Most problems with hydroponics are preventable with good planning and management. Dealing with problems immediately as they occur makes the solution easier, these problems only get worse if left untended. Delivery of the nutrient solution, the health of the nutrient solution and invasion by insects cause most problems experienced by beginning hydroponic gardeners.
Problems With Pests
Disease and pests are usually less of a problem when growing hydroponically. Using a growing medium eliminates soil pests and diseases, and healthy plants are less susceptible to pest problems. It is impossible to eliminate all pest problems, even in an indoor grow room. Pests will find their way in, hitchhiking on new plants and clothing.
Hydroponic growers have a variety of solutions to pest problems. Chemicals and pesticides are available, but many hydroponic growers choose to fight insect pests with beneficial insects. Beneficial insects kill insect pests, removing the need for chemical pesticides.
Problems With Nutrient Supply
The timely delivery of nutrient solutions is crucial to the health of hydroponic plants. Hand watering requires the gardener to be available for routine watering several times a day. Systems depending on pumps are vulnerable to problems with electrical outages or pump failures. The installation of backup power supplies and constant monitoring of pumps is an expensive solution to this problem. For the small gardener this can be a problem.
Problems With Nutrient Solutions
Nutrient solutions are an ideal breeding ground for algae and bacteria. Problems are common and avoidable. Preventing light contact with the nutrient solution eliminates problems with algae.
System sterilization with peroxide or chlorine is one approach to solving these problems, but these solutions sometimes result in damage to the plants and the problem often comes back. Another solution is the use of beneficial microbes. Beneficial microbes crowd out the problem bacteria.