Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The First Free Hydroponic Nutrient Calculator Program :o)

After a lot of work and effort today I have the pleasure to share with you my latest development in the area of hydroponic nutrient design and creation, a totally new and free hydroponic nutrient calculator which I programmed using Delphi. This piece of software is absolutely unique and I can guarantee that you will not find any other similar program on the internet. The piece of code I am about to release was the natural evolution of my excel spreadsheet (which comes with my free ebook) and now has a ton more features which should make hydroponic nutrient calculation for absolutely anyone a total breeze. On today's post I want to share with you this program as well as a general description of its scope, uses and improvements over the excel spreadsheet available for nutrient calculation within my ebook.

One of my main objectives has always been to design and prepare my own hydroponic nutrient solutions and to help others do the same thing. Preparing your own solutions is not only something that gives you absolute control over the composition of the nutrients you are giving to your plants but it also allows you to make absolutely HUGE saving on commercial fertilizers. Using commercial liquid concentrated solutions the cost of a hydroponic garden is usually above 0.20 USD per gallon while if you make your own nutrients this price can drop as low as 0.01 USD per gallon. Additionally people from less developed countries where hydroponics are not very well established will be able to greatly benefit from making their own blends with this sometimes being the only way to have a hydroponic crop.
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The program I am releasing today will allow you to calculate the amount of salts you need to weight to arrive to a given hydroponic formula. The features of the program and its advantages over the spreadsheet previously available are highlighted below :
  • Ability to calculate weights of salts for any given hydroponic formulation
  • No need to have excel :o) any Windows platform will do.
  • Flexibility ! Choose which salts you want to use to makeup your nutrient solution
  • The program automatically determines which salts are better than others or pairs them up adequately if you have several sources for the same nutrient
  • Input the volume you want in Liters, gallons or cubic meters
  • The program automatically determines if you need or don't need to prepare concentrated micro-nutrient and Fe solutions depending on the size of your reservoir
  • You can also choose to add all salts directly if you have scales with the necessary precision
  • Concentrated A+B solutions can be prepared
  • Save your solutions ! You can easily save your recipes to a text file for later printing or reference
  • Save salt selection
  • Select water quality parameters
  • Automatically corrects the weights of salts against your water quality analysis
  • Example recipe obtained using the program and the list of salts I personally use (although you may change those salts for others depending on where you live)
  • Automatically check for new updates
  • And many, many more ! :o)
As you see, this new program is a great leap forward in custom nutrient solution design and preparation for the average hydroponic hobbyist and small business owner. Hopefully with this program you will be able to prepare your own solutions or improve your previous calculations if you had been using the spreadsheet. I hope that you enjoy the new program and leave any feedback you have here. As always I will be glad to take into account and implement your requests :o)


Please Note that the Calculator is NO LONGER hosted here. Please follow this link to see the latest changes and download the latest version of the calculator

42 comments:

  1. Hi Daniel,

    This is really a great work and it give complete flexibility to the user. I really appreciate and was looking for some thing like this. I just noticed one problem, when i open in my Window PC (resolution is 1440 by 900 pixels), i am not able to see the full screen of the calculator, below Manganese sulfate and zinc sulfate.

    Regards,
    Raurs

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Ramesh,

    Thank you very much for your comment :o) Indeed, some people have also pointed out this problem and I will definitely have it fixed for the next version release. In the meantime you can use the calculator by temporarily changing your resolution to 1280x1024, it may look a little bit stretched but it will allow you to use it to its full extent. Thank you very much for your comment and interest !

    I hope you enjoy the app a lot ,

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

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  3. Nice one! I was very surprised this morning, when I saw your calculator! You just mentioned yesterday it will come :)

    Anyway, I have the same problem as Ramesh, my laptop has the resolutin 1366x768, and I cannot see the bottom of the window. A scrollbar can solve the problem!

