How To Adjust Water Level In Hydroponics (And More!)

Hydroponics is a great way to grow your own food. It allows you to avoid the soil and pests that come with traditional gardening, and there are many types of hydroponic systems that can be used. But every hydroponic system needs water, which can pose a problem as you grow. 

Water evaporates as it’s used up by plants or absorbed by the roots of your crops. So how do you keep it at the right level? There are several ways to adjust water levels in your hydroponic system.

How to Adjust Hydroponic Nutrients for Beginners
Key Takeaways from “How to Adjust Water Level in Hydroponics and More”
Start by measuring the water level in your hydroponic system
Adjust water level as needed to promote healthy plant growth
Add or remove water as necessary to maintain the correct level
Be mindful of the water level’s impact on nutrient and pH levels
Regularly monitor and adjust water level as needed to ensure optimal conditions for plant growth

Siphon Water Out

When it’s time to drain the reservoir, use a hose and bucket. First, fill up a bucket with water from your tap or faucet. Then, use the hose to connect the bottom of the reservoir (where you’ll be draining) to your bucket. 

If you want to be extra safe about not losing any precious nutrient solution, make sure you open up that valve at the bottom of before starting this process! 

Once everything is set up and ready to go, start by opening up that valve at rest level so that all that excess nutrient solution can fall into your bucket below it. Then keep turning on/off as needed until all the excess water has been removed from inside your reservoir.

When adjusting nutrient levels in hydroponics, it’s important to start slowly and make small changes at a time. Check out our guide on adjusting nutrients in hydroponics for more tips on this process.

Use A Peristaltic Pump

A peristaltic pump is a very simple way to move water around your hydroponics system. It has the advantage of being cheap and easy to install, but it does require more maintenance than other methods.

To use a peristaltic pump in your hydroponics system, simply connect one end of it to the water source, then attach the other end to your plant’s roots (or whatever else you want watered). 

You can create this connection by using PVC pipes or flexible tubing like aquarium air hoses. If you’re using PVC pipe, make sure that its diameter matches that of your peristaltic pump; otherwise it won’t work as intended!

If installing a peristaltic pump seems too difficult for you, there are also some ready-to-go kits available online where all you have to do is plug them in—no installation required!

Get A Float Switch

While hydroponic systems can be somewhat complex, a float switch is one of the simplest pieces of equipment used in them. While they might not seem like much at first glance, they do a lot of important work and they’re also pretty durable.

A float switch is basically a mechanical device that detects how much water is being held inside its reservoir and then activates an electrical circuit when enough has been collected (usually through two metal contacts). 

They are commonly used to control pumps or other machinery that either fills up reservoirs or drains them, depending on if more water needs to be added or if some needs to be removed from them.

For example, when you’re growing plants in an indoor setup where there’s no natural way for rainfall or irrigation systems outside their growing area (like outdoor locations), then using this mechanism allows users to manually add additional amounts when necessary without having any down time from their crops’ growth cycles due to lack of proper watering levels

When it comes to avoiding fungus in hydroponics, prevention is key. Our guide on preventing fungus in hydroponics covers a number of steps you can take to reduce the risk of fungus growth.

Use A Siphoning Net Pot

You can use a siphoning net pot to drain the water from your hydroponics system. This is done by allowing the bottom of your container to be submerged in water and then creating an opening at the top of your container that allows you to pump out the excess water.

The following steps will show you how to make a siphoning net pot:

  • Cut a hole in one side (either side will work) of the bucket about 3 inches up from its base with an X-acto knife or other sharp instrument
  • Cut another hole on opposite side (opposite from where you just cut), also at least 2 inches above its base

Drill In Drainage Holes

If you’re using a flood tray, drill holes in the bottom of it. If you’re using a reservoir to store your water and nutrients, drill holes in its bottom. 

If you’re using a grow bed as well as a flood tray or reservoir, drill holes in both (you can also leave out one of these).

Drill several drainage holes in the pump’s base plate. Drill drainage holes in your drain pipe too if necessary.

Algae growth in hydroponics can lead to blockages and water quality issues. Check out our guide on avoiding algae in hydroponics for tips on reducing the risk of algae growth.

Purchase A Drip Irrigation System

Drip irrigation systems are great for watering plants because they deliver water directly to the soil, and not to the leaves. The water is released slowly over time, which helps prevent over-watering.

Drip irrigation can be installed in any type of hydroponic system, including deep water culture systems. To install a drip irrigation system, follow these steps:

Place your plants into your pots or container. Fill each pot with nutrient solution up to half full; do not fill above the drainage holes in your pots (you may want to place plastic tubing around these holes first).

Insert your drain line into one side of each pot’s drainage hole and connect it to an empty bucket or reservoir that has been filled with nutrient solution (this will provide you with an easy way to change out used nutrient solution).

Set up tubes that have drip emitters attached at regular intervals throughout each row of plants (or closely spaced together) by placing them between pots on either side of each plant’s stem and letting them run through their root zone until they reach beneath it into another pot where there are more roots growing down toward where they were placed originally). 

