kind of maintenance is involved with a hydroponic system?
with soil-based production, producing crops in hydroponic
systems always requires maintenance. The following list may
seem like a lot of work; however, as you become experienced
most tasks and checks will only take a few minutes each day.
Check reservoir for water levels, pH and TDS fluctuations.
Check grow room temperatures and humidity percentages.
If you use CO2, the CO2 system should be checked to ensure
that it is working correctly.
Check watering system. If a pump fails it should be replaced
immediately. If drippers are blocked they should be cleaned
or replaced immediately.
Check plants for disease and insect infestations. It is always
best to stop disease and insect outbreaks early. The longer
an infestation is left the more difficult it will be to cure,
yield losses will be high and crop failures are possible.
Check plants for leaf discoloration and deformities that may
be caused by such problems as nutrient deficiencies or nutrient
burn (over feeding), as well as leaf curl from lights being
Crop hygiene is extremely important. Cut off and discard diseased
leaves. If a plant is badly diseased, it is always better
to throw out one or two plants to control disease outbreaks
than it is to destroy a complete crop. The same applies to
insect infestations, especially spider mites.
General maintenance - failed light bulbs, light movers, fans,
loose ducting, leaks etc. should be replaced or repaired.
The growing medium should be flushed once a week to stop nutrient
Complete reservoir change should done weekly to prevent nutrient
imbalances and bacteria build-up.
Foliar spraying for disease and insect pests should be done
weekly to prevent outbreaks.
of each crop
The hydroponics system should be completely sanitized at the
end of each crop. This will minimize disease carry over to
the next crop.
The grow room should be sanitized with insecticides and fungicides.
Walls, floors, ceilings and equipment should be wiped down
to remove insects/eggs and fungi spores. The cleaner the grower
is in his growing room the fewer problems he will have in
the following crop.