    Congratulation Daniel!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Novak,

    Thank you very much for your congratulations :o) I am glad you like the software. Obviously a scrollbar could fix this issue but I am doing a few additional implementations so I will release an update with this fix and some new features once I am done :o). You can simply change your resolution to 1280x1024 to use it in the meantime (or use a different computer?). Thank you very much again for your comment ! I hope you find the calculator useful,

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello Everyone,

    The calculator has just been updated to version 0.2 :o) Here are the fixes and additions you will find :

    - Fixed Resolution Problem

    - Changed to tabbed interface for easier use and easier addition of future features (very easy to add new tabs :o))

    - Added Ammonium Molybdates (ortomolybdate and heptamolybdate) to salts list

    - Added the ability to save and load formulations through a drop down menu. All ppm nutrient levels and solution volumes are saved with the name you input. You can then load them simply by selecting them from the menu. If you close the program simply click the "load formulations" button to get them back. You can also remove them using the "remove selected" button.

    -You can also add external formulations, simply place the file of the formulation in the folder where the program is located in, input the name next to the "add external" button, click it and the formulations should appear in the drop down menu. You can save your formulations and share the files with anyone you want :o) files for formulations are saved within the same folder as the program.

    Well, I hope that all these changes make the calculator much more useful and user-friendly for everyone out there. Hopefully it will also enable us to easily share a lot of formulations :o). I am also implementing other features including the "reverse" (input salts, fertilizer, etc, -> get ppm) and a pH and EC prediction module.

    Thank you very much for all your comments and support :o) Please let me know what you think !

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Daniel,

    This enhancement is very good and user friendly.

    I have a question.

    1. when we get an error for a particular component. For example in example_recipe.txt, we have error of -35.45% for Ca. How do we handle this.


    --Regards,
    Raurs

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Raurs,

    Thank you for your comment :o) I am glad you find the implementation user friendly !

    The error situation can be handled in different ways depending on whether or not you find the error acceptable. For example on the default recipe you might find a 35% excess of calcium (with the total being around 270ppm) too high so you might consider reducing both calcium and nitrogen (Nitrate) requirements of your formulation to have a more balanced solution.

    Of course in order to calculate the formulations one or two elements must contain errors to have some degrees of freedom for calculation, the nature of these errors is often small or due to the actual makeup of the formulation and the salts used.

    The next version will be released with a bunch of standard formulations so that people will get a better idea of what solution they need and which one best fits their salta availability.

    Thank you very much again for your comment :o) Please leave any additional feedback you may have,

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Daniel,

    Thank you for this super tool. I am restarting my Hydroponics for the year now that the harsh Summer in India is over.

    I have one suggestion. Can you include a purity of salt as one of the input values (default 100%)? The reason is here in India getting quality salts is difficult and very expensive.

    Thanks,
    Srikanth

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Srikanth,

    Thank you very much for your comment :o) I am glad you like this free tool I have made.

    Certainly, I will add a purity feature when I release the next version of the calculator,

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  10. Awesome tool. Now I can finally look into mixing my own nutrients. Looking forward to the next release.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Daniel,

    Couple of bugs to report, I guess.

    1) I need 0 S. When I enter 0 and click the "Calculate Formula" button, I get the error "Floating point division by zero.".

    2) If I leave the value of S empty and click the "Calculate Formula" button, I get the error
    '" is not a valid floating point value.".

    Can you please look into this as well.

    Thanks,
    Srikanth

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Srinkanth,

    Thank you for your comment and bug reporting :o) The fact is that the program will not accept 0 for anything except N as ammonium due to the fact that everything else is necessary to achieve a formulation useful in hydroponics.

    If you don't want to use S, just set S to a very low value (like 0.01) and the program will just warn you if you don't have any S containing salts but the end results will have an S value of 0. I will fix this for the next release. Thanks again for your suggestion,

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello Everyone,

    After a lot of hard work I am glad to announce the next version of this free hydroponic nutrient calculator which from now on will be called "hydroponic buddy". I made the following improvements/fixes/additions :

    - Added Custom Salt/Fertilizer (you can now add any salt or fertilizer you want with a custom composition)

    - Added Purity Feature (salt purity can now be specified)

    - Added "salt to formulation" feature, you can now input a given mass of salt in grams and a given volume and get the final ppm concentration. This is very useful if you want to examine a fertilizer you are currently using or just do manual modification to the automatically calculated formulas

    -Custom salts/fertilizers can also be used in conjunction with other salts/fertilizers when calculating nutrient solutions through the "direct addition" method. Using the other method this cannot be done because compatibility issues cannot be addressed knowing only percentage compositions.

