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5 Additions to Your Hydroponics Equipment for Achieving Expert Yields

5 Additions to Your Hydroponics Equipment for Achieving Expert Yields

Hydroponics Equipment

Why Hydroponic Systems Fail

Beginners to hydroponics are often dumbfounded as to why their system isn't providing them with the highest quality or quantity of yields. 

The reality (which is generally only appreciated by veterans) is that it's incredibly easy for rookies to make ruinous errors in their first hydroponic systems. This is due to the fact that there are myriad points of failure for an indoor grow. While some methods are more complicated than others, you'll find that this is essentially true regardless of which system you decide to go with. 

Take it from us... as a long-running hydroponics retailer local to Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, the team here at Fran's Hydroponics have certainly had our fair share of chats with novice growers who are completely unsure what they've been doing wrong!

If you're experiencing crop failure or suboptimal results in your grow, there could be a range of variables to blame. It could be coming from plain old nutrient deficiencies/toxicities, or perhaps a particularly nasty pH or EC imbalance; these are, after all, the most common culprits. 

However, other environmental conditions could also be at play - like the artificial light schedule, the availability of water, the presence of humidity, the concentration of carbon dioxide, and the mycorrhizal relationships inside of your medium. It could even come down to a lack of pruning, trimming and plant training!

Plants may be quite resilient, but they also care a lot about certain factors, and the careful management of these conditions is vital for them to thrive. At the end of the day, a hydroponics system is only as effective as its weakest link.

That's why we're going to provide you with 5 amazing, easy-to-use products that offer various ways to prevent or solve the most ubiquitous breakdowns in a hydroponic system's overall effectiveness.

Growing plants indoors is often a matter of trial and error - and while this is by no means an exhaustive list, picking up this equipment from our online store and following our directions will no doubt get you that little bit closer to the hydroponic excellence you're striving for.

Achieve Expert-Level Results With These 5 Pieces of Hydroponics Equipment!

1. Root Zone Monitoring - Bluelab Guardian Monitor Connect

BlueLab Guardian Monitor Connect

Maintaining the right pH, EC and temperature range in your root zone is essential. Particularly pH and EC! These are the most basic tools in the belt of a hydroponic farmer. If your goal is to maximise the quality and quantity of your yields, you don't want to take these factors for granted.

pH is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution. pH should always be monitored in hydroponic/aquaponic cultivations to ensure that your plants are able to uptake nutrients effectively. You can pick up pH calibration solutions (4.0 and 7.0) at our store!

EC is a measurement of the conductivity of water, which varies based upon the amount of dissolved mineral nutrients in a solution. 

Together, this information tells you a lot about the kinds of adjustments you need to make to your growing medium to keep it within a healthy range for your plants. Without carefully monitoring and adjusting these parameters, you are essentially growing blind.

This is why the BlueLab Guardian Monitor Connect is so valuable. It provides continuous accurate readings for pH, EC and temperature, 24/7. Using a 'Connect' stick, the monitor's data can be logged and viewed remotely with their software.

Easy to set up and calibrate, the Guardian Monitor with Connect is an integrated solution for keeping track of your grow. Thanks to BlueLab, it's that much easier to make necessary adjustments when you know what you're dealing with!

2. Carbon Dioxide and Humidity Management - The Green Pad CO2 Generator

The Green Pad CO2 Generator

Does your propagation setup need a boost in its ambient CO2 levels? Is the  humidity in your grow room out of control? Well, do we have the product for you! 

The Green Pad CO2 Generator is a unique and powerful way of achieving both of these aims simultaneously. Simply place a pad in your environment, and The Green Pad will do the rest!

We reckon this is a must have for growers, particularly in humid subtropical environments like Brisbane. Humidity and moisture in the air is generally an unwanted aspect of your grow room conditions, and an excess of humidity can even lead to plant rot - so why not convert this airborne moisture into something that supports the wellbeing of your plants?

Using a Green Pad to supply your plants with additional CO2 can lead to healthier organisms and higher yields!

It may sound like magic, but there's a solid science behind it. The Green Pad absorbs your room's humidity with a unique combination of carbons and acids that react to humidity in a specific way. This reaction supplements airborne moisture (H2O) into CO2 molecules!

3. Pruning - Saboten Hands-Free Scissors

Saboten Hands-Free Scissors

If you haven't put much thought into pruning and training your plants, we recommend giving it a go!

Not only is careful pruning and training a great way of keeping your organisms manageable within a compact space, but you'll no doubt be blown away with the kind of results you get when you focus the plant's energies into producing bumper yields.

You might find it hard to prune without the right equipment, though - which is why we recommend picking up the Hands-Free Scissors from Saboten. These scissors free up your hands for other tasks, such as tying string or moving branches and stems.

