The popularity of iDOO hydroponic systems is constantly growing. For this reason, users have more and more questions about the maintenance of these devices.
You need to add nutrients to iDOO hydroponics every time you change the water. The water needs to be changed every 7 to 15 days. This means that you should add 5 ml of nutrients from each bottle for every liter of water, at least twice a month.
Also, as the plants grow, they will consume water and the water level will constantly drop. You need to refill the water and add 5 milliliters of fertilizers A and B for every liter of fresh water.
What is plant food made up of?
The plant food from iDOO comes in solid form. This means that you have to dilute it with water, but we will talk about this in the next chapter.
The second feature is that the fertilizer is divided into two bottles. Each bottle has a cap with a measuring scale. Below you will find out how much and what nutrients each bottle contains.
A Solution Composition
B Solution Composition
In dry form, the plant food can retain its properties for 2 years. After you dilute it with water it should be used for 5 months. After the bottles are empty, you will need to get new fertilizer.
Read also: How do I choose the best hydroponic system?
How much plant food to add and how to do it right?
Before using the plant food, it must be diluted in water. Pour water almost to the edge of each bottle, leaving just a little space. Then shake the bottles well and leave them for half an hour. After that shake them again.
At the start, you need to add 5 milliliters of plant food from each bottle for every liter of water. Do the same after each water change. iDOO recommends changing the water in their units every 7-14 days. In other words, fertilizer should also be added every 7-14 days.
For example, for iDOO 12-pods where the tank holds 4 liters of water, you need to add 20 milliliters of plant food from each bottle. For the iDOO 7, which has a 5-liter tank, you need to add 25 milliliters of fertilizers A and B.
Also, the plants will constantly suck the water out of the tank and you need to refill it constantly. For every gallon of water refilled, add 5 milliliters from each bottle. Below I have a table to make it easier for you to understand.
|1L||5ml A + 5 ml B|
|2L||10ml A + 10 ml B|
|3L||15ml A + 15 ml B|
|4L||20ml A + 20 ml B|
Too much plant food
I am often asked if it is possible to get a larger yield by adding more plant food to the hydroponic system water. My answer is no you can’t. Plants have a certain growth rate and too much fertilizer will not increase either the growth rate or plant size.
The recommended amount is enough to produce a good harvest. If you fertilize more than iDOO recommends, you risk losing your plants.
The reason is that the fertilizer is made in the form of salts which can easily be diluted in water. If the salt concentration is too high, it can burn the roots. As a result, the leaves will quickly turn brown.
If this happens in your hydroponics, immediately pull the plants out of the water and rinse the roots in clean water. Next, pour the old water out of the bowl. Add fertilizer to the water at half the recommended amount. Then put the plants back in place.
Not enough plant food
Sometimes it can happen that the plants in the iDOO suffer from a lack of fertilizer. If you follow all the manufacturer’s recommendations, this will never happen, but you should be aware of it.
The plants will only suffer from a serious nutritional deficiency if you have not given any nutrients at all. This will make the plants grow a lot slower. In addition, the color of the leaves will be pale and the stems will be brittle.
To fix this you just have to put plant food in the water and that’s it.
Another case is when you do not add plant food after refilling the water. But at the same time, you continually add plant food after every water change. In this case, the plants will grow normally, although not as fast.
In general, it has to be said here that if you want a great harvest, then stick to the recommendations and add 5 milliliters of plant food for every liter of water.
Are there alternatives to iDOO plant food?
Plant food from iDOO is not the cheapest on the market. Moreover, it is not very convenient to use. Firstly, because it has to be diluted in water. Secondly, the bottles have uncomfortable dispensers.
For this reason, I started looking for alternatives and this is what I found.
AeroGarden Liquid Nutrients
You can easily find AeroGarden’s plant food on sale. One liter of this fertilizer doesn’t cost much more than 200 milliliters of iDOO fertilizer.
The AeroGarden plant food comes in a single canister in liquid form. You do not need to mix it with water as it is ready to use.
It is an all-purpose fertilizer and can provide everything your plants need in any hydroponic system.
General Hydroponics FloraSeries Hydroponic Nutrient
Besides the smaller hydroponic units, I have larger ones I keep in my greenhouse. For these, I use General Hydroponics pro-fertilizer. For me, it is more cost-effective.
The FloraSeries Hydroponic Nutrient comes in three 1-gallon cans. This is enough for me for a very long time.
However, if you have 1-2 small hydroponic units, it doesn’t make sense to buy the FloraSeries Hydroponic Nutrient. In that case, you are better off with AeroGarden Liquid Nutrients.