Hydroponics is a great resource for water conservation. The nutrient solution is reclaimed and recirculated over time so very little is wasted to run-off or lost to evaporation.
13. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO GROWING HYDROPONICALLY?
Hydroponics has many benefits. You feed the plants directly with synthetic fertilizers so the plants grow bigger faster. You waste very little water with hydroponics. You can grow anywhere.
14. WHAT IS PH?
pH is the measure of how acidic or basic something is. A pH of 7 is neutral and anything under 7 is acidic anything over is basic/alkaline. pH is measured on a scale of 0-14.
15. WHAT IS THE BEST PH FOR MY PLANTS?
The best pH for growing plants hydroponically is between 5.5-6.5 with the ideal range being 5.7-6.3.
16. HOW DOES PH AFFECT MY PLANTS GROWTH?
pH affects plant growth by making the nutrients available for absorption. Certain nutrients are more readily available at certain pH levels.
17. HOW OFTEN DO I CHECK THE PH LEVEL?
Ideally you will check your pH everyday or multiple times a day. Once you have learned how the system runs you may be able to check the pH every few days. It should always be maintained.
18. IS WATER QUALITY IMPORTANT IN HYDROPONICS?
Water quality is important in hydroponics to make sure you get the most out of the plants. Hardwater and well water have high amount of minerals that could build up and damage the plants. Reverse Osmosis or de-chlorinating filters are helpful for cleaning impurities out of water.
19. IS WATER TEMPERATURE IMPORTANT IN HYDROPONICS?
Yes it is important. The best water temperature is 60-73 degrees. Anything above or below these numbers may result in root problems or bacterial infections.
20. WHAT DO I USE TO CHECK THE PH LEVEL?
The easiest way is to purchase a digital pH meter. Once calibrated it will give you an accurate digital read out. You can also use pH test strips or a liquid drop test kit. These last two options are much more cost effective but less accurate.
21. WHAT IS TDS, EC, AND PPM?
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Parts Per Million (PPM) are measuring the strength of your nutrient or fertilizer solution.
22. IS IT BETTER TO USE TDS OR EC TO MEASURE MY NUTRIENT SOLUTION?
EC is a more universal way of measuring and is technically more accurate. PPM is common in the United States and often is an easier form of reading the measurement.
23. CAN YOU CONVERT READINGS BETWEEN EC AND TDS/PPM?
Yes but this calculation will be approximate. To obtain the calculation for TDS, multiply the EC reading by 1000 and divide by 2. To obtain EC value, multiply the PPM reading by 2 and divide by 1000.
24. HOW DO YOU CONVERT BETWEEN EC AND TDS AGAIN?
If EC is 1. 1x1000/2 = 500 PPM
If PPM is 500. 500x2/1000 = 1 EC
25. WHAT ARE SOME COMMON PROBLEMS WITH HYDROPONICS?
A few common problems people have are with the pH, ppm, timers, pumps and if indoors the lights not powerful enough or too close to the plants. Make sure to always maintain pH between 5.5-6.5 and feed according to feed chart or PPM/EC. Always plug electrical equipment in properly.
26. DO I NEED TO CLEAN MY HYDROPONICS SYSTEM?
You should always try and keep your system as clean as possible. Always clean system fully after every harvest and intermittently as needed if salt or algae build up.
27. WHAT IS THE BEST THING TO CLEAN MY HYDROPONIC SYSTEM?
The best option for cleaning your system is to use Hydrogen Peroxide, hot water, soap and maybe a salt leaching solution if need be. Rinse thoroughly to wash off any residue that may be left behind by cleaning products. For this reason bleach is not recommended as it can be harmful to plants.
28. HOW EXPENSIVE IS A HYDROPONICS SYSTEM?
There are many types and sizes of hydroponics systems. They can range is price from a $30.00 single plant system to several thousand dollars for a more elaborate commercial system. After the initial price of the system the maintenance cost is relatively low.
29. WHAT FERTILIZERS DO I USE IN MY HYDROPONICS SYSTEM?
There are many brands to chose from when it comes to hydroponic fertilizers. The best choice will be something that is synthetic and contains very low salt. This will help keep the system clean and insure the highest quality of your crop.