The following 3 modules are compulsory. These core modules are the foundation for the Diploma in Commercial Hydroponics. They provide a solid base for specialisation in Commercial Hydroponics.
In addition to the core modules, you may choose any 3 modules from the following and can be studied in any order:
Please note: each module in this Diploma in Commercial Hydroponics is 100 hours duration study time, and is a short course in its own right, and may be studied individually.
HOW TO MANAGE WATER FOR HYDROPONICS
As well as mains water supplies, water for use in hydroponics can be sourced from underground bores, wells, streams, dams and rivers. Most water supplies can in fact be used for hydroponics, however some may require treatment before use to remove excess minerals such as sodium, or the possibility of chemical contaminants, to adjust the alkalinity, or to kill water born pathogens.
To this end, all proposed water sources should be tested before use. Testing allows you to choose the best available water source (if more than one exists), to decide whether treatment is necessary, to avoid using toxic water (and consequently ruining crops), and enables you to optimise your techniques for the best crop production.
Each supply of water presents its own potential risks and benefits, so it is as well to have a good idea what they may be.
Mains water may be perfectly adequate for hydroponics growing, but it can also be problematic depending on your locality. Although it is unlikely to contain pollutants from industry, it is likely to have additives which remove bacteria, turbidity, CO2 and iron.
Whilst chlorine is not used these days to destroy pathogens and bacteria in drinking water, there may still be residual amounts in your mains water supply. Chlorine can seriously affect plant health and if detected or suspected can be removed by standing the water in tanks for several days. Aeration of the water causes chlorine to dissipate even faster and a simple fountain can speed this process up.
Chloramines and chlorine dioxide which are more commonly added to tap water to sterilise it, and these take more time to remove by running the water slowly through specifically designed carbon filters for chloramine removal. Another option is to treat the water with dechloraminating chemical conditioners which may be available from aquarium supply stores or pet shops.
Excess hardness is also treated in mains water by the addition of sodium. This makes the water less corrosive but high levels of sodium from softeners can severely affect hydroponic systems.
Rain water collected in storage tanks as runoff from buildings is often regarded as one of the best sources of irrigation for hydroponics. However, it can contain atmospheric pollutants as well as dust from roofs and fungal spores.
Keeping roofing materials clean and using materials less likely to release contaminants will help. Storage tanks should be sealed to keep debris, bird droppings, insects and other organic matter out.
Underground sources such as well and bore water may have high levels of dissolved minerals. In these cases, nutrient solution formulations would need to be adjusted to take the presence of any naturally occurring minerals into account.
Underground sources may also contain high levels of unwanted minerals such as salts or trace elements which could cause toxicities. Worse still, it may harbour toxins from industry or agriculture which have permeated through the subsoil and which could be at hazardous levels for healthy plant growth.
If underground sources are to be considered for use, they must be tested.
Dam water, pond water, lake water, and spring water, are fairly similar to underground sources and should be thoroughly tested before use.
Testing should be conducted regularly, especially in areas with industry and agriculture close by as levels of toxins or pathogens will fluctuate over time, and different adjustments will need to be made.
Surface sources are also likely to have higher levels of fungal spores, pathogenic bacteria, sediment and organic matter.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here is a list of the most often asked FAQ’s.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at ADL, our students are our priority – we treat everyone as a unique individual.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, as each module has been written by highly qualified industry professionals. The content of the material is presented in such a way that text books are not required. However, if you require additional reading your tutor will be able to supply a list.
Q. What happens if I have to stop studying for a while? (eg. become sick, go on holidays, have a baby, move house, etc)
A. It’s OK to take a break and start up your study at a later point in time. Just let us know.
Q. Is there an age limit?
A. There is no maximum age limit. We do however, have a minimum age limit of 18 years. Below that age parental consent would be required.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are revised and updated on a rotation system.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. Yes. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details please click here.
Q. Will I have any opportunity to engage with other students?
A. We have a Student Community group based on facebook! If you don’t have a facebook account already, you could make one just for talking with fellow students on the group.
Q. When can I enrol/start?
A. You may enrol and start at any time of the year – it’s all self- paced.
Q. Can I study from anywhere in the world?
A. Our courses are available to anyone, anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. The course content is relevant to any country, culture or economy.
Q. How long do I have to complete the course?
A. You complete the course at any time that is convenient for you.
Q. Completing a 100 hour module – how long will it take?
A. For some students a 100 hour module will take approximately to 3- 6 months to complete. Others take less time and some even longer.
Q. Assessment – how does it work?
A. For each 100 hour module you are assessed by assignments (at the end of each lesson) and a final one and a half hour exam (or you may elect to complete a Project, instead of sitting the exam) – the choice is yours – you sit for the exam in your own location.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. You may elect to undertake a Project (set by your tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Projects are completed from your home and can usually take a couple of weeks to complete.
Q. If my assignment is not up to standard is there an opportunity to resubmit my work?
A. Yes –
Q. How many assignments do I need to complete for each module?
A. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment – so if a course has say, 10 lessons, there would be 10 assignments.
Q. I am having difficulty attending workshops/industry meetings, what can be done?
A. If your course requires attendance at workshops, conferences, or industry meetings; alternative arrangements can be made in your country.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would be awarded a Certificate endorsed by TQUK (Training Qualifications, UK), providing you complete all assignments and the exam. If you just want to complete only the assignments and not sit for the exam or finish a Project, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications available please click here.
Q. Can I customize my diploma/higher qualification?
A. Not all educational institution’s certificates /diplomas meet everyone’s needs. The opportunity to Design Your Own Diploma at the Academy (subject to our approval) is an added bonus, not found at other colleges. You choose modules that you think will help you in achieving your goal.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of all courses and providing all assignments and exam requirements have been met, you will receive your Award and a Transcript.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We appoint Tutors and require that they must be currently active in their industry, with at least 5 years’ experience in their chosen profession.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes – you have unlimited access to your tutor via email through our Online Classroom. You can always leave a message with ADL requesting your tutor to contact you. You decide on how much or how little contact you wish to have.
Q. Practical work – How is this done?
A. To find out more about this part of the course please visit the section on How Our Courses Work here.
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