7 Different Types of Hydroponic Systems for Your Backyard 

 March 14, 2022

By  admin

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without the need for soil or nutrients. It’s low cost, efficient use of water and sunlight makes it an ideal system to grow food in the home garden. There are many different ways to make your own hydroponic garden with material you likely already have around your house!

The “what are the 6 different types of hydroponic systems” is a question that I am asked quite often. There are 7 different types of hydroponic systems, and they all have their own benefits.

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You’ve probably come across the term hydroponics.

You gained some knowledge about the procedure.

You’ve decided to build your own hydroponic system at home. 


You must first understand about the many kinds of hydroponic systems, how they operate, what you’ll need for each, as well as their benefits and drawbacks, before deciding which one is best for your garden.

Fortunately for you, WE KNOW EVERYTHING!

Take a look at it below! 

What are Hydroponics Systems and How Do They Work? What Is Hydroponics and What Is the Process?

A hydroponic plant is one that thrives without soil in an artificial environment (such as a home, grow tent, or greenhouse).

But where do plants obtain their nutrients if they don’t have soil?

That’s where the one-of-a-kind systems come into play.

Hydroponics focuses on the utilization of various non-soil media. Rockwool, expanded clay, mulch, coconut coir, fiber, pellets, gravel, and peat moss are among them (sometimes no medium at all). These media keep the roots aerated while keeping them in direct touch with nutrients.

Of course, not all hydroponic systems are created equal. But they all have one thing in common: no soil. 

What are the Benefits of Hydroponic Systems for Crops?

Why do people utilize hydroponics in the first place? Are there any real advantages? Is it merely a new fad in which individuals attempt to seem cool?

Yes, there are genuine advantages. It’s not simply a “fad,” either.

Hydroponics provides a plethora of benefits to people. These are some of them:

  • Because there is no soil preparation, there is less time to concentrate on WHERE to produce the items and more time on GROWING THEM WELL.
  • Growing ALL KINDS of crops is simpler and more productive when they are not affected by seasonal climatic variations (throughout THE WHOLE YEAR).
  • Plants grow bigger, quicker, tastier, and healthier with less energy spent absorbing nutrients from the soil. 
  • When compared to conventional crop growing, hydroponic systems save hundreds of gallons per year since they recycle and reuse water.
  • Nutrients are retained in the water for longer and are not consumed by soil organisms (so they linger for enough time to keep plants nourished non-stop).
  • Weeds, bugs, and illnesses are nearly fully removed, making the whole agricultural process very simple.
  • Monoculture or concentrated crops are more productive since crop rotation and plant companionship are unnecessary. 
  • Hydroponics saves TIME AND EFFORT in the short and long run since the effort is decreased tenfold (including transportation, irrigation, soil preparation, pest control, and more). 

Growing vegetables in your garden using hydroponics will be a lot simpler, quicker, and more sustainable… And you would be correct. 

7 Hydroponic System Types You Should Try!

So, do you think a hydroponic garden is a good idea? 

Then you must know WHICH kind to choose, WHY it is the best option for you, HOW to make it happen, and so on…

Check out our take on the seven hydroponic systems you may try in your own backyard:

Aeroponics is the first kind of hydroponics.

Remember what hydroponics is all about: no soil?

Aeroponics, on the other hand, combines that foundation with another: the absence of a medium.

Plants may practically be grown in mid-air with nothing keeping the roots in place. That’s how effective this technique is.

What Is Aeroponics and What Is the Process?

Well, it all started in 1957 with F.W. Went’s desire to nourish roots DIRECTLY without the need of a medium or soil. It’s just air. 

And then he had this brilliant idea: nutrient-rich water is sent to the roots through a pump. These roots float in mid-air, absorbing all of the nutrients, water, and oxygen they need without being interrupted. 

What are the outcomes?

Improves nutrient absorption for bigger roots and higher yields in disease-free crops. 

In addition, they were able to save money on media and fertilizers. 

Requirements for Aeroponic Systems 

With an aeroponic kit, you’ll have everything you need. They are often inexpensive and may be bought at practically any gardening store.

But if you want to make your own, here’s everything you’ll need:

  • a container for the plants (preferably made of plastic)
  • A pump with a lengthy hose/pipe system (and sprayer heads)
  • Irrigation-system automation technologies such as timers or equivalent devices
  • The water and pump are kept in a chamber (preferably plastic)

As you can see, it’s not nearly as difficult as it seems. For novices, it may be a little messy, but nothing out of the norm. 

Why Should You Use an Aeroponic System?

