes. Your plants can't get enough nutrients being watered once a day.

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. 

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. 

I purchased the 11-plant garden and am very confused. I am a first time hydroponics user and am demonstrating if hydroponics or soil works better for the city of Chicago science fair. I would like to know how to germinate the seeds. I tried just putting them in the cups and having the pump on a timer, but all i got was smelly mold. Does anyone have any suggestions?? I really need to know, so please e-mail me at

Start your seeds in vermiculite, perlite or rockwool starter cubes and transplant to the garden when they are 3 or 4 inches tall. 

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.  

I found your website, and it I have become very interested in starting hydroponics in my house. The plans that are on your page are beautiful, but how do I start to grow the plants? Do i start with seeds, or do i start with sprouted plants? Also, how do I anchor the plant in the growth chamber. Any information on these questions, and anything else would be greatly appreciated. My email addy is Thanks for your time

I've just started experimenting w/ hydroponics. I planted tomatoes in a bucket drip system, tomatoes grew like mad. It has put on quite a few buds but hasn't flowered yet. The buds have been on for quite some time, over a month and still no flowers, while the tomatoes in my garden have flowers and also small tomatoes on them. am using mirical gro and epsom salt. what's going on???

You need to add some calcium nitrate to that  and adjust your pH between 5.7 - 6.1

I have a question for my homework..."Describe how a yield of tomatoes is affected by the use of hydroponics. You will need to make a comparison with yield in another production system. you will need to compare the yield with figures" Can anyone help me please. Email Hayley at

I am wondering if there are any free sites that give nice blueprints for DIY hydroponics gardens. The 11 garden is really nice and I am having loads of fun, but I want to try a new system....

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

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

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. 

I'm new and have never done hydroponics. I'm thinking about buying a hydro garden to grow hot peppers with. How good do hot peppers grow this way and if I do get a garden do I need that rockwool stuff? Thanks!

ive built a system similar to the waterfarm that general hydroponics makes (drip system using a aquarium pump, 5 gallom bucket and a 3.5 gallon bucket) i was wondering how often and how long i should let it run for and in what intervals I.E 20min 3 times day? Or can i leave it on all day?

If you are using grorocks like I am with my banana tree then you can let it run 24/7.


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.

Hi Ron, I am looking to grow alfalfa using hydroponics and would like advise and feedback from members with experience of this.

Attn: Virginia420

In your post you said 3 tablespoons per gallon of nutrient solution. Just make sure of your numbers, because that will FRY most smaller plants. Using General Hydroponics solutions, even a teaspoon per gallon of each is a bit much for clones.


>Live in South Africa. New to Hydroponics. Have some ideas. Need assistance with Nutrient Formulas. Can you help ??? ... have joined your free member- ship. Great to be onboard. > >Kind regards Eugene Lombard

Eugene, check the FAQ. There are some links there that may help. Personally, I've been through the Miracle Gro and do it yourself thing. I buy the real stuff now. What I currently use (and am pretty happy with) are the Rockwool nutrients. Good luck.


Hi Folks, Another question, I bought General Hydroponics Flora-Gro (quart) for my 12 gallon reservoir, 6 plant set up. After doing some more research (reading Ron's site), I got the impression I have to also mix it with Flora-Micro and Flora Bloom for the nutrient to work correctly. Is this the case, or will just Flora-Gro work? I have had a clone in there for 3 days, it hasn't died, but doesn't seem to be growing either. By the way, I mixed 3tsp. per gallon, not tbsp as mentioned in my previous post. Any help would be gratefully appreciated. Virginia420

I think you have to mix the micro with the grow or bloom. Which ever you are using but don't mix the grow with the bloom.

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.   

Dear Ron, I am a teacher at George Junior Republic School for adjudicated youth in Grove City, Pennsylvania. This year I have one senior who is interested in hydroponics for his senior project. We have looked over your website and are interested in purchasing your 11 plant garden. Would this be a good idea for a senior project? We would appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thanks Craig Wozniak

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

hey im new to hydroponics any suggestions on getting started. Can you transplant to the outdoors after you start if you wish? thanks Ray Smith

I have just built a greenhouse and my hydroponics are doing well.Ihave just bought a bluelab truncheon nutrient meter. could you tell me the correct readind for my tomatoes as the meter reads p p m 500 and p p m 700 in uk they use 500 and in usa 700

Ron, Several years ago while surfing sites concerning hydroponics I saw a page dealing with different aspects of hydroponics and one item they had for sale was a software program for mixing nutrients.

I believe the name of this program was ProChem or something like that. Do you happen to know where I could get this program or the site/page where it is sold?



No but if you find it I would like to check it out.

First off I would like to say thanks for providing such a great site Ron; I have spent many days studying the abundant material here. I have a couple of questions for the hydro veterans regarding my 16-plant garden that I modeled after Ron's design, consisting of various vegetables (bell; jalapeno; hot-cherry; cayenne peppers, tomatoes, yellow crook neck squash, garlic-chives, and cucumber).

Now for the Questions... I am using General Hydroponics’ Flora Advanced Nutrient System. I have not been able to pin down how to identify the plant's transition from vegetative to bloom phase, to blooming and ripening phases.

How do I best recognize the phase transitions?
Most of my plants are young, 6 inches tall or less, and not yet blooming, except for the bell pepper and the cucumber, which are at least 10 inches tall with a couple of flowers. How should I handle the different nutrient formulas for plants in slightly different growth phases?

That is the problem with those two part grow and bloom nutrient formulas. When to change to the bloom mix. That is why when I did use a liquid solution I used Formula One A&B because you use the same mix throughout the life of the plant. You just increase the ppm as the plants matures. 
I would switch when I saw fruit on at least half the plants in your garden. 

When stringing the plants up is it better to wait until there is fruit on them, or start supporting them early on (I am using Dixie cups and grow rocks).

Are there any newbie mistakes I can avoid when stringing the plants?

wait for the fruit so you won't have to do it twice unless your plants are falling over.

Thanks again for providing a outstanding resource for first time hydro gardeners. GB

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.

I am a FFA member going on to a regional competition and need information on Hydroponics. What is it> Is it more expensive way to grow? Is it the future for space? Let me have PRO's and CON's of this amazing way to grow food. Thanks

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.

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

Calcium Chloride Source Pool stores carry tubs of a hardness product with 77% calcium chloride and 23% inert products. Any idea whether this is alright for hydroponics?

You know I see those products but I have never have gotten the balls enough to try them. I did use some of my pool pH down once in my hydro garden when I ran out of my regular pH down. But I didn't use it long enough to see if it would have a deferential effect on my plants. I sure wish I stayed awake in chemistry class so I would know what all that means.
Let that be a lesson from HydroRon. If you want to grow good pot then stay in school and stay awake in chemistry class.

hi ron,how tall will my pot plants get in your 11 bottle system. and do they all mature in the bottles.i was reading on another site where they sell a step by step video on hydroponics to grow three plants yielding 4 oz per plant.but requires 9 sq ft.per getting a confused on needed space for your 11 plant system? my grow room is a tub shower inclosed.thanks ron

1 square ft. per plant is the ideal size for a 18 to 24 inch tall plant. The 11 plant garden bottles are to close for large plants unless you bend them this way and that way. 
 I have never heard of someone getting 4 oz per indoor plant. They just want to sell videos. Weight depends mostly on the seeds you use and not the system you grow in.

Who first attempted hydroponics or discovered it?

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.

Can you grow any kind of illegal drugs using hydroponics?

Illegal is relative. It depends on where you live and what special interest groups control your politicians to past laws that benefit them.      

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

Hi~ I am doing a report/experiment with hydroponics. I was wondering if anyone could give me a simple explation about hydroponics and some things hydroponics is used for. Thanks alot. Molly Anne

who invented hydroponics

what is the definition of hydroponics?

how do you set up a hydroponics tomatoe plant, i want to make one for an assignment to show hydroponics is better then normal soil but i dont know how to set it up.

how do you set up a hydroponics tomatoe plant, i want to make one for an assignment to show hydroponics is better then normal soil but i dont know how to set it up.

how do you set up a hydroponics tomatoe plant, i want to make one for an assignment to show hydroponics is better then normal soil but i dont know how to set it up.

when and where did hydroponics first happen?

were did hydroponics first happend

when did hydroponics first begin?

when did hydroponics first begin?

when did hydroponics first start?

