TDS Level of Tap Water / Nutrient Solution

by Bob
(Jack and Fish Canada)

The TDS level of the water at my house is 240 ppm. The TDS level of the nutrient solution should be in the 500 to 800 ppm range. Does the range include the 240 ppm, or do I add the 240 onto the 800 for a 1040 ppm reading on the TDS meter?

Answer: Bob- I have read various hydroponic publications for years, and they have been in agreement on this issue for the most part. Many of the articles I have read indicate that if you want to provide your plants with more usable nutrients, than you need to START with cleaner water....such as distilled water or reverse osmosis treated water. The implication here is that you must INCLUDE the 240 ppm from your tap water when you are trying to reach a particular nutrient solution strength.

I can't recall the exact justification they gave for it, but I believe it has to do with the fact that much of the 240 ppm coming from your tap water is made up of Calcium Carbonate, which, as far as the plant is concerned, sits in for other Calcium compounds that the plant can actually use to its benefit (Calcium Carbonate it cannot). Also, the remaining portion of the 240 ppm is usually sodium chloride and potassium chloride, neither of which plants use as food but both of which are ionic compounds that mimic fertilizer salts. So, even though the plants can't use them, they still contribute to the power of the solution to burn the roots. I hope that clears things up a little bit- I guess I remember more about those articles than I thought, lol.

Comments for TDS Level of Tap Water / Nutrient Solution

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 30, 2012
ppm.etc NEW
by: smiles

Finally someone has explained this most talked about question. 10 stars nice 1 and thank's

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Hydroponic Nutrients Q&A.

All of the items that I personally use and recommend!

AffordableGarden Design&Setup

(10 week update below)

Find out the cheapest and easiest ways to garden productively in this article.

Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 24 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients....and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden....but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people...

Epic Nutrient Change

I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as possible....and in the last 24 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!

As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol)...

Homemade Cloner

And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-Sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.

Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 24 years and I have only just recently mastered this difficult skill....and even then, only because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole year! If you can master the technique, I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food production system.

And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients...

High Efficiency

The ultimate solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants! Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system--->


Click Here to learn more!

This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 24 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.

Produce garnden vegetables AND fish together. Eliminate fertilizer costs!

Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!

The Same System/ 10 Weeks Later!

If you've found this site helpful at all, I would really appreciate it