What is the ideal grow room temperature? 
Plants such as tomatoes do well between 68˚ - 75˚ F, or 20 - 22˚ C. Other plants, like lettuces, prefer cooler temperatures ranging between 60 - 65˚ F. Orchids and succulents like temperatures of 80˚ F or higher. When temperatures are higher than this, you may experience more pest problems, reduced dissolved oxygen available in the plant root zone, media dry-out, and increased water consumption which can cause a toxic concentration of nutrients. Cooler than recommended temperatures may prohibit growth.

What is the ideal nutrient water temperature? Should it be cooler than the grow room?
The ideal water temperature in hydroponics is from 68°F - 75°F (20°C - 24°C). Oxygen is less available at higher temperatures.

How often should I change my reservoir water? 
We recommend changing out your reservoir water completely every 7 - 10 days. Even though you can top off evaporated water by measuring and not exceeding overall PPMs, you can’t measure the ratio of different nutrients left in the water after plants have used part of them up. (For instance, plants may need / deplete more nitrogen during some growing stages.) The only way to ensure optimal growing success is to know exactly the ratio of NPKs you’re feeding by starting fresh with a fresh batch of nutrient solution.

Are your products organic?
Organic means derived from compounds like manure, compost or worm castings, rather than inert compounds like minerals or salts. We process minerals and salts after they are mined to deliver liquid fertilizers that are immediately accessible as food for your plant roots and which run clean without clogging hydroponic equipment. Many of our products also contain organic compounds in addition to minerals. Some of our products are completely organic and OMRI listed, but all of our products are designed to be as natural as possible. We believe a more important question to ask is whether or not a product is contaminated with pesticides or toxic compounds. Our products are not.

Which nutrients or supplements should I use to increase flower size?
You will see from our labels that all of our bloom products contain high phosphorus and potassium levels (the P and K in NPK) which is what you want, particularly when growing in soil. In soils, beneficial microorganisms compete for potassium, so you need even more of it.

I’m having a problem with scum in my reservoir, what do I do?
We recommend covering your nutrient water reservoir with a white lid to decrease light and therefore decrease the likelihood of unwanted algae, bacteria or fungal growth. Keep your room and water at the coolest recommended temperature for your plants. Clean your reservoirs between crops and plant stages of growth. You can use bleach or hydrogen peroxide to clean them, but rinse well to remove all cleaning product residue before growing again.

Which Botanicare nutrient system would be best for me to use?
We’ve created 5 different base nutrients for different uses and purposes. CNS17 is the simplest synthetic one-part with all of your macro and micro nutrients included, no Cal-Mag required. Pure Blend Pro one-part contains nearly 80% organic and natural contents which enhance flavors and aromas. KIND is a completely unique three-part synthetic which requires no Cal-Mag and allows the grower the most complete flexibility. Growilla and Pure are dry organic nutrients which deliver excellent results outdoors in soil and in large containers.

Should I use all the supplements you manufacture?
The short answer is, no. Some products like Pure Blend Tea and Liquid Karma are fairly similar, but they were developed for different reasons. We recommend Pure Blend Tea be used with KIND to add flavors and aromas, and Liquid Karma be used with Pure Blend Pro base nutrients to add additional bio-stimulants. Check our website or product pages and information sheets for clarification--our website has some excellent Pre-Developed Recipes for you.

Which grow medium do you recommend?
We were one of the first companies to recommend coco coir for growers, and we do think it delivers excellent results. We have 4 different formulas to choose from - Cocogro, Readygro Aeration, Readygro Moisture and Slacker. Of course you can always use the standard inert mediums if you prefer them, like rockwool, clay pellets, perlite, volcanic rock, etc.

Are your plastics food-safe?
Our trays and reservoirs are made of BPA-free plastic, but they are not rated for food storage. Plastics, like ubiquitous plastic pots, are used to grow all kinds of food. But these plastics are not designed to store or serve food. Our trays are made from extra thick, high-impact, BPA-free ABS plastic and have a smooth finish for easy cleaning.

