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Best Hydroponic Nutrients and Supplements

Discussion in 'Hydroponics' started by Revanche21, May 24, 2008.

  1. Revanche21

    Revanche21 Registered+

    List your favorite blend of nutrients!

    Price would be nice too :)
  2. HighTy

    HighTy Registered+

    1-COMPONENT AARDE basic nutrient. A local hydroponics store swears by it so I bought a bottle of it yesterday for my jalepenos I got growin.

  3. the image reaper

    the image reaper Registered+

    my first couple hydro grows, I used the highly-respected 'General Hydroponics' 3-part liquid formulas ... it was good stuff ... last couple grows, I switched to 100% Fox Farms nutrients, despite so-so reviews by others :wtf: ... I use the 'Grow Big Hydro', the 'Tiger Bloom', the 'Big Bloom' and 'Open Sesame' ... will be adding their 'Cha-Ching' tomorrow ... simply put: I love the Fox Farms stuff, and don't see me changing anytime soon, as I've been growing my best plants, ever, with it ... it's also cheaper than most nutrients, but I'd still use it if it cost twice as much ... (just kidding, Fox Farm, don't raise your prices ;)) ... depending on the exact product, quarts run about $12-$15, they last quite awhile, you usually only use a teaspoon or tablespoon, per gallon ... the 'Big Bloom' is their 'live bacteria' additive, mostly earthworm castings tea, I suspect, and costs about $11 a quart, but ya use more, a couple tablespoons per gallon ... the 'Open Sesame' and 'Cha Ching' are powdered, go a real long way, and cost about $18 for one pound can ... :smokin:
    Last edited: May 25, 2008
  4. Revanche21

    Revanche21 Registered+

    basically I just want

    1 for veg
    1 for flower
    1 catalyst (such as liquid karma?)

    and im set right?

    if ya got the time, mind explaining the dynamics of why the different amounts of different nutes?
  5. the image reaper

    the image reaper Registered+

    if you want to go with Fox Farm, get the following ... 'Grow Big' (2 versions, one for soil, one for hydro, be sure to get the hydro version (3-2-6) for vegging ... get their 'Tiger Bloom' (2-8-4) for blooming, and get their 'Big Bloom', it's a live, active, bacterial fertilizer, used throughout the grow ... wherever they sell Fox Farm, you can get their little pamphlet, which fully explains their dosages, and when (there are times you will be using 2 or all 3, at once) ... they also include the ppm, etc. you want to be ... easy to understand guide (also can be seen on their website) ... following Fox Farms' ratios, my grows have been my best ... just throw in a teaspoon of blackstrap un-sulphured molasses per gallon, the last several weeks, and you're good to go :thumbsup:
  6. herbie the love bud

    herbie the love bud Registered+

    tir loves his foxfarm. I've never tried it but I've used Advanced, it's ok but now I use technaflora recipe for success. I think that gives me the same results as advanced for less money with an easier formula. In the end I think they all perform the same.
  7. rhizome

    rhizome Registered+

    Umm, a point...
    Yer bumping up against limiting factors. We'll go to the U of Wisconsin for a definition.

    In most of the small rooms that I've seen, the limiting factors are, in order, ventilation and then lighting. You can throw a bazillion $ worth of chemistry @ a plant, but if it doesn't have sufficent C02, the vapor pressure deficit is too low, or it doesn't have enough light, and it can't grow well. As the manufacturers of purpose specific nutrients formulate assuming that, if you're spending this ind of $ on consumeables, you've spent the $ for sufficent ventilation and lighting, they formulate assuming that the plants will be able to use the nutes @ the rate applied.

    I dunno- I find vast differances in the response of plants to differant nute regimens (...mmm...COGr...), but only when they're allowed to fully express- there aren't factors limiting growth that will show up before the nutes do. If you don't have enough light, or your plants are running too warm, yer gonna see that way before anything nutrient mediated.

