How To Build A Hydroponic System (Owner Experience)

Growing your own hydroponically is a great way to enjoy fresh produce and save money. Here are the steps you need to take to build your own system, from deciding where and how big it should be all the way through harvesting your first crop!

DIY | How To Build Your Own Hydroponics System
Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants in a nutrient-rich solution rather than soil.
Hydroponic gardening offers several benefits, including increased plant growth and yield, better control over plant nutrition and environment, and the ability to grow plants year-round.
Almost any plant can be grown using hydroponic gardening, but the method is particularly well-suited for growing leafy greens, herbs, and some fruits and vegetables.
While hydroponic gardening can take some practice and experimentation to get right, it is not inherently difficult.
The equipment you need to get started with hydroponic gardening will depend on the scale and complexity of your setup.

Decide Where To Put It

Before you start, there are a few things to consider. First, ask yourself how much space you have in your home and if you want to create a hydroponic system indoors or outdoors. 

If you’re looking for something that can grow year round, an indoor system is besteven if only during the winter months. 

The temperature and humidity levels need to be kept consistent throughout the year so as not to interrupt plant growth cycles or cause other problems with plant health. 

You’ll also need access to power outlets everywhere since these systems require plenty of electricity!

On top of deciding where exactly within your home (or apartment) will become home base for this project, there are several factors that go into choosing which type(s) of hydroponic growing systems will work best for your needs:

When building a hydroponic system, it’s important to know how to add nutrients to keep your plants healthy. Check out our article on adding nutrients to a hydroponic system to learn more about this crucial step in hydroponic gardening

Decide What To Grow

Before you start building a hydroponic system, it’s important to take the time to decide what plants you actually want to grow. 

While there are many benefits of growing your own produce at home, not all plants will thrive in a hydroponic system. 

Some plants require more water than others and some may need more light than is available in your home. 

It’s also important that you consider any allergies or sensitivities that may be present before deciding which vegetables and fruits you’d like to grow. Here’s a list of some common vegetables that can do well with proper care and maintenance:

  • Cucumbers (the best choice for early harvests)
  • Tomatoes (great for sauces or sandwiches!)
  • Peppers/chili peppers (another good choice if space is limited)

Pick Up A System Kit

If you’re looking for an easy way to start, the best thing you can do is buy a hydroponic system kit from a local store. 

If there aren’t any stores nearby that sell hydroponic systems, try looking online or asking friends if they have one they’re not using in their own gardens. You can also build your own system without buying anything at all!

Maintaining the proper pH level is essential to the success of a hydroponic system. If you need to bring the pH level up, check out our guide on bringing pH up in hydroponics for a step-by-step breakdown of the process.

Assemble Your System

To build a hydroponic system, you’ll need the following:

A bucket or other container filled with water and some nutrient solution.

Several small pots or cups (or one large pot) to hold the plant roots in place. These containers should be filled with some sort of growing medium such as rock wool or perlite (which is made from volcanic rock). 

You can also use gravel, but it’s not as effective for retaining moisture because it does not contain any organic material like the other types listed above.

Select Your Lighting

When it comes to lights, there are two types you can use: HID or LED. Both have their pros and cons, but if you’re looking for a long-term cost savings, LEDs are your best bet.

One of the biggest benefits of LEDs is that they use less energy than HIDs (high-intensity discharge lamps) and fluorescent lights. 

There’s also no need to replace them very often since they last much longer than other lighting sources. 

Another advantage is that they’re easier to maintain because there are no fragile glass bulbs or gas tubes involved like with fluorescent bulbs or incandescent lamps respectively (though some models do come with an optional protective cover).

This doesn’t mean that all LED grow lights are created equal you’ll want one that has been specifically designed for indoor plants.

On the other hand, if you need to bring the pH level down in your hydroponic system, check out our article on bringing pH down in hydroponics for an easy-to-follow guide on how to achieve the proper pH level.

Choose Your Hydroponic Nutrients

The next thing you’ll need is a nutrient solution. It’s important to choose the right nutrients for your crop, and even more important that they are mixed properly. 

