Basic Hydroponic Wick System
A hydroponic wick system is considered to be one of the most clear-cut systems of the six that are most commonly used. It is easy to build and offers an introduction to the world of hydroponic systems. Also, since it doesn’t require electricity or pump, there is a lot more choice in where the system can be set up. Here are the fundamentals involved in such a system:
How It Works
There are essentially three parts to a simple wick system. There is the wick, the reservoir, and the plant container. Although it is not necessary, some growers prefer to include an air pump in the system as well.
The reservoir is the bottom most part of the system. It is what contains the nutrient solution. Atop the reservoir is the plant container, which is where the plant is housed. The wick is what connects these two containers. The purpose of the wick is to draw the nutrient solution up and into the plant above. This is done with the help of capillary action and there are often multiple wicks used within a system.
The Components of the System
As mentioned, a hydroponic wick system can be built by almost anyone. The key to ensuring that it works efficiently is to have the right materials on hand. The following is what is required:
The wick is the most integral aspect of the system. The requirement here is that the material used is able to absorb and wick moisture adequately. There are no set requirements for what the wick should be made of. Some of the more commonly used materials include propylene felt strips, polyurethane yarn, and ropes made from cotton, wool, rayon, wool, fibrous materials, etc. Regardless of what you use, you need to ascertain that in addition being extremely absorbent, that it is also averse to rotting.
The reservoir can be a simple bucket or container. The main thing is that the nutrient solution is always at an appropriate level so that the fluid doesn’t have to travel too far before reaching the plant. It is vital that the reservoir is cleaned out often and that the nutrient solution is replaced. There is always a chance that microorganisms may grow in this medium or that there will be residue nutrient salts.
Although it is not necessary, some growers prefer to use an air pump with their wick system. This ensures that the nutrients are properly mixed within the liquid solution. The pump itself sits outside of the reservoir, with an air line running into the container. At the other end of the tube, there will be an air stone. This will help to diffuse the oxygen into the reservoir.
A hydroponic wick system is a great option for beginner growers. There are still a few issues with this basic system, nonetheless. This type of system works well with smaller plants which don’t require many nutrients. However, with larger plants or those that need a heavier feeding, this hydroponic system can fall short.
These are the fundamentals involved with this type of hydroponic wick system.