Quick start guide on how to assemble a SNAP Hydroponics system. This guide contains clear pictures and comprehensive video demonstrations to compliment the user manual that comes with every purchase of SNAP Nutrient Solution for Hydroponics.
A. Establish the Seedlings
- Sowing tray – shallow box/basin with holes for drainage at the bottom
- Growing media – aged or factory processed coconut coir dust (a.k.a coco peat) or charcoaled (carbonized) rice hull (CRH) or their mixture; saw dust (possible with the old stock not the new ones but not yet tested), fine sand (can be combined with coir dust and or charcoaled rice hull)
- Seeds (buy from your local garden center, gardening sections of big hardware stores, bookstores, agri-vet centers)
- Watering solution (water with SNAP nutrient solution)
- Fill the sowing tray with a layer of the growing media
(about 1 inch thick).
- Level the media.
- Scatter the small seeds uniformly and thinly (the amount depending on your need).
- Water liberally as needed (Expect germination in 3 to 5 days).
- Grow the seedlings for 10 days before transferring to individual growing cups called seedling plugs).
B. Prepare the Seedling Plugs
- Styrofoam cups (8 to 10 oz)
- Cutter or knife or hack saw blade
- Growing media
- BBQ stick or a similar implement
- Prepare the Styrofoam cups as shown. Use a knife or cutter to make 6 to 8 narrow slits (about 1 inch long at the side and ½ inch at the bottom).
- Fill (about half full) the prepared holding cups with the growing media
- Transplant the seedlings from the sowing tray. “Dig” a hole in the middle of the growing media in the cup. Use a stick to uproot the seedlings from the sowing tray with care. Transfer only one seedling per cup. Make the transferred seedling stand firmly by replacing the “dug” media to the base of the seedling.
- Water the seedling plug carefully and lightly.
C. Prepare the Growing Boxes (a.k.a growbox)
- Styrofoam boxes (boxes of imported grapes)
- 20 ⨉ 30 inch plastic bag (to be used a liner to prevent leaks or see pages of the nutrient solution)
- Tin can of big evaporated milk with lid opened by the side.
- Masking tape or packing tape.
- Use the sharp edge of the tin can to make 5 to 8 perfect circular holes (depending on the box size and as equidistant and as far apart from one another) on the box’s lid/cover.
- Lay out the plastic bag on to the box’s bottom half to make it hold the nutrient solution; tape the edges onto the rim of the box to prevent the side lining from collapsing.
D. Running the SNAP Hydroponics System
- Seedling plugs
- SNAP nutrient solution
- Growing boxes
- Optional benches or stand where the growing boxes will be placed under a shelter
- Rain shelter or roof awning facing east for the earliest and longest sunlight possible
- Arrange the growing boxes on a bench under a rain shelter or roof awning facing east with no obstruction.
- Fill each growing box with about 10 liters of tap water.
- Add 25 ml of SNAP A to each box with water then stir well.
- Add equal amount of SNAP B to each box then stir well.
- Put back the cover of the box.
- Place the seedling plugs on the holes of the cover.
- See to it that the bottom of the cups is touching the nutrient solution at most by ½ inch deep, not any deeper. If not, add more water until the desired level is reached.
- Examine the boxes for leaks and make some troubleshooting.
- Visit the set up every morning as early as you can to catch any insect larva that may feed on the plants (the larva is visible in the early morning after that they tend to hide already and harder to find).
Expect the nutrient solution level to go down when the plants are much bigger than when they were still small seedlings. Replenish the solution when more than one inch from the cup bottom has been depleted. However, NEVER allow the level of the solution to reach the bottom of the cup. Replenish until about ⨉ inch below the cup’s bottom. Please see the visual guide below.
It is more practical to prepare the nutrient solution in a drum and then just distribute the prepared solution to each growing box and use the rest of the solution for replenishing.
If you have any questions other questions you may visit our FAQ page which answers in detail frequently asked questions about SNAP Hydroponics and getting started.
This guide was adapted from “HOW TO SET-UP SNAP HYDROPONICS” by Dr. Primitivo Jose A. Santos and Dr. Eureka Teresa M. Ocampo of UPLB Institute of Plant Breeding-CSC-CA, UP Los Baños. You may download a copy of the SNAP User Manual in the downloads page.