How to Mix Your Nutrients
Understand Your Nutrients
Stick with the well-known and established nutrients brands as they all have developed a set of nutrients for maximum performance. Try to stick with a single, quality nutrient brand through good results and through the bad results as this is the best way you can work out the relative strengths of the nutrients on offer and how you might tweak the usage over and above the manufacturer recommendations. Most often, if you are using a decent nutrient brand, then poor performance is down to the environment, poor performing plants, or a grower mistake.
The only way to truly keep this under control is to use an EC/TDS meter. This mistake is normally made in the bloom stage of the grow when boosters are added. When working with boosters it is best to add the recommended dosage of the booster first, take an EC reading and then mix in your base A&B nutrients until the desired strength is achieved. This normally means using less A&B concentrates than you would otherwise.
Never Use pH Up and pH Down at the Same Time
This normally results from miscalculating how much pH down to use and going to far. You then find yourself in the situation that you need to take the pH back up a point. All these acids and alkalis don't do your plants any good at all. Rather, it is far better to use something that is naturally quite base like Liquid Silicone to bump the pH back up a bit.
How to Fill a Res or Tank
It's super important to make sure that your nutrients are thoroughly mixed in with the water. There are a couple of tricks to doing this and the first and best way is to make relatively concentrated mixtures first. If, for example, you want to mix up 100L of nutrients then to start with take just 10L or 20L of the water and add all the nutrients to this. Then you mix this solution in with the rest of the water. If filling a res or tank you can just quarter fill it, add the nutrients, and then continue filling all the way to the top. This method achieves best results in thorough mixing short of using something mechanical to mix it up. If you have an air compressor or powerful bubbler then you can also put this in the bottom of the tank or res while adding water and nutrients and this will quickly mix everything up good and proper.
Never Mix A&B Nutrients Together
OK, it says this on the bottle, but if there is one thing that you pay attention to it is this. Always add part A to the water and thoroughly mix it in and only then add in part B and mix that in. If you mix the A&B doses together directly then the chemicals in each will bond to each other and become unavailable for the plants to absorb resulting in mal-nourished and starved plants.