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pH, EC, TDS Meters
The acidity of the growing medium has an effect on the growth potential of the plants. In hydroponics, there is a need for optimum acidity levels and low amounts of dissolved solids. By analyzing and controlling the major chemical parameters, you stand in a better position to identify possible issues that may arise and take appropriate measures to remove these problems.
As plants grow, the optimal growing conditions alter during the growth cycle of the plant. E.g. potatoes will thrive in acidic environments and should not be placed in an alkaline medium. Being able to control these growth parameters by the use of hydroponic multi meters gives you the leverage to maintain the optimal conditions necessary for plant growth.
These water resistant meters usually have a glass electrode for detecting these readings by forming an electric potential when they are immersed in water, semi-solid soil or a slurry liquid. The one primarily used in green house gardening is a pH/ EC/TDS measuring device. The meter has four main purposes to check.
- Acidity: The multi meter is designed to determine the acidity of the growing medium when it is immersed in water. Acidity is the measure of H+ ions present in a solution. Some plants find it difficult to survive in higher or lower acidity growth solutions. Each plant should be observed to know which system has a higher suitability for it.
- Conductivity: Absorption of plant nutrients is dependent on the water conductivity to improve survivability and growth rates by ensuring appropriate conductivity levels are maintained. Plants require nutrients for their daily development and a low absorption leads to low availability of nutrients for the plants. Hence, having control and monitoring this parameter is not an option but a necessity.
- Sedimentation: The amount of dissolved solid present in the water can have an adverse effect on the plants. Water with large amount of TDS can also contain unwanted salts that can be harmful to the plant. TDS meters help in monitoring this factor. TDS meters can also be used to ascertain the purity of a water source. Water lines containing high TDS are less beneficial to hydroponic systems.
- Temperature: Hydroponic meters are also used to determine the overall temperature of the growing medium. We definitely are not expected to place our plants in steaming water nor water below 0oC. The temperature measuring section of this device helps you to monitor the current state of the temperature of the medium.
Hydroponic multi meters are easy to use as they are just immersed into the water and readings are displayed on the LCD screen of the device. The meters are regularly calibrated to ensure that accurate readings are obtained. The calibration process is also an easy process to carry out. To ensure successful hydroponic plant management, regular chemical checks should be run daily to maintain optimal conditions.