Unit 2 Part (B). Experiment 2. Hydroponic Watering System
Nutrient Water Tank
The water reservoir portion of a hydroponic system should hold enough water to keep the plant going until the next watering. If you are going to water the plant once a day, there should be enough water to last at least a day. If you are going to water every hour, it only needs an hour of water reservoir.
The nutrient water is a perfect environment to grow algae, and if the nutrient water sees light, algae will probably start to grow. A nutrient container should be light proof, and should have a cover when not being drained.
A nutrient tank should be big enough to store a few gallons so that nutrient water does not have to mix more than once a week. This is just a matter of convenience, to reduce the work you have to put into your system. For a 5-quart bucket, the system is likely to use about two gallons a week.
The nutrient water tank should be made of plastic or clay, not a metal container. Copper containers, for instance, can poison your plants.
If you are going to use several growers at once you may wish to use a bigger tank.
Use dark or black Tubing
If you use 3/8" tubing to drain excess water to the nutrient tank, the tubing should be black, to stop algae growth. If you cannot find black tubing you can reduce algae growth by covering the tubing with aluminum foil. Also, it is important to make sure the end of the tubing does not dip into the nutrient water as it will not drain. If the nutrient water has a lid, holes can be made in through the lid for the tubing.
Nutrient water is taken from the nutrient tank and pored over the plant grower. This can be any kind of jar or plastic container. It should be easy to handle and it should be unbreakable.
Revised: 1 May 2016