Types of Hydroponics Systems and How They Work

What are the types of different hydroponics systems?

The 6 main types of different hydroponics systems include: Ebb and Flow (also called a Flood and Drain system), Drip, Wick, DWC (Deep Water Culture), NFT (Nutrient Film Technique), and Aeroponics. We’ll take a look at the different types of hydroponic system, and see how these hydroponic systems work.


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Aeroponics – Enhanced Yields

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Deep Water Culture

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Drip Systems – How They Work

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Easy DIY Ebb and Flow System

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Ebb and Flow Hydroponic System

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Nutrient Film Technique

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the easiest hydroponic system for beginners?

Of all the different hydroponics systems, a few stand out as easier than others. When you look at different hydroponics systems, you’ll notice various components. The less moving parts, the easier it is to manage. Deep Water Culture and wick setups are by far some of the easiest.

Does the type of system determine what I can grow?

Here’s the thing: most plants grow really well in hydroponics. However, not every water culture system works the same way. For instance, a DWC system is great for strawberries, spinach, or even bell peppers. But if you try to grow carrots in a DWC system, you’ll end up with a mess of rotten root veggies. However, if you use a media based system, like a drip or ebb and flow system, carrots grow quite well.

In short, the system doesn’t always limit what you can grow, but for certain plants it does.

What hydroponic systems are best for vine plants?

Plants that vine or ‘climb’  (like strawberries or tomatoes) require a little more work. Most of the time it really comes down to having the proper support for the vines and growing fruit. Stacked or vertical systems are always a good pick, but you can use other systems and add extra support. Ebb and flow systems are a good choice, although NFT systems are another top choice.

Learn more about growing strawberries and tomatoes with our grow guides!