Why do you Need a Pump for Hydroponics?

Why do you Need a Pump for Hydroponics?

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What is a pump in hydroponics? What are its essential characteristics? In which case do I need a water pump for my growing system?

    Our specialized writer is here to answer your questions!

    A hydroponic pump is an essential part of any hydroponic growth system. It allows an optimal irrigation of the plants while regenerating the water. It is also essential for the production of oxygen, essential for the plants.

    In this article, we will see:

    • What is a pump for hydroponics
    • Why water pumping is so important in hydro gardening
    • How to set up a your own submersive hydro pump

    After reading this article, you will know all about aqua pumps and their usefulness in your hydroponic garden. The goal? That you choose the most adapted pump according to your needs and that you install it safely!

    Let's go!

    What is a Hydroponics Pump?

    Water pumps with pipes

    Before we get into how to install your hydroponic pump system, it is essential to briefly introduce you to what it is and its many advantages.

    First, let's see what a pump is, its usefulness in a water growing system and how to choose it according to your needs.

    How Important is a Pump in a Hydroponic System?

    A pump is essential to any growing system. In fact, it has several very important functions in the well-being of your plants and their growth.

    A hydroponic water pump allows a fluid distribution of water and hydroponic solution, while producing oxygen. This contributes to a good growth and health of your fruits and vegetables.

    In general, aqua pumps are built into hydroponic systems by default. This is especially true for all-in-one hydroponic systems.

    However, in other situations, it is necessary to obtain a aquaponic pump independently. This is the case when you opt for a DIY hydroponic or a DIY aquaponic system.

    In short, a submersible pump is a critical part in hydroponics. Without it, your system would not function efficiently and your yields could be affected.

    The Main Advantages of a Submersive Pump

    The main benefits of a gardening pump are the following: 

    • Efficient water and nutrients circulation: the movement created by the electrical energy allows an optimal hydration of your hydroponic plantation and an easy transmission of your hydroponic nutrients.
    • Automatization of operating cycles: on some models, it is possible to choose dedicated times for pump operation. This allows you to save energy and give your plantation time to assimilate water and nutrients.
    • Air pump vs water pump hydroponics: the water pump diffuses the liquid, while the air pump infuses oxygen into the liquid. For hydroponics, we prefer the first model, which is more adapted to the needs of waterless culture. However, it can be interesting to combine the two.

    How to chose your Water Pump?

    • Size: there are several ways to find out which pump size is best for your soilless system, using different ratings. The most common used rating is the GPH rating, which refers to the amount of gallons of water the pump can move in a hour.
    • Power: this is in line with the previous point. Traditionally, for small hydroponic systems (max. 20 gallons of water) - there is no need for an inline pump, a submersible pump will do the job perfectly.
    • Other specifications:

      Noise: there are many water pumps on the market. Be aware that a quiet pump system is always more pleasant in the long run than a noisy one, especially if it works regularly.

      Accessibility: over time, a pump tends to get dirty and therefore to function less efficiently; this is even more true with aquaponic systems. It is interesting to look at whether the system is easily removable or not.

      Features: other optional features can be interesting, such as having a built-in stopwatch that runs in cycles. This helps to reduce the energy bill.

    How to Setup a Water Pump?

    Hydroponics pump reservoir

    Now that you have chosen your pump, it is time to explain how to install your aquaculture pump!

    Our objective is to show you little by little how to install your pump so that it functions in an optimal way.

    This guide will show you how to set up your system, what the optimum cycles are, and how to maintain it optimally over time.

    Installation Guide of a Pump System

    Setting up your pump will depend on the type of hydroponic system you decide to install.

    • For aquaponics: for this variant, you will need in addition to the pump system a hydroponic bell syphon and pipes that will allow :

      Bind your water tank to your plantation;

      Control the filling and emptying of the water.

    • For vertical hydroponics, hydroponics tower: in addition to the pipes where your seedlings will be stored, you will need a separate hydroponic basin containing your pump, water and hydroponic solution - which you will connect via pipes to your system.

    For other types of hydroponics (e.g. DWC hydroponics), you can opt for an air pump system or an external water pump system. Another alternative is to purchase an all-in-one growing system, with a built-in pump.

    In most cases, an air water pump system will be integrated directly into the hydroponic system and/or sold as a separate unit.

    How Long Should my Pump Run?

    There are several points of view regarding this aspect:

    • Some prefer to run the hydro pump system 24/7 to get the maximum benefit from the effects of its activity: oxygen creation, water and nutrient distribution etc. However, this solution is costly in the long run.
    • Others prefer to use a timer by setting activity and stop cycles. This saves energy and therefore money, but in some cases it can also improve the health of the plantation.

    How to Maintain your Water Pump System?

    Pump cleaning

    Maintaining your hydroponic system is important if you want to keep your hydroponic pump system in good condition.

    First, it is important to check the proper operation of the system:

    1. Check out the pump's ability to make bubbles,
    2. Verify its flow rate,
    3. Identify a possible color change
    A variation in any of these elements could indicate a potential malfunction.

      Then, you can move on to the maintenance part of your system:

      1. Disassemble your pump: this task will be more or less easy depending on the model you have. Normally, you should be able to open it by hand. In some cases (e.g. removal of the turbine), you may need to use pliers.
      2. Clean your components: do it only when the important parts are removed (be careful not to put water directly into the system!). The elements to clean are the impeller and the impeller shaft.
      And that's it!

        Take advantage of Water Pumping for your system!

        Throughout this article, we have seen why a hydroponic pump is essential in growing without soil. Sometimes it is built right into the hydroponic system, in some other cases you just don't need it - like with the Kratky method.

        With the information in this article, you should be able to know when you need a aqua pump and when you don't, and how to install it in your soil-less growing system.

        Having a underwater pump will be necessary if you want to get into aquaponics or any other DIY soil-less growing system.

        Check out our hydroponic pump below!

        Hydroponic pump in a garden


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