Cheap alternatives to overpriced hydroponic nutrients

  • Thread starter Chronic Monster
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S

Snow Crash

150
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Since no one took the time to show dosage amounts and to prove it is in fact cheaper by the gallon I took it upon myself. Also, I went in search of this stuff online and couldn't find the 5-12-26 product for sale so I cannot verify the pricing.

At 130ounces in 1000 gallons it uses 3.705 grams per gallon.
A 25lbs bag is going to hold ~11,340 grams.
At $24 per bag that's $0.00212 per gram.
Which means this system would cost $0.0078 per gallon.

I also could find no pricing, or the product itself, of the 15.5-0-0 Calcium Nitrate.
At 86 ounces in 1000 gallons it uses 2.45g per gallon
At the same pricing of $24 for a 25lbs bag that is $0.0052 per gallon.

The total is $0.013 per gallon to run this system at the suggested strength on the bags above, which I would guess balances out to around 1.5ec or 1.6ec.

Comparatively, to achieve this same EC with a similar ratio using AN GMB (@5ml each) you'd be looking at more like $0.10 to $0.12 per gallon (at 4L prices).

To put that a little more clearly, Advanced Nutrients is charging $220 to make the same final number of gallons of solution at the same concentration at roughly the same ratios that you could be getting with ~$50 in Jack's Professional stuff.
 
Chronic Monster

Chronic Monster

1,096
113
Since no one took the time to show dosage amounts and to prove it is in fact cheaper by the gallon I took it upon myself. Also, I went in search of this stuff online and couldn't find the 5-12-26 product for sale so I cannot verify the pricing.

At 130ounces in 1000 gallons it uses 3.705 grams per gallon.
A 25lbs bag is going to hold ~11,340 grams.
At $24 per bag that's $0.00212 per gram.
Which means this system would cost $0.0078 per gallon.

I also could find no pricing, or the product itself, of the 15.5-0-0 Calcium Nitrate.
At 86 ounces in 1000 gallons it uses 2.45g per gallon
At the same pricing of $24 for a 25lbs bag that is $0.0052 per gallon.

The total is $0.013 per gallon to run this system at the suggested strength on the bags above, which I would guess balances out to around 1.5ec or 1.6ec.

Comparatively, to achieve this same EC with a similar ratio using AN GMB (@5ml each) you'd be looking at more like $0.10 to $0.12 per gallon (at 4L prices).

To put that a little more clearly, Advanced Nutrients is charging $220 to make the same final number of gallons of solution at the same concentration at roughly the same ratios that you could be getting with ~$50 in Jack's Professional stuff.

thanks for that:joint:

on the label I posted at the bottom it says

"EC at 100ppm N = 2.10"
I have no idea what that means, anyone wanna help out a brother:)
 
Blaze

Blaze

2,006
263
Just FYI but virtually NONE of the mentioned hydro companies make their own fertilizers. This is why I always laugh when I hear people talk about AN and their "specially formulated nutrients just for cannabis." They are NOT specially formulated for cannabis at all - they are relabeled existing ag products, that is it. There is not one single thing that AN or most of the other hydro companies makes that is actually unique or specially formulated. Anything and everything they sell comes from the commercial ag industry - all they do is break it down, dilute it, relabel it, and then charge a 800-1000% mark up. All you are paying for when you buy from those companies is the fancy label most of the time, that is it.
 
squarepusher

squarepusher

959
43
Just FYI but virtually NONE of the mentioned hydro companies make their own fertilizers. This is why I always laugh when I hear people talk about AN and their "specially formulated nutrients just for cannabis." They are NOT specially formulated for cannabis at all - they are relabeled existing ag products, that is it. There is not one single thing that AN or most of the other hydro companies makes that is actually unique or specially formulated. Anything and everything they sell comes from the commercial ag industry - all they do is break it down, dilute it, relabel it, and then charge a 800-1000% mark up. All you are paying for when you buy from those companies is the fancy label most of the time, that is it.

