Can You Have Too Much Air in Hydroponics?

Photo of author

By Chris Lipsey

The answer is no, you can’t have too much air in your hydroponic system.

The reason why is that the plants are absorbing oxygen from the air and releasing carbon dioxide.

You want to try to maintain a balance between these two gases so that it’s not either too high or low for your plants.

However, too much air can actually break the pump. So that’s something you need to be cautious of.

Also Read: How Do Hydroponic Air Stones Work?

Bubbler hydroponics system problems

There are some problems you might run into when it comes to the bubbler hydroponics system.

This is because of how often you have to change out your pump. You need more air in this type of setup compared to others that use either a deep water culture or drip irrigation system.

So if you’re looking for something different than these two types of systems, then you might want to consider a bubbler hydroponics system.

Is more air better for hydroponics when growing plants?

No. That’s a mistake that a lot of first-time growers make. They think that if they increase the oxygen level available to their plants, then this will help them grow faster.

It’s not true at all though. Too much air can actually harm your hydroponics system and cause problems with it that you’ll have to deal with later on down the line.

Also, too little air is just as bad for your plants. They won’t be able to absorb the oxygen from it and they’ll have a hard time growing without proper air circulation around them.

This is why you want to maintain a balance between these gases in your hydroponics system so that your plants can grow healthily while at the same time keeping your pump working properly for years on end.

How long should the air pump run in hydroponics?

You want to run your air pump for at least 24 hours per day in hydroponics.

The reason is that you need oxygen constantly circulated around the plants so they can absorb it and release carbon dioxide with every breath.

Also, just running an air pump during the nighttime isn’t enough because this is when your plant does most of its growing.

If you’re in need of a better air pump, check out our top reommendations: Best Hydroponic Air Pumps – Top Choices for 2024

What is “dissolved oxygen” in hydroponics?

Dissolved oxygen simply means how much oxygen is in the hydroponic water itself.

It’s measured either at the bottom or top of your reservoir based on where you’re taking your measurements from. If it’s taken at the top, then that means there isn’t enough dissolved oxygen in hydroponics for healthy plant growth.

If it’s taken at the bottom though, then this means there is too much dissolved oxygen in hydroponics for healthy plant growth.

Can you overfeed hydroponics?

This is also a mistake that new growers make.

They’ll either be too generous with their nutrients or they’ll use the wrong nutrient solution altogether. This will cause problems with your plants instead of helping them grow faster and healthier like you want them to do in hydroponics.

A good rule of thumb with your nutrient solution is to use half-strength when feeding your plants.

You also want to be careful with how much you feed them because too many nutrients are just as bad for your hydroponics system and can cause a lot of damage in the future if not taken care of properly.

Do plants need air pumps in hydroponics?

Yes, your plants absolutely need an air pump when growing with a hydroponics system like DWC.

It’s how they get the oxygen and carbon dioxide that they need to survive and grow properly in hydroponics. Without it, you’ll have all sorts of problems with your plants later on down the line when growing them indoors this way.

Can you have too many bubbles in DWC?

This is a surprising yet common question that new growers have.

However, you can’t have too many bubbles when it comes to the deep water culture system in hydroponics.

The reason why is because your plants will absorb carbon dioxide from them and release more oxygen into the water so that they don’t suffocate for lack of air circulation around them.

The best thing for you to do is make sure that the bubbles are big enough so they don’t get stuck at the top of your tank. Otherwise, this will cause problems with them not releasing carbon dioxide into the water and suffocating your plants in hydroponics in DWC.

Note: Some growers do think there’s such a thing as “Excessive Bubbling”. So it’s best to strike a balance and aim for not too much and not too little.

Does airflow cause nutrient imbalance?

It can yes. Your nutrient solution is only as good as the airflow around your plants.

If there’s too much or not enough, then you’ll get problems with nutrient uptake and deficiencies in hydroponics.

That means that you need to maintain a proper balance to avoid nutrient deficiencies that lead to root rot.

What is the best hydroponic air pump to use?

The best air pump to use in hydroponics is the one that has a high flow rate.

This will make sure that you have plenty of bubbles for your plants to absorb oxygen from and release carbon dioxide into the water with so they can grow properly.

Also, it’s important not to buy an unstable or cheap air pump because this will lead to a lot of your problems with hydroponics later on down the line.

Conclusion: Don’t worry about too much air in your hydroponic garden

Worrying about your hydroponics system having too much air is like worrying that you’re not going to have enough.

All you can do is clean your system, check your pumps and maintain a healthy balance with your nutrient solution so that your plant roots get everything they need to produce rapid healthy plant growth.