Has anyone used hydroponics with Olive cuttings? Please contact Thanks

Hi I live in a fairly Hot and Humid place with and average temperatire of 28,C.year round. I know that Hydroponics does not do well in this climate for certain vegs. My question is, what system could I use (Large one) for maybe commercial use later on that would suit this weather, AND what sort of crop would do well in Humidity? Many thanks

Do plants grow faster in soil or when using hydroponics

Do plants grow faster in soil or when using hydroponics

Do plants grow faster in soil or when using hydroponics

Do plants grow faster in soil or when using hydroponics

Do plants grow faster in soil or when using hydroponics

what are the future uses of hydroponics

what is the definition of hydroponics?

I was a mailman for 10 years and ran across several people using hydroponics and became interested and now im retired from there and have moved to puerto rico and need a hobby -small income or more . Thinking of a commercial hydroponics garden with the goverment backing and would like to know if you would aprove and the do's and the dont's. After all that, I would like to say thanks for what you are offering for free,seems as though you are caught up in the moment of mother nature at its best and that is why I'm asking you as to someone that has a vested interest. I to love mother nature and the money is only something that will offer me more of the outdoors. Thanking you in advance and do hope that you still have the love of it all Terry king

How well does the Chem-Gro nutrient hold and maintain it's ph? I've had great luck with both Ionic and General Hydroponics nutrient and was wondeing how Chem-Gro compared.

Does anyone know where to find graphs and charts of hydroponics? It is for my science project!! Please help me!

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.

Hi, has anyone tried to grow garden grass in hydroponics ?

Ron, i have a couple of questions. First of all, I was wondering if it is possible to use an irrigation system for hydroponics. In other words my idea is to hook up a fertilizer mixer/dispenser to the water outlet and let the mixture flood the 9 plant garden setup. I plan on attaching a timer so that everything is controlled. When draining the system is it necessary to recycle the mixture or would discarding it cost too much money?

Has anyone ever heard of anyone growing sweet corn using hydroponics?

passive hydroponics is the easiest. you fill a bucket with nute juice and set a plant in a smaller container with a growing medium (pebbles or sand...) then set the plant into the juice. the simplest active hydroponics uses bubblers- same design but add a bubbler to the bottom of the nute juice. thants my 2 cents... ~Ryan

email me at

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.

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.

disadvantages of using hydroponics to generate food in Singapore

Hello. This is my first time writing here. My husband and myself are strongly considering building a hydroponics greenhouse in early 2003. I am attempting to get a source for ordering all of the materials and equipment needed to start up. Can you recommend a vendor that would be able to give us a price quote and start up information? Thanks. Susan


You're an interesting guy with an interesting site. I really appreciate your time in making this info available to all.

We bought a new house last year and I immediately built a propagation table and "volunteered" at the local nurseries keeping all their plants trimmed back and "recycling" them on my propagation table. Hydroponics seems like the logical next step.

My first question concerns temperature. My table is in the basement (in Atlanta) and I took the bottom of a cartop carrier, filled it with sand and put heating cables in it to keep the temp at 70. I sink the pots as far as possible, and it seems to be working fine.

Yes I think keeping the your water/medium at 70 degrees is a good idea. Here in Florida our problem is hot water. That's why I put my tanks in the ground. Water chillers are very expensive. 

I found plans to "float" plants in a tank over an airstone which I think is my best bet. I can use an aquarium heater to keep the temp at 70 or so. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Secondly, once it warms up I'm thinking of selling some plants at the local flea market to fund larger systems. I see you did that with spider plants. Does this method alter the characteristics of the plant in any way? Do they transplant well into soil because of the type of roots? Also, do they still need support once transplanted into soil, or is the support only necessary because of the substrate they're growing in under hydroponics?

Again, I really appreciate your time.

The only different characteristics that people commented on was why the tips my of my spider plants weren't burnt. 
Because I grew them in hydro before I transplanted to dirt pots for resell. Some plants like tomato and pot go through a slight shock period when transplanted from hydro to dirt. But with most plant like ornamentals, herbs & spices you don't even notice the transition.  Tall plants will need support until they are well rooted. 

Hello Ron,

First thanks for this site, After doing much "lurking" I decided to build the 11 plant system, and the thing has worked wonderfully..

The plants are in day 24 of vegetative growth and have looked perfect.... until I noticed last night that 2 plants have begun "wilting" new fan leaves are "drooping". this is occurring on new growth and there has been absolutely no change in color, i.e. there are still deep green, I have searched all of the grow guides and message boards on the net and have not been able to find any causes, I have heard that "Under watering" may be the culprit, but I water 6 times a day for 10 mins and the other 9 plants look perfect.... Here is my system.. once again thanks for this site Ron and this board, it has helped me a great deal..

6 times a day might not be enough. I flood my garden every 30 minutes.
You will find at times that some plants will just wilt and die. Caused by damping off of the plant stem right above the root ball, cutting all the capillaries to the plant and killing it. It doesn't happen often but when it does the plant can't be saved. If a plant looks like it's about to wilt and die then I would clone it to keep the strain going.

Light: Hydrofarm Super Grow wing 430w HPS, 20" from plants, 18 hr on, 6 hr off Pump: Maxi flow 160gph, watered 6 times a day for 10 mins each on period, only watered while light on Temps: day ~74f, night ~63f Air Pump: whisper 10-30 gallon, 2 air lines and 2 12" airstones Grow Medium: Hydrotron Grow Rocks Nutrients: General Hydroponics 3 part system at 1/2 strength, have been also adding 1/2 tsp of epsom salts throughout veg growth to this Water: distilled @ ph 6.0.. No PPM meter

thanks Ron....

"uses Medicinally enjoys Recreationally Freedom Fighter.... p.s. good luck to your brother

hi ron,i'm new to hydroponics and just built your 11 plant garden (plan to grow tomatoes and peppers, maybe some other things to). i live in the tropics (puerto rico) and have sun year round. my question is "how many on and off watering cycles should i use every day for the crops i specified? also what would be the best cash crops as far as vegetables are concern for this region?

The hotter it is in your area the more you want to water. 
What you said and them other things too. 

After I build my system where do I go from there? What kind of "medium" should I use for tomatoes? Is there a better solution to use? Do I just put the seeds in and turn it on? I read that people turn the system on and off. How often should I do this. I know these may sound like dumb questions but I am very new to this and any info would be greatly appreciated. Also, do you recommend any books that would help me learn hydroponics. Thanks again.

 Look at every page on this web site then come back here and ask me.  

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

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

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

Ron, What type of system would work for growing hot peppers? They thrive on direct sun, so would I need to cover the system or can the system be in direct sunlight exposed to the elements? Do you have a suggestion on how to grow Habanero peppers with hydroponics?

I am growing a few different kinds of peppers now including Habanero in my 16 plant garden.
I moved the garden in my pool greenhouse that has 70 % shade cloth but it still reaches 90 degrees in their.
I turn the pump on full time during the hot part of the day. I will post new pictures soon.

Hi Ron,

Great Site, and special thanks for taking the time to help us wannabes...I have 2 questions if you would be so kind:

1. I use a 48 pin timer. This floods my system for 30 minutes, then drains for 30 minutes. Is there some way to shorten the flood cycle, or should I just extend the time between flood cycles. I fear that I am over watering.

You can clamp the hose from the pump a little or use a flow control valve so it take longer to fill but it will also take longer to drain because of the smaller hole. You can put an air stone in your tank to add more oxygen so it won't matter if you water longer.  

2. I have been considering trying to an aeroponics (misting) system, and was wondering if you knew of any nutrient metering system that would allow me to run the misters from a garden hose with nutrients adding into the spray continuously, eliminating the need for a tank. Thanks, Gerry

I got one that you screw onto an outside facet and then you put fertilizer pellets in so as you water they dissolve. But it was for dirt plants. The same setup for hydroponics is very elaborate and expensive because you have to deal with adding pH and nutrients into the water line precisely.     

im looking for some information about hydroponics, i am building a farm for my agriculture class and for a FFA project. i am wondering what i need to do to sprout the seeds before i plant them and i also need to know what are some good quick growing plants to grow, and if i could get any tips on quick growth i would really appreciate it. Josh Buoni If you can e-mail me with info i would be very grateful (or) thank you

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 a first time user of hydroponics, and I was wondering if it would be easier to start with using a drip system or a flood system. I have heard drip systems produce better results because the root ball stays small and the plant spends more energy on vegetative growth. Then I have heard drip systems take experience, but I have set up drip systems for our vineyard and really wasn't tough. Any answers would be great.

