What's the best and easiest and cheapest hydro system for someone who has 0 experience in Hydro

I have grown in soil for about 5 or 6 years getting average at that but takes a lifetime doesn’t it?, I had a question Got the lighting tents rooms everything you can imagine for soil growing so that covered. I guess what id like to know is what is the easiest for a hydro noob to start with? Also the cheapest to build myself got a full blown metal shop and did construction 20 years so if it’s needs building with any material I can sure do it. I just wanna do 2 plants in a tent or room I have a room 3’x5’ ft or so use it sometimes as my Mother room for my clone taking plant. @Covertgrower You know anyone you could point me to I am ready to start any time. I get More than an idea and a want to many thanks community great as always I have been reading everything here and everywhere else on the topic but value all of you fine folks opinion to some fert selling company lol. @Donaldj @Countryboyjvd1971


Seriously? The best advice I can give is do allot of research, knowledge is your tool-belt in this game. Order a couple of grower’s guides (indoor/outdoor) and read them cover to cover along with researching the net for answers not found in the guides.
I have at least few thousand hours of research and self education in atomic math and aqueous solutions.

Thanks as with anything new I just assumed anyone that wanted to grow hydro has already done a fair amount of research. 1 I’m here aren’t I? I was just asking about an opinion on an budget build and trying to get info you know DOING RESEARCH but thanks for the input always appreciated.


A simple DWC bucket would be the easiest. All you need is a pH meter, ppm meter with air pump, nutrients and air stone to keep the water oxygenated and a medium. I use hydroton clay pebbles. Its fairly straight forward.

the tube on the side is a sight tube for water level ($14) and the 6" bucket lid net pot ($6) on Amazon. I’m sure you have a bucket laying around. It should be black tho to prevent algae and stuff. If you have a lighter one you can spray paint it.


That’s what I was leaning towards to be honest, I have an Apera PH20 ph pen its served me well calibrate it every month. Also check it against another from time to time just to make sure there are no issues. I have done quite a bit of reading on tds and ppm meters I got 2 of each I just picked up the crappy Amazon ones, but my ppm on runoff are right where I want them in accordance with where I’m at in my grow. plants look healthy so far. I would like to get a better meter any suggestions for TDS/EC meter that some folks here that does hydro uses. I think I better upgrade that first so I don’t instantly kill them first feeding . Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you for the info @RandomlyRan exactly the type of info I was looking for.


For meters I use the blue labs combo.

Bit on the pricer side but so far so good. Bout 250 after txs.
Supposed to be decent according to the write ups. Got them on last grow so fairly new to me.And just venturing into hydro myself. Best of luck with ur grow.


@Myfriendis410 and @peachfuzz are also great hydro guys…
DWC will be the cheapest to set up, and simplest to use.
Basically you can never have enough air/bubbles for the roots, with enough light, know how to read a PPM meter and PH your water correctly, you can do hydro. xxpain4uxx


Well I do have a question I’m checking my runoff with my cheap green amazon meter its reading 3016 is that equal to 3.0 for EC my ppm of my runoff was 1700ppm if that does mean 3.016 or so isn’t that a bit high? @Myfriendis410 @peachfuzz. thank you all got so much info already learned like going to school for bud here it the best and most of the people here are true bud enthusiasts, thats why I strictly use this forum .


I only go by ppm…so I’m not sure what the calculation is to ec , but I know there is a chart that someone has posted around here somewhere…
Sorry I cant be more help my friend…


So ppm in soil and hydro and that will get you by no need to keep EC readings as well?


A ppm meter takes the EC and has software that converts it to TDS and then reads out in PPM they are the same thing. There are conversion charts because there are 3 types of ppm reading methods depending on where you live in the world.


EC is just a different scale: take the EC reading, multiply by 1,000 and divide by 2. That will give you the 500 scale ppm as opposed to the 700 scale ppm. (We use 500 scale in the USA)

Regardless: your reading is WAY WAY WAY high. Flush and reset is your best plan.

EC is short for “Electrical Conductivity” measured in millisiemens.


I’m in soil at the moment I’m just getting ready for hydro I just use the fox farm of soil and their nutes I have fed them 1 time at 1/4 strength. In almost 4 weeks of veg my feeding solution was 500ppm runoff was 1625 ppm i will shoot you a link problem there as well.


If I was building hydro system I would also touch base with @TDubWilly and @Bogleg. Both have built several types of different systems.


First, metal and water don’t mix, stick with food grade type plastic and refine your plumbing skills

I seen someone mention a simple 5 gal bucket above. This is a good route if you are gonna be with your plants everyday but if your not gonna be with them everyday, when they get big they will drink that water from a 5 gal bucket so fast it will make your head spin.

14 and 27 gallon totes will be your answer if your not gonna be there everyday. @peachfuzz and @Bogleg do well with totes.

My single bucket plants were usually large buckets like this

EZ Stor Container/Bucket 13 Gallon


And a lid like this

EZ Stor 703994 lid, Brown/A

With this setup I would run one plant and it holds way more water than those 5 gallon buckets

If your looking to run multiple plants them you will need to either do a tote like Pfuzz with multiple plants or you will have to start interconnecting buckets which means refining those plumbing skills


Heres a pic of my beautiful redneck build…
They work like a charm…
No fuss , no muss …

These are my flower totes… :wink:


how big do they get in your flowering totes looks like something I could get behind right there. I think I am gonna build one something like it could you just

As big as you want really … how long do you want to vegg for…



@TDubWilly I appreciate the pointers on hydro, I I do understand that plastic is definitely easier to plumb something like pex or wirsbo or any type of small home plumbing my plumbing skills are good so that’s covered. But I would like to address certain bad info in your post. Not practical or cheap enough but I assure you every bit of water you drink water your plants with or take a a shower or shit in it comes through metal pipes so saying water and metal don’t mix don’t make sense. Yes I realize it would be food grade stainless but in reality if you could afford it and get it put together wouldn’t you agree it would be just fine.

It makes total sense.

Water that moves through pipes to your house doesn’t sit in there very long, with every turn of the faucet it’s on the move again.

I don’t know how plumbing your hydro system with metal pipes will turn out personally but I was more referring to building a metal box for the plant to grow out of it as a reservoir.

If you weld together a steel box designed to hold water or to hold your plant and water…you will regret it