Preparing Your Own Hydroponic Nutrients : A Complete Guide for Beginners

Chances are that if you are into hydroponic gardening and you live in Europe or in the US you have been buying your nutrient solutions from one of the many hydroponic nutrient sellers available locally. Generally people do not prepare their own nutrients because they consider this task "terribly difficult" and they prefer to keep buying previously made formulations so that they don't have to deal with the technical problem of making their own fertilizers. What most people don't realize is that the profit margin of hydroponic nutrient producing companies is HUGE. You would be surprised to know that each one of those concentrated nutrient gallons you buy costs only a few dollars to make (sometimes even only pennies) and you are probably paying a few times what the whole fertilizer is worth.

Obviously if you are going to be growing plants for a long time or if you simply want to grow a large garden the buying of this commercial nutrient solutions is not an option and starting to make your own formulations - adjusted to your own needs - becomes the main priority. On today's article I will be speaking to you about how to prepare your OWN solutions using my nutrient solution calculator, carefully explaining to you what you need, where to buy it and what you should expect. I will guide you through making your own first A+B solution by YOURSELF getting all the chemicals and utensils you need easily and economically.

So what do you need to make your own nutrients ? The list below shows you the things you will need to start making your own A+B solutions. You will notice that you will need two scales since we are going to have to weight two "nutrient sets" with different precision, micro nutrients (which are used only in small amounts, need to be weight more precisely) and macro nutrients (which are used in larger amounts and therefore need scales with larger capacity).

  • Scale that can weight down to 0.01 g at a +/- 0.01g precision (something like this is perfect, just search 0.01 g scale on ebay to view similar products)
  • Scale that can weight up to 1kg at a +/- 0.1g precision (something like this)
  • Two Empty one gallon containers with caps
  • Plastic Spoon
  • Plastic small container (to weight salts)
  • A source of RO or distilled water (your tap water will NOT work)
  • Download my hydroponic nutrient calculator here.
  • Download the formulation you will be using here.
Now these are the chemicals you will need (an online purchase link is included for each one) :
  • Yara Brand Calcium Nitrate (here)
  • Magnesium Sulphate Heptahydrate (here)
  • Potassium Nitrate (here)
  • Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate (here)
  • Potassium Monobasic Phosphate (also known as mono potassium phosphate) (here)
  • Manganese Sulfate Monohydrate (here)
  • Zinc Sulfate Dihydrate (here)
  • Sodium Molybdate (dihydrate) (here)
  • Boric Acid (here)
  • Iron EDTA (NaFeEDTA) (here)
These chemicals can be bought in a variety of places but there is a link next to each one showing you a link where you can actually make the purchase. Often it is also possible to get these chemicals on ebay. The purity may not be as guaranteed as when purchased from a regular supplier but it is good enough for practical purposes in hydroponics. This is an example of Sodium Molybdate of a decent quality being sold there.

Of course you may see right now that the initial investment might be significant (from 100 to even more than 500 USD depending on whether you buy 50lb or 1lb quantities of macro nutrients) however after this purchase you will be able to produce more than one hundred gallons of concentrated A+B solutions which would cost you more than 10 times the price you will be paying if you bought them commercially. After doing the math you will see that this is a GREAT way to save money and produce your own solutions ! Hey you could even start selling to the neighbors ! :o)

After you buy the chemicals simply open my hydroponic calculator and load the general_beginner.txt nutrient formulation file you downloaded earlier on the calculator (use the "add external" button on the "Desired Formulation" tab. Then click the A+B solution button and select the "calculate weights for specific stock solution volume" option and input 1 (choose gallon) on the edit box above it. Now go to the "nutrient salts used" tab and select the salts mentioned above (make sure you select Yara Calcium nitrate instead of the regular one) .It is now time to go back to the "desired nutrient formulation" tab and press the "calculate formula !" button. Your screen should look like the picture shown below.
Now that you have calculated the weights needed you should go to the "calculation results" tab where you will be able to find the weights of the different nutrients you need to prepare the solution. The results of the calculation are showed below. You should now follow these steps to prepare the solutions :
If the chemical weights more than 10g weight it on the "less accurate" 0.1g scale. If it weights less on the "higher precision" 0.01g model.

  • Fill each one gallon container with half a gallon of RO or distilled water
  • Weight one salt on the container you set apart for measuring. Make sure you always DOUBLE check the weights and the appropriate A or B gallon container you need to add the salt to.
  • After you measure the salt transfer it to either the A or B gallon container (depending on which one it should go into). Use a little bit of water (RO or distilled) to transfer any remains that cannot be easily added and dry the container you are using to weight before measuring the next salt
  • Shake the container where you added the salt and make sure it is fully dissolved before measuring and adding the next one.
  • Do the same as above for all the salts
  • After you are done adding the salts add half a gallon of water (again RO or distilled) to each container
  • Then seal the containers and shake them vigorously
  • You have just prepared your first batch of self-made nutrient solution ! (Yey !!)
The above formulation is a general multi-purpose blend that should allow you to grow a large variety of plants. You simply need to add 10mL of A and 10mL of B for each final LITER of nutrient solution. You should use your pH meter and EC meter to adjust these values as you do with your regular commercial nutrients.

It is very important now to keep your chemicals stored in air-tight container in a dark and cool place. Some chemicals like calcium nitrate will absorb moisture and become useless if you leave them in contact with air for prolonged periods of time !!!

