Finding Hydroponic Supplies.

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Macro fertilizers.
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Minor nutrients and Trace Elements.
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Electronic timer.
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Obtaining Supplies:
Mono Ammonium Phosphate, Calcium Nitrate and Potassium Nitrate are generally available from bulk fertilizer distributors. In Australia only you can find a local fertilizer distributor by opening the following URL by clicking Here and entering your Postcode. You will then be presented with a list of local suppliers from Ruralco, a major fertilizer supplier. This is one reliable supplier, although others may exist.

Iron Chelate (Iron-EDTA) is generally available from Plant Nurseries and Garden Shops in 250 g packets. Ensure the product you purchase is golden-yellow in colour, and not brown (which is unsuitable).

Epsom's Salts, also known as Magnesium Sulphate. Do not buy this material from Plant Nurseries or Garden Shops as it contains too much Iron and will turn Solution #1 black in three days. Instead, purchase Epsom's Salts from the "Personal Care" section of your local supermarket. Ensure it is BP grade. (BP = British Pharmacopoeia).

Borax is available from the "Cleansers" section of your local supermarket, in 500 g wide mouthed plastic jars.

The other trace elements, Manganese Sulphate, Zinc Sulphate, Copper Sulphate and Ammonium Molybdate are generally available from fine chemical suppliers in 500 g wide mouthed plastic bottles. One supplier is Ajax FineChem in most Capital cities. Try to purchase Technical or Laboratory Reagent grade rather than Analytical Reagent grade, which is very pure and quite expensive. Copper Sulphate, also known as "Blue stone", and Zinc Sulphate are available from some hardware stores and plant nurseries. Purchasing 500 g of each of these chemicals may be expensive, but they are going to last you an awful long time. Another idea is to buy with a friend and share the chemicals, and the cost, equally.

Please be aware that prepared Trace Element mixes may not be what you think they are ... some are more than 97% fine sand, and are really designed to be sprinkled on your lawn, rather than used for hydroponics. If you do purchase a Trace Element mix, and it contains Iron, and that Iron is in the Ferrous form, be aware that Starting Formula Solution #1 will blacken within three days if made from that mix. The key is to use Solution #2 containing Iron Chelate (Iron-EDTA) as your sole source of soluble Iron. Unless the Iron is in a soluble form, how is the plant going to use it?

Table Salt (Sodium Chloride) is needed is such small quantities that many water supplies contain sufficient salt, even though you may not be able to taste it. Just add a pinch of salt from the kitchen.

Hardware:

pH meters, buffer solutions and conductivity meters for both home and commercial hydroponic growers. This company stocks a wide range of both pH and conductivity meters and will deliver your order anywhere in the world.

Pumps. Pumps from both Onga and Davey are considered very reliable and are available from pump suppliers across Australia.

Electronic Timers. The Author's timer is a HPM 7-day digital timer with backup batteries to hold your settings when it is not plugged in to a power point. Available from Bunnings and other stockists.

The next page has some Frequently Asked Questions about hydroponics and in-soil gardening.

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