How To Bring PH Up In Hydroponics (Explained)

If you?re reading this, it means that you?re having issues with pH in your hydroponics or aquaponics. 

Why worry about pH when you can simply bring the pH up? It?s easy to do, and there are numerous ways to get the job done. We will be discussing all of them over this article.

How to raise pH in Hydroponics – Avoid this mistake
Tips to Bring pH Up in Hydroponics
Use potassium hydroxide (KOH) or potassium silicate (K2SiO3) to raise pH levels
Consider using a pH meter or test kit to monitor pH levels accurately
Add pH up solution to nutrient solution gradually and recheck pH levels frequently
Use reverse osmosis (RO) or distilled water for initial nutrient solution to prevent imbalances
Avoid overshooting the target pH level, as it can be difficult to bring it back down

Peat moss

Peat moss is a great source of carbon, which plants need in order to photosynthesize. Plants also use carbon to build their cell walls, so it’s important to have plenty available in the roots’ environment to grow strong and happy. 

When it comes time for you to add some peat moss into your hydroponic system, keep in mind that this will also raise the ph level!

Avoiding fungus growth in hydroponics is essential for maintaining plant health. Using appropriate nutrients that contain chelated iron can minimize risks of infection. Learn more about the importance of fungal prevention measures and other hydroponic gardening tips by checking out our expert advice on how to avoid fungus in hydroponics.

Wood ash

Wood ash is a great source of potash. It can be used as an amendment in compost, soil and worm bins, but should not be used in hydroponics.

 Wood ash contains potassium carbonate which can give too much alkalinity to the growing medium or water if it’s not balanced with other amendments that contain calcium carbonate.

Hydrated lime

If you want to raise your pH, the most common way is by using hydrated lime. With the chemical name calcium hydroxide, it’s an alkaline material that can be used to increase the pH of water or soil and make it more basic (or “higher”). It’s also sometimes referred as slaked lime, builder’s lime and agricultural lime.

Hydrated lime is a white powder made from limestone (a type of rock) that has been heated in kilns until all its carbon dioxide has been driven off. 

As such, it contains little or no carbonate ion   which is why we need to add so much of it when we’re trying to raise our pH levels!

The amount needed will depend on how much acid needs neutralizing but as a rule of thumb:

Algae growth in hydroponics can cause a variety of problems, such as clogged irrigation systems and nutrient imbalances. To prevent algae from becoming a major issue, consider using an algaecide solution or implementing a UV treatment system. For more tips on preventing algae and other hydroponic gardening tips, check out our expert advice on how to avoid algae in hydroponics.

Calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate is a good source of calcium, which you can use to raise the ph of your water or soil. It can be found in eggshells and oyster shells, so if you have them lying around, they might be worth trying out.

Dolomite lime

Dolomite lime is a great way to bring ph up. It’s a good source of calcium and magnesium, which are important for plant growth.

Dolomite lime is better than calcium carbonate for raising ph levels because the minerals in it dissolve more easily, so you don’t need as much to raise the pH level. It also releases carbon dioxide gas into your solution when dissolved, which helps bring down your pH too!

Using dolomite lime over calcium sulfate is also good because it doesn’t contain any sulfur compounds that could be harmful to plants if they get into their roots or leaves (if you’re using liquid nutrients).

High PPM levels can be detrimental to the growth and development of hydroponic plants. To bring down PPM levels, consider using reverse osmosis (RO) water or replacing nutrient solutions more frequently. Check out our detailed guide on how to bring down PPM in hydroponics for more information on causes, effects, and solutions for high PPM levels.

Wettable powder sulfur

Sulfur is an important nutrient, because it’s a necessary part of the chlorophyll molecule. It also helps keep plants healthy by acting as a natural fungicide and reducing the amount of nutrients required by plants.

By growing your plants in a hydroponic system, you can use wettable powder sulfur to raise the pH level of your water supply without having to make any major changes to your existing setup.

