Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants in a medium other than soil. The only difference between soil culture and hydroponics is the manner in which nutrients are supplied to the plant roots. Water is an essential element of hydroponics and the water used must stay within the appropriate temperature range. Read on for information about water temperature and its effects on hydroponics.
Ideal Water Temp for Hydroponics
Water is one of the mediums used in hydroponics, but it is not the only medium. Some systems of soilless culture, called aggregate culture, rely on gravel or sand as the primary medium. Other systems of soilless culture, termed aeroponics, suspend the plant roots in air. These systems are the most high-tech hydroponics systems.
In all of these systems, however, a nutrient solution is used to feed the plants and water is an essential part of it. In aggregate culture, the sand or gravel is saturated with the water-based nutrient solution. In aeroponics, the nutrient solution is sprayed on the roots every few minutes.
Essential nutrients that are mixed into the nutrient solution include:
The solution may also include:
In all systems, hydroponic water temperature is critical. The ideal water temperature for hydroponics is between 65 and 80 degrees F. (18-26 C.).
Hydroponic Water Temperature
Researchers have found the nutrient solution to be most effective if it is kept between 65 and 80 degrees F. (18-26 C.). Experts agree that the ideal water temperature for hydroponics is the same as the nutrient solution temperature. If the water added to the nutrient solution is the same temperature as the nutrient solution itself, the plant roots will not suffer any sudden temperature shifts.
Hydroponic water temperature and nutrient solution temperature can be regulated by aquarium heaters in winter. It may be necessary to find an aquarium chiller if summer temperatures soar.