What is a Wick System?
A wick system is one of the most straightforward, low-tech hydroponic systems there is. It is one that is very easy to set up and manage and uses capillary action to move nutrients up a cotton wick to your plants. The wick system is much easier and cheaper to set up and operate than a NFT system or DWC system and we recommend it as a great starting place if you sometimes find all the hydroponic talk a bit too technical.
A wick system is passive. This means it has no moving parts. As a passive system there is very little that can go wrong with it.
Single Module Deep Water Culture (DWC) System
The SOLO Single Module Water Culture System is great for hydro beginners and mother plants. It’s available in both 8 and 13-gallon module sizes with interchangeable CCH2O Lid options. The UC Solo is easy to setup and maintain, start growing trees!
The Under Current® features the patented Sub-Current Culture® circulation method. This high-performance water culture system is unmatched in efficiency, layout versatility and ease of use. The Under Current® utilizes negative water pressure to recirculate oxygenated nutrient solution through the plant’s root zone ensuring pH and EC levels are uniform throughout the entire system.
- Self-Watering, Gravity-Fed System for Grow Tents and Hydroponics
As with all AutoPot Watering Systems, XXL operates power-free, without the need for running water, and without pumps or computers to maintain. Immense savings in time, money, and ecology are obvious merits. Such virtues are equaled only by the responsiveness with which plants are fed and watered. The AQUAvalve5s that regulate every module respond exactly to each individual plant’s needs, supplying water and nutrient solution only as and when required, without recirculation or a drop of waste.
- Get the convenience of an Ebb & Flow System in a 22" x 22" x10" size garden
- Includes fired-clay and pebble grow media; 7-1/2-gallon reservoir, water level indicator
- Includes fifteen 5-inch, plastic grow pots can be filled with soil, or included fired-clay pebble grow media
- Submersible pump and timer for automatic flood and drain irrigation
- Also features seed starter cubes, nutrients and a pH test kit
A wick system is easy to understand. Wick systems, with plants other than marijuana, are often used to make great classroom projects. The downside of a wick system is that it is not as effective as some of the more complex hydroponic systems and not suitable for high maintenance plants or plants that have very large water requirements. The capacity of wicking to move water is limited and large marijuana plants require a lot of wick material to flourish. Another potential downside of wick systems is that your nutrient solution remains static and can become low in oxygen. This is not always a problem as, especially if you have a very porous growing medium, much of the root mat is open to the air. The best and easiest thing to do however is to add an air pump to the nutrient reservoir which will boost oxygen levels in the solution.
Why use Wick Systems?
- Easy to understand – The concepts of a wick system are very basic and easy to comprehend;
- Simplicity – Wick systems keep it simple, less chance of things going wrong;
- Low maintenance – With a wick system it is possible to leave your plants unattended for long periods of time;
- Cheap – Very cheap to construct and run with nothing much that can go wrong.
How Does a Wick System Work?
A wick system operates on the principle of capillary action. This is the process that causes liquids to rise against gravity through another material. It is how an oil lamp works, pulling the oil up the wick as it is burnt off by the flame. In a hydroponic wick system the wicks transport the nutrient solution to the plants roots in the same way, making water and food available to the plant at all times. As the plant draws in the nutrients by its roots, so they are pulled up the wick from the reservoir. Because it is the plant that provides the power to lift the solution it is impossible to overwater a plant in a wick system.
It is possible to make single plant systems where you have just one pot above a small reservoir. Or you can have a large growing tray filled with medium and several plants suspended above a large reservoir.
A hydroponic wick system is a great, low maintenance method of growing marijuana. It is easy to understand and economical to run. As a passive system it has no moving parts and, if run without an air pump, makes no noise. It is not as productive as some of the other hydroponic systems but is known to be effective and produce reasonable crops.