Minimizing Unpleasant Odors in Your Hydroponics Systems

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If you are running home hydroponics systems, you probably have had to contend with unpleasant odors wafting from your grow room. While this may be less of a concern in professional hydroponics systems, it can sometimes be discouraging for your average home hydroponic grower to feel like they have to constantly mask the odors in their own house. While you can’t change the fact that many of the materials used in hydroponic growing have a potent smell, there are certain steps you can take to ensure your house does wind up smelling like a greenhouse.
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Since the root of these smells often come from organic materials, it would most likely help if you limited organic materials in your hydroponics systems as much as you can. Odors often occur because bacteria, which can cause bad odors, thrive in certain organic environments. Instead of using an organic medium, such as coconut fiber, use an inorganic one, such as clay pebbles. In between crops make sure to replace your growing medium or clean it thoroughly to remove any rotting organic material that may be left over. You should also make sure the reservoir that houses your nutrient solution is sturdy and sealed tight enough to keep out organic materials.

To head off problems with microbes, which often can be the cause of unpleasant odors in your hydroponics systems, try to maintain microbial balance. This can be achieved by introducing beneficial microbes to your nutrient solution. After optimal pH balance of your nutrient solution has been achieved, purchase a hydroponics system-boosting product that contains beneficial bacteria. These can often be found online at reputable hydroponic retailers.

To ensure that these beneficial microbes have the best possible environment to thrive in, and thus hopefully keep those odors at bay, keep your nutrient solution well oxygenated. To do this, purchase an air pump and use it regularly. The size and power of the air pump will depend on the size of your reservoir. Talk to your hydroponics professional about what level of oxygenation will best suit your particular needs.

Make sure to replace your nutrient solution often, every week or every other week if possible. This will ensure your nutrient solution is always stable and clean, and thus never gives unwanted organic material the opportunity. To clean out your reservoir, pipes, and, pump, first pump all of your old, used solution into a bucket until your pump starts to draw air. Then add a couple of gallons of pH balanced water into the tanks and let it run again. After your reservoir is cleaned out, add in your fresh nutrient solution. If replacing your solution this often is cost prohibitive, you can achieve a similar effect by replacing it less often and closely regulating your pH balance and nutrient concentration, and making the necessary adjustments.

Make sure that the materials and fertilizer that you use in your hydroponics systems are designed specifically for hydroponics. Products that are designed for general gardening or growing with a soil medium often contain organic materials that are unnecessary for the success of your garden.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    cultiv8 said,

    This is good advice. I don’t tend to have much trouble with mine so long as I don’t try any organic ferts. Last time I tried that it smelled like several large animals had pooped in my grow room, then died and decomposed for a few weeks.

    I was not popular during that episode. I wish I’d had this advice then.

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