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Stuck in China with no hydroponic nutrient


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  #1  
Old 03-09-2009, 11:09 PM
shadoh6 shadoh6 is offline
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Default Stuck in China with no hydroponic nutrient

Hello all,

This site has been invaluable in helping out amateurs such as myself, but at the moment I am stuck in a country that has barely any idea of hydroponics, so finding supplies has been an arduous journey!

I've managed to secure sources for every major component except nutrient solution. I also know that nutrient solution can be made, although I would like to not worry about pouring sulphuric acid and melting something organic like my hand. With that said, I do have access to three kinds of "professional quality water soluble fertilizer" with the following NPK: 30-10-10, 18-18-18, 10-52-10. Using one or a combination of these, what additional micronutrients would I need to make a complete nutrient solution (ideally for growing peppers and tomatoes)?

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  #2  
Old 03-11-2009, 02:56 AM
Mathmattx Mathmattx is offline
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Default Um..probably not

I dont think so! The problem is mainly with the solubility. The solubility of commercial fetilizer varies greatly. But in theory...Besides the three major nutrients you've got in reg. fertilizer, called macronutrients (nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus), a good home-made hydroponic fertilizer will also contain sulfur, calcium, and magnesium. Several important micronutrients including manganese, copper, boron, cobalt, iron, zinc, and molybdenum are also required for healthy growth of most hydroponic plants.


Since commercially available fertilizers are commonly meant for soil-borne plants, they lack many of the above listed important micronutrients. A hydroponic cultivator can (in theory), however, convert a commercial fertilizer into a home-made hydroponic fertilizer by adding the essential micronutrients contained in chemical substances of daily household use.

For most hydroponic plants, which develop roots, the cultivator can add one quarter of a teaspoon of Epsom salt to 400 ppm Maxsea 3-20-20 (1 level teaspoon per gallon of tap water) in order to make a good home-made hydroponic fertilizer. It can be fed to the plant for ten days after it develops its first roots.

After the first ten days since the appearance of roots, 600 ppm Maxsea 16-16-16 (equal to one rounded teaspoon) should be used as a hydroponic fertilizer with one quarter of a teaspoon of Epsom salt added to each gallon. When the plant enters its flowering stage, a rounded half teaspoon Maxsea 3-20-20 should be mixed with a rounded, half teaspoon of Maxsea 16-16-16 in each gallon of water and one quarter of a teaspoon of Epsom salt should be added to each gallon. In the last two weeks before harvesting, the hydroponic plants should be fed with plain water.

Again...would only do this in desparation DO NOT RECOMEND IT. by the time you do all this better to ship some actual hydro ferts from somewhere!!!!
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2009, 06:58 AM
shadoh6 shadoh6 is offline
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Default More clarification please

Pardon my ignorance, but is Maxsea a commercial soil fertilizer? Right now my main problem is that I can't get anything that people recommend online since I live in China where there's a local brand for everything, and yet the local fertilizers (except for one brand) fail to mention what's inside chemically.

From the fertilizers I've listed, are any of them possible candidates for tinkering with Epsom salt and other chemicals? Which one should I use as the base? What other chemicals do I need besides Epsom salt? (Chemicals, surprisngly<unsurprisingly?> should be a lot easier to come by)
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2009, 09:33 AM
HydroACR HydroACR is offline
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Default

anything you can purchase on ebay?
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2009, 06:38 PM
Mathmattx Mathmattx is offline
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Default Out of my league

chemistry is eAsy enough...your problem is not going to be the chemistry, but the reliAble evaluation of what you have. Unfortunatly, again you can't accuratly gauge concentrations, measure salts or solubility without some basic equipment, that I am supposing you can't get in china, otherwise you could get hydro ferts. As you already know, biggest concern should be chemical contaminNts like etheltheyne glycol, melamine, other?
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2009, 06:40 PM
Mathmattx Mathmattx is offline
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Default Recipies

Nevertheless I will post 2 "chemical recipies" tonight when I get home, along with some needed equipment and directions.
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2009, 04:11 AM
Mathmattx Mathmattx is offline
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Ok before we get into a very long post can you get a very accurate lab grade (gram) scale, and can you accuratly measure chemical concentrations in mL or uL (preferably microliters) via AFM or ECM. You will also need a chelation chemical, and (no3)2, kno3, k2so4, kh2po4, mgso4 * 7h20, fe, mn, zn, cu, b, mo. Matt- hydroponica.blogspot.com