The hydroponic system will be different depending on whether you’re growing herbs or vegetables.

For herbs, like basil or mint:

Choose an organic fertilizer with micronutrients like calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Mix it up at a ratio of 1:1:1 (nitrogen:phosphorous:potassium) by volume in order to get good results without having too much of any one element in your crop.

Change out the mineral solution every two weeks using only half as much water as before so that you don’t dilute your nutrients!

Prepare And Plant Your Seedlings

Once you have selected and purchased your seedlings, you will need to prepare them for planting.

The first step is to cut the leaves off of each stem with a sharp knife or scissors. Make sure that you leave about 2 inches at the bottom of each stem without any leaves so that they can be placed in your hydroponic system without getting damaged by their roots rubbing against the sides of their pots when they are transplanted.

Now that all of your seedlings have been prepared properly for transplantation, it is time to plant them into your hydroponic system! 

To do this, simply take one seedling out of its plastic container/pot and gently remove some dirt from around its roots using a small spoon or trowel (or even just by hand). 

Building a homemade hydroponic system can be a rewarding project for those interested in hydroponic gardening. Check out our guide on building a homemade hydroponic system for step-by-step instructions on how to get started.

Give It Some Space

Like any living organism, a hydroponic garden needs space. In this case, it’s both physical and mental:

A cool, dark place. Most of your grow room should ideally be in the shade. The idea here is to keep the temperature down ideally around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius), which is on the warmer side of what most plants prefer but still cool enough to prevent mold growth and other problems associated with overheating.

Plenty of ventilation. As we just said above, you don’t want your plant to overheat; however, neither do you want it drying out or developing mold due to lack of humidity or circulation in its environment! 

Make sure there are plenty of vents throughout the grow room that allow air flow from one end to another multiple times per hour and keep them closed at night when temperatures drop so as not

to let too much cold air in through cracks under doors where lights may be heating up during use! 

Don’t forget about exhaust fans either; these might seem like an afterthought but if not set up properly they can actually cause problems for some types of plants by removing too much moisture from their leaves without proper circulation between rooms/pipes etc…

Control The Temperature Of Your Grow Room

The temperature of your grow room is one of the most important things to control when growing plants. 

Temperature affects plant growth and can affect how often you have to water your plants, so it’s important you get it right.

The temperature should be between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21-27° Celsius). This is an ideal temperature range for plant growth, but if you can’t achieve this exact range then don’t worry too much about it. 

It’s better to set up your hydroponic system somewhere where the temperatures are stable than somewhere where they’re constantly fluctuating.

You should also make sure that there are no strong air currents within your grow room because these will affect how quickly or slowly air moves around in there, which can affect how much moisture escapes from the leaves of your plants and into the air this causes them to dry out faster than they would if they were kept at a more constant humidity level

Hydroponic tower gardens are a space-saving and visually appealing way to grow your plants. Check out our step-by-step guide on building a hydroponic tower garden to learn how to build your own beautiful tower garden.

Monitor Ph Levels And Nutrient Concentrations

pH levels should be between 5.5 and 6.5. If you have too high of a pH level, it will affect the plants’ ability to absorb nutrients from the solution. There are several ways to correct it:

  • Add some vinegar (or lemon juice) to your water pipe and let it flow through until your pH levels drop
  • Use a product like PH Down solution that can be purchased at garden centers or online
  • Add bicarbonate soda (baking soda) or calcium carbonate powder (calcite) evenly throughout your water pipe

Keep Your Water Clean

There are a few ways to clean your water as it grows. You can use a filter or UV light, which will remove any contaminants in your water, but they don’t actually remove the pollutants themselves. 

Another option is a reverse osmosis system, which filters out most impurities and pollutants but leaves behind some minerals that are beneficial for plants. If you have an RO system already, you can use grower’s choice cleaner to keep it clean throughout the growing season.

