Homemade Nutrients from Salts (PH Perfect)

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Skybound

Skybound

62
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I dread having to unpack all of this info with each new forum, so forgive me if this is over abbreviated or lacking info, or perhaps needing to comb through my old threads on most of the other forums.

The disclaimer aside, I make my own nutrient concentrates from salts and have been doing so since 2018. I've experiemented with various formulations and using 3 different media types. I now grow in perlite hempy buckets and have my own PH Perfect feed chart that uses Potassium Silicate and Monoammonium Phosphate to balance PH at a relentless 5.8. My grow just endured a humidity wave like a champ with only minor leaf damage and my yields are up across the board. I created a BOM in the video description of my Hydro Buddy video, but all in, for a damn near lifetime supply of salts costs roughly $185 before shipping in the USA. My nutrients are cheaper than Jack's 321, as well as Megacrop or ANY other brand of nutrients, but beyond that, I have near 100% control of my formulations so I can elevate Nitrate and Calcium during veg and diminish those through bloom while elevating P, K, and Mg. I can also tweak my micro nutrients and though I now have what I believe to be ideal, I was able to experiment with these too over my years. So I have FULL and TOTAL control of my fert program, but I also pay less for it than EVERY other nutrient out there which means my supply is also flu lockdown proof. I almost never have need of reordering things. I'm so well stocked up that maybe once a year I will consider fortifying my supply of the most used component(s) like Cal Nite, but other than that, I'm good for the long haul.

Here is a 2 part video where I do my best to explain how to use Hydro Buddy, but there is also a plethora of added info in the video description, so follow the video over to YouTube for more info.


I wish to point out that I regularly communicate with the creator of Hydro Buddy (Daniel Fernandez) as he is subscribed to my journal on another forum and has made himself available to Q&A there. I will respect this site's cross forum policy and not link to that thread unless one of the mods permits me to expressly. All of that said though, after I uploaded this video, Daniel informed me that what I said about reverse engineering liquid nutes is inaccurate due to manufacturers lying about their contents listed on their Guaranteed Analysis. One can send nutes off to be analyzed and then those numbers can be used, but not the info listed on the labels.

However, what I do is totally different than that, what I did was querry an older grower on this topic over on RIU a few years back and he gave me some elemental ranges to get me safely started and I have been massaging and tweaking the numbers ever since till about 2 months ago. Before I get into what my current program is, I want to explain how to make the actual liquid concentrates I use to build all of the various regimens for all of the various stages of growth. For the record, I manage a 9 site perpetual bedroom grow. I harvest 1 plant every single week, and that bloom room is supplied from my 2x5x5 veg closet where I clone from the elders and send the moms off to bloom. With this grow, I can see every age of a plant's life in real time and my tweaks are effective in less than 2 weeks.

To make the macros and secondaries into concentrates using any of the following salts, I mix them to a 1:10 dilution. This is important to know because when using Hydro Buddy to target elements, it tells me how much weight of a salt to use, but I mixed the weight into water already, so I need to know how much water I need to achieve the weight. In the USA, I use half gallon jugs which have 1892.7 milliliters, and I need to add 10% of that number in salts to achieve the 10:1 ratio, so I shift that decimal over 1 position to get 189.27 grams. With the macros I am much less concerned with extreme accuracy, so I use my regular 0.0 scale and just round the .27 up to .3 and weigh out 189.3 grams of the 2 part macro salts to make a concentrate. These salts consist of;
  • Potassium Silicate (Silica)
  • Monoammonium Phosphate (MAP)
  • Monopotassium Phosphate (MKP)
  • Potassium Sulfate (SOP)
  • Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom)
  • Magnesium Nitrate (Mag Nite)
  • Potassium Nitrate (K Nite)
  • Calcium Nitrate (Cal Nite)
For my current formulations, I'm not using the K Nite, but I have used this salt in the past. It's great to have many options for HB to consider, this ensures the app can hit your targets with less error making for a more meaningful level of control and since you'll likely never buy more, it's much easier to accumulate a wider collection of nutrient salts.

Making the micro nutrient concentrates requires a different approach. Because elements like molybdenum is targeted at such a minute or minuscule target in the range of 0.05-0.1 PPM, it would take such a small amount of salt that a scale that graduates to many zeros would be needed to make even a 1:10 solution. So to be able to actually weigh out what is needed to make that small target, a 1:1000 mix is needed. When making a half gallon, I tewll Hydro Buddy that I am mixing for 1000x larger mixture, so 500 gallons. I then punch in my 6 targets which currently is;
  • Fe = 2.4
  • Mn - 1.0
  • Zn - 0.3
  • Cu - 0.25
  • B - 0.2
  • Mo - 0.1
into Hydro Buddy, tell it I'm making for 500 gallons, and whatever the weight of each salt is required, I weigh out and get it all into my half gallon. Because I use chelated metallics, a food preservative is needed as well to prevent algae from forming and eating all of the organic chelators. It is pertinent to protect these chelators as it will take months to use up the micro blend and I don't want to risk premature degradation, so I also keep that jug protected from light and heat as best I can.

