How to Set Up Your Hydroponic System

Planning your garden

So, what’s the difference between installing your accessories and set up your hydroponic system? Installing your accessories is specific to assembling and hooking up each accessory. Here, in set up your hydroponic system we’ll show you how to adjust all the components, fill and test the system, check for leaks and flow issues, measure the lighting, pH, EC. We’ll show you how to select the correct medium,  starter plugs, seeds, and even how to plant your first round of plants.


Just like the installing your accessories article, this article will also get continuous updates on tips and tricks to set up your hydroponic system from visitors and the home team so bookmark this page and check back often. As usual, we’ll get straight-to-the-point with bullet lists and no BS. Got any tips or tricks on How to Set Up Your Hydroponic System? Please let us know. We may even give you special mention and credit for your input.


Follow this step-by-step system check and set up and you’ll be up and running in no time!





1. Fill and Check the Reservoirs

Hydroponic accessories, Reservoirs
Hydroponic accessories, Reservoirs, Source


Setting up your hydroponic reservoir is one of the most important hydroponic accessories to set up. There is a lot to think about depending on what you are growing and the space you have to grow.



2 Fill the Reservoir with nutrients



3. Balance the pH



4. Prime and Check The Water Pump

Water pump
Water Pump, Source


Ok… You probably don’t need a nutrient water pump this large for your system. But then again, maybe you do. For example, do you know what head height is? You need to check that out and more in order to make sure your pump has enough head height power to pump the nutrient water to the top of your system. This will be more important if you are designing a Vertical hydroponics system.


Water Pump Tips and Tricks

  • Check the pump for proper flow and leaks
  • Add an inline or prefilter to the pump in order to keep debris out of the pump and system.





5. Start Up the Air Pump

Air-Pump, Hose Backflow Valve, and Air Stones, Source


Do you need aeration in your system? That depends on the type of system you have selected for your garden. Do all air pumps come with hoses, backflow valves, and air stones? 


Aeration Tips and Tricks

  • Choose the correct size pump
  • Is sound an issue?
  • Check for leaks
  • Make sure you sized the airstone for your reservoir so there is plenty of air bubbles. (The smaller the bubbles ,the better)





6. Check Your Hydroponic System

NFT Water supply


Setting up your hydroponic reservoir is one of the most important hydroponic accessories to set up. There is a lot to think about depending on what you are growing and the space you have to grow.


System Tips and Tricks

  • Check for leaks, flow problems, or standing nutrient water in the trays or channels.
  • Make sure draining systems drain properly and completely





7. Turn on the Grow Lights

White Full Spectrum LED
White Full Spectrum LED


Yes, you will need to provide lights for your plants if they are indoors. Lighting is one of the biggest, most important, Hydroponic accessories you can purchase for your system. Don’t want to spend big bucks on your electric bill? Talk a long look at White Full Spectrum LED lighting (But not directly at it! they can be very powerful.) 


Lighting Tips and Tricks

  • Choose the correct size light for your system
  • Adjust the lights 




8. Turn on the Ventilation System

Grow Room Ventilation
Grow Room Ventilation, Source


Have you ever notice what happens to the outside of a cold beer or soda can on a hot summer day at the local BBQ? Condensation! Now, imagine all that extra condensation in your grow room or indoor hydroponic setup area!


Plants need water, water evaporates. You need to deal with that with proper ventilation. Also, Plants need air to photosynthesize and to breathe. In most cases, a small oscillating fan will do. 



9. Turn on the Climate Control System

Climate Control Systems
Climate Control Systems, Source


Ok…so imagine that same beer or soda can from the last example, except now the temperatures are going to go down to be freezing overnight.  Yikes! Hurry up and drink that ice-cold beer!  Um…soda.


Most hydroponically grown plants like it to be about 70 degrees and have a relative humidity of about 50 -60 percent depending on what you are growing and if you are trying to artificially change the temperature and or humidity settings to make your plants bloom.


Most people are fine with those settings too, so if your growing in your home you should be good to go, else learn more about climate control.








Picture of Grammy


I'm Grammy to my grandkids and most of the authors here. My gardening career started when I was a child digging and planting in my neighbors garden in Florida. As a teenager I worked on one of the first organic farms and learned the many benefits of organic farming. As a young Mom I started dabbling in hydroponics and became hooked! My family and I learned from research and "Hard school of Knocks " ways to improve our crop growing techniques which I am willing to share with you.