Safeguard your Hydroponics Grow From Going Dry

Automate Topping Up Your Reservoir Tank!

Growing with hydroponics has a wealth of great benefits. Whether it’s in an NFT, a Flood & Drain or a “dripper type” hydroponics system, it offers one of the fastest plant growth speeds possible while maintaining complete, continuous control of nutrient strength levels.

Virtually all types of hydroponics system rely on a reservoir tank from which the plants are periodically fed. Because of this, it’s vitally important that the reservoir never becomes dry. If this should ever happen, damage to plant could quickly follow, particularly when growing in just clay pebbles or growing NFT style. In both cases, there is low water retention in the root zone and the risk of plant damage that could be caused due to an empty reservoir is high.

Another problem with reservoirs is that plants will gradually use the water over the course of the week in-between changes. Sometimes, plants will use up water at a different rate to the nutrient that’s in it. This means that the nutrient strength can drift upwards or downwards, meaning your strength can become less than ideal. If the nutrient strength goes down, then plant growth speed may become compromised and nutrient deficiencies might arise. If the nutrient strength goes too high, then there is a risk of overfeeding and even nutrient burn occurring.

One of the leading hydroponics equipment manufacturers – Nutriculture – have come up with a simple way of adapting almost any hydroponics setup so that this doesn’t happen. It is as easy as fitting one of their Hydroflow Auto Top-up Kits and a water butt which acts as a header tank.

The kit consists of a float valve which is fitted to the hydroponics reservoir. All that is needed is a drill and a 21mm drill bit suitable for the material that your reservoir is made of (usually plastic).

The float valve is adjustable, so it can be fitted to the side of the reservoir, or if the arrangement allows, it can be fitted to the top of the reservoir cover.

The adjustment screw allows the float valve to be fitted anywhere from horizontal to vertical

A pipe is then fitted to the external part of the float valve. The other end of the pipe is fitted to a hose-pipe type click-fit connector which is then clicked on to the tap part of the header tank (water butt) which should ideally be at least 18 inches higher than the level of the float valve.

The click-fit tap to pipe connector

The operation of the setup is very simple. when the level of water in the reservoir goes down, the float valve opens, allowing water to flow from the header tank into the reservoir. When it is full, the float valve shuts off, preventing overfilling and overflows.

Float valve in the up and closed position
Float valve in the down and open position

Of course, it is important to make sure that the header tank (water butt) always has plenty of water in it too, otherwise the system cannot work to keep your reservoir topped up! Other than that, it is pretty much fit and forget.

So, with the Hydroflow Auto Top-Up Kit you can say goodbye to dry reservoirs, damaged crops etc. , and say hello to peace of mind and much less maintenance.