Last edited by Mathmattx; 03-12-2009 at 06:03 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-01-2009, 12:52 AM
hydrogrido hydrogrido is offline
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Default I live in china too

Hi shado6
I also live in china and I'm going crazy about this nutrients. I'm building the aeroponic system but till now i didn't find the nutrients.
Last week I was in Hong kong and same story nobody know nothing about the hydroponic "like everything in this country".
Let me know if you find something.
If I find something I will post here too.
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2009, 01:04 AM
hydrogrido hydrogrido is offline
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Default micronutient

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathmattx View Post
Ok before we get into a very long post can you get a very accurate lab grade (gram) scale, and can you accuratly measure chemical concentrations in mL or uL (preferably microliters) via AFM or ECM. You will also need a chelation chemical, and (no3)2, kno3, k2so4, kh2po4, mgso4 * 7h20, fe, mn, zn, cu, b, mo. Matt- hydroponica.blogspot.com
Hi mathmattx, I have the same problem of shadoh6, Thanks for your info, I have the EC tester and PH tester, this is all the equipment I have. But what I understand even if I'm able to bring the nutrient quantity to 600 ppm that's not mean the water contain all kind of nutrients.
The macronutrients I can also easy find (even if I don't trust the quality), the problem is to produce or find the micronutrients.
If you know how to produce or find them in different market and used for different use will help a lot. thanks
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2009, 08:56 PM
tufekoa tufekoa is offline
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Default possibly maybe

Hi shadoh6 and hydrogrido,

Same problem,
There is a product out there made in china:


://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/221255676/Micromix_Biological_Fertilizer_.html

Looks like there's all the good stuff in it!

the question is where to find it in retail?

I'll be checking in Hong kong soon and will on the look out.
feedback if i find,

cheers,

tuff
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  #11  
Old 07-31-2009, 11:17 PM
hydrogrido hydrogrido is offline
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Default alibaba

Hi tuff
Thanks for the info, I also checked in alibaba, but i didn't find it.
This product look good, I will try to ask sample to the factory .
Probably this product mixed with another product which contain macronutrient
Can be ok.
The only way is to try it.
I will let you know.

thanks
Hydro
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2009, 01:56 AM
Luches Luches is offline
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Default

The product shown at Alibaba.com is a micro nutrient, so to speak trace element mix only. It's sold in 200 Liter barrels for export only, it's kinda useless for your purpose. I wouldn't give anything about the "bio" label either.

What you brothers in China need is a complete list of required ingredients of makro and micro nutrients. (the correct and graphically displayed chemical formula) and most importantly some decent recipes. You also need an accurate scale and some kitchen tools. Best would be to have analyses of the tap water you will use, in order to know about Magnesium, Chloride and Calcium to add to your nutrients. In other words, nutrients that are either made for soft or hard water. This sounds futile but is in fact very important in case you may have high mineral content in your tap water, versus very low mineral content.

Mixing nutrients from water soluble agricultural Fertilizers, may be an alternative. But that's tricky as well as you need to realy know your chemical maths to do it accurately and not completely mess it up.

Making nutrient from scratch, using standard (and easily available) industrial raw materials isn't easy either. It needs good methodology and clear explanations from an experienced and expert person, that does this job on a regular basis. Any amateur tips and hints (even if they come from the bottom of their heart) might misguide you or give you wrong ideas.

There are no 10 different ways of making adequate nutrients from scrtch, there is only one, with slight variations and a different handling, though.

I live in Thailand and had the same problem. But I went to a small chemistry retail shop and found all the ingredients at once. Most provide from China, only some are produced here. I knew exactly what I was looking for and had the correct chemical formula of every of the about 12 ingredients that are needed, though. I messed up my first batch, but my second was fine. I am doing this for about 2 years now every 3-4 weeks, to restock my concentrates. It takes me about 1 hour to make 2 gallons (8 Liters) of concentrate, which is sufficient for 1400-1500 Liters of final nutrient solution. I run some 10 sets with tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins and gourds, herbs, etc.

Tell me what you plan to do and are up to, and I'll help you as good as I can. I can't start a complete online course here, though... you understand that, do you?
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2009, 06:48 AM
shadoh6 shadoh6 is offline
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I've temporarily solved my problem by bringing back some General Hydroponics powdered nutrients from a recent visit, but I imagine this will only get me by for a growing season or two, and of course this doesn't help anybody else.