    - Added concentrated A+B type solution preparation. The program now has a "preparation mode" where weights and instructions are given to prepare A and B stock solutions which are then used to prepare the final reservoir.

    -Program automatically checks salt compatibility of salts in A+B solutions, it will warn you if you are attempting to use incompatible salts.

    -Problem with zero divide errors when nutrient levels are set at 0 has now been fixed.

    -Problem related with inaccurate calculation when using gallons has always been fixed.

    You can download the latest version using the link provided on this post :o) I hope you enjoy it a lot ! Make sure you leave any comments, suggestions or bugs you may find,

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  14. Small fixes/additions :

    -Fixed a small problem where the custom salt addition form had Mn and Zn interchanged. Mn and Zn now match.

    -I forgot to mention I added a pH and EC module. These predictions only work with the default salt as the ionic nature of custom salts is not known by the program.

    Please leave any comments !

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fixed a nasty bug that caused some very erroneous A+B calculations when certain salt combinations were used. The latest version with this fix has been uploaded and A+B calculations now work well. Please update your calculator or you won't be able to perform adequate A+B calculations !

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hello Everyone,

    I am glad to announce the release of version 0.7 of my hydroponic calculator (hydroponic buddy). The new version features many improvements over 0.5 which are detailed below (thank you for all the suggestions by the way !) :

    - added option to change from grams to ounces
    - added EC prediction for custom salts and for salt to formulation calculations
    - added option to save selections of salts ( only works for included salts)
    - added Yara brand calcium nitrate
    - added option to prepare custom amount of stock solution (for A+B calculations)
    - added cubic meters for stock solution calculations
    - highlighted stock solution volumes in RED in the results page to make sure the user sees them when doing A+B calculations


    - New section called Nutrient Log !!!
    - Log your pH and EC levels as a function of time
    - Plot charts
    - analyze your results
    - the analyzer also gives you some observations if it notes a lot of deviation or variation on your EC/pH levels.
    -the analyzer also tells you when to change your reservoir or top off with water !
    - You can also use the nutrient log for run to waste systems using the checkbox included
    - analyze the average/highest/lowest difference between in and out pH/EC levels (for run to waste systems).
    - Save data for future reference.

    Please leave any comments, observations or suggestions you may have regarding the current version :o) Thank you very much again for your interest and for helping me make my software better !

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello Everyone,

    Today I have done a minor update to version 0.72. These are the changes :

    - Added a checkbox to automatically place calculation weight results into the mass fields on the "Nutrient Salts Used" tab, this will make the tweaking of initially calculated values a lot easier. It will also allow you to confirm the formulation you will be finally getting.

    - Added Current time button on the nutrient log. This will allow you to get the current time automatically without having to input it manually

    - Added a Day to Day checkbox on the nutrient log which allows you to enter values of pH and EC without entering dates (the program assumes a one day separation between data logs).

    - Made some minor graphical changes to the nutrient log section

    - Automatically check for software updates feature :o) !! With this feature you will be able to easily check within the calculator if you have or don't have the latest version.

    I hope to introduce a lot of additional content before version 1.0 comes out. Right now I am working on some additive features and the addition of about 20 more salts to the default list within the program. Thank you very much again for all your help and suggestions :o)

    I would love to know how you are using the calculator and how I can make it better for you ! Stay tuned for more tutorials on my blog :o)

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello Everyone,

    Good news today :o) Version 0.8 of the calculator is finally out and with it I have made several important fixes and additions.

    These are the changes for this version :

    - Added a tutorial button on the "welcome page" which contains links to all relevant tutorials within my blog.

    - Added Si, Na and Cl. All of these elements are now tracked and their conductivity contributions are measured. However Cl is not included as a "recipe element" since additions of chloride ions are never necessary due to the fact that almost all water sources contain it within the necessary ranges for plant growth (chlorides are also widely present as salt impurities). However the calculator will tell you the contributions of Cl in ppm of salts within the bottom left corner box on the results' page.

