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Guano


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Old 04-11-2010, 11:12 PM
Zenithandrising Zenithandrising is offline
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Default Guano

Hello everyone. I am new here and also to Hydro. I am about to set up my first garden and will be doing a bubble pot for my first attempt.

What I was told is that I can use plain guano as my nutrients for lettuce and spinach.... From everything I have read it seems like guano is used more as a supplement...

I am confused. Please help.

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Old 04-12-2010, 03:09 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Fish emulsion and chicken emulsion have been used for years, so I don't see why guano would be so far off. Though from what I have found, there additives also. I would be weary of hoping for the best results from using it, especially when your just starting out in hydroponics. I would contact the manufacture of the guano (make sure it's sold for hydroponics), then try to find a couple more that sell the same type of product, and ask them the same questions. See if they all give you the same answers (it will be more creditable that way).

Also I would look into aquaponics, it's the process of using fish waste (fish emulsion, usually with live fish) for the nutrient solution, and find out what the complete process is (and what they think of using guano). Again finding out what retailers have to say, but also checking out what educational institutions (.edu) have on the subject, and/or government programs like the "extensions" programs in your local area, they will have information on agriculture throughout the USA.

All in all, I have no doubt you can make it work. The question is, completely on guano? And how well it will work for your particular crop? I know people who swear that "miracle grow" alone will work with no need for hydroponic nutrients. I have even used miracle grow myself (because I didn't care about the plants anymore) and they did grow. But from what I saw, not healthy. So with the proper research, I'm sure it would be possible, but if it's your first try and you needed good results, I would use hydroponic nutrients first.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:25 AM
Luches Luches is offline
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@Zenithandrising,

You can't use any Guano as it comes as sole nutrient for hydroponics for a number of reasons.

1. Seabird Guano has only about 20% water soluble nitrogen to 80% water insoluble nitrogen. Hence 80 % is unavailable and thus needs to be processed through what is commonly called "organic tea making". It's an aerobic fermentation process that allows (beneficial) bacteria to break the "water insoluble" nitrogen and other elements down biochemically, before they are processed for uptake by any plant as an "readily available nutrient".

2. The NPK ratio of either Bat or Seabird Guano differs widely, but it commonly is very low in Potassium, high in Nitrogen and too high in Phosphorus to match any adequate nutrient formula for Hydroponics. So called organic nutrients of the sort are often based on two main components: Guano and Seaweed extracts. Seaweed is very high in Potassium and low in Nitrogen and both ingredients complement each other quite well.

3. A standard hydroponical setup, as a "simple bubbler" is in fact unsuited for the use of any organic nutrients that are based on mostly organic matter (solid or liquid). As this type uses no or only little media, in which bacterial activity is supposed to- but actually cannot take place properly. A setup that uses lots of media, as in a ebb and flow system, or even better: a system that is based on actual aquaponic principles, is the way to go here. There will be need of continuous aerobic bacterial activity in a decent amount of media to break the organic components further down. The way they'll be continuously available for plants. A separate gravel bed that gets flushed periodically with a big amount of water, like seen frequently in recent aquaponic systems, would be my first choice here.

4. Even kinda balanced Guano and Seaweed based, and pre-fermented organic nutrients are far from being fool proof and rather difficult to dose in concentration. This "discipline" needs a very different skill set than common hydroponics and a proper learning curve based on trial and error.


PS: Fish waste and fish waste (in more colloquial language also known as fish poop) and the other as in fish EMULSION are two distinctly different things. With fish emulsion, fish are cooked and pressed to extract their oils, while other solid by-products are further boiled down to eventually create the so called emulsion. Fish emulsions that are based on FISH are commonly used in soil fertilization only, - while the actual poop is the "fertilizer type" used in aquaponics.

Last edited by Luches; 04-13-2010 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:42 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Sorry it's actually called "Cooperative Extension service," (extensions for short)
Here is the main link. Cooperative Extension System Offices

The last time I bought fish emulsion as a fertilizer, it stated on the package that it was "fish poop", I wouldn't doubt if it had other compounds in it as well. But it was sold as a fertilizer. I don't think you'll ever find a product called "fish poop," you know how packaging is. I have never bought guano, even as a fertilizer. But I wouldn't think it would be usable for hydroponics (as is) straight from the bat cave. It's just a general term because it can come from many flying animals (usually bats). That's just one reason I would suggest talking to many of the the manufactures/retailers who make it for HYDROPONICS specifically.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 04-13-2010 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:09 AM
Zenithandrising Zenithandrising is offline
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wow, I wasn't expecting such thorough and educational answers! Thank you both for taking the time to answer and helping this newbie out. I could not find anything on the nets about solely using bat guano as a nutrient but that is what the gentleman at the hydro store suggested I do. I will go back and get some liquid nutrients this week. I think he was trying to help me remain as organic as possible in my venture but I don't want to starve or kill my plants!

What a wonderful forum this is! Thank you again.
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:45 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Not a problem, it would be great if you could post pictures and progress of your ventures. I would enjoy seeing how thing go for you.

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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 04-19-2010 at 05:52 PM.
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