Of course, once you are more comfortable with preparing your own nutrients you can go to the A+B+C tutorial or research the available literature for some custom formulations available to grow each one of your plants under its favorite nutrient levels. I hope this tutorial has allowed you to reach a new level in your hydroponic gardening experience, hopefully accompanied by a drastic reduction in your soil-less gardening costs !

Note : Please leave a comment with your experience with the tutorial and with any links, phone numbers or addresses of your local chemical suppliers (if you have already located some you like). I will add them to a future feature of the calculator which will hold a chemical supplier global directory :o).

Print Friendly

90 Responses

  1. Ramesh
    Hi Daniel,<br /><br />Your recent articles with so many examples is really helping in understanding about nutrients and also to make your own nutrients which will help in experimenting. Good effort and really appreciate your contribution.<br /><br />0.1 precise weigh scale link is taking to 0.01 weigh scale. Please correct it.<br /><br />--Raurs
  2. Daniel
    Hi Raurs,<br /><br />Thank you very much for your comment :o) I am glad my tutorials are helping you understand how to prepare your own nutrients and how to experiment with the calculator.<br /><br />I hope you continue to enjoy the tutorials and my website. Thanks again for your comment !<br /><br />Best regards,<br /><br />Daniel<br /><br />PS : I have just fixed the link :o) thank you for pointing that out.
  3. N
    Hey Daniel,<br />I was wondering if U could add some more salts to the program. Here is a great site to help (<br />I was hoping you could add some of these if not all-<br />Calcium Chloride<br />Mono-Potassium Phosphate<br />Potassium Chloride<br />Di-Ammonium Phosphate<br />Potassium Hydroxide <br />Also by using these (chalets)<br />Calcium Chelate<br />Copper Chelate<br />Iron Chelate<br />Manganese Chelate<br />Zinc Chelate<br />wouldn't these change the possibility of precipitation?
    • sciresearcher
      Stay away from Potassium Hydroxide for plants or it could be used in the lowest concentration possible. This Hydroxide is used to saponify oils or fats to make shampoos or soaps, respectively.
  4. Daniel
    Hello N,<br /><br />Thank you for your comment :o) I will be adding more salts to the program before version 1.0 comes out however you should take into account that Mono Potassium Phosphate and Di-Ammonium Phosphate are already in the calculator (they are also called monobasic potassium phosphate and dibasic ammonium phosphate) make sure you check the formula in the future so that you know if a chemical is already added with a different name.<br /><br />Regarding the chelates, you have to be more specific as each MANY chelates are possible. For example iron EDTA (an iron chelate) is already added but other such as EDHA, DPTA, etc are also possible. Once you specify the EXACT chelates you would want me to add I will be glad to help :o) However I will be adding all the EDTA chelates of the metals you mentioned in the future version. <br /><br />Regarding the possibility of precipitation, it depends on what you want to keep from precipitating. Also remember that chelating nutrients that are widely used like calcium can have very detrimental effects. <br /><br />The chlorides and potassium hydroxide are already on my list as well as nitric and phosphoric acid. <br /><br />I hope you are enjoying the calculator :o) Thank you very much again for your comment,<br /><br />Best Regards,<br /><br />Daniel
  5. Jiniffer Sen
    <a href="" rel="nofollow">Hydroponics</a><br /><br />Nice post……such an useful information regarding hydroponics……Gud job dude!!!!!!!!!
  6. Joe
    My Antivirus will not allow your calculator to run, flagges it as suspiscious ativity and removes it....Ideas
  7. Daniel
    Hello Joe,<br /><br />Some anti virus software may flag the program as suspicious because it downloads a text file with the latest version to compare it with its internal data and check if there are any new updates. However the program is totally harmless so you can tell your anti virus software to ignore it to avoid any such problems. Thank you very much for your interest :o)<br /><br />Best Regards,<br /><br />Daniel
  8. Christian
    what do the "Purity %" field means? I'm using EDDHA Iron Chelate, its 6.0% <br />How would I use this with the calculator? (I assume to choose Iron EDTA and double ther results, since EDTA is 12%, or double the potency) ?<br /><br />also, I'm getting a bit of a discrepancy with your calculator, here is my data:<br />N (no3) = 217<br />P = 60<br />K = 180<br /><br />nutrient salts used: <br />Potassium Nitrate <br />Potassium monobasic Phosphate<br />Calcium Nitrate<br /><br />your calculation results show <br />Weights Of salts to Dissolve Directly<br />KH2PO4 = 99.57g<br />KNO3 = 102.31 g<br />CA(NO3)2 = 572.19<br />this gives a ratio of 1-1.02-5.74 of fertilizers used, respectively<br /><br /><br />however, my hand calculation yields results<br />of ratio 1-1.18-4.56<br />using standard<br />Potassium Nitrate 13-0-44<br />Monopotassium Phosphate 0-52-34<br />Calcium Nitrate 15.5-0-0<br /><br />so there seems to be some variation of the results, any reason why? I am willing to answer more questions if needed. btw, I am using <br /><br />profile for my ppm conversions. thx~
  9. Daniel