Thank you Grant W Missoula MT


Yes the drip system is easier. I am growing 100 tomato plants with the drip system now. I am even using a 10 dollar timer to drip 15 minutes on 15 minutes off. 

i am new at hydroponics and im wondering if you just use regular plant lights and if so can you get them at a hardwear store or do you need to go to a special place to get them?????

Ron, I just finished a system that monitors pH, temperature, humidity, and light quality/quantity. I will be using this to monitor you 11 plant garden that I constructed. The unit hooks up to your computers parallel port and can be set up to log the results over time. The results can then be viewed on an easy to read graph. The system can be used to sample every hour and show the results over a long duration. As well you can set minimum and maximum levels for each variable and have the data logger set off an alarm when they hit the preset limits. So for example you can set your pH level and wait until the alarm goes off to adjust your solution. I think this would work very well for hydroponics growers. The whole thing is very cheap, if you or anyone else is interested just email me at .

Send me a sample to evaluate.


I need to interview someone with practical experience in the field of hydroponics. I am doing this for a chemistry project. I need answers soon. If you can answer these questions please do. Thank you

Why did you get into hydroponics? 

What is the biggest problem in hydroponics?

What seems to be the general characteristics of the plants that grow the best?

What type of work do you do?

What do you think the future holds for hydroponics?

What part of hydroponics do you feel could be improved upon the most?

Do you mix your own nutrients?

What advice would you give someone interested in the field of hydroponics?

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you SO much. Pennifer Jayne

dear ron, i hate to bother you with something as simple as this but i looked on your site and you only said to get grow rocks at a grow center. i have looked up grow rocks on the net and cant find anything and have been to several nurseries and walmart and lowels and home depo and nobody knows what they are. could you please post the manufactory name of the grow rock co. so that i can start tracking them down. also could you tell me where you got your 1 hour timer that you use and if i have any favors left after all of this could you please tell me where to buy a swamp cooler pad. i love your site very much and rushed out and bought the pipe fittings so that i can start. i have been looking at hydroponics for years but it was either to expensive or complicated or something always turned me off of completing a project. your setup is one of the simplest and cheapest iv ever seen. i was wondering about the 15 min timer that you sell seams to me that this could lead to over watering. also maybe my lack of knowledge on the subject could be to blame. thank you so very much and i love your site. sincerly

I am selling bags of growrocks now. You will have to try a greenhouse supply store to find swamp cooler pads. Grow rocks holds so much oxygen that over watering the plants is hard to do.

I just got started in hydroponics and am having a few problems. I am using Bcuzz products and an agritest-1 meter (which does not seem to work with Bcuzz). How often do I add more nutrients? I added the correct amount to water to start off with but I have no idea how fast the system uses the nutrients? Can I just add a lot of nutrients or can over feeding cause problems?

You add nutrients every time you add water to your tank. You only add plain water if you want to dilute your solution.
You change the entire tank every two weeks or sooner if you detect a problem with your plants. 

What is the viability of hydroponics in western australia?

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

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


Yea Right.

I am only a very amateur grower and not using hydroponics but I'm in the desperate situation of losing several months work - perhaps stupidly I pruned and transplanted in one sitting and also slightly changed the lighting conditions - the crop has been ill for a few days now and looks set to die - leaves have drooped to vertical - is there any recommended recovery suggestions....please help!

What are the advantages of hydroponics?

Clean fingernails.

Dear Ron, I really appreciate your cause and your impact on the hydroponics community. Keep up the good work. How much electricity a average household would be able to use before it start razing uncle sam's eyebrows?? I have 2 1000 watt hps lights running at the flowering state and 500 watt dual light mh/hps for the vegatative state and four 4'flourescent tube for the mothers? Thats alot of electricity. Please advise.

John from Ohio.

I would petition my state legislators to decriminalize what ever you wanted to grow and stop acting like you are doing something wrong. Stand up for you rights and use all the f*cking electricity you want to John.    


I have been coming to this site almost since Ron started it.

If your brains weren't so stupified by the crap you ingest, you might have read in the past where Ron has clearly stated that he does not support illegal drug growing on this website.

If any of you have an ounce of common sense, you may understand why. You all possibly do know that this site is electronically monitored by the DEA because of the potential of hydroponics in growing more potent plants than marijuana. If you are engaged in an illegal activity, I hope each and everyone of you are traced and prosecuted.

Now, why don't you forget about visiting this place and go to places where your questions may be answered, like the pot sites on the internet and leave this place for the educational benefit of kids and others who have serious interest in soiless gardening.

What are you talking about. I am totally in favor of not only decriminalizing pot but all drugs.  
We have a real war to deal with now and no longer have the time and or resources to spend on the bogus 30 year old drug war. 
As a matter of fact I have decided to become the first member of the:

Partnership For A Drug War Free America. Please send your donations to me HydroRon. 

P.S. Don't start asking any stupid pot questions because I won't answer them.    

I have just assembled an basic gravity system utilizing a 5 gal. bucket and a 6"-deep, 1' by 2' tub. Everything is in place and ready to go, but I am not certain which veges/plants to put in this tub. My concern is with the depth of the tub: will it be deep enough to supply tomatoes all the room they need to grow? What about peppers? Can anyone suggest a vege that will thrive in that environment??

Thanks, Brian

Hydro plants don't need a lot of roots because you are force feeding them ever half hour or so. Plants in dirt have to grow roots to supply the plant with nutrients and water. That produces a lot of energy. But with hydroponics all the energy goes to producing fruit and not roots. 

I am looking at starting a large-scale hydroponics setup using the Ebb and Flow system. My problem is my property only has Artesian Bore water that is fairly high in calcioum carbonate. This stuff builds up at an alarming rate anywhere that water evaporates like sprinklers and drippers. My question is would this pose serious problems in an Ebb and Flow system? If so, do you know of any way to filter or counteract it?

Reverse osmosis filter system is the best to use.

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. 

Re: Family farm conversion

If you want someone who's not commercially involved, I would suggest the nearest state university that has an agriculture department. There is generally a graduate student looking for thesis material. Contact a professor, schedule an appointment and talk about your plans. That's a pretty big jump to convert a whole farm into a hydroponics operation.


Hey Ron, New to this stuff, so please be gentle...... I am looking for information on "just water" medium hydroponics. I would like to see pictures and diagrams on what actually supports the seedlings. I can't find any info on these simple questions. I want to set up a flow system to recycle the water. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Brian

Ron, We miss you. Hope things are going well for you. Of course we want to see pictures of your latest garden. It's through this website that I got started this summer in hydroponics. See Your 11-plant unit has really given me a learning challenge. I'll have pictures to my drip modifications up in a day or so. Just wanted to say thanks for an excellent website! HarryHydro North Georgia

what is hydroponics

I like your 11 plant garden, can you tell me what I would need to expand you 11 plant garden to 33 plants?

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

I am researching Hydroponics for a mission in Haiti. If we had worm beds and fed the plants worm tea will that be enough food for the plants? What would we need to add for a complete diet? Our brothers and sisters don't have a source of other chemicals available.

does the plant grow more fast while using the hydroponic method

what is the green matter growing on the perlite in our ebb and flow system?

Could I have a hydroponics garden in a corner bedroom which has 3 windows on 2 sides? I am only interested in growing vegetables.

Hey folks, Does anyone have an answer for the question I asked about Hydroponics in Haiti, submited on 07/07/05?

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

What kind of fertilizer do you use for growing tomato's? Is there any brand that is better than the others?

Can someone explain how the Rainforest system made by General Hydroponics operate?? As I understand from reading the description, it does not require a misting nozzle. How is that possible?? Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!!

Hi, everyone. I am a 10th grade high school student and am going to do a project on hydroponics for the science fair. I was wondering what plants grow the quickest and show the most drastic changes compared to growing in normal soil. I am experimenting with adding calcium to the nutrient solution. Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I live in Virginia. Brian


Any sudgestions on wich ppm meter (within the $50-100 range)I should go with?

I am gathering the rest of the neccesary materials for a green house. Should be able to put it together by the end of the month (probobly in the snow, oh well:). It's a quansa-hut style unit so can I use 4-6 mill plastic sheeting or should I use the stuff sold for greenhouses?

Any sudgestions for herbs? Something that is forgiving, I'll be trying some new things so I need a margin for error. I was thinking mabe basil but I want to try a few others also...just don't know wich ones.

