Hydroponics setup is where your cannabis plant is grown directly in the water, the air is pumped for easy transport of oxygen and nitrogen. The cannabis plant grows faster in a hydroponics medium because oxygen and nitrogen are taken by the plant accessible first-time growers would think of hydroponics as a complicated medium but if you have the right equipment with proper knowledge on how you do it this growing medium is as easy as growing through the soil.
The hydroponics medium is known to give bigger yields in a shorter period of time because this medium enables a shorter vegetative period. It also allows you to have a beautiful harvest because hydroponics is not prone to pest infestations.
Tips in Setting up Hydroponics
- Use sterile tanks and equipment to avoid the development and spread of pathogens.
- The ideal circulating water is at 7 PH level. You may need to invest in a reverse osmosis system to always make sure that the water is neutral.
- The water temperature should be between 65 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to facilitate nutrient absorption and to prevent the buildup of algae.
- They need 40 percent humidity level that ranges between 60-70% depending on the phase of development.
- You can use different types of lighting such as High-Intensity Discharge (HID), Light from Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Compact Fluorescent lights (CFL). Just make sure that your chosen lighting equipment can produce 400-700 nanometer.
Steps in Setting Up Hydroponics
Step 1: In setting up your hydroponics, the very first step is to set-up your reservoir where your nutrient solution will be stored. Your reservoir would depend on your grow space that is why it comes in any shape or size. This reservoir will have water pump line with the drainage line from the grow table.
Step 2: The next step is to create a growing table. A grow table returns the excess water from the plant’s reservoir. An accessible grow table should have a low point so that the excess water will be returned via plastic tubing.
Step 3: The clay pellets should be saturated in water overnight. The gallon bucket should have holes that are drilled at the bottom so that the excess water can be drained into the grow table. Make sure that the drainage holes into the bucket should have a small diameter so that the pellets can’t pass through or clogged into the holes.
Step 4: Attach the drip line emitters at the end of the drip lines. The drip line equipment is used to puncture holes in the plastic tubing so that the water pump can rundown successfully into the grow table.
Step 5: Test out your run system without placing the cannabis plant to see that everything is functioning well. Make sure that the water is not standing anywhere. To keep the reservoir oxygenated, the air pump should always be running and moving.
How to Germinate Cannabis Seed through Hydroponics
Rockwool is the most widely used substrate for germination in the hydroponic method. It has the ability to balance the moisture and oxygen level to increase the possibility of higher germination rates. It does not contain any nutrition that is why the natural components of this material will not interfere with the natural compounds of cannabis.
Step 1: The first step is to prepare the needed materials such as the cannabis seeds that you will be using, a growing tray or pot intended for hydroponic set-up and a starter cube such as rock wool because it serves as a base for your cannabis plant to absorb nutrients.
Step 2: You need to soak your starter cube in freshwater for about an hour. After soaking it, you may need to put several seeds in the cube to have higher chances of germination rates. You can place the tray with the starter cube in your window or in a room where it can’t be touched.
Step 3: After 2-3 days, inspect your seeds. If all the seeds that had sprouted, choose the seeds that look like unhealthy because if you would continue to plant them there is a possibility that it will die or it will grow unhealthy.
Step 4: Transplant into the final destination. After 2-3 weeks after germination, set it up for the hydroponics set-up. Don’t wait too long before planting it because when it starts to show roots it means that you should feed it with necessary nutrients.
Types of Hydroponic System
This is a basic type of hydroponic system that can easily be assembled. In this system, there is no air pumps or water pumps to be used. The nutrients and the water is transported into the roots via a wick or a rope. This system is best for small plants that don’t need many nutrients.
Deep Water Culture System
This is another type of hydroponic system where it serves as a nutrient reservoir. The roots are suspended into the solution to get a constant supply of nutrients, water, and oxygen. An air pump is used to regulate the nutrient solution so that there will be no wasted inputs.
Nutrient Film Technique System
This is a more complicated hydroponic system where there is a nutrient solution pump so that there is a constant solution supply that is running along the bottom of the channel. It has a recirculating system so that there will be no solution or mineral that will be wasted. In this system, the plant roots are not totally submerged into the water.
This hydroponic system is commonly used in commercial operations. This is suitable for large scale growing. The benefits of this strain are that there is a high level of control in feeding. Even though this is for a large scale grow, it is still relatively cheap.
Growing cannabis through hydroponics is not complicated if you have the knowledge on how to systematically do it. You may need to have great patience but in return, it will give you a good harvest in the long run.