    Hello Christian,<br /><br />Thank you very much for your comment :o) Purity is related to the actual content of the pure salt within the solid you are using. Generally commercial salts will contain some material which is not the intended product and such difference should be taken into account to achieve maximum accuracy.<br /><br />In your case you should NOT use iron EDTA but you should add a custom salt with the adequate iron percentage of the iron EDDHA chelate. This is done using the buttons to the right of the salt list.<br /><br />Regarding the calculations the results shown by the calculator are correct. The ratio you are aiming for with 217 N, 60 P and 180 K would translate to an NPK of 1-0.63-0.92 since K is expressed as K2O and P as P2O5 in a traditional NPK representation.<br /><br />I think that you are a little bit confused regarding how nutrient concentrations are calculated and how you need to calculate nutrient percentages. However I can assure you that the results given by the calculator are correct and that the ppm values you input are achieved when the mass of salts specified is dissolved in the amount of volume you have input. <br /><br />Also bear in mind that calcium nitrate tetrahydrate has an N percentage of 11.9% and NOT 15.5%, this higher N percentage is attributed to what is commonly referred to as greenhouse grade calcium nitrate which is NOT calcium nitrate but a calcium nitrate/ammonium double salt. A salt with this composition is available as "Yara calcium nitrate" within the list.<br /><br />Thank you very much for your interest :o)<br /><br />Best Regards,<br /><br />Daniel
  10. Christian
    Hi Daniel. Good calculator. I took some time to double check my knowledge, and yes I was confused about calculations and some misconceptions. Thanks for your time on making this blog and responding to my questions. A quick question if I may ask? <br /><br />You mentioned Calcium Nitrate tetrahydrate as being 11.9-0-0, but wikipedia shows it (i tried to research lol) 12.8-0-0<br /><br /><br /><br />Formulations lacking ammonia are also known: Ca(NO3)2.4H2O (12.8-0-0 + 18.3%Ca).<br />This would give a 12.8%, is this a type or something different that is at play here with the 11.9 figure?<br /><br />thx!
  11. Daniel
    Hello Christian,<br /><br />Thank you for your comment :o) I am glad that you have checked your knowledge and that you now agree with the calculator. <br /><br />Regarding calcium nitrate tetrahydrate,<br /><br />The molar mass is 236.15 g/mol. Since each mole of the tetrahydrate contains 2 moles of nitrogen then the percentage of nitrogen is (2*14/236.15)*100 which is 11.9% so the value in wikipedia is wrong. The percentage of calcium is (40/236.15)*100 which is 17%, not 18.3. <br /><br />I advice you always do these simple calculations yourself since wikipedia is wrong a good percentage of the time due to the fact that more often than not no one takes the time to check the accuracy of these contributions. I have just made the correction in the wikipedia page so that no more people face this error.<br /><br />Thank you very much again for your comment :o)<br /><br />Best Regards,<br /><br />Daniel
  12. Christian
    OK, great program, I have already recommended to several people on another website to use, seems to be the simplest one available and very easy.<br /><br />Another question/comment. I was trying to match you Iron EDTA salt, using a custom field. I found that if I created a new salt, with Fe content as 1.3, it would match up almost exactly with the built in Iron EDTA. However, I have read that Iron EDTA is 13% purity of Iron, so the value should be 13?<br /><br />So, possibly the current Iron EDTA field built in has a decimal point discrepancy, giving a 1.3% purity instead of 13% ?<br /><br />Just checking, keep up the good work on the calculator, really useful app !<br /><br />-Christian
  13. Daniel
    Hello Christian,<br /><br />Thank you very much again for your comment and recommendation :o). <br /><br />Regarding your FeEDTA question, I have just checked and adding a custom 13% Fe salt gives almost the same results as the included FeEDTA. What happens is that you may not be taking into account the fact that the results displayed for the built in FeEDTA are for the preparation of a 1L, 1:10 concentrated solution as detailed on the label above the box. Therefore you should NOT dissolve it directly but prepare the 1L concentrated Fe solution and use 100mL per batch. However when you add a custom Fe salt you get the value to add directly and NOT to prepare a concentrated solution.<br /><br />Please read the examples and instructions on how to prepare solutions using the "dissolve directly" option, please remember that for this procedure a concentrated micro nutrient (1:100) and a concentrated Fe solution (1:10) MUST be prepared and NO direct additions for these salts must happen. Please pay close attention to the labels above the boxes where the values are displayed. <br /><br />In summary there is NO decimal point discrepancy and the included FeEDTA gives accurate results. If you want to add all salts directly instead of preparing concentrated Fe and micro nutrient solutions you need to have a reservoir volume of more than 4 cubic meters. <br /><br />I hope this answers your question :o) Thanks again for your interest and comments,<br /><br />Best Regards,<br /><br />Daniel
  14. Christian
    Hi again Daniel. I have been using your program for several days now, and I think I am getting the hang of it. Its fairly simple and easy to use.<br /><br />1 question though, if I wanted to keep a dry/powder nutrient, could I simply mix the powdered components together in the appropriate ratios and amounts as given by the calculator, or would this cause a problem to mix the dry noots together? thx!
