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Hydroponic Reservoirs & Tanks

The Importance of a Nutrient Solution Reservoir

You wouldn’t think there is all that much to say about a hydroponics reservoir. After all, the primary function of a hydroponic reservoir is to mix and hold the nutrient solution-how hard can that be?

In reality, the hydroponics reservoir tank is the backbone of any hydroponic system. After all, it’s holding and circulating the very life-blood of your hydroponic grow-the nutrient solution.

What is a hydroponics reservoir?

The hydroponics tank or reservoir is far more than just the container that holds the nutrient solution and it contains most working parts of the entire hydroponic system. The reservoir houses the hydroponic reservoir heater, the reservoir cooler, often the water pump and a lid to prevent contaminants from entering your water or nutrient solution.

This isn’t merely a holding tank for the nutrient solution; this is the entire hydroponic reservoir system which ultimately feeds the entire grow. There are several factors that need you should to be aware of.

  • The ideal hydroponic reservoir temperature
  • Monitoring the reservoir nutrient concentration and mixer
  • Proper aeration
  • Reservoir size
  • Reservoir location

A hydroponic reservoir tank requires constant monitoring.

Remember, the hydroponic reservoir is holding the liquid gold for your prized plants and must be constantly monitored for top efficiency and performance. You must keep your hydroponics reservoir system in top operating condition. This requires careful monitoring and adjusting.

Understanding the size and shape of the reservoir for your hydroponic system.

Beware that there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to hydroponic reservoirs. You need to be knowledgeable of the size and shape reservoir you’re going to need for your size operation. Too small of a reservoir and you’ll find yourself constantly topping it off or worse yet, it can’t adequately supply the entire grow. A too large of a hydroponic tank and you spend your time continually heating or chilling the nutrient solution.

Common sizes of hydroponic water reservoirs

  • 20 gallon hydroponic reservoirs
  • 50 gallon hydroponic reservoirs
  • 100 gallon hydroponic reservoirs
  • 200+ gallon hydroponic reservoirs
  • Keep in mind that the 20 gallon reservoir is only suitable for the smallest of hydroponic systems and will soon run dry if you’re attempting to feed too many plants with that small of a tank. The 50 gallon works great for a smaller or midsize grower and the 100 is more suited for larger operations. Larger 250+ gallon reservoirs are for large commercial growers or outdoor/greenhouse gardens.

    Plants require oxygen so don’t skimp on aeration.

    Dissolved oxygen is extremely important for good plant health and the way to achieve this is to continually aerate the mixture in the hydroponic reservoir tanks. Common methods for increasing DO levels in hydroponics include adding concentrated hydrogen peroxide to the reservoir, powered aeration with air pumps and air stones, and surface contact with atmospheric oxygen. Good aeration promotes nutrient uptake, sometimes significantly, and aids in the growth of beneficial organisms.

    Maintaining proper temperature.

    In any hydroponic tank or reservoir you’re going to have to constantly monitor the temperature in order to maintain the optimum for plant growth and health. There are times particularly during the summer months when you will need to use a water chiller. During the winter months, a hydroponic reservoir heater will need to be used to keep a balanced, constant temperature.


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