Technology has always propelled humankind into vast periods of advancement. Whether it was the first steam engine or launching a man into space or even the first ball – point pen; discoveries have opened the door to an abundance of furtherance in any given field.
Such has also been the case in the domain of growing plants. People were amazed when genetic modifications in seeds resulted in hybridized plants, and whether big or small, every new method discovered in the field of gardening has always brought about awe among its practitioners.
The one revolutionary trend in the growing of plants that has surpassed any techniques of its predecessors is the sweeping system of hydroponics. But, before we get into the how’s and why’s, let us first delve into the what.
What is Hydroponics?
7th grade biology has drilled into all of our brains the process called photosynthesis. It’s where a plant uses its chlorophyll and sunlight in order to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose.
Having reviewed this process, you will surprisingly come to the realisation that there is nowhere the component of soil required. And that is exactly the aspect that hydroponics utilises; it is a system of growing plants without the need for any soil.
So how do the plants grow? With the help of nutrient infused water. This process is facilitated by a unique machinery that helps in the growth of plants, and this machinery houses an important component i.e., a hydroponic pump.
How important is a Hydroponic pump?
Like, very important. The crux of a hydroponic system is the water pump that is carefully placed in the machine.
The sole duty of this pump is to pump the required water and nutrients to the plants. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? But it isn’t. See, the whole effectiveness of hydroponic plants relies on the fact that we are completely deleting the soil out of the equation. So, the only main component that can be relied upon to grow the plants is water.
Now, because this is the primary component, it is dependant of whether the plants grow healthily and if they’re strong enough. To add to that, it is also important that the right amount of water and nutrients are being pumped to the plants; we don’t want to overdo it.
Strength, health and quantity: the three most important aspects required for successful plant growth in hydroponics, and all of them are dependent upon the effective functioning of the water pump. So you see, the pump holds the crown place in the hydroponic system and that is why, it is very important to pick the right one.
Do I really need the best of the best? Can’t I make do with an average pump?
No, you can’t. Every piece of information that you refer to about hydroponics will tell you the same: the water pump is the most important. Without it, there is no proper system. As mentioned before, all aspects of successful plant growth in hydroponics are solely dependent upon the water pump, investing in the best hydroponic water pump means investing in a bountiful harvest. So bring out your wallet and spend that money, because once your pump collapses, so will your whole hydroponic setup.
What do I look for in a pump?
Submersible or non – submersible?
Submersible pumps sit inside the tank and are immersed in the water. Whereas, non – submersible pumps, also called as inline pumps, are placed outside the water. But how to decide which one to use? Submersible pumps are of a smaller scale and re simple pumps that are also used in aquariums, fountains, ponds and such.
They work very well for hydroponic set – ups and get the job done easily. Inline pumps have more power and are of a larger scale. So, more often than not they’re not used in a hydroponic set – up because the set – up doesn’t require as much power as an inline pump would provide. So really, it all come down to the force required.
There are also pumps which are semi – submersible that require the bottom half of the pump to be immersed in water and the top half to be dry. However, it is better to mostly avoid such pumps because you would risk electrocuting yourself as the pump may fall into the water.
GPH (Gallons per hour)
Selecting a pump also requires gauging how many gallons of water and nutrients you require to be pumped to the plants from the reservoir tank. This can be calculated by how long it would take to draw out the entire water from the tank and to the plants.
For example, if your pump was to be of a 35 GPH and your reservoir held 105 gallons of water, it would take three water rotations to complete the whole water rotation. This is why, based on the capacity of your reservoir tank and how fast you require water to be pumped to the plants, you must choose a pump. GPH in a pump is not a standard measure in picking out pumps because it depends upon the water capacity of the tank, which differs from tank to tank, to determine the GPH.
Head height is the distance from the reservoir’s water level to the top – most point where the water is pumped to the plants; this distance is vertical. This distance must be measured, and based on that a pump must be chosen that will easily be able to pump the water to that height.
It is advisable to buy a pump that can pump to a little more height than required as it would be a problem if it cannot reach said height as the height may vary from time to time. It is completely alright if the pump is able to push the water to a level vastly exceeding the head height. If this proves to be a problem, then a valve can be added to avoid any problem.
Keep these three aspects in mind, and you’ll have for yourself a well – working pump that is compatible with your hydroponic set – up and will pump your plants to health.
Which are the best hydroponic water pump?
Why, yes. In fact, there are a total of 7 recommendations that you can look into.
VicTsing 80 GPH Submersible Water Pump
This pump comes with tiny suction cups to hold it in place and a 1.8 m power cord for easy installation. It is easy to detach and attach and can be cleaned without any hassle. It pumps the water quietly, so there’s no noise to account for. The pump has a knob to adjust the water flow according to your needs. And if you find it incompatible for your hydroponic set – up, it can always be used to for other machines since it has a wide range of applications.
Hydrofarm Active Aqua Submersible Water Pump
This pump comes with a wide selection of GPH ranging from 40 GPH to 1000 GPH. It can be used in both an indoor and an outdoor environment. This product comes with a one year warranty which can be used. Moreover, it doesn’t require oil in order to work, making it environmentally safe.
Simple Deluxe Submersible Water Pump
It has range of 400 GPH to 1056 GPH. It comes with a 15 inch cord that is waterproof and has a pre – filter included which will ensure a larger life for your pump. Its polished aluminium oxide ceramic impeller shaft will ensure durability and is safe and easy to use. It comes packed with 3 different sized threaded nozzles and has a wide range of application.
EcoPlus Submersible Water Pump
This pump has a wide range of GPH to choose from and also has various water flow styles to select based on your need. It can either be submersed into the water for use or can also be installed on dry – land for use. It has a power cord of 4.4 m and also has a wide variety of applications to use for.
Minerva 400 GPH Submersible Water Pump
It has an adjustable water flow rate and elevation height. It has suction cups on the bottom to hold it in place and pumps quietly. Its small size makes it easy to disguise and to clean and comes with a 2 year warranty.
PonicsPump PP80006 800 GPH Submersible Water Pump
This pump comes with a selection of a 6 inch cord and a 16 inch cord, both waterproof. It has a polished aluminium oxide ceramic impeller shaft that keeps its durability intact. Its neodymium iron boron magnets in the motor make it efficient in pumping. It is safe and easy to use and can be used in either salt waters or fresh waters.
Winkeyes 400 GPH Submersible Water Pump
It comes with a 1.7 m power cord and 2 nozzles and has suction cups for placement. It runs smoothly and quietly and has an adjustable flow rate, and can also be used in sea water. It can lift the water up to 2.9 m and it has a stainless steel pump impeller shaft that will prevent corrosion and ensure durability. If you decide to use outside the water, it has a 48 hour long anti – dry burning power.
Any of these pumps can be used for your hydroponics based on your needs and requirements. And if you feel like none of them meet your demands, then you can look for others based on the criteria mentioned earlier.
Hydroponics, if you choose to take it up, can be a successful and satisfying hobby. It’s really not a complex process and can be done by anyone who has researched well on their hydroponic A B C’s. So now, folks, you know how important a water pump is for hydroponics and how to find one that will be well – suited for its place of importance.