When building a hydroponic system, water temperature is vital for the health of your crops. Within a temperature range, nutrient solutions and irrigation water are most effective. However, plants are vulnerable to damage if the liquid is excessively hot or too cold.
When water is too warm, it can damage the delicate roofing systems. Too cold and plants can face the same damage, and you can find issues with your system.
To solve this, hydroponic growers often ask. What are the 4 best hydroponic water heaters you can get? The best heaters all come from the same manufacturer and scale in sizes from 50 Watts up to 300 Watts. Gardeners can find these models in single heater packs, or they come in packages of two. It is worth noting; hydroponic heaters can only warm a particular volume of water.
Ideal Water Temperatures for Hydroponics
Because there are limited water heaters for hydroponics, we will also look at some of the best water chillers available. It makes no sense to heat water and then not be able to cool it if necessary.
A good hydroponic farmer should know the optimal temperature settings for their plants as there isn’t a single water temperature optimal for all hydroponic plants.
As a result, it is healthier to maintain a range of temperatures to maximize plant growth.
A good recommendation is to stick to a temperature range of 68 – 72 F (20-22 C) as this is suitable for beginners. Gardeners with more experience hover around the 75 F (24 C) range to cover a broader range of plant types.
Water that is marginally outside the optimum range won’t kill your plants; it doesn’t mean operating at daily temperatures ranging to the extremes is acceptable.
Overheating from warm water increases root tissue respiration rates and leads to the growth of germs and fungus. Conversely, frigid conditions will slow a plant’s metabolism and hinder overall growth.
One pro gardening tip is to group plants based on temperature types and grow them in separate systems based on these conditions.
Hydrofarm Glass Reservoir Heater
This submersible reservoir heater has a high-impact glass housing that is easy to clean and resists corrosion or degradation. Excellent for keeping liquid tanks warm.
- Resistant to heat and shock.
- Glass tubing heaters will never rust or deteriorate and are simple to clean.
- Temperatures are displayed in Fahrenheit and Celsius.
- Completely submersible in fresh or saltwater, as well as nutrient solutions.
- Freezing damage is avoided.
- On/Off indicator.
- Maintains a constant warm temperature to prevent solutions from freezing or becoming too cold for practical use.
You’ll find the submersible reservoir heater has a high-impact glass casing, resists shattering, and is easy to clean. The glass heater never corrodes. It can be used in other areas besides hydroponics, such as aquariums, and is suitable for fresh or saltwater, besides your nutrient-rich growing solution.
The design is functional and straightforward, comprising an On/Off display and a large surface area to warm solutions efficiently.
The Hydrofarm Glass Reservoir Heater comes in 4 models:
- 50-Watt pack of 2
- 100 Watts pack of 2
- 200 Watts pack of 2
- 300 Watts pack of 2
Like all hydroponic heaters, the most significant downside is that each heater can only heat around 1 liter of water per Watt power, so a pack of two running at 50 watts can only heat 21 gallons.
EcoPlus Aqua Heat Titanium Water Heater
The EcoPlus Aqua Heat Titanium Water Heater may be submerged entirely and is fully automatic.
It comprises a double heating tube, which is exceptionally dependable. The heater delivers a temperature range from 68F (20C) to 93F. (34C).
The temperature management is straightforward to use, and if used in aquariums, it is suitable for saltwater and freshwater and nutrient solutions in your hydroponics systems.
- The heater tube is fully submersible.
- The electronic heater operates automatically.
- Double heating tube.
- Exceptionally durable.
- Temperature management is simple.
- Ideal for both saltwater and freshwater.
- A warranty period of one year.
The EcoPlus comes in two models:
EcoPlus 200W heater
- Voltage 120V.
- Water Volume heated: 30 Gallon or 120L.
EcoPlus 300W heater
- Voltage 120V.
- Water Volume heated: 50 Gallon or 180L.
Hydroponic Water Chillers
When you look for a water chiller, these are more significant than the above water heaters and can resemble small air conditioning units. In function, this is how they work in theory and cool water rather than air.
You’ll notice these sit outside your tank rather than you submerge them. With this, you could find your ambient temperature rising because of using a chiller to cool your nutrient solution.
Water Chiller Pros and Cons
To keep nutrients cool, there are many ways to try and do this. However, water chillers are the most effective and reliable technique for completing this task.
Depending on the location of your system, maintaining a cooler temperature during the day could be a challenge, thus using a water chiller makes this far more manageable, and you won’t need to monitor your solution temperatures continually.
Chillers can be highly beneficial, yet this comes at the expense of the running costs. Water chillers can take a significant investment, and if there need to be any repairs, they can be costly.
Running costs are the key area hydroponic gardeners find as the most significant downsides to water chillers. As these are not submersible, you’ll find they are not waterproof, and they will need to sit undercover if outside.
Another thing worthy of noticing is that most refrigeration-type chillers won’t come with tubing or a water pump, and thus you have a further cost.
Best Hydroponic Water Chillers
Hydrofarm Active Aqua Chiller
Active Aqua is a reputable brand in the hydroponics industry. They are well known for energy-efficient yet low-cost chiller units.
Their chiller offerings are classed as refrigeration units and are kitted out with a microprocessor control system, allowing for simple control and access to the chiller functions.
You’ll find construction robust, and the unit comes with a titanium evaporator, compressor protection features, and temperature memory. In operating, it sits outside your tank yet runs quietly.
The most distinct feature is the turbo function, which speeds up cooling by up to three hours, cooling your hydroponic reservoir while saving money.
The EcoPlus is another hydroponic specialist chiller unit that comes in three different models depending on the size of your reservoir.
- EcoPlus Chiller 1/10 HP
- EcoPlus Chiller 1/4 HP
- EcoPlus Chiller 1/2 HP
The models can manage tanks ranging from 15 to 42 gallons and up to 132 gallons for the most significant models.
The models are units with components like the Active Aqua. In addition, they are equipped with a microcontroller and automatic temperature control. The same features are used in the construction of a titanium evaporator and compressor and sensor circuit protection.
EcoPlus is well-known for manufacturing highly efficient and cost-effective hydroponic water chillers.
Besides these two models, there are more available yet geared more toward aquariums. However, these are more expensive, but they can deal with significantly larger volumes of a nutrient solution if you need such a device.
If you consider all the above in mind, you will identify the proper measures you have to consider for your hydroponic system. Your environmental circumstances are, to some extent, outside your control and will undoubtedly differ from one hydroponic system to another.
As a result, you must stay in touch with your surroundings and care for your system, be it using a hydroponic water heater, water chiller, or even if you are lucky and need neither.