How To Bring Down PPM In Hydroponics (Explained)

You may have heard of a process called “pH Perfection,” which is designed to help gardeners grow plants hydroponically. 

However, many people do not know what pH Perfection actually means. It’s easy enough: it just means that you’re lowering the pH level of your nutrient solution so that it will be within a certain range for optimal plant growth. To lower your growing medium’s pH level, follow these steps:

How to Raise PPM in Hydroponics
Takeaways from “Hydroponic Gardening: A Beginner’s Guide”
Hydroponic gardening is a soil-free method of growing plants
Benefits of hydroponic gardening include faster growth, higher yield, and less water usage
Choosing the right hydroponic system depends on your space, budget, and goals
Proper lighting, air circulation, and nutrient balance are all important factors for hydroponic success
Common hydroponic plants include lettuce, herbs, and strawberries

Remove Debris

The second step to bring down PPM is to remove debris. By removing dead roots, leaves and other debris you will remove a great amount of organic matter, which will help bring your system closer to neutral.

First, use a garden hose with a spray nozzle and wash out the entire system. This will get rid of any algae that is growing in the system as well as clean any pesticides or fungicides that may have been used before you started using it for hydroponics. 

If there is no drainage hole at the bottom of your bucket then make sure you have enough water in there so it doesn’t overflow when washing it out!

To ensure the healthy growth of your hydroponic plants, it’s important to add the right amount of nutrients to your system. Check out our guide on adding nutrients to a hydroponic system for step-by-step instructions and expert tips on the best nutrient solutions to use.

Use a Filter

A filter is a device that removes unwanted particles from water. Filters can be made of many different materials, such as sand or activated carbon rocks. 

They are usually placed between the pump and the reservoir so they can catch any large particles before they reach your plants’ roots. Filters should be cleaned on a regular basis to make sure they are working properly and don’t break down over time.

Maintain Water Level

Water level is important for a few reasons. First, if the water is too low, your roots will dry out and die. Second, if the water is too high, your roots may get stuck in overflow holes or flood your grow room. 

Thirdly, stagnant water can lead to build up of algae and mold which will prevent healthy root growth and health as well as damage plants’ leaves or buds. Fourthly, dirty reservoirs can lead to diseases and sicknesses that are difficult to treat once they have taken hold on plants.

Finally, frozen reservoirs can cause damage to pumps and pipes due to expansion during freezing temperatures which may even result in leaks developing within walls of buildings where hydroponic systems are housed!

Fungus can quickly take over your hydroponic system and harm your plants. To prevent this, it’s important to take proper precautions and follow best practices. Check out our guide on avoiding fungus in hydroponics for tips on maintaining good hygiene, monitoring nutrient levels, and using beneficial microorganisms.

Check Nutrient Composition

The next step is to check the nutrient composition of your nutrient solution. If it’s too strong, dilute it until it’s right for your plants.

If the hydroponic medium you’re using isn’t suitable for growing in, then consider changing the medium. 

If you want to try a different type of hydroponic system and don’t want to waste what you have already invested in, try adding an inert material such as perlite or vermiculite into your existing grow bed before adding new media. 

This will help break down any buildup within the system without having to add chemicals that may harm or kill beneficial microorganisms (such as fungi).

Check the EC Meter

Checking the EC of your hydroponic solution is not exactly rocket science, but there are some basics you need to know before jumping in.

EC stands for electrical conductivity and measures the amount of dissolved salts in water. It’s measured in millimhos per centimeter (mmhos/cm) or millisiemens per meter (mS/m). In other words, it tells you how much salt is dissolved in your water. 

The higher the EC value, the greater concentration of salts in your nutrient solution. So what does this mean? Well, too high an EC level can quickly lead to root burn if it’s not controlled properly. 

And if a plant suffers from root burn or has poor leaf growth because its roots aren’t getting enough oxygen through their transpiration process then there may not be enough photosynthesis taking place either which will affect growth rate and yield at harvest time as well as overall health throughout flowering/fruiting stages!

Maintaining the correct pH balance in a hydroponic system is essential for the optimal growth of your plants. If your pH levels are too low, it’s important to bring them up to the correct range. Check out our guide on bringing pH up in hydroponics for tips on using alkaline solutions, adjusting your nutrient mix, and more.

