Guide to hydroponics

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Hydroponics. This is your home.



Hydroponics and the Botanists who work there are important people on the station, especially in longer rounds. Botanists grow plants, obviously. Without plants, the Chef cannot make many types of food. Without those types of food, the denizens of the station will either have to live off of beef jerky and space twinkies, or starve to death. Now that you understand why this is important, let's get started!

Your tools

Hydroponics area is divided into two rooms. The big area to the north is where you'll spend most of your time. It has trays where you grow plants, two vending machines, one with seeds and the other with everything else. There is also a seed extractor and a biogenerator. The small area to the south has three lockers, crate with some tools, and some more equipment on the table.

These are some pots. You grow stuff in them.

Plants require nutriment and water to grow. They are also bothered by pests and weeds. To check the plant, click on the tray. It will show you the levels of water and nutriment, and if there's too much pests/weeds. You will get a message like this:

Hydroponics Tray has Potato Plant planted.
The plant looks unhealthy.
Water: 78/100
Nutrient: 6/10
Hydroponics Tray is filled with weeds!
Hydroponics Tray is filled with tiny worms!

In addition to that, each tray has lights that tell you when a plant is not okay. From left to right:

  • Green: Ready to harvest.
  • Red: Low health.
  • Red: Weeds/pests/toxins.
  • Brown: Low nutriment.
  • Blue: Low water.

Now that we know how to tell what a plant needs, it's time to plant some and then grab our tools. Take wheat, potato and grass seeds from the MegaSeed Servitor, and plant them in different pots. Next, gather some equipment.

  • Bucket: Set transfer amount to 70 (right-click), fill it in the sink, pour it on the tray. Simple.
    • Alternately, toss your backpack away and get a backpack water tank. It holds much more water. Click the icon in the top left corner to extent the nozzle, then use it like a bucket.
  • Mini-hoe: Removes the weeds from the tray. Keep in mind that weeds grow in empty pots, too, which may be good or bad.
  • Plant analyzer: Shows detailed stats of a plant. Will be useful later. You should have it on you already when you arrive at the station.
  • Plant bag: Used to collect plants on a tile. Holds up to 50. Get it from NutriVend.

Those are the things you won't need to have on you all the time:

  • Screwdriver: Used to set up irrigation system.
  • Hatchet: Used to chop wood into planks.
  • Shovel: Used to dig up grass floors and cleaning the dirt.
  • Wrench: Used to move your trays around.

Growing the plants

Now all you need to do is wait until your plants grow. Somewhere at the middle of their growth you might want to replace the current nutriment with Robust Harvest from NutriVend. Robust harvest doubles the plant's yeild, at the cost of not allowing any mutations. Once the plant is fully grown, the green light will start blinking. Get to the pot and click on the plant. When the potatoes and wheat grow, you remove them from the pot. Take one of each and put it into the Seed Extractor machine to get some seeds. Then take your plant bag and click on the tile with the plants. This will put everything into the bag. Now, click on the smartfridge with it to load it. The chef can access it, and will soon start making food.

The grass is a little different. First, you don't need to put it into the smartfridge - it's not for the chef, it's for our biogenerator. Take your bag and click on the pot with grass once it's ready to harvest - this puts growns into your bag. Time to set the biogenerator up. Don't forget to replant the wheat and potatoes. Put any extra seeds into the fridge.

Biogenerator and irrigation

Biogenerator is a neat machine that can make items out of biomass. To get biomass, you need to put your plants inside. Hovewer, it needs a beaker to work. You can either go to Cargo and ask for a large beaker, or use a bucket. Either way, unload your bag into the machine, open its interface and process the plants. You should see that you now have some biomass. It's important that you can make nutriment here, for the time when your stock runs out. Grass is a pretty good plant for this: it grows quickly, quite tough, can be harvested multiple times, not needed for the chef and has other uses. You can recycle any plant, though if they don't have nutriment (e.g. bananas), the efficiency is very low.

You can connect hydroponics trays with the hoses to set up the irrigation system. Just use the screwdriver on the trays you want to connect. Then, every time you pour more than 30 units of water on any of the trays, it gets evenly spread between them. It actually works on any chemical, but if you're pouring 30 units of something other than water on a tray, you're probably doing something wrong.