I am in the pre-liminary stages of seeking a long-term option by importing nutrients in greater quantities or finding a customized local option, and selling it, so if anybody is interested in buying, then contact me and I will keep you updated on whether or not I pursue this option.

shadoh6 at yahoo dot com
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  #14  
Old 10-20-2009, 07:16 AM
Luches Luches is offline
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Well, actually the raw materials needed to mix nutrient are mostly produced in China. Two third of the components and materials I use to make my nutrients are imported from China, the rest is manufactured in Thailand.

Not sure about where General hydroponics gets most of it's material, but two chinese fertilizer producer where among the ten most successful enterprises of 2009, first was Blueberry btw. It's most likely that major US nutrient producers import at least parts of the used raw materials from China.

So what you are doing is importing back to China from the US, what has been exported earlier from there

There is a song here in Thailand, that goes about the T-shirts from numerous brand names, that are machine-sewn, at some factory by Thai workers. They get shipped to US or Europe and come back to some local mall a few month later. Then some other Thai people (or even the very same workers) buy the very same T-shirts "back" for more than ten times the price they were sold by the Thai manufacturer.

Did you know that 1kg of Calcium Nitrate (wich is a major part of any nutrient solution) is only worth 1 USD, and when sold in 50 kg packs only 35 ct. Magnesium suphate, annother major component only worth half the price of calcium nitrate? In China all products needed should even be much cheaper.

What could possibly preventing you from buying the raw materials in China, mixing your own nutrients there and getting rich by selling it!?

Last edited by Luches; 10-20-2009 at 07:24 AM.
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  #15  
Old 02-11-2010, 01:36 AM
kakaze kakaze is offline
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I used to live in China as well, and the difficulty in finding certain items that I took for granted in the states was very annoying!

As far as hydroponic nutrients go, maybe I can help.

Plants need 6 macronutrients. These are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) and Sulfur (S). The "NPK" that you see on the fertilizer bags stands for "Nitrogen - Phosphorus - Potassium". Even if it were water-solubal, you'd probably still need to add calcium, magnesium, and sulpher.

In addition to the above, plants also need a small amount of Iron (Fe), Boron (B), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo) and Chlorine (Cl).

The simplest home-made hydroponic nutrient solution that I've heard of is a compost tea made out of composted chicken manure. I don't know about the availability of composted chicken manure in China & Hong Kong, but I do know that chickens are popular there, so it's possible. If you make a chicken compost tea, you might want to add nitrogen and phosphorus. Some plants, such as tomatoes and strawberries, need a lot of nitrogen, and phosphorus is important for any flowering/fruiting plant.

On a side note; most soil fertilizers use Urea and Sulfate of Ammonia as sources of nitrogen. These do not work well in hydroponics because they need bacteria to break them down before plants can absorb them. Instead, you should use Ammonium Sulfate or Sodium Nitrate.

The recipes that I've found for home-made solutions are:

Potassium Nitrate 9 oz (255 grams) - Also called Saltpeter
Calcium Sulphate 7 oz (198 grams) - Plaster of Paris
Magnesium Sulphate 6 oz (170 grams) - Epsom Salts
Monocalcium Phosphate 4 oz (113 grams)
Ammonium Sulfate 1.5 oz (43 grams) - Principle source of Nitrogen in recipe
Iron Sulphate - Use a pinch only; maybe 1/2 t

Grind each chemical up and mix together well. Use 1 teaspoon per gallon of water.

Another recipe is:

Sodium Nitrate 12.5 oz (355 grams) - Nitrogen
Potassium Sulphate 4 oz (113 grams) - Potassium, Sulphur
Super Phosphate 5 oz (142 grams) - Phosphate, Calcium
Magnesium Sulphate 3.5 oz (100 grams) - Magnesium, Sulphur
Iron Sulphate 1 pinch (2 grams) - Iron

Once again, use 1 teaspoon per gallon of water.

Here is another recipe solely for trace elements:

Manganese Sulphate 1 t
Boric Acid powder 1 t
Zinc Sulphate 0.5 t
Copper Sulphate 0.5 t

These can all be found in mineral vitamins at a health store.

When needed add 0.5 tsp to 1 quart water and mix well. Add 1 liquid oz of this solution to 3 gallons of your plant nutrients solution from above. This solution will not keep past one day, so use the remainder to water any "in-soil" plants you may have around.

