When it comes to hydroponic gardening, maintaining proper pH levels is essential for the healthy growth of plants.
If the hydroponic solution is too acidic or alkaline, plants will not absorb minerals from the water solution.
However, worry not as there are tools like pH Meter and pH up and down to measure the pH of the nutrient solution.
It’s crucial to understand the level of pH that your intended crops thrive under. After that, you can adjust it accordingly.
Hydroponic gardening is not similar to soil gardening, where many microbial activities happen and assist in nutrient uptake and pH balance.
How to pH Up And down in Hydroponics?
If the pH levels are too high and your plant requires acidic conditions, use vinegar and ammonium nitrate to lower it. If you desire an alkaline condition, use products like calcium salt to increase the pH. If you’re unsure what pH levels your plants thrive under, maintain the general pH level between 5.5 and 7.
Tips on How to pH Up and Down in Hydroponics
Determine your plants thriving PH levels
At what level of pH does your plant thrive best?
On a scale of zero to fourteen, do the plants grow best when the pH is near one (most acidic), near seven (neutral), or near fourteen (more alkaline)?
This will guide you on whether to pH up or down.
Measure pH levels of the hydroponic solution
Now that you know the PH condition necessary for your plant, the next step is to determine the pH levels of the hydroponic solution.
If you are on a budget, visit a garden center and get yourself a test strip or a liquid test kit. However, the digital pH meter is more accurate and hence the most recommended tool.
Whichever tool you decide to use, regular testing is recommended if you keep adjusting the nutrient levels daily.
Keep your daily records to determine with certainty the pH level or the hydroponic.
Depending on the result and your plant requirements, you will adjust the pH levels accordingly.
pH Up or down the hydroponics
There are household and commercial products that can assist in regulating the pH to the desired level.
How does your pH go up?
If your hydroponic is acidic and your plants thrive under alkaline conditions, there is the need to increase the pH levels.
You can use home-based products like baking soda and potassium carbonate to raise the pH level. Regularly add these products as you measure the changes in pH until you achieve the desired level.
Similarly, if you wish to pH down as the conditions are a bit alkaline, hence not suitable for your plants that thrive under acidic conditions, some products can help you achieve that.
The most common products for lowering the pH are sulfur and aluminum sulfate. They are the best choices for fast and effective results as they are highly soluble and contain acidic elements.
Start adding in small quantities until you achieve the desired level for your plants.
If the product you are using is in solution form, take about 2ml of it and add it to your nutrient solution.
Then stir and wait for about half an hour and test the pH level. Repeat the process until you achieve the desired range for your products.
How to Naturally Adjust the pH of a Hydroponic Garden
If you do not have a pH up and down, there are a few ways that you can employ to regulate the hydroponic pH levels.
The use of household products like citric acid can be used to pH down, while baking soda raises the pH levels.
The only shortcoming with the use of such products is that they lack the pH buffer available in commercial products, and hence they have a short-term effect.
Why Do pH Levels In The Hydroponic System Change
When the solution in the hydroponic system drops below one gallon
When the solution drops too low, the remaining amount will become highly concentrated and as the plants uptake the nutrients, it will result in fluctuations in the pH levels of the solution.
Thus, always ensure the tank remains full and regularly test its pH levels.
Presence of organic and inorganic matter
The presences of inorganic matter like gravel are like catalysts raising the level of the pH.
To get the same pH levels, test the tank solution and the solution that drains the crops. Both might have different pH levels.
When it comes to organic matter, algae and bacteria play a significant role in altering the pH.
If the solution tests alkaline morning hours, while late in the evening, they are low; the change is likely to be impacted by the presence of the organic.
This is because the organic matter consumes carbon dioxide, which is acidic during the day, resulting in high pH, while in the evening, it decreases.
Similarly, the presence of bacteria resulting from root diseases causes a drastic decrease in the level of pH.
As the roots decompose and die, the bacterium releases acids into the solution, lowering the pH levels.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to pH Up and Down in Hydroponics
Will baking soda raise the PH of the hydroponic solution?
Baking soda is a naturally alkaline home product. Adding it to the hydroponic solution will raise the pH levels and alkalinity. If you wish to maintain your alkalinity, it is best to use soda ash.
Why does the pH keep rising in hydroponic solution?
Adding acidic nutrients to the reservoir usually causes pH levels to rise. As the plants consume acidic nutrients, the resultant reaction is a rise in pH levels.
How do you raise pH levels in the hydroponic solution?
For a short-term change, you can use home-based products like vinegar and citric acid. Alternatively, you can go for a pH up and pH down tool to regulate the pH level of the solution.
How do you measure a hydroponic solution’s pH?
Take about 2ml of the solution from the reservoir and use the necessary tools like pH up and down to determine pH levels. Also, take the solution dropping to the plants in the same quantities and measure the pH levels. The reading from the two tests tells you the next step to take.
Several factors are affecting your decision to pH up or down.
These factors include the type of crop to plant and the hydroponic solution’s current pH levels.
By understanding and considering these factors, you will regulate the PH to the desired level for the crops.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.