Your growing systems are destroying your plant nutrients. Learn how to protect your plants from Dying. Today’s post is about Hydroponic water chillers. They are extremely helpful in order to grow healthy plants.
If you do not have knowledge about water chiller, then read this post till end because today is the time for you to get some extra knowledge about indoor growing. Which can make you a successful grower even from the beginning.
What are Hydroponic water chillers and why do we need them?
Hydroponic water chillers are also called nutrient chillers. A nutrient chiller is basically a cooling device which is used to maintain the proper temperature of the nutrient solution in a tank.
Nowadays we have advanced nutrient coolers which cool the nutrient solution in summer season and heat it in winters. You can set them to cooling and heating mode according to the need.
The main motive of the nutrient chillers is to keep the temperature of the nutrient-rich solution under control. Because plants do not like warm nutrients. Warm nutrient solution loses the level of oxygen in it and the root zone gets less oxygen than required.
In a hydroponic system, a nutrient solution is used to supply food to the plants and plants also need oxygen to grow. when the nutritional water gets warm it loses the percentage of fresh oxygen in it but plants do need a high amount of oxygen to grow. The only possible way to increase the level of oxygen in the nutrient solution is to keep its temperature between the recommended range. Which is only possible when we use the best hydroponic nutrient chiller with our growing system.
Water is a good conductor of heat. It takes heat from the surroundings and raises its temperature. Normal water at 30 degrees C contains a 6 mg/L of oxygen whereas cool water has 9 mg/L of oxygen this is the reason experts recommend to use water chillers with hydroponic growing systems.
Warm water with less dissolved oxygen leads to poor growth and lesser yield. The ideal temperature for the plant root zone is between 18 to 20 degrees Celsius which is 68 to 72 in Fahrenheit.
Water chillers ensure the good health of your plant especially in the summer season when the outside temperature goes above 35 degrees Celsius.
Hydroponic systems use a water pump to circulate the nutrient throughout the system. This circulation of nutrients also add heat into the solution moreover the grow light, room temperature also contributes to making the water temperature above the recommended. If you are not using water chiller with your soilless growing system then you are taking the risk with the life of your growing crops.
What is the ideal temperature of the root zone to grow healthy and disease free?
Scientifically there is no ideal temperature for plants to grow. Some plants like to grow in cold conditions while others like to grow in a warm environment. But when we grow plants at home without sunlight then we have to maintain the ideal temperature of the nutrient solution which works best for all indoor plants. For best results, experts suggest keeping the nutrient temperature between 20 to 22 degrees Celsius. This temperature is best for all types of green leafy plants, herbs and other famous plants like lemon, broccoli, tomatoes, etc.
If required you can increase the temperature up to 24 degrees but for a short period of time. Remember the growing behavior of indoor plants is different from field grown plants.
NOTE: Whether you are using DWC, DRIP, NFT or any kind of hydroponic grow system you will definitely need a nutrient cooling system. Without cooling system plant growth, yield and production are not guaranteed.
What if I put my plants in an Air-conditioned room?
Well, this might be a great idea for you not for your plant. It is easy to work on plants when we have an air conditioner in the grow room.
Air conditioner definitely keeps the room temperature low but for this, they suck the moisture from the air inside the room. Which make the air dry and dry air is much more harmful to plants. once your plants show symptoms of dryness then it will very hard to save them and get fruits to form them.
The cool air of AC makes the root zone extremely dry which can kill your plant. So, avoid this idea and use a nutrient cooler and give comfort to your growing babies.
ACs are meant for humans, not for plants.
Are there any alternatives to water chillers?
Yes, you can use one of the below-written alternatives to avoid the expense of extra growing equipment.
1.ICE PACKS: This is the cheap and best method of cooling. Put an ice pack into the nutrient reservoir and it will start cooling the entire system. But you cannot control the temperature, cannot set the temperature. The most disappointing thing is the cooling life span of ice packs is limited and you need the continuous supply of them.
Once the solution gets too cold there is no way to keep it warm and return it under the recommended range.
2.WHITE COLOR SYSTEM: Some growers advise to paint your entire system white in color. They give the logic that white color does not absorb heat energy like black color. White color reflects it back but we do not trust this method.
3.CHANE LOCATION: Changing the location of your reservoir can help a little. We already tried this technique and yes, it is helpful but not effective as it seems to be. The water pump, grow room atmosphere conditions will heat the nutrients quickly.
MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT YOU NEED TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE SELECTING NUTRIENT COOLER:
Always buy a hydroponic nutrient chiller which has the Titanium Heat Exchanger. We all know the nutrient solution that we use in our reservoir has an alkaline or acidic value. When the solution comes in contact with cheap metals it gets contaminated due to the corrosion effect.
Choose chiller with anti-corrosive coating. Do not buy cheap quality products to save a few dollars.
STEPS TO CHOOSE THE CORRECT THE SIZE:
It is very simple to choose the right size hydroponic water chiller for your system. It totally depends upon the size of your grow system. Every cooling system comes with the ratings mentioned on it.
NO NEED TO GET INTO THE COMPLICATED CALCULATION WHICH BLOWN UP THE MIND.
