Measuring Tools

Measuring tools are handy bits of kit for any hydroponics grower, no matter the scale or ambition of their enterprise. Many products in this category have some self-regulatory mechanism to prevent them from going awry, such as thermostats.

Also essential are thermometers for measuring temperature and hygrometers for measuring humidity. It’s also helpful to check the pH of your nutrient solution and its EC, which is a measure of the dissolved particles in the nutrient solution.

Regular pH testing assists in maintaining the correct balance of acidity/alkalinity in your nutrient solution. There are several tools for measuring pH, and you should get into the habit of using them regularly.

The optimal pH range for most nutrient solutions is between 5.5 and 6.5. A more strict appraisal puts this range at between 5.8 and 6.2. This range makes nutrients more readily bio-available and effectively absorbed by most plants, although this will vary with some species.

If the nutrient solution’s pH falls out of the desired range, it will be harder to absorb by plants and stunt their development and crop quality.

EC, in hydroponics, is the measurement of the electrical conductivity in the nutrient solution. It’s also sometimes shown as CF, which stands for conductivity factor. While checking the pH levels of your nutrient solution will give you a reasonably good indication of the acidity and alkalinity balance of the available nutrients, EC will give you a fair idea about the quantity of small dissolved particles within the nutrient solution.

It’s worthwhile noting that certain types of hydroponic systems will cause the nutrient solution to become imbalanced more quickly than others, while some methods will not cause much imbalance. If the system you’re using is of the first type, you should check your nutrient solution more often than you would normally.

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