10 Best Hydroponic Systems (2020 Updated): Top Picks For Indoor Gardening

best hydroponic system

If you have ever grown your own weed, you likely know that it is more of an art than a science – yet that doesn’t mean you can forego the logistics. There has been lots of research into indoor growing systems for marijuana, and what most people can agree on is that plants need to be supported by heat, humidity, soil, light, fertilizer, and a whole host of other factors. Thus, it is believed that all of these factors can be satisfied if you consider looking for the best hydroponic systems in the market.

The best hydroponic grow system for weed can help you provide your plants with the best nutrient solution – plus, it can help you develop the best strain out there. Weed hydroponics systems are state-of-the-art, helping you to supply your plants with the conditions they need – at the precise moment that they need them.

If you’re in the market for a hydroponics weed kit, you’re going to have different types of hydroponic system options to choose from. We will make things easier for you by telling you about the top-rated hydroponic systems for cannabis to look for – as well as how to get started in this enjoyable endeavor today.

Best Hydroponic Systems for Cannabis: Comparison Table

Product
Specs
 HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC

Best Overall

HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC

  • High-quality buckets, nets, and grow medium
  • Large aerator stones included
  • Easy to follow instructions
 General Hydroponics Waterfarm Complete Hydroponic System Grow Kit GH4120

ALTERNATIVE PIC​​​​​K

General Hydroponics Waterfarm Complete Hydroponic System Grow Kit GH4120

  • Can be used to organically grow plants
  • Durable, long lasting construction
  • Holds a minimum of four plants
 Ideer Life Indoor Gardening Kit Hydroponics Growing System Kit w/LED Plant Grow Light

UPGRADE PICK

Ideer Life Indoor Gardening Kit Hydroponics Growing System Kit w/LED Plant Grow Light

  • Comes with 12 planting sponges, 12 planting baskets, and 3-month supply of A+B nutrient
  • Designed with efficient LED light
  • Can grow 12 plants at a time
 Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bucket Kit 5 Gallon, 6 inch

BUDGET PICK

Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bucket Kit 5 Gallon, 6 inch

  • Inexpensive starter kit
  • Lightweight, portable design
  • Quiet air pump operation
Future Harvest Developer SBL 1600200 Grow Light Garden, White (ECO-FRIENDLY)

TO MATCH THE TOASTER

Future Harvest Developer SBL 1600200 Grow Light Garden, White (ECO-FRIENDLY)

  • Comes with an instructional manual for easy setup
  • Can squeeze up to 20 plants in the tray
  • Easy to water and to maintain
 AeroGarden Sprout LED - Black

Runner-Up

AeroGarden Sprout LED - Black

  • Requires no tools for quick assembly
  • Has energy-efficient LED lighting
  • Comes with an herb starter kit including basil, chives, and more
 Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow Hydroponics System

Runner-Up

Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow Hydroponics System

  • Professional system at an amateur price
  • Easy to convert into a drip system
  • Ability to grow up to sixteen plants in a limited area
DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit 90 sites (FOR BEGINNERS-PICK)

Runner-Up

DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit 90 sites (FOR BEGINNERS-PICK)

  • An excellent choice for beginners
  • It is multifunctional
  • Made from high-quality materials
 AeroGarden Ultra LED

Runner-Up

AeroGarden Ultra LED

  • Has an interactive LCD screen for easy maintenance
  • Quick growing system for up to seven plants
  • Easy to use and modify for beginners
Emsco Group 2370 Hydropickers Compact (BUDGET-FRIENDLY)

Runner-Up

Emsco Group 2370 Hydropickers Compact (BUDGET-FRIENDLY)

  • It is cheaper compared to other hydroponic systems
  • Comes with bigger pods to grow big vegetables
  • It is easy to set-up

**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

10 Best Hydroponic Systems in 2020

HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC Hydroponic System

The HTG Supply Bubble Brothers DWC hydroponic system is one of the top-quality hydroponic systems you will find – as well as one of the most unique indoor growing systems of its kind. 

