Recirculating System

Definition - What does Recirculating System mean?

A recirculating system refers to a hydroponic system in which water is never diverted from the system. The water/nutrient solution flows through the growing medium into a collector where it is recovered, and then it is reused over and over again in the same way. This system is common with vertical gardening, and is also used in aquaponic systems. Sometimes, a recirculating system is referred to as a recirculating deep water culture (DWC) system.

MaximumYield explains Recirculating System

Indoor gardening, whether container gardening, vertical gardening, or in a full aquaponics system, is all about reducing waste while enhancing efficiency. One of the keys to achieving those goals is to recycle as much material as possible, including water. A recirculating system is vital to this.

In a recirculating system, water is constantly used, recaptured, and then reused. In almost all instances, this requires the use of an electric pump to move used water from the capture container back into circulation. Nutrients are added to the water at the beginning of the cycle and again as needed. It is important to test nutrient levels before reusing water to ensure that proper nutrition is being provided to plants at all times. Too much could result in nutrient lock or nutrient burn, while too little will result in nutrient deficiency.

A recirculating system is in contrast to the flow to waste or run to waste hydroponic system, in which water, once used, is allowed to drain away. In a flow to waste system, nutrients are added to the water at the beginning, but because the water is not reused, there is little need for constant retesting of nutrient levels once the normal addition amount is determined. However, a flow to waste system often results in the loss of several gallons of water per day.

Both systems have their pros and cons, but a recirculating system provides the ability to reuse water, one of the planet’s most crucial and endangered resources, as well as help growers conserve expensive nutrients.

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