I can't wait, It's got me almost giddy, I'll have a place under the sun year round. Will be setting up several different systems...airo (already built a small prototype,exciting!), flood and drain/flow types (in the works),gravel water culture(curently in use) and of corse soiless in buckets with drip (curently in use) because I still want to mess with the organics some.....I'll also be vermacomposting to make my own worm castings, and put my garbage to good use:)First bin will be built by the end of next week...just gota get those redworms ordered (to many things on one list, but it keeps me outa trouble).

Ok mabe I'm just dense but how dose one reply directly to a comment? Thanks for letting me ramble, I get tired of talking to the dog....he never hase anything to say

All That Jazz

I am doing a term paper on hydroponics. If anyone has any info that would be helpful please email me.

Conducting a science fair project on hydroponics. Any information concerning this topic will be greatly appreciated.

Hello.. I have been gardening in organo-hydroponics solutions for about one year now, with varied success. Once I learned the correct quantities of organic substances to put in, I was getting comparable results to the general purpose solution. I beleive that the one problem with the organo-hydroponics systems is that the nutrients are not in plant soluble form. Anyhow, I was reading in a book somewhere that carbonic acid (basically CO2 dissolved in water) takes undissolved nutrients from the humus (or other organic matter), and makes them plant soluble. I'm doing some experiments at the moment, but I beleive it is important to let the carbonic acid sit for about 12 hours to let the CO2 dissipate after putting your nutrients in, as carbonic acid is slightly alkaline. Has anybody had any experience with this??


Hi Ron, We are growing tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers and leafy salad veggies in hydroponics here in the Philippines. Because of the extreme tropical weather here, we experience very easily and often, root rot. What is the prevention and cure for this problem. It's driving us nuts !!!
Aussie Bob

Dear Ron I am a hydroponics enthusiast growing leafy and fruit vegetables. Lately I have been concerned about reports that hydroponically grown vegetables may have a high nitrate content. High nitrates in food have been implicated in gastric carcinoma (cancer).I use a universal nutrient formula containing approx.190ppm nitrogen (supplied by Calcium nitrate and KNO3;no ammonium compounds). I wonder if you or anyone has any information confirming or refuting the theory/any other solutions to the problem. Thank you. Dr.Nagappan Penang,Malaysia

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

Is it possible to make your own nutrients blend from household compostable material? I have no experiance with hydroponics, infact I checked out this site just today. I don't want to start and immediatly become dependent on manufactured nutrients. Is this possible or am I an idiot?

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

Hi Ron,

I am just starting to play with hydroponics for the first time. I have four tomato plants in a Hydorfarm MegaGarden which are about 18" tall and have been doing very well. The system is set up to flood the roots once a day with Hydrofarm 7-7-7 nutrient once a day for 30 minutes starting at about 7 AM. I started using the system at the beginning of Dec. and have changed the nutrient once in the beginning of January. I am using a two bulb grow light flourescent fixture for 18 hours each day. In the last few days I have noticed that the top foliage wants to curl toward the end of the day. When I first noticed it the top stem of the tallest plant was actually curled like a curly cue with the leaves also curling. I assumed that it needed more nutrient and turned on the pump. By the next morning it looked better. I must admit that the plant had grown to within an inch or two of the plant top. I have since raised the light and started to have two 30 minutes of nutrient flooding,but I still have similar symptoms, just not as bad (no curly cues just curled leaves). I also checked the pH this morning and found it to be right at 7.0. Have you got any suggestions as to what it might be or how to eliminate the problem?

I am also interested in trying to do an analysis of the possibility of growing tomatoes for a profit. Where can I get info on the basics for the analysis, such as: - Optimal spacing of plants - Average yield of a typical plant - Wholesale market prices of tomatoes and other potential crops - Typical crop producing life span of a tomato plant

Hi Ron 1st english isnt my fist language so please dont criticaze me, if i dont spell something\anything right. I have no clue how to grow flovers vegtebles of anykind, but i found this hydroponics a nice thing to do and i didnt have a clue how it is done till i saw your slide show how to build it ( IT KICK ASS ) and now i have couple of questions 1. Im thinking about using up half of a bottel and do i need to put jug in it or i can just put lets say grow rocks and something to prevent to fall thrue in the irigation system? 2. Could i water container on same or higher level than plants, but now to high so that overflow will go back in the water container. I think this is posible, but i need to know how high i can go? Up to the level of grow rocks? 3.If i have lights on 24 hours a day will this work fine if ill have water pump working all the time? 4. And how often i need nutrient and how much. Just give me an exsample. 5. And final do i just put the seeds in grow rock or do i need to start in water of ditr to start up the plant? Thanks in advance Boto

I am a newbie to hydroponics, and having terrible luck, I am using hydro-gardens plant food at reqd. mix with water, my plants look healthy but every tomato has blossom end rot. does anyone know why and is there a cure? I am in South Texas where we can grow year round, but no demand for blossem end for. some one please help

I was messing around on this wild and crazy internet looking for hydroponics information, and stumbled upon your site. Congratulations! You have the best site I've found so far.

Ron, you have a mighty fine hydroponics site. Could you add a "Return to Top" at the bottom of each page"?

I'll put it on my list of things to do this year.

Ron, hello from Spain. Which techniques can I use to recycle water in hydroponics or aeroponics ? Christian.

ebb and flow, NFT, drip systems all reuse the water.

What are the disadvantages of hydroponics growing ?

Ain't none.

Dear Hydroponics Onliners: I am a student of Horticulture and Landscape Design at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and I have been assigned a 2,000-4,000 word essay. I had two choices...Hydroponics and Soilless Culture for tomatoes & cucumbers or interior landscaping. I chose interior landscaping. It seems that I have chosen the more obscure topic. If you any matter how small or insignificant it may seem to you, please email me. Time is not critical, but I am spending this week researching, so all information is very much appreciated. Another classmate has chosen tomatoes and cucumbers, and we are collaborating on the accumulation of data. So please, again, send any pertinent information. Thank You for your time and assistance. I am going to place this site on our billboard at school. The website has already answered many questions. Kindest Regards, Randy. or (a.k.a.

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.

Why Howdy!! I just stumbled onto your site, so please forgive a dumb question. I saw some pic.s and there seems to be dirt in the gallon jugs, I was under the inpression that "hydroponics" was just water? What else can you use instead of dirt? How do you keep the dirt from mixing with the water and cloging the pump? Thats all for now,

No They are grow rocks. No dirt on this web site.

What kind of vegetables are compatible for growing in 2 liter bottles? Can you name about five or six? I am not sure what vegetables will do well in such restricted space. I am new to hydro and am not familiar with different types of veggies that can grow in about 2 liters of space. I am using your 11 plant system.

You can grow a lot of different vegetables as you can see in the pictures. With hydroponics you don't need as much root space as you do with dirt because you feed the roots with nutrient solution every  30 minutes or so. 
What is more important is the distance between the bottle themselves. The 11 plant is so compact that it is not practical for large plants. 12 inches apart is better and will give each plant 1 sq. ft. of growing space. 

I have a timer that has only 4 on and 4 off settings. As a result, I can only water four times a day. I would like to transplant a tomato plant from soil to growrocks with bits of rockwool. Will placing chunks of rockwool around the central portion of the root system provide enough moisture to the plant until the next watering?

Rockwool does hold moisture longer than rocks but I don't know if just 4 waterings will be enough. The principle behind hydroponics is that you want to force feed your plants so they won't waste energy having to produce roots looking for food. You want all the energy going to produce fruit so you need to make sure you supply your plant roots with plenty of nutrient rich solution as often as possible.    

I am new to hydroponics and have a general question.

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


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

Hey guys,

I was wondering about lighting. I'm growing in a small space, 1' deep by 21" inches wide and 85" tall. I will have four 18"/15 watt cool white fluorescents surrounding my little plants and two 18"/15 watters right on top of them. Will this be enough light to allow healthy growth up to a height of 8-10"? I'm growing in which hydroponics in 3" Rockwool cubes with a 12-7-7 nutrient. I really hope this will work :-)

If you grow with fluorescents that is the way to do it. Line the hole chamber with lights and put them as close to the plants as possible.

Ron, Do I need an air pump as well as a sub. water pump for a small hydroponics unit? Marg

Yes For about 10 bucks it's one of the cheapest things you can do to assure that your plant roots get enough oxygen. It's especially helpful if you have to let your garden circulate because of a cheep timer.  

