Double dosage in early bloom phase to slow/stop vertical growth naturally. Higher doses make the plant grow shorter and more bushy. Can be used effectively as a foliar feed, especially with pure hydroponics systems or to correct deficiencies.
May be safely used at any time to innoculate growing media if necessary.
May be safely used at higher doses for increased biostimulation and quality enhancement.
Will drop the pH of your solution, especially in weeks with no MassBoost or FinaleBoost. Use a pH up solution to raise to desired level.
For sensitive, weak, or smaller plants, use a smaller dosage of MassBoost in week 3. When using RO water and/or coco, use a basic CaMg product to supplement. Never use MassBoost and another CaMg product together. Can be used effectively as a foliar feed, especially with pure hydroponics systems or to correct deficiencies.
Can be used effectively as a foliar feed, especially with pure hydroponics systems or to correct deficiencies. Finale Boost can also be used at double strength during the latter stages of bloom.
Ecozen may be used in every feeding at 1 ml per gallon of water, or once per week at 2 ml per gallon of water.
What base NPK nutrient do you recommend?
We don't. Aptus boosters are compatible with any base fertilizer so it's better to use what you are accustomed to using. If you switch to an unknown fertilizer (from 2-part to 3-part), you'll run more risk of issues. It's better to stick with what you know.
We have good reports from virtually all the brands on the market. The choice comes down to preference: organic versus synthetic; 1-part, 2-part, 3-part; etc.
Most important consideration is the dosage used. Most growers are accustomed to mixing at specific PPM/EC each week. Because Aptus boosters register very low (minimal salts) your PPM/EC is going to be much lower than usual.
We recommend following the manufacturers recommended dosage for the base fertilizer but cut by 30-50%.
I'm seeing a little tip burn; why is that happening?
Tip burn most often comes from chemical fertilizer salts dehydrating cells in the growing tips of plant leaves. This is a sign of stress and overdose. If you are using Aptus according the feed schedule combined with your base NPK fertilizer of chose, burning is not likely. But there are a couple situations that may cause tip burn.
1) Too high levels of your base nutrient. Most Aptus boosters have a minimal effect on EC/PPM so usually the base nutrient levels are too high. FaSilitor increases the uptake and availability of other nutrients. And if you are using a base NPK fertilizer at too high of levels (particularly salt-based), you may see burning because of the enhanced uptake. Lower your EC/PPM levels and it should stop.
2) MassBoost contains some nitrates and has been reported to cause tip burn in younger plants. If you use MassBoost during veg or your plants are sensitive to salts, use a lower dose of MassBoost. 0.5 - 1 ml per gallon should stop any tip burn issues. This is especially likely if your base nutrient also contains nitrates and other salts.
What if I just use one or two of the products with my current recipe?
This is NOT recommended. And this is true of any well-researched complete nutrition line. Most manufacturers have created their nutrients to work together in a synergistic way. Mixing and matching breaks this synergistic effect.
Aptus has invested millions of dollars with top agriculture universities and research facilities to find the precise balance and format of nutrients and beneficial microbes. If you start mixing and matching nutrients from other manufacturers, you are guaranteed to create imbalance through overdose and deficiencies of certain ingredients. Imbalance stunts plant growth, invites pest and disease attacks, and lowers quality of end product.
Which products are good to try standalone with other nutrient lines?
FaSilitor increases the availability, mobility, and uptake of nutrients. It also benefits plants by depositing silicon in cell walls, increasing stress resistance, stimulating immune response and creating more dry weight. The silicic acid in FaSilitor is the only form of silicon that is bioavailable and is effective independently of the other Aptus boosters. FaSilitor will increase the effectiveness of any existing nutrient program.
StartBoost is a superior replacement for any root and growth enhancing product. It is part soil conditioner, root and growth stimulant, and microlife innoculant. It is highly concentrated and very bioactive. Visible effects are seen in early vegetative growth. There is nothing artificial or harmful like many synthetic products.
MassBoost is our calcium/magnesium booster. CaMg is a common deficiency in gardens so usually growers already use a CaMg product. MassBoost is an excellent replacement for any other CaMg supplementation. Because the minerals are chelated in L-amino acids, they are much more bioavailable and less harsh than many of the chemical salt products available. Try as a foliar to quickly correct deficiencies.
