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Maintaining a Consistent Reservoir Temperature in your Grow Room

Keep the temperature of your hydroponics reservoir right on target for the best growing results. Keep the temperature of your hydroponics reservoir right on target for the best growing results.

 

For hydroponic growers one of the most influential parameters affecting the garden’s performance is the temperature of the nutrient reservoir. Growers of high-value plants understand the importance of maintaining a consistent room temperature but many fail to understand the importance of the nutrient reservoir’s temperature.

In most hydroponic systems the ideal operating temperature is 68-72 degrees F. Some of the ultra-oxygenated systems, like high-pressure aeropoincs and fog, will actually have a warmer ideal operating temperature ranging from 72-80 degrees F.

Plants in hydroponic systems where the temperature runs above the desired temperature range will slow in growth because the limited amount of dissolved oxygen in the solution hinders nutrient uptake.

Also, as reservoir temperatures rise above 75 degrees F they are increasingly susceptible to anaerobic pathogens such as pythium.

Plants grown in hydroponic systems where the temperature runs colder than the desired range will experience slowed growth and eventually stopped growth altogether.

Keeping the Reservoir Cold

There are a few different ways a grower can manipulate the temperature of the reservoir in order to lower the temperature if necessary. The most common methods are removing the reservoir from the heat of the ambient environment, adding ice to the reservoir, and the use of a water chiller.

Remove the Reservoir

In many cases, by simply removing the reservoir, or moving it farther away, from the grow area the temperature of a reservoir will lower dramatically. Radiant heat from HID lighting is absorbed and held by the solution in the reservoir. At the very least, a reservoir cover or another way to shade the reservoir is essential if the reservoir will be in the growing area.

Ice in the Reservoir

Fill a plastic container, like a two-liter bottle, with water and freeze it. When frozen the bottle can be floated in a reservoir to help chill the solution. Growers can keep a spare two-liter in the freezer and rotate the two bottles as necessary. This method works great as a temporary solution. Growers with reoccurring heat issues should purchase a chiller.

Water Chillers

For the serious hydroponic grower a water chiller is a must have. These devices are generally set up to cycle the solution in the reservoir and cool it in the process. Chillers come in various sizes to suit any hydroponic reservoir from 10 gallons up to 400 gallons.

Heaters

Many growers of high-value plants don’t realize that throughout the entire grow cycle the reservoir could be spending a good portion of time at temperatures below the desired range. In most cases a temperature slightly lower than optimal will not show dramatically poor results. For this reason many growers never experience what their gardens could truly be. A digital thermometer with a high/low memory setting is an invaluable tool in determining the temperature fluctuation in a nutrient reservoir.

If the low end temperature is dropping below 65 degrees F the grower should consider a submersible heater. Titanium submersible heaters are available at most hydroponic retailers as well as most aquarium supply stores. These heaters can make a huge difference in overall growth and yield of a garden and are definitely worth the investment.

Digital thermometers, chillers, and submersible heaters serve as invaluable tools for any hydroponic grower looking to create optimal conditions. By maintaining a consistent temperature in the nutrient reservoir, growers can ensure that their high-value plants are receiving the very best conditions for maximum nutrient uptake and prolific yields.

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Here’s one guy’s hydro reservoir system.
Last modified on Monday, 02 September 2013 02:55

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