What type of growing medium goes into the cups of these growing systems pictured here?

Grow rocks

Do the roots just dangle in the solution? How do you secure your plants and stop them from falling over?

I tie them up with string if they need it.

What's the biggest plants you can have in these systems? Do the roots ever get restricted in these systems.

About 4 or 5 ft. With hydroponics you don't need a lot of roots for plants to grow because you bring the nutrient rich solution to the roots every few minutes. Dirt plants have to grow more and more roots to search for the food they need.

Thanks for any help.

Hi, I am looking at building the 11 plant hydroponics garden. I would to know what is being used for the bottle on the top of the system to place your plant in, also what kind of vegetables grow well in this kind of system?

Thank You newbie

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

Greetings from Venezuela.(South America)

I'm very interested in learning a lot about Hydroponics. In Venezuela is difficult to find books about it and the Perlita.

What I need to know to start a successfully home garden project? For the future I'm interested too in comercial Hydroponics.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Christian Castillo

I _tried_ the Dogstar site. Initially, the hydroton price looked OK. I tried the "hydroponics" code the owner provided... it did not result in any discount. I then tried another code he provides in his "news" -- I got a 5% discount. OK, better than NOTHING. Then, the fun part. Shipping: $25.24. Let me see... $30 for the hydroton, $25 for the shipping. The shipping ups the price by 85%. I know it's UPS's fault, but "No thanks!" Geeze... you'd think that UPS would figure it out. It just ain't gonna happen, that's for sure. Perlite, here I come.

Buying growrocks have been a problem for me for years because of the weight. I had to drive 120 miles ever time to get it to save the UPS shipping charges. Now I found a source 20 miles away. 
I got an e-mail from a guy from China that wanted to know if I wanted to buy a cargo container of growrocks from them. I said sure send it over. I have yet to receive it. Can't speak Chinese and I ain't got enough yen. 

Does anyone know the difference between an Ebb and Flow system, and Hydroponics, ? and which one would be better for indoor growing of African Violets and Poppies, with a 1500 watt metal halide light source

Ebb and Flow (aka) Flood and Drain is a kind of hydroponics. Just as NFT (nutrient film technique), Aeroponics, Drip emitter systems are all forms of hydroponics. Any system where plants are grown without soil could be considered hydroponics.

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We are a nonprofit horticultural education organization working with disadvantaged youth in a hydroponics project. An older system was donated to us (Aquaponics - 1970's) but is missing parts. In particular I'm looking for parts for an Intermatic timer unit.
Any way you could steer us in the right direction?
Thanks for your help.
Anita Beckwith Director, Herb & Botanical Alliance

Grainger has parts for the Intermatic

Hello! I live on a sailing boat and am interested in starting to grow a few vegetable plants using hydroponics... can anybody please suggest the best method (and easiest) for me to use, without getting into systems that require pumps, ph testing etc... I need to do this in the most simple, most inexpensive way possible! Thank you so much! Emily

don't we all wish?

where can we buy seeds for veg and flowers that grow in hydroponics?thanks. has some veg seeds.

I'm in high school and I'm doing a project over hydroponics. What supplies are needed to make this happen?

what is hydroponics???

is there a specific type of hydroponics that is better than others? i am tryig to grow salvia divinorum hydroponically.


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

Thanks Tim

Hello Ron, This is the most excellent site i seen. I need your advice of what you use for soil? i happen to see people mention about grorocks and lavarocks? i am new at this hydroponics and need to know what soil you guys use for hydroponics. i am guess it is not regular soil? Thanks a bunch.

Soil! What is soil? That must be the crap I wash off when I buy bedding plants from the store.  

Hello Ron!!

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

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

Hey Ron!!

I found a website for hydroponics that's pushing coco fiber. They say that mixing it 50/50 with grorocks gives an ideal growing media, and reduces the cost. Oddly enough, the coco fiber is sold in bricks. The bricks cost about 30 bucks for 25 of them, but after you uncompress them they expand about 20 times the volume.

Have you heard this or if so, have you ever tried it? I'll try to find the website again and give everyone the URL.

I am looking for information on the cultivation of Tomatoes or Roses in Hydroponics. Can you please help me with that? I am a second year Agricultural Management student, studying at the P.E.Technikon, George Campus in South Africa. My e-mail address is as follow:
I am looking forward to hear from you.
McGrandle Makier

Dear Ron, I would like to plant a fig tree inside my house using hydroponics. A tree that will bear fruit. Is this possible? If I can, can I limit it's growth to 5 feet tall and 2 feet in circumference by pruning or some other method..

I haven't had good results with hard wood plants like most trees, roses, and shrub type plants yet. But water loving plants like banana trees do better in hydroponics because of the water aspect of hydroponics. If any members out their have had any luck in this area we could use some help.

I'm looking for information on plant plane hydroponics if you can help please contact me at thank you

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

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

what are you talking about?


I wonder....if you took a 55 gal drum, cut it in half, and inserted a sort of multi-layered latticework of concrete screening tack welded to the inside. Using, say, pea gravel for a medium, and an ebb and flow system (or maybe drip), you think it would be able to support a smallish tree or woody plant? The root system for trees is basically for water search and stability right? Maybe if the drum was anchored. Hmmmmmmmmmm. What do you think?

Sounds like Robo-hydroponics to me.

My eleven year old daughter would like to a hydroponics project for her science fair and we don't know how to get started. Can you give me some inexpensive ideas and areas to find information?

Their is quite a lot of that information here on this web site but finding it is another question. If you find any let us all know where it's at.

Robo-hydroponics? Is that a real thing or are you just messing with me? :-) I think I'll give it a try, the wife's been saying i need to do something with those drums anyhow.

My name is dave hiltz and I live in maine and I am new at hydroponics and would like to build the 11 plant garden and I wanted to know what the total parts list was less the seeds. Also how I go about starting the seeds, And the continued maintenance of the system? thank you dave. E-Mail;

I am growing weed plants this summer in maine outdoors and i heard to make more room for buds to grow on the plants that you have to clip the branches and leaves off in certain places and at certain growth stages. Is this true? If it is and you know: how often, when, and where on the plant do you trim. Also if you have any other grow tips i would really appreciate it if you could write them in the reply. Also, this is most definitely the best, most informative web site about hydroponics i have seen. That is why i am now one of your members.

Pruning tips plagiarized from High Yield Indoor Gardening by Simon Wright  

Very simply-

can I save money, grow better tasting veggies and not be tied to the weather with hydroponics? 

Yes if you have a climate controlled greenhouse. 

Do you have any rough statistics comparing this method with conventional dirt farming?

From years of experience I would say most plants mature in as much as half the time as with soil.

 Say for a family of 3, is it economical on this small a scale?

I built a 100 plant 10' x 10' greenhouse for a high school that would be perfect for a family of three. Got a picture somewhere.

 I know NOTHING about the details, but the idea is fascinating. I saw it demonstrated in Florida at EPCOT one year.

Me too.

Thanks for responding!

Ches Smith

Hi Ron I just built your 11 plant system I have 3 question 1. How do you set up the seeds in the 2 liter bottles which 2 books that I have bought on hydroponics have not answered the seeds I want to grow is pot 

Start your seeds in vermiculite or dirt first and when they get a good root system then carefully wash off the roots and place them in your garden. 

2. And for the pump do you need a timer or do you leave it on all the time 

Yes you need a timer to water every hour or so.

3. What is a good ready made nutrient to use I don't want to mix it for pot

As long as it is formulated for hydroponics any of the popular brands are ok if you fallow the mixing instructions.

Sorry for all the stupid questions but I am having a hard time finding the answers from the 2 books that I own on the subject

Thanks DC

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.

Thanks, Ron!!! I read your BB everyday. I think this is the best site with the most information that I have came across, and it has encouraged me to try hydroponics... I also GREATLY enjoy your answers! I am never certain if you are answering with good humor or with a little irritations! I choose the humor, and it usually gets my day off to a wonderful start! Thanks for all of the wonderful information!

I have to admit my humor leans towered the sarcastic side but I think that is good because sarcasms without humor is like aaahhh. like aaahhh well it's like something..


What is a good stable acid to use for PH control. Ive heard that muric acid works. How about sulfuric acid like used in hot tubs.Id like to know your opinion Ron. Thanks23

I use General Hydroponics Up which is phosphoric acid, citric acid, and ammonium bisulfate. And pH Down that is potassium carbonate and potassium hydroxide but I don't know at what proportion or I would mix my own. 
Any chemist out their want to try?

