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How to build your own hydroponic system an introduction

Nov 3

Hydroponics: How to begin?

Are you interested in growing hydroponics in your home? Are you interested in making your own system of hydroponics with up-cycling of materials in your home? Growing hydroponically at home has many advantages: a regular supply of fresh, healthy produce will definitely save you from making lots of trips to the grocery store!

There are numerous hydroponic systems. In this blog, we are going to cover the simplest one to grasp. We will explain the way a Deep Water Culture hydroponic system is constructed and how you can create one in no time at all.

Which system for hydroponics is best for beginners?


Deep Water Culture (DWC) is the easiest type of hydroponic system that you can construct and maintain at your home. In this system, the plants are grown with their roots submerged directly in nutrient-rich water. This can be done by backyard growers who use large storage containers that are opaque, or buckets. Commercial growers utilize floating rafts that are floating on huge amounts of water. They function as a conveyor belt, with young plants on the one side and they move forward until it's time to harvest.

The absence of moving parts or water recirculating is what makes DWC systems relatively simple and cheap to build. DWC systems don't allow water to recirculate. Instead, the water is kept in the reservoir for the entire time of the plant. To replenish oxygen used by the roots, you'll require aeration of the water.

In soil air pore spaces, they are the source of oxygen for roots and in the recirculating hydroponic system, water is aerated in the process of being circulated around. It is possible to fix this issue in the case of a DWC system with an air pump equipped with an air stone (used in tanks for fish) to ensure the water remains oxygen-rich.


What can I do to grow my DWC system?


Lettuce and Kale are the best crops to grow in the DWC system. These are all crops that are not too top-heavy. In DWC systems, the roots aren't well-anchored and that means growing taller plants like tomatoes could be difficult. If you decide to grow tomatoes, you'll need appropriate support to hold the plant on its feet.

How do you make a DWC hydroponic system at your home?



  • Container or bucket for storage

  • Net pots

  • Airpump and airstone

  • Hard Water Liquid Nutrients (A & B)

  • pH Down

  • pH Meter

  • Measuring beaker

  • Pipettes

  • Hole saw with arbor

  • Drill



1. Find the right container for the system


The best results are achieved when stored in buckets and containers that are larger than the reservoir. This is due to the fact that the solution of nutrients will stay steady if the bucket or container is deeper. You will need to replenish the water more frequently due to fluctuations in pH and concentrations of nutrients. It is important to keep any light from your reservoir. If not, there's a high chance that algae could develop in the container.

2. Drill holes in the lid of the container.


The plants will grow in net pots, these are pots with plenty of holes that roots can grow through. The next step is to drill holes in the lid of the container on which the net pots will sit. A hole saw is required for this job. They are affordable and easy to use. To keep them from being smashed through the hole, the net pots should be larger than the hole.

3. Assemble your air pump

  • The reservoir has to be free from the air pump. It is equipped with a check valve. This ensures that the pump does not let water back in if it is turned off. It is required to keep it at a level above the water's surface in the event that it does not come with one.

  • Attach the check valve and air stone with an extension of tubing making sure the arrow on the check valve is in line with the stone that is air. Next, connect the check valve to the air pump in the same manner.

4. Fill the reservoir, add nutrients and adjust the pH.

  • It could be extremely heavy when filled to capacity. Before filling it, make sure to choose where the container will go. Fill it up to the brim with water, but leave a couple of centimeters of space on top.

5. Install the system

  • Connect the reservoir to the air pump, then insert the airstone into it. The air stone is almost there!

  • Adding your plants is simple, I placed some plants grown in Rockwool plugs into the net pots. Although seedlings can be grown in soil, we suggest choosing a medium that's not dirty. The use of hydroton clay plugs or Rockwool pellets can be a better option for cleaning.

This is a great option to set up an aquaponic system. We would love to see your work on Facebook.

Indoor Earthworms provide vertical farming to urban dwellers at their workplaces and in their homes. Our goal is to bring people closer to food production and assist in helping to create a culture of healthy, sustainable living. Find out more about our offering for offices and homes, and get in touch here for any questions.


The Indoor Earthworm
510 W Hwy 50, O'Fallon, IL 62269