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Solaris Garden

200W Barrina full spectrum LED grow lights with 2.5 umol/J PPE save up to 50% energy compared to the HPS or other SMD LEDs or Blurple lamps. These lights are powerful enough to grow tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, all herbs, all lettuces and tons more varieties of vegetables.

The dimensions of the Solaris Garden depend on the model you purchase. The Solaris Garden 36, our two tiered indoor system, is 27” wide by 23” deep by 70” high.  It takes up a little over 4 square feet of floor space so it can fit in a very small space. For the dimensions on all of our other models please check their product page in the shop.

The Solaris Garden system employs two powerful LED arrays that use 193 watts at full brightness.  That totals 386 watts.  A recommended timer setting for these grow lights is 12 hours per day and 12 hours of dark with the lights off.  A typical timer setting is 6 am to 6 pm.  The lights consume an average of 120 kW hours per month.  If your incremental electricity cost is $0.12 per kW hour, your average monthly electrical cost will be $14.40 per month.

The EcoPlus 264 water pump used in the Solaris Garden runs 24 hours per day and uses 8 watts of power.  That averages 5.7 kW hours per month which is approximately $0.68 in electrical cost.

All Solaris Garden reservoirs should maintain a minimum of 10 gallons of prepared water (see grow guide) at all times. This is about 3 inches of water above the pump. Do not run your pump without watering covering it.

The Solaris Garden indoor and outdoor plant trays each hold about 6 gallons of water.

The Solaris Garden Deep indoor and outdoor plant trays hold about 10 gallons of water.

LED Lights

We recommend a setting of 12 hours on and 12 hours off. 

 Plants breath, just like animals do. While they are giving off oxygen from photosynthesis, they are also undergoing respiration at the same time.  When the lights go out, the photosynthesis stops but the respiration keeps on going. Plants are not dormant when it is dark. In fact, this is often the time when they do more growing because they have an entire day’s worth of energy stored up and ready to metabolize.  A good default setting is LED lights off at 8 pm and back on at 6 am.  That provides 14 hours of light on a regular schedule, and 10 hours of darkness for optimum plant health.  To learn more about this, refer to this article at thepracticalplanter.com.

LED lights emit a small amount of heat at a close distance. This heat is much less when compared to a regular light bulb. If your plants are growing too close to the light, they may become too hot and burn, so make sure to trim accordingly. It can often help your plants to stay cool, build stronger stems and get more carbon dioxide if you place a fan to circulate air over them. 

Nutrients & Fertilizers

In standard gardening, plants get much of their nutrition from the topsoil which is often supplemented with fertilizers to give the plants everything they need.  But in hydroponic systems, there is no soil, and that means there are no nutrients (aside from some dissolved ions in your local tap water). You need to add everything.  Primary nutrients need to be supplied as part of an NPK (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) fertilizer. Some plants have different NPK requirements, and each stage of the growth cycle (such as root development or flowering) may have different NPK needs as well. We use a combination of FloraGrow (2N-1P-6K) and FloraMicro (5N-0P-1K) for our Garden Carousel at 1 tablespoon each per 2 gallons of water.  Secondary nutrients are required in smaller quantities than the primary nutrients above and involve Calcium (Ca) strengthens cell walls and aids in water movement. Magnesium (Mg) is a central component of chlorophyll and works as a phosphorus carrier. Sulfur (S) is a major building block of both amino acids and chlorophyll. These secondary nutrients are already included in the FloraGrow/FloraMicro mixture, so no need to add more.

One common household chemical that can make a world of difference in your hydroponic system is hydrogen peroxide, though you are probably wondering what a strong disinfectant/bleaching agent has got to do with growing and nurturing fragile plants in water-based grow areas.   Peroxide is known to be very effective against many bacteria, viruses, and common pests. It is even considered environmentally friendly by the FDA.   Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound with the formula of H2O2. It is the simplest form of “peroxide,” which is a family of compounds in which there is a single bond between two oxygen atoms. Peroxide readily forms hydroxyl radical in acidic conditions. These compounds have a devastating effect on microbes and organic tissues. Peroxide also releases single oxygen molecules as part of its natural decomposition. These oxygen molecules have a potent anti-microbial action as well.  For young roots, the ready availability of oxygen molecules is very important to stimulate growth. In many hydroponic systems, higher temperatures lead to a reduction in oxygen molecules in water. This process can be counteracted by using peroxide breakdown.  For our Garden Carousel we recommend adding 1 tablespoon of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide per gallon of water. This will help keep algae and bacteria at bay, prevents root rot, improves oxygen content, and reduces chlorine levels. 

