Hydroponics System Reviews 2017-12-04T19:42:55+00:00

Hydroponics System Reviews 

Video Reviews of the Most Popular Hydroponics System Kits

The learning curve for hydroponics is a bit steeper than traditional soil-based gardening. However, once have the swing of things, hydroponics can result in faster growth and higher yielding crops with a minimal amount of effort on your part. If you are ready to try hydroponics, a major factor in your success will depend on which hydroponics system set-up you decide to use. In this article, we will list some of the most popular hydroponics kits on the market today, as well as provide video reviews of these popular models. Whether you choose to grow marijuana or any other type of hydroponic crop (such as herbs, salad greens, tomatoes/peppers, or flowers), we hope that these hydroponics system reviews are helpful as you select which kit is best for your gardening ambitions.

Hydroponics Kits for Beginners – Hydroponic System Reviews

AeroGarden Ultra LED hydroponics system reviews
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Dimensions: 17.25” W x 11.25” x 15”-34” H
Weight: 13 lbs.
Light: 30-watt full spectrum (20,000 hrs)
Automation: LCD touchscreen panel
Seed Kit: Genovese Basil, Thai Basil, Thyme, Mint, Curley Parsley, Chives and Dill
Fertilizer: 3 oz. patented nutrients (a full year’s worth)
Warranty: 1-year

aerogarden ultra led hydroponics

AeroGarden Ultra (LED) w/ Herb Seed Pod Kit

If you are looking to dip your toes in the waters of hydroponics, consider purchasing a Miracle-Gro AeroGarden system.  AeroGarden kits allow you to garden indoors and all year round. All models feature proprietary technology which makes indoor gardening intuitive and fun. If you are searching for a care-free introductory into the world of hydroponic gardening, look no further than Miracle-Gro AeroGardens.

AeroGarden kits come packaged with their own brand of pre-seeded pods to start you off. These Pod Seed Kits are a bit pricey to buy on their own, but they make growing herbs, vegetables, and perennials a breeze. To save money, simply buy seeds or seedlings at your local garden center and grow them in your AeroGarden.

Although there are several different model’s of AeroGarden systems, our favorite is the AeroGarden Ultra (LED) because it provides quality features at a reasonable price. This set-up can grow 7 plants at once and benefits from a built-in 30-watt full spectrum LED light for abundant harvests and a rapid growth rate. The interactive and fully-automated LCD screen control panel reminds you when to add water and nutrients, gives you helpful growing tips, and automatically turns on/off the LED light at the proper times. It’s easy to have a green thumb when this amazing little hydroponic systems does practically everything for you!

Miracle-Gro’s AeroGarden kits are perfect for everyone – kids, classrooms, apartment dwellers, or just folks who want a stress-free gateway into the world of hydroponic gardening.

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AutoPot System Gravity hydroponics system review
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Dimension: 24” x 11” x 15”
Weight: 8.5 oz.

Kit Includes:

– Four 3.9-gallon pots
– Four AutoPots w/ trays & lids
– 12-gallon reservoir, lid & ¼” top hat grommet
– One ¼” filter
– Two ¼” cross connectors
– Four ¼” tee connectors
– Two ¼” inline taps
– Four AQUAvalves
– 13″ length of ¼” pipe
– Four Root Control Discs 

autopot hydroponic system

AutoPot Systems Gravity-Fed Watering System

Like the AeroGarden Ultra LED, the AutoPot 4-Pot System is another easy hydroponics kit for beginners. It’s unique watering system requires no electricity, pumps, or timers to operate – just valves (included) and gravity.  Despite its simplicity, the system is still extremely versatile and highly effective at growing healthy and robust plants.

How does it work? Once you fill the reservoir with nutrient solution, the system’s AQUAvalves will automatically feed your plants with the optimal level of nutrient solution. With just a minimal amount of monitoring, all that’s left for you to do is sit back and watch your plants grow! Note: If 4 grow sites isn’t enough for your gardening ambitions, you can extend your AutoPot system with additional pots (linking to the single reservoir).

