Newsletter January 2015

Hi all,

Welcome to our January 2015 newsletter!  (skip to the bottom of this blog for Discount code info if you are in a rush!)

Firstly we would like to wish you all a very happy New Year and we hope that your gardening efforts are as rewarding and productive as last year..or better!!


Our new website is still under construction due to underestimating how big the site will eventually be! The new website is incredibly exciting as the functionality will be far more in-depth than ever before. Searching for products by particular criteria will make your online shopping with us as fast and as efficient as it can be and the front end layout will be far more attractive and pleasurable to use than ever before. We are hoping to release the new website within four weeks check back often!

Our in-store displays were cleared over the Christmas holidays to make way for new plants for this year. Due to popular demand we are currently germinating Twilight chili seeds in the X-Stream 40 site Aeroponic Propagator within our Secret Jardin DP90 Propagation grow tent (available as a kit) display.  As soon as the seedlings are ready, they will then be transplanted  into the amazing IWS 12 pot Flood and Drain growing system within our Secret Jardin DR300W grow tent display. We will update with information and photos in due course!


New Products

Plant Vitality Natural Plant Wash 120ml

PV Natural Plant Wash foliar spray will control Spider Mite attacks and eliminate the damage caused by pest infestation, restoring the plant back to its full potential, using a combination of non-systemic natural products, allowing it to be used right up to harvest.

First Application: Mix 12ml per ltr water (120ml makes 10ltrs).

Repeat Applications: Mix 6ml per ltr water (120ml makes 20ltrs).

Remember to shake well before and during spraying.

PV plant wash

The Imperium Feed Duration Controller

The Imperium minutes or seconds controller can be used with any timed grow system, it has 28 feed settings that can feed from 1 second up to 15 minutes, at the push of a button. Finely tuning your feed durations is proven to increase nutrient uptake and oxygen absorption – ultimately resulting in bigger yields.

*Follow link above for more information!


The Imperium Plus Feed Duration Controller

The Imperium Plus is a precision minutes or seconds feed controller which has been designed to feed little and often to produce maximum plant growth. It includes an integrated Grasslin segmental timer and can be set to run from as little as 1 second up to 15 minutes, at the push of a button.

Imperium Plus can be used with any timed grow system and is more than just a segmental timer. Its 28 feed settings allow you to adapt the feeding duration from a minimum of 1 second up to 15 minutes, at the touch of a button.

*Follow link above for more information!


NOdA Wash Day Spray 200ml

NOda Wash Day spray is extremely effective as an instant, lasting odour eliminator. Highly recommended by SomHydro!

When you use NOdA, you are not masking a nasty smell with a different fragrance. The advanced odour elimination technology traps and neutralises nasty odours, eliminating the problem. NOdA sprays are natural without fluorocarbons or propellants of any kind. NOdA Wash Day has a similar odour to fresh washed laundry and washing powder. NOdA Spray is environmentally friendly and safe to use.


(RUCK)  CAN-FAN ISOMAX 3-Speed Acoustic Fans

(Ruck) CAN-FAN ISOMAX (aka Airforce 2 fan) 3-Speed sound insulated fans are designed and constructed to minimalise sound output at range which makes them the ideal grow room inline fan for where noise sensitivity is a priority.

Available in two models with both featuring three different airflow capabilities:
150mm (6”) CAN-FAN ISOMAX 3-Speed: 310/360/410 mtr3 per hr
200mm (8”) CAN-FAN ISOMAX 3-Speed: 570/770/870 mtr3 per hr

The ISOMAX powerful Swiss engineered high-quality motor runs extremely quiet while moving a very large amount of air through either a 150mm or 200mm outlet. The outer casing functions as a silencer and has a thick layer of insulating foam-lining around its inside, providing outstanding sound protection. Remarkably lightweight, ISOMAX fans can be suspended/ installed in locations that may be unsuitable to consider other, heavier, cabinet/box type acoustic fans. Two built-in hanging fittings allow for easy, quick installation.

*Follow link above for more information!

Also available as part of a full acoustic ventilation kit

CAN-FAN_ISOMAX_3-speedx612Can-Fan_150x300mm_3speed_ ISOMAX _filter_kit


The CO2Bag is very small and easily affordable bag producing carbon dioxide for your plants. It can multiply the growing speed of your plants and make fruits ripen faster improving taste, color and crops.
The CO2Bag is safe to use, easy to setup without any maintenance required.

The CO2Bag is the smallest and by far the most effective solution available on the market.

*Follow link above for more information!