    Once you get a space really dialed in, feeding has a pretty marked effect on expression of pheno- but if yer not into that whole thing first, then yeah, they all pretty much work the same.

    Spend $500 bucks on enviornmental control and run cheap nutes for a couple rounds until you're sure that the space is all that- by now you've broken even with the $ you didn't spend on 2+.

    Buy the expensive stuff now that yer broken even- you'll be much happier, and the pricey stuff will be worth it for you.

    My $.02 US ( not worth much, and dropping every day...)
  8. rhizome

    rhizome Registered+

    Hey Reaper-

    You using the Sledgehammer? Or the tri-pack dry stuff?
  9. justanotherbozo

    justanotherbozo Registered


    very good points man!
    kinda like having a brand new Corvette and adding nitrous oxide while driving on bald tires.
  10. the image reaper

    the image reaper Registered+

    I'm not familiar with 'Sledgehammer' ... I have seen the tri-packs online, but my local just carries the individual granulated solubles ... I have used the 'Open Sesame', and am adding the 'Cha-Ching' today, for the first time ... :smokin:
  11. herbie the love bud

    herbie the love bud Registered+

    Interesting rhizome. So your saying that at an underutilized setup, they all do about the same, but in an optimized environment certain nutes do better than others.

    Which would you say are geared towards what?

  12. rhizome

    rhizome Registered+

    Well, let's not forget about the interaction w/ genetics-

    F'rinstance, the Advanced stuff really does best w/ BC commercial genetics- they grew up together. Right genetics, right environment- ya really ca see 2 per K.

    Running something a little subtler- ya gotta watch out or you'll fry em, same environment.

    Any of the name brand nute regimens will get ya there- I like Canna, AN, GH Flora, Pure Blend. Not a huge FoxFarm fan, but that's mostly cause the Grow Big doesn't shelf very well, and it gets really expensive cost-per-use as yer using so much.

    If ya google about, you can find A/B comparison runs between major products- have a look. One thing that you'll notice is that the results vary wildly- some folks get great results with one thing, others with other things. All a matter of what works for you in your room w/ your plants.

    I'm a chem salt guy myself, but that's mostly because I hate the way that bottles of semi-organics and organics get sticky after a while. The chemmy shit just gets crunchy up around the neck.

    My point wasn't to endorse any particular nute system- loads of good products out there. My point was to discourage new growers from getting focused on nute brand names, when a more holistic look at their whole process will be more beneficial.

    Lots of times it's easiest to just pick a system and learn how to use it, in your space with your plants. When you were learning to drive, were you thinking about what brand of brake pad was on the car? Nah, ya just drove on what was there. Any racer will tell you that there are big differances between brake pads, and that they can make or break a race- and they'll be glad to tell you what you should be using. Problem is, they'll each tell you something differant, and be really partisan about it. Ya can go by recs to make sure you get something that won't just explode when it touches a rotor, but in terms of braking feel- ya gotta run them. And you're developing your preferances as you learn how to use those particular pads, or to swing that particular hammer, or grow plants with these particular nutes.

    Ya wanna start an argument? Walk up to three carpenters and ask what the best hammer is. Hammer's a simple thing when you pound twenty nails a week, much more important when it's 2000.
    Lotta guys use one hammer for siding/framing, another for finish. Then you have the old guys who only carry one hammer, but they've been singing that same hammer for so long that they can be snapping a nail and nudging a stud over one minute, then laying finish brads the next without changing tools. Let's not even talk about nailers.

    So go to a reputable shop, find out what they like ( cause what they like interacts well with the local water supply- that's why they like it), and just pick one. If you're an organic type of person, get whatever organic system is the freshest stock, and buy little bottles- ya don't save the twenty bucks getting gallons if they go sour on ya.

    Now learn how to use it. You'll probabley try a hundred things before you settle in, but for the first couple runs, just learn how to use it.

