Using Hydroponics to Grow? Kit Yourself Out With These Essential Tools and Accessories!
It's easy to underestimate the difference that a few basic implements can make to the efficacy of your hydroponic setup. If you have the right tools for the job, the entire process of tending to your grow becomes so much more simple and enjoyable.
As a long-standing institution of the Australian hydro scene, the team at Fran's Hydroponics speaks to thousands of enthusiasts every year. We often encounter people who have made a habit of going about things the hard way... all because they're missing the basics!
You shouldn't be afraid to pick up essential items before you start a project - they're designed to dramatically improve your experience!
A lot of these items are pretty inexpensive... and even the ones that cost more tend to justify their price point over time and with repeated use! In our opinion, it just isn't worth it to forgo many of these modern inventions.
When we get the chance to speak with people in person and listen to their hydroponics stories, we often advise them to invest a little more in their growing setups - both to make their lives easier, and help them achieve better results.
This is why we've taken the opportunity to compile the must-have tools and accessories for hydroponic growing. Best of all, they're all available for purchase in-store or on our website!
Read on to learn more about how these products can make such a positive difference to the performance of your grow.
High-Quality Oscillating Fans
An oscillating fan is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to circulate the air inside of your hydro grow setup. Air circulation and movement is vital for plants to breathe and photosynthesise... which is why you shouldn't overlook your choice of oscillating fan!
Hydro Breeze is the ultimate indoor oscillating fan!
These fans are 16-inch, 3-speed wall fan with remote control. Designed to be quiet with a consistent performance and long life, the design features 3 variable speeds to ensure the correct intensity and airflow is delivered to your plants.
The additional tilt-adjusting bracket allows for more advanced control and directional air flow.
Assuming you have a place to mount it, this thing will be easy to operate- whether you're a beginner or an advanced gardener!
This 150mm clip fan attaches easily to vertical grow tent poles. It's a highly effective and easily adjustable unit that promotes air circulation inside of your tent and air movement over your plant's canopy.
The fan oscillates continuously (like any good oscillating fan should), which addresses any potentials for wind-related stress. It also features a 90-degree range of rotation and multiple speeds.
Accurately Measuring pH, Temperature, Humidity and Conductivity Levels
Okay, so you've got a solution for airflow inside of your growing environment... but that still leaves you to contend with other crucial factors that condition the ultimate success of your grow.
Beyond the availability of nutrients in your medium, you'll need to manage temperature, humidity, electrical conductivity and pH.
For your plants to thrive, these variables must be monitored and kept within acceptable ranges. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for products that do exactly this!
The Bluelab Guardian Monitor provides 24 hour continuous reading for pH, conductivity (EC/ppm 700/TDS/CF) and temperature within a nutrient solution; making it easier than ever to optimise these critical parameters through the growing phase.
Designed for indoor use, the Guardian Monitor can be mounted on a wall or hung on a support bar. Set up your reservoir, place the pH and conductivity probes in the solution, then adjust and glance!
You can set high and low alarm states to alert you if the solution moves away from the ideal range. The monitor will flash to let you know when your nutrient solution needs adjusting.
It does not stop there! This unit can automatically data log these critical parameters to your computer. You can access the data via the cloud from a remote mobile device or computer to check for extreme variances.
A Bluelab Connect Stick is required to receive wireless data. For remote or cloud access, the computer you are already logging your data to will also require permanent internet access.
To make sure the plants can get at the food, you need to measure the pH of the solution.
This pH Pen from Bluelab can do exactly that - it can also monitor the temperature!
The Bluelab Conductivity Pen is an easy-to-use device that gives you a clear indication of whether your plants have the right amount of nutrient in your solution, allowing you to make precise adjustments.
Measuring conductivity every day is the best way to avoid over-diluting or over-concentrating your nutrient solution.
The Bluelab Conductivity Pen also measures the temperature of the solution, as root health is vital to the success of a crop. Temperature affects the growth rate and structure of a plant - a solution temperature of 18 - 22˚C or 65 - 72˚F is recommended.
Use this product to quickly and consistently measure moisture, temperature and conductivity (for nutrient adjustment) directly in the root zone, without the need for pour-throughs, slurries or extractions.
