Why Reverse Osmosis is the best choice for Hydroponics
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What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is one of the newest ways of growing plants, without using dirt or soil by using water-based mineral nutrient solutions diluted to the desired concentration. Plants may grow with their roots exposed to the nutrients, the roots are supported by an inert medium such as perlite, gravel, or other materials. Direct contact with nutrients allows for maximum absorption of key elements needed for growth and development, this leads to plants growing up to twice the speed compared to soil-based plants. A hydroponics system uses only a fraction of the water that conventional farming uses, but this water needs to be mineral and contaminant free, to provide the best results. Regular tap water is not recommended for this purpose, so a water filtration system is required to provide only purified water for a hydroponics setup. The best method to use to purify water for hydroponics planting is reverse osmosis.
To start farming using a hydroponics method you first need to choose a plant to grow and sow the seeds a starter soil. Leafy greens like lettuce, kale, and spinach are easy crops for beginners to grow due to their low maintenance, fast growth, and simple nutritional needs. Then you need to choose the right hydroponics nutrient mix and supplements as needed. There are several types of hydroponics systems, and the right choice for you will depend on your level of expertise, time, and money. Here is a hydroponics systems guide to help you choose the right method for you. After your setup is ready, the next stage is to place the seedlings in their nutrient-rich medium previously diluted with purified water to the desired concentration. The water used needs to have a balanced pH and low mineral content otherwise, the plant's development could be severely affected. Using properly filtered water from a reverse osmosis system is the safest choice for many growers.
Why Reverse Osmosis is ideal for hydroponics?
One of the most important factors in hydroponics is the water quality since it dissolves and transport minerals and nutrients for plants. It can also dissolve impurities that can harm the plants. To avoid this you need a pure water source that will not affect the characteristics of your crop. Reverse osmosis water filtration offers the best clean water solution for irrigation. The reverse osmosis membrane filters water by preventing larger particles like lead, chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, asbestos, calcium, sodium, nitrates, and many other contaminants, from passing through the membrane, essentially producing high-quality purified water. An important benefit of using Reverse osmosis-filtered water is the reduction of water hardness. Hardness is defined as the presence of undissolved minerals in the water such as calcium, magnesium, carbonates, and sulfates which are not ideal in the hydroponics method of planting. Using hard water in a hydroponics farm can have a huge impact on crop yields by inhibiting nutrient absorption, therefore slowing down the development process. A reverse osmosis membrane removes up to 99% of minerals present in water, resulting in water with a minimum hardness that will promote nutrient absorption for the best results.
Do I really need a Reverse Osmosis system for a Hydroponics setup?
A reverse osmosis system is recommended if you are in any of the following situations:
Well water usually contains a variety of contaminants and harmful microorganisms both from the ground and the exterior
Levels over 10 ppm of undissolved minerals are considered “Hard Water”. Water hardness is known to directly affect nutrient absorption and plant growth
City water often contains high levels of chlorine which can reduce the natural microbiome that resides within the roots of the plants, this is considered essential for optimal growth.
TYPES OF FILTRATION IN A REVERSE OSMOSIS SYSTEM
These can be made from yarn, polypropylene, and other materials. Their main job is to capture sediment particles and debris present in water. 5-micron filters are great to capture regular-size sediment particles like sand or dirt.
ACTIVATED CARBON FILTERS
The high adsorption capacity of activated carbon makes it an amazing filtering element. Carbon filters remove chlorine and sulfur compounds as well as many other organic solvents and herbicides to provide odorless. There are 2 types of carbon filters: Granulated and solid. The main difference is that solid carbon filters have more effective filtration and longer lifespan.
REVERSE OSMOSIS MEMBRANE
Pressurized water is filtered through a semipermeable membrane capturing most contaminants and allowing clean water to flow through your faucet. It also lowers TDS (Total Dissolved solids) by 90%.
ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT FILTRATION
The high energy from UV bulbs makes it an ideal sterilizing method. Eliminating 99.99% of all microorganisms without leaving any harmful by-products is why many choose to install an ultraviolet system. Maintenance is usually very low, requiring a bulb change once a year. The ideal choice for users of well water that need peace of mind knowing their water is properly purified.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System Options
100GPD with UV to kill Bacteria
50GPD with filter supply for 4+ years
Installation and maintenance
The installation process for reverse osmosis systems is fairly easy and straightforward, you can turn it into a DIY project. All the parts for installation are included as well as a manual with instructions. Flushing of the 3 main filters is required before using the water. It is important to note that the reverse osmosis membrane must be removed before flushing the main filters, otherwise, it risks being permanently damaged. These systems require at least 45 PSI of pressure to operate optimally. If your pressure is higher than 70 PSI, your unit can be damaged, and a pressure regulator must be installed to avoid failure. The maintenance process is very simple: the main 3 filters need to be changed every 5 to 6 months depending on the quality of your source water. UV bulbs are recommended to be changed once a year. The reverse osmosis membrane should be changed every 4 years and the carbon post filter every 2 years. There are several filter packs that will provide you with over 4 years of continued use.
Hydroponics cultivation offers an alternative to traditional farming methods. Taking advantage of the quick nutrient absorption in an aqueous environment produces larger crops using only a fraction of the water compared to soil-grown plants. . With a reverse osmosis system, the water supplied is contaminant and mineral free, this will maximize your crop yields. The low maintenance and affordable cost, make a reverse osmosis water filtration system, an ideal choice for hydroponics growers.
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