FAQ – Hydroponics

What is nutrient lockout?

Nutrient lockout means that the plant is unable to intake the nutrients that you are feeding them. The basic nutrients needed to remain a healthy plant are not absorbed in a nutrient lockout. Nutrient lockout can occur as a result of a chemical reaction during the production of a nutrient solution or by storing the different parts of the formula in solid form or concentrate together.

Nutrient lockout is most likely to occur when adding calcium nitrate while the magnesium sulphate or Masterblend 4-18-38 has not completely dissolved yet. The calcium nitrate will react and form solid, insoluble particles, which makes it unavailable for the plant. When you mix the Masterblend packages according to the mix instructions a nutrient lockout will not occur. Always ensure to stick to the ratios in the instructions and completely dissolve the nutrients one by one.

What are micronutrients?

The nutrients a plant needs can be divided into macro- and micronutrients. Macro- and micronutrients are both important for plant growth and development. Primary macronutrients are nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). Secondary macronutrients are calcium, magnesium and sulphur. Micronutrients are considered the trace elements the plant normally subtracts from the soil such as copper, boron, iron, zinc, manganese and molybdenum. In the Masterblend 4-18-38 mix combined with calcium nitrate and magnesium sulphate, all these macro- and micronutrients are all included in the total nutrient solution. So the Masterblend packages we sell in our webshop contain all of the macro- and micronutrients your plant needs to grow. Click on the link to get to our Shop.

What type of hydroponic system should I be using?

The nutrients we provide can be used in any type of hydroponics system. The hydroponic system you want to use depends on your preferences. Masterblend nutrients are very well suited to be used in systems such as aeroponics, kratky, deep water culture (DWC), drip systems, Dutch buckets, nutrient film technique (NFT) and other types of systems.  A blog regarding hydroponics systems and the advantages and disadvantages of these systems can be found by clicking the following link: A guide to help you choose between five hydroponics systems.

Do I need to make use of demi water?

No, not necessarily. Demi water is short for demineralized water, so water without any minerals such as calcium. The advantage of demi water is that you increase the control of nutrients that are present in your nutrient solution and you always know from which point you start in terms of pH and EC. In our opinion for growing at home demi water is not necessary and you can just make use of regular tap water, as tap water does not have a large number of chemicals added to it in most locations.

What is pH and why is the level of pH important?

The pH level is an important figure when growing with hydroponics. The pH level tell you something about the acidity or basicity of the water. The pH levels indirectly tell you something about the availability of nutrients to the plants, and can lead to potential nutrient deficiencies or toxicities. The pH is within an optimal range of 5.5 – 6.5 for most vegetables. However, pH levels vary per plant, an overview with the optimal pH range per plant can be found when following the following link: The important role of pH and EC levels in hydroponic plant growth.

What is EC and why is the level of EC important?

EC is short for Electrical Conductivity, which measures the concentration of dissolved salts and minerals in a nutrient solution. EC basically tells you how much nutrients your water contains. The ideal EC level for a hydroponic system varies depending on the stage of plant growth, the type of plant and the nutrient solution. Generally, the EC level needs to be in between the ranges of 0.8 to 2.5 mS/cm. More information regarding EC and the optimal EC levels per plant can be found by following this link: The important role of pH and EC levels in hydroponic plant growth.

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