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Who can give me some general hydroponics information?

some one help im growing about 20 plant in a closet. i have 1 150 hps lamp...and no funds to buy anymore. how can i supplement the light? also i recently purchased "general hydroponics" flora series, grom bloom micro in what concentrations do i use these's? i want some good smoke this fall thanks please respond soon:)

please read answer above.

I'm a newbie at hydroponics. Sorry about the paragraph but without all the info it might be hard to help me out. I recently started a Dwarf Tropical Papaya in a large square of rockwool (2x2x3 I think), kept it in a mini greenhouse, and when the roots began protruding from underneath(about 4-5 inches tall, 10 leaves), I transplanted it into a powergrower. 
This is my second try with this plant and would appreciate it if anyone could help me narrow down what I might be doing wrong. 
The first plant showed the first signs when its older leaves, only one at first, started to wrinkle upward toward the edges. I then noticed super tiny white bugs running around in the rockwool, and kind of summed it up as a bug problem. Couldn't seem to keep them away, used liquid soap mixed in with water and poured it all over until soaked. This seemed to work, for a while at least, then they came back. The plant just got worse and died. I haven't noticed any of these bugs with my second plant attempt, but the same symptom is appearing. Except this time I felt the "mottled" leave which was curling and wrinkled upward around the edges, and it was dried out and crackly. I have some ideas, but need to know the most likely cause, might be a combo of all though. 
1st off, is it a bad idea to mix both growing mediums, will the rockwool end up being too moist while the grow rocks (Hydroton) might dry out=over/under watering? What might be a suggested schedule for water? Or should I start over and start one without the rockwool right in the power grower? 
Could humidity be a problem? It is sitting on a bucket of water, and I do have a humidifier on just about all the time located about 4 feed away from this plant. 
Draft? Its winter here, and its located about 2 feet away from sliding glass doors. I am trying to fix this by putting up plastic walls (saran wrap if I have too), until I find a suitable dome that would fit. Any domes made for a power grower?
Nutrient problem? I switched from Shultz seedling/rooting fertilizer works great!) to General Hydroponics 3 part system micro, floro- bloom) and kept it at mild general use, and only watered once a day for 30min. because the rockwool seemed to stay wet and I dug down a bit and it seemed moist in the grow rocks as well. I'm going to go back to using the Shultz diluted fertilizer and hand pour it until it comes back. it was doing so well before) 
Lighting problem? I don't have space for HPS or Halide lights yet and use a vita-lite(24 in.) and full spectrum reptile light.
Another bug problem? I have recently noticed super tiny white and round things that don't move on some of the leaves, only where the base of the stem meets the leaf. I also saw what looked like sap bubbles on parts of the tree trunk still somewhat green and soft) and leaf stems, as if something might be biting it, never saw this before so don't know if this could be something else. 
I am going to be looking closely every day and remove anything like these things if I see them. I think I summed up everything I could think of. I really need some help because all the books 
I've read have so many possible problems that could be effecting my plant that it's hard to narrow it down without experience. Sorry again for the long paragraph.

Want to know how to build a garden?

FYI CoCo Bricks
For the article, go to
Upper left hand corner, click on : "General Hydroponics"
On the next page, in the left hand column, click on: Growing Media, click on "CoCo Peat"
On the next page, click under Description, click on: CoCo Peat (Case of 24). The article is here.
Sorry, but you must go through all these pages to get it.
More information is at
Haven't been signing my posts, but I'm Tailwheel


First, I have to thank you for such a wonderful web site, and the obvious time and effort you have put into it at no charge to us. I've been able to establish some great hydroponics garden setups on my apartment patio. This hydroponics thing is so cool.

Question - I've been using Formula One nutrient and my plants have been blooming and producing fine for a while now. In your opinion, is it any benefit to use the Florabloom (General Hydroponics product I think) during the blooming stage or does the Formula One work just as well. Thanks again.

I have been using Formula One for 15 years and I swear by it. You don't need to add anything. Just increase the ppm for blooming. 1500 ppm or higher.