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Aeroponics System Kits – Hydroponics System Reviews

Aeroponics is a hydroponics system which grows plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate (grow) medium.

General Hydroponics RainForest Aeroponics Kits

The performance and popularity of General Hydroponics’ RainForest line of aeroponics systems is unmatched. These kits are ideal for propagating cuttings, starting seeds, seedlings, and transplants. General Hydroponics’ Vertex Sprayer lifts and oxygenates the nutrient solution, providing evenly distributed coverage and plenty of vital oxygen to the root zone. While most grower use this system to start their plants, RainForest systems can also be used to grow plants to full maturity (depending on which model you use). Here are hydroponic system reviews of the 3 most popular General Hydroponics RainForest systems.

RainForest 66 hydroponic system reviews
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Dimensions: 22.125″W x 20.5″H
Weight: 32 lbs.

General Hydroponics Rainforest 66

The Rainforest 66 is a six site (w/ 6″ inserts) aeroponics system. The Vortex Sprayer mists bare cuttings or roots to provide a ultra-humid, super-oxygenated, and constant nutrient solution to the root zone. If you want to grow medium to large size plants using aeroponics, the RainForest 66 is your best option.

The kit includes:

  • 17-Gallon Reservoir with Lid
  • Six 6 inch Lid inserts
  • Vortex Sprayer
  • 6 inch Grow Cups
  • 3-Part Flora Kit
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RainForest 236 hydroponic system reviews
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Dimensions: 22.125″W x 20.5″H
Weight: 26 lbs.

General Hydroponics Rainforest 236 

The Rainforest 236 is General Hydroponics’ 32 site (w/ 2″ inserts) aeroponics system. Like other RainForest models, the Vortex Sprayer emits a super oxygenated nutrient solution from the reservoir.  With enough room to grow up to 236 cuttings, this model is ideal for quick seed starting. We recommend the RainForest 236  for seeds, seedlings, and transplants.

This kit includes:

  • 17-Gallon Reservoir with Lid
  • Six 2″ Lid inserts
  • Vortex Sprayer
  • 2-inch Plastic Cups
  • 3-Part Flora Kit (nutrients)
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RainForest 318 hydroponic garden reviews
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Dimensions: 22.125″W x 20.5″H
Weight: 27 lbs.

General Hydroponics RainForest 318

The RainForest 318 is eighteen site aeroponics systems with 3” inserts.  The General Hydroponics Vortex Sprayer mists and oxygenates the root zone with ease. This unit can be used to propagate up to 90 cuttings into 3″ rooted plants for transplantation into another hydroponics system, or to grow up to 18 small plants from the cutting-stage all the way to the harvest-stage. Because of  its duel-use capabilities, the RainForest 318 is the most adaptable RainForest model, and works best for growing small plants.

The kit includes:

  • 17-Gallon Reservoir with Lid
  • Six 3″ Lid inserts
  • Vortex Sprayer
  • 3 inch Grow Cups
  • 3-Part Flora Kit
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Deep Water Culture Hydroponics System Reviews

Deep Water Culture (DWC) is one of the simplest methods of hydroponic growing. Also referred to as “the reservoir method,” DWC suspends the plant roots in oxygenated, nutrient-rich water while air pumps (or air stones) are used to oxygenate the nutrient solution. Most Deepwater Culture hydroponic systems use plastic buckets as a base, and suspend the roots within net pots.

Bubbler Bucket Kit by PowerGrow Systems Deep Water Culture hydroponics reviews
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Dimensions: 30″ x 12″ x 12″
Weight: 17 lbs.

This Kit includes:

– Four 5-gallon buckets (expandable)
– Four 10” net pots bucket lids
– Air pump and 4 air stones
– Blue water level indication and drain

DWC Bubbler Bucket Kit by PowerGrow Systems

Amazon “Top Rated” Kit

PowerGrow Systems 4 Bucket DWC kit is an inexpensive and easy way to grow hydroponic marijuana or any other hydroponic plant. The Bubble Bucket kit can be set-up in no time, and the kit includes everything you need to start growing right away.

