The Importance of Automatic Nutrient & pH Dosing

The Importance of Automatic Nutrient & pH Dosing

When it comes to making life easier for your hydroponic growing operation, something you might be considering is an automated or automatic dosing system. If you’re unfamiliar with what this is, an automatic nutrient and pH dosing system is one of the most useful tools that you could ever have for your hydroponic setup.

In essence, it automates the monitoring and dosing of nutrients and the adjustment of the pH level. 

Yes, an automatic nutrient and pH dosing system can be somewhat expensive, but it often ends up being more cost effective in the long run, because ideal nutrient and pH levels lead to big plants and even bigger yields. So, let’s talk about the importance of automatic nutrient and pH dosing.

What is an Automated Dosing System?

In simplest terms, an automated dosing system is an essential technology for hydroponics systems, designed to automatically monitor and adjust nutrient and pH levels as needed. These systems use special probes to monitor the nutrient solutions for both electrical conductivity (EC) and pH.

A basic configuration of a hydroponics dosing system includes probes for monitoring the water’s pH and EC, and a dosing pump to inject the nutrients or pH materials.

The probes send the information they collect to the control unit, this is like a little computer that processes all of the sensor data. The hydroponics controller also allows you to set desired pH and EC levels. Once the sensors provide their data to the controller, it compares the readings to the desired levels that you have set.

If the automated dosing system detects that there are any deviations between the set levels and the current levels, the system will automatically activate the dosing pumps to add pH adjusters and nutrients as needed. 

An automated dosing system is therefore extremely beneficial because it allows for constant monitoring and adjustment of EC and pH levels, two extremely crucial components for the success of your hydroponic setup.

See How Growee Can Save You Time By Automating Your Plants Feeding


Water pH – Automated pH Up and Down Control

Nutrients Mixing – Automated Nutrient Dosing with Target EC / PPM Control.

Control From Anywhere – WiFi Connection and mobile App

The Challenges of Manual Dosing

Automatic dosing units come with a great number of benefits, all of which we will discuss below. However, for you to fully understand the benefits of automatic dosing systems, it’s important for you to know what the challenges of manual dosing are.

Wast Time

One of the biggest downsides of manual dosing is that it is time-consuming. If you manually mixing your nutrients or balancing pH, you also have to manually monitor everything. This can take up a lot of time, with monitoring and adjusting potentially taking over an hour each day.

It’s a Lot of Work

We already mentioned that it takes a lot of time, additionally mixing your nutrient solutions daily is a lot of work. For example, balancing pH requires constant monitoring and adding small portions at intervals to prevent overshooting the desired pH level. This can be very tedious and time-consuming.

Human Error

Another big drawback of manual dosing is that us humans have to do it. The simple fact is that we humans often make mistakes, and these seemingly small mistakes can be detrimental to your hydroponic system.

If you are measuring manually, you might make a mistake, and this can lead to improper pH or nutrient concentrations. 

Inconsistent dosing and monitoring can then lead to nutrient burn or nutrient deficiencies, both of which are harmful for your plants. Even just a little bit too much of a specific nutrient can have serious ramifications.

Benefits of Automatic Dosing Systems

If you are wondering why you would spend potentially hundreds or even thousands of dollars on an automatic dosing system, here’s exactly why.

Accuracy and Consistency

One of the things that humans aren’t very good at is being consistent, something that machines are much better at. An automated dosing system can provide you with very exact measurements that are generally accurate to within 0.01 pH unit, and equally as accurate as far as electrical conductivity is concerned.

A good automatic dosing system consistently monitors both pH and EC on a regular basis and in realtime. This means that you get constant updates in a real time scenario about the pH and EC levels in your system. These machines and computer systems are designed to be highly accurate as well, so you should never end up with PH or EC levels that are outside of the ideal range. For instance, nitrogen levels in hydroponics systems should be around 200 ppm, a number that is difficult to achieve through manual dosing, if not impossible altogether. 

Remember, pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5 for your hydroponics system. Being able to maintain an optimal range is crucial for preventing issues such as nutrient lockout. This is the kind of accuracy that humans generally can’t get close to.

Saves Time

Another benefit of using an automatic dosing system is that it helps save you a whole lot of time. Just imagine you have a large hydroponics system, and you need to use manual pH and EC testing equipment on a daily basis.

Now, imagine it takes 5 minutes to test both the pH and EC separately, when if the levels are off you need to make adjustments, which can then take exponentially more time. Potentially, you might spend more than an hour every single day monitoring and adjusting pH and EC levels.

However, this is something that you just don’t have to do if you have an automated dosing system. An automated dosing system, thanks to its software-based intelligence, can do all of the work for you, potentially saving you a whole lot of time.

Great for Larger Operations and home automation

Automated dosing systems are scalable and suitable for both small and large setups. For large hydroponic farms, using an automated dosing system is almost a necessity. Managing hundreds or thousands of plants manually is impractical. Automated dosing systems can handle the complexity of large-scale operations and are often compatible with other technologies, such as irrigation systems.

For home growers, it’s great because they can focus on their day jobs or go on vacation without worrying about balancing pH daily or mixing nutrients.

