Different Hydroponic Systems Part 2 – Nutrient Film Technique NFT

This system is probably the most straightforward of the hydroponic systems as it does not incorporate the use of timers to switch pumps off and on. The seeds you use need to be propagated first in a propagation unit until they have a sufficient root base to be installed in the system.

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How does it work?

The equipment involves long shallow trays which come with a long lid making the system enclosed. There are sections in the lid where the crops are positioned. The plant resides in a plastic pot with slits to permit the roots to grow through them.They resemble a scaled-down version of the inner pot found in flood and drain systems.

The trays are situated over a water tank and a pump attached at one side to pump water into the trays. There needs to be a decent gradient in the trays to ensure that water flows down the channel and back into the water reservoir.Commonly the gradients used are 1:30 or 1:40 this stops water pooling in indents from uneven areas and roots. The intention is that the roots are constantly bathed in a nutrient loaded water supply and generate healthy and balanced, linear plants.

The label “nutrient film” makes reference to the delicate film of roots which will ultimately develop on the bottom of the tray.It should be a shallow stream of water with only the base of the roots underwater; this enables the remainder of the root to be open to the air and get the much needed oxygen required for development.

The units come in different lengths that can hold varying amounts of plants.

In essence you could have any length of NFT system, but the longer the system the greater the probability that flow might be interrupted. Models longer than 12 metres are likely to get decreased growth in plants at the end, this is caused by the nutrients being taken up by plants closer to the reservoir.

Having said that this problem can be eliminated by constructing a further water supply along the length of the channel.

Problems

I have talked about a couple of problems already; for example pooling of water and nutrient reduction in long system set ups.However there are a few more.

Pump Failure

As NFT systems only need a minimal water delivery the pumps are not very powerful. They are furthermore turned on all of the time which means they get a lot of activity during the process of the grow.

This coupled with potential salt precipitation from the diluted nutrients (particularly in hard water areas), www.google.sn implies that at some point the pump is likely to breakdown. If you're able to catch this immediately then aside from the price of a new pump, there's no huge problem to the plants.

However if this goes undetected it means that the roots will dry out rapidly and this may affect growth.

Disease

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The plant roots are continually soaked in water and this can cause bacterial diseases such as Pythuim. Pythuim is better known as “root rot” and can decimate your crops if it is not diagnosed early.There are treatments available to buy that can eradicate Pythuim if you are unlucky enough to get it, however the easiest way is through prevention. This can be achieved by changing the water in the tank periodically and incorporating preventative formulations to the nutrient solution.

Stableness

Heavy fruit producing crops can become unbalanced in an NFT system.

This is a result of the roots becoming long and flat and not having a lot of purchase. This causes the plant to become top heavy and https://opensea.io/collection/bigfeet they tumble out of the trays – not ideal! This can be solved by holding up the plants by using yo-yos, string or www.google.dz canes. This will provide some security to the plant and enable it to continue growing and bearing fruit without toppling over.

Overview

Even with the problems mentioned above these systems are a good option in hydroponics. They are an economical system and smelly feet a terrific choice to use as an initiation to growing your own crops at home.

Sarah has and operates her own hydroponics equipment business. This has expanded from her passion for growing her own fresh produce at home. For additional information please visit .

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