  • When compared to other systems, yields rise dramatically. 
  • Plants grow more quickly than in other hydroponics systems.
  • Because the water is recycled without changing it, there is less nutrient consumption.
  • Reservoirs and chambers come in many shapes and sizes (no limits)
  • This procedure is suitable for a wide range of small-root plants. 
  • Disease, pests, and starvation are nearly non-existent. 

Why not experiment with an aeroponic system?

  • To prevent roots from drying out, it requires steady humid conditions.
  • It is a little more expensive than other hydroponic systems. 
  • Because it consumes a lot of power, the monthly bills might be rather significant.
  • Aeroponic systems take up more room than other approaches.

2. Method of Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain)

Ebb and Flow, often known as Flood and Drain, is a simple hydroponic system for keeping roots moist and maintaining optimal nutrient absorption.

What’s the catch? A growth medium is used in this procedure… However, this is merely to hold the plants in place (you are not required to do so). 

What Is the Process?

The plants are kept in a tray. Plants are then planted on a medium (sand, hydroton, lava rocks, rockwool, coconut fiber, etc.). The nutrients are then stored in A reservoir of water below, which is used by a pump to “flood” the tray where the roots are placed.

The tray is then emptied using the pump after a few minutes of this operation. The water then returns to the reservoir below. 

For a few minutes, the roots may aerate. 

Finally, depending on how the timer is set up, the flooding will begin again at a later time. 

What are the outcomes?

Most plants benefit from super-healthy roots because they encourage exponential development. Plants are also fully disease-free. 

System Requirements for Ebb and Flow

The nicest part about an ebb and flow system is how simple it is to put together. It isn’t the easiest, but it comes close.

Here’s what you’ll require:

  • A tray large enough to contain the plants as well as the medium
  • a medium for growth (you can use none if you want)
  • An open-topped water reservoir
  • A reversible pump that can both push and pull water.
  • From the reservoir to the grow tank, there are pipes.
  • For automated flooding cycles, a timer attached to the pump is used.

You may grow the plants directly on the tray without using a growth material (this requires consistent environmental conditions).

Why Should You Use the Ebb and Flow System?

  • Aeration following floods boosts nutrient absorption by a factor of ten.
  • On the roots, less algae, bacteria, and fungus will develop. 
  • Work in both horizontal and vertical directions, depending on the available area.
  • It’s simple to regulate the quantity of water, oxygen, and nutrients that plants get.
  • This approach works well for a variety of crops. 

Why don’t you give the Ebb and Flow System a shot?

  • It takes some time and work to set up (inexperienced people will struggle)
  • Requires that all of the system’s components work properly.
  • Nutrients block up pipes and pumps from time to time.
  • When the pump begins to struggle, the system may become loud. 

3. DWC System (Deep Water Culture)

When we think of “expensive but simple to attain,” we don’t think of the Deep-Water Culture, or DWC.

It is the traditional method of building a hydroponic garden and is known as the beginning of hydroponics. And, despite its simplicity, it works like a charm.

What Is the Process?

All of the water and fertilizers are stored in a large tank. With their roots buried, the plants practically float above the water. 

In most DWC systems, an air pump provides oxygen to the roots, preventing the crops from drowning. A water pump may also be useful if the water tank is too huge to efficiently mix the nutrients throughout the region.

What are the outcomes?

The plants will grow BIGGER, HEALTHIER, and FASTER than with standard growth techniques even if you don’t give them any attention. 

Requirements for a Deep Water Culture System

For this to function, you’ll only need a few components. In fact, it’s perhaps the most accessible source of information. So, here’s what you should be looking for:

  • A pond or a bucket (depending on how large you want the hydroponic system to be)
  • A tray or a container with a net (to hold the plants)
  • The water is kept oxygenated by an air pump.
  • A medium-sized company (rockwool or phenolic foam)

To be able to set it on top of the bucket/pond, the tray/pot must be bigger than the bucket/pond. Make sure the roots of the plant can reach the water below. That should enough. 

Why Should You Try the DWC Method?

  • For its efficacy, the initial expenditures are low.
  • Little to no upkeep and care is required. 
  • Saves a lot of water and nutrients while using very little energy.
  • To encourage healthy development, the roots are aerated on a regular basis.
  • It can be done by anybody, even if they have no prior expertise.

Why not give the DWC Method a shot?

  • Without appropriate aeration, roots might drown in the water.
  • The roots may be unable to absorb nutrients if they become too motionless.
  • It isn’t suitable for vertical gardening.
  • Plants that are subjected to excessive humidity will not thrive.

Drip System No. 4

Don’t want your crops’ roots to be submerged all the time? 

Your best bet is probably a drip system.

