In this post we take a super quick look at hydroponic TDS and understand a little bit more about what it is, how it’s measured and why it’s important to your system.
What Is Hydroponic TDS?
Hydroponic TDS stands for Totally Dissolved Solids and is a measure of the number of ions, molecules or particles dissolved in water that can’t be filtered away using a two micrometer filter.
We use TDS within freshwater environments (which is why it’s important for hydroponics). For saltwater environments we use the term “salinity”, however, it’s essentially the same thing.
Why It’s Important
Ultimately, TDS is a measure of water quality, however, rather than being a measure of pollution it’s actually a measure of the amount of solids dissolved within the solution but it won’t tell you which solids are dissolved within the water.
What you’ll generally find is the higher the TDS level the less that can be done with it.
For reference, here are the TDS levels for different water types:
|Freshwater||Less than 1000 ppm|
|Brackish water||1000ppm to 5000ppm|
|Saline water||15,000ppm to 30,000ppm|
|Sea Water||30,000ppm to 40,000ppm|
For growers, knowing the hydroponic TDS of your water means you know how much nutrient solution is in the water, however, it won’t tell you what nutrients are in the solution.
How To Measure
The easiest way to measure Totally Dissolved Solids within your water is to either use a TDS meter such as those listed below: