Building your own indoor hydroponic grow system from scratch sounds like a fun project, but not everyone has the time or money to invest. Luckily there are a number of high quality hydroponic kits available that come with everything you need to get up and running fast. This guide will help you pick the best one to suit your budget, the hydroponic technique you want to use and how many weed plants you want to grow.
Choosing the best hydroponic system for weed is challenging because there are 7 main techniques to choose from and each has advantages and disadvantages.
- Deep Water Culture (DWC)
- Bubbleponics (top-fed DWC)
- Ebb & Flow / Flood & Drain systems
- Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
- Drip Systems
- Wick based systems
Read our article for lots more detail on how each hydroponic technique works.
Not all of these techniques are featured in our list of recommended kits, mainly because they were either too expensive for the home grower or too big to fit in an average grow tent. We’re looking for the best hydroponic system for weed grown at home, not a commercial scale farm.
Table of contents
Product comparison table
Click the product links below to read out detailed review of each option.
|Product Name||Image||Hydro type||Grow sites||Rating||Buy|
|PowerGrow 1 x 5 gallon bucket||DWC||1||4.2/5||Amazon|
|HTG Supply 5-Gallon Bubble Boy 4 Banger||DWC||4||5/5||Amazon|
|HTG Supply 3.5-Gallon Bubble Boy Single Shot||DWC||1||4.8/5||Amazon|
|General Hydroponics GH4120 Water Farm||DWC||1||4/5||Amazon|
|Hydrofarm Active Aqua Grow 12 site system||Ebb & Flow||12||2.8/5||Amazon|
|Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow System, 3' x 3'||Ebb & Flow||16||3.3/5||Amazon|
|General Hydroponics RainForest 66 Aeroponic System||Aeroponic||6||3.6/5||Amazon|
|General Hydroponics EcoGrower Drip Hydroponic System||Drip||6||3.6/5||Amazon|
What is hydroponics?
Before we get started, a quick overview of hydroponics.
People often assume hydroponics refers to growing plants indoors using a complicated water bath system. The definition of hydroponics is actually a lot more general and simply refers to the process of growing plants in anything that isn’t soil. This mean that growing your plants in pots using an inert growing medium (like coco coir) and watering them by hand is also hydroponics!
When you grow in soil, your plants get many of the basic nutrients they need directly from the soil. When you use hydroponics, you need to provide your plants with 100% of the nutrients they need via the water supply. If you’re using a water bath system this done by adding nutrients directly to the water supply and if you’re hand watering you mix nutrients into your watering can.
Read our reviews of the best hydroponic nutrients to learn more about nutrition for your hydroponic plants.
What are the advantages of growing weed with hydroponics?
There are a number of advantages to growing with hydroponics.
- Your plants will grow much faster, particularly in the vegetative stage.
- It’s easier to keep your plants healthy and prevent disease because you have total control over the nutrients they receive.
- Many hydroponic systems can be easily automated so you have to do a lot less work to maintain your plants.
- Hydroponic setups are perfect for indoor growing which means you have no worries with insects or other pests.
- You get bigger yields of buds, also because you can optimize the nutrient mix your plants receive.
Reviews of the best hydroponic system for weed
Deep Water Culture (DWC)
Overall, we think DWC is the best hydroponic system for weed and also the best hydroponic system for beginners. The systems are cheap, simple and give amazing yields.
If you just want to grow one massive weed plant, the PowerGrow 5 gallon DWC system is the one we recommend. It’s cheap, includes everything you need (including the growing medium) and you can set it up in literally 5 minutes. They’ve also added rockwool starter cubes to the kit but a few customers have complained they didn’t receive them so make sure you check!
The Bubble Boy 4 Banger is the one to go for if you want to grow 4 smaller plants. We’ve seen growers use this system and have awesome yields. Forcing 4 small or medium plants into the flowering stage earlier (by changing your grow light schedule) can equal more buds than 1 huge plant. You can also grow several different strains at once to give yourself some variety.
This kit includes a higher powered air pump than a lot of other systems and costs about the same. It also includes everything, including the growing medium.
HTG Supply 3.5-Gallon Bubble Boy Single Shot
If you want to grow a single big plant and your grow tent is a bit smaller, the HTG single bucket system has a low profile design to save space (3.5 gallons). It also tends to be a little cheaper than the equivalent Power Grow system. It also has the larger air pump and includes the growing medium.
An identical six bucket system is also available if you want to grow a ridiculous amount of weed.
General Hydroponics GH4120 Water Farm
The General Hydroponics Water Farm is possibly the best small hydroponic system on our list. It includes a top-fed drip ring that’s powered by the air pump. The square shape is also useful if you want to pack together multiple buckets. It includes the growth medium and even more awesome it also includes one of our favorite hydroponic nutrient kits, the General Hydroponics Flora Series.
Ebb & flow (flood & drain)
Ebb & Flow systems use a timer to periodically flood the roots of your plants and then drain the water away. The movement of the water keeps it oxygenated and the system mimics the periods of wet and dry plants experience in nature.
Hydrofarm Active Aqua Grow 12 site system
The Hydrofarm system comes with 12 pots as standard but can be expanded up to 48. We particularly like the built in overflow safety switch that will automatically shut the system down to prevent flooding your grow room. This is a great system if you think you’ll want to expand in the future. No growth medium is included in this kit but they do throw in quart bottles of the GH Flora Series nutrient kit.
Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow System, 3' x 3'
If you like the idea of ebb & flow hydro but don’t have much space the Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow is the kit we recommend. Instead in flooding each individual bucket, this kit has a flood tray that all your pots sit on. It’s a slick and compact design and includes 16 x 1 gallon pots, growth medium but unfortunately no nutrient kit.
This system won’t allow you to grow your plants as big as a bucket system but you can grow a lot more of them. The size of the pots you can use is limited by the flood level required in the tray to cover the roots.
If you use this kit in a short grow tent, it’s possible to cut the legs a bit shorter to give your weed plants maximum height.
Aeroponics systems use a sprayer jet that sprays a mist of highly oxygenated, nutrient rich water directly onto the roots of your plants. If you're focused on maximizing yield then we think aeroponics is the best hydroponic system for weed you can use.
General Hydroponics RainForest 66 Aeroponic System
The GH Rainforest is a seriously cool setup. You can grow 6 pretty large plants and it will fit in a small grow tent. Everything you need is included - sprayer, pots, growth medium and GH Grow series nutrient kit. One thing to be mindful of with this type of recirculating system is that you’ll need to clean it reasonably often to avoid root Aphids and other nasties from getting in.
Drip systems are like an automatic hand watering system for your plants. Water is pumped up from the nutrient reservoir into the drip outlets to water your plants. These systems use less water and give you a lot of control over how much water you feed you plants.
General Hydroponics EcoGrower Drip Hydroponic System
The GH EcoGrower drip system uses a very similar chassis as their aeroponic system above but replaces the sprayer with a drip feed. Like all the GH kits, it includes everything you need (including growth medium and GH Flora nutrients). An air pump is used to push the water up the tube to the drip feed and it works really well which means a separate water pump isn't required.
As you can see, there's a wide range of high quality options and the best hydroponic system for weed really depends on your budget and the type of hydroponics technique you want to use. We hope this list of recommendations has been useful in finding the best grow setup for you.