Use Reverse Osmosis Filter

Reverse Osmosis filters are a great way to reduce the ppm in your hydroponic system. These systems can be purchased from any hydroponic store, but you must make sure that the filter is compatible with your system. 

The first thing that needs to happen when installing the reverse osmosis filter is removing it from its packaging and inspecting it for damage or wear. 

If there are no visible defects in the product, remove all of its components so they can be cleaned separately according to their respective instructions. 

Once this has been accomplished, reassemble them back into their original positions and clean each component as directed by their manufacturers’ guidelines before reassembling them into their new configuration! Now go enjoy some fresh drinking water!

Monitor Drainage

Monitor drainage: One of the most important things you can do to ensure your plants’ health is to monitor how much water drains from your reservoir, as well as its pH and EC levels. 

Monitoring these factors will help you determine if there are any problems with your hydroponic setup, or if it just needs a few simple adjustments that will get things back on track.

Consider using timed drain cycles: Timed drain cycles give you more control over the amount of time that passes between each drain cycle which means you may be able to save some energy when compared with an automated system that runs automatically every few hours without any input from you at all!

Starting a hydroponic garden may seem daunting, but it can be a rewarding and low-maintenance way to grow your own produce. Check out our guide on building a hydroponic garden for beginners for step-by-step instructions and helpful tips on choosing the right system, setting it up, and maintaining your plants.

Remove Unwanted Strains of Algae

There are a few ways to remove algae. The first is to simply remove the plant from your hydroponics system, which will prevent any further growth of algae on that plant’s roots. 

Removing the plant is not always possible if you have many plants in your system or are not sure which one is causing the problem, but this method is effective if you have only one problematic plant or if it’s just one type of algae causing problems.

The second way to remove algae is with a filter such as an air filter or chemical filter. These filters can be used on their own or in conjunction with UV light or other methods (such as an ionizer). 

They do not kill existing algae but they do prevent new strands from forming while they’re running in your system so long as they remain clean and free from clogs and blockages that could potentially harbor new strands of bacteria/algae growth

Change Reservoir Water Regularly

The first thing you should do is change the reservoir water regularly. Hydroponic systems are not self-cleaning, so there will be a lot of build-up in your system over time. 

The best way to clean out this build-up is by changing the reservoir water every week or two as well as using a reverse osmosis filter on it when you first set up your system. 

This can help reduce PPM levels in your nutrient solution and keep them low for longer periods of time.

Another thing you can do to help reduce PPM levels in hydroponics is using carbon filters on both the intake and output lines of your hydroponic system. 

Carbon filters remove chemicals such as chlorine and pesticides from your water source before they get into your reservoir, which helps prevent any unwanted contaminants from getting into your plants’ roots directly through their roots systems where they could potentially become toxic over time due too high levels caused by inadequate cleaning practices (such as growing them indoors).

Root rot is a common problem in hydroponic systems and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor oxygen circulation, nutrient imbalances, and contaminated water. To avoid this, it’s important to take preventive measures and monitor your system closely. Check out our guide on avoiding root rot in hydroponics for tips on maintaining proper sanitation, using oxygen-rich water, and more.

Drain the Entire System Regularly

You should drain your entire system every few months. This is because hydroponics systems require regular cleaning to keep them in good shape and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, mold and mildew.

A thorough cleanse could even extend the life of your growing mediums by removing excess salts and minerals that build up over time. It’s also a good idea to perform small water changes on a weekly basis (at least), but if you have time it may be worth doing more often than that!

Regular Drainage Schedule for Hydroponic Systems

System TypeRecommended Drainage Frequency
Deep Water CultureEvery 2-3 months
Drip SystemEvery 3-4 months
Ebb and FlowEvery 4-6 months
Nutrient Film TechniqueEvery 2-3 months
AeroponicsEvery 1-2 months

Avoid Overheating Nutrient Solution or Media in Your System

The next step to avoiding PPM buildup is to avoid overheating the nutrient solution or media in your system. When you add fertilizer salts to water, they dissolve and mix with the water molecules. 

