HydroBuddy’s Online Hydroponic Formulation Database

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There are certainly thousands of different ways in which a hydroponic nutrient solution can be prepared. You can make a solution schedule to closely follow the environmental and growing conditions of a certain crop – like tomatoes – or you can simply make up a generic formulation to use within all your hydroponic plants. Besides this we also have an incredible amount of commercial formulations you would perhaps like to imitate and a ton of ways in which you can experiment with nutrient ratios to improve things such as the flavor, size and production of your crops. Since there are so many ways in which we can prepare nutrient solutions I have decided to create an Online Nutrient Database we can use to store and easily access all this information.

My hydroponic nutrient calculator – a.k.a HydroBuddy – has the ability to save and load formulations for the creation of almost any hydroponic nutrient solution. Since the calculator has the ability to grab external files and load them into its internal database I saw no reason why we couldn’t create an online database in which we could keep a global record of all the formulations we find and develop. The calculator – since v 0.95 – includes a “download online database” button which downloads all the formulations kept within the online database to the grower’s HydroBuddy program. This way the user doesn’t have to keep on downloading the database manually but simply by pressing a button all the information is automatically re-downloaded and updated. Added to this is the benefit that the users other loaded formulations remain intact as the calculator detects which formulations are downloaded and which ones were created by the local user.

The idea of this online database is to put all the information available about nutrient formulations into one place so that people all around the world can benefit and experiment with different setups. Added to this is the ability to make the imitation of commercial formulations even easier since the formulations can be kept within the online database. So in my mind it is a win-win situation for everyone, we get to have the opportunity to create a unique database filled with information about solutions from both empirical, commercial and academical sources while we retain the flexibility to use them or modify them within HydroBuddy as we please. This also makes the standardization of formulation use much easier since you can easily tell people what HydroBuddy database formulation you are using and they can easily then reproduce what you have or change it slightly to fit the nutrients available in different regions of the world.

How can you contribute to this database ? In order to add a file to the database you need to send me an email to dfernandezp(at)unal.edu.co , you need to include the name of the formulation you are adding, its intent and source (what plant or if its an imitation of what commercial fertilizer) and a file created by HydroBuddy with the necessary information. In order to create this file just save the formulation on the “Desired Formulation” tab then send me the file created within HydroBuddy’s directory. After you send me your contribution I will add it to the Online Database so that everybody will be able to download it with the click of a button.If you want to send many files just put them all within a zip files so that they will be easier to download from my email client, include in the body of the email the necessary descriptions for each file as detailed above.

So if you have been waiting for an opportunity to contribute to HydroBuddy feel free to share with me any formulations you might have found or created that you would consider useful for someone. If you have spent a lot of time taking the formulations of commercial nutrients and translating them into HydroBuddy you can now share this knowledge with the rest of the world. I will also do my fair share to add new formulations to the online database, particularly regarding academic sources since most people do not have access to the research databases where the articles detailing them can be found.

If you want to contribute and support HydroBuddy but you do not want to send any formulations feel free to donate using the paypal donate button on the left hand sidebar :o)

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49 Comments

  • praveen
    December 13, 2010 @ 10:10 am

    Dear Mr Daniel Fernandez,
    First of all i would like to thank you for this web site that you have created for all hydroponic growers. It is simply great. I am just a biginner as far as Hydroponics are concerned. I stubmled on your site just today. I do have a lot of queries. Please send me a generic formulation for growing vegetables. And i would also like to know how to view specific formulations for specific plants.
    Brgds
    Praveen

    • David
      March 29, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

      Hi Daniel, Thanks for your previous reply. Question, Could you please tell me of nutrient friendly products to increase and lower the nutrient PH. I have been using Caustic Soda and Muriatic Acid which I think is upsetting the formula.The garden is not too healthy. Thanks again David.

      • admin
        March 29, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

        Hi David,

        Thank you for your reply :o) Caustic Soda and Muriatic acid are not good choices for pH adjustment since they add sodium and chloride respectively. Try getting potassium hydroxide (also known as caustic potash) and nitric acid which will allow you to adjust your pH while only contributing small amounts of nitrogen and potassium. You might also want to try potassium carbonate and ammonium nitrate as milder pH down/up alternatives as well (although you need to adequately monitor how much ammonium and carbonate you’re adding). I hope this helps !

        Best Regards,

        Daniel

        • Sachin
          December 7, 2013 @ 8:29 am

          can citric acid be used for home garden?

