Category Archives: Nutrient Solutions

Maximizing yields per area in hydroponics

Since the 1940's hydroponics - which I use to talk about a broad variety of soilless growing methods - have promised to deliver better plant yields than soil culture with less water usage and higher fertilizer efficiency. However there are many different types of soilless cultures that vary in their initial cost, media used, irrigation…
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Managing a Run To Waste (RTW) hydroponic crop from a nutritional perspective

Today it's very common to create hydroponic crops using techniques where nutrient solution is not recycled. This type of crop, commonly called drain-to-waste (DTW) or run-to-waste (RTW) offers the advantage of having a very cheap setup - since no recirculation is used - with the big disadvantage that nutrient control becomes harder as there is…
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Measuring ion concentrations in hydroponics using electronic tongues

One of the biggest problems in hydroponic research is the measuring of individual ion levels in hydroponic solutions. Right now there is no commercial solution for the accurate tracking of individual ions in hydroponic solutions and this makes it impossible to track ions in real-time to measure how nutrient absorption reacts to different environmental and…
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Do you really need to be using RO water?

One of the most common practices in hydroponics is to use reverse osmosis (RO) water in order to create your hydroponic nutrient solutions. This water is made by running another water source - most commonly tap water - through a reverse osmosis system that removes a very large portion of the ions within the initial…
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Hydroponic micro and macro nutrient sufficiency ranges

When you want to prepare a nutrient solution one of the first things you want to know is which concentration ranges are appropriate for the growth of the specific plant specie you want to cultivate. You will definitely want to make sure that you do not feed either too much or too little of any…
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What is the effect of chloride in hydroponics?

I recently wrote a post about the effect of sodium ions in hydroponics and how it is important to keep an eye on sodium levels due to the potentially negative effects they can have on plants. However you may have noticed that sodium is never added alone into nutrient solutions and there is always a…
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Some things you should know about sodium in hydroponics

Sodium is a ubiquitous element, you can find it in your tap water, in the sea and in most eatable foods. It is also necessary for animal life where it plays a key role in many biological processes. However - despite its overwhelming abundance - sodium is in fact not required for plant life in…
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Using UV sterilization in your recirculating hydroponic crop

In general most growers want their hydroponic setups to remain fairly sterile. This is because maintaining a sterile environment discourages problems such as algae growth and can eliminate bacterial and fungal problems even before they appear. This is especially important in recirculating hydroponic setups where algae can cause important nutrient balance issues within hydroponic solutions and root…
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What is an ORP meter and why is it useful in hydroponics?

Hydroponic growers are used to using pH and EC meters to control their growing conditions but very few use ORP meters in order to learn more about their nutrient solution. An ORP meter can give you very useful information and cheap ORP meters can usually be bought on ebay or amazon for less than 20 dollars…
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Nitrate, Ammonium and pH in hydroponics

The stability and variability of pH in hydroponic solutions has always been a complicated topic to discuss. There are many reasons why pH may change in a hydroponic system, ranging from the media being used, the micro-organisms present and the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. However the most agressive contributing factor in a healthy…
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