Wick It!!

in Hydroponics Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:13 am
by ozzydiodude • The Weird One | 2.474 Posts | 11542 Points

Wick System

The wick growing method is considered to be the most basic and easiest to setup hydroponic growing system. It is a passive system by virtue of there being no moving parts and where the nutrient solution remaining static in one place. There are all different kinds of styles of wicks but they all surround a principle of having a wick to automatically draw water up as needed by the plant.
Water and nutrients are provided by the wick to the medium on a needs basis which allows your cannabis plant to feed as required with the wick automatically re-hydrating the medium as it needs.
Growing mediums vary but tend to lean towards one of the more absorbent growing mediums like a perlite/vermiculite mix, coco or soil etc. The the wick does it's job quite slowly and relies on medium hydrating medium so when attempting to use mediums such as clayballs , or straight perlite you will find a very uneven hydration pattern which will effect feeding. But adding either of the two with a soil or coco will even out this pattern n retain more nutrients and water.
You can even use the growing medium alone as your wick, this wick growing method can be found in practically every. ie. The self watering pots that are on the market.

The system is very easy to design and make as a homemade hydroponics system, and will support organic hydroponics without any problems, but there are a couple of things to consider.

It can be somewhat difficult to get the right moisture level in a wick system. You will have to experiment a little with more absorbant growing mediums It has been seen that the wicks suck up less and less water over time (especially when using organics).

Using the suitable/proper medium to ensure proper drawing of water from reservoir, this also gives you a wider time frame to catch problems should any occur.
Ensure Water solution is properly aerated by the use of an air pump in your reservoir.(the will also work without O2 in water is just at loss)

Avoid ropes or other material being used as a wick that are made from synthetic materials such as nylon as they don't absorb water or salt based nutrients as well as most natural fabrics like cotton or hemp
Suitable mediums can be perlite / vermiculite mix, coco, rock wool or soil, all in all almost anything. ;)

Here's a small break down of the pros/cons of the "wick" system
Very compact hydroponic system is so versatile especially in small home gardens for growing in small spaces as it can be set up on a very small scale.
No need for pumps as wick/growing medium will handle the automatic feeding
Low Maintenance
Low water and nutrient consumption
Minimal setup and running cost
Easy to clean and sterilize

Less suitable in area's with naturally high salt levels in the water as levels will gradually increase, forcing a frequent top flush due to toxicity.
With little to check on and a total reliability on the wick doing it's job when problems do happen they are often not seen for a while , this can be minimized by simply getting in your room to check on things more than just to top up your plants.
large plants which need large amounts of water which the wicks are usually unable to supply in adequate amounts.In this case, the number of wicks has to be increased to supply demand for water!


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