Learn About Hydroponics

Top growing guides from the experts at Growell

How to Pick a Growing System

 

Choosing a growing system? Before you buy, ask yourself these 8 questions.

 

1. Size: How much floor space have you got?

GavTent1

 

Your growing system needs to fit in your room or tent. There also needs to be enough space for lateral plant growth and for you to access your system.

 

As a rough guide, here are the system sizes we recommend using in each tent...we've been a bit conservative here so you don't overcrowd plants or struggle with maintenance.

 

100cm x 100cm (e.g. Large Tent)

• 1 x Oxypot (see here), 1 x Oxypot XL (see here)

• NFT Gro-Tank 205 GTi (see here)

 

120m x 120cm (e.g. XL Tent)

• 1 x Oxypot (see here), 1 x Oxypot XL (see here)

• Oxypot R-DWC 4 Pot (see here)

• AutoPot 4 Pot (see here)

• Standard RhizoSystem 4 Pot (see here)

• NFT Gro-Tank 424 (see here)

• Wilma Large 4 Pot (see here)

 

110cm x 180cm (e.g. Mammoth Gavita G1 Tent)

• 2 x Oxypot (see here), 2 x Oxypot XL (see here)

• Oxypot R-DWC 4 Pot (see here)

• AutoPot 4 Pot (see here)

• Standard RhizoSystem 4 Pot (see here)

• NFT Gro-Tank 604 (see here)

• Wilma Large 8 Pot (see here)

 

150cm x 150cm (e.g. XL+ Tent)

• 1 x Oxypot XL (see here)

• Oxypot R-DWC 4 Pot (see here)

• AutoPot 4 Pot (see here)

• Standard RhizoSystem 4 Pot (Standard) (see here)

• NFT Gro-Tank 1000 (see here)

 

120cm x 240cm (e.g. XXL Tent)

• 2 x Oxypot XL (see here)

•Oxypot R-DWC 8 Pot (see here)

• AutoPot 8 Pot (see here)

• IWS Flood & Drain 6 Pot (see here)

• Standard RhizoSystem 8 Pot (see here), XL RhizoSystem 4 Pot (see here)

• NFT Gro-Tank 901 (see here)

• Wilma Large 8 Pot (see here)

 

180cm x 220cm (e.g. Mammoth Gavita G2 Tent)

• Oxypot R-DWC 8 Pot (see here)

• AutoPot 12 Pot (see here)

• IWS Flood & Drain 12 Pot (see here)

• Standard RhizoSystem 8 Pot (see here), XL RhizoSystem 4 Pot (see here)

 

200cm x 200cm (e.g. Titan Tent)

• Oxypot R-DWC 12 Pot (see here)

• AutoPot 12 Pot (see here)

• IWS Flood & Drain 12 Pot (see here)

• Standard RhizoSystem 8 Pot (see here), XL RhizoSystem 4 Pot (see here)

 

150cm x 300cm (e.g. XXL+ Tent)

• Oxypot R-DWC 12 Pot (see here)

• AutoPot 12 Pot (see here)

• IWS Flood & Drain 12 Pot (see here)

• Rush 40L 6 Pot, 2 lane, 62cm centres (see here)

• Standard RhizoSystem 8 Pot (see here), XL RhizoSystem 4 Pot (see here)

• 1 x Hydro-Duct NFT Channel 8 (see here)

 

240cm x 240cm (e.g. Titan+ Tent)

• Oxypot R-DWC 16 Pot (see here)

• AutoPot 16 Pot (see here)

• IWS Flood & Drain 16 Pot (see here)

• Standard RhizoSystem 16 Pot (see here), XL RhizoSystem 8 Pot (see here)

• Rush 40L, 4 pot, 2 lane, 62 cm centres (see here)

• 2 x Hydro-Duct NFT Channel 6 (see here)

 

300cm x 300cm (e.g. Titan3 Tent)

• Oxypot R-DWC 16 Pot (see here)

• AutoPot 24 Pot (see here)

• IWS Flood & Drain 24 Pot (see here)

• Standard RhizoSystem 24 Pot (see here), XL RhizoSystem 12 Pot (see here)

• Rush 40L 12 Pot, 4 lane, 62cm centres (see here)

• Rush 60L 6 Pot, 2 Lane, 82cm centres (see here)

• Rush 60L 4 Pot, 2 Lane, 100cm centres (see here)

• 3 x Hydro-Duct NFT Channel 8 (see here)

 

360cm x 240cm (e.g. Titan2 Tent)

• Oxypot R-DWC 24 Pot (see here)

• AutoPot 24 Pot (see here)

• IWS Flood & Drain 24 Pot (see here)

• Standard RhizoSystem 24 Pot (see here), XL RhizoSystem 12 Pot (see here)

• Rush 40L 9 Pot, 3 lane, 62cm centres (see here)

• Rush 60L 6 Pot, 2 lane, 100cm centres (see here)

• 4 x Hydro-Duct NFT Channel 6 (see here)

 

600cm x 300cm (e.g. Mammoth Elite HC600L Tent)

• AutoPot 48 Pot (see here)

• IWS Flood & Drain 48 Pot (see here)

• Standard RhizoSystem 48 Pot (see here), XL RhizoSystem 24 Pot (see here)

• Rush 40L, 24 pot, 4 lane, 62cm centres (see here)

• Rush 60L, 9 pot, 3 lane, 82cm centres (see here)

• Rush 60L, 8 pot, 2 lane, 100cm centres (see here)

 

2. Height: How much head room do you have?

 
Large BudBox Grow Tent
 

In any tent, you need to keep a safe gap between your canopy layer and your lights.

 

If you don’t have much height, this can be a struggle. In this case, the trick is to get plants as close to the floor as you can. Why? To leave a bigger gap between plants and your lights.