If you heat up this solution too much, however, some of these dissolved minerals will precipitate out of solution as crystals or clumps of solid material that drop down into your reservoir. This can lead to two problems:

Nutrient salts can crystallize at a higher rate than normal when they’re heated up too quickly or kept at high temperatures for an extended period of time; this causes a buildup of mineral deposits on pipes and other pieces of equipment that can inhibit airflow and airflow efficiency (which we’ll get into later).

Overheating causes nutrient salts to precipitate out because they no longer want to stay dissolved in hot water; this means they don’t mix properly with other chemicals when mixed together during mixing processes like dosing cycles making it harder for plants’ roots access everything they need while also increasing chances that something goes wrong later on due lack nutrients being absorbed properly by plant roots

Grow Your Plants on Hydroponic Medium

If you are growing in soil, we recommend that you switch to a medium that will allow the roots to access water and oxygen more evenly. 

You can use rockwool cubes, hydroton pebbles or other inert growing mediums. Soilless mixes such as coco coir are also an option but may not be as effective for your plants due to the limited air circulation in most hydroponic systems.

Make sure your reservoir is large enough for your plant’s needs and keep it full at all times

This is especially important if you have heavy feeders like tomatoes or peppers growing in there! The contour of your reservoir should slope downward from the pump so that gravity can do its thing when it comes time for draining out excess water after feeding cycles (more on this later).

Add a Flushing Agent to Soil and Soilless Mixes

A flushing agent is a chemical that helps remove plant nutrients and salts from the soil. It’s an ideal solution for those who have problems with nutrient lockout, which occurs when plants fail to absorb nutrients due to too much salt in the soil. The result is poor growth or even death.

Flushing agents help prevent this by removing excess nutrients and salts from your hydroponic system so that you can maintain optimal pH levels without having to add more chemicals or additives into your system.

The benefits of using a flushing agent include:

  • Removing salt buildup that causes poor growth, nutrient lockout, etc.
  • Eliminating the need for regular testing of PH levels (which can be expensive)

Flushing Agents for Plant Nutrient Removal

Flushing AgentBenefitsBest For
Distilled waterInexpensiveAll soil types
LeachAidReduces salt buildupSoilless mixes
Sulfuric acidpH balancingHigh pH levels
Citric acidNatural and safeAll soil types
ClearexRemoves excess nutrientsHydroponic systems


In conclusion, it is important to understand the importance of pH and how it can affect your plants’ growth. 

You can easily bring down the pH by using certain flushing agents or additives. The key to this process is finding a balance between what you want and what plants need when it comes to their environment. We hope this article has helped shed some light on how you can achieve this goal!

Further Reading

If you want to learn more about how to lower PPM levels in your hydroponic system, check out these articles:

The Ace Gardener: How to Lower PPM in Hydroponics: This article provides step-by-step instructions on how to lower PPM levels in your hydroponic system and avoid nutrient burn.

The Skilled Gardener: How to Lower PPM in Hydroponics: This article offers expert advice on how to lower PPM levels while maintaining optimal plant growth.

Plantophiles: How to Lower PPM in Hydroponics: This article covers a range of methods for lowering PPM levels in hydroponic systems, including dilution and nutrient flushing.


What is PPM in hydroponics?

PPM (parts per million) is a measurement of the concentration of nutrients in a hydroponic solution. It’s an important metric to monitor because too-high PPM levels can cause nutrient burn and other issues with plant growth.

What are some common causes of high PPM levels in hydroponics?

High PPM levels can be caused by a variety of factors, including using too much fertilizer, not changing the nutrient solution frequently enough, and not properly managing pH levels.

How can I measure PPM levels in my hydroponic system?

You can use a TDS (total dissolved solids) meter to measure PPM levels in your hydroponic solution. Simply take a sample of the nutrient solution and test it with the meter.

What are some strategies for lowering PPM levels in hydroponics?

Some common strategies for lowering PPM levels include flushing the system with fresh water, reducing the amount of nutrient solution in the system, and using a reverse osmosis system to filter out excess minerals.

How often should I monitor PPM levels in my hydroponic system?

It’s a good idea to monitor PPM levels on a regular basis, at least every few days. This will help you catch any changes in nutrient concentration early on and make adjustments as needed.