I have not tried any of these recipes yet, so I have no idea how well they work. If you do try one, please let me know!

Hope that helps!
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  #16  
Old 02-11-2010, 02:20 AM
tufekoa tufekoa is offline
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Default hydro china

Hi luche, Hi kakaze,

Thanks for your previous answers they have put me on the right track and gave a bit of hope.
I am growing tomatoes with children in china.
We are using NPK soil nutrients with an obscure micronutrient solution.(no details on the quantity of iron zinc borum)
20-20-20 vegetive and 10-30-20 flower.
The results are variable but mostly tremendous veg groth with little production and premature plant casualties.(yellow from the tip of the the leaves and generally a drying up of plants)
It like if the plants can not retain the water properly in the flower stage.
More over the flowering stage takes ages and the plant just grow bigger.

Any way I was wondering if kakaze your solution would work for tomatoes?
Luche globalization is strange for sure: many articles made here are never sold here. I'm interested in a formula that i could submit to the city chemist.

Bests,

Tuff

Ps : I have purchased some general hydroponics during a trip that I am trying out on a small batch.
They seem okay but it's ridiculously expensive for our larger setting.

Last edited by tufekoa; 02-11-2010 at 02:22 AM.
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  #17  
Old 02-11-2010, 03:41 AM
kakaze kakaze is offline
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Like I said, I've not tried either of the recipes yet. In fact, I'm just getting into hydroponics myself, so anything anyone here says that contradicts me is probably more correct.

According to this site:

Reasons Why Tomato Plants Leaves Turn Yellow

tomato plants yellow due to a lack of nitrogen, sunshine, or water. Pests & fungus can also cause yellowing. Too much nitrogen usually gives abundant foliage growth, but poor fruiting. Check to make sure they're getting enough water and try giving them a bit less nitrogen and a bit more phosphorus (if you can't find Phosphorus, grind up some eggshells and bake them until they just start turning brown. eggshells contain about 1% nitrogen, about 0.5% phosphoric acid.

If they're not getting enough sun, you may want to supliment them with a flourescent light (if you can't find one for plants, get one that says "cool white"; it's got more blue in it, which is what plants need to grow). You could also try an LED growlight. Here's a company in Hong Kong that sells them for a good price (no, I'm not affiliated):

Besthongkong - Eastern LED Source Shop: Loose LED, High Power LED, Car Auto LED, LED Light Bulbs, LED Strips, LED Flashlight, LED Module LED Growing Lights

If you do try the chicken manure compost tea, you may have trouble with clogging in an aerophonic system. If it were me, I'd grow the plants in aquarium gravel (you should be able to find one of those "wet markets" that sells pets & pet supplies pretty easily) with a drip-feed system.

Something else to keep in mind; are your tomatoes all female, or all male? If they're mixed, do they get any kind of breeze blowing past them to spread pollen? No pollen = no fruit.
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  #18  
Old 07-04-2013, 03:22 AM
shadoh6 shadoh6 is offline
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Default Hydroponic nutrient problem in China SOLVED

As an update to my ancient post on not being able to find nutrients in China, after much time and effort, I have secured a source for a proven, international brand hydroponic nutrient, other hydroponic additives (silica, PK boosters, etc.) and even specialized equipment (HID lighting, PPM meters, etc.), so if anybody is interested in buying this in China, then PM me.
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  #19  
Old 11-21-2013, 01:17 PM
pengyou pengyou is offline
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I also live in China, in Shenzhen. Taobao has almost everything - maybe everything you need to do hp gardening.
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  #20  
Old 11-22-2013, 03:49 AM
shadoh6 shadoh6 is offline
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Taobao has almost everything, and things have gotten a lot better since 2009 when I first created this post! However, the quality and reliability of the sellers and equipment is still a bit of a lucky draw. Having lived here for so long, I have some good sources or can custom make things myself, so if anybody is interested or needs some help building hydroponics systems in China, then PM me.

@pengyou: It's good to see another hydroponics enthusiast on the mainland! If you are ever in Shanghai, let me know and I can show you the hydroponics systems I am running. I am currently doing about 2.4 sqm of completely enclosed and isolated systems, testing the growing results between a 220w X2-style LED grow light against a 600w HID air cooled reflector, using a top drip automated irrigation system and Canadian imported nutrient solution by Advanced Nutrients.

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