Seeing the same water in your hydroponic basin for days or weeks at a time may concern you—but it’s completely normal! How often you should change water for hydroponics differs based on the size of your hydroponic garden and the results of regular pH tests. We’ll look at the regular and irregular water changes you’ll need to execute for healthy plants.
Full Water Changes
Your water tank will require full, regular water changes—but changing it too often can shock and endanger the plants. The best time to change your hydroponic water entirely is after you’ve topped it off enough times to fill it fully. For an average-size hydroponic system, you’ll likely need to change your water every two to three weeks. However, with smaller hydroponic containers, there will be a shorter time interval. As you change the water, wash out the tank with clean scrubbers and plant-friendly solutions.
Topping Off Your Tank
As we mentioned, topping your tank off with extra water will suit your plants just fine until you need to fully change the water. Take care that the water isn’t too different from the water you placed in the tank originally as to not shock the plants. In other words, all your water should be from the same source. Adding water to the tank should balance the pH levels, which unbalance themselves over time.
Water levels will go down at different speeds based on the environment they’re in and the lighting in the room. Hotter lights mean more water evaporation—consider this when figuring out how often you should change water for hydroponics. Top off your tank every couple of days.
Abnormal Full Changes
Other times you’ll need to fully change your water depend on the health of your plants. Watch for some of these issues:
If leaves start yellowing despite clean water, you may have a pH issue. Before you top off your tank, do a quick pH test and track it in a log. Keeping note of pH imbalances can save your plants down the line. If there’s a severe imbalance, fully change the water—perhaps with a new water source. Different plants require different pH levels, so take care to fit their needs.
Algae and Bacteria
Though the system itself is healthy for your garden, due to how a hydroponic drip irrigation kit works, your water tank will need to be directly below your plants. The proximity of your plants to the water may cause harmful bacteria or algae to build in your tank, resulting in plant disease if left untreated. If this occurs, you’ll need to fully change the water and clean the tank. Staying on schedule with water changes will often prevent any gunk buildup.
Whenever you swap fertilizer, whether it’s to a new brand or for a new growing phase, change out the whole tank’s water. Old nutrients will cause problems for your plants if left in the basin.