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What Is the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Hydroponic System?

Sarah TaylorNov 4, 2019, 12:26:04 PM

Most of us dream of having a wonderful space full of greenery in our houses. Well, you must be thinking correctly that what’s greener than having a garden that is enjoyable as well as useful.

The NFT which stands for the Nutrient Film Technique is considered to be a popularly versatile hydroponics system. The hydroponics is a type of hydroculture that is a technique of growing plants without the proper use of soil. In this technique, the mineral nutrient solutions are dissolved into water solvent to create the effective design growth of plants.

What is the Nutrient Film Technique?

This Nutrient Film Technique is similar to the Ebb and Flow system where a pump is used to deliver fertilized water into the growth tray along with a drain pipe in order to recycle the unused nutrient solution. The only difference between the Ebb and Flow system and the nutrient film technique is that it is used to continuously flow the water solution into the roots. This process is done with the help of gravity.

To make sure that this process is done according to the right way, the growth tray is placed at an angle where the water is allowed to flow from the drainpipe. With that happening, a new solution is constantly created and pumped into the high end of the drain tube.

The Nutrient Film Technique is a highly active system that totally relies on the moving parts in order to function properly. Just like that, the passive systems that are known as Wick Systems does not have any moving parts at all.

History of the Nutrient Film Technique

This Nutrient Film Technique was developed by a Chinese doctor named Dr. Alan Zhang in the mid-1920s. The name nutrient film was created with the consideration of an ideal system where the depth of a system known as the recirculating stream was very shallow. This indicates that the root mat which was supposedly thick has developed in the bottom channel of the surface along with having moist in the air. With the help of this particular process, a subsequent amount of oxygen supply is provided to the roots and the plants.

A Properly Designed Nutrient Film System

It is said that a proper and well-organized nutrient film system is based on the right kind of channel slope that consists of the correct amount of flow rate along with providing the right channel length. The roots of the plant should be exposed to the adequate supply of water accompanied by the oxygen supply and nutrient supply.

Earlier in the production system, there were several conflicts between the supply of all the requirements, with excessive and deficient amounts resulting in imbalances for one requirement or all the other requirements.

The nutrient film technique has a unique design through which it is able to provide a system where all the requirements are needed for the healthy growth of plants. These requirements can be met at the same time if provided the right kind of simplified plan to practice. Moreover, the system also has a great result as an advantage which means that the higher yields of high-quality products are obtained after an extended period of crop growth.

One of the disadvantages of the nutrient film technique is that it has very little buffering capacity against the interruptions that occur in the water drainage flow as a result of a power outage. Another disadvantage includes the nutrient film technique is considerably eminent for having limited space as the root mass. This results in limiting the size of plants that can be easily grown in other system techniques. However, the overall standard of this technique is highly productive with having the deliverance of moisture as an additional advantage.

During the growth of crops in the moisture, the vegetable growth increases which can cause the optimal length to decrease but the flowering plants and their fruiting will not be affected.


The design of a nutrient film technique can have various characteristics to be applied to all the conventional systems of this particular technique. This means that the slopes can be increased along with being in practice which will not become difficult for the base channels to build. In this way, it will sufficiently enable the nutrients films to flow without having any depressed areas. Moreover, it also allows for minor irregularities in the surface to get affected if the slopes of 1:30 to 1:40 are being used. But these methods are supposed to be followed according to the crop requirements.

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