Re: Viticulture and Hydroponics Ron, Thanks for your comment "Me too". Nudge,nudge wink wink. I understand work has been done in Israel on the growing of table grapes interspersed with cash crops such as tomatoes and cucumbers. There are a number of upsides I have been told. Do you or any of your site Members have any experience or comments with respect to the growing of wine grapes hydroponically. Is it commercially viable?

John Storey

The only problem I see is that I just have not seen any woody plants like grape, roses, shrubs and just about every other kind of tree except banana trees grown hydroponically and I suspect they are really just big plants.   

are you the right person to ask about weeding problems

No. I don't have weed problems with hydroponics.

Ron, I want to measure the ppm of my solution, The dip type nutrient meter has 3 different scales on it (1) is ppm 442 value (2) uS value + display x 100 (3) is ppm 'k ci' value

The type is Quick .Dip by hydroponics international. Q. which scale should I be using and what would an average be for general vegies cukes, Tom's, lettuce.

Try here. Conductivity

Also ron I was the guy that wanted to build my own set up using styrofoam as a container, just wanted to let you know that I tried the MK2 version with a much denser foam but still the water bleeds through the pores in the foam, Not giving up though because it looks great, I am trying to find something that I can coat the inside of the trough to keep it sealed, if anybody out there has a suggestion please feel free to jump in at any time.

Also if there is anybody out there from the calgary area interested in doing some joint projects please e-mail me

Will aquarium ph up and ph down work for hydroponics?


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


It's to my understanding that the term hydroponics means using an inert growing medium and feeding a nutrient solution, correct? 
I germinated seeds each in it's own rockwool and it sprouted out of the cube in 3 days. I then placed each cube in a 6" pot w/ holes in the bottom containing vermiculite. I have a nutrient solution that includes the correct amount of hydrogen peroxide. I place 3 pots per 2 foot holding tray thats about 3" deep. If I pour the nutrient solution in the tray, the vermiculite should act like a wick and suck the solution up correct? Will this system work for me?
maybe. if you want insurance call Lords of London.

Hi, Hydroponics has often been blamed for producing bland tasting vegetables. I've solved this problem by using organic nutrients rather than chemical nutrients. Everything I grow now tastes better than any home soil garden vegetable. I've tried everything and it seems the product that works best is Metanaturals by Bella Via. I found them at

my hydro tomatoes ain't been blamed for nothing. what you talking about Willis? you talk like a damn commercial.  

Happy Monday,

Just added some pictures of my little basement garden. Feel free to comment!

Happy Growing!


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. 

I am writing a paper on hydroponics as a career and I need the following questions answered for my research. What level of education is needed for this particular career? Do you have to be licensed or certified? Are there any laws that need to be considered before entering this career? Is there a demand for trained employees? What are the salary ranges? What are the advantages or disadvantages of this kind of work? What is a typical day like? Is it more physical labor or administrative? Your help will be very much appreciated! Thank You! UT Student

Hi Ron, I know you have said that you buy what ever tomato plants the store's are selling, but has anyone really determined which variety does the best in hydroponics. I have read that names like Trust,Apollo,Caruso,Perfecto and Trend along with a few others are the best for this type of growing but who knows. They all sound like cigars to me. I thought I might ask for your opinion. Thanks Mike from Mo sells all the varieties you mention plus Jumbo, Kastalia, Cappello, Laura, Buffalo, Blitz, Bounty, Match, Panther, Evita, and Cheresita. All having different growing characteristics. Ask for their catalog. 

Hello Ron, All of the info I've found on the net so far is about hydroponics in seasonal climates. Do you know where I can find out about growing in a tropical climate? Thanks, Ross

Sorry no. Hot climates have just as much of trouble growing as cold climates without a climate controlled greenhouse which can be expensive.

I would like to know how to grow hydroponics roses? I would like to know the growing system, growing mediums, pH, EC, TDS rage, cF, light, temperature, humidity, CO2 and nutrient use for growing hydroponics roses. You can e-mail me at:

Me too.

I am a member of your hydroponics site. I have posted these questions many times but i got no answer on them.

Maybe it's the way you ask them.

 I am growing a lot of weed this summer and there was a few questions that i would like to ask you about it. One of them is: Is miracle gro a good thing to use when growing weed? 

You can use just about any kind when growing weeds.

I have heard from friends that it is not good to use because it makes the weed to harsh. If it is alright to use then how often and how much should i use. 

Never heard that.

Another question i have is I heard that you are supposed to clip off branches and leaves off of the plants to make more room for the buds to grow. If this is true, could you please tell how, where on the plant i should trimm and how often.

Here it is again. Pruning Techniques.  

 I was also wondering: What happened to your Hemp Discussion forum? 

Not enough hours in a day to run it. Believe it or not I don't make money with this web site so I can't spend 10 hours a day keeping it going.

I have been on your site a couple of times in the past few days and i have not seen it. I also would like to say that this is definitely the best Hydro site i have ever been on. Well that is all i hope you can find the time to answer my questions because summer is coming soon. I want to grow some shit that is going to make people say "damn that is some really good shit".

Ron, Do you think growing cactus hydroponicly is feasible? If it can be done would it be hard to transplant them to sand/soil so that I might sell them? Your ideas would be welcome. Thanx D

I tried to grow cactus in my gallon drip system and it didn't work. Hydroponics is more for water loving plants.

How do i make a simple hydroponics unit, using things i can get around the house or local hardware stores?

Just starting out. Does a wetting agent help in hydroponics, like the one from AMWAY?

I have used a wetting agent only with dirt.

Hello! I come from the islands of Azores in Portugal and since 1994 I've developed a pilot project using a geothermal effluent in order to heat a complex of 6 greenhouses in which I grow vegetables in hydroponics. I use local volcanic substrates such as pumice and "bagacina" a black basaltic gravel and drip irrigation system. In the first year of my research study I compared yields of melon crop using the local volcanic substrates and rockwool slabs. There was no significant differences between yields. So, now I only use my local volcanic substrates inside black/white olastic sleeves. Besides melon crop, I grow tomatoes, beans, pineapple, cape gooseberry, and papaya. If someone is interested in learning more about this project I will be glad to exchange mails. My e-mail address is I work for an Institute of New Technologies here at the island of S.Miguel, Best regards, Ana Catarina Rodrigues

what does hydroponics mean

how do i know how much chemicals to put in my hydroponics garden

what is hydroponics?

no comments .discus the history of hydroponics?

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.

Can I grow Ginger by hydroponics method on commercial basis

I loved her on Gilligan's Island.

can ginger grown by Hydroponics on commercial basis if yes may I have the relevant information


Hi I am doing an independent research project on hydroponics and i need a lot of background information. Do you know of any good online resources? Norah

I have a basement that gets no sunlight. Can I efficiently grow tomatoes using a light source and hydroponics? Great site and I'm looking forward to learning from all yall.

it if you use HID lights you can. but don't try to grow with florescent lights.

How can I grow potatoes in hydroponics?

Roy in UK

I'm going to try. I will let you know how it goes.

Is there a meter or prob that can measure the moisture content in the medium used for hydroponics? I am looking into growing tomatos using the bag technique.

Thanks Joe

Hi Ron, When you build a stand for your system, do you use thin wall PVC or standard PVC?

I use the standard size for added strength.

In the future it is possible that the soil of the Earth will not be able to support plant life. Hydroponics is the way of the future for food production. I thank you Ron for giving this information, it may just save our lives some day.

hi i'm a student doing a science project on hydroponics can anyone give me some tips about growing the stuff?

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

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.

Can you give some examples of vegetables & fruits that can be grown using hydroponics.

tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers

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

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

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

What exactly is hydroponics? Who can give me a good definition?

Growing plants without dirt.

may i know the advantages and disadvantages of hydroponics

from suling

How do you use a TDS Meter in regards to fertilizer solutions for non-hydroponics? I bought a $20 Hanna TDS & the directions are more specs than instructions; what should I look for, readings, etc. I want to water/fertilize seedlings in soil-less mix which obviously lacks nutrients with 3-2-2 liquid fish solution & maxicrop 1-0-4 seaweed mix. Seed;ings aren't big enough for transplanting [outdoors] yet, most 2-3" tall. Mostly veggies like tomato & peppers & cauli. Thanks.