Ecozen contains mutiple enzyme complexes to break down dead plant tissues (cellulase digests cellulose) and break down mineral salts (beta-glucanase). If you have high levels of residual salts Ecozen will work to help clean your growing medium. Ecozen also contains polysaccharides to feed and stimulate your soil micro-life. This can be used as a straight replacement of any other enzyme product.
Can I switch to Aptus mid-bloom cycle?
This is NOT recommended. It's impossible to know exactly what minerals and microlife already exists in your growing medium without soil testing. Changing nutrients mid-cycle may create unexpected problems. It's better to stick with your current recipe and finish out a cycle before switching. In fact, introducing new nutrients of any kind mid-cycle is often the cause of new problems.
Aptus nutrition is designed to build healthy plants from the beginning to prevent problems from ever occurring. If you are already experiencing major issues in your garden, Aptus may help correct them. If you are later in your cycle with major problems, it's difficult to correct with any nutrient. It's always easier to keep a plant healthy than make a sick plant healthier.
The only exceptions are FaSilitor, MassBoost and Ecozen since they may be used effectively to address specific problems or needs. FaSilitor can help correct nutrient imbalance and deficiencies in plants by creating a more effective transport mechanism. Ecozen is a more effective and diverse enzyme booster. MassBoost is an excellent direct replacement for chemical CaMg supplements, especially as a foliar.
The best approach to assure optimal plant health and results is to start new plants with Aptus and use it through the entire cycle. Even better, perform a side-by-side test with your current recipe and Aptus to see the actual difference. If you really want to see the powerful change Aptus can bring, you need to start early and follow the feed schedule.
How will Aptus nutrients affect my pH?
It's always important to insure your feed water's pH is at the proper level for your growing medium. Some of the boosters will raise and lower your pH slightly due to the organic compounds and other ingredients.
PeakBoost contains organic acids and can be used as a pH down solution that also adds bioavailable phosphorus and L-amino acids. FaSilitor has a down effect, especially in RO water. MassBoost and FinaleBoost have a slight pH up effect.
If your pH lies outside of the desired range after completely mixing your feed water, it's best to use a mild pH up or down since harsh acids and bases can affect micro-life in the mix.
What kind of water is best to use with Aptus?
Bare minimum you should use dechlorinated water since the levels of chlorine in tap water will kill micro-life. You may also use reverse osmosis water. Aptus growers using both types of water report good results.
If I'm using RO water do I need to add a CaMg supplement?
Depends. Most soil products contain adequate levels of calcium and Aptus FaSilitor helps unlock and transport available calcium. MassBoost is a CaMg booster but is generally only needed to aid fruit and flower development. Many quality base NPK nutrients also contain sufficient levels of calcium and magnesium for earlier growth.
If you are using an inert medium such as rockwool or coco coir, you won't have any existing Ca or Mg in the medium. Dechlorinated tap water often contains enough to satisfy young plant growth (levels higher than 300 PPMs should be further purified). If using reverse osmosis water in inert mediums, you may want to include a mild dose of MassBoost once per week during veg (unless your base contains Ca/Mg). You can also use another CaMg product to buffer your RO water.
As always, monitor your plant's health before adding anything not on the main feed schedule.
What should be my PPM/EC levels?
This is a difficult question to answer because there are many factors at play: growing medium, plant strain, light levels, growing method, temperatures, water usage/source, etc.
Generally, you will need much lower PPM/EC levels than you usually use. Most Aptus boosters have minimal effect on PPM/EC levels due to the organic ingredients. Many Aptus growers report PPM/EC levels 30-50% less than with previous recipes.
Most of your PPMs will come from your base NPK fertilizer. We recommend following the usage instructions on the bottle or feed schedule from the base NPK manufacturer. And when starting young plants for the first time, cut the base NPK recommendations by 30-50% and see how the plant responds.
Remember that balance is more important than quantity. High PPMs are usually necessary if the nutrients are not bioavailable. When nutrients are properly and naturally chelated, plants better utilize and thus, need less. Also if you have salt build up, you probably are feeding too much.When using a pure synthetic base fertilizer your PPMs should not go over 1100 in peak bloom. This will be much lower if using an organic base fertilizer.
