The temperature of your hydroponic nutrient solution is not something that should be overlooked. A hydroponic nutrient solution that is too hot does not hold the oxygen need for the plant’s root system. An unhealthy root system mixed with high temperatures makes for an inviting environment for disease and pathogens like root rot. To combat the heat, you will need to have a plan in place to cool the nutrient solution in your reservoir.
The hydroponic nutrient solution should be kept between about 65 degrees and 75 degrees. So what are some ways to cool your hydroponic nutrient reservoir?
Purchase A Reservoir Chiller
The simplest solution to cooling your hydroponic nutrient solution would be to purchase a water chiller. Typical water chillers run the nutrient solution through a chilled coil lowering the temperature of your solution.
Compared to DIY options, water chillers are more accurate at allowing you to set the temperature of your nutrient solution at a constant temperature. Reservoir chillers range in price as larger reservoirs need more powerful chillers.
Shade Your Hydroponic Reservoir
Building a box or cover for your reservoir can help cool down the temperature of your hydroponic nutrient solution by several degrees. Using a shade cloth is not only a good idea for your reservoir but also for plants that don’t do well with too much sunlight or heat.
If your hydroponic garden is inside you may need to move your reservoir away from hot lights or equipment to help keep the nutrient solution cool.
Add Ice To Your Hydroponic Reservoir
Adding ice to your hydroponic nutrient solution is an easy way to combat the heat. The best way to do this is by filling up a container with water, placing it in the freezer, then add it to your reservoir.
Keep in mind you don’t want to cool down your nutrient solution too much or alter the temperature too quickly. You can use water bottles for small systems and jugs for large reservoirs, increasing or decreasing the number of bottles depending on how hot the day is.
Change Your Reservoir Color
Altering the color of a dark reservoir is a good way to reflect some heat away from your hydroponic solution. Painting the reservoir a lighter color like white will lower to temperature by a few degrees. An alternative to painting your hydroponic reservoir is wrapping it in something metallic such as foil or mylar.
Top Off Your Reservoir With Cool Water
If it is just a warmer day than usual, adding cool water to your nutrient solution may be all you need to cool down the temperature. Keep in mind topping off the reservoir dilutes the solution so you may need more frequent water changes.
Bury Your Hydroponic Reservoir
If your hydroponic garden is outside, burying your hydroponic reservoir could solve your nutrient solution temperature problems. The ground not only blocks the reservoir from direct sunlight but naturally keeps the reservoir cool.
When hydroponic gardening it’s extremely important to keep your nutrient solution cool. If you live in an area with hot summers like I do you will want to plan ahead to beat the heat. Use a combination of the methods above to keep your hydroponic nutrient solution cool and your plants will thank you with a wonderful fall harvest!