This is one of the more important aspects of hydroponic gardening. The pH level tells you how acidic or alkaline your water is. It stands for power of Hydrogen, and its levels can range from 1 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline), with 7.0 being the neutral point. Most available water sources (city water, well water, rain water) range from 5.0 to 8.0.  Plants grown hydroponically often require a different pH level from those grown in soil. The best range for a hydroponics system which is growing leafy plants is a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, with 6.0 being the target level. Within this range, the pH level is acidic enough to kill some algae and alkaline enough to allow plants to use nutrients efficiently. 

Garden Starter

Absolutely! The Solaris Garden and Solaris Seed Starter work great together at getting plants healthy and strong before transferring to the outdoors!

We recommend starting off seeds in the Solaris Seed Starter and letting them grow until they reach a height of 1-3 inches. Then let them grow 1-2 weeks inside the Solaris Garden, depending on the plant species, before transferring the plants into your outdoor garden.

Once your plants are well established (about 1-2 weeks spent in the Solaris Garden) you are ready to carefully take your plant out of the plant holder with its roots attached. Get as much as you can of the root filled sponge out of the plant holder, but don’t worry if some break off. After planting the plant in the ground or in a pot keep it moist (but still draining) for at least 1 week. After the first week you can slowly start to water the plant less helping it to establish stronger roots. The transferred plant will also love lots of sunlight.

Solaris Seed Starter & Seedlings

Pelleted seeds have a thin even coating of a mixture of clay and nutrients to protect the seed and promote a higher success rate. This also makes the seeds easier to sow as the pelleted form makes them easier to handle. 

This all depends on the type of plants you are growing. Some plants such as most lettuces, take only 2-4 days to sprout from seed. Tomato and pepper plant seeds may take up to 7 days to sprout. Some flower seeds may take up to 14 days to sprout. 

Once your seeds sprout, open both vents on your Solaris Seed Starter. Then, once the majority of your seedlings reach about one inch high, you can remove the humidity lid. 

If you waited the appropriate time for a seed to sprout and had no luck, you may remove the seed and re use the seedling sponge for your next round of seeds. 

Allow your seedlings to grow in the Solaris Seed Starter until they reach a height of about 1-3 inches. This will ensure they are strong enough and have roots developed before transplanting. 


Yes, you can trim the roots of your growing plants. You can trim back a couple inches at a time. Do this weekly to the roots growing nearest the drain holes on both the top and bottom trays. This will ensure your plant roots do not start to clog the drain tubes. 

When you notice the water not flowing into your top tray as strongly as when you first set it up, it is time to clean the pump and/or the pump filter. You can check the water flow by simply lifting up the tray cover of your top tray and look at the water flowing in on the left of the tray. You can check the water flow about once a week. Also make sure to clean the pump and filter in between crop cycles. 

Clean the pump filter first by unplugging the pump and removing the filter inside black snap on cover. Rise the filter under running water while squeezing it until the water runs clear from it. Test you water flow again, if it is still slower than when you set up your system continue on to the next steps. Unscrew the 1/2″ barbed connector and briefly plug the pump in while you have the pump submerged. This dislodges any debris that has buildup and may also push out the washer. Unplug the pump again, put the washer back in (if it came out during flushing), screw the barbed connector back on, and reconnect the hose. After putting the pump filter back in and snapping the filter cover on you are ready to plug the pump back in.  

Between every two or three crop cycles of plants, it is best to clean out the trays. You can do this by first turning off the pump and letting the water drain out of your trays into the reservoir. Then slightly lift the tray corners to allow for the remaining water to reach the drain holes. Once most of the water is out, use a cloth or paper towels with Simple Green Cleaner to wipe down the inside of the trays removing any algae or plant debris.  

Because the Solaris Garden LED lights are suspended above the plants and never come into contact with water or splashing, they will not accumulate much debris. You may clean the lights from dust particles in between each crop cycle by using a dusting cloth to gently wipe them down. 

The Solaris Seed Starter’s clear humidity lid is made from plastic and should only be cleaned using Simple Green Cleaner. Glass cleaner will cloud the plastic lid over time, blocking the light from going through. The Solaris Seed Starter tray and styrofoam sponge holder can be washed with water and wiped down with Simple Green Cleaner as well. The Solaris Seed Starter LED lights can be wiped gently with a dusting cloth, as they do not come into contact with plants or water and will not accumulate a lot of debris. 

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