NPK 08-23-18 Nutritional Solution

azee_2009April 7, 2009

Hello Everybody,

I need a guideline regarding the following:

I am new to hydroponics & have planned to seek some experience regarding

1: R-DWC Bucket System &

2: Plastic Bottle DWC system.

I have some Bitter Gourd & Round Gourd seedlings is hand with a DWC Pastic Bottle setup (air stones are attached with a single air pump) to each seperate Plastic Bottle & the seedlings were fed only with plain water until now.

Hydroponic supplies are not available in my area.

NPK 08-23-18 granule form is avaiable in our area. I want to mix it with water to form Nutritional Solution for my above said both seedlings to feed them in this hour of need.

What will be easiest way to treat with the same & what would be its consentration?

Awaiting assitance.

Prior thanks.


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If its a soil nutrient the N is likely to be in the form of urea, in hydro nutrients nitrate is the most common form of N. Some of the macro and micro nutrients may need chelating to make them available to the plants as the bacteria and microbes in the soil usually perform the task.
Flood and drain makes a more effective biofilter than dwc for converting the urea into nitrate although it may take a month or so to get the bacteria upto speed (google for info on the "nitrogen cycle").
You`d also need to add a chelating agent such as mollasses or citric acid.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 6:50AM
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Freemangreens offers directions on his website on how to make a compost tea. That may be a better fit in your situation versus using the urea based fertilizer.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:25AM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

I was reading the comment from hex2006 and thought I'd inject something about urea:

Urea-based nitrogen sources "require" soil-borne microbes to break the urea down into useable nitrogen. Since hydroponics uses no "soil" it's best to use a nitrogen source other than urea-based.

That being said, compost tea will grow most stuff. There's another link on my Web site which will take you to a fellow that custom-fabricates hydroponic nutrients. He designed the nutrient I currently use to grow strawberries and tomatoes and even though composted chicken manure tea works great, the nutrient he made for me surpasses the tea by a factor of at least 5! Give it a look-see.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home-brewed Nutrient

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 2:57AM
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The bacteria responsible for converting ammonia and nitrite into nitrate are found everywhere, all they need is surface area (a home),oxygen and a food source :)
The main issue with converting soil nutrients into hydro is the optimum ph levels and possibly temperature. Bacteria work best at higher ph and higher temps, they begin to die at about ph6 and work slower with lower temps.
If you use a ph that favours the bacteria you`ll get a nute lockout and probably root rot too:)
The better option is to brew or convert as a completely seperate process and then ph adjust the resulting liquid for hydro use.
It won`t need a lot of adjustment as the ph naturally falls during the conversion process. Mine seems to maintain a stable balance point of ph6.3 with a mature bacteria colony living in the system.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 4:49AM
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from your new nute recipe it appears you're getting away from the organic blend. Interestingly, your custom blend is very similar to what I was using (and have since been spouting) last year. The only major difference is I was using calcium nitrate and epsom salts where you're using mag-cal.
The bag of hydroponic special has ingredients for both a general use formula and a tomato formula.
I believe I'll look at a formula incorporating the mag-cal that'll reduce my nitrogen levels and (hopefully) increase the calcium levels.
I'm still going to try and grow some peppers using the compost tea since it appears they like to have low nitrogen levels.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 4:26PM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)


If you use compost tea for peppers, keep a close eye on your EC. The tea tends to be a little on the strong side unless you purposely cut it with water.

My tap water contains calcium and is very hard (EC 1.2 right out of the faucet) so I resorted to cutting my nutrient with R/O water to achieve optimum levels for lettuce and peppers.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 2:42AM
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When you say that hydroponic supplies are not available in your area, are you certain? Many people order them online and have them shipped to them, since many places just can't support a local hydroponic shop.

I know that if one opened up where I live it wouldn't get enough business to stay open for long, so I have to order all my specialty gear online, or try to build it myself.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 7:02PM
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