Mixing your own custom nutes?

So, Im using HPA - hi pressure aeroponics. That means I have a 17 gallon rez, outside the grow tent. Water from the rez gets pumped into a 5 gallon accumulator tank at hi pressure. Then is goes through regulators and solenoids until it gets sprayed onto my roots. The runoff water is drain to waste - so zero circulation back to the rez. This is pure drain to waste.

My water is weird as far as PH, and I have been having issues keeping PH stable in my rez and accumulator tank using my well water and Mega Crop + calmag. I switched over to RO water but that didnt really help.

I just started using Advanced Nutrients PH Perfect line. That is working as far as holding the PH stable at 5.6.

However, I read on the AN site that their products will settle or separate over time. I have an aquarium pump in the rez that circulates the nutes for one minute every 10 minutes, so I think the rez will be fine.

BUT - once the water gets pumped into the accumulator tank, there is no way to stir it or mix it in any way. I am worried I will get a build up of sediment or precipitates in the accumulator tank.

The system flow rate is really low. Im in the second week of flower and Im only pumping about 4.9 liters/day or 1.3 gallons/day, so that 5 gallons holding tank doesnt get flushed very well.

Anyway - bottom line is Im looking to mix my own nutes for two basic reasons.

  1. I want a mix that is PH stable like AN PH Perfect is. It needs to buffer the solution in the 5.6-5.8 range all on its own without needing PH UP/Down constantly.

  2. It needs to be non-organically based so I dont get things that settle out or separate once mixed. Plus, organic stuff in the nutes tends to clog nozzles. So I need to go the raw salt path - I think.

Can anyone point me towards a source for info/instructions on how to mix up some nutes that would meet those requirements? I am a very poor chemist, so I need specific suggestions for exactly what to buy and how to mix it. When people say - “Just increase the phosphates” Im like “Uuhhhhh?”

Any help, suggestions of links would really help :slight_smile:

Oh - if its cheaper than buying AN nutes that would also be very very nice :wink:

4 Likes

i was hoping this would be about fish-poop and molasses & kelp & whatnot :smile:

:fish: :poop: :sushi: :alembic: :oil:

:evergreen_tree:

3 Likes

You can put a good filter on the pump in the rez to keep organic matter out of the system . I sometimes use nylon mesh for hash as a filter.

For dry salts my go to is Maxi Grow and Maxi bloom as a base.

1 Like

First suggestion would be to get a copy of Hydrobuddy. It’s free. While it’s not without faults, it is the best one available at that price. It has some built in “example” formulations which you can tweak.

Second suggestion is to consider enrolling in something like, http://www.npk-university.com/classes.html . Harley Smith will give you a good background into the nutrient ratios and why. Plus, a bunch of more information over the course of a couple of months. Unfortunately, it appears that the price has increased recently from $95 to $250. About $20 per class.
There are reference material available that provide optimal nutrient ratios for growing different species, I can’t recall the name off-hand. Something red-book, something. When I remember, I’ll update this.

With some of the background, look at some of threads here and elsewhere such as Theories on proper NPK cannabis ratios. There are numerous DIY formulas on the interwebs. With the background and software in hand, you’ll be able to determine a suitable set of macro and micro nutrients that will work for your situation. In fact, there is enough information available to recreate formulations of some of the favorite manufacturers using the before-mentioned software (many manufacturer’s in this industry like to claim they use a proprietary blend of “magic” and unicorns).

Edit:

Looks like there are some prerecorded short courses now. Nutrient Management, for a bit less dollars at $64. Downside, you can’t ask questions since it’s prerecorded.

5 Likes

Here’s an external reference and a spring board from there, Calculations for Common Nutrient Formulas . And, there was the Fatman’s thread somewhere over there.

Whether some of the formulations are sensible, I don’t know. Hopefully, we’ll be able to build up some reference solutions here over time.

3 Likes

hehehe Nope :slight_smile:

Seriously, from all I have read, “organics” and HPA just dont mix well at all. The main issue reported is clogging of nozzles, but things tend to settle out of solution with organic mixes and that ‘stuff’ can build up in the hi-pressure accumulator tank and cause issues.

So far, Mega Crop and Advanced Nutrients PH Perfect both have things in them that have the potential to clog stuff up.