  15. Daniel
    Hi Christian,<br /><br />Thanks a lot for your comment :o) I am glad that after some practice you find the program easier to use ! I hope that other people you have shared this link with are also finding it useful. <br /><br />Regarding the storage of dry nutrients I would have to say that as long as you store the nutrients in airtight containers you should be okay but you should make sure they are well mixed every time before you weight them for use. If the containers where you store them are not airtight they will absorb a lot of water and become a useless paste.<br /><br />However don't worry if they become red or if some light brown granules start to form after storage. The salts will react with time when mixed together to form other salts such as dark transition metal phosphates, red iron nitrate hydrates, etc. However they will dissolve and they will work just as well with the initial ratios you prepared.<br /><br />Nonetheless if you can it would be best to prepare concentrated A and B solutions instead of dry nutrient mixes for longer term storage.<br /><br />I hope this helps ! Thanks again for your comment :o)<br /><br />Best Regards,<br /><br />Daniel
  16. N
    Hey D,<br />Was just looking at Cropking & Hydrogardens and I can't find Magnesium Nitrate. Do u know of any place I can find it.<br />Thanks<br />N
  17. Daniel
    Hello N,<br /><br />Thank you for your comment :o) Magnesium nitrate is indeed very hard to find and often quite expensive. I think that you will need to look into providers such as Spectrum Chemicals to get it. I hope you are enjoying the calculator !<br /><br />Best Regards,<br /><br />Daniel
  18. Christian
    Hi again Daniel<br /><br />Your blog has sparked many questions! I have a few questions about a statement above<br /><br />"If the containers where you store them are not airtight they will absorb a lot of water and become a useless paste."<br /><br />I had some calcium nitrate that was not stored completely secure or air tight. When I opened the package, I noticed at the top of the container, the granules and "fused" to create rather large chunks of calcium nitrate. I assume the calcium nitrate at the top of the container absorbed some water from the atmosphere air. So how exactly does this change the Calcium Nitrate? I assume is has absorbed a lot of water, does this change the chemical structure of it, or does it still dissolve in a water solution the same?<br /><br /><br />Next, regarding the idea of mixing all the nutrients together and they will form a paste from the water absorbed from the air, does this paste change the chemical formula (ie: interactions of the salts mixed) or does it simply add a bunch of water weight making it impossible to weigh/measure? Just curious how exactly the paste will be useless, if dissolved in water will it be different, or will it simply be impossible to measure doses since the weight is distorted with so much water intake?<br /><br /><br />thanks! Really great info Daniel here, I am excited to get rolling here with nutrients!<br /><br />-Christian
  19. Daniel
    Hello Christian,<br /><br />Thanks a lot for your comment and interest :o) I will now answer your questions :<br /><br />1. Calcium nitrate absorbs a lot of water if left in contact with the atmosphere something which may at first lead to caking (which is what you experienced).The problem is that the amount of water absorbed is not known and therefore you can never know how much calcium nitrate you are adding. <br /><br />2. In the case of premixed nutrients things become a little worse, it is not only the loss in accuracy due to the absorption of water but the fact that the water allows some reactions to take place, mainly the reactions of calcium, phosphate and sulfate ions, precipitating calcium sulfate and possibly some phosphates. So not only would you not be able to accurately add your nutrients (since they have absorbed a lot of unknown water weight (they can absorb as much as 0.5-5x the salts' weight depending on the conditions)) but their actual solubility properties will be affected and possibly a lot of precipitate will remain after addition. <br /><br />The problem is that some of the salts that are formed are very stable and their dissolution is kinetically very unfavorable (which means that they will in the end dissolve but it may take them days/months to get there). In the end, if you cannot store the premixed nutrients in absolutely air-tight containers this is not something you should be doing. It would be better if you just weight the salts for your reservoir when you do each preparation. <br /><br />I hope this answers your questions :o)<br /><br />Best Regards,<br /><br />Daniel
  20. Christian
    wow! the master speaks!<br /><br />amazing as always Daniel
  21. TJ
    Hi Daniel,<br /><br />Is it possible to use nitric acid in place of NO3?<br /><br />Thanks,<br />T.J.
  22. Daniel
    Hello T.J,<br /><br />Thank you for your comment :o) However I don't seem to understand your question. Nitric acid has HNO3 as its formula, when you add this to your hydroponic solution it reacts with water and dissociates into H3O+ and NO3- ions (nitrate ions), so if you add nitric acid you are adding nitrate. If you wanted to add all the nitrate in your hydroponics system as nitric acid you would then need to neutralize it with a basic source such as potassium hydroxide (KOH) which in the end is equivalent to adding a regular nitrate (like potassium nitrate) to your reservoir from the beginning. I hope this solves your doubts,<br /><br />Best Regards,<br /><br />Daniel
  23. ROC
    I'm trying to create a formulation that has a much lower N content while having a higher Ca content... seems to me that I can't achieve this using the "greenhouse grade" / yara (15.5% N) calcium nitrate, and I should be looking for calcium nitrate tetrahydrate which has a lower N:Ca ratio that I'm looking for? The profile that I'm trying to target is something in the N 50-75 P 75-100 K 100-125 Ca 100-150 Mg 50-75 range. How do the commercial fertilizer manufacturers, such as Botanicare with Cal-Mag+ and Technaflora with MagiCal make their Ca/Mg product with a low N formulation? In searching for a source of calcium nitrate tetrahydrate (if that's indeed what I need, I'm still unsure if this will do it), I'm seeing various purity grades with a significant difference in price between each grade. For instance, a "purified" grade from Colonial Scientific: as opposed to crystal, Reagent/ACS grade that's a bit more expensive: to biotech grade: I didn't find the assay % rating on the "purified" grade, but curious what the difference is and if it's a good choice. Thanks much for your contributions.
