Nft Trays DIY Guide NFT System
Nft Trays, Today, we learn the 7 steps to building an advanced hydroponic system. You also receive a shopping list of everything you need to build the system at the conclusion. You can also look at this guide for setting up a Deep Water Culture system if you feel more like a beginner and would like to start with a simpler system.
In this article, we develop a system for the nutrient film technique. It’s a good system for both novices and experts, it makes hydroponics easy to automate, and it’s a good system for hydroponics at home. You can easily use hydroponics outdoors with this system.
image of diy nft hydroponic system
Build your own hydroponics system with pvc pipes in 6 simple steps.
First step: installing PVC pipes
To hold the netcups, the system’s first step is to drill holes in the pvc pipes. A straightforward hole drill can be used for this. Since most netcups are conical, their upper diameter is larger than their lower diameter.
This is a necessary prerequisite so that the netcup can be submerged in the pvc pipe to a large extent without falling into it by drilling holes that hold the netcup in place. Of course, you need to find netcups that are the proper size for your pipe.
The netcup should hang in the pipe completely without having too much space between the cup’s bottom and the pipe. Remember that later, at least during the initial weeks of growth, you want your netcup to get wet from the water flow.
The water level can be lowered later. For our previous system, we used netcups totaling 68 mm (2.7 in) high for a 90 mm diameter pvc pipe (3.5 in) The distance between the cups is another crucial consideration.
In order for plants to grow properly, there needs to be space between them. Additionally, the kind of plant affects this. You might need more space between short, broad plants than you would if you were planting long plants.
Before you plan your holes, measure the space that will be left after the muffle is on. This is crucial if you are going to drill the holes and measure the distances because you need to close the pipe at its ends and the muffle requires space.
These measurements were taken using our previous system:
- For a 90mm (3.5 in) diameter pvc pipe
- We used netcups with a height of 65mm (2.7 in)
- And put 7 cups on 1 meter (39 in) of pipe
- we planned with plants not needing too much space, and would rather make less netcups per 1 meter than 7.
The lids or muffles for the PVC pipe are usually glued on and need to dry for about 24 hours before being applied. Of course you need to bring the pipe fitting lids. Make sure the glue is both water-resistant and hygienic for drinking water.
Even though drinking water won’t be your source of nutrients, you still intend to consume your harvest. Of course, the pvc pipes themselves are the same.
Drilling the inflow and outflow holes for the hoses is also necessary to complete the pvc pipes. The outflow hole is on the bottom of the pipe, and the inflow hole is where the holes for the netcups are.
Make sure the outflow hole precisely fits the used hose; otherwise, you must seal the connection between the pipe and hose in order to prevent the loss of nutrient solution. It is also very helpful if you are able to adjust the height at which the hose extends into the pipe.
This can be used later to change the water level in the pipe. As a safety measure to prevent flooding the pipe and the potential loss of nutrient solution, the first inflow from the pump to the first pvc pipe in our system is a smaller hose than all the pipe connecting hoses. Because you might want to adjust the precise height of the hoses within the pipe in the future, your hole should accommodate the correct size of the hoses you are using.
Pro Tip: If you can purchase white pipes, you should do so. If you are unable to do so, we advise painting your pipes white. The majority of pipes are black, which can accelerate heating up all the roots and potentially harm them. This keeps the interiors cool.
Step 2: Create the System’s Structure
You should begin with the overall framework of your system after you have finished with the pipes. In our illustration, we suggest creating a ladder-like rack that is simple to construct, can be leaned against a wall, and has both a vertical and horizontal spacing.
Build a Wooden Pipe Rack in Step 2.1
There are numerous possible builds. Use a structure that resembles a ladder, like the one that has been suggested, and lean it against a wall. Alternatively, you could construct a free-standing pyramid with pipes on either side to provide more room for growth. Every structure you can think of has the following characteristics:
1. The separation of the pipes
Because your plants need room to expand, you should leave some space between the horizontal and vertical pipes. You can build your system vertically, which already gives you a lot more space than a typical farming or gardening method.
However, the type of hydroponics system we are constructing here can also be easily spread both horizontally and vertically. In our illustration, we use mostly vertical spacing between the plants and a small amount of horizontal spacing thanks to the ladder shape.
Of course, the kind of plants you want to grow ultimately determines this. Do you want to grow salad that stays small or tomatoes that grow tall?
2. Construct the framework to withstand weight.
The system will contain pvc pipes that will house the plant, the roots, the growth medium, and water.
Depending on the plants, the growth medium, the length of the pipe, and other factors, it can all become quite heavy. This might be the heaviest if there is still water in the pipe. Therefore, design your structure to bear those loads.
