Before we run through the guide, make sure you’ve got everything you need using the kit guide below.
Equipment for Indoor Hydroponics
The most important component of indoor deep-water hydroponics is the air pump. While they require very little electricity, air pumps produce a steady flow of oxygen. Water cannot be over-oxygenated because excess oxygen evaporates.
You’ll need an air pump complete with an air stone, not simply a constant low-pressure oxygen filter. Airstones (or airstones), slow down oxygen flow. They also produce microscopic oxygen molecules, which can be kept in the water.
This helps to circulate water as the pressure from the rising oxygen from the tank lifts the sediment. It also recirculates any settled nutrients.
You can purchase air stones at aquatics centres and pet shops. They are a common component of larger fish tanks but I prefer to use them. Cylinder air stonesWith constant use, the product will last approximately six weeks.
Mesh pots aren’t essential for hydroponics, but they make everything a whole lot easier. You can plant directly by filling them with an inert substance, such as coir. Once the seeds have germinated, you can place them in the water tank with the pots.
Depending on the crop, you can use a different type or size of planting basket. For salads, I usually use small mesh pots, and for herbs, which tend to grow bigger and with a longer season, I’ll use large mesh pots. This is to give roots more room and avoid competition. After a few weeks, the roots will become more dependent on water and escape from their baskets.
These are great resources to help you get started. Mesh pot kitThese are the perfect substrates to sow and plant.
Although not essential, UV lamps can prove to be a valuable piece of equipment for indoor growers. Although LED grow lights are great for hydroponics they can be more expensive to run than the old halogen system.
Check out our guide to the best LED Grow Lights in Australia before buying any though, as we’ve got full details on what to look for, and how to calibrate your grow lamps.
Basic hydroponics Kit
As well as some of the more dedicated kits for deep water hydroponics, you’ll need the following to keep track of pH levels, nutrients, and water conditions:
- pH meter
- pH reducer
- Liquid nutrients
Your pH meter and a pH test kit should be used once a week. Airstones from other manufacturers may cause water quality problems. Plant roots can cause acidification or reduction. To reduce pH, pH Down is used.This works quickly and does no damage to plants.
Hydroponics relies on liquid nutrients. All plants receive nutrients from the soil and compost. If rainwater or tap water is not stored in a container, it will still need to be hard water.
We use a hydroponic-based nutrient fertiliser systemIt comes with three unique fertilizers for each stage. Depending on the crop, you can also feed the 50-litre tank once a week.
The reservoir is the final piece of kit that is necessary. I could go on about all the reasons to buy this or that container. But in reality, any container that blocks sunlight from roots and holds several thousand litres will suffice.
The first DIY deep-water hydroponics setup we built was with a simple plastic storage container with holes drilled through its lid. Today, we use more purpose-built reservoirs, but they don’t have any impact on growing conditions.
Just be sure that it isn’t transparent or translucent and UV light getting to the roots can harm their growth, as well as promote the development of algae.