DIY HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS

Detailed Nutrient Film Technique System Designs

Due to its popularity, scalability and unlimited modification options Nutrient Film Technique System Designs are plentiful. We will cover what’s out there and show you how to build the most popular and useful NFT systems.

 

The Nutrient Film technique NFT system has long been one of the most popular hydroponic systems in commercial hydroponic farming before Aeroponics and Vertical farming came into the mainstream.

 

 

Horizontal Trays/Channels

Overview

With this Nutrient Film Technique System Design, we cheat a little by purchasing prefabricated trays from the manufacture for the easiest NFT set up here. It’s actually about the same cost overall just a little more difficult to get. If you can’t wait and want to start right now review the next design.

Nutrient Film Technique System Designs
Nutrient Film Technique System with commercial trays, GrowWithoutSoil.com

Budget

Approximately $350 (plus $150 for 2- LED grow lights)

Build Time

2 days

System size

40 plants

Area

12′ long  x 4′ wide x 3′-6′ high

Pros

Easy to build and maintain. Easy to expand

Cons

Initial start-up costs. Shipping costs

 

 

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Nutrient Film Technique Designs

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Horizontal  PVC pipe

 

Overview

Look familiar? It should, it’s the same exact system except we used off-the-shelf components from the local home improvement store to build the NFT trays/channels. Notice the cost is only a little more than the Tray system.  A 10′ section of PVC pipe with end fittings is nearly the same price as a 10′ section of tray/channel with end fittings.  However, the labor of making all the cutouts for the plants is already completed from the factory!!

Nutrient Film Technique System with PVC pipe trays

Nutrient Film Technique System with PVC pipe trays, GrowWithoutSoil.com

Budget

Approximately $320 (plus $150 for 2- LED grow lights)

Build Time

2 days

System size

48 plants

Area

12′ long  x 4′ wide x 3′-6′ high

Pros

Easy to build and maintain. Easy to expand. Get materials from the local home improvement store. No shipping fees.

Cons

Initial start-up costs. Need to make your own end cap section to properly have an NFT system and not a DWC system. (see notes on the build page)

 

 

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Nutrient Film Technique Designs

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Build this system

 

 

 

Horizontal Trays/Channels – Stacked Vertical

 

Overview

Some would call the following systems vertical hydroponics and in many cases it is. They are actually horizontal NFT systems stacked on top of one another in different ways. This is the same horizontal PVC pipe system above except with 2 more complete systems stacked on top.

NFT system trays stacked 3d

Budget

Approximately $1050 (plus $450 for 6- LED grow lights)

Build Time

5 days

System size

144 plants

Area

12′ long  x 4′ wide x 6′ – 8′ high

Pros

Easy to build and maintain. Easy to expand. Compact design

Cons

Initial start-up costs. Shipping costs. If something is out of balance with your nutrient solution you could lose all your plants in one shot! Requires a much larger reservoir (Not sown to scale here)

 

 

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Nutrient Film Technique Designs

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Horizontal PVC pipe – Stacked Vertical

 

Overview

Look familiar? It should, it’s the same exact system except we used off-the-shelf components from the local home improvement store to build the NFT trays/channels.

NFT system PVC pipes stacked 3d

 

Budget

Approximately $960 (plus $450 for 6- LED grow lights)

Build Time

5 days

System size

144 plants

Area

12′ long  x 4′ wide x 6′ – 8′ high

Pros

Easy to build and maintain. Easy to expand. Get materials from the local home improvement store. No shipping fees.

Cons

Initial start-up costs. Need to make your own end cap section to properly have an NFT system and not a DWC system. (see notes on the build page). Requires a much larger reservoir (Not sown to scale here)

 

 

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Nutrient Film Technique Designs

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Build this system

 

 

 

Horizontal  PVC pipe – Stacked Vertical – Zig Zag Method

 

Overview

If you don’t have much floor area but want a nice size garden this may be a good solution for you. This system uses 10 -5′ PVC pipe sections instead of 4 -10′ sections in a smaller footprint.

NFT system PVC pipes zigzag 3d

Budget

Approximately $360 (plus $150 for 2- LED grow lights)

Build Time

3 days

System size

77 plants

Area

7′ long  x 2′ wide x 6′ – 8′ high

Pros

Easy to build and maintain. Easy to expand. Get materials from the local home improvement store. No shipping fees. More plants in a smaller floor area.

Cons

Initial start-up costs. Need to make your own end cap section to properly have an NFT system and not a DWC system. (see notes on the build page) Light access for lower-level plants

 

 

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Nutrient Film Technique Designs

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Build this system

 

 

Horizontal  PVC Pipe Stacked Vertical – A-Frame Method

 

Overview

This is a pretty big system that requires a large footprint and vertical height.

NFT system PVC pipes A frame 3d

Budget

Approximately $1060 (plus $600 for 8- LED grow lights)

Build Time

5 days

System size

300 plants

Area

12′ long  x 6′ – 8′ wide x 6′ – 8′ high

Pros

Easy to build and maintain. Get materials from the local home improvement store. No shipping fees. More plants in a smaller floor area.

Cons

Initial start-up costs. Need to make your own end cap section to properly have an NFT system and not a DWC system. (see notes on the build page) Light access for lower-level plants. Not expandable vertically. Hard to reach and manage top-level plants. Requires a very large reservoir  (not shown to scale here)

 

 

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Nutrient Film Technique Designs

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Dani

Dani

I'm Dani, I come from a long history of migrant farmers. In high school I wrote a paper about how my father brought us over the Texas border to give us a better life. During college, I worked part time with him in the farming industry. After receiving a degree in Urbanism from Columbia University, I started to realize how important the role of the food chain was to urban inner cities. I began studying different types of Indoor and vertical faming solutions. I started designing and building my own hydroponic systems and have never looked back.