DWC bucket kits work by immersing the plant’s roots in an oxygen-infused and nutrient-rich reservoir (in this case, four 5-gallon FDA approved buckets). The Bubble Bucket kit allows you to start your plants small and grow 4 plants to full maturity. A high-power oxygen pump and 4 air stones are included.

The only downside to the Bubble Bucket Kit is that the pump it a bit noisy and grow media (and grow lights) are not included. Aside from that, this is an inexpensive DWC system, includes a 1-year warranty, is easy to operate, produces fast growing and high quality plants, and has received very positive customer feedback.

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Aquabuckets DWC kit by Hydro West review
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Dimensions: 12” x 12” x 25”
Weight: 20 lbs.

This kit includes:
Four 5-gallon buckets, One 5-gallon mixing cell, 6” net cups inside lids, 200 mesh filter, Elemental 171 GPH Water Pump, Elemental 571 GPH Air Pump, Four 1.7″ air stones, tubing, and fittings

Hydro West AquaBuckets DWC System

Hydro West’s AquaBuckets system does a great job of continually circulating an oxygen-rich nutrient solution, just as an efficient DWC system should. This continuous circulation (24 hrs/day) ensures plants roots get a healthy mix of nutrients, CF, and pH stabilization.

With the AquaBuckets Deep Water Culture hydroponics system, the grower is in total control.  You can move each cell up to 2 ft. in any direction, increase wattage and footprint as desired, and change water and nutrients with ease.

Hydro West’s kit includes everything you will need to get started and is compatible with 3’x3′, 4’x4’ and 5’x5′ grow tents. This is a simple and easy to operate hydroponics system for both beginners and expert hydroponic growers.

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Bubble Brothers DWC bucket kit
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Dimensions: 15” x 15” x 30”
Weight: 31 lbs.

The kit includes:
– Six 3.5-gallon low-profile buckets
– Six 6″ net-pot lids
– 10L of clay pebbles
– 951-GPH high-power air pump
– Six 2” air stones
– 50′ roll 1/4″ air tubing

HTG Supply Bubble Brothers DWC Kit

HTG Supply’s Bubble Brothers kits include a larger commercial pump and quality air stones to ensure a highly oxygenated and well dispersed nutrient solution. Like the AquaBuckets and Bubbler Bucket kits, the Bubble Brothers kit is another highly-rated bucket kit for simple Deep Water Culture hydroponics.

Setting the Bubble Brothers kit up is a sinch. All you really need to do is provide the plants, light, and nutrient solution, cut tubes to your desired length, then hook them to the air pump and air stones. Then fill the buckets with water, place your seedlings or plants in the grow medium-filled net pots, and you are ready to go! HTG Supply offers single bucket DWC kits, as well.

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Drip System – Hydroponics System Reviews

The Drip System is a hydroponics system commonly used by both commercial and home growers. In a Drip System, a slow feed of nutrient solution is dripped on to the roots or grow medium, continually supplying the plant with the nutrients and moisture it needs to stay healthy. Here are a few of the most popular Drip System kits on the market and videos of hydroponics system reviews to accompany each model.

General Hydroponics WaterFarm
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Dimension: 12″ L x 12″ W x 18″ H
Weight: 12.5 lbs.

This kit includes:
– 4-gallon reservoir
– 2-gallon growing chamber
– Pumping column
– Drip ring
– Drain level tube
– 1/2″ grommet
– Drain level tube
– Single outlet air pump
– 3-part Flora Kit (nutrients)

waterfarm hydroponic system

General Hydroponics WaterFarm Module

This classic, hugely popular “plug ‘n’ play” single bucket system is designed to a be a stand-alone drip system for plants of any size or variety –  mother plants, cannabis plants, perennials, veggies, etc. It’s easy to set up and highly versatile – it can be used indoors or outdoors and moved from one room to the next with relative ease. The unique square design allows you to pack modules close together to create high-density installations.

