Today, many people are opting in for hydroponic garden systems to grow their choicest plants or herbs. The water management plays a crucial part here. Most plant roots usually adapt and evolve according to the cold temperature of the soil substrates. Hence, in a hydroponic garden system, the plant roots need to stay cool as well. You can do it by managing the temperature of the water-based nutrient solution that reaches the root.
However, maintaining proper temperature can be a challenge in most hydroponic systems that comprise devices, pumps, and lights which can place off the heat. It can also increase the ambient heat in the grow room, that in turn will also maximize the reservoir’s water temperature, especially in a DWC (Deep Water Culture) system. It is essential to resolve this issue. Hence, you need to resort to a hydroponic water chiller.
What is a hydroponic water chiller?
The aquarium water chillers used for stabilizing water temperature. It helps to offer the best environment for fish. Today, the people who use hydroponics have come up with a useful way to keep the reservoirs cool. You can select from the various aquarium water chillers. That is not all. You also have the option of opting in for water chiller system for hydroponics.
One of the most popular types of chiller here is the refrigeration unit, which functions using a water pump situated inside the reservoir. This pump channels the nutrient solution, via the tubes to the unit. Here the liquid gets chilled through cooling coils after getting re-circulated inside the reservoir.
The other kind of water chiller that’s apt for the small reservoirs are the thermoelectric cooling system. This chiller type contains a probe which gets inserted inside the reservoir that chills the liquid through heat elimination and radiating the same using a low-speed fan.
Ideal water temperature to grow herbs/plants in a hydroponic garden
You can’t point to a one temperature scale that is perfect for this! The ideal temperature for plant/herb roots keeps varying. The tropical and warm-weather plants make use of high temperatures instead of temperature zone and cool season crops. It is essential to keep the nutrient solution suitable for a wide temperature range, which promotes maximum health, based on the types of plants you decide to grow.
Essentially, 68-72°F (20-22°C) is a good temperature range for the hydroponic garden system. It is perfect for growing easy-to-grow plants, for instance, the leafy greens like lettuce. However, sometimes the temperature for a hydroponic garden system can also increase to 75°F (24°C) and more, for incorporating full scale of plants.
Sometimes, it is apt to stray a couple of degrees out of the exact parameters for various plants. However, that might stress some of the plants and affect their growth. That is a significant reason why hydroponic growers create individual systems, that comprises of similar crops. You need to know that you expose the plants to risk if the water temperature is less than 60°F (16°C) or is more than 80°F (27°C).
Reasons for using a water chiller in the hydroponic garden system
Based on the facts discussed above, you now know that it is essential to avert increased water temperatures in a hydroponic garden system. When you use water chillers for the DWC’s, it is necessary as it tends to get warm sooner than other methods which distribute the nutrient solution. Hence, if you are opting in for a flood or drain system, you might have to chill both air and water. It is also essential to maintain a healthy root zone temperature for averting shock.
And irrespective of the hydroponic system type you use; it is essential to use a water chiller if you are worried about the summer heat. You can also use the water chiller, if there is a small reservoir, as the water heats up in low volumes instead of huge amounts.
The benefits of making use of a hydroponic water chiller
There are other ways than a water chiller to cool the hydroponic nutrient solution. However, it is one of the most reliable and practical processes of offering the correct temperature for the plant roots. When you try to reduce the water temperature using no chiller, it might require strict vigilance. Chances are it will result in issues like, diluting the nutrient quotient and creating a shock for the herbs and plants.
What are the other techniques to keep the reservoir cool?
There are several utilities of making use of a water chiller, and you can see them all along with the chiller. You can refer to the following ideas for retaining the cool and optimal temperature. It will be favourable for the hydroponic herbs, plants and will make them grow stronger and healthier.
- The reservoir colour and size
You can opt-in for the bigger sized reservoir as that will be beneficial for you. In terms of colour, it is best to opt-in for a light-shade reservoir. You can also opt-in for spray paint and colour it white as it helps to reflect heat.
It is always important to place the reservoir in a cool area. You can also create a tent for it using cardboard or an aluminium foil. If you find that the grow room has high ambient temperature, you can locate the reservoir outside and make use of a tube of a bigger diameter for maximizing the flow rate. Is your hydroponic garden situated outside, you can dig a hole and keep your reservoir in the ground.
It is always good to maintain a consistent temperature. Proper aeration can help in keeping the nutrient solution temperature constant.
For this, you should always opt-in for a particular reservoir for the hydroponic nutrient solution. Else, you can also make use of a big picnic cooler and any other insulated container that is composed of the food-grade material. When you insulate the reservoir, it preserves the coolness. However, you shouldn’t try and make use of this process to cool down the warm liquid.
These are some of the essential factors that you should know before investing in a hydroponic water chiller. Once you are aware of the facts mentioned above, you can choose better.
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