 Now to the part of the blog that may be of most interest to you!.. The quarterly discount code to use when shopping on our website! To receive a 15%  off of any on-line order (online only) simply enter the code SOMJAN at the checkout when placing an order through our website. This code can be used as many times as you wish throughout the valid period. This offer is open to UK customers only and is valid from 07/01/15 until the 31/01/15 (Discount does not include delivery charges and is not open to any current personal quote created for a customer)

Well “that’s all folks”..we hope you have enjoyed reading this Newsletter and hope that you take advantage of your discount code to grab yourself a bargain.

Best regards from Lee & team Somhydro :)

LED grow lights V’s HPS grow lights ..

Hi all,

Over the last few years we have often been asked why we do not sell LED grow lights..’Is it because they do not work? ..’or is it that we at Somerset Hydroponics Ltd are an old skool outfit and simply have not got with the LED revolution as it were?!..

Well long overdue as it is, below is our personal opinion on the LED grow light debate. Now as this is a relatively short (really ..this is short for the subject matter!) blog i will not go in-depth into specification information for all those LED geeks out there that will possibly want to pull this blog apart word by word with comparative or other specification information..please remember this is a short personal opinion just to clear up some of the basics surrounding the LED V’s (HID) HPS grow light debate!!


We feel that there is still more creative marketing surrounding LED grow lights than there is either honest reviews or results by either the manufacturers or many suppliers of such grow lights,  and this is what seems to be keeping the confusing debate alive..

What is a quality LED grow light to buy?

Too many LED grow lights we have seen on the market are not even using a horticultural grade LED lamp, they can be just a cheap torch-like LED lamps that are nailed into a panel and then marketed as a grow light! As a guide we would not expect to pay less than £300.00- £400.00 for a quality 300w LED grow light, so always check for historical reviews of any LED you see for sale. As to selling them; we have yet to be impressed enough by any LED grow light to actually stock one. There are a few quality LED units that we are aware of that are produced by reputable manufacturers, but generally we have still yet to see an LED that we are so impressed with that we would supply it/them. We are sure in the future we will eventually look at stocking LED’s as many of the bonafide manufacturers are now getting somewhere towards putting a unit together with increased wattage lamps from what is generally available.


LED grow lights have a higher colour output than other forms of grow lights?

Watt for watt yes LED’s can produce a higher level of chosen colour output than other grow lights, but this is always offset by what can be a massive drop in usable light/colour to the plant (at range) as opposed to a similar wattage HID grow light (HPS & Metal Halide lamps) and so this can leave the grower requiring more than one LED unit to achieve adequate light spread and light penetration. Therefore this may increase initial cost of purchasing sufficient LED units, and then the obvious increase in power consumption cost over a single HID grow light.


LED grow lights are cooler than HID grow lights?

LED lamps do indeed emit less heat than a HPS or Metal Halide lamp, but obviously a single 2watt LED lamp ‘would’ fire cooler than say a 250watt  HPS lamp! Multiples of combined  LED lamps will again emit less heat than a similar wattage HPS lamp (and this is where some manufacturers/suppliers will use creative marketing to get your business!) ..a bank of LED’s is indeed far less likely to scorch your plants due to the above, but what many fail to mention is that the unit powering those LED lamps gets extremely hot (especially so in cheaper, poorly made LED grow lights) and so the heat produced by the LED unit as a whole can actually increase temperature in the grow room more than if you were running an HID HPS grow light, therefore you may avoid direct scorching, but may have a general temperature issue to deal with..either way too hot is too hot and your plants will suffer!


LED grow lights for vegative growth

Basically Yes! they do work as a’ low level’ vegetative or propagation grow light for any plant under 50cm tall, but a higher wattage unit or multiple units may be required for larger plants, or where plants are in such close proximity to each other that more light is required to punch through dense leaf cover. That’s it! ..Yes, they may be the ideal vegetative or propagation grow light for you, but understand an LED grow light’s limitations and create a growing area that suits LED plant growth. It is also worth experimenting with plant variety’s that may suit better to an LED grow light. There is obviously much more i could state regarding using LED as opposed to blue fluorescent (CFL, T5 Lightwaves etc etc) or Metal Halide lamps from a magnetic or digital HID grow light..but the main objective of this blog is to tackle the ‘LED V’s HPS’ grow light debate!


LED grow lights for flowering/fruiting

Right folks..this is the bit that creates most debate and we are most often asked for our opinion regarding!..

