maintenance is the routine task of keeping the hydroponic nutrient
solution in the reservoir from becoming too strong or toxic as the
water is being evaporated and the nutrients within the solution are
taken up by the plants.
Top off daily with *half strength nutrients, alternating days
topping up with plain water. Change the entire reservoir with fresh
solution every ten days to two weeks. (*half the strength of your
current new reservior starting strength)
Why should you?
One problem in hydroponics solution maintenance, as water is being
taken up by the plants as well as evaporating out of the solution, the
concentration of nutrient salts in the solution becomes gradually
stronger, sometimes to the point of certain elements becoming toxic to
the plants. The TDS will always become stronger as water is taken away
from the solution.
Another problem, is that hydroponically grown plants will take up
what they need as they need it from the nute solution. A nutrient
solution left alone will end up lacking key nutrients, with a build-up
of *toxic levels of other key nutrients. *Toxic in the solution, as
well as in the plants.
The only way around these problems for the average hydroponic
grower, is to practice sound reservoir topping off procedures. The most
widely accepted maintenance method, involves daily topping off and
routine reservoir solution replacement. IE: Topping off the reservoir
daily with a nutrient solution which is half of the current new
reservoir strength, alternating days by topping off with plain water
and finally, changing the entire res solution at least every two weeks.
Changing the reservoir solution every two weeks, will give the
plants a fresh and well balanced nute mix, which has not been altered
by the plants nutrient uptake.
*Many scientific studies have been performed, which demonstrate
these facts by GCMS testing of the nutrient solution contents and the
nutrient salts contained within the actual plant tissues, as the plants
"take-up" the specific nutrients in the solution.
Plants will take up excessive levels of some nutrients, leaving the
solution lacking in certain key nutrients. Just like a puppy would make
him/her self sick if it were allowed to feed from a bottomless food
bowl, plants grown hydroponically can harm themselves with nutrient
deficiencies, lockouts and overdoses, if allowed to continue feeding
without some control over whats available in the "food bowl".
***Reference resource... (Click it)
Nutrient Management in Recirculating Hydroponic Reservoirs by Bruce Bugbee