Are you on the verge of choosing either the traditional soil system or the hydroponic system for your new harvest? If so, we recommend that you read through our guide to see if a hydroponic system is the better choice for you and your grow room.
First, what are some differences between growing in soil or in a hydroponic setup? One difference is the yields. Although soil comes with nutrients in it already, a hydroponic setup usually doesn’t contain any nutrients out of the box. This is mostly the reason why many people consider this setup to be confusing, as you have to control what nutrients to use alongside the quantity of the nutrients as well. However, this leads to a better accuracy of the nutrients that are given to your plants, making the yields of a hydroponic set up a lot better than the traditional soil system.
Secondly, the rate of growth is a lot faster for a hydroponic setup than the traditional soil method. This goes hand in hand with the first reason, as most likely the reason for increased rate of growth is due to the increased accuracy of nutrients that are being given to the seeds during growth. Controlling variables while growing marijuana is the most important thing and the ability to control what nutrients are given to your plants is a huge advantage to using soil.
Lastly, you’ll eventually be able to automate your entire hydroponic setup, with only a few minutes of maintenance required a week. As this can only be a dream for the traditional soil grower, hydroponics’ one huge advantage has to be the automation side to grow.
However, not everything is good. First, getting used to a hydroponic setup isn’t easy and will require a lot of patience and time before you’ll get used to the hang of things. This is because controlling the quantity of the nutrients alongside knowing the types of nutrients you’ll need isn’t an easy task. In addition, many growers say that growing cannabis on a hydroponic setup tastes inferior to one that is grown in soil. If you’re keen for your marijuana to taste better more than faster growth, more yields, and a chance at automation, then sticking with traditional soil may be the better idea for you.
Types of Hydroponic Systems
There are a few types of hydroponic systems. These include Wick systems, Deep Water Culture, Nutrient Film Technique, Ebb and Flow, Aeroponics, and Drip systems. They all have different ways to support the plant to provide enough nutrients, water, and oxygen to make sure that the plants grow the fastest way possible while providing high yields. Some systems such as Deep Water Culture and Aeroponics are present in the kits below that we have reviewed. These systems will provide you with more time to do whatever you want compared to the traditional soil system as you’ll only have to spend a few minutes a week to maintain your hydroponic systems compared to a few hours with soil.
Best Hydroponic System for Growing Cannabis
Now that you know a bit about the types of hydroponic systems and the differences between the traditional soil method and the hydroponic system, we’ll now review a few different products that we recommend you get if you are interested in setting up one for yourself. Hydroponic growing is a hard task in itself as having to choose a product to start off with makes the task even worse. This is why we have done the hard work of compiling a list of the best hydroponic systems on the market today for you to choose from that fits your needs the best.
Hydroponic Systems for Growing Marijuana
1. General Hydroponics Water farm Complete Hydroponic System Grow Kit
If you want to choose the best hydroponic setup kit out of all the others on this list, then we highly recommend that you get the kit from General Hydroponics. Although it isn’t ultimately the “best,” it has the best value for the money. As the brand, General Hydroponics, are a well-known brand in this industry, the quality you’ll receive will be phenomenal compared to the quality offered by other brands. This doesn’t mean that the other brands we reviewed in this article are bad in terms of quality, but we are talking about the ones that didn’t make this list.
This kit comes with clay pebbles alongside three nutrient bottles that you can use to mix together and use in the setup. However, you do not have to feel obligated to use it, as you can also use organic options if you choose to purchase them separately. One great feature that we like about this kit is that it comes with a bucket that you can use to mix the nutrients together. This will allow you to accurately see how much you are putting in and see everything mix together before putting it in the system to be circulated throughout your plants.
We recommend this kit if you are going to be creating an automated hydroponic system or a circuit of hydroponic systems, as they can all connect together in a compact manner due to its square design. You’ll just need some extra tubes and a base container for water and nutrients alongside additional kits for you to accomplish this design. This kit is able to grow both small, medium, and large plants, giving you the flexibility that you won’t see in other brands. Also, lights don’t come with this kit so make sure that you get lights that are good enough to support both cycles of growing. Be aware to place them in heights that are recommended by the light manufactures for best results.
Overall, this kit is great in terms of value because it gives you features and quality that you’ll see in kits that cost a lot more than this one. However, if you are willing to pay a bit more for even better quality and features, read on.
2.) Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bucket Kit
If you are interested in Deep Water Culture growing, then we recommend that you get this kit. Deep Water Culture growing is when you grow your seeds in a system where the plant is situated directly above water, with its roots touching the nutrient-filled water. This will allow the plant to absorb water through its roots and whatever water it produces as a byproduct, will drip back down into the water, creating an ecosystem.
This kit is for those that want a simple design that will allow them to not pay attention to their plants for prolonged periods of time without facing any consequences. This kit will make it easier for you to take breaks of maintenance as it will be able to run itself without much human interaction. It comes with an oxygen cylinder stone alongside blue air tubing to circulate oxygen in and out of the water. There is also a tube and a device that will allow you to insert nutrients into the water stream for the roots to absorb into its body to process it into food it can use to grow.