This complete six-site hydroponic system comes with everything you need to get started, including six space-saving 3.5-gallon low-profile buckets, six lids, a high-power commercial air pump with a six-way divider, six premium air stone, and a 50’ roll of ¼” air tubing. However, the air pump is quite noisy. When you purchase this hydroponic system, you also get a 10-liter bag of clay pebble grow medium. 

This indoor growing system offers all the materials you need for an awesome yield. It’s easy to set up and economical to maintain, allowing your plant to grow quickly with its best nutrient solution.

What We Liked:

  • High-quality buckets, nets, and grow medium
  • Large aerator stones included
  • Easy to follow instructions 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Loud air pump
General Hydroponics Waterfarm Complete Hydroponic System Grow Kit

The General Hydroponics Waterfarm is a complete hydroponic system that is designed for novice and expert gardeners alike. Backed by a 100% manufacturer’s warranty, this system comes with all the tools and accessories you need to get started.

Built out of high-impact plastic, General Hydroponics kit offers longevity and efficacy. It can be used to grow small, medium, and large-sized plants, requiring little water refills as it has a high water capacity. It operates simply and efficiently, designed in a unique square shape so you can keep track of all of your plants. There is a little concern is that the air pump of General Hydroponics is not very strong

What We Liked:

  • Can be used to organically grow plants
  • Durable, long-lasting construction
  • Holds a minimum of four plants

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Weak air pump
Ideer Life Indoor Gardening Kit

One of the best hydroponics kits around, the Ideer Life Indoor Gardening Kit is one of the top-rated hydroponic systems for growing any other kind of plant, too – including fresh herbs and vegetables.

This soil-free, eco-friendly planter allows you to grow plants in water without soil, eliminating their risk of pesticide, heavy metal, antibiotic, or nitrite contamination. It comes with environmentally-friendly planting seed pods as well as a PET tank. The seed pods are made out of non-toxic Biochar Mud to assist with green planting. 

You can grow an impressive twelve plants in this system, allowing you to grow five times faster during any season of the year. The unit also comes with a highly-effective 24-watt LED lighting system that you can adjust to provide the lighting requirements of any plant. You’ll get over 30,000 hours of use out of this light, saving you over $53 per year in energy costs!

Finally, the Ideer Life Indoor hydroponic Kit is easy to use and has an automatic control panel that automatically turns your grow lights off and on. It even has a meter to alert you of the low water level. 

What We Liked:

  • Comes with 12 planting sponges, 12 planting baskets, and 3-month supply of A+B nutrient
  • Designed with efficient LED grow lights
  • Can grow 12 plants at a time

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Seeds are not included
Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bucket Kit 5 Gallon, 6 inch

This cannabis DWC hydroponic system by Deep Water Culture is both easy to use and inexpensive. A complete kit, it comes with a 5 gallon FDA-approved bucket along with a six-inch basket lid to keep things contained. In addition, you’ll also get a 44 GPH air pump, air stone, air tubing, plenty of growing medium, and even rockwool seed-starting plugs. What’s more? – the air pump functions smoothly with minimum noise.

This DWC hydroponic system comes with a blue water level indicator light as well as a bucket drain. You’ll be able to not only control every aspect of your growing but you’ll also be updated when it’s time to make some changes. Each purchase of this product comes with a comprehensive one-year USA manufacturer’s warranty, too – this can make the purchasing decision incredibly easy to make. However, it seems this system has poor quality air stones.

What We Liked:

  • Inexpensive starter kit
  • Lightweight, portable design
  • Quiet air pump operation

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Poor quality air stones 
Future Harvest Developer SBL 1600200 Grow Light Garden, White (ECO-FRIENDLY)

If you love growing herbs in your countertops so that you can pick it easily when cooking, well, this Future Harvest Developer might be your best bet. It is equipped with a sun blaster 6400K T5HO lamp, which acts as natural sunlight. Because of this, you no longer need to place your herbs outside to get sunlight, that’s cool, right?