Why do I use so little Aptus in my mix?
Aptus boosters contain active ingredients and no added water. This means you need smaller doses than other products. Also, all the minerals in Aptus products are naturally chelated and fully bioavailable. Plants are able to uptake and utilize more of the nutrient material you add, so you need far less to feed your plants the same.
Why does it cost so much for a small bottle?
All Aptus nutrients are extremely concentrated. We don't add any water to dilute the active ingredients. Instead we use plant available L-amino acids. This means every drop is active material the plant uses to build itself. It also means that you only pay for beneficial ingredients rather than very expensive water.
All of our ingredients are pharmaceutical or food grade and manufactured under Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) to assure purity and consistency. We always choose the most pure sources of ingredients (minimal contaminants), which contain properly structured minerals for the best compatibility with plants.
For example, our source of L-amino acids is natural, organic and approved for food production (and human consumption). They are produced through enzymatic hydrolyzation, which is a natural process that creates a complete profile of all essential amino acids. More importantly, the amino acids produced are left-turning, which is the only form that is recognized and used by nature. These manufacturing methods are not cheap. But they are the best and most reliable.
Can I add a sweetener product or a sugar like molasses?
Many growers like to add lots of “sweeteners” to their mix because it is reputed to increase sugar production and flavor profiles in the plant. This is not really true. Plants rarely absorb sugars from outside sources. Plants produce their own sugars via photosynthesis. These sugars are used for energy and other processes within the plant tissue. Leftover sugars are secreted through the roots to feed microbes...this is the primary benefit of adding additional sugars to your feed mix. If a plant is healthy and properly mineralized, more sugars are not needed.
Adding sugars is only beneficial to the micro-life. Improved micro-life enhances mineralization and thus higher brix and better flavor. So it is an indirect effect and not what many sugar-based products claim: that it improves taste and flavor directly, as sweeteners are not assimilated by plants.. Also, some sweetener products contain hormones, PGRs and other unlisted synthetic stimulants that can create more imbalances in plant health.
BloomBoost and Ecozen contain high-quality polysaccharides, which are ideal food for your beneficial microbes so additional sugars are not needed.
Can I use a P/K bloom booster to increase yields?
These so-called “bloom boosters” are nearly always highly processed chemical salts that are not how nature prefers minerals. The high quantities of P and K are nearly certain to create imbalance and antagonism with other important bloom nutrients like Calcium and Iron.
Your plants will not suffer or see a decrease in yields without these “boosters”. Modern agriculture has taught us that we need high levels of certain nutrients to boost the plant growth. This has resulted in sick crops, depleted soil, pest and disease vulnerability, low nutritional content, and lack of flavor. Nature teaches us that balanced levels and bioavailability of nutrients is what truly helps the plant maximize genetic potential.
PeakBoost (P) and FinaleBoost (K and S) contain ideal levels of bloom enhancing minerals that are chelated in L-amino acids to make them immediately bioavailable to plants. We have split P and K into two products since plants require different levels of these minerals at different stages. This allows more targeted feeding for different plants.
Can I use compost teas?
Our recommendation is NO for most situations. Not because we don't like compost teas. Rather, this practice introduces unknowns into the growing environment. It makes troubleshooting quite difficult. This is probably okay, though Aptus is formulated to be 100% complete nutrients and necessary micro-life. You don't need to spend the extra money and effort on compost since Aptus boosters already perform the same functions.
If you are going to supplement with a compost tea, make sure it does NOT contain nutrients, such as guanos and other fertilizers. If there are minerals in your tea, you run the risk of creating imbalance and mineral antagonism within your growing medium.
Rather, use straight compost teas, preferably from a reputable source to minimize risk of bad pathogens. These compost teas will have small amounts of natural fertilizer present but shouldn't cause any issue due to the low concentrations. The main goal of a compost tea should be to enhance the microbe life within your growing medium. This is most important in mediums that lack good microbe-friendly structure like rockwool.
Keep in mind introducing additional micro-life to a balanced system can have unwanted results. Micro-life competes for food and space. When they are focused on fighting for dominance, they ignore their more important functions like breaking down locked up minerals and organic matter to feed your plants. For example, during high activity, bacteria will use nitrogen for food rather than feeding to the plant, creating deficit in the medium.
