Hydroponic vs soil

Question on hydroponics vs soil…

What is the cost difference between running the two different types of mediums?

I currently grow in soil, if I wanted to dab in the world of hydro, is there a large difference price wise in going hydro over soil?

Nothing a five gallon bucket an ph is all you need assuming you use nutrients on your dirt grows ro

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And then the electricity cost to run a hydro system?

My entire system with 5 buckets and 2 300 watt an 1 600 watt mars2 lights plus my 12 port air pump runs my electric bill 1 dollar higher a day than when i hooked everything up was 2.10 a day now 3.57 a day

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The electricity cost will mainly be the one coming from your lamp, regarding the watts you use. I say that because in its simpliest way, the hydro is just a water filled tank on which you place a table. Then it’s the water pump that will make your fertilisers to go up where your plants are. Thus, a water pump doesn’t cost a lot to use and maintain in an automatic cycle system.

You’ll just gain the advantage to be able to put a timer on your pump so you’ll be able to automate your watering.
So in terms of expenses, if you follow the JoshawaM’s DIY way, it won’t cost you much!

Besides, during the grow, you may use a little bit more of fertilizers, so think about that.
Also, the pH and the ppm of your water, other habits to get but once in place, everything will be easier!

Don’t hesitate if you have other questions!



So essentially, what other equipment is needed for hydro?

I simply have my buckets, a commercial air pump that i paid 100 dollars for an my lights thats it, also my ph an nutrients thats it buddy

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What’s the learning curve for hydro? Is it a lot more difficult than soil?

No it’s not i personally find it just as easy really only thing is keeping a steady eye on ph level every other day an make sure you have good air flow so not to get algae in your resevor

@JoshawaM the one thing I would say is invest in a large enough reservoir that you don’t have to continually adjust ph. A 4 gallon DWC setup with a mature plant can potentially drive you mad with ph swings.

Look at doing a coco grow. It will dip your toe in the hydro side and many people stop there. I may never grow soil again.


Much agreed even with 5 gallon resevor I check an change every other day

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Well to get a smooth basic kit for hydro, you’ll need:

  • A good capacity tank
  • Water for the tank (better use a mix between RO water and tap water, because your water need to have some sediments to be viable)
  • A water pump adapted to your tank
  • Growing Medium (Perlita or Clay pebbles)
  • Rockwool to put your seeds on after they germinate (because your substrate isn’t hard enough to maintain your small plants)
  • Hydro fertilizers (cost the same as soil)
  • A lamp (I suggest 600w to get the best productivity, with LED if possible)
  • Good ventilation system, as with the soil medium, that includes intractor, extractor and fans
  • EC and PH Tester if you don’t have one
  • Your seeds!

I may have forgot a thing or two but this is a basic list of the essentials compounds you may need :slight_smile:

Keep me in touch if you need more precisions!



I’ve gotten turned on to hydro in the past year and the plants really seem to take off with it. I run simple dwc buckets, airstone in em, and General Hydroponics trio, and led lighting. I’m building a diy bubblecloner based on the one a fellow grower posted in this forum. This is a bagseed some kinda sativa that I have in flower now in my 5 gal setup.

I don’t have an EC tester yet, but the PH tester has saved me a lot of headaches. Get the prebuffered phup and down, it’s way easier to use.


@EiffelSmoker can a 35 or 55 gallon fish tanks be used?

That’s quiet enough for 10-12 plants, I use myself a 27 gallon plastic tank for the same amount of plants and it goes well. So with a 35 gallon, it’s also good.

If you talk about “fish tank” as a transparent tank, I suggest you use an opaque one, because light deteriorates faster the solution you’ll put into. Tap it with a lid as well to make sure you don’t contaminate it with external factors.

You can also use an oxygen diffusing rock (with an air pump this time), it helps brings fresh oxygen in your “soup”, so you’ll be able to maintain the solution at its best for a longer period of time.

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