          • admin
            December 7, 2013 @ 3:56 pm

            depends. If you want a more detailed answer, please make a 10 USD paypal donation.

  • syed
    January 27, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    i am glad to know that you habe web site for freating hydroponic nutranint i hope you will help me in the formulaions of some vegitable plant specialy tomato and spanich
    thanks
    syed

  • ObjectiveVP2020
    January 30, 2011 @ 3:42 am

    I love the program. Nutrients and Additives are by far my biggest expense right now and I feel like somebody’s laughing at me every time I leave the store. I am curious on which tab/page you find the screenshot above. I haven’t been able to find that on my version, the page I feel it probably is on looks like this [IMG]http://i54.tinypic.com/2v3kbvs.jpg[/IMG]. Thank you for writing this program, its a great help and as I get more experience in mixing I hope to get even more out of your software.

    • admin
      January 30, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

      Hello Objective,

      Thank you for your comment :o) This part of the program was eliminated as the online database never progressed (people didn’t collaborate with it) however right now the program has the capability to update its formulation database via the update program (preserving any ones you might have added) so from the next update you will have a comprehensive nutrient formulation database for several plants automatically loaded and updated on every program start. Thanks again for your comment,

      Best regards,

      Daniel

      • Aleece B. Landis
        January 16, 2016 @ 4:08 pm

        It is disappointing that you eliminated that feature.
        Do you have the formulations posted somewhere? I accidentally deleted one from the database and it doesn’t seem to be re-loading it so I think I need to put it back in manually. I’m looking for the tropical lettuce formula in particular.

  • David
    March 27, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    Daniel, Could you please give me the correct % input values of the following product to put into the Substance Database, product as listed below.
    This below is written on the packaging.
    CALCIUM NITRATE Total Nitrate (n) 15.5%
    Nitrate Nitrogen 14.5%
    Ammonium Nitrogen 1.0%
    Total water soluable
    Calcium (ca)
    Expressed as elements 19.6%
    Expressed as CaO 27.5% Thanks David.

    • admin
      March 27, 2011 @ 10:55 am

      Hello David,

      Thank you for your comment :o) Just assign N(NO3-) a value of 14.5, N(NH4+) a value of 1 and Ca a value of 19.6. I hope this helps,

      Best Regards,

      Daniel

  • Chris
    April 7, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    I installed Hydrobuddy on a Vista machine and began to enter the nutrients I use in the database. It seemed fine, but the second time I loaded it my file was corrupted and so I had to uninstall it and then install it again later.

    The second time it seemed to run well. However, when I entered the data, I accidentally entered one with two decimals — I believe it was 1.6.3 instead of 1.63. I don’t remember the exact wording of the error, but it told me that it couldn’t use that data and that it would corrupt the file if I didn’t cancel it. I canceled it, but it still corrupted the file.

    • admin
      April 7, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for reporting :o) I will add a check against this on the next version,

      Best Regards,

      Daniel

  • Bill
    April 8, 2011 @ 4:35 am

    Daniel

    One of the requests above was for nutrient friendly products for adjusting pH. I have been using potassium hydroxide for pH up and vinegar for pH down. Is there a problem with vinegar (it’s a mild acid and the anion doesn’t precipitate out calcium)?

    Bill

    • admin
      April 8, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

      Hi Bill,

      Thank you for your post :o) Vinegar is NOT a good pH down for hydroponics as acetic acid – its active ingredient – is also a plant excretion product that can become phytotoxic even at relatively low concentrations (like those necessary for pH adjustment). It is much better to use nitric or phosphoric acids as pH down solutions. I hope this helps,

      Best Regards,

      Daniel

  • Charles
    April 30, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

    Love your program, please add cobalt as a lot of formulations contain it, also consider adding vitamin c, as it’s now a proven REQUIRED nutrient for plants to grow past the seedling stage. http://tinyurl.com/3bx2wfr <- article.

    • admin
      May 1, 2011 @ 1:30 am

      Hi Charles,

      Thank you for your comment :o) In my view there is no point in adding cobalt as it is inevitably included in necessary amounts as an impurity within manganese salts and adding more could have detrimental effects. You should also read the full journal article regarding vitamin C. They created plants through genetic engineering which could not produce it by themselves (in order to study the absence of this vitamin on plants). Plants can evidently produce their own Vitamin C (otherwise they would not even grow in hydroponics without it) and generally require no supplementation (they just showed that their innate pr