Should I use an additional microbe product?
This should be no problem and can even benefit, depending on your plant and growing medium. Rockwool is notoriously bad at holding on to beneficial microbes. Reinoculating is a good idea. StartBoost contains high populations of specific beneficial bacteria and BloomBoost feeds those microbes throughout the bloom cycle so you do not need supplements.
Also, sometimes these inoculants contain other ingredients (hormones, nutrients, etc.) that may cause negative or unexpected interactions in your medium. If you decide to supplement, choose a microbe product that is strictly microbes rather than a fertilizer supplement.
What is the best growing method to use with Aptus Boosters?
Drain-to-waste is hands down the most efficient and productive method. You'll use less water and see better yields and flavor. You should always mix fresh nutrients right before feeding. When nutrients are left standing for periods of time, there's increasing chance of minerals interacting, pathogens being introduced, and biofilm build up.
Fresh nutrients are always most effective. We prefer mix and feed immediately whenever possible. Using any kind of recirculating system with active biologicals can clog irrigation lines and develop biofilm build up unless you have a biofilter. You also run the risk of introducing pathogens to the system.
Flood-and-drain can work, but again, letting nutrients stand in a reservoir for longer than 3 days can get messy. This method tends to be wasteful as well.
Aeroponics and similar systems are not recommended since they can easily get clogged with the biological activity.
What is the best growing medium or system to use with Aptus boosters?
Ideal growing medium is a soil or soilless mix like coco. Use a high-quality mix from your local gardening center. If mixing your own, assure there is adequate drainage and aeration by mixing in perlite or clay pellets.
Aptus will work with any growing medium since the nutrients are properly chelated for immediate bioavailability. Some mediums like rockwool are not ideal since they don't retain and stimulate micro-life adequately.
Can I/should I reuse my growing medium?
Growers in Europe report that subsequent cycles with the same growing medium are more productive than the first. When Aptus has a chance to create a thriving and balanced ecosystem in the medium, it's a shame to throw it away after only one use.
Towards the end of your cycle, you'll want to introduce more carbon (usually from Humic and amino acids) to the medium. This will help enhance structure to hold on to micro-life. Also, use Ecozen to help break down any dead organic material (cellulose) and residual mineral salts. You can do it with soil, soilless mixes, perlite, and clay pellets. It's a good idea to lay the medium out, break up clumps, remove large root balls, and let it mostly dry out.
There is some risk. If you have issues with soil pests like aphids and fungus gnats, or pathogens, nematodes, etc. never reuse your medium. But if you have a healthy clean growing environment and medium, reusing you medium is a great way to cut costs and work. We've found that the use of the Aptus BaseBoost nutrient pellets can help a lot to maintain a good micro-life and nutrition balance in soil and coco. The pellets don't contain nutrient salts, but only organic NPK compounds combined with lots of L-amino acids. It is the best way to grow in an organic way and re-use your medium.
Should I flush my medium each week or at the end of my cycle?
Flushing is an interesting practice. It's intended to get rid of the built up salts which can negatively affect flavor and quality. More important to ask is, why are their built up salts? Perhaps the issue is over-fertilization with chemical salt-based fertilizers. If there is proper balance of nutrients in bioavailable form, you shouldn't need to feed so much. Thus, lowering the need for any kind of flush.
Also, flushing washes out good stuff with the bad. You've spent a lot of time and money adding nutrients and micro-life to your soil, so why just flush it out? It is certainly okay to feed with just water occasionally to give the soil and plant a rest. But flushing is usually a wasteful practice and less necessary when using Aptus.
Some Aptus growers stop feeding with their base fertilizer 1-2 weeks prior to harvest but continue with the Aptus boosters through the end. Because there are none or a strict minimum of salts in Aptus products, this seems to enhance yield and quality without affecting flavor.
How often should I feed with Aptus?
Most successful growers feed Aptus with every watering. You should certainly use Aptus boosters every time you fertilize. Some growers prefer a weekly feed-feed-water schedule and this is fine also, though flushing is not necessary unless using a salty base fertilizer. It's very difficult to overdo with Aptus because the dosages are already low and the minerals are naturally chelated.