Each tube should have its own timer so that each type can be controlled separately from one another if necessary later on down road when growth rates get adjusted accordingly by climate changes etc., although some people prefer using just one timer for all three types instead since this saves having lots extra pieces lying around which could easily become lost/misplaced during busy times etc..

Create Your Own Drip Irrigation System

You can buy a drip irrigation system, but if you’re on a tight budget and have some spare time, why not make your own? It will save money and look pretty cool in your garden.

To create your own drip irrigation system, all you need is:

  • A plastic bottle (1-2 liters)
  • Scissors or a knife for cutting the bottom off of the bottle
  • Drill for drilling holes in the cap of the bottle and in its top to attach a pipe (optional—see step 4). Drill bits vary depending on what size hole you want to make; I used 1/16” bit for my small-sized plants.

If you need to bring the pH of your hydroponic system up, using a pH up solution is the most common method. Check out our guide on bringing pH up in hydroponics for tips on how to do this effectively.

Get A Bell Siphon And Standpipe Expansion Joint

You can use a bell siphon and standpipe expansion joint to remove water from your hydroponics reservoir. The bell siphon is a device that allows water to be removed from the reservoir, while the standpipe expansion joint allows air into the system.

The process works like this: When there’s not enough space in your reservoir (for example, because of evaporation), air comes in through the standpipe expansion joint and goes into your pump. 

This pressurizes your system with oxygen, which helps keep algae at bay. As long as enough water is present in your reservoir, this should work well!

Invest In An Ebb And Flow System

An Ebb and Flow system is a hydroponics setup where the water level is constantly changing. The water level cycles between high and low, which allows for root zones to be submerged in water and then exposed to air. 

This cycle helps mimic nature, allowing plants to grow more effectively than they would in an aeroponic system, where the roots are always exposed to air and light.

Ebb and Flow systems work by pumping nutrient-rich solution into your grow beds when the pump is running, allowing your plants’ roots to soak up nutrients before draining back out again through their drainage holes. 

This ensures that you have plenty of fresh nutrient solution available at all times for your plants so they can grow as quickly as possible!

To get started with an Ebb & Flow system:

  • Get yourself some grow beds (we recommend using 2×4 foot PVC frames)
  • Install some PVC pipe into those frames along with tubing that will connect them together (you can also use silicone if you don’t want any chance of leaks)

Lowering the pH of your hydroponic system is usually done with a pH down solution. For more tips on this process, see our guide on bringing pH down in hydroponics.

Learn About The Dwc Pump Method

Learn about the DWC pump method. The Deep Water Culture (DWC) is a hydroponic system that uses a nutrient enriched water solution to grow plants. 

The roots are suspended in this solution, which is pumped from the reservoir below and recirculates through spray nozzles, allowing for better oxygenation of the root zone.

 This method can be used with both aeroponic and non-aeroponic systems, although it works best when you have an air pump because it helps prevent clogging of spray nozzles by adding oxygen into your nutrient tank.


We hope this article helped you learn how to adjust water level in hydroponics. It’s an important skill that many new growers struggle with, so don’t be afraid if you feel like these tips are too advanced right now! 

The main thing is that you keep learning and growing as a grower—and that means overcoming those challenges along the way.

Further Reading

Want to learn more about hydroponics and water levels? Check out these resources:

Why Farm It: Hydroponics Water: This article explains the different factors that can affect water quality in a hydroponic system and provides tips on how to maintain ideal water conditions.

Bitponics: DWC Water Level: This guide goes over the basics of deep water culture (DWC) hydroponics, including how to measure and adjust water levels.

Why Farm It: Hydroponics TDS Level: This article covers total dissolved solids (TDS) in hydroponics and how to measure and adjust TDS levels.


What is a hydroponic system?

A hydroponic system is a method of growing plants in a soilless environment. Instead, plants are grown in nutrient-rich water with added oxygen, which can promote faster growth and healthier plants.

How do I measure water levels in hydroponics?

There are a few different methods you can use to measure water levels in a hydroponic system, depending on the specific setup you’re using. One common method is to measure the water level in a reservoir or container using a ruler or other measuring device.

Why is water level important in hydroponics?

Maintaining the correct water level in a hydroponic system is important for several reasons. If the water level is too low, plants may not receive enough nutrients or may dry out. On the other hand, if the water level is too high, plants may not receive enough oxygen and root rot or other issues can develop.

What is TDS in hydroponics?

TDS stands for total dissolved solids, which refers to the amount of minerals and other dissolved particles in the nutrient solution of a hydroponic system. Monitoring and adjusting TDS levels can help ensure that plants receive the right balance of nutrients.

How do I adjust water levels in a hydroponic system?

Adjusting water levels in a hydroponic system will depend on the specific setup you’re using. Some systems may have automatic sensors or pumps that can adjust water levels, while others may require manual adjustments using rulers or other measurement tools. Check the instructions for your specific system and refer to helpful resources for guidance.