I was recently presented with a situation that involved my indoor garden. The question was presented to me of “what is the best hydroponic water filter?” At first i was stumped. Why would you need a water filter? What is wrong with just simply using tap water for an easy readily available supply? Then it hit me, of course a under sink water filter is necessary. The whole point of growing hydroponically is to have the up most control over the environment a plant is grown in and maximizing it’s growth potential by providing it the absolute best of everything it requires to grow and mature to the peak of its potential. And since water is one of the most important elements of a hydroponic system, having complete control of the water itself is actually a very logical step. Not to mention the fact that growing plants will absorb everything present in your water supply, which can be a severe handicap with unfiltered water as there is no telling what all is present in such a supply.
So after a bit of research I came upon the answer, and it was actually quite simple- in theory at least. Implementation of one of these filtration systems seems like it could become somewhat complex. So what is the answer you might be asking yourself? The best hydroponic water filter is a Reverse Osmosis Filter (commonly referred to as a RO). These RO filters are built with a two stage setup. The first step is passing the water through a sediment filter, which removes any large particles present in your water supply. All those dissolved solid particles get stripped away as the water passes through this stage. Then, the second stage of filtration is to have the semi filtered water pass through a semipermeable membrane. This stage is where all the fine, miniscule, micro contaminants are removed as they do not make it through the membrane, only pure water. After passing through both of these stages you are left with a purified water with which you can now check, and if necessary alter, the pH level of. You are also presented with the opportunity to more precisely control the PPM ratio of nutrients for your plants ultimate growth needs by adding exactly measured portions of the perfect ratio NPK for whatever stage your plants growth process is currently in.
There are a couple things to be aware of when it comes to RO filtered water though. The first of which is that not absolutely everything gets removed in a RO system. Some of the possible contaminants that can be left behind (by being passed through both filtration stages) are gases, chlorine, radon, and finally some certain types of pesticides are all able to make it through. So it is important to know what is present in your particular water supply, and unless you are drawing directly from a well, then you will want to do so e research. It isn’t too difficult though as your city/town/county will have records of water purity tests performed at refular time intervals on file and available to the public. An example of when reading up on your local supply could come in handy would be a situation where Chlorine is somehow present in, or maybe it’s even being added to, the water in your district. Knowing this information is crucial because it would mean needing another type of water filter known as a dechlorinator. But assuming there is little to none of this toxic chemical present where you live, the RO filtered water is the best option for supplying your plants with all the proper elements they need to reach their full potential.