Yes, LED grow lights can be successfully used for flowering or fruiting, but for anyone who has ever used a HPS (high pressure sodium) grow light, there is usually a considerable drop-off in the yield ability of an average plant. For plants under two feet in height for example, you may have a reasonable yield, but for anything over that height LED’s just don’t have the penetration through leaf cover that an HPS lighting system will have, and so obviously this leaves a general lower yield. For many LED growers this normally means that they have to grow more plants than they were maybe happy to grow just to try and get the same yield ability of a HPS grow light plant/crop.


Our (current) conclusion 

The above factors combined with the possibility of having to purchase extra LED units to achieve a good result, generally means that a grower will have to purchase multiple quality LED units to achieve anything like the yield ability of a HPS grow light plant/crop. This will firstly increase your budget spend compared to a quality HPS lighting system, and will also increase your power consumption spend to achieve a comparable result with HPS lighting.

Yes it is obviously possible to achieve a good result from LED grow lights, but those growers that have reached they’re goal, have only done so by setting up the grow room around the use of LEDs and not simply thrown an LED unit into an area that was previously set-up around using HPS lighting. Ultimately, knowing an LED grow light’s limitations and taking the above factors into consideration, will be the only way to achieve any kind of comparable result to HPS grow lighting.


We recommend utilising air-cooled HID HPS grow lights if reducing temperature is the goal in the growing area. Or if low wattage consumption is your goal, then simply consider multiple lower wattage HPS systems.

Personally, I would challenge any (single) 300watt LED grow light to ever out perform my growing ability with either two digital 150watt HPS grow lights or one 250watt HPS lighting system’s!!

We hope the above personal article is of use to all considering switching to LED grow lights! If state of the art growing is your goal, then take a look at Gavita Plasma grow lights..but that is a subject for another day!!..

Best regards..Lee


Newsletter September 2014

Hi all,

Welcome to our September 2014 newsletter!  (skip to the bottom of this blog for Discount code info if you are in a rush!)


Firstly; Our apologies for our quarterly newsletter being a month late! This is due to a huge amount of admin work from Somerset Hydroponics recently becoming Somerset Hydroponics Limited! Although on the face of things becoming a Ltd company will not change anything regarding our highly efficient service and competitive sales efforts, it will mean in the future that we can offer a greater number of products, brands and deals. So on the whole becoming a limited company will benefit everyone concerned..happy days!

Further to our previous newsletter regarding the build of our new website; We are now only a matter of weeks away from release, so please check back often to see the new and improved !!

In-store we have been busy bringing on our Cayenne Chilli plants with our IWS 12 pot Flood & Drain growing system within our Secret Jardin DR300w grow tent (see previous June 25th blog) The plants have grown so well and fast that we cannot recommend the benefits of the IWS range of Flood & Drain systems enough! We are still currently using two Maxibright 400watt Pro-Variable DigiLight Air-Cooled Supernova grow lights with metal Halide lamps, but will soon be switching these out for two Sunmaster Hobby 600w Variable Digital Air-Cooled Goldstar Digital grow light’s with HPS lamps.  As soon as the seedlings had established themselves on Formulex full spectrum nutrient, we began to feed with the Plant Magic Plus range of nutrients. I think you can clearly see from the images below that the Cayennes are extremely happy!

August 2014: 

instore 04-09-14 002

instore 04-09-14 001

July 2014:

cayenne peppers 11-07-14 003cayenne peppers 11-07-14 001

Our other in-store demo grow tent has had a major upgrade in lighting! We have now installed a Gavita 300 LEP plasma grow light into our Secret Jardin DS120 grow tent . Our little Mint seedlings are growing under one of the highest specification grow lights in the world and are responding amazingly. We will update as time rolls on!

instore 04-09-14 005

instore 04-09-14 003


Due to the popularity of our Rhino Single Speed Fan & Carbon Filter Kits  we are now offering Rhino Twin Speed Fan and Carbon Filter kits and Rhino Thermostatically Controlled Fans and Carbon Filter Kits. All kits are available in the most popular sized fan and filter combinations and offer Rhino’s usual high quality build, efficiency and value for money!

Rhino Ventilation Kit

Rhino Ventilation Kit

Rhino Twin Speed Fan

Rhino Twin Speed Fan


Copy of Rhino_thermostat_fan

Rhino Thermostatically Controlled Fan


Following on from the success of Plant Magic Plus’s amazing nutrient range they have now released Platinum a premium grade super-booster for flowering or fruiting plants. This has already proved to be an award winning super booster and is quickly out-selling many other premium boosters that we supply!


We have recently added more new products in-store and online, so please check our New Products section often to stay up-to-date with all the latest growing equipment!



 Now to the part of the blog that may be of most interest to you!.. The quarterly discount code to use when shopping on our website! To receive a 10%  off of any on-line order (online only) simply enter the code SOMSEPT at the checkout when placing an order through our website. This code can be used as many times as you wish throughout the valid period. This offer is open to UK customers only and is valid from 04/09/14 until the 30/09/14 (Discount does not include delivery charges and is not open to any current personal quote created for a customer)

Well “that’s all folks”..we hope you have enjoyed reading this Newsletter and hope that you take advantage of your discount code to grab yourself a bargain.

Best regards from Lee & team Somhydro :)

Secret Jardin DR300w Grow Tent – Instore Growing display

The IWS 12 pot Flood & Drain growing system at work in our Secret Jardin DR300w in-store growing display. Chilli seedlings are on a light feed of Formulex nutrient just to get them started, and will then be fed a full strength Grow solution as soon as we are happy that they are happy..All looking great so far!!

Will update photos and information in due course!




Newsletter May 2014

Hi all,

Welcome to our May 2014 newsletter!  (skip to the bottom of this blog for Discount code info if you are in a rush!)


We have a new member of the SomHydro team! Tony has worked previously in the industry for one of the UK’s largest nutrient producers ‘Growth Technology Ltd’ and has extensive product knowledge, combined with a tenacious sales background to gain the best deal possible for some of our products which in turn will be passed on to you of course!

We are currently building our new website to enhance our already very successful online presence! Our new site will have a complete revision of plant growth information, more efficient product ordering layout and a variety of applications to make your shopping visit as efficient and enjoyable as possible. We are hoping to have the new website online by the end of this coming summer, so check back often to find the new SomHydro. Aside from our new website, we are continuing to build our eBay store and increase our already amazing Somerset Hydroponics Amazon store presence. Check out our Amazon feedback to see why we are leading the pack! No other grow store on Amazon has as high a level of positive buyer feedback, and this high level of service is obviously at your fingertips via our own website!

In-store we have recently taken our  final successful crop of Cayenne chilli’s grown in our SomHydro Pro 18 plant NFT system from within our  Secret Jardin DR300W grow tent  and have removed the growing system to make way for an IWS Flood and Drain 12 pot growing system.  We have chosen the IWS (Intelligent Water Systems) Flood and Drain system  for our in-store live growing demo due to popular demand for this unique, professional and simple to use growing system. Customer feedback regarding this range of growing system has been amazing since day one. The stability and consistency of plant growth has always been impressive with this growing system, which in turn has resulted in a more than impressive yield ability! We shall of course update our Blog with information and photos as soon as possible.


New for 2014 from Nutriculture; The Bubblebox Double deep water culture growing system. A deep water culture technique with the added benefit of a timed top feed. The improved control of feeds and greater access to nutrient solution results in incredible yields!


Due to customer demand for a range of growing kits without growing system and the consumables, we have decided to offer a range of  Secret Jardin grow tent kits which include a Secret Jardin grow tent and the essential grow light and ventilation equipment required for setting up a quality grow room. The high quality branded equipment will give years of successful indoor gardening and high yielding possibility of your favourite plants!


We have recently added more new products in-store and online, so please check our New Products section often to stay up-to-date with all the latest growing equipment!


 Now to the part of the blog that may be of most interest to you!.. The quarterly discount code to use when shopping on our website! To receive a 10%  off of any on-line order (online only) simply enter the code SOMMAY at the checkout when placing an order through our website. This code can be used as many times as you wish throughout the valid period. This offer is open to UK customers only and is valid from 10/05/14 until the 31/05/14 (Discount does not include delivery charges and is not open to any current personal quote created for a customer)

Well “that’s all folks”..we hope you have enjoyed reading this Newsletter and hope that you take advantage of your discount code to grab yourself a bargain.

Best regards from Lee & team Somhydro :)

” Grow big..or go home”

The Maxibright Pro-Select 1000w DigiLight Magnum XXXL air-cooled grow light is a state of the art lighting package for the serious grower!


The Maxibright Digilight Pro Select 1000w digital grow light Ballast gives you 6 power modes (400,440,600,660,1000,1100 Watt! ) for flexibility to power a range of HID lamps with just one ballast. Use the Super power modes to give your lamps 10% extra power for more light exactly when you need it. DigiLight Pro Select have a unique safety feature including Surge Control to Safely Ignite multiple lamps one at a time, reducing electrical surges.