    - Added 28 new default salts, acids and bases including potassium and sodium silicates, sodium nitrate, zinc sulfate monohydrate, nitric acid, sulfuric acid, ammonium sulfate, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, some carbonates, many complexes, many transition metal nitrates, potassium hydroxide, etc.

    -Implemented new windowed settings for the preparation modes (direct addition and concentrated A+B)

    - The default preparation mode now allows you to choose between "direct addition + Fe and micro concentrated solutions" or "adding all salts directly". This is useful if you have high precision scales or if your reservoir size allows you to weight everything directly with enough precision without having to prepare concentrated solutions.

    - Changed EC prediction mode implementation to an empirical model I came up with that gives results closer to reality.

    - Introduced "water quality" input with the ability to save and load different water quality settings. These measurements are used when your formulation is calculated to adapt your formulation against your particular water type.

    - I also removed the pH prediction module because the simplifications it was based on are no longer valid with such a wide array of acids and bases. Sadly implementing a precise pH prediction method requires the solution of complex mathematical systems (if phosphates and carbonates are used it requires the solution of a system of about 8-12 non-linear equations) which my calculator is not capable of doing. I tried to use the freely available Maxima libraries but failed to implement a reliable solution. However I believe this feature is not that necessary and probably not worth all the trouble.

    Hopefully this new calculator version will be useful to those of you who haven't been able to use the calculator due to its previously smaller salt database and lack of a water quality feature.

    I hope you enjoy this new release a lot ! :o) Please send me any suggestions or observations that will help me make the software better.

    Thank you very much again for all your interest :o)

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you very much for your continued effort and improvements. A big THANK YOU for including the 'Water Quality' feature.

    Regards,
    Srikanth

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hello Everyone,

    Thank you very much for your comment Srinkanth. I hope that you find this version very helpful !

    I also wanted to comment that a new version (v0.81) has just been released. This new version includes some fixes related to some of the new transition metal nitrates as well as some problems that caused errors when using the Ounces instead of grams (just for the salts to formulation part).

    Thank you very much for all your interest and support :o)

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Daniel

    I've been continuing to use your program, but one thing that doesn't seem to be working for me, or is not clear how to use, is the "quickload list"
    "add external" current/selected ans "Save results"

    I'm really not sure how these work, I've tried to save some formulations in the past but to no avail. Is there an explanation how to use this anywhere? thanks!

    -hydro follower

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Christin,

    Thank you for your comment :o) I will now explain what each one of those features does :

    - Quick Load List : This list includes all formulations (formulations are different from results !!) that have been saved. In order to populate the list with your previously saved formulations you must click the "load formulations button"

    - Add Current : Adds the current formulation (desired ppm values for each element) to the Quick Load list. In the future you will need to click the "load formulations button" to have this formulation available when the program starts.When you use this a file is created within the calculator's folder with the formulation (this file can be shared with other users who can add it with the "add external" button)

    - Add External : Adds an external formulation saved as a file within the same folder as the calculator's executable to the drop down list. In order to recover this later on you will need to populate the quick load list using the "load formulations" button.

    - Save Results : Saves a text file with the name chosen on the Edit box in the same folder as where the calculator's executable is located. This text file includes the RESULTS of the calculation (salts, weights, etc) so that they can be printed and used in an easier fashion when actually preparing the formulations.

    I hope this clears it up :o) Thank you very much again for your comments and interest,

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello Everyone,

    Just a small update to v0.82. These are some of the changes :

    - fixed nitrate assignation problem that caused sodium nitrate to be used as main nitrate source despite selecting potassium and calcium nitrates

    - fixed a problem with nitric acid which contributed ammonium instead of nitrate when using the "salt to formulations" tab.

    - added ammonium phosphate to the default salts

    - fixed a few other minor bugs

    I hope you enjoy this small fixes :o)

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Daniel,

    thank you very much for your effort and for providing this tool. But there is a small problem on german computer systems. The Germans use a decimal comma "," rather than a decimal point "." to seperate the fractional from the integral part of a number. So, on German systems, the given formulas, even the pre-loaded values on the "Desired Formulation" tab won't work. The program says: "0.01" is not a valid floating point value." Germans have to replace the "." by a "," to make ist work.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hello Robert,

    Thank you for your comment and for pointing out that problem :o) I have just released v0.821 which includes a fix that makes the program use "." as a decimal point even if the system defined decimal separator is ",". This will allow you to run the calculator without any problem regardless of the system. Let me know if it is working correctly for you now :o) Thanks again for your comment,

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  26. It' working now, thank you :).