It solves the aeration issue by keeping roots in a dry medium, regularly watering the top of the plant, and yet protecting the whole crop for healthy development. 

What Is the Process?

Consider it like drip irrigation, but without the dirt.

The technique necessitates the use of a tray to hold the medium and plants. This tray is attached to a pump located underneath it. The pump then draws water from a reservoir containing nutrients. 

Finally, it settles on the medium before filtering back into the reservoir. 

It isn’t rocket science, yet it is rather effective.

What are the outcomes?

Nutrients go more quickly to the roots, increasing their chances of being absorbed.

It also prevents the roots from drowning (since they’ll be on a breathable medium).

Requirements for a Drip System

It’s a simple hydroponic system to get started with, so you won’t need much. The following are the most important items: 

  • A water and nutrient storage facility
  • Plants in a tray, channel, or net pot
  • a medium for growth (coco coir, fiber, expanded clay, or rockwool)
  • Pipes, hoses, and a leaking mouth are all part of a water pump.
  • To automate the dripping procedure, use a timer (in cycles)

If you desire, you may also use an air pump to keep the roots aerated. It’s a choice, but it’s a good one (it may require extra work to set up). 

Why Should You Try the Drip System?

  • Maintain steady humidity for most plants without compromising aeration (even trees benefit).
  • It works with towers, vertical gardens, and a variety of other activities (allows custom shapes)
  • Because the plants are completely isolated, diseases and pests are uncommon. 
  • Noise is little to non-existent (pumps are often hidden) 
  • Beginners may try it out since it’s inexpensive and simple. 

The Drip System’s Disadvantages

  • Leakage is probable due to the large number of pipes, hoses, and connectors.
  • Regardless of the arrangement, it takes up a lot of room. 
  • Correctly configuring pumps and timers requires some expertise. 

The Kratky System is number five.

You don’t want to invest in hydroponics because it’s too expensive?

Need something that works but isn’t too time consuming?

Are the plants you wish to cultivate little and simple to grow?

The Kratky system is a great place to start.

It’s the most basic kind of hydroponics, with none of the drawbacks.

This may be your best choice if you’re new to hydroponics and want to try it out in the simplest method possible. 

What Is the Process?

The plant is placed in a jar or small container, but the leaves and stem remain exposed. 

Along with the water, nutrients are placed inside the container. 

Sometimes all you need is water to get the job done.

What are the outcomes?

Ensures that most plants (small and medium-sized) develop quickly and easily from seedlings to mature plants. Before they are transferred into bigger pots or complex hydroponic systems, they go through all of this. 

System Requirements for Kratky

It takes little to no preparation since it is the most basic:

  • To install the plant, you’ll need a jar, container, vase, or something similar.
  • The container’s net or cover 
  • A medium-sized company (rockwool or coco fiber)
  • A nutritional supplement (only if the plant is a feeder)

That concludes the discussion. Isn’t it simple? 

The Kratky Method’s Benefits

  • Amateurs may test it out without incurring any expenditures or exerting any effort.
  • The amount of maintenance and care required is minimal.
  • Working space is little to non-existent.
  • It may be used to cultivate crops as well as flowers and ornamentals.

DisThe Kratky Method’s Benefits

  • Only one or two plants are allowed per container.
  • Manual feeding is required (in case you want to add nutrients)
  • With this strategy, large plants are out of the question. 

Nutrient Film Technique (No. 6) (NFT)

The NFT technology keeps roots aerated at all times like a charm.

It encourages a lot of growth, takes minimal maintenance, and is very long-lasting (the water and nutrients can be recycled repeatedly).

Deep Water Culture (DWC) is a process that is quite similar to this. 

What Is the Process?

Plants are inserted in hollow trays or tubes (they need to be angled and not horizontal). The water is then pumped out of the upper end of the tube/tray by a pump.

A nutritious film (small stream of water) is pushed down into the tubes/trays as a result of this. Only the lowest section of the roots will be touched by the film. Meanwhile, air is supplied to the upper half of the roots. 

What are the outcomes?

Plants develop steadily, healthily, and quickly.

The most fascinating aspect is seeing the roots adapt to the system by growing horizontally. 

System Requirements for NFT 

You won’t need anything we haven’t already mentioned:

  • To install the plants, you’ll need a pipe, tray, or tank (it needs to be inclined)
  • A reservoir for storing water and fertilizers.
  • a medium for growth (optional)
  • The water is pushed through the sloping base by a water pump.
  • An air pump is used to keep the roots at the top of the tree breathing.
  • Connecting pipes and hoses between the pump, base, and reservoir 
  • Watering may be automated with the use of a timer (optional)

For gardeners with even a little expertise, the products and installation are not difficult. 

