The five basic elements needed for good hydroponics growing is light, good oxygen to nutrient ratio, nutrient strength, nutrient pH, and temperature with fresh air.
Light – this is the energy that creates life and life can’t exist without it. Of course sunlight would be the ideal source. We need the infrared along with the reds and blues to produce good healthy growth. Keeping the tank between 20 to 25c should keep the plants warm. Using a 400-Watt plant light is good to keep your cost down and keep your growth at a faster pace.
Oxygen to Nutrient Ratio – oxygen keeps the plant’s roots healthy and allows the plant to take up the nutrient. Oxygen is the key to growth rate, otherwise the roots will rot and die. The more oxygen the faster the uptake of nutrients, so don’t grow in water. Just make sure to feed enough nutrients to keep the roots moist such as in the soil.
Nutrient Strength – there are a range of companies that offer a grow (High Nitrate) nutrient and a bloom (High Potash) nutrient. During a grow cycle a plant generally takes more nitrates, but during the plant’s flower production it takes more potash. Don’t believe people when they tell you an imported nutrient is better. Just add a good plant hormone and plant vitamin treatment to the nutrient and you’ll be amazed at what happens. Less nutrients is better than too much nutrients so just do as directed when you find a good brand of nutrients. The nutrient content and strength governs health, height, leaf, and flower production. Basically all growth aspects.
Nutrient pH (Acidity and Alkalinity) – pH is the acidity and alkalinity of the nutrient solution. All plants grow in the range of 6 to 6.5 pH, that is usually found in town water. Anyone who tells you otherwise is usually dealing with soil based research only. pH is the key to keeping plants feeding on the correct elements, and it keeps them from deficiencies. You must check your pH levels.
Temperature and Fresh Air – optimum temperature is important for plants. The lowest you want to go is 15 degrees Celsius. For the maximum you want to stay no more than 30 degrees Celsius. You want it below the level of where humans start to sweat. Plants usually feel comfortable around 20-25 degree temperatures and 40-60% humidity. Fresh air is absolutely essential, as the Carbon Dioxide the plants breathe is essential for every plant process. Poor ventilation simply will just kill the plants just as quick as poison will. Plants need carbon dioxide in every process. They don’t need too much heat or they cannot process due to water loss and not too cold or they won’t be able to get their food properly.