Ways to Keep Your Water Clean

Use a filterA filter helps to remove larger suspended particles, such as leaves, to keep the water clearer. An activated carbon filter can remove organic compounds, including pesticides and herbicides.
Add Hydrogen peroxideHydrogen peroxide is a natural oxidizer that breaks down organic matter in the water. Add one tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water.
Use ultraviolet (UV) lightIt kills microorganisms in the water by damaging their cell walls and DNA. UV light will not remove chemicals or heavy metals from the water.
Use ozoneOzone helps to break down contaminants and is a powerful disinfectant. It works by forcing an extra oxygen molecule into the water, which oxidizes the pollutants.
Use reverse osmosis (RO)RO removes impurities such as salts, chemicals, and other contaminants from the water by passing them through a semipermeable membrane.

Harvest And Enjoy!

Harvesting is the process of removing the plants from their growing medium and then drying them out before storing them for use.

The time to harvest your cannabis depends on what you plan on using it for. If you’re going to use your bud as medicine, you’ll want to dry it out slowly so that all its beneficial properties are preserved. 

If you’re going to smoke or vape it, then harvesting early will give a stronger high with less harshness on your throat (and lungs).

Once you’ve decided when to pick the buds off the stems, it’s time for harvest! The first step is pulling up all the plants from their pots; this can be difficult depending on how much root system has grown into each container over time. 

To avoid damaging your plants’ roots during this step, try using gloves or tongs so that there’s no chance of breaking any roots accidentally.

Next remove any remaining cuttings from around each plant by gently pulling back any leaves covering buds until they’re fully exposed this will make them easier to spot when drying later.[8]

Finally comes drying: hang stems upside-down indoors in a dark room for about three days until they snap easily between two fingers.

Harvesting and Storage

1. Determine the time for harvestDepending on the plant, the time of harvest will differ. Generally, harvest when the fruit or buds are mature and colors have developed.
2. Cut the plantsUsing pruners, sharp scissors or knife, remove the stem of the tender plants from the growing media.
3. Dry the plantsPlace harvested plants on a drying rack that allows good airflow to dry them up.
4. Store the plantsOnce the plants are dry, store them in airtight bags or containers in a cool, dry, and dark place for the best flavor, smell, and potency.


Now that you’re ready to build a hydroponic system, there are a few things to consider. First, where should you put it? 

You may want to find a spot in your home where it won’t be in the way of regular activity or sunlight exposure. 

Second, what types of plants do you want to grow? You can choose from many different types of flowers or herbs that have been proven successful in this type of setup. 

Thirdly, pick up one of the many kits available online these days which come with everything needed including pumps filters lights tubing etc! Once those decisions have been made then it’s time to assemble everything together according

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that may be helpful for those interested in hydroponic gardening:

Dave Epstein: Start A Hydroponic Garden – An informative article on hydroponic gardening written by gardening expert Dave Epstein.

Hydroponic Gardening: How to Grow Veggies Without Soil – A comprehensive guide to hydroponic gardening that covers everything from the basics to advanced techniques.

Hydroponic Farm Business: Learn How to Start a Profitable Urban Farm – A guide to starting a hydroponic farm business that covers everything from planning and setup to marketing and profitability.


What is hydroponic gardening?

Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants in a nutrient-rich solution rather than soil. The plants are often grown in a controlled environment and can be grown vertically to save space.

What are the benefits of hydroponic gardening?

Hydroponic gardening offers several benefits, including increased plant growth and yield, better control over plant nutrition and environment, and the ability to grow plants year-round.

What kind of plants can be grown using hydroponic gardening?

Almost any plant can be grown using hydroponic gardening, but the method is particularly well-suited for growing leafy greens, herbs, and some fruits and vegetables.

Is hydroponic gardening difficult?

While hydroponic gardening can take some practice and experimentation to get right, it is not inherently difficult. With the right tools and resources, anyone can learn to grow plants using this method.

What equipment do I need to get started with hydroponic gardening?

The equipment you need to get started with hydroponic gardening will depend on the scale and complexity of your setup. At a minimum, you’ll need a container, a nutrient-rich solution, and a growing medium. Additional equipment may include a grow light, a pH meter, and a water pump.