The question of whether white or black buckets are the best choice for hydroponics has been debated amongst seasoned hydro-growers before.
The answer is not as simple as it may seem, and there are a few factors to take into account when making a decision. In this post, we'll look at all of the pros and cons of both options so that you can figure out which one you should be using.
Also read: Best Size Bucket For Hydroponics
Does grow bucket color matter for hydroponics?
Believe it to not, no it doesn't.
White or black buckets are equally as effective for growing plants, and there is no clear winner in terms of which color you should be using.
If a specific type of bucket or pot performs better than others under certain conditions (a dutch bucket, net pot, mesh pots, or bato bucket for example), it's likely down to factors beyond the material used - things like how often they're cleaned out will have an impact on the effectiveness.
Why does the question of black vs white hydroponic buckets keep coming up?
The debate rages on because both options have their pros and cons, so choosing one over the other is more to do with personal preference than anything else. If you're happy using either type then it's entirely up to you which one you should be using.
White buckets are best for indoor growers, as they offer the perfect amount of light penetration needed to grow hydroponic plants successfully.
The white color also reflects any excess heat away from your plant's leaves, which is great if you live somewhere with a hotter climate where overheating can become an issue during the summer months.
Black buckets are also ideal for indoor growers but tend to be better suited to outdoor setups where there is greater exposure to sunlight. This makes them the best choice if you're growing your plants outdoors or in a greenhouse environment.
Can you paint your buckets?
Let's say you don't like the color of your bucket and you want to paint them. Is it safe to do that?
There's no reason why you can't paint your buckets as long as they're properly sealed first. However, we wouldn't recommend it because the material might be affected by the paint and stop working effectively over time - not to mention that painting a plastic bucket isn't going to look particularly great either.
Spray paint is a much better option, but it's important to remember that any paint is going to stop the walls of your bucket from being so permeable.
Honestly though, just choose a color and stick with it. The hassle of buying a grow bucket and painting it, later on, is kind of pointless and finicky. You're not doing it for any good reason.
Does bucket color dictate water temperature?
No. Bucket material doesn't make a difference when it comes to maintaining the perfect water temperature, so you don't need to worry about this either way.
If your buckets are white or black is irrelevant when using them for hydroponics - both colors work in exactly the same way.
How to light-proof a bucket
You might have heard that some growers like to "light-proof" their buckets. What does this mean and how do you go about it?
"Light-proofing your bucket" is a way of saying that you should paint the inside black so that no light gets through. This helps keep humidity levels high, which in turn encourages strong growth for your plant roots.
However, there's such thing as too much humidity - if things get out of hand then your plants are likely to suffer, and that might affect the quality of their yields.
Bottom line: White or black buckets for hydroponics?
Don't get too bogged down in which color bucket is best for hydroponics - it doesn't matter if you're using white or black buckets as both types work equally well under different conditions.
The only thing that matters for your hydroponic system is the type of material and the gallon count.
If you prefer to use white buckets, go ahead - they will perform just as well in the right indoor conditions. If black is your preferred color then don't let anyone convince you otherwise! Just remember that these are general guidelines rather than hard-and-fast rules.