This hydroponic system is eco-friendly since it uses 100% recycled plastic for the base of the unit that acts as a catch basin for any excess water that does not absorb by the plants. What we love about the Future Harvest Developer unit is that it comes with a smart irrigation system, which can self-water itself without overwatering the plants. 

On top of that, the unit is compact and space-saving since it measures around 23.2×3.1×2 inches only. You can place them on top of your table and kitchen countertops for easy cutting. The Future Harvest Developer unit comes in black and white, a perfect complement for your minimalist kitchen decor, one of the best hydroponic systems you can find on the market today.

What We Liked:

  • Comes with an instructional manual for easy setup
  • Can squeeze up to 20 plants in the tray
  • Easy to water and to maintain

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No replacement bulbs
AeroGarden Sprout LED - Black

Regardless of the type of plant you want to grow in your hydroponic system, this hydroponic system offers it all. Considered one of the top marijuana hydroponic systems, it also comes with a gourmet herb seed kit including curly parsley, Genovese basil, and dill. You will also get a three-ounce bottle of the patented all-natural plant nutrients for a full season of growth.

You can grow up to three plants in this system as long as they do not grow taller than 1 inch. It comes in four colors, including black, red, white, and teal. The system also comes with a high-performance full-spectrum LED light that is 10 watts. It is high-efficiency, allowing you to adapt to your every growing need. It even has a control panel that will tell you when to add water and plant food – plus it will automatically turn your grow lights off and on!

What We Liked:

  • Requires no tools for quick assembly
  • Has energy-efficient LED lighting
  • Comes with an herb starter kit including basil, chives, and more

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Requires a lot of grower intervention
Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow Hydroponics System

The Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow Hydroponics System is a great choice if you are looking for the high-quality hydroponic systems for large growing areas. This is one of those weed hydroponic systems that is good for expert growers, taking up a bit more space but offering plenty of yields. It measures 48”x54”x54” and is 111 lbs. 

You can grow an impressive e25 plants in this system, which comes with everything you need to get started. It has a fully automated system of ebb and flow that delivers the best nutrient solution, water, and oxygen that your plants need. You will get a flood and drain fitting kit, a 50-liter bag of grow rocks, a 211 GPH submersible pump, black poly tubing, nursery pots, a 40-gallon reservoir, and even a white flood tray stand.

What We Liked:

  • Professional hydroponics system at an amateur price
  • Easy to convert into a drip system
  • Ability to grow up to sixteen plants in a limited area

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Requires a forty-gallon tank to operate
DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit 90 sites (FOR BEGINNERS-PICK)

Made from PVC-U food grade plastic material, DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit has been considered the top-rated hydroponic system for safety. This unit provides 90 sites for aeroponic growth so that you can grow many vegetables.

If you are worried about its water circulation systems, well, rest assured that all the 90 sites are getting enough water supply for faster growth, because of the ten pipes that go through all the sites. One of its unique features is the hybrid model, wherein it can work as a deep water system for constant water supply, at the same time as an ebb and flow system, which is in-charge in nursing the plant’s needs in times of dry periods.

This hydroponic unit is perfect for indoor and outdoor settings and can cater to many plants, thanks to its spacious style. It is a safe choice for beginners who wish to have a small scale hydroponic system.

What We Liked:

  • An excellent choice for beginners
  • It is multifunctional
  • Made from high-quality materials

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Net pots might be picky for certain types of plants
AeroGarden Ultra LED

Ready to have a garden all year round – or to grow your own marijuana? This is one of the best hydroponic systems for cannabis because it is easily adaptable to a variety of settings. You can grow herbs, greens, vegetables, flowers, marijuana, and more in this smart countertop grow system.

