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Make your own nutrient solution, Your experience, here is mine


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Old 03-19-2012, 05:45 PM
ju1234 ju1234 is offline
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Default Make your own nutrient solution, Your experience, here is mine

I am a total newby to Hydroponics. I am about to start my first outdoor fill and drain type system. I am in North Texas, so hot weather coming.

I have studied most every article on line on the subject of Hydroponics and have finally put together my own little system. looking at the nutrients in the store and on line, they are expensive. So, I looked into making my own. Saw many different formulations suggested on line. Based on all of those, i figured, i should perhaps just use the old good Hoagland's formula. Here is what I plan to do. Any of you out there who have tried to make your own or otherwise are expert in this field, please comment.

The standard Hoagland's formula (using PPM) is as follows: N 210, K 235, Ca 200, P 31, S64, Mg 48, B 0.5, Fe 1-5, Mn 0.5, Cu 0.02, Mo 0.01.

It is rather difficult to find all the individual ingredients even on line. So, I used ingredients that are easy to find in the ordinary garden shop or grocery store. I am taking of the shelf "Miracle Grow Nursery Select Professional Formula all purpose water soluble plant food, powder". I plan to modify it.

The Miracle Grow, MG for short, has the following formulation: N=20%, Potash as K2o=20%, Phosphate as P2O5=20%. B=0.02, Cu 0.05, Iron chelate 0.1, Mn=0.05%, Mo 0.005%, Zn 0.05%. I converted these numbers to percent of elemental constituents and then converted them to PPM (it is quite lengthy calculation, so i won't give that here). After doing so, I figured, if I use 1 gram of miracle grow in one liter of water as the final solution and add following things that are lacking in MG, this will make almost equal to original Hoagland's. To each liter of water, I will also add 743 milligrams of plaster of paris (calcium sulfate hemihydrate) to provide the 200PPM of calcium, 490 mg of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to provide both the magnesium and sulfur, 3 mg of boric acid and 20 mg of ferrous sulfate to make up the deficit, 132 mg of KCL (salt substitute) to make up deficit of K (I don't know if the "chloride" will be a problem.

OK. That's it. I am done. The nitrogen is mostly from ammonium phosphate and Potassium nitrate, the good ingredients, little bit from urea which is not so good. The above formula pretty much makes the Hoagland's.

Comments, criticism, suggestions? Thank you.

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Old 03-20-2012, 04:29 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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ju1234
First off I wouldn't suggest making your own nutrients, the learning curve for hydroponics in general is typically enough for new hydroponic growers. Then you want to add the complications of doing chemistry to the mix? Trying to figure out if any problems are because of environmental problems, or from your home made nutrients? Not to mention the start up costs for the individual mineral elements and equipment needed. Not only are there fairly cheep pre-made nutrients available, but you don't need to worry if you got the chemistry correct. I don't think you'll be able to match being able to make 500 gallons of full strength nutrient solution for $40 total (including shipping). Much less 5000 gallons of full strength nutrient solution for about $130 (including shipping). That's just one option/source available.

If you really want to experiment with making your own, I would suggest growing them with a commercial nutrient first. Then once you've learned doing that successfully, venture into the process of making your own nutrients. If you want an idea of where to start, and the chemistry involved in making your own nutrients check out this blog: Science in Hydroponics

The blog is written by a chemist who does hydroponics (I forget his/her name for sure (Daniel I believe). But he/she has also developed a free nutrient calculator to help with doing all the chemistry involved. The blog is kind of hard to navigate at first, but on the left side, about half way down is a drop down window under "categories" there are different subjects covered. I would need to look for them, but I do know of some online sources for the raw mineral salts for hydroponics. But if your still interested, I'll post links for them when I have time to look them up again.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:36 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I buy my Hydroponic nutrient for less than any Miracle Grow where I live, and I don't even need to modify it. When Miracle Grow makes a product that will make 3,000 to 4,000 gallons of full strength nutrient solution for $30, let me know.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 04-08-2012 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:56 AM
ju1234 ju1234 is offline
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To Arrion: Thanks. Is that 1 cup of citric acid solid crystals? Is the role of citric acid for adjusting pH or some other reason? I looked up the formula of Citric acid and it just has C, H & O, so does it enhance oxygenation? I don't know Borateem, i looked it up, it is bleach for colors. What is the role of Borateem? It is good to hear from a professional grower. Thanks.

To GPS: What source do you get your ready made nutrients from? The on line as well as physical stores I looked at have the small bottle set selling for no less than 30-40 and it does not make a whole lot of solution.

My interest in hydroponics is not commercial, folks. I am just a hobby gardener. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:16 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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ju1234
When I first started growing hydroponically I used the General Hydroponics Flora series nutrients. I have nothing agents them, and they worked great. But when I started expanding my systems, I just couldn't see paying in excess of $100 to make less than 400 gallons of nutrient solution. First off, if your looking for economical nutrients, the dry nutrients will give you the best value. I'm always looking out for new sources of inexpensive nutrients. Here is a list of the ones I've found so far.

