(Fatman's) DIY nutrient mixing guide

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OH man I just finished reading all 40 pages of GREAT info here. Some very good info from some great contributors!!!
I'm currently using ( just started) DNF grow from Home Grown Hydroponics, but hope to be making my own, once I use up the DNF stuff.

Crysmatic I have found your vast knowledge and input on this thread very helpful.
Are you still using the DNF micro mix ? Do you have Canadian sources for the rest of the salts?
I'm just North of Toronto.


You stated:
I don't agree that Spurr's mixes ......
Fertilizers designed for recirculating systems have low Ca so that it doesn't build up over time and cause antagonisms (K, Mg, et al)

I was getting ready to use his formula in a recirculating system!
But after reading your post I am rethinking things!!
I would love to hear how you would modify his HydroBuddy profile for RDWC!!!
If you would like, I think I can post his HydroBuddy profile here and you could possibility lead me down a better path!!

Feel free to send me a PM .
Thanks for your time.
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very interesting JK! like you've said before, the K is what really pumps up the buds. what was your patient using as base nutes? can you give me an idea of NPK he was running?

i've made (and am using) 4 formulas:
veg/early bloom: 3-1-4
middle bloom: 5-4-10 (connie) and 5.5-6.5-12 (connie + OD)
late bloom: 1-5-4

from your observation, i should drop OD. i wonder whether in late bloom i should continue with 5-4-10, 1-5-4 or maybe 2-4-10? (hammerhead)

when and how much DAP do you spray on your plants? how does DAP affect flavour?

Question for you or anyone else.
Your bloom formula is it a base formula only or is a formula that is base plus bloom fortifier combined into one?
DNF has a bloom formula and a bloom fortifier. I assume you use the two together. But If I make my own, would I not just make my concentrate the equivalent of the base formula and the bloom fortifier all in one???
They aslo have a grow formula and a grow fortifier, are you guys making your grow formula just base or base plus grow fortifer in one?


I've used NPK 1-2.5-1, 1-1-2, 1-2-2, and 2-1-3, and they all work well. I've used 2-1-3 all through flower, without PK spikes, and it's worked fine. I got big, sweet, fragrant flowers (thanks to rockwool as well). 2:1 P:N really pumps up the buds.

Plants "time average" their feedings. They can have a little less of an element one day, as long as they make up for it a day or two later. It's not critical that they have everything, all the time - although they grow much faster if they do. e.g. they can use up all the N in a solution within hours, and growth stops.

The shorter the res change interval, and the larger the res, the less the nutrient drift matters. Greenhouses have their res analysed in a lab every week, and they add specific elements as the plants use them (they NEVER change water). For our purpose, topping off with a weak solution, and changing the res every 7-10 days manages nutes well. Consensus seems to be 50 gal of solution per 1000W light.

Spurr's formula is fine. GH micro/bloom is also a good pH buffered nute - no hype. hth


A lot of people love gh. I like using cutting edge since i can control my ratios better since micro is 6 0 0 and bloom is 0 6 5. I use tap water and epsom flush weekly in a UC system at about 400 ppms. FLUSH flush flush is key


Big bud, little price

fyi, big bud 0-1-3 is:
4.4g potassium phosphate
9.5g potassium sulphate
per L of solution. this is less than $0.20 worth of salts! one $6 500g tub of potassium sulphate will make 52L of big bud...over $2,000 retail. AN brags about ROI with their products. lmfao

generic 0-2-4 (0-9-18 uses 4.5x the quantity)
8.3g potassium phosphate
11g potassium sulphate

Is this one litre mix a concentrate?
Or is it 4.4g plus 9.5g added per liter of reservoir water?
Big bud suggests to using 2ml per litre of reservoir water.


How do you know what salts will precipitate out when put together in stock solutions. i need a reference chart or something. All I have found is that calcium is not to be mixed with phosphates or sulfates.


