Aquaponics systems commonly involve raising freshwater fish because they can tolerate diverse water temperatures and pH…
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Humidity is usually one of the most often overlooked aspects of gardening, but it’s something that you should pay attention to in your aquaponics journey. Ensuring that the environment where you’re growing plants has the right humidity helps them maximize photosynthesis for optimum growth. But what is the best humidity for aquaponics?
The ideal humidity range in an aquaponics system for optimum plant growth is around 50-70%. Depending on where you live or what conditions your area has, you would need either one of these types of equipment to get the right balance of humidity:
This article will discuss how humidity affects the growth of aquaponics plants, specifically those grown indoors. We will also share some recommendations on the best humidifiers and dehumidifiers for aquaponics.
What Is humidity, and why is it important?
Humidity is the amount of moisture present in the air. When it comes to plants, humidity plays an important role in influencing the amount of moisture your plants need and the overall foliage health.
Besides temperature, pH, and light, humidity, specifically relative humidity (RH) (water vapor level at a given temperature), is also part of the climate control of your system, which makes it an important consideration when practicing aquaponics. Manipulating humidity promotes photosynthesis, which will result in better growth and higher yields.
Your climate control solution will depend on the temperature of your area. Note that temperature and RH have an inverse relationship, such that when temperature decreases, the RH increases and vice versa.
What happens when your grow area’s humidity is too low?
Dehydration results when plants are grown in a low-humidity grow room. This means your plants will have some difficulties taking in water for their growth. You may have observed how greenhouses usually feel humid. This is because plants thrive best when they are exposed to moderate-high humidity all year.
What happens when your grow area’s humidity is too high?
While plants need humidity, too much of it is also detrimental to their growth. High humidity diminishes the plants’ efficiency in water uptake. Not only is high humidity not ideal for plants but also for your grow room since it promotes the growth of mold on wet areas of your setup. Plants can also be affected by molds leading to crop loss.
The Ideal Relative Humidity for Aquaponics
The ideal RH for your indoor aquaponics will depend on the growth stage of your plant, as each stage have different requirements. Below are guidelines on the ideal RH measure for different stages of plant growth:
- Cuttings and seedlings need to have a temperature between 68 deg F and 77 deg F, with a relative humidity of 60-70%. This is because plants in this stage are still growing thirsty leaves that require more moisture.
- During the flowering stage, humidity needs to be at least 50% since they require a less humid environment. This also helps prevent fungi from developing on buds.
- As the plant matures, lower humidity levels around 40% will be better for plants.
Achieving Optimal Humidity in Aquaponics Systems
Based on the ideal humidity explained above, the ideal humidity should be anywhere between 50-70% for most growing plants. You can use a hygrometer to measure your indoor grow room’s humidity. If you are unable to meet the ideal range, you will need extra equipment to adjust your grow room’s humidity.
Depending on the climate in your area, you may either need a humidifier or a dehumidifier. In the next section, we will discuss which one you need and provide some recommendations on the best products found in the market.
Increasing Humidity With Humidifiers
The cold winter air may prompt you to turn on the fireplace for warmth. For plants, they may not like it, resulting in dull-colored, wilting foliage. This only means that you have dry air in your grow room. That said, you will need a humidifier to raise the moisture level in the air.
Note that if you live in colder regions, plant humidifiers will be more in demand. Below are some of the best humidifiers you can find in the market:
Lowering Humidity With Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers work in an opposite manner as the humidifiers – they draw moisture that is present in your grow room. They are ideal for systems in a basement, or a grow room with not enough ventilation.
If your grow room feels damp and smells musky, it means that you have allowed mold to grow with the condition of the surroundings. And for that, you will need dehumidifiers.
While you can have an exhaust fan to increase airflow and improve humidity in the area, dehumidifiers are still the best and most efficient option. Here are some of the best ones you can find in the market:
Humidity and temperature are out of your control when you take your aquaponics outdoors. However, when you set it up indoors, you need to consider manipulating these elements to make sure you’ll have thriving crops.
Humidity may be a little tricky to balance, but with the right products, you can maintain the ideal humidity range of your grow room. Depending on the general climate of your area, you may need to invest in a humidifier or dehumidifier. This ensures that your grow room has the right conditions required for plants to carry out photosynthesis efficiently for optimum growth.