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Aeroponics is a plant-cultivation technique in which the roots hang suspended in the air while nutrient solution is delivered to them in the form of a fine mist. The basic principle of aeroponic growing is to grow plants suspended in a closed or semi-closed environment by spraying the plant's dangling roots and lower stem with an atomized or sprayed, nutrient-rich water solution. Root growth increases yield, that is the mantra of marijuana. The larger the root system, the more nugs it will produce. That is the most important factor when considering the aeroponic method. With enough nutrients and without the restriction of a medium, the roots can grow unimpeded. This can also be a very unforgiving method.
Aquaponics is a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water. Aquaponics creates an eco-system in which fish are raised to provide the nutrients needed to grow cannabis. The cannabis consumes the nutrients provided by the fish and bacteria, cleaning the water before it is recirculated to the fish. Aquaponics can be very unforgiving, so much consideration should be given before committing to such an elaborate set-up.
Ebb & Flow is a cycling technique that is known for its simplicity, reliability of operation, and low initial investment cost when compared to the other hydroponic systems. The nutrients are allowed to drain into a reservoir where they will remain until the next cycle. This cycling allows the roots to dry which prevents rotting and allows the roots to get oxygen. The Ebb and Flow technique is a simple operation, a pump provides water to the grow tray until the overflow is reached. Once the pump shuts off, the nutrient solution will trickle back into the reservoir where it will remain until the next cycle. Without good filtration the system can be prone to blockages, which can result in a ruined crop.
Drip to Drain or Drain to Waste – provides the grow with as perfect a mix of nutrients as you can provide as needed. Since the nutrient solution is being exposed to the root system for one time only, there is no need to test and balance the solution and there is no need to worry about the solution breaking down. The biggest drawback is the waste of nutrients, 15% - 20%. Normally a tube is placed in the top of the planter so that nutrients can be fed to the plant at scheduled times and collected in a reservoir for disposal.
Hydroponics is a more popular method that has seen much success. It is the method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. If a plant is given exactly what it needs, when it needs it, in the amount that it needs, the plant will be as healthy as is genetically possible. There are various types of hydro-growing including Ebb & Flow, Recirculating Deep Water Culture, Continuous Flow, Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), and Double Bucket. Below are listed the pros and cons of using a hydroponic system:
More nutrients to the root system
Bigger root mass, higher yield
pH fluctuations (common)