Controlling the electrical conductivity (EC) of recirculating nutrient solution is a simple and practical way to manage nutrient supply in hydroponics, and growers often aim to maintain a target EC level for a healthy crop. Solution EC is a measure of total soluble salts and provides an estimate of total nutrients in solution.
Common strategies to control EC include replenishing (i.e. “topping off”) the hydroponic reservoir with fresh nutrient solution and managing the strength of the replenishment solution, or topping off with clear water and frequently monitoring EC and injecting fertilizer as needed. The result is the same.
However, maintaining a constant solution EC does not guarantee an adequate, long-term nutrient supply. This e-GRO Edibles Alert provides a real-world scenario where maintaining a target solution EC resulted in nutrient deficiency. We will also discuss a method for designing replenishment solutions that minimize the risk of nutritional
problems and the need to periodically dump and replace solution.
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