 

Pick a low profile system. NFT Systems are great – they’re just 20cm high. Or you can always put pots straight onto the floor or on Flexi-Trays.

 

If you’ve got the headroom, you can afford to use a taller system – like a Wilma.

 

3. Ease of Use: How much time have you got?

 
timer-web
 

The more automated your system, the more time you’ll save.

 

It’s best to choose:

 

• A hydro system (no messing with media)

… like NFT / any DWC system / R-DWC

 

• A system that runs 24/7 (fewer checks)

… like NFT / any DWC system / R-DWC / AutoPot

 

• A system that only has one tank (easier to tweak, top up & change your feed)

…like IWS Flood & Drain / RhizoSystem / RUSH

 

4. Maintenance: Can you check your system daily?

 

If not, pick a system that’s easy to maintain. One that you only need to check a couple of times a week. We’re talking about RhizoSystems (Drip & Drain) and AutoPot Systems.

 

You don’t have to check the nutrient solution daily - just make sure you top up your tank and carry out other routine plant checks.

 

5. Method: Do you want to use growing media?

 
Coco mix
 

If growing organically, you need to use media...biological, organic nutrients and hydro systems don’t mix well.

 

Using media is also a more forgiving way to grow. Roots are insulated from temperature changes and you don’t have to tweak your feed as much.

 

BUT…
 

You can get a bigger yield if you use a hydro system. Without growing media:

 

• Roots are incredible! (growth unrestricted by media)

• Roots have more access to oxygen

• Nutrient uptake is faster

• You get an incredible yield

• You don’t have to pot on

• You can’t underwater or overwater

 

There’s no media to restrict growth…better yet, roots have more access to oxygen, and instant access to nutrients. Growth is amazing!

 

Whether you use media or not, there’s a system for you.

 

• If using media use a RhizoSystem, Wilma or AutoPot

• If growing hydroponically use an NFT system, Oxypot, RUSH, R-DWC system or IWS Flood & Drain System

 

6. Number of Plant Sites: How many plants should you grow?

 

RhizoSystem Drip & Drain RhizoSystem Drip & Drain, Mammoth Tent, Kahn Climate Control, Gavita Lights


 

A lot of new growers try to grow too many plants in their growing area.

 

They mistakenly think “more plants = bigger yield”

 

Don’t do this. You’re best off aiming for 1 - 4 plants per square metre.

 

You can actually get the same yield from 1 big plant as you do 4 smaller plants grown in the same space. You just need to veg the 1 big plant for longer.

 

If you’re only growing a couple of plants, a small system (like a Wilma, Oxypots or NFT system) does the job nicely in a 1m x 1m x 2m grow tent.

 

If you have a bigger growing area, work out how much floor space you have.

 

Example: A 3m x 3m x 2m tent has 3 x 3 = 9 sq.m of floor space.

 

If you grow 2-3 plants per sq.m, a 24 pot system is ideal.

 

If you have more than 10 plants to manage, do yourself a favour and choose a bigger system that feeds plants from one tank.

 

7. Pot Size: How big are your plants

 

Huge Jalapeno Pepper Plants in an RUSH DWC System Huge Jalapeno Pepper Plants in an RUSH DWC System


 

If you’re growing big plants, make sure your pots are big enough!

 

As a rule, it’s good to use around 60L of growing media per 1m or 1.2m growing area.

 

So for 1 large plant growing in a 1m or 1.2m square tent, the 56L RhizoPot is perfect. Or for two smaller plants in the same area, you'd use 2 x 30L RhizoPots.

 

For hydroponic systems it’s a case of the bigger the better. Bigger pots = more water = slower pH & CF changes.

 

8. Flexibility: Will you need to move or expand your system?

 

Japanese Acer (back left), Sedum (back, right), Hydrangea (front, right) & Geranium (front, left) in a RhizoSystem Drip  Drain Japanese Acer (back left), Sedum (back, right), Hydrangea (front, right) & Geranium (front, left) in a RhizoSystem Drip Drain


 

The easiest systems to expand are the AutoPot Systems and RhizoSystem You just keep adding pots – when you need to, upgrade your tank.

 

9. Active or Passive: Do you want to use a water pump?

 

AquakingsSQXL

 

Active systems use pumps. They give you more control and can produce bigger yields.

 

Passive systems use gravity or are hand fed (AutoPot, RhizoSystem Drain Only) are cheap to run, easy to maintain and silent.


This post was posted in Equipment, Growing Systems, Growing Systems, Systems

 

4 Comments - Add Comment


  • john elliott
    Posted April 2, 2017 at 1:43 pm
    I have a poly tunnel can I use hydroponics to grow vegetables and flowers for te home.
    Tomatoes,cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, spring onions, peas, beans, dalias, carnations,
    will they all do well with the same nutrients
    Reply
    • Replies

    • GroWell Team
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm
      You will be best using 2 different nutrient solutions for those plants listed.
      Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Beans, Dahlias and Carnations will do well from a higher nutrient strength of 16-18cf and a bloom feed.
      Lettuce, radish, spring onions and peas will do better on a lower nutrient strength of 12-15cf and a grow feed.

  • Scotty
    Posted December 24, 2016 at 3:49 pm
    I have a grow space of 21m x 4m and plan to put a 48 pot RDWC system and a 24 pot RDWC system in there, money is not an issue, what lighting and ventilation systems would you recommend ?
    Reply
    • Replies

    • GroWell Team
      Posted June 14, 2017 at 2:03 pm
      For a room 21x4m with some access around or through the system layout we recommend 51 x 600W/750W lights, using 3 rows of 17 lights. There are other options, but we will need more info regarding the room and system layout.
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