Help! My plants, now about 12 days under a 1000W MH lamp (18 hour veg stage), are doing something very strange. Some of the stems, for about 1/4” just above the growing medium, are turning brown and shriveling, making it necessary to stake the small plants. Not all plants are doing this – only about half of them. So far they are not dieing but I fear they will in time. I’m using a (General Hydroponics) mild nutrient solution, 900-1000 ppm, ph of 6, grow room has plenty of ventilation and temp about 70 degrees, feeding sparingly – 1 time a day with ebb & flow system in grorocks medium (started plants in rockwool cubes). Water temp is kept about 80 degrees. Any suggestions?

Watering one time a day! I water every 20 minutes. Your plants can't get enough nutrients being watered once a day.

ive built a system similar to the waterfarm that general hydroponics makes (drip system using a aquarium pump, 5 gallom bucket and a 3.5 gallon bucket) i was wondering how often and how long i should let it run for and in what intervals I.E 20min 3 times day? Or can i leave it on all day?

If you are using grorocks like I am with my banana tree then you can let it run 24/7.

Attn: Virginia420

In your post you said 3 tablespoons per gallon of nutrient solution. Just make sure of your numbers, because that will FRY most smaller plants. Using General Hydroponics solutions, even a teaspoon per gallon of each is a bit much for clones.


Hi Folks, Another question, I bought General Hydroponics Flora-Gro (quart) for my 12 gallon reservoir, 6 plant set up. After doing some more research (reading Ron's site), I got the impression I have to also mix it with Flora-Micro and Flora Bloom for the nutrient to work correctly. Is this the case, or will just Flora-Gro work? I have had a clone in there for 3 days, it hasn't died, but doesn't seem to be growing either. By the way, I mixed 3tsp. per gallon, not tbsp as mentioned in my previous post. Any help would be gratefully appreciated. Virginia420

I think you have to mix the micro with the grow or bloom. Which ever you are using but don't mix the grow with the bloom.

First off I would like to say thanks for providing such a great site Ron; I have spent many days studying the abundant material here. I have a couple of questions for the hydro veterans regarding my 16-plant garden that I modeled after Ron's design, consisting of various vegetables (bell; jalapeno; hot-cherry; cayenne peppers, tomatoes, yellow crook neck squash, garlic-chives, and cucumber).

Now for the Questions... I am using General Hydroponics’ Flora Advanced Nutrient System. I have not been able to pin down how to identify the plant's transition from vegetative to bloom phase, to blooming and ripening phases.

How do I best recognize the phase transitions?
Most of my plants are young, 6 inches tall or less, and not yet blooming, except for the bell pepper and the cucumber, which are at least 10 inches tall with a couple of flowers. How should I handle the different nutrient formulas for plants in slightly different growth phases?

That is the problem with those two part grow and bloom nutrient formulas. When to change to the bloom mix. That is why when I did use a liquid solution I used Formula One A&B because you use the same mix throughout the life of the plant. You just increase the ppm as the plants matures. 
I would switch when I saw fruit on at least half the plants in your garden. 

When stringing the plants up is it better to wait until there is fruit on them, or start supporting them early on (I am using Dixie cups and grow rocks).

Are there any newbie mistakes I can avoid when stringing the plants?

wait for the fruit so you won't have to do it twice unless your plants are falling over.

Thanks again for providing a outstanding resource for first time hydro gardeners. GB

How well does the Chem-Gro nutrient hold and maintain it's ph? I've had great luck with both Ionic and General Hydroponics nutrient and was wondeing how Chem-Gro compared.

Hello Ron,

First thanks for this site, After doing much "lurking" I decided to build the 11 plant system, and the thing has worked wonderfully..

The plants are in day 24 of vegetative growth and have looked perfect.... until I noticed last night that 2 plants have begun "wilting" new fan leaves are "drooping". this is occurring on new growth and there has been absolutely no change in color, i.e. there are still deep green, I have searched all of the grow guides and message boards on the net and have not been able to find any causes, I have heard that "Under watering" may be the culprit, but I water 6 times a day for 10 mins and the other 9 plants look perfect.... Here is my system.. once again thanks for this site Ron and this board, it has helped me a great deal..

