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Old 01-11-2017, 12:32 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,855

Hello Jack,
Having 6 decades of growing plants is certainly a plus, however growing plants hydroponically is much different than growing them in soil. I'm sure your familiar with what healthy plants look like, identifying pest and fungal problems. You may even have experience identifying nutrient deficiency and toxicity, but you still have a big learning curve coming growing hydroponically, and much of it you learn by doing and experiencing. Three weeks and 2 radish plants isn't much experience growing hydroponically at all.

I'm not trying to scare you or minimize your experience and what you've accomplished in the past. I'm just trying to help you understand the reality that there's a difference and always a learning curve. I've seen so many people feel so confidant that they know all about growing hydroponically because either they are used to growing plants in soil or read a lot about growing hydroponically. Then they go all out taking on more than they should have and run into many problems they never saw coming, and ultimately fail. Wasting a lot of time and money along the way. So I try and help people make those mistakes if I can.

My usual MO is to avoid commercial products whenever possible. It's not just the money, it's more of a life style
Well that's not exactly true in this case. I'm not saying your lying. But if you think about it your not avoiding using commercial products making your own nutrients. Did you make the Potasium Nitrate yourself? Did you go foraging for it in the woods? No, it's a manufactured product. When you make your own nutrients your using manufactured products. Your just combining different manufactured products together to make your own product. That's no different than what manufactures do. The only difference is your not selling what you make and they are.

Unfortunately I can't help answer chemistry questions. As I said, I'm not a chemist, and have no interest in becoming one. Not since I realized there wasn't any point or need in going to the trouble. Would doing so save me money? No. Am I trying to grow produce that will win a blue ribbon at the state fair? No, I'm just want to grow happy healthy plants. If I were a commercial grower I would want a nutrient designed specifically for the plants I'm growing. However there still wouldn't be any benefit in making my own nutrients. If I wanted a custom made nutrient, I would talk to a company that custom makes nutrient for commercial growers. Not only do they have the experience ad equipment to not only develop the recipe and test the plants, but they can still make the nutrients cheaper than I would be able to. They will even test my water supply and adjust the recipe to what's already in my water supply.

However if it was me and I were trying to make my own nutrients and trying to get some answers to chemistry questions. I would first try and contact the owner of the "Science in Hydroponics" blog. He is a chemist and would be the best person to ask. I think there is a e-mail address somewhere on their website to contact them with. If not, I would probably try contacting manufactures that custom make nutrients for commercial growers. Their likely to want to make them for you, but you do need to buy a minimum quantity. However they may still be willing to help you if they feel you will be buying the raw mineral salts you need from them.

Picking a nutrient, even from your list is a bit daunting.
The general hydroponics Flora Nova nutrients are fine and theirs nothing wrong with them except their expensive. Their great for new growers getting started. In fact I used the three part Flora series nutrients myself when I first started. However as you continue growing and start growing more and more plants it gets expensive. When breaking it down it can cost 30 cents or more per gallon of nutrient solution. In other words would cost $3.00 or more every time you change the nutrients in a 10 gallon reservoir (30 cents x 10 gallons= $3.00). So it's fine for starting out, but once you start growing more and more, you'll want a more economical option.

As an example the 1 pint bottle of Flora Nova nutrients you provided the link to cost $14. According to the manufactures mixing directions it takes 7.5 mL per gallon for full strength nutrient solution. One fluid oz is 30 mL. So doing the math the one pint bottle of flora nova will make 64 gallons, and cost 23 cents per gallon. Wich is a little better than the Flora series I used, but still way to high to be considered economical or cost effective.

7.5 ml x 4= 30 ml
One fluid Oz makes 4 gallons of full strength nutrient solution.

4 x 16= 64
So the one pint bottle of Flora Nova makes 64 gallons of full strength nutrient solution.

$14 divided by 64= $0.23
That costs 23 cents per gallon of nutrient solution, and that doesn't even include shipping costs. That bottle could easily cost $8-$10 to ship. raising your cost to 34 cents to 37 cents per gallon of full strength nutrient solution. That's probably OK if your just doing a small grow, but if you plan to grow much your going to need a more cost effective option. I don't consider nutrients to be cost effective unless their about 10 cents per gallon or less. In fact I prefer them to be under 5 cents per gallon. The Verti Gro nutrients and JRpeters are the two most cost effective I've found so far, and if you buy them in the larger quantities cost about 3 cents or less per gallon of full strength nutrient solution.

Can I make my own nutrients for under 3 cents (and that includes shipping costs) per gallon of full strength nutrient solution? No, so why waste my time, money, and effort trying. It just doesn't make any sense to me.

For the radishes and lettuce I would just use verti gro's standard F combo, it's a good general all purpose nutrient. It comes out to about 9 cents per gallon of full strength nutrient solution, but the costs go down the bigger the quantity you get. If you get the 25' lb quantity it's only about 3 cents per gallon of nutrient solution. JR peters nutrients are very similar in price. Though you may want to contact them to ask which product they recommend for the particular plants you want to grow. You'll also probably have to ask them for mixing directions. They sell mostly to commercial growers that use a injector system in non recirculating hydroponic systems. But if you ask them they will tell you haw much to use per 100 gallons of full strength nutrient solution, from there you can just do a little math for smaller water volumes.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-11-2017 at 04:34 AM.
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