Saboten is a highly trusted company from Japan that has created a wide range blades and other tools for many generations. The blade on this pruner is of an extremely high quality - it's easy to sharpen if required, while also being practically maintenance-free.

4. Pest and Disease Control - EcoNeem Organic Pest Spray

Eco-Neem

If you're struggling with controlling pests in your growing environment, there's a registered organic solution out there that won't harm you or your plants. 

EcoNeem is an insecticide designed to control up to 200 different chewing and sucking insects, including caterpillars, curl grubs, grasshoppers (wingless), aphids, mites, lawn armyworm, citrus leafminer, whitefly, mealybugs and fungus gnats in soil. That's not all, though; it also controls sooty mould!

EcoNeem is derived from extracts of the neem tree (Azadirachtin A & B), and is mixed with other plant oils to enhance its stability and shelf-life. It works in multiple ways, with the two main actions being the suppression of insect appetite (they starve to death) and a restricting of their growth (they're unable to moult successfully). Plant damage stops as soon as the insect ingests EcoNeem, but insect death may take several days depending on their size and type.

EcoNeem is safe for pets, birds, lizards and beneficial insects including bees. Avoid using it around ponds or in aquaponics, as it can be harmful to fish.

5. Organic Amendments and Hydroponic Additives - Southern No Till

If you're growing in soil, your topdressing and amendments matter. After all, you're managing a complex living ecosystem - you want to keep it happy and healthy!

Using organic hydroponic additives and soil amendments is easier than ever with the Southern No-Till range from Easy As Organics.

REGENERATE - Nutrient and Mineral Blend

An excellent way to amend no till beds, build new soil or recycle old soil from a single blend of carefully selected ingredients.

By topdressing or amending old soil with Regenerate, you are giving your soil a wide range of raw nutrients that microorganisms will slowly consume and make available to the plant when the plant needs it.

MYCOBIOME - Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Inoculant

Mycobiome establishes a symbiotic association with nearly all species of plants via their roots.

Mycorrhizal association increases root biomass, improves nutrient availability, enhances plant health and vigour, maximises yield potential, improves tolerance to disease, drought and transplant shock, and reduces water and fertiliser use.

KELP MEAL - Stimulating Plant Health and Growth

The beneficial growth promoting hormones in concentrated kelp extracts are destroyed during the heat and chemical processing. Powerful growth promoting hormones naturally contained in whole, raw kelp meal include cytokinins, gibberellins, auxins, indoles and many others.

This whole kelp meal provides a balanced spectrum of minerals and micro-nutrients, with over 60 trace elements.

WORM CASTINGS - Enhancing Soil Biology

High-quality worm castings, lightly blended with aged worm bedding to prolong biological viability and ease of handling. Worm castings mature and improve with time before use.

Rich in bioavailable nutrients, they increase the yield and quality of crops by improving soil structure, suppressing pests and diseases, and increasing nutrient uptake.

INSECT FRASS - Increases Nutrient Effectiveness

Insect Frass is derived from the castings of black soldier fly larvae. This product is made by Bardee in a state of the art, lab-controlled facility in Victoria, Australia that closes a loop on food waste.

The end product is a consistent and potent bio-fertiliser, rich in organic nutrients and plant available chitin for plant pest resistance. It also contributes to increased plant biomass, and a boost in beneficial soil biology.

Insect Frass improves organic fertiliser effectiveness as well as N and P availability due to a low C/N ratio. Its slow release nitrogen proves particularly helpful for longer season crops.

NEEM MEAL - Botanical Source of Nutrients

Neem Meal has a balanced macro and micro nutrient profile, and contains pest-resisting limonoids which act as an anti-feedent - much like Eco-Neem, it disrupts breeding and laying of pest eggs.

Neem meal also assists in nitrogen fixation by reducing ammonium and nitrate oxidisers. 

WHOLE LEAF ALOE VERA - For Horticultural Use

Organically grown and certified chemical free, this whole leaf aloe vera is sun dried and processed for complete preservation of growth promoting compounds. It's optimised for cuttings, seeds and foliar treatment.

Where to Buy Your Hydroponics Equipment

Hydroponics Equipment

If that wasn't obvious by this point, we'll give you a hint... from us, of course!

We're an Australian hydroponics retailer that supplies an impressive range of products for pretty much all of your hydroponic-related needs - we're a one-stop shop! For fast delivery, exceptional service and competitive prices, look no further than Fran's Hydroponics.

You can pick up all of the items we've listed in this article at our store - just follow the links we've provided. 

If you're just getting started with hydroponics and you're overwhelmed with all of the equipment options presented to you, be sure to check out our article on the five must-have accessories and tools you'll need to kit out your hydroponic grow tent. It's a great place to begin!

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