Nutrient film technique



Everyone talks about the Nutrient Film Technique or NFT. You may wonder what it means and what its role in aquaculture is. Here are some tips on the subject.

The Nutrient Film Technique is mainly used in hydroponics. It represents a method of irrigation that uses water full of nutrients. This water travels from the fish tank through a pipe called channel. The channel is the place where the roots of your plants will be exposed to the flowing water. Ideally, the roots should barely touch the water due to the fact that they need proper amount of oxygen. Furthermore, this means that ventilation is crucial too. For setting up the perfect NFT system you will have to take into account several factors like pipe design, flow rate or distance. This is the most popular form of hydroponics due to the fact that it allows the plants directly reach the water, oxygen and nutrients needed.

In the case of aquaponics, the Nutrient Film Technique can be used but it has some limitations. You will have to set up filtration to properly insert it into the system. So to say, it is harder to create a balance if there is no filter for the water that goes back into the fish tank.

Anyway, the NFT system is known for its capacity to harmoniously provide all that a plant needs to grow healthy. It has a disadvantage too: if your power is cut off, the system will no longer work. So, consider a back-up plan that will keep your system going.

Keep in mind that the flow rate is important. You will not want to drown your roots and ultimately kill the plants. The rule says that a flow of 1 liter per minute is more than enough. Be careful: more than 2 liters per minute can cause permanent damage. On the other hand, if the flow rate is smaller than 2 liter, it can cause lack of nutrients and watering. This will drastically diminish the health of your crops and growing rates. Furthermore, the length of the channel is crucial too. It should not go beyond 10 meters because you will be forced to feed extra nutrients to your plants.

hydroponics, nutrient film technique