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How to Grow Hydroponic Plants in Your Apartment

Soil-less, or hydroponic, gardening eliminates the need for weeding and takes up far less space than traditional gardening. You can plant your own hydroponic garden and never go without fresh produce again.


  • Step 1: Place the Styrofoam inside the aquarium and run the air tube through the hole you cut.
  • Step 2: Place one plant in each mesh pot filled with rockwool or grow rock. Make sure you include the wick to supply the nutrient solution to the top roots.
  • Step 3: Place the potted plants into the holes in the Styrofoam and turn on the air pump. Grow your plants under artificial lights. Fluorescent lights are great for seedlings, but higher density lights are better as the plants grow. Grow your indoor garden and enjoy fresh produce all year round.
  • FACT: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, was a hydroponic garden.
  • TIP: Your air pump will depend on the size of the aquarium. Ask for pump recommendations at the supply store where you purchased your equipment.
  • Step 4: Connect the air pump to the air tube and airstones and add your nutrient solution to the aquarium.
  • Step 5: Remove the tape when the paint is dry, so that you have a strip through which you can check the water level. When you add the Styrofoam to the aquarium, you will be able to see how far down the Styrofoam has sunk, indicating the nutrient solution level.
  • Step 6: Cut the Styrofoam so that the perimeter is 1/4 inch smaller than the aquarium on all sides, allowing it to rise and fall with the water level when you fill the aquarium. Then trace the mesh pots on the Styrofoam and cut around the tracings with your craft knife. Finally, cut a hole in one end of the Styrofoam for the air tube.
  • TIP: Space the holes for the mesh pots so that your plants won't be overcrowded. Estimate how large the plants will grow and space them so that each plant gets a sufficient amount of light.
  • Step 7: Adhere a strip of tape vertically down one side of the aquarium and then paint the aquarium black to prevent light from contributing to algae formation.

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