Hydroponics is all about growing plants without
using soil. In hydroponic gardening, plants are
grown in alternative media like coir, rockwool,
water-based media, etc. Air filtration is another
important part of hydroponics. Growing plants need a
regular supply of fresh air to prepare their food.
Since most hydroponic gardens are in an indoor
setting, providing a regular supply of fresh air
becomes an important aspect to consider.
Carbon filters are the ideal air filtration solution
for hydroponics gardens. They are relatively
inexpensive, easy to use, and effective. Along with
filtering air, carbon filters also trap odor
molecules, mainly produced by vegetable plants.
Thus, carbon filters serve a dual purpose of
improving air circulation and keeping it odor-free.
Charcoal carbon filters are the most popular
air filters available, especially the
IGS Goblin and
PHAT Hydro filters. They contain activated
charcoal, which is a form of processed carbon. This
type of carbon has many minute pores in it and a
vast surface area to participate in chemical
reactions. When air passes through the filter,
contaminant particles are trapped in the pores and
neutralized by the activated carbon.
Installing a Carbon Filter
Installing a carbon filter is quite easy and only
takes a matter of minutes. IGS and PHAT filters
simply need to be hung over the plants or placed on
the floor next to them.
If you have already installed an exhaust fan for
your garden, you can just install your carbon filter
over it. These filters are available as
charcoal fiber scrubbers and can be used in
front of any exhaust fan. The filter is attached to
the input side of the fan. You can attach the filter
using tape, hooks, or clamps. Alternatively, you can
create a small duct joining the filter to the fan.
The only precaution to take with this method is to
check that the filter is placed at a sufficient
distance over the plants. This allows air to
circulate around the plants before it is filtered.
Replacing the Filter
Over time, the pores in the carbon filter are filled
with contaminants and the filter has no space for
further contaminant molecules. When this happens,
you will need to replace your filter with a new one.
Most carbon filters need to be replaced around 12 –
18 months after they are installed.