SINCE 2000

Knowledge Base

Featured Articles
 

Build Your Own Hydroponics System

New comers to hydroponics are always asking how to build an easy hydroponic system that will give great results. This article addresses this question with two simple, easy-to-build hydroponic systems: the Ebb and Flow System and the Drip System.

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Plant Nutrition for Mother Plants

Mother plants are stock plants specifically raised to provide cuttings for starting new plants. The cuttings, also known as clones, are genetically identical to the mother plant, and if grown in a controlled environment will develop into daughter plants with the same superior characteristics as the mother plant. Since cuttings take time to develop roots, the clones must rely on stored water and carbohydrates in the stems and leaves to provide the energy necessary to develop vigorous new roots. Therefore, the nutritional status of the mother plant is critical to the rooting and recovery time of the tender clones.

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CO2 Explained

Here we are looking at methods and the supplies and equipment needed for increasing CO2 levels in the grow room. Normal atmospheric CO2 levels are between 300 to 500ppm (parts per million), depending on whether you live in an urban or rural area. Increasing these levels to 1500ppm can often have dramatic effects on your plants, including faster growth rates and increased yields. This is why it is so important to always have fresh air circulating into your grow room. Or better yet, add supplemental CO2.

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Essential Enhancers Explained

In today's indoor gardening marketplace, there are many additives available to the gardener. So many, in fact, that some of the most essential additives often get overlooked or are not fully understood. No matter how many enhancers a grower uses on their plants, there are a few additives that every gardener should always use to help achieve maximum success. This month’s article will take a closer look at these essential must have additives.

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No Stress Guide to pH and TDS Testing

In addition to proper lighting and ventilation, monitoring and controlling the pH and TDS of the nutrient solution is one of the most important aspects of a successful and productive grow room. Of the 100-plus elements on earth, a plant only needs less than 20 to survive. But a plant’s roots can only absorb those essential elements within a certain pH range (5.5 to 6.5 for hydroponics, 6.0 to 7.0 for soil). Additionally, even if those elements are in a nutrient solution at the correct pH, the roots will not be able to absorb them if they are at too high of a strength...

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Ventilation Explained

Correctly ventilating your growing area is a vital part of greenhouse/grow room design. Adequate ventilation in the grow room is important for a number of reasons – temperature, humidity, disease and odor control, and fresh/stale air exchange. The calculations that are used to correctly design a ventilation system can be quite complex and require numerous known variables. The purpose of this article is to simplify these calculations while helping you to better understand grow room ventilation.

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Electricity Explained

It is helpful for growers who are using HID (High Intensity Discharge - i.e. Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium) lighting to understand the basics of power. In this article we will also describe how a standard HID ballast (magnetic, or core & coil) works and what each component in the ballast does. First, we will describe some basic terminology...

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Frequently Asked Qustions
Hydroponics FAQ

How often should you change your reservoir?

We recommend that you change your reservoir once a week. This entails “dumping” your reservoir and re-filling it with fresh water and nutrients. The reason for this is that as the plants feed, the nutrient solution will fall out of balance. Also, bacteria grows at a geometric rate. If you change your solution every week you will decrease the possibility of bacteria becoming a problem. While it is possible to go longer between changes if you are using reverse osmosis water instead of tap water, you still have the bacteria issue to contend with, so unless you are using something to inhibit the bacterial growth, you should still change your reservoir weekly.

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Lighting FAQ

What size (wattage) lighting system do I need?

There are two things to consider when deciding what size lighting system to use: the actual area in which the plants will be taking up, and how tall you want your plants to grow. 150-175 watt lights are primarily used for seedlings or cuttings, though they can be used for growing plants to maturity if the plants are kept short. 250 watt systems are good for areas up to 2.5' square at the most, as long as the plants don't get taller than about 2'. 400 watt systems cover a primary area of about 3' x 3', or up to 4' x 4' max. 600 watt systems cover a primary area of about 4' x 4', or up to 5' x 5' max. 1000 watt systems cover from 4' x 6' up to 5' x 7'. The taller you plan to grow your plants, the higher the wattage needed. This is because the light intensity diminishes by 50% for every foot you move away from the bulb. So, if your plants reach 4' tall, then the leaves at the bottom of the plant are receiving only around 12% of the light that the top of the plant is getting!

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Nutrient FAQ

How do I choose which nutrient to use?

There are many brands of nutrients that are available to hydroponic growers. The grower should first decide if they want to grow organically or conventionally. The type of growing medium will also determine what type of nutrient a grower should use, e.g. if coco growing medium is used then you should consider using nutrients that are designed for coco (like Canna Coco nutrients). The crop stage will also determine what nutrient should be used e.g. a vegetative nutrient formula should be used when a plant is in vegetative stage (such as Super Veg A and Super Veg B). Ultimately, the brand of nutrient which the hydroponic grower should use is purely up to the grower to decide. And, as always, feel free to contact our sales staff and we will be happy to make recommendations based on our own experience and the feedback we get from our successful customers.

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