    I guess my point was that the brand name on the bottle doesn't matter until you know enough for the brand name on the bottle to matter, if that makes any sense.

    Don't buy the expensive stuff unless you know why you're buying the expensive stuff- it's a tool you don't know how to use, otherwise known as a good way to hurt yourself.

    I haven't typed a name in this thread that I wouldn't use- but I'm pretty sure that if I looked at how I'm using them, I'm way off label instructions. So I'm not gonna make recs, other the the obvious one upthread ( but that's really a management issue- shit is incredibley simple to use).

    My $.02 US ( worth less now than last time...)
  13. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Start basic, learn the plant. You teach a kid to fish with a worm on a tweety bird pole... wait until he can catch a punkinseed before taking him out for steelhead. A fly rig is useless in the hands of someone scuffing up muck and scaring away the fish.

    -Shameless Plug Alert-
    Pure Blend Pro and Canna are both very forgiving for noobies. That makes them a great base while you are learning how plants react to the environment you give them. I also like supplements that can be applied as a foliar, because of the more limited risk of salting up your soil or scorching the crap out of the plants accidentally. My own grow is set up to be manageable by one person who has no freakin' time to spend on it... in hydro, it's Calmag and Canna, Sweet occasionally, no other supplements in the res, ever. SnowStorm gets used as a light foliar mist once a week. In soil, same thing on the SnowStorm, and the fert mix is CalMag, Power Flower (botanicare chemmy one-part), and molasses.
  14. Revanche21

    Revanche21 Registered+

    great info!

    so ummm whats the cheapest brand that is still good? might as well start with the cheapest to see if it works for me :)
  15. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    GH 3-part, a pH test kit, and a bottle of CalMag.
    Read the sticky in the hydro section called 'Latewood's Legacy' for a discussion.
  16. Revanche21

    Revanche21 Registered+

    i keep hearing fox farm isn't too great? any specific reasons for this?
  17. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    I don't use it myself because the chems crystal up and fall out of solution too fast for my taste. And in hydro, I like to look for a nute that is designed specifically for a hydroponic application and contains both a BUFFER that helps stabilize the pH around 6 and CHELATORS that prevent unwanted interactions among fert components and your source water.
    Some people swear by the stuff, though. I know a guy running a pretty decent scale garden with FoxFarms and ProMix, and he pulls down very consistent crops. He's just become so comfortable with it, and it works, so hey... find what works for you. But I recommend starting with something intended for hydro. I'm not sure if FF makes a hydro-specific nute, and I should lol!
  18. Revanche21

    Revanche21 Registered+

  19. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Remember just because it is sold by a 'hydroponics' company does not mean you can use it at max efficiency in a hydro system- this is about pH ranges. They are NT the same for soil vs hydro applications. The actual bottle needs to say basically THIS IS FORMULATED FOR HYDROPONICS. IF it doesn't, you might still be able to use it, but you WILL have to fiddle with the pH.
  20. iamgrowerman

    iamgrowerman Registered+

    That's kind of the impression I've always gotten. There's even a thread about some problems with Fox Farm stuff somewhere on this forum. They're just very much a soil-first kind of company.

    If I were growing in soil that'd be fine. But I just don't think it's a top-3 or even top 10 choice if you're using hydroponics. You can spray pure hydrogen into the intake of an automobile without any gasoline and start the engine. But you'd have to be insane to try to operate it like that without a serious alteration of how that engine is built.

    rhizome has it right - you need the right tool for the right job. Or at the very least the right kind of tool for the job. What's your favorite hammer isn't quite as important as not trying to drive nails with a pipe wrench. IMHO, FF is a pipe wrench in the nail of hydroponics.

    But if you're just looking for opinions, I'm a AN Grow, Micro, and Bloom guy. I'm a chem salt guy too - I've just never seen anything that indicates a plant cares (or even knows) the difference between NPK that came from lab salts or was broken down from organics.

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