Setting up a hydroponic growing system is definitely a lot of fun – and can be very rewarding as well. First of all, a hydroponic setup doesn’t require much space, and it is also ideal for indoor growing and can deliver great results. However, it’s very important to think carefully about your design and consider all the intricate details before you start buying all that you need. The following are a few major factors to think about when choosing the right pump for your hydroponic garden:
How to choose a pump
Your budget will, of course, be a deciding factor, but before letting your finances constrain you, it’s best to get familiar with the three most important features of the pump: its ability to work (measured in gallons per hour), its maximum head height, and the maintenance the pump requires. How much nutrient solution needs to be delivered to the plants per hour? What’s the vertical distance between the plants and the nutrient container? And how do you take care of the pump? These are just some questions you need to ask yourself as well.
Gallons per hour (GPH)
On packages, the GPH, or Gallons per Hour, will be prominently displayed – often, it is between 300 and 500 gallons per hour. But beware: check the package and don’t confuse the GPH with gallons per minute. Measure your containers carefully and see how much of the nutrient solution needs to be pumped; calculate the maximum time this should take, and buy the correct pump based on your calculations.
Also mentioned on the package is the head height. Water has weight, and the higher the water needs to go, the stronger the pump needs to be. Note – we’re talking about vertical height, not the amount of tubing the water has to go through. Water that is directed horizontally doesn’t require much energy, but pumping water vertically means the pump can encounter some resistance. A simple rule of thumb to make your task easier: look for the highest head height for pumps within the same price range.
The pumps need regular maintenance, and the filters need to be changed now and again. While pumps may look complicated, there are, in fact, only a few moving parts, and each can be disassembled and cleaned. Maintenance usually doesn’t cost much, but you may have to put some time aside from your busy schedule once in a while. Check your schedule and plan accordingly.
Choosing the correct pump requires some thought – consider first which crops to grow and how much water will be needed. You should also consider the design of the hydroponic setup and how high the water needs to be pumped. Finally, think about your time and how much you can set aside for regular maintenance. Since the right pump is an important factor in a hydroponic system, it pays to think it through. And with the right pump, your system for HYDROPONICS will definitely be the best one there is.
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