Hydroponic gardening has taken the world by storm, and the main reason behind it is that thanks to this technique, growers can maximize their yield in a limited space without using soil. Hydroponic systems use a nutrient-rich solution stored in a tank in which the roots of the plants are submerged. This nutrient solution provides all the elements necessary for the plant for rapid growth.
This is why it is extremely important to control the temperature of the hydroponic tanks, where this nutrient solution is stored. An increase in temperature can damage the roots and the overall growth of your plants.
Most indoor hydroponic systems that use the deep water growing process tend to heat up in their tank area due to the heat emitted from the lights. This can reduce the level of oxygen in the tank, making the environment unsuitable for plant growth. This is why it is essential to keep the air temperature in the hydroponic tank between 23-26 degrees centigrade and 20 degrees or less for the water.
Let’s learn how to keep the hydroponic tank system cool:
Get a cooler
Electronic coolers are one of the most efficient ways to cool the tank. These can be a bit expensive, but they are very effective. These are small units that include a fan, compressor coils, and refrigeration lines and can be used underwater. The most commercial hydroponics experts use a 1.5-2 horsepower cooler for best results.
Paint your tank to block heat and light
Dark colored containers absorb more heat, so it is best to use a light colored container. To make it more efficient, paint it with a white color which will help cool the tank and keep the temperature under control. A simple spray paint will do.
Place your tank in the shade
It’s a simple technique, but it works well. Keeping your hydroponic tank in the shade will minimize its exposure to the sun and thus reduce heat absorption. A well-placed tank system can free you from all the cooling problems, and all you need to do is focus on growing the plants.
Use a large tank
The larger the tank, the less the temperature fluctuation. Most hydroponic growers use small tanks to save space, but struggle to keep the temperature below required limits. Purchasing a larger tank will automatically keep the nutrient solution fresher compared to a smaller one. The added benefit of using a large hydroponic tank system is that it will keep the pH and PPM levels under control.
Complete your solution or add ice
Topping up the nutrient solution means adding more water to the tank, which automatically lowers the temperature. Alternatively, you can add a few pieces of ice to the solution to change the temperature. But note that both of these processes will change the pH levels in solutions, so you need to be careful about how much water or ice you add to the solution.
Bury your tank underground
It’s yet another natural way to hydroponic cooling. Dig a hole large enough in the ground for your tank to fit into and place it carefully. The moist and cooler soil environment will cause the tank to cool down to the right amount. But it’s hard work, because digging a pit for a large hydroponics plant can require you to work a bit.
Making a DIY water cooling tank
Creating a cooling coil is another effective way to keep the tank cool. But it has the downside of wasting a lot of water. To create a DIY water cooling tank, take copper or stainless steel tubing and create about 20 coils. Place them inside the tank with one end of the tube attached to a faucet and the other end drains the water. Running water will slowly cool the tank.
Make your own swampy cooler
Adding a swamp cooler is a simple and effective technique for tank cooling. You just need to attach a suitable fan that blows air over the nutrient solution. But the downside to this system is that it increases evaporation, so you may need to refill your tank several times. It also tends to alter EC and PPM levels, which therefore need to be monitored regularly.
Hydroponic systems are perfect for growing a bountiful crop in limited space. But there are a few key areas that need special attention, and keeping your hydroponic tank the right temperature is one of them. If you live in a geographic area with hot summers, you should be prepared to combat the effect of the heat. But with the right hydroponic supplies and the perfect setup, you can enjoy a year-round harvest, which is the beauty of hydroponics.