You can use a wrench on a tray to move it, then wrench it again.

Mutations and selection

Now that you've grown some food for the chef and some plants for generator, you can try to make your plants stronger. This is made by mutations. Use your plant analyzer on a growing plant. You should get something like this:

-Plant Age: 5
-Plant Endurance: 15
-Plant Lifespan: 25
-Plant Yield: 4
-Plant Production: 1
-Plant Potency: 5
-Weed level: 2/10
-Pest level: 3/10
-Toxicity level: 0/100
-Water level: 86/100
-Nutrition level: 7/10

You can also scan the growns:

-Plant type: Normal plant
-Potency: 5
-Yield: 4
-Maturation speed: 6
-Production speed: 1
-Endurance: 15
-Nutritional value: 1
-Other substances: 0

And seeds:

-Plant Endurance: 15
-Plant Lifespan: 25
-Species Discovery Value: 0
-Plant Yield: 4
-Plant Production: 1
-Plant Potency: 5

  • Age: Simply shows how old is the plant.
  • Endurance: Max health. Between 10 and 100. Not very useful, unless you leave your garden often.
  • Lifespan: When the age is above lifespan, plant starts losing health. Between 10 and 100. Not important at all in plants that can only be harvested once, unless they die before harvest. Barely useful for the other ones, because you can always plant it again.
  • Yeild: How much growns you get each harvest. Between 0 and 10. Pay attention to this, because if it drows to 0, things get pretty bad.
  • Production: How fast it grows. Between 2 and 10, the lower the faster. Overall, not as useful. Most of the time, half of your trays is going to be empty anyway.
  • Potency: The most imporant stat. Between 0 and 100. Basically, this determines plant power. Mostly affects amount of chemicals in the plant, though some have additional effects.

To change the stats, you need to mutate your plant. Keep in mind that mutations are completely random. That's why you should plant several plants, mutate them, and then choose the one you like the most. To mutate the plant, you can use following methods:

First, E-Z nutriment makes the plant mutate every time it's ready to harvest. Left 4 Zed makes it mutate twice, but you'll have to replace the nutriment to actually harvest something! Nutriment has a very small chance to mutate the plant into a different specie.

You can speed up the process by asking the chemist for some unstable mutagen. Pour 5 units on your plant and prepare for...

  • 10% chance of death of a plant. Never use mutagen without backup seeds.
  • 10% chance of specie mutation. This destroys the old plant and plants a new one. See the plants table for the information on these mutations.
  • 15% chance of heavy stat mutation.
  • 15% chance of normal stat mutation.
  • 20% chance of nothing. You get a message when this happens.
  • 10% chance of weeds mutating. If weed level is less than 5, nothing happens, otherwise you get a random mutated weed.
  • 10% chance of pests mutating. Again, if pest level is less than 5, nothing happens. Otherwise, three spiderlings are spawned. Shout for security and try to explain why you didn't use pest spray to them.

Or pour 2 units for a guaranteed heavy stat mutation, or even 1 for a guaranteed normal stat mutation. This method is safe even if you don't have backup seeds, but you need a dropper for this.

You can use radium and uranium, but they cause ill effects, and really, if you can get radium, you can get mutagen.

R&D can also make a wonderful thing called a Floral Somatoray. It has two options: increase yield and mutate the plant. In yield more, every time you fire it at the plant, there is a chance the yeild will increase. The chance becomes very small when you reach high levels, but it's very useful for low-yield plants. It can even raise yield from zero! In the mutate mode, it will always induce a normal stat mutation.

Replica pod

Replica pod is very special plant. It can be used to grow dead people back to life. It's rarely used, unless the cloning is destroyed. To clone someone, follow those simple steps:

  • Take a blood sample from the body using a syringe.
  • Inject it into seeds bag.
  • Plant them.
  • Let the plant grow and harvest it.

There's a chance, based on potency, that a cloned person will become a plant-human. They are a little different from normal humans (e.g. they regenerate in light but suffer in darkness). The higher is the potency, the higher is the chance of them not being a plant.

If you grow a pod without any seeds, there's a chance that it will produce more than one seed.

