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All Hydroponic gardeners should know about the benefits of using Hydrogen peroxide in the Hydroponic nutrient tank. Hydrogen peroxide is water with an extra oxygen atom in it which, when broken down into the solution, helps to add extra oxygen to your Hydroponic nutrient solution. This extra oxygen is then applied to the Hydroponic plant's roots making healthier and more robust plants with lots of healthy new root growth.
In Hydroponic gardening, Hydrogen peroxide is also very helpful in sterilizing your growing medium and the surrounding growing area at the same time. It helps to prevent bacteria and harmful pathogens like fusarium, pythium and some other unwanted diseases from growing in your Hydroponic system.
When we first starting introducing Hydrogen peroxide into our Hydroponic systems, we were amazed by the difference in the plants. We did experiments with Hydrogen peroxide in different Hydroponic systems side by side with everything identical in all systems including lights, temperature, nutrients and flood times.When we introduced Hydrogen peroxide into some of the Hydroponic systems we noticed the difference in less than 24 hours. Our heads of lettuce all stood up higher and were much bigger and after 3 days they didn't even look like the plants without the Hydrogen peroxide, They were much bigger and fuller and looked like much older plants. We have been believers in H202 in Hydroponic systems ever since.
Let's look at all this in more detail and see why Hydrogen peroxide works so well in Hydroponic gardening systems.
Hydrogen Peroxide in Hydroponic Gardening
In Hydroponic gardening, there are harmful bacteria strains that will thrive in low oxygen content water. If your Hydroponic nutrient tank solution tends to be usually on the warm side at 70 degrees or more, your Hydroponic tank and your Hydroponic growing medium is more likely to be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and pathogens. This is because room temperature or warm water holds very little oxygen in it. The warmer it gets, the less oxygen it holds.
This is not a good thing in a Hydroponic system as these bacteria and diseases can spread very rapidly if you don't have a good supply of oxygen in your Hydroponic nutrient tank. It can cause root rot in the plants and as they rot, they will remove even more oxygen from the water. Use of a good air stone in the tank helps to supply oxygen into the water and also adding Hydrogen peroxide as well.
Adding Hydrogen peroxide into your Hydroponic nutrient solution not only adds extra oxygen into the water and kills off harmful bacteria but it also will help to grow bigger healthier Hydroponic plants with thicker, healthier leaves and branches. Hydrogen peroxide also increases a Hydroponic plant's ability to uptake more of the nutrients from the solution as well.
Regular strengths of Hydroponic peroxide are 3% 5% and 8%. If you read the label on a bottle of regular household Hydrogen peroxide you will usually see that the inactive ingredient is purified water, which is good. This is like pure distilled water which is also good. It should say something else on the label though. It should say that the active ingredient is Hydrogen peroxide-STABILIZED. There has been much controversy on whether or not stabilized Hydrogen peroxide is good for the plants so let's discuss that.
Stabilizers are added chemicals that stop the product from breaking down on the store shelves. Although we usually want to know exactly what we are putting into the Hydroponic nutrient tank we have used regular 3% Hydrogen peroxide that you can buy in any store with never any ill effects on any of the plants. We have used it in strengths from 4 tablespoons per gallon of water up to 1 whole cup in a 12 gallon Hydroponic nutrient tank with no problems at all.
Adding 2 to 3 ounces a day to a five gallon tank has also been done. The plants all seem to grow great and very healthy with no signs of any bacterial growth anywhere. We know of many other growers who use it also with no problems to the plants. Always store any Hydroponic Hydrogen peroxide solutions in dark or light proof containers. Light rays break it down which is why it is sold in light proof bottles to start with.
The plants usually tell us everything we need to know about what we are doing in Hydroponic gardening. I would say that if you get some burning or yellowing of the leaves in your plants to reduce the amount or the strength you are using as it may be too strong. You can also make up a 5 gallon bucket of water with about 500 PPM of 3% regular Hydrogen peroxide and use it to top off your Hydroponic nutrient tank when it is low. This is a good practice to help keep your plants healthy and your Hydroponic nutrient solution bacteria free.
Hydrogen Peroxide in Hydroponics
Hydroponic stores carry other forms of Hydrogen peroxide available that has been made with no stabilizers and is actually more cost effective to use. One popular Hydroponic product and probably used more than any other is a 35% strength food grade Hydrogen peroxide that can be diluted down to a safe Hydroponic usage level.
To get a 3% Hydroponic solution you would mix this Hydroponic product at 1 part of the 35% Hydrogen peroxide to 11 parts of water. This is strong stuff and it can burn your skin and other things also. Mix it in a separate container with gloves on before adding it to your Hydroponic tank. This 35% Hydroponic food grade product is also used in drinking water for farm animals to help reduce the bacteria in the water they drink so you may also find it at farm stores. Some beauty salon supply stores also have it for bleaching of the hair.
When used in Hydroponic systems, Hydrogen peroxide also helps to eliminate the chlorine making the water more pure. It makes strong healthy white roots with lots of fuzzy new growth in Hydroponic plants. This, in turn, allows the plants to absorb more of the Hydroponic nutrients and gives faster overall growth.
For helpful information on specific PH and PPM nutrient solutions for Hydroponic systems see our PLANT GROWING DATA section.