We have moved again - now at St Kilda. You can contact us on 0411 105 365. We are in the process of setting up hydroponic and aquaculture displays.

Monday 0930 to 1730
Friday 0930 to 1730
Saturday 0930 to 1230

We are available for consultation and site visits at these times- other times by appointment by email (robin@soladome.com.au)

After 35 years at 44 Chapel Street it was time for a change to a web based operation and to offer guidance based on many years of practical experience.

 

 

Hydroponics

Making hydroponic plant nutrient solutions from powders

Most of the nutrients used to grow plants are supplied as two or three separate liquids or powders. This is to separate concentrated Sulphur and Phosphorous from Calcium and Magnesium to avoid the formation of Magnesium Sulphate (plaster of Paris) and Calcium Phosphate (an insoluble white precipitate). If the four are in dilute form in water this bonding is less likely to occur so these elements will be available individually for the plant's root system.

 

In Europe the Calcium part of the mixture is in the “A” part of the powder or concentrated liquid solution. In Australia the Calcium is usually in the “B” part of the powder or concentrated liquid.

If the Calcium and Magnesium can be Chelated then a one part concentrated liquid nutrient can be made.

When mixing up powder nutrients first work out how much of “A” and “B” powder you are going to need. Generally about 1.2 grams per litre of “A” and 0.8 grams per litre of “B” is required to be dissolved in water to make a full strength nutrient solution.

When mixing put about half the water into the nutrient reservoir and thoroughly dissolve your “A” powder – sometimes in cooler weather it is easier to use warm water to get the “A” powder to dissolve thoroughly. When all the “A” powder has dissolved then add water until the reservoir is ¾ full then add and the dissolve the “B” powder and finally add plain water to top up the reservoir to the full position.

If “C” and “D” are required then add these when the reservoir is full and has the “A” and “B” already dissolved in the nutrient solution.

Plants like Carnations, Lettuces, Strawberries and Tomatoes generally require more Potassium in the nutrient solution so if you are growing these plants then you will need to add extra Potassium to the nutrient solution. This is where “C” comes in – just add 0.5 grams of “C” per Litre of nutrient solution and this will add the necessary extra Potassium to the nutrient solution. When these four plants are flowering or fruiting they require additional Phosphorous so you can add “D” powder at the rate of 0.25 grams per Litre of nutrient solution.