Understanding Calcium and Magnesium in Hydroponic Systems
In hydroponic systems, calcium and magnesium play a crucial role. However, they’re often packaged separately from other essential minerals in fertilizers. Here’s why:
Why Separate Calcium and Magnesium?
When calcium is mixed with water alongside phosphorus and sulfur, they can combine and create insoluble clumps. This makes the nutrients unavailable to plants. To prevent this, calcium and magnesium should be dissolved in water separately before being combined with other fertilizers.
Adjusting Dosages Based on Your Water Source:
The amount of calcium and magnesium you need to add depends on your water’s initial mineral content:
- Tap Water: Typically contains native calcium and magnesium. On average, tap water has a mineral content of 0.15 EC (150 TDS). However, this can vary based on your location. Before adding any fertilizers, check your local water report or use testing strips or an EC meter to determine its mineral content.
- Rain or R/O Water: Lacks significant amounts of calcium and magnesium. R/O (Reverse Osmosis) water has had most of its minerals removed, making it almost “pure” water. For such water sources, you’ll need to add more calcium and magnesium to reach an ideal starting point of approximately 0.3 EC (300 TDS).