HI 1976, I didn't get a chance to inspect your post fully, but it seems that you got the same formula that Fatman listed? 293 ppm nitrogen is pretty close to 300 ppm nitrogen, I wouldn't worry about the small difference. Is that the issue you are having? ssry,, had a big lunch maybe I'm missing exactly what you are saying isn't matching up .... peace.
now I will attempt to create a shopping list where people can locate ingredients listed above.
Trace Nutrients
Manganese -
Boron -
Zinc - http://www.cropking.com/HydroponicS...id=336&zenid=b28ee6ea1b71222349c7d0b38a0a2467
Copper - http://www.cropking.com/HydroponicS...id=325&zenid=b28ee6ea1b71222349c7d0b38a0a2467
Molybdate - http://www.cropking.com/HydroponicS...id=343&zenid=b28ee6ea1b71222349c7d0b38a0a2467
Iron -

Sulfur - included in Sulfates above

Main Nutrients
Nitrogen - very common, Calcium Nitrate, find the size that fits you

Phosphorus (this contains Potassium too as it is 0-52-34) - http://www.cropking.com/HydroponicS...id=332&zenid=b28ee6ea1b71222349c7d0b38a0a2467
Potassium - pretty eaasy to find, Potassium Sulfate
Calcium - Contained in Calcium Nitrate
Magnesium - http://www.cropking.com/HydroponicS...id=324&zenid=b28ee6ea1b71222349c7d0b38a0a2467

now for some basic chemisty or math.
Calcium Nitrate is 15-0-0
Monopotassium Phosphate is 0-52-34
Potassium Sulfate is 0-0-50

so, between these 3 you can match any desired NPK ratio, ie 1 part of each formula above =
0-0-50 +

reduce that down by a dilution of 5, and you get
3-10-17 NPK

keep in mind you also have to add the trace + magnesium, which is usually pretty stable between all formulas or as needed by Cannabis


i would be real interested in AN stuff you mentioned on the thread. how could i check it out?


This thread is a copy paste to begin with from Fatman's posts on another forum where he is currently banned. This will be a continuation of the discussion and information to those parties who are interested. This is by and large someone elses work that I am opening here for discussion and contribution.

This is a guide for mixing basically any nutrient formula, although there are some specific examples given for Lucas Formula, which is 5-10-9

Nutrient Calculator
closed thread

The basis for mixing your own nutrient formulation is rather easy. All nutrients formulas essentially have the same micro/trace nutrients. These are :

in addition to these above trace nutrients, which are found in veerry small amounts, we have the meat and potatoes of nutrient formulas, which is NPK-Ca-Mg

using the following chart, we can construct any nutrient formula using base ingredients
View attachment 87171

for example, doing a "Lucas" Formula, which by the way isn't considered that great of a formula for Cannabis growers, rather a formula that "works," NPK =5-10-9
N=5, P=10, K=9 and M=3
i.e the Lucas Formula

Amounts are in Ounces: Final ppm each nutrient: N=176, P=133, K=300, M=100, Calcium=166
Part A.
Calcium Nitrate 75.3
Iron Chelate 2.25

Part B.
Mono Potassium Phosphate 104.8
Magnesium Sulfate 67.4

Trace Part B.
Manganese Sulfate 0.448
Boric Acid 0.085
Zinc Sulfate 0.009
Copper Sulfate 0.003
Ammonium Molybdate 0.0014

This recipe is for a x100 concentrate. That means a combination of 2.5 gallons of Part A. And 2.5 gallons of Part B to which the trace nutrients are added. With all mixed together in a dry mix you have the dry mix equivalent of Floro Nova Bloom without the added humus.

This should cost about $35 to mix up. ie about $7 per gallon.

Reasons for mixing?

There are already hundreds of other manufacturers producing nutrients at much cheaper costs than those sold by AN or GH.

I am saying that given the true analysis of any fertilizer product that the same nutrient of the same quality can be mixed in y a home. The problem lies in that only a few states require that manufacturers supply a completer guaranteed analysis on the fertilizer products. Those states will not allow fertilizer sells in their states without this full disclosure. However these states do not have laws requiring the supplements have a guaranteed analysis on any of the ingredients except the fertilizers they contain. These states presently are trying to pass legislation to require that supplements all have full guaranteed analysis on their packaging. Until that time, it is not practical to try to l keep up with all the game playing companies go through to prevent the information be known.

