Seriously dont understand hydroponics...HELP!!!

I have very small plants growing in the top half of a gatorade bottle. I want to grow them hydroponically though using the wick method or the hand water bucket method ( ), but I dont understand how either of these would work for small seedlings. The setup needs to be for plants that are going to get very large. For the wick method, would I need to make the wick longer for shorter roots, or is it okay to grow seedlings in a 5 gallon bucket with the wick sticking one inch up into the bucket? Or do I need to do it different? And whats the best medium that I can just find around the house?
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