How to Measure and Adjust pH for Hydroponic Systems
When growing cannabis plants in a hydroponic system, it is important to test the pH level quite often. Most times, growers are expected to test the level of the environment several times in one day. This is done to ensure that the plants are able to absorb the adequate amount of nutrients at all times. Here is what you need to know about measuring the pH value and how it can be adjusted after the fact.
Remember the ideal pH for marijuana plants is between 5.5 and 6.5.
Tools for Measuring the pH Value
There are two main methods for measuring the pH value of the hydroponic environment: pH test kit or pH meter. One of the main advantages with pH test kits is that they are a cheaper option than the meter. Here, there is a compartment where the nutrient solution for the plants is placed. A test indicator is added to this. Depending on the pH value of the solution, the mix will turn a specific color. Then, with the help of the guide provided with the kit, the grower will be able to determine the pH level.
While pH meters may be more costly, they also have a greater rate of accuracy. In addition to the water, these meters are capable of testing hydroponic nutrient solution, hydroponic media, and other liquids. The pH meters are digital and the precise value of the solution will be displayed on a digital screen. Unlike with the kits, the same meter can be used repeatedly, over a significant period of time.
How to Adjust the pH Level
Growers can choose to adjust the pH level either by using pre-made solutions or relying upon home remedies. With home remedies, you can add citric acid, phosphoric acid, or nitric acid to lower the pH level. To increase it, you can try potassium hydroxide. Now, the problem with using these type of homemade solutions is that they are only effective if utilized in the right amounts. Using too much or too little could compromise the pH level of the environment further.
This is why unseasoned growers should rely upon products that have been specially made to increase and decrease the pH level of the hydroponic setup. These are known as the pH-up (making it more alkaline) and the pH-down (making it more acidic).
When adjusting the pH level it is important to avoid making any drastic changes all at once. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t change the pH value by more than 1.0 each day. If the level does need to be altered considerably, then you should make minute changes over the course of two days.
For growers who don’t want to constantly monitor their hydroponic systems, there is another option. These are known as pH operators. They are involved in testing the pH level and will adhere to a range that has been input by you. If the value falls or increases beyond the acceptable range, either pH-up or pH-down will be introduced. This will bring the environment into balance again.
These are the details regarding how the pH level can be measured in hydroponic systems and how they can be adjusted accordingly.