Aluminum sulfate

Aluminum sulfate is a water purification chemical. It’s used to raise the pH of water, which helps control algae in a hydroponic system. If you’re having trouble growing plants, try adding some aluminum sulfate to your reservoir and see if that helps with plant growth.

pH imbalances can also be detrimental to plant growth in hydroponics. To bring pH down in hydroponics, consider using acidic solutions like vinegar or citric acid. Check out our expert advice on how to bring pH down in hydroponics for more tips on managing pH levels in your hydroponic garden.

Magnesium hydroxide

Magnesium hydroxide is used to raise the pH of water. To use magnesium hydroxide, first dissolve one teaspoon of it in a gallon of water. 

The magnesium hydroxide will react with the water to produce magnesium carbonate and bicarbonate, which are both bases. This reaction raises the pH of your water above 7.

Potassium bicarbonate

Potassium bicarbonate, also called Potash Bicarbonate, is a pH buffer that can be used to raise your pH in hydroponics. It’s made of potassium carbonate and bicarbonate, and it’s often used in the food industry as a pH buffering agent.

Proper nutrient management is crucial for healthy hydroponic plants. To adjust nutrient levels effectively, use a TDS or EC meter to measure nutrient concentrations or follow manufacturer instructions to achieve optimal growing conditions. Learn more about the importance of nutrient balance and other hydroponic gardening tips by checking out our expert advice on how to adjust nutrients in hydroponics.


Borax is a naturally occurring mineral that can be used to raise the pH of hydroponic nutrient solutions. It’s also known as sodium borate decahydrate (Na2B4O7•10H2O).

Borax is inexpensive and easy to find, making it the most inexpensive method of raising pH in your hydro system. Borax is not toxic to plants or humans when used properly and it doesn’t leave behind any harmful residue like some other chemicals do.

Check What You?re Flushing

If you are flushing with tap water, check what is in it. If the pH of your tap water is high, then it will be hard to lower it.

If you are flushing with well water, check what is in it. Chances are that the pH of your well water will be very low and that also makes it hard to bring up the ph level in hydroponics.

If you use RO/DI (reverse osmosis / deionized) water for hydroponics instead of fresh municipal tap or well water then this might be easier for you because reverse osmosis usually produces low ph RO/DI water which is good for growing plants but not ideal for growing plants such as tomatoes which prefer higher ph levels

Look At Your Water Source

You need to look at your water source. If your water source is hard, you will need to add more lime. If your water source is soft, you will need to add less lime. 

If your water source is neutral (not too hard or soft), you will want to add about the same amount of lime as the other types of water sources.

Check The Air

If you have a problem with low pH, the first thing to check is your grow room’s air. If it’s too dry, it can cause problems with your pH because of the lack of humidity. Humidity is important because it prevents evaporation and helps protect against wind, which will dry out the soil and plants. If you notice that there are few things growing on top of your soil or that there are gaps between roots, then this could be a sign that there isn’t enough humidity in the room.

The next step is to check how much moisture your plant roots receive during watering sessions. If they aren’t getting enough water through their roots.

Then it’s possible for them not only not being able to absorb enough nutrients but also causing lower levels of oxygen in their leaves as well as less energy being produced from photosynthesis due to lack of sunlight exposure (which would normally happen if your lights were closer). This means that some areas might become stressed out faster than others!

Add More Hydrogen

Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless gas. It’s also an element and one of the most abundant elements in the universe, making up 75% of it! You can find hydrogen in water (H2O), which is why it’s also known as dihydrogen monoxide.

Hydrogen is a strong enough acid that you can use it to bring your ph down if you add too much ph-raising solution like calcium carbonate or calcium hydroxide to your hydroponics system.

To use hydrogen as a means of lowering your pH level:

Get some pure liquid hydrogen gas from eBay, Amazon or another online retailer. Hydrogen gas is cheap and easy to handle when compared to other acids such as hydrochloric acid (HCl).

