Once set up, your hydroponic system may not need as much constant vigilance as a traditional garden would. That said, there are some areas of your system that you need to check to ensure success. Sure, you’ll check out the roots to see how your plants are growing. But you’ll also need to look at the device feeding the roots—the reservoir. Here’s our quick guide on how to maintain your hydroponic reservoir. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success!
Pay Attention to Temperature
The temperature of your nutrient solution is important. When temperatures get too high, then the dissolved oxygen levels from the aerators go down. We’ve talked about this before, but if there’s not enough oxygen in the water, that can lead to drowned roots. Try your best to keep your nutrient solution between 65–75 degrees.
Change Out the Water
Stagnant water is not helpful water. When it comes to hydroponic reservoir water, how often you change the water depends on the system and your preference. There are tons of opinions, so it’s best to try and find the path that works for you. Some people recommend weekly or biweekly nutrient solution changes. Some can even hold off for a week or two longer. The more you work with the system, the more you’ll find a process that works for you.
Use an EC Meter
An EC meter will become one of your best friends when it comes to maintaining your hydroponic reservoir. These meters will give you an idea of the amount of fertilizer within the water. Remember, plants don’t take in nutrients at the same rate, so if you “top off” your system (adding some solution to the reservoir), then that can cause a build-up of certain minerals. When you change out the solution entirely and use an EC meter, you’ll help maintain the nutrients.
Ensure Proper Aeration
As we mentioned, roots can drown and rot if they’re not given enough oxygen. Keep that from happening by ensuring proper aeration for your reservoir. If you consistently run into this issue, then you could even add in an extra air stone. This will help maintain a higher amount of dissolved oxygen for the plants.
Get a Filter and Clean It
If you don’t have a filter for your system yet, then add one now! Filters help prevent plant matter and debris from getting into the reservoir itself. This will reduce your cleaning rate—a major help in maintaining the system. However, don’t forget to clean the filter often so that there’s no pesky build-up.
Set up a Regular pH Check System
Probably one of the most important tips on how to maintain your hydroponic reservoir has to do with its pH system. If the pH levels are off, that creates issues for the root systems and the plants. We suggest, especially for beginner hydroponic gardeners, setting up a system for how often you’ll check pH levels—keep track of them too! Typically, pH ranges should be between 5.5–6.5.
Hopefully, this guide provides you with the information you need to keep your reservoir in good condition. If you need equipment for your system, turn to FloraFlex. We also offer powder fertilizer for hydroponics so that you can truly create the best nutrient solution for your plants. Shop our collections now!