pH EC TDS Measurement in Hydroponics


The pH is the measure of Hydrogen ions concentration in the Nutrient Solution. On a scale, if the pH is 7, then the Nutrient solution is Neutral, and if pH is less than seven then it is acidic and more than 7 is in the range of basic.

ph meter

How to use a pH meter

I– The Plain water must check before the addition of fertilizers. The pH must take into account where it can quickly find. If the water behaves the same in the future concerning the pH, then it is easier to make a formula of using the same fertilizer with no need to measure it.

II– All fertilizers can be added and mixed well. Amounts should note for future reference.

III– A clean pH pen should be calibrated to 7.0, which corresponds to the pH reading of the calibration solution.

IV– The pen should be immersed in the solution and, a higher or lower pH should be added until the reading is between 5.5 and 6.5. In many cases, when using chemical fertilizers, the pH to drop. Therefore, raising the pH to a higher number like 6.5 will allow it to be in the desired range until it falls.

V– The electrodes must rinse with clean water before storing the reader.

pH Up – Weak base
An example of a high pH product is Greenfire Natural Up. There are infinite pH solutions available wherever garden supplies are available. The use of diet combinations that do not increase the pH level means that little or no pH is required.

pH Down – Weak acid
An example of an organic pH drop is Earth Juice Natural Down. Vinegar also works very well. There are many pH down brands available.

Writing down the amount of rising or falling pH that is added (for future reference) is an excellent method of assembling an identical solution in the future.

pH Drift

The pH should check daily and adjusted if necessary, as many fertilized solutions will increase or decrease considerably in less than 24 hours.

Organic fertilizers tend to increase the pH after mixing and can continue to do so for a day or up to a few days after mixing the solution. Adding molasses and avoiding certain fertilizers can minimize the pH drift in a solution (organic or chemical-organic).

Preparing an organic (or chemical-organic) solution a day or two in advance with molasses (11/2 ml/gallon of water) helps to combat the increase in pH.

2- TDS

TDS means the total dissolved solvents in the Nutrient Solution. A TDS meter measures electrical conductivity in precisely the same way as an EC meter. Still, it merely uses a built-in conversion factor to display the concentration of the nutrient solution in ppm. It is these “conversion factors” that make up the proverbial worm box. They can vary considerably from one meter to another.

How to use TDS Meter

I– The electrodes of the TDS meter should be rinsed with clean or distilled water, or with isopropyl alcohol, and then with water. A Q point also helps to rub the electrodes without residue.

II– The device should now be immersed in a calibration solution (1000 PPM). A small container or the protective cap around the electrodes serves as a place to hold the calibration solution.

III– The calibration dial should be rotated until the reading indicates the calibration solution (I.e., 1000 PPM). Some meters come with a calibration screwdriver, while others require a small screwdriver.

IV– The electrodes should be cleaned again with a Q tip and clean water.

V– The meter should be submerged in the tank after adding the fertilizer.

VI– Fertilizer or water should be added to adjust the PPM reading between 1000 and 1500 PPM.

How to adjust PPM

If the PPM is higher than desired, adding water can dilute the solution in the desired PPM range. The meter is really useless for determining the appropriate quantities of an organic or chemical-organic solution, but it is a good reference meter.

Hopefully, your water source is close to 0 PPM so that water is not stored with unwanted PPM, limiting the amount of fertilizer that can be added to a solution. Many relatively inexpensive products, such as reverse osmosis machines and distillers, remove unwanted dissolved solids from the water supply.

Note: PPM readings should only be used as a reference for changing solutions, as they do not read the actual parts per million of a solution. The calculation of parts per million for a particular fertilizer or article is best done with a small mathematical and chemical calculation.

Most meters are priced below $ 100. They measure PPM on a scale of 100 (i.e. 100, 500, 1,000, 1,100). For most people, these meters do the trick. However, there are expensive counters that measure a wide variety of items in a solution. These tools are intended for experienced hydroponic farmers.

3- EC

The amount of nutrients dissolved in nutritious water is represented by the EC value of the water. EC stands for electrical conductivity and describes the electrical conductivity of the liquid. The more nutrients and impurities in the water are dissolved in ionic form, the higher the EC value.

ec meter

How to measure the EC Value

I– The EC value is more comfortable to measure with a digital EC meter.

II– The EC digital meter should be calibrated regularly, approximately once every two months.

III– The EC meter is calibrated using an EC calibration solution, or a calibration fluid called an EC calibration buffer.

IV– Immerse the reader’s head in the calibration solution and adjust the reader to the number indicated by the calibration fluid, which is generally 2.8.

How to adjust EC Value

The EC value changes according to the amount of fertilizer added and used by plants growing in the nutrient mix.

I– To reduce the EC value, clean water is added to the water tank.

II– To increase the EC value, nutrients are added to the water tank.

III– If the EC value of water increases over time, it is a sign that plants cannot use nutrients in the water. This may be due to incorrect nutrients or the poor pH value of the water.

How You can utilize EC Levels

Avoid excessive or insufficient fertilization: more fertilizer is not equal, neither faster nor more significant increase. Too much fertilizer in the vegetative stage actually slows growth. If you realize EC levels are high, add a little water to dilute the nutrient solution.

If the EC levels are too low, there are not enough nutrients in the water for the plant to absorb them reach their full growth potential. You will need to mix certain nutrients and supplement your tank or vacuum and make a complete solution change.

Increase the production of antioxidants: although this can have an effect on the size and amount of fruit produced, increasing EC levels can lead to the product creating more antioxidants.

Increase water availability: reducing EC levels on a hot day can increase the amount of water the plant can absorb.

Here are the EC and PH meters which I have used

EC meter is 35672 TE

And pH meter is low cost meter called ATC

Read more about hydroponics

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