Why Should You Try Nutrient Filming? (NFT)

  • Plants don’t need much maintenance since their roots are virtually constantly buried, but they do need to be aerated.
  • Water and fertilizers are recycled on a regular basis (so it uses few resources)
  • Plant diseases are less prone to spread from one plant to another.
  • Plants easily adapt to the form, inclination, and size of the tank.

Why don’t you give the Nutrient Film Technique a try? (NFT)

  • If the roots grow too large, the system may get blocked.
  • Large plants may obstruct the flow of water (as they have big roots)
  • It only works with leafy greens (no root crops or tiny trees).
  • Relies heavily on the pump to constantly provide water. 
  • Limits the quantity of suitable plants to the tray/pipe/capacity. tank’s

Wicking System No. 7 

The wick system is another simple yet innovative approach to experiment with hydroponics.

This is similar to the Kratky technique, but simplified, or the Deep Water Culture (DWC). 

What is the best of all? Despite its simplicity, it has few drawbacks (but limits the number of plants)

What Is the Process?

A jar, tank, tray, or other container to keep the plants in a media that can absorb and retain water for hours or days. 

Using wicks, this base is linked to A reservoir of water that holds the nutrients. 

Water and nutrients are sent directly to the roots through these wicks, which convey them to the medium where the plants are placed.

What are the outcomes?

Produces long-term plant growth without putting in much effort, wasting time, or spending a lot of money.

It also takes minimal upkeep, making it an excellent choice for novices. 

Requirements for the Wicking System 

Because of its simplicity, it’s one of the simplest to get started with, and you won’t need many stuff to get started. The following are some of the items you’ll require:

  • a foundation for growth (jar, container, tank, tray, pie, etc.)
  • A reservoir of water 
  • wicks of many types (preferably made of cotton or similarly absorbing material)
  • A medium-sized company (coconut coir, fiber, and expanded clay are recommended)

It’s as basic as they come, and it’s as inexpensive as you can get without sacrificing efficacy. 

The Wicking System’s Benefits

  • It requires little to no initial work or expense.
  • Setup time is reduced since there are no pumps or hoses to install.
  • Nutrients are delivered to plants in a constant and reliable manner.
  • Almost minimal maintenance is required (only consistent water changes)

DisThe Wicking System’s Benefits

  • Limits the quantity of plants you can grow due to the wick’s size (they can’t be too big).
  • Delivers a little amount of nutrients to large plants. 
  • Wicks may get infected with fungus or bacteria over time, posing a direct threat to plants.
  • Only suitable for small plants and gardens.



We really hope so!

There should be no doubt about which sort of hydroponic system is ideal for you after reading our description of the many varieties.

Concentrate on finding a strategy that ACTUALLY matches your requirements. That should be enough to make your backyard hydroponic system flourish. 

The “wick system hydroponics” is a type of hydroponic system that uses water as the medium for the plants. The wick system also allows for easy monitoring and control of nutrients in the hydroponic solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 6 different types of hydroponics systems?

A: There are 6 different types of hydroponics systems. They are a recirculating system, aeroponic system, ebb-and-flow hydrosystems, drip tray hydrogrowths and nutrient film technique.

What are 9 different hydroponic systems?

A: 1. Aero, 2. Drip, 3. Flood and Drain, 4-6. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Systems 7-9
1 Aero – Aquaponics
2 Drip – Aeroponics/Hydroponics
3 Flood & Drain – Hydro Ponic System with a Spouting Valve
4 NFT Systems 5 Nutrient Solution Pool 6 Hydroponic Soilless Medium 7 Rockwool 8 Coco Coir 9 Earth Bucket

What type of hydroponic system is the best?

A: A hydroponic system is a way of growing plants in water. Its typically divided into three basic processes, each one with its own benefit over the other two:
1) Soil-less culture (or coco coir), which uses rockwool or pumice as the medium and aeration to provide oxygen for root development. 2) Aquaponic systems, which use fish waste liquid to help algae grow on top of soil providing nutrients for plant growth while also removing nitrates from their water supply and converting them through bacteria into nitrogen gas that oxygenates plant roots 3) Ebb-and-flow culture or ebb & flow method (sometimes referred to as flood & drain), which provides both aeration via bubbling air pump and nutrient diffusion via a tidal overhead reservoir using recycled wastewater

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Emil Schoene

Born and raised in Austin, TX I come from a background of home renovation. By helping my family in my younger years with their construction business, I learned the ropes quickly and as I grew it became my passion that I still do today. Looking to share my knowledge with others. I invite you to leave comments on any post as I know you will have questions that you are not finding anywhere else.

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