As the kit comes with a 5-gallon bucket, you’ll be able to store a ton of water inside. This will give you enough water for your plants to use for several days (until the water reaches a level where the roots cannot reach the water) which is why you can pay less attention to it compared to systems like the traditional soil method. Even though you are paying less attention, the plants will grow both faster and yield more due to better control of nutrients inside the water.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of maintaining soil, then we highly recommend this kit as you’ll only have to deal with water. Your only job would be to make sure the plant grows well and make sure that there are enough nutrients in the water. Overall, the price of this kit is very affordable considering how simple it is to use and the lower maintenance it requires to operate.
3. AutoPot 4pot System Gravity Fed Watering System
If you don’t want to worry about electricity consumption of your hydroponic system, then this one is for you. As it doesn’t have any pumps or timers that require power, you’ll see no extra charge on your electricity bills for this. The way it works is simple. The AutoPot uses gravity to slowly release water into pots that are linked to the main reservoir. This main reservoir contains water with added nutrients which slowly feeds into the linked pots. This allows the pots to receive its water and nutrients like how it would receive them if pumps and timers were used, with the exception of electricity being used.
Because of this exception of timers and pumps, it is a lot easier for new growers to get started because minor things like timers don’t have to be accounted for. Now, the only things growers have to do is fill up the main reservoir with water and nutrients and fill the rest of the pots with seeds to get started with growing alongside with their respective lights. One great feature that we slightly mentioned was the extendibility of this kit. By getting extra pots, you’ll be able to extend your system beyond the 4 pots that come with this kit. If you want to expand, even more, all you have to do is get a few more reservoirs and you’ll eventually have a huge system of plants that’ll grow automatically with minimum human interaction.
The one downside to this system is that its price is on the premium side. It is a lot more expensive than the kits that are reviewed here and rightfully so because it supports automatic growing right out of the package. However, beginner growers who have smaller setups and budgets may find this one hard to reach. If you can, however, we highly recommend that you give the AutoPot a try, as it will simplify your everyday life and free up your time to a great extent.
4.) Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow System
If you want to go all in on a system that is fairly automated, but on a larger scale than the AutoPot, then this one is the one to go for. The reason why we say “all in” is because the price of this one is extremely expensive. When compared to grow tents, it isn’t too bad, but in regards to the options listed in this guide, the price of this kit is fairly high. This is why we recommend this one to those that have gotten the feel of hydroponic systems and are ready to grow in a bigger scale than what they have been growing so far.
This system comes with everything you might be looking for in a hydroponic system including flood and drain kit, grow rocks, pumps, tubing pots, and a timer. These all work together to create an automated ecosystem to free up your time and require less maintenance on your part. As the stress that comes alongside growing will ruin the productivity of some, it may be a good investment to get this kit as it’ll free up a lot of your stress, allowing you to earn more due to having less stress.
The flood and drain kit automatically filters out the water from underneath the 16 pots that will flow to the bottom of the system. Then, through the 211 GPH pump, nutrients will be given to the plants which are planted inside the grow rocks that come with this kit. You can also use other options, but if you want to save money and use the things that already come with this kit, then we highly recommend you do so to make sure everything grows the way the manufacturer wanted it to grow. Overall, considering the quality and features of this kit, Viagrow is one of the best hydroponic systems that exist today. However, if we take price into consideration, then we don’t recommend this to everybody as it isn’t meant for everyone. If you are part of the audience that would appreciate this system and are okay with this price, then this is definitely the one for you.
5.) General Hydroponics RainForest 66 Aeroponic System
An average-priced aeroponic system, this one is recommended to those that know the pros of using an aeroponic system. This system is basically when you suspend the roots in the air and give them a mist of water that has nutrients in them already. This will allow the roots to absorb all the oxygen it can since it can absorb more as it is suspended, and grow a lot faster and provide higher yields due to elevated levels of oxygen.
Be warned though, it cannot house all plants. It can only house medium to large plants, so if you have a particularly small plant, don’t expect to see great results with this system. This is because the roots of smaller plants aren’t long enough to get enough benefits from an aeroponic system as the roots will barely be visible for the mist. Alongside the aeroponic system, this kit comes with 6 different pots to grow your plants in. This will give you enough space to start growing your strains.
This kit is also made by General Hydroponics, one of the famous brands known for their quality, and comes with a 3-Part Flora kit that is also a product that is well known for its quality and great nutrient values. By using the Flora kit that comes with this kit, you’ll be able to see quick growth in no time. When considering the value of this product, we’ll give it a good score, as it is fairly affordable by many growers and is quality enough to make use of for several years.
Growing using a hydroponic system not only gives you higher yields and faster growth compared to the traditional soil system, but it also gives you automation opportunities that will give you time that you may have never had before. This will give you more time to spend that time doing something else, such as working on more hydroponic systems to slowly grow your cannabis empire!