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hello Everyone,

    I just wanted to let you know that version 0.85 of hydrobuddy has just been released. This new version includes several important additions :

    - A checkbox has been added to the "Salts to Formulations" tab enabling the automatic copying of the results to the "desired formulations" tab. This will make the calculator easier to use for those using this feature extensively to design their solutions.

    - Instrumental error has now been implemented :o) This feature is very important since it allows you to see the effect of the precision of your volume and weight measuring instruments on your actual concentrations. For example you may get a 5% error for a salt but a +/- 10% error due to your scale's precision meaning that the calculation's error is negligible compared to your instrument's capabilities. These errors will be shown on the results page next to the regular calculation error.

    - A new button to select these instrument precision parameters has just been added to the "desired formulations" tab so that you can select the precision of your scale and volume measuring instrumentation (defaults are +/- 1L for volume and +/- 0.01g for weight).

    - The calculator will also worn you if your scale is too imprecise for the formulation concentrations and volumes you want to prepare. It will tell you the exact element where the problem is found and it will advice you to increase the solution's volume or your scale's precision.

    I hope that you can now enjoy this new features and the additional functionality they bring to the calculator :o). Thank you very much again for all your interest !

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello Everyone,

    I have just released v0.851 to include a small fix dealing with the use of Potassium silicate.

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hello Everyone,

    I have just released v0.852 with some small fixed. Some broken tutorial links have been fixed as well as an error that caused Na and Cl not to be taken into account in the EC estimations when using the "Salts to Formulation" tab. Thank you very much for all your interest and visits !

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hello Daniel,

    Your calculator is easy to use. i had a little problem using ammonium nitrate...i'd change the ammonium ppm, and the salt weight would stay the same.

    i've made a formula NPK 275-101-395, 219 Ca, 84 Mg, Bo 5, Mn 5, Zn 3, Cu 1, Mo 0.09. i use RO water, potassium nitrate, calcium nitrate, iron eddha, magnesium sulphate, potassium phosphate, boric acid, manganese sulphate, zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, and chelated molybdenum. i get precipitate. part a seems to be iron, and part be seems to be potassium and copper. why is this? is the calculator allowing me to add more salts than is soluble?

    Best regards

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hello Chris,

    Thank you very much for your comment :o) I will fix this problem with ammonium nitrate with the next release. It seems to be that the calculator attempts to fulfill nitrate and not ammonium requirements with this salt so it does not see that it requires to use it when nitrate requirements are already fulfilled.

    The calculator does not allow you to add more salts than they are soluble and your ppm values show that you are within the solubility limits of all salts at acid pH. However you have to consider that potassium phosphate is a very basic salt, try to add the potassium phosphate first and then adjust the pH to about 4 with an acid, then add the rest of the salts. It is important here to consider pH since many salts to precipitate as pH increases.

    I hope this helps you ! :o)

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you Daniel!

    Will adding phosphoric acid to a prepared stock solution dissolve the precipitate?

    Part A has about 50 ml of precipitate in 1L of stock solution. In what order should I be mixing salts? To what pH do I set the solution?

    I really appreciate your help!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hello Chris,

    Thank you for your email :o) Phosphoric acid is not a good choice since it will add phosphate and solubility may get more complicated. I would add nitric acid instead until the solution clears up (usually setting this concentrated solution to a pH of 3-4 will do the trick). However measure volume additions and take note so that you can calculate your change in N (shouldn't be much).

    Salts should generally be mixed from the least to the most soluble, taking care to make sure salts are fully dissolved before adding the next. It is also important to monitor pH and make sure that it remains acidic, especially if iron is contained within the preparation. Generally if acidic salts are used there are no significant problems, precipitates start to appear - especially in concentrated solutions - when basic salts are used or basic impurities are present (or when people don't use distilled water but tap water with carbonates).