Verti-Gro
They make different formulas. But when you order the 25 lbs 5-10-25, Hydroponic Formula (SKU#: F510255x5) and the Calcium Nitrate, 15-0-0, 25 lbs (SKU#: F15005X5), the total comes out to about $130 including tax and shipping. It makes about 5000 gallons of nutrient solution. That breaks down to less than 3 cents (.026) a gallon of full strength nutrient solution. You can get the FCombo package, and that will make about 500 gallons of nutrient solution for $40 (including shipping), that comes out to about 8 cents a gallon of full strength nutrient solution. But your best value is the 25lb quantity's.

JR PETERS
They also make different formulas. I have the "Jack’s Professional 16-4-17 Hydro Herb FeED" in my garage right now for use in my herb greenhouse. With shipping it cost about $65 total, and makes close to 4,000 gallons of full strength nutrient solution. That breaks down to less than 2 cents (.016) a gallon. When I bought it a few months ago I believe it was $29.95 ($30 what I said in my earlier post). Now it's $35 (+ shipping= about $65), still very reasonable at less than 2 cents a gallon of nutrient solution.

QuickGrow
I haven't used these yet, although I have a good friend here in town that does and loves them. I forget what the mixing directions are, so I can't really give the break down per gallon. But I do know, price comparison wise it's very similar to the verti-gro nutrients when buying the larger quantities.

Here are a couple of other options that I haven't tried yet, but eventually plan to.
Hydro-Gardens Fertilizers
Crop King fertilizers

Unless making commercial quantities, there is no reason to go to the effort and initial cost of trying to make your own nutrients with prices like these that I can see. The only reason would be to be able to make your own custom blend.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 04-09-2012 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:09 PM
ju1234 ju1234 is offline
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Thank you Arrion. I thought the Borateen is brand name for a bleach for colored clothes? If this one is different, is it available at garden stores. I used Boric acid, the one used in roach powder. Is that ok too. Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:45 PM
ju1234 ju1234 is offline
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Arrion: Which Miracle grow do you use? There are several different ones with different NPK ratios.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:39 AM
ju1234 ju1234 is offline
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Default Surprised, Miracle grow has no Ca or Mg

I am surprised that Miracle Grow as a general gardening fertilizer (not for hydro) has no calcium or magnesium at all. Miracle Grow is supposed to be pretty good complete fertilizer. Is ca and mg readily available to plants in the soil and therefore does not need to be added to normal fertilizers but has to be in hydro stuff? Anyone knows a sure answer?
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:19 PM
ju1234 ju1234 is offline
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Well, Miracle Grow (MG) although soluble formula, is made for traditional soil based plant growing. But the MG does not have any calcium or magnesium salts in its formulation. So, for normal soil grown plants, these minerals must be readily extractable from soil so MG does not need those added. Is that observation correct?
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:59 AM
852Bill 852Bill is offline
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Default Nutrient Formulas

I am a new hobby Hydroponic fan. I am looking for a nutrient formula for my small NFT hydroponic system. Can you suggest anythink. Many thanks.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:57 AM
ju1234 ju1234 is offline
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First post of this thread, i wrote the details of how i made my solution.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:21 AM
CAPT38 CAPT38 is offline
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Thumbs up Miracle Grow

I just started using miracle grow in my drip system i mix it half strenght and i also am using peters plant food along with some calmag or epsom salt, I started variuos seeds of friday, and already have spouts.... I like you am tninking about making my own hydroponic nutrients, but i think that i am going to go with a compost tea and make a tea brewer>>>> like this one>>>>>Turbo Vortex Compost Tea Brewer Air Lift Pump for organic farming - YouTube I ultimately believe that with a compost tea I will save lots and lots of $$$ that in turn will can be used for building and adding on to my hydro systems. I know that some people will be nonbelievers but after reading up on the bibifets of compost tea verses chemical hydro nutes and miracle grow the case is pretty much closed ( in my oppinion )>>>>>>> here is a link that did the math>>>>>>http://www.vortexbrewer.com/pdf/comp...ydroponics.pdf Good Luck and keep on Growing!!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:48 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hope the nutrient mix does well for you. While I believe compost tea is a beneficial additive, it's kind of a science because your dealing with microorganisms breaking down organic mater. Their is more to it than just dumping a bunch of stuff into some water and aerating it, then walla. So expect it to take some time to prefect. Also while I believe compost tea is a beneficial additive, I just wouldn't believe in sales propaganda myself.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:20 AM
CAPT38 CAPT38 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
Hope the nutrient mix does well for you. While I believe compost tea is a beneficial additive, it's kind of a science because your dealing with microorganisms breaking down organic mater. Their is more to it than just dumping a bunch of stuff into some water and aerating it, then walla. So expect it to take some time to prefect. Also while I believe compost tea is a beneficial additive, I just wouldn't believe in sales propaganda myself.
Again I agreewith you Gps,hydroponic salesmen are just like car salesmen they will lead you to believe that they have the best deal!!!

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