TDS ( total dissolved solids ) means just that. Even though your TDS reads OK for the maturity of the plant you are growing it does not tell you if the combination of ingredients are correct. That is why you change your solution every two weeks because there is no way of telling how off you are with only a TDS meter.    

Hi everybody I'm new to this (I mean Hydroponics) and I have a few questions I was hoping some one could answer for me. I'm only 15 years old and I live In Palm Bay, Florida.

I don't know what some of the terms like pH, ppm, TDS, NPK, milliseismens, EC, Urea, CF, ebb, NFT, and CFH stand for. Some just aren't clear to me and some I just don't know what they mean and may just be the same, I just don't know. Next is, I am thinking of starting off with a (n) 11 plant garden, I was wondering if you would be able to point me to a site that would show me pretty much Exactly what I need (including a sub. pump's GPH, ect...), or close enough too? Also, what do I, if anything, need covering my garden (A greenhouse or can I just put it in my garage [or even my shed]? Third is, is there any specific times of the year to grow crops or not. Fourth, if I grow something and it gets too big can/should I transplant it into the ground. And what should I do to it. Finally, you say that you need an air pump and air rock but how do you set it up so that each plant gets air, do you have to put a rock in/under the plant (or it's gravel)? Diagrams would be helpful if you have any. I have learned so much from this site and I hope someone can answer my questions.

Kyle Paisley

hi, i just want to know the benefits and disadvantages of hydroponics

disadvantages - cost of equipment

benefits -  
year round controlled growing environment
labor saving cost by automation
fruit produced in relation to square footage or meters

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

what is the best way in hydroponics to grow beans for harvest grain?

What are the best tomatoes to grow with hydroponics? ED

In Aeroflow Hydroponics, are the roots sprayed with nutrients constantly, or In intervals (once every 30 min). Does the water drain out as soon as it is applied and recirculated? Do you know the advantages of aeroponics as opposed to hydroponics like rate of growth and yield? thanx

how does hydroponics work?

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, Found your page doing a search on Hydroponics. You have done an excellent job describing systems and techniques. I am new to this but I love a challenge. I intend to build your 2 liter system for my 8x12 greenhouse. Two things I have not seen an answer to on your pages. (They are likely there, I just haven't found them!) 1) I want to grow Tomatoes and English cucumbers. Can I do that in the 2 liter bottles? or should I put together a galon system? 2) Can I use a commmon mixture for both crops? Do I water on a 24hr clock, that is every 30 minutes or so around the clock?

do you have a graph of economics of hydroponics

Ron! I am new comer to hydroponics and don't want to spend a lot of money until I feel I have the fortitude to stick with it. I had two 48" florescent fixture that I installed grow lights into. I have a tomato and cucumber plant about 6" to 8" high. Even though I have the lamps on at least 6 hours a day, both plant lean toward the window for sun light. Is that an indicator that I don't have sufficient light source? John J.

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

The Hydroponics Warehouse, based in Australia, sells the Autopot Hydro-Pak System. It doesn't need electricity. It uses what they call a Smart Valve (Mark 2) to refill the tray when it senses it's empty. Does anyone know if this system (or a similar one) or at least the Smart Valve (or a similar one) is sold in the U.S. and if so where? Smiley

Are there any books that I read on the internet on hydroponics? If so at what site can I find them?

whats good about using hydroponics

what is forage production by hydroponics?

Good Afternoon I am new to Hydroponics. I am building a hybrid Aeroponics/NFS. Can I use compost tea made from worm castings/stinging nettle (as I have been told the nettles are a rich source of nitgron, and it is a common weed where I live) as direct feeding solution? If this won’t work, please let me know of another solution. Thank you. Robert Barfield Minot ND

Is it possible to grow drugs in hydroponics. It would be easier for dealers to hide their products

Yes, it is obviously a potential risk for our world. People could be smuggling drugs in the underground. Where there could be hydroponics in the sewers. Of course we need police to patrol the sewers in order to reduce the drug distribution throughout big cities. --X I am the best! 1331

What are the economical impacts of using the hydroponics system?

What are the economical impacts of using the hydroponics system?

Do plants grow faster in soil or when using hydroponics?

Would anyone know if tap water at about 130ppm could be used with general hydroponics (micro, grow, bloom) without harming my plants? Just wondering if 130ppm is considered high for tap water too? Thanx. Mark

130 is about right for tap water. My well water is 250 PPM. If your water has a lot of chlorine you can let it sit in a open bucket for 24 hours to let it evaporate before use. 

Hi, I live in the savanna bordering the Sahara Desert and exploring commercial hydroponics to keep a steady supply of fresh produce for my community. Climate allows proper growth only four months of the year. I contacted suppliers for quotes to estimate costs and feasibility but they don't know what I need under my conditions. I don't neither. Anybody familiar with desert conditions? Is there a volunteer consultant?. I'm peniless now but will keep the person as a paid one upon financing. The banks relies on projected cash flows for repayment of loans. I' planning 5 to ten acres. Thanks;

my name is Rosy: I want to try out hydroponics right away. I need step by step instructions, I am new in agriculture and need detailed help.

what water is best for hydroponics? distilled,tap,or creek?

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.


pH and conductivity meters seem to run from $80 to over $1,000. Is the DipStick still the most popular and best value? What other meters are folks running? Did you all buy them from hydroponics stores or from scientific supply companies such as Fisher?

Peace, Glen

The DipStick has lasted me the longest but at $110.00  it's pricey. I will be selling a Hanna pH meter for $30.00 if their is a market for it.   

Is the DipStick pen a trade name or a generic term for that type of meter? What is the name of the company that manufactures it? I am getting ready to put my unit together. The only thing left is to buy meters. Any help is welcome.


Brand name. Made in New Zealand by N. Z. Hydroponics Ltd. Distributed by: AMERICAN AGRICULTURE Portland Oregon. 

Our class is having a radish growing contest, how do i grow the biggest radish?

what number of cf would i put in a mini hydroponics set if i was growing 1 radish we are having a competition at school who can grow the biggest radish


Would anyone recommend one or both of these books?

Hydroponics Tomato Production by Jack Ross


Hydroponics Tomatoes for the Home Gardener by Howard M. Resh

I have designed a programable control around your 11 plant system, it uses an inexpensive logic controller to control the lighting cycle, pump operation, temp, CO2, and ventilation. Instead of using simple timers the system monitors the CO2, and Temp, and maintains the setpoint for these variables. This way you are not wasting CO2 and can control the growing atmosphere very accurately. The control system is relatively inexpensive and very safe. My background is in electronics. I was wondering if there is interest in the hydroponics circles for such a control system. If you are interested email me at

Hi On May 7th. Someone asked about the book: Hydroponics Tomatoes for the Home Gardener by Howard M. Resh

Well I have it and it is a good book for the price and for your first book on tomatoes. The book is done well and easy to read. It touches on a little on everything on Hydroponice Tomatoes.

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

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

I am only a begginer, and i was just wondering if in order to grow hydroponicly your plants will have to grow water roots. does it depend on what system you go with also can you just submerge any plant's roots that can grow hydroponicly into the water or does it depend on the plant? thanx

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

what is the best hydroponics system for watermelons?

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

Hello fellow hydroponics friends. I have two questions if this board would be so kind as to answer them.

Q: Another one of those “how long should I run my pump questions”! I understand that with out light you can’t have photosynthesis. Thus, making it useless to run your pump during no light; right? However, this is where my question fits in. Can your plan roots dry out over night if you don’t run the pump at least one time? I ask this because I do run my pump at night three times (ever 2.5 hours or so) and I have not had the balls to experiment with this nagging question.

I water 24 hours because of frequent power outages so I won't have to keep resetting my timers.

Q: This question is for any person on the board who might know about herbs growing. I have research herb growing on line and can’t find any good web sight dealing with herbs and hydroponics (it’s a conspiracy, he he ha ha). I am wondering if the rule of thumb in growing herbs is much like other leafy plants. I ask this question because on one web sight this guy was growing all his herbs with “an EC (Electrical Conductivity) level of 2000 and a pH of 6.8.” Is this PH correct? Seems to me to be high. However, this guy grows for a living in California. If any one is interested in the article you can find it at Thanks for any help y’all can provide.

Blue Skies, Free Flyer

What is one future use of hydroponics

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.

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'm a small-time, first season hydroponics hobbyist and thanks to all this free information on the web, I've been doing very well up to now. With increasing frequency, my tomatoes are turning up with rot - always on the bottom, and usually, when they are fairly young and green. There is no internal or external visible insect infestation; although, some problems with aphids (I think). I'm low on money and do not have PH or PPM test equipment - maybe a problem?. Any ideas - thank you, Tim.