    Tell me how it works out :o) Thanks again for your interest,

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  34. i will try nitric acid. thanks! will ppt still dissolve in my reservoir and be ok to use?

    i'm trying to reverse engineer house & garden's aqua flakes. i suspect it uses nitric acid for half of total N. first, isn't nitric acid a liquid? how will i know how much to add? i tried using nitric acid to make up 20 ppm of 127 ppm total N. the calculator came up with 37.4g calcium nitrate, and -19.2g nitric acid!!

    aqua flakes uses 2.75 ml/L to get to 2.0 mS. how are they getting it so concentrated, when you say 1:100 is about max? their part b is "Derived from Nitric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Phosphoric Acid, and Magnesium Sulphate" hydro buddy tells me 'bases such as KOH cannot be used in A+B solutions'. you've said HNO3 + KOH is the same as KNO3...why would, or how can a smart company listing KOH as an ingredient?

    is it possible to calculate solution densities for use in other nutrient spreadsheets?

    best regards

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hello Chris,

    Thank you very much for your comment :o) Nitric acid should do the trick and all salts will remains soluble when you dissolve them in your reservoir.

    Yes, nitric acid is a liquid and usually it is available in a concentration of 30-60% so you will need to change the purity field according to the purity of the nitric acid you have. You simply need to input the purity and weight the amount of liquid you want to use.

    Regarding the 1:100 limit, it is a sound limit I established in the calculator due to the large amounts of available salts. Certainly depending on the matching of salts it is possible to make solutions with even 1:500 concentration ratios but such cases require special design. In general, to make things work for the majority of people staying at a 1:100 concentration threshold does the trick.

    The labels of companies are often very misleading since they can list any possible salt combinations to arrive to the ions they have in solution as the sources. So possibly this is just a strategy to confuse people so that reproducing their formulations becomes harder. If you don't know that you should use KNO3 instead of HNO3+KOH you would be making the solution in a much more expensive and dangerous way (since both of these substances are corrosive).

    Take into account that companies usually only list as little as they can in the most deceiving manner they can to make it hard for any possible competition. I should know, since I have formulated fertilizers for several of them through the years.

    Regarding densities, this is not possible since volumes are not additive and the increase in volume from the addition of a salt cannot be predicted accurately given the large amounts of interactions within concentrated solutions. Definitely it might be possible using a very powerful empirical model and a CAS like matlab but definitely beyond the capabilities of hydrobuddy.

    Always remember that you can add commercial fertilizers using the "Add Custom Salt" button and figure out their final ppm concentrations directly in Hydrobuddy using weights.

    I hope this answers your questions :o) Thank you very much again for your comment,

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hello Everyone,

    The next version of hydrobuddy - version 0.90 - has just been released. This new version includes a few small fixes to correct some errors that had been reported before plus a new feature that will make the imitation of any commercial nutrient formulation much easier. You can read more about this new feature here : http://allhydroponics.blogspot.com/2010/09/imitating-commercial-nutrients-tutorial.html. I hope you enjoy this new release :o)

    I am working on a few new features that will be implemented before v.1.0 comes out !

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hello Daniel!

    Thanks for the great program, it's a very usefull!

    Here are some ideas:

    1.) w/w% or w/v%
    On the "Nutrient salts used" tab, the acid's concentrations are in w/v%, but as far as I know these are usually given in w/w%.

    So if 1ml/l 38%(w/v) HNO3 is used, it's 84.474 N, that is correct (your calc has 84,43).

    But if it's weight%, 38%(w/w) we must multiply it with it's density (in this case 1,24g/ml) so we get 104,748 N.


    2.) Adjustable error levels for macro nutrients
    It might be hard to make an algorithm like this but it would be great, it would be nice to have adjustable error levels for a few nutrients.

    So if set the error levels of P to +-5%, the program will calculate the needed salts according to this. If the goal is 100 P the recipe will have to contain between 95-105 P.
    combined error levels would be an extra, for example: 100-120N and 220-270P.

    I think, that at the moment the algorithm stops if the first element (usually N) reached the given limit, and other elements can be way off from the given limits. By allowing N a wider range of error levels, other elements could be closer to the given recipe.