Well, the major hydro companies at least formulate their products for Cannabis specifically. Its a fairly unique formula that cannabis uses best, fairly similar to tomatoes, very potassium heavy in bloom phase. I think they are actually formulating their products, just charging a high markup.
 
wobbly goblin

wobbly goblin

570
93
let me make this simple

this is where you order it


remember shipping will cost close to what the fertilizer costs

i use 110 grams of 5-12-26 in a 32 gal trash can mixed till dissolved completely then mix in 73 grams cal nitrate

always mix the 5-12-26 first

there is blue dye in the 5-12-26 and you will appreciate it the first time you go to add ferts to your water and notice by the blue dye that you already did

i use the same mix for veg and flower and no problems until my co2 gets above about 1000ppm

i have used lucas in the past and i still have at least 15 gallons of unused gh nutes still on hand so i have tried that approach

i use well water with a 80-84 ppm and don't use cal mag or any other additive

jack's is a no nonsense easy to use fertilizer and that is why i use it

fwiw
 
Chronic Monster

Chronic Monster

1,096
113
hmm... not looking to be as great of a deal when you think about the offset shipping will bring. thats a good point I know I read no dyes as well.. wtf..
so we got some blue looking MG dye stuff huh.

also the 5-12-26 was 36.00 and not 24.00$ in the figures from above so thats a lil more money.

its looking more like half price of the name brand nutrients... right?

which is still a good deal, but I was honestly thinking it would be much better deal

+rep to everyone, thanks for the info.
 
wobbly goblin

wobbly goblin

570
93
25 lbs 5-12-26 is $29.50
cal nitrate is 25 lbs for $20
so? i got 50 lbs of nutes for $50
is your math different?

do your other nutes come without shipping or sales tax?

i have to ask
why the aversion to a bit of blue dye?

anyway, use what ever you want to as i have zero vested

fwiw
 
Blaze

Blaze

2,006
263
Well, the major hydro companies at least formulate their products for Cannabis specifically. Its a fairly unique formula that cannabis uses best, fairly similar to tomatoes, very potassium heavy in bloom phase. I think they are actually formulating their products, just charging a high markup.

There are few products GH, AN or any other cannabis geared hydro company sells that there is not a identical ag alternative to. Most of these companies do NOT make their own products.

There is a reason you will never, ever see a single farmer or nursery owner or anyone else in the real ag industry running the same nutrients as most growers do. Why? Because they can buy the exact same thing for a fraction of the price.

The only thing really unique about the nutrient profiles of cannabis is the quantities that it uses, especially of some of the maco nutrients. Other than that it is like most other plants. You do not need expensive or overly complex nutrients to grow good plants. Just look around on the forums and you can find many examples of people with kick ass grows in all sorts of styles using nothing more than simple, basic ag type fertilizers.
 
K

kuz

678
63
Holla DS,:)

I did a little reading over at the mag, was really impressed with the results people were getting with Jack's.

On a side note I still havn't heard back from the Jr peters people about the heavy metal break down for the 5-12-26
if I don't hear back from them by tomorrow ill give them a ring.

Interested in seeing what you choose to run for your next round.

No 5-12-26, but you can check some of their other blends. So how much heavy metals is too much?
http://agr.wa.gov/PestFert/Fertilizers/FertDB/suppinfo.aspx?pname=1517
 
J

john guest

74
8
There are few products GH, AN or any other cannabis geared hydro company sells that there is not a identical ag alternative to. Most of these companies do NOT make their own products.

There is a reason you will never, ever see a single farmer or nursery owner or anyone else in the real ag industry running the same nutrients as most growers do. Why? Because they can buy the exact same thing for a fraction of the price.

The only thing really unique about the nutrient profiles of cannabis is the quantities that it uses, especially of some of the maco nutrients. Other than that it is like most other plants. You do not need expensive or overly complex nutrients to grow good plants. Just look around on the forums and you can find many examples of people with kick ass grows in all sorts of styles using nothing more than simple, basic ag type fertilizers.

Where i`m located you can have anything custom formulated by an agri company as long as you order a minimum of 1 metric ton. You`re only talking $3000/ton, which is nothing to a nute company. To put it into perspective, a ton would make about 530,000gal of nutes with an ec of 2. Close to what an olympic swimming pool holds (660k gal)
 
motherlode

motherlode

@Rolln_J
Supporter
5,524
313
imagine a narration by Charleton Heston

hell back in my day we didnt use any any fancy smancy nutrients in a bottle - we used worm shit, bat shit, bone meal and maybe some dead fish and crabs ground up into the bed and we loved it!

so did the plants - 3-4 pounders of donkey dicks all day
 
J

Janus

112
18
I'm stoked this thread exists.

Does anyone have a spreadsheet with most of the major nute companies formulations side by side? I'm getting ready to have one of the large fert companies make me a custom formulation and having the data in one place will save me from having to compile.

BTW, I have a great deal of experience with CNS and overall am happy with it. However, I'm over the extra (stupid?) expense of hydro nutes and hauling mostly water around.

Last question, what are the primary differences between hydro and soil nutes?

Thank and Peace
 
J

john guest

74
8
what are the primary differences between hydro and soil nutes?

