3 - The Nutrient Solution (1) (3).pdf

3 - The Nutrient Solution (1) (3).pdf - INORGANIC SALTS...

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THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION INORGANIC SALTS Inorganic - not organic; of mineral origin Salt - any of a class of compounds formed by the replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms of an acid with elements or groups, which are composed of anions and cations , and which usually ionize in solution; a product formed by the neutralization of an acid by a base. DISSOCIATION When a salt is dissolved in water it will dissociate into separate ions. WHAT SALTS DO WE USE? In hydroponics, all nutrients are supplied by dissolving salts into water. Picking the right salt(s) depends on a number of factors. 1. The Proportion of Ions the Salt Provides Example: We need to supply N to the plant. We have multiple options available to us that will do that. Two examples are KNO 3 (potassium nitrate) and Ca(NO 3 ) 2 (calcium nitrate) All other factors being equal , which salt would provide more N per unit? Answer: Calcium nitrate: Ca(NO 3 ) 2 When calcium nitrate dissociates in water it will provide two nitrate (NO 3 - ) anions for every one Ca (Ca 2+ ) cation . When potassium nitrate KNO 3 dissociates in water it will only provide one nitrate (NO 3 - ) anion per one K (K + ) cation. So.. Ca(NO 3 ) 2 would be preferable to KNO 3 especially for crops that need a lower EC (electrical conductivity). More on this later
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2. Solubility Solubility is the measure of the concentration of the salt that will remain in solution when dissolved in water. If a salt has a low solubility only small amounts will dissolve in water. We must use salts that have high solubility so they will remain in solution during the production cycle.
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