You don't need a whole lot to get started in hydroponics — just a plant and some nutrients and you can even experiment with your own mix of nutrients. It's helpful to have a conductivity meter to have some idea of how strong your nutrient mix is but once you have that you're pretty much good to go.
The picture here is of a system I used to grow tomatoes inside in my home office over one Winter. After a while they grew so large I decided that when the Spring came to retire the system and took it outdoors. Here I'm spreading the root mat that had developed over the several months the system was growing indoors. The system itself was just a simple wick system. A wick system just starts by putting rags or strings or anything that will "wick" nutrient up to the plant. It isn't long before the roots follow the moisture down into the nutrient solution and the wick itself become somewhat superfluous. The roots themselves form a fine webbing that draws nutrient up to the plant. It's quite a fascinating thing.