View Full Version : System Recommendations

04-02-2010, 02:01 PM
Hi All,

While I have been a successful outdoor gardener, I would like to try hydroponics for year round fresh veggies and herbs.

While I feel I am very hand, I would like to purchase a system (or components to make a system) for my foray into hydroponics. After I see how well it works, I can always build my own.

I would like to be able to grow lettuce, peppers, cukes/zucchini, herbs and strawberries.

Can I grow them all together or do I need separate systems to handle?

Is one type of system better for growing say lettuce and another for herbs? If so what are the systems and why? (I am trying to learn, remember newb.)

What about lighting?

I am sure your responses will spark more questions from me.

Thanks to all who reply in advance!


04-06-2010, 03:36 PM
So for what you're looking to do, the best way to group your plants would be to seperate those that fruit/flower (chiles, cukes/zuchinni) vs. those that don't (lettuce, herbs).

I really like an ebb and flow system with hydroton pebbles under t5's (or compact flourescents). Here's why:

The ebb and flow system is automated, which means you can do up to 6 feedings a day into hydroton without having to be chained to your grow. it's also extremely simple, which means there's less to screw up.

t5's are great because they are low-maintainence, energy efficient, and cheap (relative to HIDs, since they don't produce much heat).

So here's what you'll need:

Lighting system depends on how big you're looking to go. The 48 is the biggest t5 fixture you can get, which houses 8 4-foot long bulbs. For basil plants for instance, you should be able to grow about 100 under a 48 (using a 4' by 8' area). For plants in the vegatative phase or plants that you don't plan on flowering, blue bulbs work best. For flowering, red bulbs work best.

So I'm going to continue to assume you have a 4' by 8' area to grow in. For an ebb and flow, you'll need a tray, a reservoir that houses 100 gallons, a set of ebb and flow fittings, a few feet of 1/2" tubing for intake and 3/4" tubing for drainage, a submersible pump, and some pots and hydroton to put the plants in. The tray should be higher up than the reservoir, and the drainage hole should be raised as high as you want the flooding to occur. The flood level should be equal to or higher than where the roots of the plants are sitting.

And obviously if you space is smaller, adjust the tray and the reservoir accordingly. Hope this helps!


04-16-2010, 11:05 AM
Actually, fluoros produce more heat/watt than HID does, it's just less concentrated.