6 times a day might not be enough. I flood my garden every 30 minutes.
You will find at times that some plants will just wilt and die. Caused by damping off of the plant stem right above the root ball, cutting all the capillaries to the plant and killing it. It doesn't happen often but when it does the plant can't be saved. If a plant looks like it's about to wilt and die then I would clone it to keep the strain going.

Light: Hydrofarm Super Grow wing 430w HPS, 20" from plants, 18 hr on, 6 hr off Pump: Maxi flow 160gph, watered 6 times a day for 10 mins each on period, only watered while light on Temps: day ~74f, night ~63f Air Pump: whisper 10-30 gallon, 2 air lines and 2 12" airstones Grow Medium: Hydrotron Grow Rocks Nutrients: General Hydroponics 3 part system at 1/2 strength, have been also adding 1/2 tsp of epsom salts throughout veg growth to this Water: distilled @ ph 6.0.. No PPM meter

thanks Ron....

"uses Medicinally enjoys Recreationally Freedom Fighter.... p.s. good luck to your brother

What kind of fertilizer do you use for growing tomato's? Is there any brand that is better than the others?

Can someone explain how the Rainforest system made by General Hydroponics operate?? As I understand from reading the description, it does not require a misting nozzle. How is that possible?? Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!!

What is a good stable acid to use for PH control. Ive heard that muric acid works. How about sulfuric acid like used in hot tubs.Id like to know your opinion Ron. Thanks23

I use General Hydroponics Up which is phosphoric acid, citric acid, and ammonium bisulfate. And pH Down that is potassium carbonate and potassium hydroxide but I don't know at what proportion or I would mix my own. 
Any chemist out their want to try?

Ok I've read all the letters to date [anybody else with a question should do the same, the repetition is mind numbing]
so a few questions?

When you gave your miracle gro formula you gave a mixture for seedling, and for mature; but then you gave ppm for 3 stages of veg + flowering. Is the first just a shorthand for those mixing there own without an expensive meter for PPM or shouldn't the mixture change with the 3 stages of veg + flowering?

So I know it's not Calcium Chloride it's Calcium Nitrate. I have a book Beginning Hydroponics by Richard E. Nicholls 1977, that suggests Calcium Sulphate which is what gypsum and Plaster of Paris are made of. Household item [plaster of paris] anyone know why I can't/shouldn't use it. It's very soluble does it precipitate out easily?

Just curious why is there never any discussions about NPK. Is it just understood that whatever formula you use these three are in over abundance?
P.S. The site is much better than a lame book from 1977!

The formula for seedling and mature plants is from a commercial mix of Fertilizer (Miracle-gro), Calcium Nitrate, and  Magnesium Sulfate.
The ppm discussions were in reference to liquid hydroponic solution formulated for hydro like General Hydroponics or Formula One.
 I am using the commercial mix with the tomato plants I am growing now.
Never heard the plaster of paris thing.

Would anyone know if tap water at about 130ppm could be used with general hydroponics (micro, grow, bloom) without harming my plants? Just wondering if 130ppm is considered high for tap water too? Thanx. Mark

130 is about right for tap water. My well water is 250 PPM. If your water has a lot of chlorine you can let it sit in a open bucket for 24 hours to let it evaporate before use. 

Hi Ron, Hi all, Iv'e been lurking recently and now have a ligit question. I am growing tomatoes in a 6 plant 2 litre bottle system, I transplanted 4 weeks ago, they have tomatoes about the size of a 1/2 dollar. It is now time to change the solution, I have had the solution set up for growing phase, should I now change the nutrient to blooming phase or keep the grow phase mix? I am using general hydroponics solutions. Thanks to Ron and this site, this is my 2nd growing season and it only gets better! Tony in Va.

Because greenhouse tomatoes are indeterminate, which means they grow and produce fruits continually, all you can do is compromise and change your solution to bloom about half way threw to completion which is about two months for tomatoes that take about four months total to finish.  

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