    • admin
      Hello ROC, Thank you very much for your comment :o) I don't think that just changing to calcium nitrate tetrahydrate will do the trick for you since in this case the N to Ca ratio of the salt is just 1 to 1.4 so you can only achieve 50:70 N:Ca with this fertilizer. The only way in which such a high Ca to N ratio seems achievable is through the use of several forms of soluble calcium to supply the required Ca level. You can prepare concentrated solutions with calcium monobasic phosphate provided that you lower the pH of the concentrated solution to low enough levels (2-3), you can also provide additional calcium to the final reservoir in the form of calcium sulfate (which allows to provide up to 200-300 ppm of Ca before precipitating) or increase the concentration in your concentrated solutions using Calcium Chloride (the chloride addition can be ignored provided that the final concentration of Cl is below 100 ppm). As you see there are several ways to achieve high Ca to N ratios but changing your nitrate is definitely not the solution. Regarding the purity grades, in hydroponic solutions anything above 98% can be considered acceptable since higher purity grades are unnecessarily pure and expensive. I would only consider using higher purity grades when doing scientific deficiency or very precise nutritional studies where the exclusion of impurities is of vital importance. I hope this answers your questions :o) Thank you very much again for your comment, Best Regards, Daniel
  24. balkan canher
    its an awesome tool. I applaud you for coming forth with this tool to remedy a much needed pain in the ass.
  25. Mick
    Hi Daniel, I Have purchased a Premixed Micronutrient in compounded fine granule form and the Iron, Mn, Zinc and Copper are all chelated with EDTA and Boron and Molybdenum are just water soluble types, if i add what is recommended on the packet to a Part B 100 concentrated solution which contains Potassium Nitrate, MKP and Magnesium Sulphate it goes cloudy and precipitates out so i tried adding it to Part A which is Calcium Nitrate and Potassium Nitrate and it seems to work ok with no noticeable precipitation after a couple of days, the premixed Micronutrient states on the packet that it is stable from PH 3-9. Am i doing the right thing and would there be any detrimental effect on any of the Micronutes especially the Boron and Molybdenum. Thanks Mick.
    • admin
      Hi Mick, Thank you for your comment :o) That's OK, the B solution probably goes cloudy because the pH is too high - this makes phosphates precipitate - but you could certainly get it to become clear by adding nitric acid to lower the pH (although this might not be the best idea as you're using EDTA complexes), however since your metals are chelated with EDTA you can add them to your A solution as well (which is what you have done) without the need of additional acids. What you have done is just fine, nothing bad will happen to any of your nutrients. Thanks again for commenting, Best Regards, Daniel
  26. Mick
    Hi Daniel, I am going to try coco peat as my growing medium, is there a need to modify the nutrient formulas because I have read about the potassium content in coco peat plus it may need more calcium and magnesium to get a balanced formula. Thanks Mick.
  27. Azhar
    Please could you let me know the possibility of the following reaction: Can ammonium phosphate reacts with calcium sulfate to form calcium phosphate in certain pH conditions and is incompatible. thanks
  28. Bill
    Hi Daniel, Your articles with so many examples is really helping in understanding about nutrients and also to make your own nutrients which will help in experimenting. Good effort and really appreciate your contribution. I have a question. Can I use Iron (II) Sulfate Heptahydrate instead of Chelated Iron. The reason is I could find Chelated Iron here in Hong Kong. Many thanks and best regards, Bill Lo from Hong Kong
    • admin
      depends on the formulation, you need to be careful because unchelated iron easily precipitates when pH fluctuates
  29. Sebastian pugliese
    Hola Daniel, como estas, primero una consulta sos el mismo Daniel Fernandes de aca: ? La consulta es la siguiente probe tu soft y es una maravilla yo estoy comenzado con la hidroponia y la solucion que uso consta solo de 3 elementos Nitrato de Calcio, (NO3)2Ca 118 g Sulfato de Magnesio, SO4Mg 48 g Fosfato Monopotásico, PO4H2K 29 g Y segun me han explicado que los demas elementos (micronutrientes) se encuentran ya de en esta compisicion necesitaria saber si es verdad ya que estoy teniendo muchos problemas y lo que me dicen que es por el agua no la solucion nutritiva. Desde ya muchas gracias Saludos Sebastian
    • admin
      Hola Sebastián, Los demás nutrientes no se encuentran en esta composición (te faltan Cu, Fe, Mo, Zn, B y Mn). Necesitas una solución nutritiva completa, esto NO te lo ofrece la que estás utilizando y esto pueder ser la causa de tus problemas. Daniel
  30. arevalo zabaleta
    desde venezuela hola demasiado buena esta pagina tienes ALGUN COMENTYARIO EN REFERENCIA A LA FORMULA PARA HIDROPONIA RECOMENDADA POR LA FAO (ONU) para las zonas tropicales de antemano gracias por todas tus informaciones arevalo
  31. Satish Sidana
    Would like to work to start small Hydroponic farm on experimental basis.
  32. DuykRuyk
    Would this be considered organic hydroponics? I know that these chemicals are not the same kind of "chemicals" used in modern day farming like pesticides and herbicides, but are there trace amounts of other things that may be bad for health? Basically, are these pure enough nutrients?
  33. Rob
    Hi Daniel, Great article and calc program. I can't imagine how much money you've saved people. I was wondering what your thoughts were in regard to adding an organic acid (humic/fulvic)to a DIY nutrient mix. A lot of retail nutrient products have them listed as ingredients. Could adding a humic in boost nutrient availability and/or uptake?