Use our below written simple formula (100% accurate).
If you are using 50 watts output water chiller for hydroponics means this can cool the 50 liters of water. For every 1 watt, it cools 1 liter of water.
For example, I have a DWC system with 4 x 10-liter buckets and have the main take capacity 40 liters then I will require:
4 x 10 BUCKETS = 40 Litres
ADD 40 Litres of the main reservoir tank
Total comes 40 + 40 = 80 Litres
Now add 10% for Heat release: 80 x 10 Divided by 100 = 8
TOTAL REQUIRED: 80 Litres + 8 Litres = 88 Litres
Therefore, I will need a water chiller for my hydroponics with the power rating of 88 liters cooling capacity.
Benefits of using Water Chiller for Hydroponics
Improves the quality of your plant.
Increases the yield
Cools the nutrient temperature
Improve the oxygen level into the water
Best water chilling method for NFT, DWC, F&D, and Aeroponics
High-quality chillers come with the in-built filter which cleans the air
It will not dry the grow room like an AC unit.
If you buy a cheap product then you have to deal with the vibrations and noise.
Low-quality chillers do not have anti-corrosion coatings.
What are the Best water chillers to buy?
There are many liquid chillers available that you can buy from the market. Thousands of products are available in the market to choose from (most of them are locally made products). The best water chillers for hydroponics are made with the stat of the art technology.
It should be reliable, durable, high quality, genuine product, efficient and easy to use and safe to with any hydroponic systems. While selecting nutrient refrigeration chiller, make sure it has anti-corrosion protective film on it, also has a titanium heat exchanger.
The LCD display is another important feature to have in the nutrient refrigeration cooler. Do not buy a low-quality product today’s latest chillers have microcomputer control systems in them. Also, have in-built memory which stores your settings and resume your setting in case of power failure.
Active Aqua Nutrient Water Chillers
Active Aqua is a brand of Hydrofarm. It is a well-established brand and sells the top level of products. Many of our readers are using this product and so far, nobody has any complaint with it. it is easy to use and come with a descent price tag. If you buy it from the retailer hydroponic store you have to pay twice the price then online.
It has three buttons on the front side UP, Down and SET. By using them you can set the temperature according to the temperature of the solution. Always measure the nutrient temperature first and then set the temperature of water chiller.
Some brilliant features are as follow
- 100% made for hydroponic systems
- Titanium heat exchanger
- Protective film
- High quality plastic material is used
- Durable product from a reputed manufacturer
- Separate protective circuit for the compressor
- In-built memory to store settings
- Affordable than other chillers
- Boost function and speed up the cooling
- Low noise and no vibrations
- Consume a low amount of electric energy
- Easy to use and handle
It has the total refrigeration capacity of 13 to 105 gallon means 50 to 400 liters. This device can easily chill the 40 gallons of water by 15 F in 20 hours.
NOTE: You can choose other Active Aqua chiller form small to big size click on the given link and select the size which fits your needs.
EcoPlus Water Chillers For Hydroponic Growing Systems
EcoPlus chillers are multipurpose water chillers you can use them with your hydroponics to cool nutrient temperature and with an aquarium to cool the water. Set the temperature manually form the given buttons and it will hold the reading until it reaches the desired temperature.
Once you set the temperature you can see it on the LCD display. It will not show you the current temperature. The compressor is everything when it comes to the quality of chillers. It has a high-quality compressor which is made with copper wires. The heat exchange is made with titanium which is anti-corrosive material.
- 120 volts 60 Hz 360 watts and 3 amps
- Microcomputer chip
- In-built memory function
- Sharp LCD display
- Durable quality
- Copper compressor wiring
- Low electric bills
- Titanium heat exchanger
- Multipurpose use
- 25 to 80 Gallons of chilling capacity
Like most of the nutrient solution chillers, you have to purchase the water pump and tubing separately. The product is engineered in such a way so that it can deliver what it promises. Constant performance with the passing time. Users said they highly recommend this product after the Active aqua nutrient chiller.
JBJ Titanium Chiller
JBJ lighting water chiller is also a multipurpose product use it to cool your aquarium temperature of nutrient solution. Many people are using it as it is a famous product with high durability. It has a base coil made of copper which reduces the chilling time. Highly efficient product for indoor gardening use.
It is compatible with all types of hydroponic systems. Low maintenance cost.
Some interesting feature are listed below
- Copper cooling wires
- Energy efficient chiller
- Auto digital temperature controller
- Low noise
Total 4 models of JBJ lighting Aquarium are available choose according to your requirements.
Everpure high power chiller
This is the commercial grade product which you can use at home for water cooling and nutrient cooling. Because it does not consume electricity like other commercial products. It only takes 155 watts of electricity cool 3 gallons of water per hours. The product is UL listed and all internal components are made with high-quality products.
The product is suitable for cooling a large amount of water. If you are using big hydroponic systems with large capacity reservoir then you will surely need it to stable the nutrient temperature. It is a multi-purpose you can use it with your water supply to get cool water from taps.
Commercial water coolers are powerful cooling unit they are made to cool any liquid product. If you want a high power cooling system for your indoor growing system but do not want to pay high electric bills then this is the best choice.