The main differences are in buffering capacity (for PH stability) and the N source. Soil nutes use a higher percentage of urea and ammonia whereas hydro nutes use mainly nitrate. Hydro uses higher quality chelating agents to maintain the availability of trace elements over a wide ph range, soil nutes use basic EDTA and may have fewer chelated elements as the enzymes and bacteria in the soil do most of the work.
 
Chronic Monster

Chronic Monster

1,096
113
Where i`m located you can have anything custom formulated by an agri company as long as you order a minimum of 1 metric ton. You`re only talking $3000/ton, which is nothing to a nute company. To put it into perspective, a ton would make about 530,000gal of nutes with an ec of 2. Close to what an olympic swimming pool holds (660k gal)

:confused0054:


thanks for the insight john....
I would like to try a higher pressure aero eventually and have been studying your posts. Great stuff.+1 How long you been doing HP, looks like you got it dialed.:surprised:clapping


Janus... DesertS has a nutrient profile type thing he has been working on, don't know if thats what you are looking for- I came across something a little more detailed not to long ago, im going to look and see If I bookmarked it.

also your treatise on growing was very informative, :joint:
thanks for posting that.+1
 
desertsquirrel

desertsquirrel

1,177
83
The other main difference between hydro and soil fertilizers is that soil ferts take into account the elements readily available in most soils of the region. ie most ag fertilizers are very low in Ca, Mg, and S because they exist in such abundance in the soils in north america. They are called "secondary" for that reason, that they are already available, not because they are secondary in nutritional needs.

Hydro nutes must include the total plant nutrition package, as pure water (ro) contains no elements at all.

heres some of my profile work, hope it helps...
 
cemchris

cemchris

Supporter
3,339
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Right now I run greenleafnutrients, and no, nutrients aren't that expensive in their base cost, it just seems a lot of manufacturers are scared to make formulas for "marijuana" specifically. As if making a fertilizer for an illegal crop would somehow be incriminating? Also, companies that specifically make marijuana fertilizers, seem to not want to make dry nutrients, simply because imo, having liquid formulas justifies their higher prices portraying it as a 'specialty item.'


GH and AN both make powder nutes.
 
J

Janus

112
18
Cool. So I can try and keep this all straight, the key points between hydro and soil formulas are:

Type of N

PH buffering

Non-chelated for soil due to enzymes and bacteria. Does media containing mostly peat moss contain these enzymes and bacteria in sufficient numbers to not have to use chelated nutes?

Micro salts are more available in soil. However, I'm messing with peat mixes and I presume there are no micros present. Perhaps I should be thinking hydro formulations?

It's good to know GH and AN make powders. I won't touch AN products but I may look to GH for some guidance.

Mr. Squirrel. Thanks for the links.

I'm going to have a custom formulation made for me in the next month or so I'm trying to get my head, at least loosely, around this topic. I've used CNS exclusively for years and will mostly mimic it's formulation but I also want to make sure I'm coming up with the best formulation without getting another advanced degree.

Thanks & Peace
 
S

Snow Crash

150
18
Cool. So I can try and keep this all straight, the key points between hydro and soil formulas are:

Type of N

PH buffering

Non-chelated for soil due to enzymes and bacteria. Does media containing mostly peat moss contain these enzymes and bacteria in sufficient numbers to not have to use chelated nutes?

Micro salts are more available in soil. However, I'm messing with peat mixes and I presume there are no micros present. Perhaps I should be thinking hydro formulations?

It's good to know GH and AN make powders. I won't touch AN products but I may look to GH for some guidance.

Mr. Squirrel. Thanks for the links.

I'm going to have a custom formulation made for me in the next month or so I'm trying to get my head, at least loosely, around this topic. I've used CNS exclusively for years and will mostly mimic it's formulation but I also want to make sure I'm coming up with the best formulation without getting another advanced degree.

Thanks & Peace

I did a little work recently that's kinda what you had asked for above. It isn't tidy, or in a spreadsheet, but it basically outlines the costs and uses of 3 different lines for the same grow, same number of gallons of nutrients, at the same EC.

I have a week by week spreadsheet I use to determine what level I'll actually be running the systems at to fit into my weekly ratios. That's how AN, despite being more expensive per gallon at 5/7, is actually less expensive at the end of the grow for someone like myself. (sorry that the spreadsheet didn't copy over very well, but I think you can get the jist of it)

Week/stage of growth
Clone Clone 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total Used
uS/CM 0 400 600 800 1200 1500 1800 2200 1800 200 200
AN Micro 0 2 3.5 4 5 4 4 4 3 0 0 1713
AN Bloom 0 1.5 3 3 7 9 12 12 8 0 0 3648
CNS 17 Bloom 0 5 7 8 7 9 4 0 0 0 0 1960
CNS 17 Ripe 0 0 0 0 7 9 15 22 18 0 0 5183
Hydroplex 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 8 5 0 0 1135
BB 0 0 0 0.3 0.4 0.4 1 0 0 0 0 132
Pro-Tekt 0 0 1 1 3 3 3 2 2 0 0 992
Fulvic Acid 0 0 2 2 2 2 4 4 5 5 0 1722

These comparisons really only apply to my own garden. Someone else's garden, with different weekly ratios, might get different results. I just wanted to share this because you'd asked for something similar.