When making my concentrates, I find it helpful for solubility to also add in 2 drops of the Polysorbate (linked in BOM) into the jugs, especially with the micro blend.

Metric system growers have it even better/easier. If making say a 2 liter bottle of concentrates, you need to weigh out an even 200 grams of macro salts, or target for 2000 liters of micro mix.

PH Perfect Regimen


Because I entered the nute world not knowing the boundaries, I thought it wise to err on the side of deficiency as it is much easier to correct a deficiency than a toxicity, so my EC ranges are very low compared to some other regimens out there. I feed my crop 100% strength from start to finish and no longer use compost tea or Recharge, just full strength nutes front to back and no flush either. I intentionally target my nitrate to taper off in the regimen progression which gives me a nice fade beginning in week 8. FYI, I also start the Late regimen in week 8 if there is no signs of leaf yellowing by then. I have several video updates on my channel as well, but here is 4 pics I took last night after I harvested the Barney's Purple Punch. I have 4 strains in rotation now that love my regimens, Purple Punch, Barney's Pineapple Chunk, Dr Krippling's Incredible Bulk (tastes like sweet witch hazel) and Crockett Family Farms SSOG.

1
2
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4


I use duck tape strips to tie long weighty branches to the center stalk which efficiently carries the weight of heavy buds and colas.

I think I covered it all mostly, but if I think of anything else, I'll add more. I'll of course answer any questions to the best of my ability.
 
Skybound

Skybound

62
18
Because my RO's PH is what it is, I had to move the Si and NH4 target to where they currently are to give me PH Perfection in my regimens. This process will NEED to be used to locate PH perfection with your RO source as your starting PH may be different than mine. My chart targets will likely be a great place for you to start, but if your PH after everything is mixed is not 5.8, I suggest first moving the Si target up or down a couple tenths at a time. My NH4 content right now is probably about the max point where it could start creating chemical problems if it is raised.

Once you start moving things around, you'll learn more about chemicals and electric charges of things just by osmosis. I never intended to know which elements are cations or anions, yet I learned that in the mix of it all.

Edit - It was pertinent for me to use Haifa Prime Cal Nite because it has a lot less NH4:Ca ratio than the Ag grade Cal Nite. This is important because I needed to force Hydro Buddy to use more MAP (which is acidic), and when targeting my numbers using the Ag Grade as my Calcium source, it was giving me more NH4 which in turn called for less MAP. That little dancing around BS was needed to achieve PH Perfection which I have, so I needed to mention that.
 
Skybound

Skybound

62
18
Sorry, I just realized The Farm uses a different embedded player, so here's an edited version of the link to my video. I hope it doesn't violate any rules.


Correcting the web address to YouTube should take you to the video and more importantly, the BOM. Searching for especially the chelated micros in the right quantities is a pain in the ass, so it's just easier to have the BOM and most links go to Custom Hydro.
 
BillFarthing

BillFarthing

Supporter
471
93
I just skimmed that wall of text to find what how you are mixing salts to adjust pH. You are using NH4+ and potassium silicate to get your pH right.

If you aren't using potassium silicate, you can use NO3-/NH4+ ratios, citrate/carbonate or MES, one of Good's buffers, which is used in AN pH Perfect.
 
Skybound

Skybound

62
18
I just skimmed that wall of text to find what how you are mixing salts to adjust pH. You are using NH4+ and potassium silicate to get your pH right.

If you aren't using potassium silicate, you can use NO3-/NH4+ ratios, citrate/carbonate or MES, one of Good's buffers, which is used in AN pH Perfect.

I'm using the NH4 target to manipulate the MAP dosage and the Si target to manipulate the Potassium Silicate and together they command what the PH is. It's convenient though because both of these substances are already in use for their elemental properties. Most growers like their Si much higher than my target and their NH4 slightly lower than my target, but I've made made peace as PH stability is much more important. Should users choose to deviate from my targets (which I encourage), all bets regarding PH Perfection are off and it's back to the traditional burdens of monitoring and correcting PH on the regular. By making the Si sacrifice and accepting a little more ammonium, I've bought myself the peace of mind of literally never having to use my PH meter which usually requires calibration. IDK about other growers, but Skybound hates using meters and I'm thankful that I don't have to use mine, lol.

I'll have to investigate the leads you gave me and see about ordering them if they're cheap. One thing I do like is having options, the more the merrier! Thanks for the tips!
 
Keifer2k3

Keifer2k3

11
3
GG and NL from ILGM

3 weeks 1 day from sprout. No fertilizer yet

I was considering adding some monopotasium phosphate fertilizer 0 52 34 this time for bud set, but otherwise jack's 3 2 1 every feeding. I might increase the mag (epsom) too cuz I had some light burn last time
 

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