When you’re growing with hydroponics it is wise to always choose nutrients that are specifically designed for that purpose. Most commercially available non-hydroponic nutrients lack specific compounds that your hydroponic plants desperately need to maintain healthy growth.
Most “fertilizers” are based upon a basic but variable NPK formula. N- nitrates, P-Phosphorus, K-Potassium. Your plants require potash, nitrogen and phosphorus and these are always found in commercial fertilizers in different ratios. Most commercial fertilizers lack micro nutrients.
Your plants need calcium, magnesium and sulphur which are not often to be found in any “off the shelf” non-hydroponic nutrients. Boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc sometimes appear in different ratios in commercial fertilizers but not in the correct ratios required for healthy hydroponic plants.
Hydroponic nutrients are created by nutrient designers. They are exacting and quite precise. Some are even tailored to the specific type of plant you are growing!
A large range of dedicated hydroponic nutrients are available for every different need. Some are specifically designed to work with rock wool or coco coir and other non soil based substrates. Some have been designed with a specific type of plant in mind. Some recommended nutrient combinations can be quite complex while others can be very simple. If you’re new to hydroponics then it’s best to keep things very simple to begin with.
Choose a two part grow formula and a two part bloom formula. If you’re going to add a bloom booster or any other supplement make certain your nutrients are compatible with what ever you add.
Find a supplier who carries a wide range of nutrients and one who knows and understands the product and how it is to be used. If you run into problems then your supplier will always be able to give you good advice if you have chosen to buy from a reputable shop.
Never over feed you plants. Less is better. If you run into problems where you have caused nutrient burn the try flushing your plants with fresh water at the correct ph as this may resolve the problem. Many people will fall into the trap of feeding their plants even more because they have mis-diagnosed the actual problem.