EC Ranges & Temperature in Hydroponics

EC Ranges & Temperature in Hydroponics

If you have been growing indoors under grow lights using a hydroponic system or in coco coir grow pots, you should have a basic understanding of mixing hydroponic nutrients and additives correctly.

One thing thats not talked about enough is the effect that temperature has on your plants root zone, pH and EC which, can severely limit a plants ability to uptake nutrients. 

(We understand not everyone has the budget for an EC or pH meter straight away, if this is the case, you can buy manual pH testing kits for around $10. As far as reading the EC level goes, if you stay within the recommended dosages on the bottles you'll be fine)

To adjust the pH of a nutrient solution you'll need to use pH up or pH down.

Most nutrient brands if used correctly will come very close to achieving the correct pH and EC range without any further alteration to the solution, one thing that will alter this is the starting pH of your water source. 

Here is quick guide for those that wish to fine tune their hydroponic nutrient mix for a better outcome.

The pH ranges for hydroponic nutrients in the growing phase are 5.5 – 5.9

The pH ranges for hydroponic nutrients in the bloom phase are 5.9 – 6.3

The EC ranges for hydroponic nutrients in the growing phase are 0.6 – 1.6 

The EC ranges for hydroponic nutrients in the bloom phase are 1.6 – 2.4 

If the pH is outside of these suggested ranges, uptake of specific nutrients is limited, this usually leads to a nutrient deficiency which impacts plant growth and cell development.

Moving onto Temperature. Not environmental temperature, we assume you already have this taken care of. This is about the temperature of your water and the temperature of your root-zone.

If the temperature of your water or hydroponic nutrient solution is below 19 degrees Centigrade, your plants will lose the ability to uptake specific nutrients as their metabolism is shutting down. The same thing goes for the root zone temperature in your grow pot, you must maintain 19-22c for consumption of nutrients to carry on. 

If the temperature is too low and it is not addressed for a few days your plants will think that it is the end of season, and subsequently start to die. Think of Autumn and Winter outside, most plants and trees leaves start to change colours and eventually drop off.

Writing a journal or taking daily notes of temps/pH/EC is highly recommended, data can be referred back to if its logged, our memory isn't as good as we think it is so always record the information and date it and you'll be able to do something about any unexpected changes in growth.

Most importantly have fun with your new passion project, and keep reading and learning about the crops you're growing, you can never know enough. 


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