As far as AN I have the complete analysis on 22 fertilizers produced by them. The others eight formulations contain supplements that they have not willing disclosed. I have the chemical analyisis on the fertilizers but not the analysis of the supplments. As a result those products can not be sold in those states requring c disclosure. However with most of those it is just humic and fulvic acids that have been added. Their supplments I have no information on other than the few that the universtity analyzed. That is not public information so I can not release that info. Just about every manafcturer except AN readily releases full analysis data freely even on their supplements.

Here is the Washington state site for fertilizers. http://agr.wa.gov/PestFert/Fertilize...iewTable&ltr=G As you will see there are many hundres of fertilizer gurantedd analysis give. All you need to formulate any know n fertilzer is the guranateed anaysis. You will notice though that there are no AN analysis on the Washington State site. AN goes out of its way to make as much maney as it can while it can. Washington state just wont play the AN games so the AN products can not be sold there. It is really as simple as if the U.S. legalized growing pot to morrow AN would probably shut their doors tomorrow. The only thing special about AN products is that they do not release to the the public freely any inforation they can withhold legally or illegally. Its really comical as there are no secrets in the industry. Everyone knows exactly what every one is doing or selling. It's all just a money making scam with AN.

I can send you a mixing recipe for any of the main line AN products or any other mnafacturers products for which you can provide the analysis. I also have many guranteed analysis for formulations (such as AN) that are not on that site.

For a PK booster simply buy monopottassium phosphate. It is used in about 95% of all the competitor two or three part formulas.
Mono-Potassium Phosphate

The closet to a MJ plant is the "hemp" plants grown through out the U.S.. during WW II and just after that time. They found that the plants grow best when fertilized as if they were tobacco, corn silage or fodder when field grown and as foliage plants when green house grown. One does have to consider all the early research geared mainly around growing plant in the vegetative state until the plants started diverting its energy into reproduction. Then the testing went into importing ruderalis and hash strains so as to shorten and bush out the plants as the combines could not handle the ntaural sativa plants which were to tall. It wasn't until the 60's that much research was geared towards improving its possible medicinal qualities.

Consider Green peppers or chiles are 3:1:3, fodder is 3:1:3, spinach is 3:1:4, herbs are 2:1:1.5 while tomatoes are 4:1:5 and very high in calcium. The hydroponic grows in the 50's and 60's showed that MJ responded best to the simple 3:1:2 ratios used for green house foliage type plants. Even AN, low and be hold, who say they are at the forefront of the MJ nutrient field are now putting out Sensi formulas that are nearing the old traditional 3:1:2 formulas of old. Why do I use a near 3:1:2 ratio etc, because over the years I have found it to work the best and have mixed and sold it to dozens of large growers who also swear by it. I also know many commercial growers who mix their own fertilizers and in general they always seem to return to a formula near the standard old 3:1:2 ratio. Recently (the last year or a bit more) has brought about better nutrient delivery systems and therefore allowing increases in the other parameters meaning a k higher potash than from the 3:1:2 ratio.

Lucas is not really a good mix, it is just a fair and simple mix that works. It is a 0.42, 0.83, 1.0 ratio. Nothing like what is really recommended. I really do not know why it made it to the Fad level. I really find it hard to believe that GH even came up with the Flora Bloom formula which is Lucas with humus. It is simply a matter of a manufacturer providing what people want even when it is not a better product. If you actually look at the analysis of GH FloraBloom and Flora micro you would see that Lucas was back ass back wards when he came up with his formula. He advised two parts Bloom to one part Micro. If he would have gone with two parts micro and one part bloom he would have gotten a ratio of 3.3, 1.6, 2 but it would have a mess of calcium at 333 ppm. That high calcium would mean that the reservoir s would likely have to be changed out weekly rather than going for weeks or a full grow by just adding water and more nutrients.

IMHO neither GH or AN make a really good mj nutrient product for hydroponics, especially not for a good aero system with large tubes or chambers. I really doubt they will ever make a good formulation for good intermittent mists systems such as high pressure chamber or atomized chamber. They do not make formulations for commercial growers just hobbyists and it is doubtful enough hobbyists will ever spend the energy, time or money to move up to the better more expensive systems. The more efficient the system is the greater the difference ratios, and balanced pH's mean. Carbonate chemistry is much harder to deal with when TDS levels low right from the beginning as they are with efficient systems. Consider this: the actual recommended calcium to nitrogen ratio for MJ is 0.8-1. How many retailed nutrients out there do you see where the calcium to nitrogen ratio is that high unless the nitrogen level is very low. That is why the retail manufacturers are selling low nitrogen formulas. They sell low nitrogen so they can use lower levels of calcium. Low level calcium formulations make growers happy as they can go longer times between reservoir change outs and so they have to adjust the pH less and worry about magnesium deficiency less.

Basically it means poorer quality nutrients, potency and yields for a given growing time in order to allow for easier maintenance and less grower knowledge. It has become quiet common in the last few years for people to say the use plain tap water without problems. That says a lot about too low calcium levels supplied by manufacturers and that is usually an indication that their Nitrogen levels are really low also. Lately the trends has been high phosphorus and high potash, then throw in high calcium and magnesium at blooming. That is strange as balanced nutrients near or about 3:1:2, calcium of at least half to 1.5 to 3 and magnesium about half on the nitrogen or calcium through out still produce the best results. Calcium is really a very good way to control nutrient up take in efficient systems. As long as the ratio of calcium to magnesium is about 2:1 the calciums high EC means it has a lot of control over the amount of other nutrients that are available.

It is easy to experiment and see that increasing the ratio of calcium lowers uptake and lowering the ratio increases uptake when feeding low ppm nutrients. Kinda mind boggling though. With a captured drain to waste nutrient system allowing tds measurement you would find something like input TDS 600 ppm (with high calcium), drain at 450 ppm. 650 ppm input (low calcium), drain at 350 ppm. That means not only did the plants take up a higher ppm of nutrients but the percentage was also higher in nutrients other than calcium. To gain by this you have to be able to bring your self to almost daily read a nutrient deficiency and antagonist chart though.

I just checked out an add for FloraNova grow and it is 1.75 to 1 to 2.5. So it is swinging closer to 3:1:2 than the original Micro and grow mixed to 3.5:0.5:3.5. The FloraNovaBloom is 4:8:7, and there old Micro and bloom was 2.5:2.5:2.5. Sure seems strange that they only added humic and fulvic acids made from lenoraddite coal but now list the products as organic. I just in the last day or so added humus to the nutrient thread. For those curious, leonardite coal is the brown coal often found mixed in with soft black lignite coal. Some say it is almost coal and almost peat moss. They dissolve the coal with potassium hydroxide, they then add a little phosphoric acid. This form s mushy mass (humic substance) and fulvic acids (the solution). If the just want the humic acid, they pour off the fulvic acid and add water. The water contains humic acids. Usually most manufacturers use/combine the fulvic and humic acids and just call it humus. The new Fad.

For what it is worth for the set ups I use I run formulations of veg 3.26, 1, 3.55 and Bloom of 2.81, 1, 4.4 I am running closer to 3:1:4 rather than 3:1:2. My use of higher potassium is due to the use of tight SOG grows with growing temps around 88 to 92 degrees, very high transpiration due to low ppm nutrients and dehumidification down to around 35 to 40 during veg and 25 to 30 during budding, and lots of CO2.

The general horticultural description of potash as a nutrient: Potassium is a key activator of many enzymes, especially those involved with carbohydrate metabolism. Potassium is also responsible for the control of ion movement through membranes and water status of stomatal apertures. Potassium therefore has a role in controlling plant transpiration and turgor. It is generally associated with plant 'quality' and is necessary for successful initiation of flower buds. As a result the levels of potassium in nutrient solutions are increased as plants enter a 'reproductive' phase, and as crops grow into lower light levels, in order to maintain nutrient balance in solution.

So is the 3:1:2 ratio perfect. No it just seems to be one of the better choices of those nutrient formulas that are available for those who are growing at more common temperatures and humidities. Would added potassium make the formulation better. If you growing parameters are above average, then yes increasing the potash ppm would likely be helpful. If not you will very likely just be adding potassium hydroxide every day anyway so you might as well add it initially instead of adding so much every day by using pH up during budding.

Fresh Starts

Fresh Starts

Been trying to mix my own these days and I'm curious what nute profiles the big name companies are working with so I thought I'd post this question here:

What is the difference between using a cannastat calculator to derive nute profiles from guaranteed analysis and sending a sample of nutrient solution to a laboratory?

I'm figuring out what profiles work best in coco. Thanks


Guaranteed analysis are minimum guarantees, so I would expect the actual lab analysis to be slightly higher than what you would get calculating and measuring out a formula. If you are using quality raw fertilizer salts it probably wont be too much, but with bottled or premixed it might be striking.

testing is the only way to know with much certainty.
Fresh Starts

Fresh Starts

Are all laboratories created equal or is there a preferred lab to deal with? Some of the products will contain amino acids and fulvic/humic acids. Will any lab test for those? @Quantrill


I use Harris Lab via Everris(PetersProfessional), because I am a dealer for them. However J.R. Peters lab is a good one as well.

Most labs will be able to analyze the nutrient solution sample for the NPK ect. So your local university ag dept would probably be able to help you with that. However getting it tested for organic nitrogen and humic/fulvic will be harder to accomplish, and cost you much more.

I have spoken with Avomeen analytical services before regarding getting the ferti-organic fulvic and humic concentrates tested, and their quote was some where in the neighborhood of $4K per sample.


We use two concentrates injected at ~1:100, A: 13-2-13 plug mix B: 0-52-34 PEAK.
Media: CoCo Coir amended with dolomite lime.
Fertigate: One time daily, drain to waste.
Ph: 5.8-6.2
EC: .8-1.2
NPK: (Currently) 140-80-203

Background. We began a year ago using "Spurrs groundbreaking methods" with our injectors, NPK, 162-87-201, well as close as we could get with our concentrates, 160-81-220. Many of our genetics preformed just as well as they had before using GH, calmg+ and epsom salts, 5/5/7/5/2.5g (m/g/b/calmg/epsom). However, some strains that ran well before began to run terribly with our injectors. Our plants were producing pebble sized fruits encapsulated with leafs and the strains that preformed better were seemed to have a higher caylx to leaf ratio and less density.

Our second run we dialed back the injectors from 160-81-220 to 140-80-203. Our plants preformed much better this round, however there is still to much leaf development in flower, fruits are not as dense as they could be. Could this be because of P in excess of 70 is locking out other elements?

We are beginning our third round and are thinking of taking the extra K that is provided by the coco into account and lowering that number. We found that when we lower P, N becomes more available, has anyone else found this to be true? This round we are going to run 150-60-187, does anyone have an opinion of this profile? We need a profile that we can run daily to run off. Fwiw we considered running 97-60-105 because we have had success with it in the past.

Thanks in advanced for any input,
Fresh Starts

Fresh Starts

I've started to use a coco specific formula that I whip up with RO water and raw salts from Custom Hydro. I'm injecting these fertilizers via Dema injectors and so far I like the results the same if a little better than what I was doing with Jacks Hydro and Calcium Nitrate. I wanted to post the nutrient profile here and let whomever was interested to critique it's formulation.
Substrate is pure coco. Any Questions-ask away.

Nutrient Profile (mg/l)

9.414 NH4
118.545 N03
45.62 P
147 K
125.5 Ca
51.24 Mg
38 S
9.5 Si
.205 B
.348 Fe- DTPA
1.60 Fe- EDTA
.28 Mn- EDTA
.07 Cu-EDTA
.06 Zn-EDTA
.03 Mo
12.7 Na
31.4 Cl

IMG 20150208 171259
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