Pro select ballast features: Surge Control – Silent and lightweight – Short circuit protection – End of lamp life detection – Thermal protection with auto re-set – Runs both HPS and Metal Halide lamps – 6 Power modes – 3year warranty (conditional).

Maxibright 1000w digital_ballastThe awesome Magnum XXXL grow light 200mm reflector or 150mm reflector from Sunlight Supply is the largest air cooled reflector in the world, and is ideal for those needing a large spread of light even when suspended at a low height. Constructed to the highest quality using photometric data, it has 95% reflective textured German aluminum interior, which offers excellent reflectivity and diffusion. Completely sealed – features double gasketed glass and hinged frame to hold glass tightly in place. Maximum air cooling with built-in 6″ (150mm) or 8″ (200mm) spigot and EZ Breeze aerodynamic junction box. Bead ring to hold ducting firmly in place.
Swing Stop retention cable keeps glass from abruptly swinging down. captured thumb screws & closure mechanism for ease of use and excellent sealing. The exterior is a powder-coated galvanized steel body. Integrated socket & 4mtr lamp cord. Easy carry handles.

Magnum 150mm spigot: 82cm long 66cm wide 20cm deep
Magnum 200mm spigot: 88cm long 75cm wide 23cm deep

To complete this awesome lighting package we have included a 1000w Sunmaster Dual Spectrum HPS lamp which has fast become our most popular high pressure sodium flowering lamp. This is mainly due to they’re higher than most lumen count, and higher than most red and blue spectrum output!

Fan recommendation:
1x 1000w Magnum 150mm – 1x 150mm A1 RVK Fan
2x 1000w Magnum 150mm – 1x 150mm L1 RVK Fan

1x 1000w Magnum 200mm – 1x 200mm A1 RVK Fan
2x 1000w Magnum 200mm – 1x 200mm L1 RVK Fan

Newsletter Jan/Feb 2014

Hi all,

Welcome to the first Somerset Hydroponics newsletter of 2014! (skip to the bottom of this blog for Discount code info if you are in a rush!)


Over the last three months we have been very busy! Our growing demo Wilma10 Hydroponic Grow Kit with DS120 Grow Tent  has been very successful with our out-of-season indoor Capsicum Pepper crop (see photos below) It never ceases to amaze us how productive the Wilma Dripper system can be, and with only a 250-400watt Maxibright Digilight lighting system to provide all the required light and heat through the cold months, we really were surprised with the abundance of peppers we received with minimum effort!

We have started a new crop of Cayenne Chilli Peppers in our purpose built ‘ SomHydro Pro 18 plant NFT system (see photos below) within the Secret Jardin DR300W grow tent and so far everything is looking great. Taking into account that temperatures are still far from an acceptable level for optimum growth, we can only hope that our efforts are as rewarding as with the little  Capsicum crop!

Look closely and you will see an abundance of green peppers!

Look closely and you will see an abundance of green peppers!


Small (at this point) but perfectly formed! Green changed to Red within two weeks of this photo!

Small (at this point) but perfectly formed! Green changed to Red within two weeks of this photo!











Cayenne seedlings at the beginning of December 2013

Cayenne seedlings at the beginning of December 2013

Cayenne Peppers two months later looking great (but a little untidy!) the first signs of fruit forming are a reassurance!

Cayenne Peppers two months (end January 2014) later looking great (but a little untidy!) the first signs of fruit forming are a reassurance!












We have yet again had a little move around in-store to be able to place a permanent IWS Flood & Drain System and an IWS Deep Water Culture System on display due to popular demand for these amazing growing systems. We will soon introduce an IWS flood and Drain system into our DR300W demo growing tent to be able to show you exactly how to set-up, use, and achieve maximum results from this increasingly popular novice-pro growing system!

In other news! We have had an amazing response to our Somerset Hydroponics store on Amazon which now holds over 700 products for you to purchase simply and securely. The response from our Amazon customers has been so good that we felt it would be a great idea to place a link here for you to see what our Amazon customers think of our great service and products Somerset Hydroponics Amazon customer feedback. It is only a matter of time before you will be able to find us on Ebay and Gumtree, so check back often for relevant notifications.


We are now stocking the new range of high quality Rhino in-line RVK single speed, twin speed and thermostatically controlled fans and complete Rhino ventilation kits from the world leaders in grow room carbon filter technology… RHINO!.

