This prevents root burn damange on hot days, and also saves energy because the pump must not be active all the time.
If you have decided what angle you want for your system, you can attach the pipes to the rack
Step 3: Setting Up The Reservoir
After you build the pipes and the structure. It’s now time to talk about the reservoir itself. The reservoir is one of the things which is more or less the same for a lot of different hydroponics systems. You need a container which lets no light through, to prevent algae growth, it should also be big to contain enough water which keeps the system running for a while, and you need a submersible pump which is capable of pumping the water to the height of the entrypoint to your system.
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As the liquid cascades from the return line situated a little ways above the reservoir, this action will constantly aerate the solution.
Also keep in mind that you will need to monitor the solution level in the reservoir as well as the pH and nutrient levels of the solution and make adjustments as needed.
With nutrient film technique hydroponics, you need a reliable pump, as it will be continuously running to keep the solution flowing throughout the system. It doesn’t need to be a high-powered pump, since the aim is to create just a thin layer of liquid flowing through the growing channels.
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Note that we built our system according to our room situation. We have a 22 feet wide area that is all windows, so we installed the downspout along with the south-facing windows.
Read more about the garage grow room here.
Drill 2” holes every 6” in the top/wide side of the downspouts. TIP: Before drilling ALL the holes insert the 2” net pot in the first hole to make sure it sits well and doesn’t fall through.
When installing the U-hooks to support the downspout you need a slight decline (0.5in over 10ft) toward the exit end of the system, so the water can flow smoothly but not too fast.
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As we learned in a previous post the two essential metrics for a hydroponics system are pH and TDS. In order to learn what values are applicable for the plants in your system use the Hydroplanner which helps you deriving thoses values for your plants.
If you have planned your system accordingly, you know what values to aim for. So now your reservoir and contained nutrient solution must reflect those values.
In order to do so, use first hydroponics fertilizer to set the right TDS value and after that use a pH meter to measure the pH of your solution and adjust it using pH Down or pH up to the desired level.
Once your nutrient solution is finished monitor it regularly in terms of pH and TDS.
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Air pumps could be used to aerate the nutrient solution.
You should not miss the Medicinal Plant Contract Farming, Advantages.
NFT system is a versatile and familiar hydroponic system that includes components the same as Ebb and Flow but different in configuration. NFT use a series of shallow troughs. The solution is to run down the length of the trough or gutter in a thin film.
This is a common method in greenhouses on a single horizontal plane. It is cheap to build upfront but not very space-efficient.
Components of an NFT hydroponic system
The main components of an NFT system can be given below;
NFT hydroponic nutrients
One of the most essential pieces of equipment that you will have to purchase is a good set of NFT nutrients.
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However, don’t be tempted to go with a faster flow rate at the start. This can cause nutrient deficiencies in your plants, since the water will be flowing too quickly for young roots to be able to absorb up all that they need.
Maintaining a NFT System
Maintenance is pretty easy with the hydroponic nutrient film technique, but there are still a few things that you will need to do:
- Top up your nutrient solution whenever it starts to run low.
- Keep checking nutrient levels – the more your plants consume, the lower these will get, even if the water level doesn’t seem to have changed much.
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A thin layer (film) of the nutrient solution flows through each of the channel’s with the plants in it to the other side, passing by each plant and wetting the roots on the bottom of the channel as it does. The nutrient solution flows from one side to the other because the channel is sloped slightly so the water flows down hill.
The plants in the growing tubes (channel/gully) are typically suspended above the water by placing seedlings started in starter cubes or small one inch baskets of growing media into small holes in the top of the tube.
The roots of the seedlings hang down to the bottom of the tube/channel where they get nutrients from the shallow film of nutrient solution flowing by.
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Holes are drilled in the top of the channel to house net cups with seedlings in them.
A reservoir with a water pump sends nutrient solution up to the channel where it flows down pulled by gravity, contacting the plant’s roots along the way.
At the end of the channel, the water drains down into the same reservoir where it started.
This system is very similar to an ebb and flow system, except that with NFT the irrigation runs constantly and only a thin film of water is allowed to drip through the channel.
While many people put air stones and air pumps into their nutrient film technique systems, this isn’t necessary.
The whole point of NFT is to keep a very shallow nutrient solution level of water flowing through the channel to leave plenty of room for the plant roots to absorb oxygen.
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The nutrient solution is pumped up from the reservoir, generally to a manifold that connects the larger tubing to several smaller ones. Each one of these smaller tubes runs nutrient solution to one side of each one of the growing channels or gullies with the plants in it.
A thin layer or film of the nutrient solution flows through each of the channels with the plants in it to the other side, passing by each plant and wetting the plant roots on the bottom of the channel as it does. The nutrient solution flows from one side to the other because the channel is sloped slightly thus the water flows downhill.
The roots of the seedlings hang down to the bottom of the tube or channel where they get nutrients from the shallow film of nutrient solution flowing by.
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After this, all you need to do is turn on the electricity to your pump and you’re good to go!
This guy will show you how he builds his Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Hydroponic system:
Adjusting the Angle of the Growing Chambers
The gradient that your growing channels slope at is crucial when it comes to how well your NFT system works. The angle you use determines your flow rate, which has a direct effect on the amount of water and nutrients your plants receive.
The flow rate can vary depending on the plants you’re growing, but, to start with, aim to have a flow rate of around 1 liter per minute.
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You may also check the Basic Steps of Organic Farming.
Plant your NFT system – When you see roots at the bottom of the cube or when the seedling leaves are around 2 inches long, transplant into NFT channels and fertilize until the plants reach harvestable size. When placing cubes in the channels the slots in the bottom of the cube must run along the channel to help the nutrient film flow easily. Nutrient flow at this time must be about 8 to 10 ounces of solution per minute at a pH level of 5 to 5.8 depending on temperature and time of year.
The cost of hydroponics NFT system
The cost of commercial hydroponics NFT system costs will be approximately Rs 60,000/Piece.
Plants can be grown in NFT channels
NFT channels are mainly used to grow leafy green plants with a short growth period.
This can cause a problem in case of power shortages; system failures so make sure to check the pump, fill the tube regularly, and have a backup ready. A good grow tray and reservoir which will be used to hold the NFT system nutrients can be purchased at any hydroponics equipment store, but they can vary in quality.What you need to build an NFT hydroponic system
- Container to hold the nutrient solution (a reservoir)
- A submersible fountain or pond pump
- Tubing to distribute water from the pump to the NFT system growing tubes
- Growing tubes for the plants to grow in (also called a gully or channel) starter cubes, or small baskets and growing media to start seedlings in
- Return system (tubing, channels) to guide the used nutrient solution back to the reservoir
Hydroponic NFT system operation is fairly simple.