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Cultivating Your City

A blog exploring interesting and unique growing systems and trends in urban areas!

Basic Hydroponics Part 3: Pond Hydroponics

Posted by Veronica Shaughnessy -

the third type of system in this series is the pond system. This system can be very simple. A general breakdown of the system is as follows: plants are either seeded or transplanted into netted pots. Often clay pebbles are used as the medium for the seeded plant. This system exposes plant roots to no or slow flow water and nutrient solution constantly. Rockwool holds water effectively so if rockwool is used as a medium, care must be exercised to ensure the rockwool does not come into contact with the water and nutrient solution to avoid rot in the stem or crown of the plant. The netted pots containing medium and one plant each are then placed into a hole in a raft, typically made of styrofoam for floating purposes.The rafts are placed into the pond so that the roots of the plants are suspended into the water and nutrient solution.
Pond systems have many variations. Pond hydroponic systems can be successful indoors when utilizing a large reservoir or out doors using an actual lined pond. In outdoor ponds, some even include fish to add a source of nutrition from fish waste. However, that adds many layers of complexity to the system which I will discuss in later posts.
Systems include air pumps to prevent anaerobic conditions for the plant roots. If indoors, the system will include an artificial light source. The lights may or may not be on timers tailoring the photoperiod to the crop.
As with any hydroponic system, monitoring of nutrients and PH is necessary. Nutrient and PH requirements vary crop to crop and bases on crop life stage. Sanitation is also a key factor to prevent the introduction of pests and/or pathogens. Water and nutrient solution should be changed regularly. If the system has no flowing water, I recommend a solution change about every seven to ten days. In large scale systems with some water flow, one can wait a little longer to change water. In systems with flowing water, filters must be included.
If you are new to hydroponic growing, this can be a great way to start!

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