What does EC stand for
The two most important factors in hydroponics are the nutrient concentration (EC – electrical conductivity) and the acidity level (pH) of the nutrients solution we use to feed our plants.
In order to have an excellent vegetables growth, the nutrient concentration and pH must be consistently balanced over time to insure plants have what they need, when they need it.
A good understanding of these variables is essential for successful hydroponic gardening systems.
Let’s see in detail what does ec stands for and how to control electrical conductivity in hydroponics.
Electrical conductivity definition
All the nutrients in the world will not be enough if the plant cannot absorb them easily.
EC stands for electrical conductivity of water nutrient solution and basically indicates the strengths of the hydroponic nutrient solution. More salts and nutrients are dissolved in the water, higher it’s the electrical conductivity (EC) value of the solution.
How to measure EC of water nutrient solution?
There are several methods of measuring EC levels. The most accurate is to use a digital PH EC Meter that is submerged in the nutrient solution for a reading to be taken.
Our digital PH EC Meter is sold already calibrated using a solution that has a known pH and EC values. Don’t forget anyway, you must calibrate it every so often. Read our guide to know how to calibrate your pH EC meter.
Nothing beats the fact to have a digital PH EC Meter! This tool will help you to keep the nutrients solution pH and concentration levels where they need to be. Our best advice is to carefully follow the directions that come with the hydroponics nutrients solution you plan to use.
Hydroponic EC Levels – EC in Hydroponics
There are several suggested EC values to keep in hydroponics. This depends on the plant growth phase:
- Ideal EC during germination process must be between 0.4 and 0.8 millisiemens/centimeter
- EC during growing phase between 0.8 and 1.8 millisiemens/centimeter
- Optimal EC during blooming phase between 0.4 and 0.8 millisiemens/centimeter
Thanks to our digital PH EC Meter you will know every time the exact EC value of your hydroponics solution! Your plants will thank you.
How to raise up EC in Hydroponics?
If the EC value of your hydroponic nutrient solution is too low, this means you have to add more nutrients in the water (add more Easy-Hydroponics Nutrient Solution AB in the water)
How to lower EC in Hydroponics?
If the EC value of your hydroponic nutrient solution is too high, this means you put too much fertilizers in the hydroponics solution. Simply add more water to the hydroponics nutrients solution until the EC value will reach the ideal value.
Electrical conductivity units – different way to read EC values in Hydroponics
As already anticipated, there are several methods of measuring EC levels. The common way is to use a digital pH EC Meter and read the EC values expressed in microsiemens/centimetre.
Our Easy-Hydroponics pH EC Meter read the electrical conductivity values in microsiemens /centimetre.
Other conductivity units are:
- millisiemens/centimeter (is another expression of EC values)
- TDS (total dissolved solids within the hydroponics solution). TDS is measured by parts per millions. One ppm is one part (by weight) of the mineral in one million parts of the solution.
Electrical Conductivity units conversion
Here following you will find a useful guide which will help you to switch from different kind of electrical conductivity units:
How to convert microsiemens to millisiemens
If your PH EC Meter reports EC values in microsiemens/centimeter and you want to convert those values in millisiemens/centimeter, simply divide the microsiemens/centimeter by 1000 and you will obtain the EC values in millisiemens/centimeter.
Example: if your EC is 800 microsiemens/centimeter -> your EC will be 0.8 millisiemens/centimeter
How to convert EC to ppm
Multiply the EC value (in millisiemens/centimeter) by 1000 and divide by 2
Example: if your EC is 0.8 millisiemens/centimeter -> 0.8*1000/2 = 400 parts per million (ppm) TDS Value
How to convert ppm to EC
Multiply the TDS value (in parts per million – ppm) by 2 and divide by 1000
Example: if your TDS is 400ppm -> 400*2/1000 = 0.8 millisiemens/centimeter (EC Value)