Despite its small size, this hydroponic system is one of the best hydroponic systems you will find for growing large amounts of plants – you can grow seven all at once! It is a high-performance unit that comes with a full-spectrum 30 watt LED lighting system. It also has an interactive LCD screen control panel that lets you know when it’s time to add water and nutrients (which are included), and to turn off grow lights. It even has an automatic light timer and will give you timely tips and help. 

When you purchase this unit, you even get a seven-pod gourmet herb seed kit with mint, curly parsley, basil, Genovese basil, Thai basil, dill, and chives. Plus, you get a three-ounce patented jar of nutrients, enough for a full season of growing!

What We Liked:

  • Has an interactive LCD screen for easy maintenance
  • Quick growing system for up to seven plants
  • Easy to use and modify for beginners

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Made out of inexpensive plastic
Emsco Group 2370 Hydropickers Compact 24” x 20” Footprint

Installing a small scale hydroponic system takes time and money, especially if you are just a newbie gardener trying to work things out. While most of the best hydroponic systems listed here are intended for novice gardeners, some might find it costly. However, with Emsco Group, 2370, you can start setting up your mini hydroponic system because it a budget-friendly hydroponic system suited for beginners like you.

Unlike with other hydroponic systems, this unit works without the need for electricity. Therefore, you can set them anywhere you want, such as in your veranda, patio, or anywhere where they can get enough sunlight. It is also compact with a dimension measuring, 24×20, and is built with four casters for easy mobility.

Moreover, the unit is made from HDPE plastic, which is BPA-free and approved by the FDA, just in case, it gets contacts with something edible. Therefore, you can grow nutritious and toxin-free gardens.

What We Liked:

  • It is cheaper compared to other hydroponic systems
  • Comes with bigger pods to grow big vegetables
  • It is easy to set-up

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No water circulation system
  • Requires sunlight

What are the Benefits of a Hydroponic System That Make It Superior To Other Types of Growing Medium?

Why should you consider using a hydroponic system to grow your plants? The real question is – why not? These revolutionary methods provide your plants everything they need exactly when they need it. From light to water and nutrients, hydroponics produce a plant that is as perfect as its genetics will allow it to be. 

When you are shopping, you will have different types of hydroponic systems to choose from. While water-based nutrient solution provides the best growing environment for plants being grown without soil, you can also use inner growing mediums like lava rocks, clay pellets, and grow stones. In addition, you will need to choose between the type of system that works best for your budget and growing goals.

What Should You Look For in a Hydroponic System To Make The Right Decision?

When you are trying to figure out what the best hydroponic system is best for you, make sure to consider numerous factors. For example, how much start-up cash do you have? Is growing your own marijuana a passing hobby, a long-term recreational pursuit, or a potential business endeavor? How much time do you have to spare each day?

Once you’ve determined the answers to these questions, your next step will be to choose between one of the following types of systems: ebb and flow, water culture, aeroponics, nutrient film technique, or drip.

5 Things To Consider Before Deciding To Buy A Hydroponic Grow System

Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain)

Largely recognized as the classic hydroponic system, an ebb and flow system is likely the one you have in mind when you think about hydroponic growing. This system is comprised of a shallow table with a flood and drain system that is centralized, attached to timers to control the feeding schedule. 

You will have an overflow valve to control how high the water gets as it floods the plant tray. Your plant tray will flood for your predetermined amount of time before it drains back into the reservoir. You can easily move your plants if they become too crowded and you can also customize and design your system depending on how much space and money you have available. 

Unfortunately, if you live in an area that experiences frequent power outages, this might not be the best option for you. Your plants will depend on the pump to deliver the nutrient-dense water to them on a strict calendar, so if you aren’t around to tend to your plants, they can die in just a few hours. 

Deep Water Culture System (DWC)

Water culture hydroponic systems are similar to the ebb and flow systems except that contain flooded vessels that are never drained. Your plants may be suspended in the solution in net pots or in Styrofoam rafts. They are exposed to nutrient-dense water at all times, but your water must be oxygenated with air stones and pumps to prevent suffocation.

