We have moved again - now at St Kilda. You can contact us on 0411 105 365. We are in the process of setting up hydroponic and aquaculture displays.

Monday 0930 to 1730
Friday 0930 to 1730
Saturday 0930 to 1230

We are available for consultation and site visits at these times- other times by appointment by email (robin@soladome.com.au)

After 35 years at 44 Chapel Street it was time for a change to a web based operation and to offer guidance based on many years of practical experience.



How do I start?

Simple introductory instructions and advice for starting out - either as a hobby or as a business.

As a hobby

Just use the existing pots and containers you have around the house so long as they are non-metallic. Fill the containers with a hydroponic medium (perlite, vermiculite, gravel, coarse washed sand, dolomite, quartzite, versarock, clay balls, zeolite, styrene foam pieces, etc).

Make a hydroponic nutrient solution by dissolving hydroponic nutrient powder or liquid in good quality water. Plant your seeds or seedlings in the containers add the nutrient liquid and place the pot in an area where there is sufficient light, warmth and air movement for plant growth. Keep the medium damp and watch the plants grow. (see FAQ - frequently asked questions for further details)

As your skills and knowledge increase try setting up some low maintenance hydroponic systems, then move on to semi-automatic systems.

As a business

Make haste slowly. Work backwards from the market. Who will buy what you produce? How often and at what price? Can you produce all year round and still sell
at a profit. Who will be your competitors and how will they react to your entering their market?

What horticultural skills do you have? What business skills do you have? How much time and money can you devote to the project? Can you write a business plan and then stick to it? Hydroponic growing as a business is just like any other business starting from scratch - remember that the failure rate for small business is more than 90%.

Still keen? Ask lots of questions. Be prepared to do a fair bit of homework before starting. Do some reading (see suggested reading list under FAQ - frequently asked questions) Start in a small way and learn from your mistakes. Keep records and notes. Join grower associations or hydroponic societies near you. Check out the local horticultural or agricultural departments of government for information. Ask questions on the internet.