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-   -   How much nutrients needed per plant (http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2019)

mindoverflow 06-05-2011 11:04 AM

How much nutrients needed per plant

I would like to know approximately how much nutrients are consumed per plant per day. Or should I say a 1 liter of nutrients diluted in enough water feeding a 100 plants, how many days would it hold before requiring extra nutrients?

I would appreciate to get any example plants (lettuce, tomato ..) on any hydroponic system. I'm planing to start a hydroponic greenhouse, but I can't get the nutrients from here then I should bring it from abroad (have to pay border taxes) then I will have to buy enough at once, I would also like to get an idea about the total cost.


mindoverflow 06-06-2011 04:29 PM

I see none was interested to reply, then I'll ask it differently.

Would you please tell us
  • what hydro/aeroponic system are you using?
  • What and how many plants are you growing?
  • In the average, what's the quantity of nutrient your plantation is consuming?

Thank you.

GpsFrontier 06-06-2011 07:05 PM

Hello mindoverflow,
Well I meant to reply to your question before, but got sidetracked. That's sounds like quite a complicated question, especial due to all the unknown variables. But it's not as simple as pouring more nutrients in any given amount of water, or at a specific time. Also the system design and amount of plants your growing play a big part in efficiency for any commercial operation. If you haven't grown plants hydroponically, I suggest starting a small scale setup to work out the bugs first, before jumping directly into a large scale setup. I know it's tempting to just go full scale, but you will simply save yourself lots of time, money, and frustration by testing out the system/s on a small scale first.

Nutrient testing and monitoring, plant tissue analysis, water quality testing, custom nutrient for your specific plants and water quality, climate control, pest and disease issues, water temp control, weather to use beneficial microbes or UV light treatment to control pathogens and root diseases in the nutrient solution. These are just some of the issues you will want to work out before going full scale on a commercial operation.

mindoverflow 06-06-2011 09:55 PM

thanks gpsfrontier,

that's what i'm aiming to do, i'm planing to start a 4-10 meters square probably on 2 setups growing basil, lettuce and tomato.

would a 1 liter of nutrient be enough to run the crop for about 3-4 months?

I thought about trying aquaponics due to the lack of nutrients, but i think that keeping aquaponic balance in a small scale system would be difficult.


GpsFrontier 06-07-2011 12:03 AM

The first question I have is what do you mean by 1 liter of nutrient? For each plant like lettuce you will want about 1/2 gallon of nutrient solution per plant. For medium sized plants like basil (depending on how big you want them to get) you will want about 1 gallon minimum of nutrient solution per plant. And for large plants like tomato you will want a minimum of 2.5 gallons of nutrient solution per plant. Personal I would grow each one of those types of plants in their own system. So basically I have no idea how many of each type of plant you are talking about growing, and I have no idea how many gallons of nutrient solution you will need. If you are referring to one liter of nutrient concentrate, all manufactures are different, and I have no way of knowing how many gallons of nutrient solution the 1 liter will make. But I can tell you if your planning to have it shipped to you, you will most likely get more for your money if you get dry nutrients, rather than a liquid.

Also going back to the system design, I have no idea what type of system/s your planing to use (Drip, NFT, Water Culture, Aeroponic, Flood and drain, wick), or if you plan to combine system types. I don't know if you plan to do regular nutrient changes, or if you are planning to monitor nutrient concentration in order try to stretch out nutrient changes. I also don't know what you plan to do in case of pathogens or a fungus get into your reservoir, or even if your plants get a root disease. Are you going to clean and sanitize the system/s and mix fresh nutrients. Bottom line, there are just too many variables that I don't know to say one liter, or even ten liters will be enough in your situation.

I can tell you that the General Hydroponics Flora series nutrients (gro, micro, and bloom) make about 390 gallons of nutrient solution when you buy it in the 1 gallon concentrates. I also know the verti-gro nutrients (dry mix) makes 5000 gallons of nutrient solution when you buy the 25 lb quantities, and cost about the same as the GH flora series nutrients. With the virti-gro nuts I can have two 50 gallon reservoir, do a full nutrient change on both reservoirs every week, and they (the 25 lb quantities) would last me about a year (50 weeks). Or one 50 gallon reservoir changing every week would last me about 2 years (100 weeks, with the 25 lb quantities of the verti-gro nutrients).

mindoverflow 08-01-2011 04:16 PM


Thanks you, sorry for replying so late, I lost the link to that page.

Yes, I think dry nutrients would be easier to get, but some people complains about them.

Anyway, thank you, I'll see what I'll do.

jamromhem 08-02-2011 12:01 AM

the problem a lot of people have with dry nutrients are self induced... If you mix your nutrients into cold water they will not always disolve properly. If you let your dry nutrients get moist in their container they will not disolve as easily since they will clump a little.

I would try getting some warm water to mix the nutrients in (like 1 gallon of water to warm and premix your nutrients) Then after you get that disolved well in there mix that slowly into the rest of your mix, and let settle to normal temp before adding to your main res.

That is my thoughts on relieving some of the complaints people have with dry nutrients. They are designed to disolve, but 60 F and 130F water disolve salts at MUCH different rates.

GpsFrontier 08-02-2011 02:14 AM

If they are single part dry nutrients (complete), mixing them in warm water can cause another problem. While it is true that mixing in warm water will help completely dissolve the mineral salts, mixing them in small volumes of water can cause the the mineral elements to precipitate. Taking 10 gallons of dry nutrient mix, and mixing it in one gallon of water (warm, hot, or cold) creates a liquid concentration ten times stronger than normal. The mineral elements can bond almost emeditly, and even diluting it later in more water wont free the bonded elements once they've precipitated.

When in high concentrations (and/or high pH levels) some elements will bond to other ones, becoming un-usable to the plants. That's why most liquid nutrient concentrates come in more than one part mixes. To keep the elements that will bond to others separated. Often times the precipitation can be seen at the bottom of the reservoir as a white powdery looking substance. This can often be confused as nutrients that didn't dissolve. But is actual nutrients that DID dissolve, but then "re-solidified" when bonding to other elements because of high concentrations, high pH, or both.

If there two, or three part dry nutrients, then pre-liquefying each part "separately" in warm water before pouring into the full volume of water in the reservoir should be OK.

mindoverflow 08-02-2011 10:49 AM

thanks, your answers are so helpful.

crad 08-05-2011 05:18 PM

I let my water set and become the same temp as the environment my plants are in and then mix my dry nutrients and have had no problem. I use both dry and liquid. in small growing situations and if you have to freight the nutrients in dry is better. In a metered dispensing system you will buy them in liquid so it can be dispensed correctly.

Nutrient cost per gallon is cheaper to buy dry. It costs less and ships cheaper as you add the water. Liquid nutrients are premixed and require more space to ship so shipping costs are increased.

I believe you are referring to the liters of solution you are going to use in your reservoir. Lettuce use different nutrients then tomatoes and will use different amounts of liquid a day. Just as tomatoes will will require different lighting requirements then lettuce will.

Like my tomatoes and peppers use about 4 gallons a day at present. My new system will increase spacing and need more volume of liquid to fill. so as my plants change and mature they will consume more.

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