  34. houdinihar
    Hello and thanks for this interesting program. I am finding that after I have done one calculation of any type based on something I load from the database you have collected, and then I load another data sheet I almost always get an error msg. For instance, I went to the Main page and loaded the Chili (maximumyield)- did the calcs, and looked at the results page. Then I went back to the Main page and tried to run the Lettuce2 (Howard Resh) and immediately got error msgs. #1 "There must be at least ONE substance containing each element for which a nonzero concentration is desired." #2. "No substance is providing N (NH4)+" If I shut down the program, I am able to go back and reload any one datasheet and start successfully. I haven't tried to manipulate the program values whatsoever. Any suggestions? TY
  35. Roland Walker
    Some really good info in this article, thanks for spending the time putting it together Hydrobuddy. For any readers in the UK though I'd suggest getting your chemicals from a supplier like as not many people know you can order things such as boric acid online without being an actual company. Cheers
  36. Anastasia
    I downloaded the 1.5 version of the program. I looked at the generic grow and generic bloom formulas. They seem to have Phosphoric Acid (30%) as an ingredient. Do you have a source for this? Thanks!
    Hi, Everyone, I want to cultivate Hydroponics plant. Where i have to get nutrient medium.please help me anyone. (9965721463)
  38. Pupilla Charites
    Hi Daniel, I just came across your chemically oriented hydro site while doing a search and hope you can take a moment to help me. I am trying to find out how the sacks of commercial powder hydroponic mixes that some of us use are mixed into their powder form before hopefully sealing inside a sack. Are the chemical powders simply mixed or as it looks, are they slurried/brought into concentrated solution and then dried? I ask this because I wonder about using a very small amount in case the mixing is incomplete. It looks to me like only one identifiable product with a blue-green tinge. Maybe that includes a colorant besides copper sulfate, etc., but the point is it looks uniform as if it has been mixed in solution and dried ... the best possible mixing. Do you know if this is the case with some of the popular brands or what the art is in the mixing of these for marketing? If I use just one gram which is a statistically small amount of particles, will I get the right blend of the overall bag every time? Thanks!
    • admin
      Hi Pupilla, Mixing is never done by dissolving and drying (too expensive), mixing is usually done by ball-milling the powder until it is homogeneous. This gives extremely good mixing (you can practically guarantee homogeneous composition). I hope this helps, Best Regards, Daniel
  39. Kris
    Hey Daniel, Just downloaded the program. I couldn't find where the general_beginner.txt Its not in the folder that was downloaded. Can you give me a link where I can download it? Thanks!
  40. Kris
    Hey Daniel, About the general_beginner.txt file. I think I found it, when I clicked the link it didn't download it just opens up another tab with numbers. The problem I have now is I can't find the file where you see the "welcome, desired formulation, nutrient salts used...etc" If you could help me out it would be much appreciated. Thanks!
  41. Tom
    Hi. I'm french and i glad your create this tutorial and this programme because there is not so much information about diy hydroponic fertilizer in french. However it seems difficult and expensive to buy chemicals. If you own some, is it possible to sell a pack of chemical in small amount quantity and reasonnable proportion (i guess i will need more Potassium Nitrate than Zinc Sulfate ? Is the number of h20 molecule contained in each chemical important ? I hope my english isn't to bad. I wish you well
  42. Chris
    Hi Dan, I discovered your program yesterday and have been reading everything on your website. I am interested in learning as much as I can and would definitely be willing to pay for support. Let me know if this is an option!
  43. Vinix
    Hi, Thank you for the good information. Am intrestead in hydroponic fodder. What is the formular and which are the chemical salts i should use? Should i use a general multi-purpose blend? How can i get easily those chemical salts here in kenya? If possible you can responed through my email. Thank you.
  44. Toby Hazlett
    I love what you are doing here mate! I will be trying to put together a good all round veggie / tomatoe solution with what you have put forward here as i am tired of paying a small fortune on canna and other overpriced nutrient solutions for my backyard hydroponics setups. I will no doubt let you know how i go and if i have any questions is it cool for me to post them here? Thankyou very much from Australia! Toby
  45. Great site! I've learned a ton very quickly. Thank you! I can't figure out how to load the "general_beginner.txt" file into HydroBuddy v1.50. Was the “add external” button on the “Desired Formulation” tab dropped in v1.50? Thanks, Dave
    • admin
      it was dropped from HB v1.0
  46. John
    Is Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid ferric sodium salt the same as your iron EDTA? By the way, your knowledge is greatly appreciated!
  47. chege
    Thanks I have been greatly helped by your information, id like to know if there is any specific considerations as regards the climatic conditions in Africa, if there are any chemicals that are for an African environment, and a simpler fomular for people who are not familiar with the scientific terms.
  48. David Thompson
    Hi. Here in New Zealand I use we use Calcium Ammonium Nitrate {C.A.N}. Not sure of the exact chemical formula.Would you be able to put this in your database of ferts so I can use it in my mixes. Thankyou so much for your excellant work on the calculator
    • admin
      Hi David, It's already there, it's called Yara Calcium nitrate, Daniel
      • rafa
        Could you explain how to, in the new version of HB. Thanks.
  49. francis
    thank you for the different ideas that you impart to us, as a junior high school student it helps me a lot on my science investigatory project.....can you give me some ideas about s.i.p regarding hydroponics?
  50. francis
    what are the common chemicals to be used in making hydroponics?