Use Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)

You can bring up the pH of your nutrient solution using calcium chloride. Calcium chloride is a salt that’s used to raise the pH of the nutrient solution. 

It can be added to the nutrient solution before or after you mix it, but before adding any of these products, make sure you follow all safety precautions and wear gloves!

  • Add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) for every gallon (3.8 l) of water in your hydroponic system or garden bed
  • Use only 2 tablespoons (29 ml) per 20 gallons (76 l) of water if adding at this point

If you’re using an aquarium pump with a reservoir tank, you may want to add 1/2 cup (118 ml) per 100 gallons (378 l).

Using Calcium Chloride to Raise pH in Hydroponics

Tips to Consider
Use calcium chloride in small amounts, as it is highly concentrated and can easily oversaturate water
Always wear gloves and goggles when handling calcium chloride, as it can cause skin and eye irritation
Add calcium chloride gradually to the nutrient solution while stirring and recheck pH levels
Calculate appropriate dosages based on the size of your nutrient solution and desired pH levels
Avoid using calcium chloride if your plants are sensitive to chloride ions

Get Some Potassium Carbonate (K2CO3)

Potassium carbonate is another salt, but it’s a base that will raise the ph of your water. It’s also a fertilizer that will help your plants grow. 

You can also use it to increase the ph of your water by adding it directly to the reservoir or by adding a few tablespoons in with each watering cycle (I did this).

Try Adding Lime Juice

If you have a nutrient solution that is too acidic, you can use lime juice to bring the ph up. Add a little bit of lime juice to your reservoir and run it through your system like normal. 

This will help raise the ph of your water and also add calcium and magnesium which is beneficial for root health.

It’s important not to overdo it with the amount of lime juice you use as this can lead to nutrient imbalances in your system.

Using Lime Juice to Raise pH in Hydroponics

Tips to Consider
Use fresh lime juice, as bottled juice may contain preservatives that can harm plants
Add lime juice gradually to the nutrient solution while stirring and recheck pH levels
Test the nutrient solution’s pH levels before adding lime juice
Avoid using too much lime juice, as it can oversaturate the water and harm plants
Consider alternatives like dolomite lime or potassium hydroxide if you need to make larger pH adjustments


We hope this guide has helped you better understand how to raise pH in hydroponics. We know that it can be tricky, but we also know that with a little practice and the right tools, you can master the art of growing! 

If you have any questions about what we covered here today then please leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Further Reading:

How to Acidify Soil Naturally: This article provides useful information on acidifying soil naturally using various techniques, such as adding compost, sulfur or peat moss, to create optimal growing conditions for acid-loving plants.

How to Raise pH in Hydroponics: This article offers actionable tips on raising pH levels in hydroponic gardening. From using baking soda to dolomite lime, the article covers various techniques for maintaining proper pH levels.

Understanding pH Up and Down in Hydroponics: This informative article highlights the importance of pH balance in hydroponic gardening and provides insights on how to adjust pH levels using pH up and down solutions.


What is pH in hydroponic gardening?

In hydroponic gardening, pH refers to the acidity or basicity levels of the nutrient solution used to grow plants. Maintaining proper pH levels is essential for plant growth and nutrient uptake.

What is the ideal pH range for hydroponics?

The ideal pH range for hydroponic gardening is between 5.5 and 6.5. This range provides optimal nutrient uptake and healthy plant growth.

Why is pH balance important in hydroponic gardening?

pH balance is important in hydroponic gardening as it affects the availability of essential nutrients for plant growth. Imbalanced pH levels can lead to nutrient deficiencies, stunted plant growth, and other problems.

How can I measure pH levels in hydroponic gardening?

You can measure pH levels using a pH meter, pH test kit, or pH paper strips. These tools are readily available at hydroponic supply stores or online.

How can I adjust pH levels in hydroponic gardening?

To adjust pH levels in hydroponic gardening, add pH up or down solutions to the nutrient solution until the desired pH is achieved. Other solutions, such as vinegar or baking soda, can also be used to adjust pH levels.