This item works across a wide range of growing media; including soil, coco coir, potting mix and nutrient solution.
Pulse connects directly to your smartphone via the Pulse app for automated data collection, measurement comparison, storage and exporting.
With the Pulse, it's easier than ever to measure and compare. Using this device, you can correct your conditions faster than you ever have before.
AZ Hygrometers offer accurate and reliable temperature and humidity readings simultaneously.
- Easy to read super large LCD display
- External probe for dual temperature readings
- Programmable upper/lower limits for warning purposes
- Audible beeper and bright red LED for upper/lower limit warnings
- High quality capacitance relative humidity sensor for accurate and quick readings
- Celsius and Fahrenheit display options
- Min/Max function to review data
- Real time display (hour & minute, AM/PM)
- Desktop and wall mount options
- Low battery indicator
- One year battery life with quality alkaline battery included
The Hydro Axis Digital Thermo – Hygrometer is another fantastic tool for monitoring temperature and humidity.
This unit is suitable for both indoor and outdoor settings, and comes at a very competitive price point!
As we've already established, keeping on top of grow room conditions is paramount. The more you know, the more you can modify conditions to benefit your plants, which increases the quality of your final yield.
This unique-looking sensor keeps all the important information at hand and sends it directly to your device via Bluetooth. It can collect and store data for up to 100 days; even when you are not around. As soon as you reconnect, you can download all the data and be up to date.
The AirComfort app allows you to;
- connect up to 16 units
- set thresholds which notify the user when they are exceeded
- graphs to view data
- measurement intervals can be set from 5mins to 40mins
Timers Are Life Savers
A timer may seem like no big deal, but it's remarkable how much pressure it places off you, the grower, to maintain the consistency of your plant's light schedules!
While it's always nice to monitor and observe your plant's progress, a timer system will make it possible for you to walk away from your grow room and pay attention to other aspects of your life!
We bet you've seen one of these, before!
While it may seem like nothing special, this device can revolutionise your grow room and forever change how you manage your light scheduling.
Press down the 15-minute tabs you want the device to be active for, plug it into an outlet, insert your device, and you're good to go!
They're definitely worth the purchasing price... these things will pay you back several times over!
If a simple mechanical timer isn't cutting the mustard, perhaps consider picking up one of these bad boys!
Typically, a mechanical timer or a light control box without battery backup stops when power is lost and restarts from the same (time) position once power is restored. This product prevents distortions in the grow cycle by preventing power from the box from restoring until the reset button is pressed.
This gives the grower an opportunity to make adjustments if necessary before the cycle is restarted. In another massive upgrade, it also offers four outlets!
Control Your Growth With Scissors and Pruners
Trimming, training and maintaining the structure of your plant is an often under-appreciated aspect of growing with hydroponics. Taking this matter into your own hands (rather than letting nature take its course) can prove instrumental to maximising crop output.
Before you start aggressively pulling apart your plant by hand, however, we recommend you pick yourself up some basic implements. Scissors and pruners designed for plants can help you avoid unintended damage of your organisms.
Once again, it's worth the money - these tools are not expensive, and they can save you a lot of trouble.
These scissors from Saboten are coated with non stick fluorine, making them perfect for any trimming application.
Made of high quality Japanese stainless steel, this is a high-quality product that makes trimming easier than ever. The bonsai-style scissors are light on your hands, gentle on your plants, and allow for more precise cutting motions.
- Slim tip design blades allow for maximum precision when cutting in tight and close quarters.
- Easy grip ergonomic design to relieve pressure on the wrist and hand.
- Blade Length: 48mm
- Also available with an angled blade (See separate listing)
Last, but definitely not least... this precision pruner! It literally just does what it says on the tin. No frills, but it'll definitely get the job done. At the end of the day, isn't that what we're all asking for?
Essential Tools and Accessories For Your Grow Room
This has been a rundown of our favourite tools and accessories that regularly accompany us in the wonderful world of the grow room - the ones we really couldn't do without.
Of course, there are so many other products that we find helpful, and gain a lot of joy out of using - but if you're new to the world of accessorising your setup and accumulating tools, start here!
For those who already have these basic items, we'll put together a guide in future for the products you need in your arsenal to level up your hydroponic grow. That list will be released soon, so stay tuned!