Additionally, you want to scale later, so design a rack that accommodates scaling as well as the additional loads. You should first ask yourself how many pipes you want to start with as well as how many you want to add later.
3. The lowest point must be the reservoir.
It’s crucial that the reservoir is lower than the lowest pipe in your system in order to create a natural water outflow back into the reservoir.
Therefore, if you can’t dig in the reservoir in the ground, you can’t start your first pipe at ground level. Additionally, your structure needs to account for any future reservoir scaling plans.
Attach PVC Pipes to Rack in Step 2.2
You already have the pipes and the rack; all that is left to do is connect the pipes to the rack. Using pipe clamps, which you first attach to the rack and then the pipes to, is the simplest method.
There is only one thing to take into account when doing this: Since you want the water to flow down the entire system, attach the clamps so that the pipes are at an angle. Overall, the water should move down the system in a zick-zack fashion.
One factor determines the angle: Do you want a natural water flow only, or do you also want water to always be present in the pipes regardless of the flow?
If you want to combine the system with the idea of an ebb-flow system, you can raise the water level using the hoses, so you might not need that much angle at all. However, if you want your pump to run constantly, a flow is sufficient, so you should add more angle.
To maintain a constant water level inside the pipes, our advice is to have a slight angle and raise the hoses. In addition to preventing root burn damage on hot days, this also conserves energy because the pump doesn’t have to run constantly.
You can secure the pipes to the rack once you’ve decided on the system’s angle.
Setting Up The Reservoir in Step 3
after constructing the structure and the pipes. It’s time to discuss the reservoir itself at this point. One element that is essentially the same in many different hydroponics systems is the reservoir.
To stop algae growth, you need a container that blocks all light. It also needs to be big enough to hold enough water to keep the system running for a while. Finally, you need a submersible pump that can raise water to the height of the system’s entryway.
Your pump should have sufficient power to be able to pump a system up to a height of 2 meters.
We can now take care of all the system’s hoses after setting up the reservoir. To truly have flowing water and avoid standing water, create a zick-zack flow.
Water flow is crucial for your system because the splashes from water drops also introduce oxygen. As previously discussed, raise the hoses a little bit to maintain a constant water level in the pipes.
Now, as we already discussed in the preceding steps, it is strongly advised to use a thinner inflow hose when connecting the pump to the system itself than any of the out- or throughflow hoses. This acts as a natural overflow preventer. It might help in mitigating an overflow situation, but it does not guarantee one.
Fourth step: Plant the seedlings
The only thing left to do is add some plants to your system after it has been set up. The previous steps all need to be completed just once, but the subsequent steps may need to be repeated each season or whenever you add new plants to your system.
When to transplant seedlings is one of the most frequently asked questions, and there is really only one straightforward response: as soon as the seedling is transplanted, it needs to be able to access the nutrient solution in its new environment. It all comes down to the root length developed during the seedling phase, depending on how your system operates.
When should seedlings be transplanted?
As soon as the seedling’s root is long enough to pass through the growth medium and the netcup and reach the water, you can transplant it.
To transplant your seedlings, you will also need a growth medium and clay pebbles in addition to the seedling itself. You can use and experiment with a wide range of growth media, of course.
We had success with sponge because you can purchase them with a cut inside that makes it easier to wrap the medium around the roots of seedlings when they are being transplanted.
Additionally, you should avoid placing your plant too low in the netcup. If you run out of medium, you can fill the netcup with pebbles, which also absorb and store nutrient solution. You are prepared to insert the seedling into the pipes after combining the medium, clay pebbles, and netcup.
After relocating your seedlings, you can put the entire system together. As a result, you now have the structure, the pipes, the reservoir, as well as the seedlings.
Prepare the nutrient solution and the timer in step 5
It’s time to tend to your plants’ food needs right now. The two crucial metrics for a hydroponics system are pH and TDS, as we learned in a previous post.
Use the Hydroplanner, which assists you in deriving those values for your plants, to learn what values are appropriate for the plants in your system. If your system has been designed appropriately, you are aware of the values you should pursue.
Therefore, those values must now be reflected in your reservoir and contained nutrient solution. To achieve this, first use a pH meter to measure the pH of your solution and then adjust it using pH Down or pH Up to the desired level. Hydroponic fertilizer should then be used to set the appropriate TDS value.
Once your nutrient solution is complete, check the pH and TDS levels frequently. The growth of your plants depends on those values being in line with their preferences.
You now need to control the proper flow of the nutrient solution in your system in addition to managing the nutrient solution itself. The simplest method for accomplishing this is a timer that turns the pump on and off.
To avoid overflow, we advise brief intervals with brief pumping times. Larger roots from the plants will likely clog your hoses as they grow. Since it’s difficult to stop this, the water may still be able to pass through your system completely if you pump frequently for a short period of time.
