Monitoring Ph Levels & Tds In Hydroponics Growing
The pH Balance
The delicate balance of pH is a key factor when forecasting the potential growth of a hydroponic system. The pH level can alter a plant’s growth based on what nutrients are available. When the nutrient solution or soil is too acidic or too alkaline, plants are unable to effectively utilize essential nutrients. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14. Maintain an ideal pH of 5.6 for your nutrient solution for proper optimum performance. The slightest deviation from the ideal pH can affect the entire system’s balance. Hence, monitor the pH level of your soil at all times using a product such as the Nutra-Dip pH meter, which you can simply plug into your wall for continuous reading.
TDS Testing of Nutrient Source
TDS testing is used to determine the quality of water or your nutrient solution. This test measures the dissolved ions in a water sample and can assess a potential water source for use in a hydroponic system. Check the TDS content of your system using a portable tool such as the Hanna HI9813-6 or Nutra-Dip TDS. Sometimes, it may be cumbersome to use different meters to test the pH and TDS. What you need is a combination product such as the Gro-Chek Combo that allows you to check pH and TDS using a single unit.
• Mineral deposits on the pH electrode can affect the accuracy of your readings. Use a good pH storage solution to protect your electrodes.
• Remember to calibrate your meters on a regular basis, as the sensing membrane degrades with age and use.
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Hydroponics involves providing plants with adequate water, oxygen, and nutrients in balanced quantities. To maintain this balance you should monitor the levels of pH and total dissolved solids (TDS) of the nutrient solution or soil you use.
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