Rhino Single Speed RVK Fan

Rhino Single Speed RVK Fan

Rhino Ventilation Kit

Rhino Ventilation Kits













Other new products include the awesome Magnum XXL Reflector, the worlds largest air-cooled reflector. This reflector is available with either a 150mm or 200mm spigot for attachment to a relevant sized RVK fan. We are also supplying this reflector as a complete Magnum grow light kit with Maxibright 100ow  Compact ballast or Magnum grow light kit with Maxibright 1000w Pro-Select Digital ballast . Other lighting kits are available with this amazing reflector so please relevant website listings.

We have too many new products to list here, so please follow this link for our full New Product listing’s!

Newsletter and Bloggers 15% off Discount Code

 Now to the part of the blog that may be of most interest to you!.. The quarterly discount code to use when shopping on our website! To receive a huge 15%  off of any on-line order simply enter the code SOMFEB at the checkout when placing an order through our website. This code can be used as many times as you wish throughout the valid period. This offer is open to UK customers only and is valid from 03/02/14 until the 28/02/14 (Discount does not include delivery charges)

Well “that’s all folks”..we hope you have enjoyed reading this Newsletter and hope that you take advantage of your discount code to grab yourself a bargain. We look forward to seeing you in-store soon..until then, stay warm and dry and here’s looking forward to Spring/Summer!

Best regards from Lee & team Somhydro :)

Newsletter Oct/Nov 2013

Hi Folks,

It doesn’t seem more than a couple of months ago since I started a newsletter with “well winter is upon us etc etc ..but here we are again!

(If you would like to skip to the good bit, scroll to the bottom of this blog for our Discount Code information!)


We hope that the last three months have been as productive for you as they have been for us! In the summer we were proud and excited to be asked to showcase Hydroponic plant growth at one of the largest agricultural and farming shows in the South West (UK) but unfortunately we had to pull out at the last minute due to the pending arrival of a new baby to our family! Although we could not attend there will always be next year, and at least it shows once again that the farming community is having to take a serious look at Hydroponics as a way forward for UK farmers..all good!

 At the end of the summer we were asked to provide information and equipment for a trial Hydroponic Barley Fodder growing project which should get off the ground in the New Year. We will obviously update our blog with any relevant results and photos as the project progresses. Yet again this is another positive sign that the farming community is taking Hydroponic plant growth seriously, and as an alternative to pellet livestock feed which has never really been the most beneficial, healthy or effective way to feed livestock.

hydroponic barley fodder

New Products

 In-store and online we have added many new products and displays to offer you the latest quality products, and to make your visit to our store as interesting and rewarding as possible!

To view the latest products added please follow this link: New Products. Check back often as we have new products added weekly.

 Discount Code

 Now to the part of the blog that may be of most interest to you!.. The quarterly discount code to use when shopping on our website! To receive a huge 15%  off of any on-line order simply enter the code SOMNOV at the checkout when placing an order through our website. This code can be used as many times as you wish throughout the valid period. This offer is open to UK customers only and is valid from 08/11/2013 until the 08/12/2013 (Discount does not include delivery charges)


Take care for now, and we look forward to seeing you all soon…Team SomHydro!!

The ExHale Homegrown CO2 Bag’s – do they really work?!


Firstly ~ How CO2 works for plant growth:

Photosynthesis is the process by which plant leaves make carbohydrates. Sunlight, CO2 and water are converted into carbohydrates and O2 by the action of chlorophyll in the chloroplasts of the plant. Plants growing indoors under artificial light often lack enough CO2 to efficiently photosynthesise. When plants are able to maximize the process of photosynthesis the result is an enhanced growth rate, increased output and larger yield potential.

There is so much talk about this new product that we thought it would be a good idea to submit a blog with our honest review of this new product!

Many of the forum reviews about the ExHale CO2 bag have been negative.. many more positive! We have thoroughly  tested this product to find that the bags do indeed produce a high level of CO2 locally to the bag, but users must be realistic about CO2 PPM levels that can be reached when using this product if in an enclosed space with ventilation equipment running full time in close proximity to the bag.

We placed one ExHale CO2 bag in our in-store demonstration Wilma10 Hydroponic Grow Kit with DS120 Grow Tent and found within three days that there was a noticeable difference with leaf colour of the Chilli plants, this is a direct response from enhanced photosynthesis! We have also placed two of the ExHale CO2 bags in our in-store demonstration Secret Jardin Dark Room DR300W grow tent and we have seen such an increase in growth rate of our basil plants, that we are now cropping the plants every 1-2 weeks instead of every 2-3weeks!


