Ph of water is one of the most overlooked aspects of hydroponic gardening, must be pH testing of your solution; the pH is measured to a scale of one to fourteen, seven being neutral.
Ph tests acids and alkaline water, acids are lower than seven while alkali are above seven, while pure water neutral (seven) on the scale, such as distilled water or for that mater the water thats condenses in the back of your fridge, which is also distilled.
WHYS pH WATER TESTING IMPORTANT?
ph of water
All plant prefer slightly deferent ph values, but generally anything between 5.5 and 6.2 would be considered ok for any particular hydroponic plant.
In hydroponic systems the pH can quickly move and become far more alkaline, when pH of water moves up to above seven, some of the nutrients and micro nutrients begin to precipitate out of your solution and can stick to the walls of the nutrient reservoir, as the waters used or evaporates out.
Once water nutrients start to precipitate out you’ll start to notice changes in foliage colour, a yellowing maybe round the veins of leafs, your plants will come more susceptible to diseases and insects as their cell walls weaken.
PH OF WATER-FOR HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS
pH Values For Different Hydroponic Crops
Hydroponic ph gardening chart guide
pH solution checking
Checking the pH of your water solution is fairly easy, there are several ways to check the pH of the nutrient solution in your hydroponic system.
Ph testing strips and solution
Test strips-litmus paper are the cheapest way to checking values, although the slit color change on the paper when testing makes them hard to read, but will gives you a good ball point figure to work with.
LIQUID TEST KITS
Liquid testing kits are a better way to test the ph of water solution, giving a far more accurate result than paper strips, the kits work by adding dye to your nutrient solution, and then comparing the results to a colour chart, although more expensive than test strip the liquid kits are more accurate and easer to read.
PH WATER METER
PH meters are the easiest way to check especially if you require regular ph of water checking, meters come in all shapes and sizes and prices very wildly too, from as little as fifteen pound for a ph pen to as much as eighty. Called something like, the wand “bloody should be swell for that price” Theses pH digital meters are very easy to use, all that’s needed on your part is to dip the electrode in the solution,wait for a minute and hey presto.
PH METER CARE
ph pen calibration
These meters do require some care and maintaining, some meters need calibrating before each use, while others need there glass electrodes instruments to be kept wet with a special solution at all times when not in use, but whichever you use their all very sensitive instruments that need proper care, even when you’re in a rush.
Some pH meters that are out on the market have Automatic Temperature Compensation, that compensate for the different in temperature from one reading to another, if your module does not have this feature then pH testing needs checking at the same time each day to minimize any fluctuations in readings. And all need cleaning after each use to, what’s mainly recommended a quick dip in some pure water after each use.
Due to the fact that pH instruments have a reputation of breaking down it’s always a good idea to have a manual way of checking pH (paper test strips or a liquid pH test kit),for the day when you will need them.
pH Down is 81% phosphoric acid and pH Up is 24% potassium hydroxide
PH UP SOLUTION
Most pH up solutions has about twenty four % potassium hydroxide, which is for growers that live in very hard water areas.
PH DOWN SOLUTION
ph down soulution
PH down solutions generally have between 30% to 80% phosphoric acid, citric acid from fruits is sometimes used in organic gardening to lower pH
BUFFER SOLUTION hydroponic ph buffer solutionBuffer solutions are basically water with a known ph value, that’s used to keep your ph meter calibrated, normally two or three solutions (4)(neutral 7) (and 8)are kept to one side. I check mine every two weeks…some times a little longer than that too.
Growers that live in very hard water areas, such as me, may need to use a lot of pH down if so then do use Nitric acid, because using lots of phosphoric acid will cause nutrient lock out, Nitric Acid will also provide extra Nitrogen to your plant
SOME OF THESE LIQUIDS CAN BE VERY DANGERS IF THEY ARE NOT HANDLED PROPERLY
STORE LIQUIDS UNDER LOCK AND KEY
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN
ALWAYS WEAR GOGGLES GLOVES AND APPROPRIATE CLOTHING
NEVER MIX CHEMICALS TOGETHER.