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Can I increase the Micro, Grow and Bloom formulas beyond what the feed schedule states?

The line was created for commercial operations where you use the least possible plant food. I suggest that you stick with the feed schedule and in some instances you can use less than what we publish. The feed is very strong and formulated for ECWAM. Your lab numbers will increase by maintaining a lower dose as noted in the ECWAMmethod and Redman’s Rules. Many grow stores and plant food lines preach that more plant food equals better plants. This may be true for some hobby plant foods but not for the Elite line of plant food from Flying Skull.

The dry plant food seems to take too long to dissolve in tanks. Is there an easier way to use the plant food?

Here is something you can do to make it much easier to use. Mix two cups of Elite Micro into a gallon of warm (not hot) water and mix. Transfer the liquid into a plastic gallon jug with cap. (Option: Add the dry Elite Micro to a clear gallon jug and add warm water.)  Do this same procedure with Elite Grow and Elite Bloom. You now have liquid nutrients to place into the feed barrel or use with a Dosatron auto feed system. This will make mixing a batch of nutrients go much faster as the nutrients are in already in solution. We suggest you use PPM or EC to make your recipe. This method is outlined in the Elite Plant Food FAQ area of our website.

How can I be better and faster when mixing the nutrients into the barrel?

This is a great way to mix your plant food. Let’s say you’re making a 600 ppm batch of vegetative food in a tank and your water supply is 50 ppm and you know that ½ tsp Elite Micro = 400 ppm and ½ tsp Elite Grow = 200 ppm. Fill your tank with water. Pour the Elite Micro into the tank until you get 450 ppm, then add the Elite Grow until you get to 650 ppm. 

I want to add nutrients to a barrel that is not empty. How can I best do it?

This next method works best if you are adding the concentrated nutrients to a barrel that is not yet empty.

Since there was nutrient left in the barrel, we need to add water and a lesser amount of plant food so we get the same recipe as before. To do this we will have to do some simple math.

OK, so the barrel had some nutrient left in it and you filled the barrel to the top with water and the barrel is now showing 100 ppm. Let’s recap what we did when we first mixed the barrel. The vegetative recipe you initially used was a ratio of Elite Micro to Elite Grow. The water coming out of the tap has 50 ppm in it. You used ½ tsp (400 ppm) Elite Micro and ½ tsp (200 ppm) Elite Grow which gave you a total of 650 ppm/1.2 EC.

This ppm ratio of Elite Micro to Elite Grow is 2 to 1 or 66.3 percent Elite Micro and 33.3 percent Elite Grow. How do we know this? We know that ½ tsp of Micro will add approximately 400 ppm to your water and that ½ tsp of Grow will add approximately 200 ppm to your water. So, we divide 400 by 600 we get 66.66 percent. If we divide 200 by 600 we get 33.33 percent.

For our purposes we will move the decimal place two decimals to the left so our numbers will be .666. and .333. These two numbers add up to 1 or in our case 100% of the feed target.

Since the Feed target is 650 ppm and we have 100 ppm in the barrel we need to add 550 ppm of the original recipe to get us back to our feed target.

To do this we will need to times the 550 by .666 (the number that represents the Elite Micro addition). The answer is 366 ppm. Most meters read every 10 ppm so in this case round up to 370 ppm. This is how much Elite Micro to add to the barrel. With the barrel already having 100 ppm in it you will add the Micro until you get to 470 ppm. Now add the Elite Grow until you get to 650 ppm. You are now back to your original recipe and at your original feed target.

100ppm + 370ppm Elite Micro = 470ppm

470ppm + 180ppm Elite Grow = 650ppm

Now let’s do the same thing for a bloom recipe.

After adding water to the top of the barrel you have a reading of 100ppm.

You chose a recipe of ½ tsp of Elite Micro, ¼ tsp of Elite Grow and ¼ tsp of Elite Bloom.

½ tsp Micro = 400 ppm

¼ tsp of Grow = 100 ppm

¼ tsp of Bloom = 100 ppm

You need to make up 550 ppm.

Our percentage of Elite Micro needed. 400 divided by 600 = .666

Our percentage of Elite Grow needed. 100 divided by 600 = .166

Our percentage of Elite Bloom needed. 100 divided by 600 = .166

Now that we have these numbers we can figure out exactly how much of each part of the plant food to add to the barrel.

.666 times 550 = 366 ppm (round up to 370 ppm) of Micro added. This will bring you up to 470 ppm TDS (remember you had 100 ppm TDS to start with).

.166 times 550 = 91.6 ppm TDS of Grow added to the barrel. Round up to 92 ppm. If you add this to the barrel your ppm/ TDS will be 500 ppm.

.166 times 550 = 91.6 ppm TDS of Bloom added to the barrel. Round up to 92 ppm. If you add this to the barrel your ppm/ TDS will be 654 ppm.

By rounding up you will be a few ppm over your feed target. If this bothers you, you can round your numbers down.

So, by using this method you can add the Elite Micro into the tank until you get 466 ppm, then add the Elite Grow until you get to 550 ppm, then add the Elite Bloom until you get to 650 ppm.

100ppm + 366 ppm Elite Micro = 466 ppm

466ppm + 91.6 ppm Elite Grow = 558 ppm

558 ppm + 91.6 ppm Elite Bloom = 650 ppm

Whether you round up or down or both you will still be closer than using a teaspoon to measure.

If you need help you can always call us, Flying Skull takes care of its own.

What is the best range of plant food strength?

We have many growers who are using between 350 ppm and 500 ppm of TDS and having excellent results. This allows you to stretch the plant food out for your best profits. The feed charts that we publish are in teaspoons per gallon and PPM. We suggest you use PPM/TDS to create your recipes. It makes it much easier and more exacting.

Here is why:
½ tsp of Micro = 400 ppm TDS
½ tsp of Grow = 200 ppm TDS
½ tsp of Bloom = 200 ppm TDS

As you can see, if you want to run at 450 ppm using the teaspoon per gallon method you are going to have to get creative. They just don’t make teaspoon sizes between ½ and ¼.

A grower’s custom bloom recipe used at a 450 feed target might be addressed as:
300 ppm/TDS Elite Micro
75 ppm/TDS Elite Grow
75 ppm/TDS Elite Bloom

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