  51. Amit
    Hi, you are doing an awesome job here. I am starting to do hydroponics as it is very uncommon in our region and most people don't know about this stuff. I really want to grow peppers, bottle/bitter gourds. cucumbers, tomatoes, ...etc from this technique commercially. Generally we farmers don't know which nutrients are required by which plants. We just use organic manures, NPK fertilizers and they do us everything. For hydroponics, we have to mix it ourselves. For example:- If "X" vegetable consumes more boron and magnesium then we need to put more of that salt in it, but how much I am not very clear. Will there be a problem if I prepare an all purpose type solution which has almost all elements in it? Will there be any problem if I overdose a particular mineral. As simple as that, I really don't have the clue as to what and how much should I mix for a particular vegetable. Enlighten me please.
  52. newbie
    hello everyone i have been searching the whole internet about the following issue and did not find anything i would be glad if anyone can help me i got a fertilizer of npk 5-20-30 and i would like to make a new fertilizer with npk 20-20-38 what should be added and how much to make lets 1kg of the second fertilizer. thank you
  53. John
    Hi I must be reading this wrongly. It seems to indicate (for example) that I should use 38KG of calcium nitrate in order to make 1L of A/B solution - which is obviously impossible, How should I be interpreting this? (CSV output is below) Values calculated for the preparation of 1 liters of A and 1 liters of B solution. Please use 3.333mL of A and B within every Liter of final solution A - Iron EDTA Fe(EDTA) 576.9 57.7 A - Calcium Nitrate (Tetrahydrate) Ca(NO3)2.4H2O 38109 3810.9 B - Magnesium Sulfate (Heptahydrate) MgSO4.7H2O 14604.6 1460.5 A - Potassium Nitrate KNO3 22459.2 2245.9 B - Manganese Sulfate (Monohydrate) MnSO4.H2O 46.2 4.6 B - Boric Acid H3BO3 85.8 8.6 B - Copper Sulfate (pentahydrate) CuSO4.5H2O 6 0.6 B - Sodium Molybdate (Dihydrate) Na2MoO4.2H2O 10.8 1.1 B - Zinc Sulfate (Dihydrate) ZnSO4.2H2O 9 0.9 B - Phosphoric Acid (30%) H3PO4 18981.3 1898.1
    • admin
      Hi John, Thanks for writing. Hydrobuddy is provided as is (without support) if you wish to get an answer to your question please donate 25 USD using the paypal link on the program, Best Regards, Daniel
  54. Sean
    Great info. Very intriguing. Could I possibly run your app and lower the amounts to account for the 170 ppms in my tap water? I have considerable amounts of iron and Manganese in my water and would love a solution like this that could potentially kill two birds with one stone as I don't want to spend a lot of money dealing with my water or commercial nutrient solutions.
  55. Abere Osebe
    This i quite inspiring. The works of technology in this planet is wonderful
  56. a m
    hey thanx for this great software though I would greatly appreciate if u can tell me what formula would be best for marijuana veging and flowering!
  57. a m
    BTW Daniel, here's a site I found with known proven NPK of 3 different sources ( ), hopefully u can tell me which one to use plus the amount of other ingredients necessary. thanx again
  58. Andrew
    Hi John Your website is very inspiring and informative. I may have missed this point in the text. What are your recommendations for ph and ppm meters? Could u please provide a suggestion with images if possible? Also, how often should I do these tests? Thanks
  59. David
    As a chemical engineer / hydroponic gardener I literally almost jumped out of my seat when I read this. Thank you so much for making this. Have you ever contemplated making concentrated hydroponic solutions from food waste? It wouldn't be exact of course but I wonder if you considered it or have any information on the topic?
  60. Emilio
    Hi John, i just wanted to thank you for sharing this great knowledge! You have a great passion in Chemistry! Cheers from Australia Emilio
  61. Smea
    Greetings! Great website and info which I have yet to explore. 1) I Downloaded the nute calculator but the nute formulation link is NG. Is it now combined within the nute calc? 2) The 'other' brands up-sell several additives for their A/B lines. Is your formulation as complete or are the additives just BS? 3) Is your formulation good for deep water culture systems? 4) Considering our local drought conditions, is there an economical system/method to reclaim the nutrient waste water to a level so it can be remixed as fresh nute? Something that could 'de-chuck' the stale water before pumping through a commercial/RO filter. 5) Are you still providing paid support? Cheers, Smea
  62. taipi
    i am very much impressed with this blog. i will be experimenting on my farm.However somebody told me dipping a bag of 50kg quail manure in i gallon a 30 kg bag of wood ash can yield you a good nutrient solution to use with 1 cubic metres of water resevoir. they say quail manure has high content of ammonia which yields more N and P and some micro elemejts. while the wood ash gives more K plus any comment. please
  63. Ivan
    Hello, is Zinc Sulfate Heptahydrate good enough since I can't find the Dihydrate ?
  64. Sunil
    I am just started learning hydroponics .... Thanks for Amazing program.. i really admire you... I have a small doubt... in your substance list Sodium nitrate contains Iron... is it correct? please explain..
    • admin
      Sodium nitrate does not contain iron, if it does in the program it's probably a mistake. You can update the substance in your DB to fix this issue.