General Hydroponic’s WaterFarm kit includes an air pump, clay pebbles (grow media), and the nutrients to get you started. If you want to give the drip system a try, this may be the entry point you are looking for. It’s not the highest quality General Hydroponics system, but it is their best selling and most affordable.

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Platinum LED Advanced Platinum Series P600 (600w 12-band LED Grow Light)
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Dimension: 24.5″ x 24.5″ x 24.5″
Weight: 43.3 lbs.

water farm by general hydroponics

General Hydroponics FarmController (8 Modules)

Looking for something bigger than the single module WaterFarm kit? Then consider the General Hydroponics FarmController. The systems connects eight WaterFarm module units to one General Hydroponics Controller- an integrated 13-gallon reservoir and an 8-gallon controller unit. The controller ensures that each module is topped off with the right amount of nutrients.

Note: No grow media is included (you will need about 70L of clay pebbles to fill each module).

The kit includes:

  • 8-WaterFarm modules
  • 8-gallon controller
  • 13-gallon reservoir
  • Blue tubing & fittings
  • Air line & fittings
  • Dual diaphragm air pump
  • 3-part Flora Kit
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PowerGrower Eco by General Hydroponics
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Dimension: 15″ L x 15″ W x 15″ H
Weight: 17.6 lbs.

This kit includes:

  • 5.7 gallon reservoir
  • 3 gallon growing chamber
  • Pumping column
  • Drip ring and drain level tube
  • Single outlet air pump
  • Clay Pebbles and 3-part Flora Kit (nutrients)

General Hydroponics PowerGrower Eco

A step above the WaterFarm single module, General Hydroponics’ PowerGrower Eco is capable of growing small, medium, and large plants up to tomato, cucumber and pepper size harvests. These modules are fully compatible with General Hydroponics controller systems, and consists of an integrated reservoir below and a single growing chamber at the top. Group 7 together and the footprint is only 4 feet wide!

This is a great unit for large plants. Clay pebbles are included with this kit, as well as everything else you need to start growing right away. Highly recommended!

Note: General Hydroponics also offers an 8-unit PowerGrower Eco.

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Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain) Hydroponics System Reviews

The Ebb & Flow (“Flood & Drain”) system of hydroponics works by flooding nutrient solution into the growing area at specific times, then allowing the solution to drain slowly back into the reservoir.  With the assistance of a pump and timer, this cycle repeats itself to ensure the plants receive an optimal amount of moisture and nutrients.

Here is a hydroponics system review of one of the most popular Ebb and Flow kits on the market.

ViaGrow Flood and Drain Hydroponic System
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Dimensions:48″H x 25.75″L x 25.75W
Weight: 41 lbs.

This kit includes:

  • Dimensions: Height 48″
  • Length 25.75″
  • Weight: 41 lbs.
  • 50L grow rocks
  • submersible pump and tubing
  • ten 1-gallon nursery pots
  • grounded multi-pin timer
  • 20-gallon reservoir and lid
  • flood tray stand

Viagrow Flood and Drain Kit

Viagrow’s 2′ x 4′ Complete Flood & Drain tray kit is a highly efficient hydroponics system. It has the capability of growing up to 10 plants in a limited (2′ x 4′) space. Because of the automated features, Viagrow’s Flood & Drain system delivers just the right amount of oxygen, water, and nutrient for rapid growth, increase nutrient, high yields, and better overall flavor and aroma of your plants. Sure, these units cost a lot, but the functionality really sets them apart. Nutrients (and grow lights) are not included, but everything else is. For a larger footprint, Viagrow also offers a 4’ x 4’ Ebb & Flow set-up.

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We hope that our Hydroponics System Reviews article helps you choose the best hydroponics system for your grow needs. Feel free to check out our other hydroponics and aquaponics articles, including our Hydroponics System overview page, Marijuana Growing SuppliesBest Grow Tent, Best Grow Cabinets, and more!