If you use a DWC system, your food source will constantly be there and your plants can feed whenever they need to. Therefore, you won’t need to use as many concentrated nutrients. However, you do have to worry about moisture-related diseases such as fusarium wilt, pythium, and root rot. These can easily be treated, but it’s important to be aware of the threat of these pathogens to prevent unexpected issues.

Aeroponics

Aeroponics hydroponic system is similar to water culture in that the roots of the plants in this system are suspended, hanging in the air instead of being submerged in water. The solution is misted occasionally onto the roots from a reservoir and the plants are supported by collars instead of growing media. 

This is one of the cleanest and most sterile hydroponic system for growing plants since you don’t have to worry about growing media transmitting bacteria to your plants. Because there is no grow media, your plants can grow robustly and quickly without you having to worry about them becoming root-bound. 

Aeroponics is the desired growing method by people who choose to grow clones, as cuttings can be susceptible to plant failure and disease. Unfortunately, there is the capacity for aeroponically-grown plants to eventually outgrow the system, meaning you will need to transplant them. If you’re growing something tall, you will need to have a plan in place for when that happens – it can be tougher to grow plants to full maturity in this regard.

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

The nutrient film technique is a hybrid hydroponic set-up. It requires slightly more experience to use than the other hydroponics systems, yet makes sure that air, water and nutrients are available to your plants at all times. Nutrient film technique set-up basically looks like a hollowed-out, cylindrical tube that slopes downward and contains all the channels necessary to carry water and nutrients.

The plants in this method are spaced proportionally from each other, each growing in the holes that are found in the upper portions of the tube. You do not need to use any grow media (something that can save you considerable amounts of money) and you can use neoprene collars to hold your plants in place. 

Your solution will be pumped from a reservoir and will be nutrient-dense. This reservoir is typically found at the bottom of the channel and it directs nutrients up to the highest portions of the channels. All unused water can drain directly back into the reservoir to be recirculated. It can be tough to gain control of all the details in this system, which is why it is best for experts.

Drip System

Finally, a drip system is one of the most popular and commonly used methods of hydroponics system. As with the nutrient film technique, plants will be placed on a table that is slanted, allowing them to gather nutrient solution overflow in recovery or non-recovery system.

In a recovery system, the solution that is not absorbed by the plants will drain directly back into the original reservoir, while the water that drains into a non-recovery system is just considered extra wastewater. 

In a drip system, your dripline will be operated by a fully submersible pump. This will conventional supply nutrient solution to each plant, gathering it around the base and pushing it directly into the grow media. You can use a variety of different growing media, including clay pebbles, stone wool, or even coco, the last two of which will allow you to water less often as they remain adequately hydrated. 

Drip systems are often chosen by novice growers because they are affordable and easy to install. In addition, as a grower, you get lots of control over how your plants are cared for. It should be noted that, in a drip system, you are more likely to see major fluctuations in EC and pH.

Which Hydroponic Growing Systems Should You Consider Buying?

The best hydroponic system for you will depend on your ultimate growing goals and preferences. However, there is a good hydro setup out there for everyone. These hydroponic systems are perfect for people who are interested in growing their own plants at home without the hassle of messy soil. 

When you purchase hydroponic systems, you will have infinite control over your growing conditions. Not only water and nutrients, you can go beyond simply being able to control how much light your plants receive. You can design a hydroponics system that will provide your plants with suitable nutrient solution – all with minimal effort on your part. 

Get your seeds planted, set up your hydroponic systems, and relax – all you’ll need to do is sit back and watch your garden flourish. 

Comment (1)

  1. Hi Thanks for your informative article. Another indoor option is grow tents with LED lighting. You can buy them with the full kit. Some great options out there though. This industry is becoming really important.

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