    3.) Costs.
    It'd be great to have "cost" incorporited with the salts, so the cost of the recipe could be calculated on the fly.

    4.) Did you consider to make the program opensource?

    5.) An easy way to translate it would be nice to.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great new upgrade Daniel! Thank you!

    To clarify one point, should the solution be pH 4.0 AFTER dissolving all the potassium phosphate?

    I've gotten lots of questions of running your program on a Mac. I run it in Linux fine (except it freezes when I close it). I wonder if you can make the window maximise, so that's it's not necessary to scroll up and down (easier to read the salt list).

    it seems that when the NH4+ box is empty (no 0) I get an error " " is not a valid floating point value."

    When using nitric acid, I calculate calcium nitrate and nitric acid ppm values separately - is this right? Below 96ppm, nitric acid weight is still a negative number.

    I calculate a salt's weight with 100% purity. Say I get 72.2g. When I enter 88.5% in the purity field (nutrient salts tab), hit "calculate formula!" and the weight doesn't change. Am I doing something wrong? Do I hand calculate the 81.5g I'd need to hit my ppm? Even the 'Salts to Formulations' tab doesn't change with purity. Also, The default iron DPTA is 7%. If I have 11% Fe DPTA, would I enter 157% for purity?

    If I may ask a general question about designing fertilizer; what would you do if the guaranteed analysis didn't give any micro nutrients? Do you use a default profile? Is it connected to Phosphorus or Calcium?

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hello Chris,

    Thank you for your comment :o) You should get 4.0 after dissolving the potassium phosphate. In order for the adjustment to be effective you must do it AFTER the addition if this basic salt. I would advice you to use potassium monobasic phosphate (also called potassium dihydrogen phosphate) which is already acidic. However I understand if your nutrient ratios restrict you to use potassium phosphate, in this case acidification is vital.

    Regarding running the program on a Mac the best thing would be to run a windows emulator (Sun's VirtualBox software should do the trick). This would also be the best solution to avoid problems in linux although - as you said - it works fine on wine for most uses. Regarding the maximizing I will see if I can get it done (although I cannot promise anything).

    Regarding this error with NH4+ I am not able to reproduce it. The default formulation has a 0 and gives no errors. Please post further details so that I can correct this.

    There must be an inherent problem with your formulation as the calculator should not give any negative values. You should specify the exact things you are trying to do so that I can help you debug this problem and see what is causing it.

    This problem with the purity might be a problem of the fields not being assigned correctly for some salts (when I link them sometimes I make mistakes when assigning the fields). Let me know exactly which salts show this behavior so that I can check it out and correct it. In the case of DTPA 11% you can enter 157% and the calculation should give you accurate numbers. However I will add DTPA 11% on the next release so that this can be avoided.

    If a guaranteed analysis did not include any micro-nutrients I would use a generic profile as you say, probably the micro nutrient concentrations within the default formulation loaded with the calculator would be right for almost all crops. I don't understand however what you mean regarding a link with P or Ca, the only strong link I can think about right now is perhaps between Fe and P which are antagonists (P excess inhibits Fe uptake). However let me know what you mean and I will answer your question in more depth.

    Thank you very much again for your comment :o)

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

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  40. Hello Seymoor,

    Thank you for your ideas :o) I will now comment on them :

    1) The purity is calculated as w/w percentage as all values within the "salt mass" field are input as weights. You would have to weight the nitric acid and input the purity within the purity field.

    2) This cannot be done with the current solver implementation. Implementing this would require a whole recoding of the program.

    3)Yes, this is also an idea I want to implement before v1.0 comes out.

    4)No, I like to keep the source code centralized and private.

    5)This would be nice to implement but I do not see how to do it easily.

    Thank you very much for helping me make the software better !

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

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  41. Any way to increase font size in the calculator. I'm legally blind and would like to use the Nute Cal. but can't quite see it. I need about a 16 font as a minimum.
    Thanks
    Roger

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  42. Hello Roger,

    Thank you for your comment :o) Currently there is no way to do this but I will add this to the list of things to develop before v1.0 comes out. Hopefully I'll be able to make a custom field so that you can input the font. Thanks again for the comment,

    Best Regards,

    Daniel

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