Mushrooms and weeds

There are three types of plants. The biggest category is "normal plants". Much lesser ones are mushrooms and weeds. They are a little different from the normal plants:

  • Mushrooms need less light, and suffer less from lack of it.
  • Mushrooms don't need water to grow. They still use it, though.
  • Weeds don't suffer from high weed level.
  • Mushrooms and weeds can't be overtaken by weeds in a tray.
  • Mushrooms' yeild can't drop to 0. It will always be at least 1.

The tray, empty or with a normal plant in it, can be occasionally overtaken by a weed if their level is 5 or more. In that case old plant is destroyed, and a new one will sprout in its place. Possible plants include:

  • 1/6 chance for Reishi.
  • 1/9 chance for Nettle.
  • 1/9 chance for Harebell.
  • 1/9 chance for Amanita.
  • 1/9 chance for Chanter
  • 1/9 chance for Tower Cap.
  • 1/9 chance for Plump Helmets.
  • 1/6 chance for Starshitle


Some of the chemicals have various effects on the plants.

  • E-Z-Nutriment: Middle ground between the other two. Makes your plant mutate once every time it's ready for harvesting, and has no effect on the yield.
  • Left 4 Zed: Makes your plant mutate twice, but it will never produce anything. You'll have to use another nutriment to actually harvest something!
  • Robust Harvest: Makes your plant produce twice as much, and will never mutate it. Useful if you already have good stats, or simply don't want to bother with mutating.
  • Pest Spray: Kills pests, duh. Also adds some toxicity, but very little. Unless you added toxins
  • Plant-B-Gone: Seriously damages the plant. Also lowers toxicity by magic and kills weeds.
  • Unstable Mutagens: Effect is desribed in the mutations section.
  • Radium and Uranium: Same chance to mutate plants, but you need 10 units, they also damage the plant and add toxicity.
  • Nutriment: A fertilizer. You can get it from the Chef, or by using your own plants. Heals the plant.
  • Ammonia: Also a fertilizer, same effect as nutriment. Get it from the Chemist or hack the Nutri-Vend to get this.
  • Diethylamine: A very powerful fertilizer. Twice as effective. Heals the plant AND also kills pests. Get it the same way you get Ammonia.
  • Anti-toxins: Makes your plant less toxic. You can get it by whining to anyone who works in Medbay.
  • Cryoxadone: Heals your plant, via miracles. Also lowers toxicity. Get it from the Chemist, or find a nice doctor to steal some from cryogenics.
  • Holy water: If you can get Chaplain's attention and make him bless your water, it will heal your plant a bit.
  • Phosphorus: Damages plant, drains water, kills weeds and, surprisingly, adds nutriment. If you manage to get your hands on a lot of it, you can use it to kill useless plants without hurting the next plant.

Bad things:


See Guide to plants.

Other notes

Sandstone and soil

If you pick up the grass and use it (click on it in your hand), you will prepare the astroturf. Get a crowbat and remove some floor tiles, then put astroturf in their place. In addition to looking nice, it can be used to get some sand. Just dig it with your shovel and you'll get two piles. Now, pick the sand and use it. You will make a sandstone. Using three of them, you can make a soil plot, which is all like tray, except you can walk over it, and there are no lights. Sandstone has another use: you can build a door with 10.

You can also order additional hydroponics trays at cargo.

Wood and drying racks

First you need to get some tower-caps, grown them and harvest them. You can then use hatchet (and some other things, but it's not important) on the logs to chop some planks. They have many uses: you can make chairs, tables, wooden floors and so on. An unique thing here is a drying rack. You can use it to dry a plant, and then smoke it. First, build a rack with 10 planks. Then, grab a plant you want to dry and put it in the rack. Give it a few seconds and it's done.

Note: you can dry any plant, and smoking it will give you all chemicals that were in it. You can smoke dried apples if you want, and get nutriment from them.

Seed Storage

Once you use the extractor to extract seeds from the fruits of your labor, you can use the extractor to store and organize your seeds. Every seed is organized by and has its' properties displayed, so it's helpful to go back to the extractor every so often and throw away the seeds that are not as evolved as your recent strains.

Things you can make out of your plants

  • Add some cable to a potato to make a potato battery.
  • Glowberries and glowshrooms, as the name suggests, glow.
  • You can carve a pumpkin with a hatchet.
  • You can make a cob-pipe out of a corn cob.
  • Flowers and ambrosia can be worn on your head.