Importants of Ph in Hydroponics

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Importants of Ph in Hydroponics


 
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The Importants of PhPH stands for Potential Hydrogen. All Hydroponic nutrient solutions need to be kept at the proper PH if they are to be used by the plants.
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RGJ Power guides you thru the importance of Ph levels in your hydroponic nutrient solution so you can get the best out of your hydroponic system.
  • What is Ph?
  • Why is Ph important?
  • How can I fix the Ph level?
  • Are there digital meters available?


  • Learn all about Ph for your Hydroponic system below....
    Introduction to Ph or Potential Hydrogen

    PH stands for Potential Hydrogen. All Hydroponic nutrient solutions need to be kept at the proper PH level if they are to be used by the plants. All the Hydroponic nutrients in the world will do a plant no good if it cannot absorb them easily. A major factor in determining a plantís ability to uptake Hydroponic nutrients is the relative acidity, or PH (Potential Hydrogen) of the Hydroponic growing medium or Hydroponic solution from which they feed.

    PH is measured on a scale of 1-14 and represents the concentration of hydrogen ions in solution. Generally, it is used to determine whether a Hydroponic solution is acidic or basic. A 1 on the scale represents a low ion concentration or acid. Pure water has a balance of Hydrogen and Hydroxyl ions. Pure water is considered neutral at a pH of 7. A 14 on the scale represents the highest concentration of ions (basic, alkaline).

    Some Hydroponic nutrients may become unavailable to the plant if the Hydroponic nutrient solution PH drifts from an optimal reading, which for most plants is between 5.5 and 6.5. This condition is called nutrient lockout. If you regularly monitor the PH and the PPM (parts per million) of the Hydroponic nutrient solution you will have the ability to make corrections to your Hydroponic solution for optimum plant growth.

    An unusually high PH will decrease the availability of Iron, Manganese, Boron, Copper, Zinc and Phosphorus. A PH that is too low will reduce the availability of Potassium, Sulphur, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus. PH is one of the most important factors in Hydroponic gardening. It makes your nutrients available to your plants. If you are feeding your plants from a recirculation nutrient tank change the nutrient solution every 10 to 14 days and stop all nutrients 3 to 14 days before harvesting edible plants or fruits.

    You can use any leftover Hydroponic solution to water your house plants or other outside yard plants. The PH in your nutrients can change as plants uptake what they need from the Hydroponic solution and it returns into the tank. Normally the PH in your Hydroponic nutrient solution will go higher as the Hydroponic nutrients are utilized by the plants. When you add Hydroponic nutrients to your tank the PH usually will go down.

    There are several products on the market that you can use to quickly and easily adjust the PH in your Hydroponic tank up or down as needed. We like to use PH up and PH down by Earth Juice. It is simple and clean and uses all natural ingredients to change the PH in either direction. The PH up uses crystallized potassium bicarbonate and the PH down uses crystallized citric acid.

    Both these dry products work extremely well and you only use a tiny bit to make the PH changes in your Hydroponic nutrient tank so it really goes a long way. We would rather use these simple natural dry products then some of the more caustic liquid PH adjusters out there. Read further to see how simple it can be to check the PH of your Hydroponic nutrients with Ph meters and make the simple adjustments to it.

    How to Test Ph

    The PH in Hydroponic Nutrients solutions can be easily checked and monitored with a simple PH tester like this one. There are many models and price ranges of PH meters available.

    This is one of the least expensive models by Milwaukee and it works great every time. It has a single calibration setting that makes it super easy to use. Ours has been set once and has never had to be readjusted since. To check that the pH meter is calibrated correctly you just remove the black cap and put it in a little 7.01 PH solution that comes with the unit. If it reads 7.0 it is calibrated correctly and ready to use.

    Even that does not have to be done with our unit very often because it always remains the same. It is very accurate at giving the PH readings in the Hydroponic solutions.

    This is also a great PH meter for testing water quality as well as all Hydroponic solutions. You just turn it on and dip it into your Hydroponic nutrient solution and stir. It has a range of 0.0 to 14.0 and you can even use it to test the PH in soils. To test soils just mix 2 parts of distilled water with 1 part of soil. Stir this mix and let the soil settle. Then test this water to get the PH value of your soil.

    Digital Ph meters have a very fast reading response and are very easy to use. Nrmally, a Ph meter will come with its own batteries and they are supposed to last up to 700 hours. A digital Ph meter makes every Hydroponic gardener's job much easier and is a must have tool for all Hydroponic nutrient solutions




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