For effective coverage; We recommend one ExHale CO2 bag per square metre, or for 4-6 medium plants. Although ExHale state that a bag should last six months, we have found that the drop off in CO2 output means that realisticly a bag should be replaced every three months to achieve maximum potential of the product.

Our conclusion is that generally these bags will increase growth and yield potential of your plants, and as an inexpensive alternative to more expensive, complex CO2 dosers…highly recommended by Somhydro! ~ Lee

We would still recommend considering a CO2 doser such as the Unis CO2 unit or the Evolution CO2 Controller if you are wanting to have complete control and usuage of CO2 in your grow room or grow tent.

How to Use ExHale:
ExHale comes complete and is cultivating CO2 even before you get out of the checkout line. No need to turn it on or turn it off, simply place ExHale in your grow space and leave it alone to do its job.

A continuous shower of CO2 directly onto your plants is the most efficient way to deliver CO2. Placing the ExHale Cultivator slightly above the level of your plants will insure they receive the CO2 they need 24 hours a day for up to 6 months.

ExHale cultivates CO2 24 hours a day with no need to refill bottles or use expensive CO2 production units. The power of ExHale lies in the mycelial mass inside the vented cultivator. This mycelial mass cultivates CO2 and the microporous breather patch releases CO2 continually for up to 6 months.

The ExHale Cultivator is designed for small to medium grow spaces , or more specifically 1 ExHale Cultivator will provide 4-6 plants with the CO2 they need. ExHale can be used for both vegetative plant growth as well as for fruit and flower production.

Back to Basics – What is Hydroponics?

A brief overview of Hydroponic gardening and its history.

Centuries before the time of Christ, Egyptian records show that plants were being grown in the Nile without the use of soil and Marco Polo describes floating gardens in China in the thirteenth century. Over the past one hundred and fifty years, a great deal of research has taken place into soil-less cultivation, particularly during and after the Second World War when there was a need to produce food for military personnel stationed in areas where it would be otherwise impossible to raise fresh produce. Nowadays, in so-called developed countries, a great many plants are produced hydroponically. In Europe, for instance, around 80% of tomatoes and 90% of cucumbers come from hydroponic systems, as does much of the huge production of flowers in Holland.

Nutrients and Water

There are many plant nutrients available and the choice can be confusing. Most are produced on a simple NPK formulation some are produced using a more complex formulation and or have built in growth enhancers. Friendly recommendation or experienced in-store advice should steer you in the right direction so please tell us your needs and we will happily advise you on the suitable choice.

Water quality can make a considerable difference to the quality of the food supplied to your favourite plants, and the first and most important factor of choosing your nutrient is ” are you in a Hard or Soft water area? ” ..this is important as Hydroponic nutrients are produced in either Hard or Soft water formulations, which will partially adjust your waters pH level to suit. Even so, some pH adjustment will still be necessary with the aid of pH Up & Down acids.
A quick ‘in house’ test to see if you are in a Hard water area is to look in your kettle to see if there is much limescale at the bottom!..if there is, then it is likely that you are in a Hard water area. We recommend asking your local grow shop or contacting your local water board just to be sure.

To create the perfect nutrient mix, you may wish to consider Reverse Osmosis which will strip 99.9% of impurities from your water supply. Please contact us for more information if required.

Recommended pH values and nutrient strengths can be found in the Growing FAQ’s section of this page.

What is Hydroponics?

When a plant is grown in soil, it will mature according to the quality of soil, the frequency of watering and feeding and the amount of light and heat it receives. Other aspects, such as pest and disease control, may then be considered where applicable, along with individual requirements for the type of plant. Since soil already contains nutritional minerals, plants grown in soil can only be fed nutrients or fertilizers at a rate that will not leave a build up of nutrient salts that harm the growing process.

When a plant is grown Hydroponically, it simply means that the plant is grown in an inert medium, that is to say in a medium that holds no nutritional value of its own, to which nutrition may be added at enhanced but acceptable levels. In this way, it is possible to influence the growth of the plant so that it realizes its maximum potential. Plants require water, light, oxygen and nutrition. The Hydroponic gardener is not forcing the plant to do anything un-natural, he is just providing these factors in a growing environment that provides them at maximum possible levels.

