Hydroponics can be simple. You can start with the minimum hydroponic supplies and slowly find out what else you need as you go along. The particular hydroponic nutrients you need depend on what plants you are growing, and you may find that you need to add nutrient supplements to overcome nutrient deficiencies in your plants.
The easiest way to start hydroponic gardening is to use a static, media-based, non-circulating system. These are generally the most forgiving and most versatile ways to start hydroponics. These typically consist of boxes, bags or beds filled with a medium such as coconut fiber, sand, perlite, gravel or even potting mix. Among the other initial hydroponic supplies you need to start are a tank, a small pump and a feeder or dripper line.
There is evidence that long beds are easier to set up and care for than boxes or bags with individual drippers. The beds or troughs can be replaced with a Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) system which excludes a medium. However, the grower needs to have the necessary and confidence to make the switch to an NFT system.
Simple, non-reticulating systems are suitable for most crops so growers will be able to get experience this way for a long time using the bare minimum of hydroponic supplies. Among the crops you can grow in a medium such as coconut fiber are capsicums, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, zucchinis, herbs and root crops. Most flowers including roses and carnations can be produced this way.
The most important of all the hydroponic supplies you will need to start a static, non-circulating system is the growing medium. A high-quality coconut fiber will give you all the anchoring you need. Ideally, the coco coir, as it is also called, should be pH balanced and pre-buffered to enhance your plants uptake of hydroponic nutrients. Then you need containers. Polystyrene foam boxes and nursery bags are among the options, but long plastic pipes that have been halved longwise make useful growing trenches.
You need clean water for hydroponic gardening, but there is no need to go overboard in getting it clean. As long as you regularly sterilize your water supply and your hydroponic nutrients solution you should not have any problems. As long as your water supply has no suspended solids in it, such as dam water, then it is quite suitable for hydroponic gardening. You also need a nutrient tank.
Last but not least you need to invest in hydroponic nutrients to mix with the water and administer to the plants. You can get additional information from the experts at the company where you buy your hydroponic supplies, but a single pack nutrient, which is complete, balanced and specifically designed for the particular crop is the easiest to use. The dry nutrient is weighed and added slowly, taking a few minutes, to the nutrient tank as a dry powder while the tank is being filled or agitated. A well-formulated, single-pack nutrient will dissolve completely with merely a trace of sediment, which removed by the filter.
To recap: the hydroponic supplies you will need in order to start hydroponic gardening are: