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
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
Calcium Nitrate 75.3
Iron Chelate 2.25
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<r=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.
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.