Let’s talk about what your plants will need on a continual basis to successfully grow indoors.
Water quality can be a problem in hydroponic systems. Water with excessive alkalinity or salt content can result in a nutrient imbalance and poor plant growth. Softened water may contain harmful amounts of sodium. Water that tests high in total salts should not be used. Salt levels greater than 0.5 millions or 320 parts per million are likely to cause an imbalance of nutrients.
Oxygen: Plants require oxygen for respiration to carry out their functions of water and nutrient uptake. In soil adequate oxygen is usually available, but plant roots growing in water will quickly exhaust the supply of dissolved oxygen and can be damaged or killed unless additional air is provided. A common method of supplying oxygen is to bubble air through the solution.
Mineral Nutrients: Green plants must absorb certain minerals through their roots to survive. In the garden these minerals are supplied by the soil and by the addition of fertilizers such as manure, compost, and fertilizer salts. The essential elements needed in large quantities are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Micronutrients – iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, and chlorine are also needed but in very small amounts.
I’m sure you’re already familiar with growing plants in soil, so I won’t discuss the obvious need for soil in containers. However, If you want to try hydroponics and maybe even aquaponics read-on, otherwise, skip ahead.