Bigger Yields

All the above benefits lead to healthier plants with bigger yields. Consistent and accurate monitoring and adjustments of both EC and pH levels ensure that your plants remain as healthy as possible. Specifically, keeping the pH within the ideal range helps your plants to absorb all the nutrients in your solution. Overall, this results in healthier, stronger plants with bigger yields.

How Do Automatic Dosing Systems Work?

How Do Automatic Dosing Systems Work?

Let’s go through a quick tutorial on how exactly automated dosing systems work.

The Components

  • Controller Unit: The brain of the system, processing data from sensors and controlling the dosing pumps.
  • Dosing Pumps: These pumps add nutrient solutions and pH adjustments to your hydroponic system.
  • Sensors/ probes: These include electrical conductivity (EC) and pH sensors that monitor the nutrient solution in real-time.

How it Works

  • Monitoring: The sensors are placed in the nutrient reservoir to gather real-time data on EC and pH levels.
  • Data Processing: The sensors send this information to the controller, which compares it to your pre-set ideal levels.
  • Adjustments: If the levels are off, the controller activates the dosing pumps to add the necessary nutrients or pH adjustment liquids.

Continuous Loop: The system continuously monitors and adjusts to keep the nutrient solution within the desired range.

Open-Loop vs. Closed-Loop Dosing Systems (Growee vs. Dosatron)

Open-Loop vs. Closed-Loop Dosing Systems

The main difference between open-loop and closed-loop automatic dosing systems lies in feedback and adjustment. 

Open-loop systems, like Dosatron, operate based on preset settings without feedback. They inject nutrients into the water based on water flow, but don’t monitor or adjust the actual nutrient or pH levels. 

Closed-loop systems like Growee continuously monitor the nutrient and pH levels with sensors. They use this real-time data to make precise adjustments, ensuring the levels stay within the desired range. This makes closed-loop systems more accurate and reliable for maintaining optimal conditions in hydroponic setups. 

Growee’s closed-loop system provides more accurate and reliable control of nutrient and pH levels, resulting in healthier plants and better yields.

Growee Smart Hydroponic Systems

Growee is a leading producer of automated dosing systems for hydroponics, Growee specializes in building smart, research and development-based products for small-scale hydroponic cultivators.

One of the standout products from Growee is the Growee Expert Combo. The Expert Combo is a could-connected Automatic Nutrient & pH Dosing system.

The system’s real-time monitoring capabilities include water temperature, electrical conductivity (EC), and pH levels. The Growee hydroponic app allows you to control the system from anywhere.

As for Automatic Nutrient & pH Dosing, the Growee Expert combo includes x6 dosing pumps for nutrient mixing and x2 pH up and down dosing for pH control.

Based on closed-loop control technology, the Growee Expert Combo constantly monitors and adjusts the water inside the tank, ensuring the pH is always balanced and nutrients are consistently mixed into a feeding solution. This makes it perfect for growers using Recirculating Deep Water Culture (RDWC) or batch feeding systems, where the feeding solution needs to be adjusted constantly.


The bottom line is that an automated dosing unit, especially one from Growee, can save you a lot of time, money, and effort in the long run. These units are designed to constantly monitor both EC and pH levels and adjust them as needed. For large-scale setups, an automated dosing unit is essential for achieving optimal plant growth and maximizing yields.

For small growers, adding an automatic dosing system can significantly improve time management, allowing them to focus on their daily jobs and even take vacations without worrying about daily adjustments. Growee’s systems stand out for their precision, reliability, and ease of use, making them the best option for hydroponic growers.

Additionally, open-loop control systems are less accurate and less automated compared to closed-loop systems like Growee. Closed-loop systems provide real-time adjustments and continuous monitoring, ensuring the most accurate and consistent nutrient and pH levels for your plants


An automated dosing system is a special setup that automatically monitors both EC and pH levels, and then adjusts them based on desired settings.

Both small and large-scale hydroponic growers benefit from the efficiency and accuracy of an automated dosing unit, with Growee being an excellent choice.

Some systems, like Dosatron, require integration into existing plumbing and might need setup by a dedicated technician. In contrast, the Growee system is easy to set up and can be operational within a few minutes.

For very small setups, systems like Dosatron might be expensive, but Growee offers affordable options. Additionally, the return on investment is fast in terms of time saved and improved plant yields.

Systems like the Growee Expert Combo can handle both nutrient and pH adjustments, so separate systems are not needed. In some systems, you might need to set up different compartments, but with Growee, everything is integrated and easy to manage

In general, an automated system for hydroponics dosing should be maintained roughly once per grow cycle. This includes things like cleaning pumps and sensors, recalibrating those same sensors, and making sure that no components are damaged.

Growee automatic systems help save time by doing all of the monitoring and dosing for you.

Do you want more free time?

Hey, We are Growee. We would like to help you save time and get the best results with our smart hydroponics controllers

About Growee

Our goal at Growee is to simplify and smarten urban farming. Our product line is tailored for small-scale growers, and we’re proud to support home growers and commercial growers in over 30 countries worldwide.

The company was founded by a group of engineers and hydroponics enthusiasts and has gained recognition for its innovative technology, including several awards from the Israeli Innovation Authority.

Small-scale growers face the time-consuming task of manual water monitoring and adjustment. Growee’s automated hydroponics system simplifies this process, enhancing efficiency and increasing hydroponic yield

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