Nutrient Solution Temperature is Important
One of the most overlooked, but most important aspects of your hydroponic system is the water/nutrient solution temperature.
Plants grow in soil in nature, and the ground is a natural insulator against the heat and the cold. However, our Hydroponic containers are usually at the same temperature as the surroundings (ambient temperature).
What Should the temperature be?
The optimum Nutrient solution temperature for most plants is between 20 to 24 Celsius. While this is the most favorable condition possible, you don’t really need to start being concerned unless the water temperatures begin to reach 27 Celsius. Post this we’ll have a big problem and the plants will not be able to absorb the nutrients and will eventually die!
Problems resulting from high nutrient solution temperature
High nutrient solution temperatures will cause a variety of problems for your hydroponic plants. Water temperature too far above the optimum range will begin to cause heat stress for the plants, and extremely high temps will cause the plant to ultimately shut.
Roots subjected to high nutrient solution temperatures shut down and go into survival mode. Some of the symptoms include wilting, causing the plants to abort fruiting and dropping flowers, soft and/or brown spots on already existing fruit, lettuce plants to start bolting (elongate and go to seed), low dissolved oxygen levels, roots beginning to get slimy, roots turning black and dying.
Root Zone Temperatures
These are important if you’re using any of our static systems – like the Pindpipe or the Pindpipe Scala Nino – and that’s because the roots hang directly down into the nutrient solution (reservoir) all the time and hence It’s just as important to keep the environment of where the roots are located (root zone) comfortable for the plants all the time, not just while the water/nutrient solution is being applied.
With all other types of hydroponic systems ( the Scala One and the Scala Two) the root zone and nutrient reservoir are separated and hence the temperature of the nutrients is more important.
Cooling your Nutrient Solution
Using Ice (Duh – so simple!)
Using ice to cool your nutrient solution is probably the easiest thing to do, but it has many drawbacks. First, you want to make sure the water the ice is made from is good quality water because when it melts, it will be part of your nutrient solution. You can freeze it in plastic bottles or zip lock bags so when it melts it won’t mix with your nutrients to add a chill pack.
Other Methods – Just keep your system indoors where you sit (and where you keep the air-conditioning on!)
Chillers / geothermal coils / Insulators etc.. – Too expensive for when you start. Writing a new blog for people with a little more experience!
Som – ‘The Pindfresh Guy’