Advanced Nutrients Micro and Bloom

Micro: $34 for 4L or $0.0085 per ml
Bloom: $29 for 4L or $0.0082 per ml

5/7 Ratio @ $0.09325 per gallon
868 uS/cm
70:126:111:71:22
1 – 1.8 – 1.6 // 1.02 – 0.32

$75 For the summer grow with $25.27 left over ($49.73 total used)
1692ml used @ $14.38 // 4000ml Micro @ $34 // 2318ml remaining @ $19.70
4443ml used @ $36.42 // 5000ml Bloom @ $41 // 557ml remaining @ $4.57


CNS 17 Bloom and Ripe

Bloom: $23 Gallon $0.006084656
Ripe: $23 Gallon $0.006084656

15ml Bloom @ $0.091269841 per gallon
885uS/cm
79:79:119:99:20
1 – 1 – 1.5 // 1.25 – 0.25

15ml Ripe @ $0.091269841 per gallon
930uS/cm
40:198:158:49:20
1 – 5 – 4 // 1.25 – 0.5

$69 For the summer grow with $23.24 left over ($45.76 total used)
2606ml used @ $15.86 // 3780ml Bloom @ $23 // 1174ml remaining @ $7.14
4914ml used @ $29.90 // 7560ml Ripe @ $46 // 2646ml remaining @ $16.10


General Hydroponics Micro and Bloom

Micro: $25 for one Gallon or $0.006878 per ml
Bloom: $21 for one Gallon or $0.00555556 per ml

6/9 Ratio @ $0.091269842 per gallon
898 uS/cm
79:119:111:79:36
1 – 1.5 – 1.4 // 1 – 0.45

$67 For the summer grow with $13.30 left over ($53.70 total used)
1721ml used @ $19.96 // 3780ml Micro @ $25 // 2059ml remaining @ $5.04
6073ml used @ $33.74 // 7560ml Bloom @ $42 // 1487ml remaining @ $8.26

But as I demonstrated earlier, the Jack's is going to be a better deal until it hits $220 per 25lbs.

If you purchase your nutrients by the largest factory volumes (23L or 25L or 6 gallons) the prices get better, but not by much. At $154 for 23L of AN Micro you're spending about $0.0067 per ml. At $127 for 23L of AN Bloom you're spending about $0.0055 per ml. At 5/7 that's $0.072 per gallon. This is still a good 5 times more expensive than the Jack's Professional... But it is not the overpriced hogwash people bitch about it being. AN is just like everyone else. They would actually save me (and maybe only me) money compared to using the Lucas formula over time.

The truth is in the numbers. You can shake your head in disbelief all you want, but AN Micro Bloom 5/7 is no more expensive to run than GH Micro Bloom at 6/9. CNS17 still holds the crown though, despite having less malleability with the ratios.

Don't shoot the messenger. But those are the least expensive nutrients, gallon for gallon, from the major hydroponic nutrient companies. Working with $0.10 per gallon solution for some people isn't a big deal, they only use 500 gallons in a grow, and only spend $50 to produce ounces of bud. There are other people though that do burn though thousands of gallons of nutrients and that's when you really need to start looking into these cheaper, slat based, alternatives. But for the casual home grower... $50 in nutrients isn't going to be breaking anyone's bank account... I hope... even if they aren't the "cheapest approved" nutrients.

With regards to money spent, and grams harvested, hearing people bitch about $100 in nutrients, and $30 in runoff, I just don't get it. Compared to what we'd be paying on the street even the "over-priced" nutrients are paid for with the first few blunts I smoke.
 
S

Snow Crash

150
18
After typing that all up I realized the final volumes of my spreadsheet aren't current with my calculated pricing. Frak...

Well... I tried... I need to go get high.
 
squarepusher

squarepusher

959
43
GH and AN both make powder nutes.

AN has 'heavy harvest' which is an outdoor nutrient, with lots of ammonium

GH has Maxibloom, which is a hydroponic nutrient, however not really designed per say for cannabis (just an overall hydroponic formula).
 

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