Setting up an " active " hydroponics system is the best way to grow high-light, flowering, or fruit producing plants such as vegetables. "Active" means that the plant roots are directly fed nutrient solution, constantly or periodically, throughout daylight cycle. The nutrients are mixed with water in a holding tank or "reservoir" containing a submersible pump. The pump is plugged into a timer and solution is forced through a hose, feeding the system as needed. Gravity returns the solution to the tank and this movement keeps the solution well mixed and aerated.
The high oxygen content of the water prevents the roots from drowning and allows for maximum nutrient intake. Deep water culture systems, in which roots are suspended in highly aerated solution, are also considered "active". Oxygen and water movement are provided with diffuser connected to the air pump. When choosing a pump, consider the size and type of system as well as the distance and height the solution must travel. Pumps are rated G.P.H. or "gallons per hour" at a twelve inch pumping height or "head". The higher the water must travel, the less the pressure will be. Make sure the pumps you purchase are CSA approved and check if they are covered under warranty.
Listed below are some of the pumps that we have found the best results with.