Im using several filters in the system, but its still a concern I would prefer to avoid.

1 Like

I have been doing that.

I have an aquarium pump in the rez that circulates 1 minute out of every ten. The intake on the pump is a DIY filter I made from 150 mesh silk screen cloth. The feed pipe that goes to the hi-pressure pump is also wrapped in 150 mesh silk screen. Then, there is another filter with a 150 mesh stainless screen right before the pressure pump. Then I have a final filter right before the solenoids that has a 200 mesh SS screen.

After adding the final 200 mesh filter, I had no more nozzle clogs.

Im still concerned about stuff building up in the accumulator tank over time. I have been flushing the tank every time I re-fill the rez, so that is helping Im sure.

I will check out the Maxi Grow & Maxi Bloom. Do you mix those in the Lucas Formula or by the bottle directions or?

2 Likes

I downloaded Hydrobuddy, but have not had time to look at it yet.

I will check out the courses, but doubt I will spend the $.

I started reading that thread and the other links from there. Good start so far!

I remember looking at that thread a while back and deciding I didnt want to mix my own stuff! :slight_smile: I will go back now and check it out.

Ive read a bunch of Fatman posts. He seems to know his stuff - if you can get past the attitude - but I was looking for into on HPA, and generally skipped over any nute discussions :wink: I will re-visit that as well.

Thanks for the leads!!

Funk clogging up pumps & intakes sounds like a paint, so I dig. :slight_smile:

I’ve never messed around with that kind of equipment enough but it seems like any similar scenario might help for advice…i.e. ponds with fish & plants, etc. or even wastewater treatment :scream:… or hydroelectric dams & whatnot.

It seems that “distance” between the sediments/particulates & the final output is helpful & staging to finer meshes like you have described. Shape of “filter box” might matter but I suspect it’s more about total area to: crap volume & frequency.

Then there’s mechanical solutions e.g. propeller scraper… :thinking: :upside_down:

Maybe have stages of reservoirs? …ensuring that the actual res. drawn from is already pre-filtered?

:evergreen_tree: sorry if this is too much wakenbake :smile:

1 Like

Have you investigated KNF inputs? I was thinking I recently read in the beginning of Jadam Korean natural farming book making mention of use in hydroponic set up… I’ll see if I can find it and send a snap shot of the text.

Here is what I found in the first few pages of the book maybe these nutes could work for you?

2 Likes

Somewhere I have the nutrient ppm levels for individual nutrients which is what I think you want. I will try to find it later. It is from Harley,'s course.

1 Like

That would be awesome! Thanks!

Oh - and good to have you back!!

1 Like

Interesting. Ive never heard of KNF or ‘inputs’ before this. After a very quick Google, I doubt I will go this route, but I need to read a bit more to get a better grasp of what he is talking about.

Thanks for the suggestion!!

1 Like

I just looked at the website and feed charts. They claim the Maxi series is PH stable? Whats your experience with that - does it actually work? The price isnt too bad - especially compared to AN PH perfect nutes.

When you say you use it as a base - what else do you think it really needs? I prefer simple and I dont smoke, so I dont give a hoot about flavor or smell - just yield and no problems :slight_smile:

1 Like

Assuming your water is good, yes, It gets pretty close. I have used it alone with decent results.

depending media,

I use pro-tek silica (raises ph)
Cal-mag
mag sulfate after week 4 in flower
diamond nector or other fulvic acid. (humic has more organic matter)
maxi grow and maxi bloom.

kool bloom powder in the end.

I have used it in hydro and soiless. I don’t remember the final ph value but I do remember that it is predictably the same every time. I think it is pretty good for hydro and i add silica for soiless.

I didn’t find the ppm chart.

2 Likes

Is this the chart you were thinking of? Theories on proper NPK cannabis ratios

2 Likes

Yes sir!!! That’s the one.

2 Likes

I’ve just recently been getting into mixing my own nutrients (chemical) for my grow. Learned a lot but still have a way to go… determining nutrient targets for 13 elements is a bit of a learning experience so I was wondering if anyone could help me with the numbers?

@Diatomacious Was late on my last reply. There’s also this thread

1 Like

Thanks man… sorry got confused when thread was deleted lol.