  65. Murad
    many thanks for your effort and kind support of the beginners in using hydroponic system. Recently I got responsibility on greenhouses with hydroponic system and perlite as growing medium to produce Tomato, Cucumber and Capsicum. The used fertilizers are Yara Products and the mixing rate are as follows: SS1: Water: 500 L Kristalon red 12-12-36 : 107 kg Magnesium Nitrate : 75 kg SS2: Water: 500 L Calcium Nitrate: 105 kg Iron Chealate: 1 kg Used EC 2.5 and 2.8 Could you please advise whether this mixing rate correct, since I doubt about it. many thanks for your effort and kind support of the beginners in using hydroponic system.
  66. Zubair
    Hi daniel plz guide me im trying nitric acid alternative for potasium nitrate due to ban in pakistan so plz tell me m i right or wrong?
  67. Adebobola Adegbuyi
    Thanks, Daniel for this wonderful peace of information. God bless you real good. But, please, I leave in Nigeria, and it's not easy to lay your hand on this chemicals.And if you do, the quality is not guaranteed. Please, how can you be of help.
  68. Kshitij
    I have not downloadwd the calculator yet; but just going through the site. How can I get details about the salt to be used and its weight for cobalt. Also is it possible to DIY multi vitamin solution.
  69. Arya
    yup..."beginner's guide"
  70. ricky stokes
    how many litres of water should I use with 1kg flower feed? will distilled wprk ok? Also I got a magnesium nitrate that i cant find guide for its yarayliva yaramag I got 2.5kg of that. was thinking to use it with the flower feed in veg then reduce for flower amd use a pk 13/14 for boost. the flower feed is npk 6.12.32 +mg +te. I got some hydro plants i want to use it on but not sure how to mix. I got a 5litre distilled water and was going to throw 1 kg in then make up a my feed which are 25litre buckets. aim for 600 ppm and work from there but then i think maybe i should just make 1 litre up but tbh I need no fk ups. Please let me know what weight soluble to what litre of water. from there id like to be able to do like normal hydro feeds 1ml per litre clones 2ml veg 3ml full veg ect. Your guides have been helpful. ty
  71. Devaraj
    Dear Daniel, I am using your system and its a great piece of work. Thanks a lot. I would like to understand do you have any option or guidance to build Grow, Micro & Bloom kind of mix from the result that shows in your result tab. Else, it is challenging to prepare different types of salts/solutions for life of plant.
  72. Frank Z
    Hi, I would like to thank you for your contribution as well as suggest some changes to improve your website. Please add some pictures inline with your content to illustrate every step in your recipes as well as every supply you are recommending. This way your website will look more attractive, professional, and easier to understand. Greetings !
  73. Mohammed amin
    Hi daniel. Thanks for the knowledgable article. I learned alot reading ur replys. I have a question concerning aquaponic or RAS(recirculating aquaculture system) water That have a more than 100% tomatoes required nitrate level. I take that water and isolated in a hydroponic setup . I want to add fertlizer to make it tomatoe plant good fertlizer My question how can i set the solution with out add nitrogen component my ec 1.5 and ph 7 nitrate 100 ppm. I have penalty of water as 10% of ras water weekly i want add the p and k ...fe Ca. Mg . Mn .S . I only find chemicals with nitrate.. What is my alternative. Thanks again for ur article and the innoviatve thoughts ur comment's build my mind to.
  74. Andy
    Hi Daniel your tutorials will help a lot of hydroponics hobbyist where i am one of them, may God richly bless you always...
  75. Oxyandy
    Hi there Daniel, I am from Melbourne Australia :) Thanks for your efforts.. I have been reading lots of your site - inc all comments.. Sourced all components.. Tweaked "Substance Selection" to match my locally sourced nutes.. Made first batch of food.. I am using add "direct addition" to tank (200lt) PH was ideal without adjustment.. happy with that ! Predicted EC was almost exact. but @ EC 1.2, well it's a bit low.. Wish list for 'possible' future version would be "Target EC" Anyhow.. So what I have done is increase "Target Conc. (ppm)" on main elements by 50% (not trace) and saved the tweaked formulation to DB in this case "Strawberry Fruiting (growing edge) 50%" HydroBuddy now tells me "Predicted EC Value" is now 1.9mS/cm better.. Is this an acceptable calculator usage ? These plants have been accustom to an EC of 2.0 - 2.4
    • Oxyandy
      I just wanted to add increasing the EC to 1.9 as I mentioned above worked perfectly.. EC tested @2.0 but that was with the tank just below full, Daniel great work, I am only a home hobby gardener but I promise if I ever make a cent out of selling anything, a donation will come you way.. Enjoy your Xmas - Cheers
      • admin
        Glad it worked well for you! Merry XMas to you too.
  76. Hi, I have just constructed an aeroponic system with a single reservoir and four growing chambers, 16 x 3" netpots and 16 x 2" net pots. From the beginning, approximately two months ago, I have been using the General Hydroponic three part nutrients. However, it is my intention, or desire, to grow a variety of plants, tomatoe, cucumber, French beans, peppers and green vegetable plants in various stages up to harvesting. I appreciate the general proposition is to use a constantly varying mixture of nutrients, dependant on the growing stage. However, I have recently read the following, please visit the page: and offer your opinion on the suggestion, which certainly appeals to me. Can you suggest a general purpose nutrient mix which , although would not produce to the ultimate standard, could still meet my needs? Thanks, Geoffrey
  77. but can we grow this plant in pakistan i am still confused in my area temp in summer mostlyy 40 to 45 degree celcius how we manage this temp in mine area i hope you ans my question

Leave a comment