Instructions for a Hydroponics Tank


Plants require several elements to grow, thrive and reproduce. While many of these elements exist in outdoor gardens and landscaped areas, indoor gardening can reproduce these environments. One type of indoor garden involves the use of hydroponics. This method of gardening uses liquid nutrients in place of soil, and allows you to control the environment of your plants without using large pots of soil or planting medium. The hydroponic tank must provide the necessary elements to support plant life.

Step 1

Check the fish tank for any water leaks, especially if your tank is not new. Seal any leaks with plumber's caulking.

Step 2

Cut a piece of Styrofoam sheeting to fit inside the opening in your tank. The Styrofoam acts as a barrier between the water and the air, as well as providing a support for your plants.

Step 3

Set your small pots upside-down on the top of your Styrofoam sheeting. Space them evenly apart, allowing 3 to 6 inches between each pot. Using the tops of your pots as patterns, draw circles on your Styrofoam sheeting. Cut out the circles with a sharp knife, making the circles slightly smaller than the drawn pattern.

Step 4

Attach your airstone to your air pump with clear tubing. Set your airstone in the center of your tank, allowing the pump to remain outside the tank. Mix your hydroponic solution, following the package instructions. Pour the solution into your tank. Fill until the solution reaches about an inch below the upper rim of your tank. Lay your cut Styrofoam on top of the water. The Styrofoam will float on the surface. Plug in your pump and allow the airstone to begin releasing bubbles into the water.

Step 5

Fill your small pots with your hydroponic substrate and lay three or four seeds over the tops of each pot. Apply a thin layer of peat moss over the tops of the seeds to protect them from heat and bright light. The depth of planting depends on the variety of seeds you plant. The general rule requires planting seeds about three times deeper than their diameter.

Step 6

Place the planted pots into your cut Styrofoam sheeting, pressing downward until the rims of the pots are slightly above the surface of the Styrofoam. Add new solution as the liquid evaporates. Depending on your climate and level of humidity, you may need to replenish the solution once or twice each week.

Things You'll Need

  • Watertight fish tank
  • Caulking
  • Styrofoam sheeting
  • Small plastic pots
  • Pencil
  • Knife
  • Pump
  • Plastic tubing
  • Airstone
  • Hydroponic solution
  • Water
  • Hydroponic substrate
  • Seeds
  • Peat moss


  • University of Wisconsin: Hydroponics
  • Texas A&M University: Build a Hydroponic Culture System
  • "Hydroponics", Keith Roberto; 2000
Keywords: hydroponic tank, hydroponic vegetable plants, growing hydroponic plants

About this Author

Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear in Modern Mom, Biz Mojo, Walden University and GardenGuides. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.