Water can contain a variety of minerals that are beneficial to your plants, but it can also have substances that are harmful. The beneficial minerals that your plant will want are called ‘beneficial salts’. They include micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, and calcium. These essential nutrients play an important role in supporting healthy roots and stems, developing fruit and flowers, and producing enzymes. The harmful minerals that you do not want are called ‘harsh salts’. Some harsh salts contain chemicals that may be harmful to humans or pets (such as ammonia or chlorine), while others simply act as diluents to disguise the true quantity of other more harmful elements. When changing from one source of water to another it is important to follow certain steps because this will help to prevent excess nutrients from leaching into the new water source when you next change it again.
How often should I change my water?
The most important step to taking when changing water is to not dump it all out and start fresh. Instead, pour some of the old water into a new container before starting your new hydroponics system. This will help to avoid losing any beneficial salts. Ideally, you will change your water once per week or less often.
This article was written in response to an article that dwc hydroponics published on their website. It asks the question: How often should I change my water? It is suggested that you should change your water once per week or less often depending on what type of plants you are growing and the quality of the nutrients contained in your current source of water.
Dissolve any salt
that is still present
The first step when changing from one source to another is to dissolve the salt that has already been introduced into the new water source. The easiest way to do this is with a solution of vinegar, baking soda, and water. Dissolving any salt will help prevent new ones leaching into your new supply and will also prevent excessive contamination with harsh salts.
Never use chlorinated or coloured water
It is best to never use chlorinated or coloured water when changing your main water source. This can make it even more difficult for plants to take up nutrients because the chlorine in the water will react with the chemicals that are naturally present in the soil, which will leach into the roots instead of being absorbed. It is best to also not use any water that has been treated with copper sulfate because it will bind to certain nutrients and prevent them from being absorbed by your plants.
When changing from one source of water to another it is important to follow certain steps because this will help to prevent excess nutrients from leaching into the new water source when you next change it again.
Be aware of the source of your water
The source of your water is one of the most important parts to consider before changing your water. It is important that you have a designated container for the new water that has been treated with a product such as vinegar. This will help reduce any potential harmful effects when you add it to your reservoir. You should also note what type of salt you are adding as well as where it came from. If the new salt you are using is not mentioned on the label, ask somebody who works in a lab or a chemist and they can tell you if it is harmful or beneficial.
Add beneficial salts and minerals
Adding beneficial salts and minerals is the key to maintaining healthy water in a hydroponic system. To add them, use a ‘salt-water solution’ (1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per gallon of water) and mix it with distilled or deionized water. It is important that your plants get their nutrients from the water rather than through the air because it can cause nutrient burn. Ideally, you should change your water every two weeks, but if you are using a reservoir then this might be more difficult to achieve.
Remove harmful salts
The best way to make sure that you do not introduce harmful salts into your new water source is to start by removing these types of salts from the old water. If you have a tap that is an open system, then you should first turn off the tap and let it drain for a few minutes before using the new water. This will help to reduce the amount of harmful salts such as ammonia or chlorine in the old water. It will also wash away any minerals that were introduced into the old water so that they are not carried over.
Once your tap has been drained, fill a bucket with fresh, clean drinking water and pour it slowly onto the whole system until all of the old water has been replaced. You can then finish draining and filling up your new container of fresh, clean drinking water.
Your plants have a very delicate balance of minerals and salts that they need to be healthy. If you are using tap water, it is essential you take the time to dissolve any salt and add beneficial salts and minerals.
In addition, it is important to be aware of the source of your water, as tap water is full of minerals that can build up over time. Before you change your plants’ water, be sure to flush them with fresh, clean water.