Something you need to learn about when you first get started with hydro is how to clean salt build up in hydroponics systems.
We’ll explain why cleaning your hydroponic system is so important, and explain what causes salt build up in the first place. Then, we’ll teach you the best way to clean a hydroponics system of salt buildup!
Why Cleaning Your Hydroponic System Is Important
It should be apparent why you need to clean salt build up in your hydroponic reservoir, along with any drip emitters, lines, and in some cases, even media.
If you let salt build up, it will clog your hydroponic lines. That is one of the main issues.
If your lines are clogged, it means your plants won’t have access to the nutrients they need. In turn, you’ll start to see deficiencies arise. It’s important to ensure nutrients are being delivered precisely and uniformly.
But, that isn’t the only reason you need to keep your system clean. From a financial standpoint, you stand to gain much more in the long run when you spend the time and money to clean your system and lines.
Otherwise, your irrigation system will experience a shorter lifespan with more issues. This means you need to spend money on replacements, and still spend the time to fix the problem eventually.
What Causes Salt Build Up In Hydroponics Systems?
The exact cause of salt build up in hydroponics systems is the nutrients you feed your plants, in most cases.
Because you typically won’t use organic nutrients in a hydroponics system since they are much thicker, that means you’ll use a salt-based solution. Specifically, you'll be using hydroponics nutrients.
And inevitably, these nutrients will leave mineral and salt deposits on the walls of your reservoir, and within the lines and emitters as well. This build up contributes to biofilms.
What Are Biofilms?
Biofilms are essentially the build-up of many complex microorganisms and run rampant in just about any hydroponics setup. This is inevitable due to the presence of constant moisture, oxygen, and nutrients. Add in the warmth of your grow room, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Biofilms are not just unsightly - they can wreak havoc on your system, as we mentioned above. Clogging lines is just part of the problem, though.
In some instances, these biofilms can end up in your media and your root zone. When this happens, issues with nutrient burn can arise, along with the development of different root pathogens.
Not to worry, though. Because now, we are going to teach you the best way to clean a hydroponics system of salt buildup. And, as you can probably guess, it starts with prevention.
Best Way To Clean A Hydroponics System Of Salt Buildup
If you are just a hobbyist on a budget, many growers have seen great success using things they have around the house to descale their hydro systems.
Some things that may work for you include:
- Phosphoric acid (pH down)
- Lemon juice and salt
- Cultured Solutions UC Roots (best option for hobbyists)
What Is Cultured Solutions UC Roots?
We recommend hobby growers use UC Roots by Current Culture to maintain your hydroponic system and prevent salt/biofilm buildup.
This is a root zone optimizer that will enable your hydroponic plants to thrive. It uses proprietary chemistry to aid in mineral/salt descaling, while eliminating harmful biofilms in your lines and reservoir.
UC Roots is essentially liquid crop insurance, and if you're a hobbyist growing hydroponically it should be a staple in your grow room.
However, if you are a commercial grower, you should consider a hypochlorous acid such as Clear line.
Current Culture Clear Line - Hypochlorous Acid
Current Culture is an industry leader in hydroponics, and is known for the premium DWC systems and Cultured Solutions nutrients.
They recently developed a Hypochlorous acid product specifically engineered to descale salt build up on hydroponics systems, and it’s the best solution available.
Why You Should Be Using Clear Line
When used properly, Clear Line brings tons of benefits to the table. It’s a no-brainer investment in your crop.
Here are some of the reasons you should be using it to keep your hydroponics system clean:
- Improved water quality by increasing oxidation reduction potential (ORP)
- The neutral chemistry allows for compatibility with all fertilizer programs, without the concern of affecting pH/EC
- It’s non-corrosive, non-hazardous, keeping you, your system, and your employees safe!
- Highly concentrated making it a cost effective solution for large scale commercial growers and farmers
How To Use Clear Line
Clear Line can be used during cropping with each irrigation consistently for preventative maintenance, and you won’t ever have to worry about salt build ups - they won’t stand a chance.
You simply inject the dose into your fertigation equipment along with your standard nutrient dose. Clear Line works with the following systems:
- Standard irrigation/fertigation systems
- Drip/Drain to waste
But, Clear Line should also be used at the end of each grow cycle to completely clean your hydroponic or irrigation system.
Final Thoughts On How To Clean Salt Build Up In Hydroponics Systems
Now that you know how to clean salt build-up and biofilms in hydroponics systems, you can prevent many of the problems we’ve discussed from happening in your setup.
Here at Hydrobuilder, we carry Clear Line at the best price and with the best service along the way. Invest in your crop today and prevent costly repair, replacement of components, and nutrition issues!
Want to learn more about this style of growing? Check out our complete guide on Hydroponics 101!