To start with, please read the section in Part I on general
care and maintainence. Hydroponics are much easier to work with than most people imagine, and
with some care and attention the results can be spectacular. It is generally recommended to work
with hydroponics on the second or third crop, to ensure some experience has been gained. Everything
discussed in Part 1 is still relevent in regards to lighting,
ventilation, carbon dioxide etc.
In stead of soil "Rockwool" is used. Rockwool is a fibreglass like substance, similar to roof insulation, but much more dense. This provides a good balance for support, water retention and air retention - the three key areas.
The reason soil based plants must NOT become waterlogged and yet hydro plants are permanantly submerged in it is the water is aerated. Bubbles from a fish tank type air bubbler are released which keep the water moving and oxygenated, so the roots do not get clogged as they would in mud.
The water MUST be kept moving or the plants will drown. Plants are watered both from above and underneath, the water also must be slightly heated, again a fish tank heater is perfect.
The pH balence (acidity vs. alkalinity) of the water is absolutely essential in hydroponics, and affects how easily the plants can absorb the nutrients they need. The final balance should be between 6.2 and 6.8. Inexpensive pH kits are available from most chemists and garden centres.
Renewing water and fertilizers
It is essential to change all the water and fertilizers at least a few times during the growth cycle. This ensures the water stays fresh and is oxygenated, and also prevents the build up of salts which can lead to high toxicity levels. It also ensures you check your pH and fertilizer balances on at least a partially regular basis.
Much of the information contained on this website would be illegal were it to be practiced in most countries around the world - including the UK. Our intent is to educate and inform NOT to encourage anyone to break the law.
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