Attn: Tim

Re: End Rot

Most of the info. I've found says that this condition is the result of low calcium in your solution. I would suggest that you try to find a stock solution from a hydroponics supplier. What are you feeding your plants now?


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

Ron, I am getting very disappointed with my attempts at hydroponics! I made a ebb and flow in a long narrow trough using 6, 6" clay pot. I cleaned every thing with a 10 percent bleach solution (three separate times} and I still be a white fuzz around the top grow rocks. No matter what I plant, I get white fuzz!! Help!!! JJ

You didn't say if the fuzz is hurting your plants. You may have to try a fungicide.

i need help on getting started growing hydro. i need to know the simplest way to grow it. thanks

Click here and here and here and here and here.

I'm doing a science fair project on hydroponics, so what should I do?

Click here.

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

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

It would be better to stop the algae from growing at all. Where is the algae growing ?

Please! Algae is you friend. Without algae you have a problem with hydroponics. Have you ever seen a healthy stream in the wilderness without algae. Algae means that their is nutrients in the water that your plants need. It only becomes a problem when it gets so bad that it covers the top of your medium and prevents oxygen from being suck into the medium when the water drains from the cups.  

Hi Ron, Hi all, Iv'e been lurking recently and now have a ligit question. I am growing tomatoes in a 6 plant 2 litre bottle system, I transplanted 4 weeks ago, they have tomatoes about the size of a 1/2 dollar. It is now time to change the solution, I have had the solution set up for growing phase, should I now change the nutrient to blooming phase or keep the grow phase mix? I am using general hydroponics solutions. Thanks to Ron and this site, this is my 2nd growing season and it only gets better! Tony in Va.

Because greenhouse tomatoes are indeterminate, which means they grow and produce fruits continually, all you can do is compromise and change your solution to bloom about half way threw to completion which is about two months for tomatoes that take about four months total to finish.  

Hey Blake can i have the how to hydroponics too ok thank you

What are the advantages of hydroponics over the usual method of growing plants in soil?

faster growing and less root borne diseases. 

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? 

Hi. I am very new to hydroponics. I have some basil growing and they don't look as healthy as they should, so I checked the pH and it was around a very low 4. The bottle that contains the pH checking solution recommended that potassium hydroxide be used to raise and phosphoric acid to lower the pH. Do those two particular chemicals have to be used to adjust the pH? Or can other alkaline and acid chemicals be used? I asked a local garden store if they had anything for hydroponics (they didn't). They did have something for fish tanks and outdoor ornamental ponds. Would something like that work?

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)


You aren't shouting at your pepper plants are you? They hate that. 
You may have a problem that is called damping off. Just change the focus of your science project from Growing with Hydroponics  to Common Problems when Growing with Hydroponics.

When you plant in the bottles using the cups, what medium are you putting into the plastic cups that you have your seeds in?

When you place the cups in the bottles, are the cups "planted" into a medium such as gravel?

PS: I am new to hydroponics and I found your site very helpful. Thanks for your efforts!

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

not enough fish and that other stuff would too.

Hi, members of my family in S. Africa are wanting to start a commercial hydroponics operation. They plan to do a variety of veggies, but especially marrows, which is a type of squash. I have been asked to see what I can find out about hydroponics for them. This operation will be located in Noodtgedacht in the Cape Proviince S. Africa. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch, Stan Putter

Hi Ron,

People are always looking for the right kind of lights to use at a good price and I have (20)Complete 400 Watt Metal Halides with the hoods and enclosed multi tap ballasts and a removable top plate for adding a cooling fan for just under $80. + shipping. I can e-mail pictures if anyone is interested. Thanks for having the best site about hydroponics!

Mike from Mo

Are these lights new or used?

Check out some of my recent Hydroponic projects:

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

New to hydroponics! In fact my cukes are sprouting under some cool fluorescents as I type this.

My question is has anyone experimented with using a warm-mist humidifier, like the kind you'll find in the baby health section of Wal-Mart, to add the necessary humidity and warmth to tomato plants grown in an indoor greenhouse??

Great site and helpful BB! Erik Hoover Warren, Ohio

Hi Erik
I liked your site also, especially the portable greenhouses. Members might want to check out this 10' X 10' backyard greenhouse for $359.99 
The warmth part is OK but the mist humidifier invites mold born deceases.  

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.

Hey Ron! I was looking for what the solution was you use for hydroponics and I clicked on your link but it did not work. So I was wondering if you could tell it or maybe fix that link. Thanks

I use Formula One when I can afford it and I am using a commercial mix this year in my greenhouse.   

how much soil does each plant need?

Soil? No dirt under our fingernails. With hydroponics we don't use soil.

in hydroponics, do you also feed the plant even at night ? isn't it photosysthesis needs water and sun light to make plant food ? what if you dont use HID lamps in your growing room, only sun light, wont the water kill the plant if you water them at night ? thanks RON

Hi Ron, How do you figure out how big is a nutrient tank to use? My hydroponics garden has 40 plant heads connect by 1 inch pcv (modified from your 9 plant garden).

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.

I am looking for someone from the massachusetts/connecticut area with knowledge of hydroponics. Please email me.

hi ron,
is algae growing in the rockwool of my growing cup a cause for alarm ?
pathetic grower

I am new to hydroponics and am working for foundation in Georgia (United States) that is considering establishing a program to teach farmers how to use hydroponics in commercial applications. Does anyone know if it hydroponics would be commercially viable on a larger scale in Georgia? Does anyone have any suggestions on contacts/resources to investigate this? I plan on talking with the USDA and and agricultural scientists at the universities. Please e-mail any suggested contacts/resources to Thanks for your help.

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

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

What all are you planning for the hydroponics Christmas Tree?

I think some colorful blooming annuals around Christmas time would be nice. 

Hey Ron, I saw that you were working on a hydroponics Christmas tree and was wondering what plant are you using (pine?) I can't wait to see how it turns out! Mandy

I will finish it way before Christmas and post pictures to show how to build your own.

I am new to hydroponics. Do you have to use special types of seeds in order for the plant to grow? Or can I just open a pack of tomato seeds that I bought in Kmart? If so, how do I start from seeds?

Yes you can use store bought seeds. Start them in vermiculite and then transplant them to hydro when they get about 4" tall.  

dear ron,
some years back, i remember some scientist who live inside a glass dome for one year. part of the experiment, if i remember it right, was on hydroponics.
the main objective was to see if man can live inside a controlled environment, grow their own food and be self sufficient.
can you remember the project name and where i can get more details on this project ?
Dante Bugnutin W. Samoa

It was known as the Bio Sphere Project in Arizona I think. Just punch in bio sphere project in your search engine and I'm sure you will find something.  

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

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

What kind of hydroponics would i get to grow cannabis . I need to know where to start. I didn't realize there were so many different systems.

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

I believe the green blocks used by florist to hold water for cut flowers in a vase are called a water oasis. Could this be used in place of grorox/perl./ vermic. ?

You can grow in just about anything as long as it's inert and can hold oxygen. The water oasis sounds like it's a perfect material for hydroponics if it doesn't brake down to quick.

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 ordered hidu kush what's the cheapest way to grow it

In dirt pots because their is nothing cheap about hydroponics.

To Ron I know you are a hydro man but i was wondering if you could answer a soil question for me. Is sodium biphosphate ok to lower the ph in water before I water my plants in soil. This is the same stuff used to lower ph in aquariums. I called my local brew and grow and the guy said if I was using this in dirt it would be ok. But the sodium part Makes me worry about what's in it. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME

You can use just about anything with soil because unlike hydroponics soil has a buffer from the chemical reaction to the roots. You have more time to correct your problem because of this buffer. With hydroponics you have to fix imbalances right away because the nutrients go strait to the plant roots.

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.


Hey I am new to the hydroponics scene and need to know what is necessary for a balanced hydropnic setup. Also I planted some lima beans and they bloated and are now some kind of smelly fungi, why? My grass seeds grew beautifully! Thanks -Debbie

Make sure your garden is on a level surface then maybe it will stay balanced. DON'T go near the bloated lima bean smelly fungi. It has been known to digest people.

dear hydroron, I am doing a school science project on hydroponics and geoponics. the plants I am using is aztec grass. what are some good sites that I can look up for references. thank you for your time. John Prieto


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