How do I check my pH levels, and when should I check PPMs?
With most hydro growing methods, check the pH and PPMs of your nutrient solution every time you feed, or every other day. With soil, be sure to check the pH of the run-off solution, too. With drip systems, or to be the most thorough, you should also check the grow medium itself. For instance, with rockwool, squeeze from where most roots are present (middle or bottom of the grow medium) and test pH of the resulting liquid. Be sure to check during the day as levels can vary from day to night.

When should I adjust my pH levels?
Check and adjust pH after you have mixed and diluted your nutrient solution. Adjust pH level before adding it to your reservoir in order to achieve maximum nutrient availability.

What should my pH level be?
We recommend a pH level between 5.5 - 6.2 for hydro (except coco), between 5.8 - 6.2 for coco coir and between 6.2 - 6.7 for soil. Keep in mind that the pH scale is algorithmic-a reading of 6 is 10 times more alkaline than a reading of 5 - so make changes very slowly.

Do you have a nutrient or supplement that is pH stable so that when I adjust my pH, it will stay?
You will always to have to check your pH and adjust it to ensure best uptake of nutrients and the highest health of your plants because of constantly changing growing conditions.

Which conversion factor does Botanicare use in its nutrient calculations to obtain PPMs?
Botanicare uses the .7 factor.

What is the difference between PPM, EC and TDS?
These are acronyms used in the hydroponic industry related to measuring nutrients or “salts” in the water or mediums that plants grow in. TDS stands for total dissolved solids, PPM stands for parts per million, and EC stands for electrical conductivity. Most meters can be set to measure your preferred method.

What should my PPMs or ECs be at each stage of growth?
This really varies, because if you are growing in an accelerated environment, such as adding CO2, you can run much higher PPMs (meaning you can feed plants at much higher concentration rates.) The amount of nutrients plants can uptake also depends on their stage of growth, i.e. smaller plants need less food. See our nutrient calculator, or more information in our Hydro 101 section.

When should I add nutrients?
If you are a beginning grower, it is best to follow the recommended feeding schedule for the base nutrients that you have chosen. You’ll find Pre-Developed Recipes right under the Nutrient Calculator on botanicare.com that we’ve tested and verified. Use our Nutrient Calculator as you gain more experience growing, as it gives growers a lot of flexibility.

Should I top off with straight water or with nutrients added?
If you are growing in a system that re-uses nutrient solution, like with the ebb and flow method, you may experience a lot of evaporation. You can “top off” or replace this evaporated water by adding a diluted-down 20 - 25% strength solution of nutrient water. Remember that you will have no way of knowing how much of each nutrient (like nitrogen) has actually been used by the plants (and is therefore depleted in the reservoir water.) We recommend completely changing out and replacing all the nutrient solution every 7 - 10 days so you know exactly the ratios you are feeding the plants.

Can I use humic or fulvic acid with Liquid Karma or Pure Blend Pro?
No, these acids are already included in both of these products.  

Can I use hydrogen peroxide with your nutrients and supplements?
We do not recommend this when growing in soil or coco coir, since it will kill off beneficial microorganisms that your plants need in the rhizosphere (root zone) to thrive. It is definitely counter-productive to use hydrogen peroxide with any of our products containing living, organic micro-organisms as it will kill them off.

What is the difference between Pure Blend Tea and Pure Blend Pro?
Pure Blend Tea is an organic and natural supplement which can be fed and added with many base nutrient systems. Pure Blend Pro is a top-of-the-line, complete one-part base nutrient system containing a lot of natural and organic compounds which add flavors and aromas. At higher concentrations, Pure Blend Tea can be used as a nutrient for light feeding plants like leafy greens or herbs, but it is not recommended as a complete nutrient for fast-flowering annuals.

What are the best tools for opening and dispensing product from your larger size liquids?
· 5-gallon cap - Container Wrench for 70mm Caps & 3/4" Slotted Drum Plugs.
· 15’s & 55’s cap - Container Wrench for Bung Plugs & 3/4" Slotted Drum Plugs.
· 15 & 55 Dispenser – Zee Line Part# 375 hand pump siphon.