Specifically stated, pumping for two minutes every twenty minutes might be a good place to start if you want to give your plants enough nutrients and avoid overflow and water loss. This also depends on how big your system is.
Let the hydroponic system run in step 6
Your system is now ready for use, and you can start growing a variety of different plants, vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Let the system operate while you conduct experiments using various plants, grow mediums, structures, pipes, and other factors. Start developing and learning. To increase yield and plant happiness, make regular checks of your vital signs.
We want to give you a list of everything that was mentioned in this lengthy DIY guide so you can use it as a jumping-off point when shopping for all the components! The following tools and resources were employed throughout this guide:
- Drill PVC Pipes into Holes
- Glued PVC Pipe Lids
- Pipe Clamps for a Wooden Rack
- Reservoir: a lidded, opaque container
- Pump for submersion
- flimsy hose
- cup thick hose net
- Medium-Growth Clay Pebbles
- Hydroponic fertilizer and nutrients
- pH Up / pH Down
FAQ Nft Trays
Can you use aquaponics for NFT?
The Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) is a hydroponic growing technique adapted to aquaponics because of its simple yet effective design that works well in some environments. This method uses horizontal pipes (usually PVC pipes) with shallow streams of nutrient-rich water flowing through them.
How do you make a homemade hydroponic system?
Find a suitable container for the system. Drill holes into the lid of the container. Assemble your air pump. Fill the reservoir, add nutrients and adjust the pH. Assemble the system. 7 Mei 2020
What is NFT system in hydroponics?
Nutrient Film Technique, or NFT, is a popular and versatile hydroponics system. It is similar to Ebb and Flow Ebb and Flow Ebb and flow (also called ebb and flood) are two phases of the tide or any similar movement of water. The ebb is the outgoing phase, when the tide drains away from the shore, and the flow is the incoming phase when water rises again.
What is best for NFT system?
Bibb and leaf type lettuce is an ideal plant for such a system but you can grow other leafy green plants such as spinach, broccoli Raab, and certain herbs. Larger plants such as cabbage, that take longer to grow, are heavier, and have larger root systems are not suitable for an NFT system.
Which is better DWC or NFT?
Deep Water Culture Deep Water Culture Deep water culture (DWC) is a hydroponic method of plant production by means of suspending the plant roots in a solution of nutrient-rich, oxygenated water.
What is the fastest growing plant in hydroponics?
Mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach, kale and watercress are all fast-growing plants that will thrive in a hydroponic system, and typically you can begin harvesting them within a month of planting.
What Cannot be grown hydroponically?
Carrots, turnips, and beets are examples of root vegetables that do not do well on a hydroponic farm. These vegetables need loose soil so their roots can spread out and grow properly. In a hydroponic system, the roots would be confined to a small space and would not have enough room to grow.
Is PVC safe for hydroponics?
Yes, PVC is a food-safe material for gardens and aquaponics aquaponics Aquaponics is a food production system that couples aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish, crayfish, snails or prawns in tanks) with the hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) whereby the nutrient-rich aquaculture water is fed to hydroponically grown plants, where nitrifying bacteria convert ammonia into …
What size PVC pipe is best for hydroponics?
Of course, any rocky media that easily allows nutrient solution flow can be used and a larger pipe diameter can be used to grow other plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. For larger plants a 4 inch diameter PVC pipe and a 2 inch frame work would be required.
Do NFT systems run continuously?
2. Never turn off your feed pump. NFT systems are designed to run for 24 hours a day, to keep your roots wet. If you turn it off, your root tips will quickly dry.
What is the best growing medium to use in an NFT system?
Conversely, nutrient film technique (NFT) systems benefit from lower WHC mediums, like clay pebbles, because the plant roots are constantly exposed to nutrient solution.
Can you grow tomatoes in NFT?
Versatile nutrient film technique systems, or NFT systems, grow almost any kind of vegetable, including lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum). The system allows a thin film of hydroponic growing solution to flow steadily over the plant roots.
How do I start a plant in my NFT system?
What can you grow in NFT system?
Herbs suitable for growing in NFT include cilantro, parsley, lemon, basil, and dill. Brassicaceae Family: also known as cruciferous vegetables, including kale and mustard greens. Certain Fruiting and Flowering Plants: fruiting and flowering plants can also be grown in the NFT system if they have a small root system.
How do you grow strawberries in NFT?
Growing strawberries hydroponically in an NFT system requires the plants to be placed in net pots. The bare rooted strawberry runners can be placed directly in the net pots and expanded clay medium can be filled to close the gaps and also provide anchorage to the plant.