Partial article Copyright L.Elswood, G.Gunstone & T.Jarvis 2001

Successful Propagation and Cloning

A. Starting from Seed:

  1. Soak RockWool SBS Tray in lukewarm water or a weak and slightly acidic nutrient solution. We highly recommend FORMULEX as a conditioning solution for RockWool as it will stabilise the pH and supply a full profile of mineral nutrition to the young plant. Use it at the weakest strength mentioned in the instructions. Allow plenty of time for RockWool cubes to take up water. Stand it to drain.
  2. Insert seeds carefully into the holes marked out on top of the cubes. Don’t push them in too far, just enough to hide seeds. A few strands of RockWool should be teased over the hole to ensure that seeds are covered.
  3. Place RockWool SBS Tray in a warm place. Light is unimportant until the seedlings begin to emerge but MUST be supplied as soon as they do Ideal germination temperatures for most species are in the range 20 – 25 o C. These temperatures should be maintained as constantly as possible during the germination period. Check the moisture level of the RockWool EVERY day. If you just squeeze a corner of a cube, water should come to the surface. If it does not then you should give the whole tray a light sprinkle of lukewarm water.The biggest mistake with RockWool is to keep it too wet and this usually occurs through poor drainage. NEVER let your RockWool stand in a puddle of water, always allow free drainage underneath the tray.
  4. Once your seedlings begin to appear you will need to give them plenty of light, a warm sunny windowsill might do but a greenhouse or artificial lights will be best. Fluorescents are very suitable for small seedlings or clones. It is still important to maintain temperatures in the mid twenties for as much of the day as possible. Keep checking your RockWool cubes for signs of drying out.
  5. Once your seedlings begin to show roots at the bottom of the RockWool cubes it is time to think about planting them out. Just lift the little cubes carefully from the tray Your new seedlings are now ready to plant into soil in the normal way OR to be cultivated further in RockWool. More information about RockWool can be found further on.

B. Starting from Cuttings (Clones):
If you already have access to healthy plants that display desirable characteristics it is possible to clone new plants from them. These new plants will be genetically identical to the stock plant and, provided that the environmental conditions are constant, the new plants should perform exactly as their parent did.

  1. Soak RockWool SBS Tray in a weak acidic nutrient solution (pH 5 / 1.0 mS). FORMULEX is ideal for this. While the RockWool is soaking, you can be selecting material for cuttings. Most species are propagated best from softwood tips. Selected material should show signs of healthy vigorous growth. Stems should be thick and firm and foliage should be dark green.
  2. Remove selected piece from mother plant with sharp scissors, taking care to cut plant at least 10 mm below the point where the final cut will be made. Final cut should be made with a sterile scalpel or clean sharp razor blade just below a node or leaf junction. A diagonal cut is preferred as it allows more plant tissue to come into contact with the rooting compound.
    The rooting compound we recommend highly is Clonex Rooting Gel. Pour a small amount of Clonex into a small container for immediate use. Do not dip cut tissue into the container.
    Immediately dip the cut tissue into CLONEX, ensuring that all cut surfaces are well covered with CLONEX. Wipe off surplus CLONEX against the side of the small container. Do not return any of the unused Clonex back to the original container as this might contaminate the remaining gel.
    Insert cutting into hole in top of RockWool cube. It is very important not to push it in too far, just enough to support it in an upright position.

Copyright Growth Technology

Why choose NFT systems?

Nutrient Film Technique systems are some of the most productive available, and they are often the chosen method of commercial growing. Plants are grown in an inert medium (usually RockWool cubes) and placed into a light-tight and shallow channel. Nutrient solution is continuously circulated, flowing over the roots up to 24 hours per day. The name of this growing method was so coined in order to stress that the depth of the liquid flowing past the roots should be very shallow in order to ensure that sufficient oxygen is supplied. This growing technique is generally favored by gardeners that wish to grow multiples of small to medium sized plants that will yield heavier than their size would usually determine.

Why choose Flood & Drain systems?

Often these types of systems are called Ebb & Flood. The plants are usually grown in pots with their roots supported by an inert medium ( usually expanded clay pebbles) the pots sit in a plastic tray which in turn sits above a reservoir filled with nutrient solution.

A pump in the reservoir is connected to the bottom of the tray. When the pump turns on, the tray fills with water. When the water level reaches a pre-determined height, through the use of the overflow fitting, the water falls back into the reservoir. When the pump turns off, the water runs back down through the pump into the reservoir.

Most growers choose to control irrigation with a timer. A typical schedule would involve several short one-hour water cycles per day, but the duration and frequencies of watering cycles varies from one system to another and is dependent on the crop, the plant size and environmental conditions.

This growing technique is generally favored by gardeners that wish to grow high density medium sized plants, while providing a well oxygenated root system.

Why choose Dripper systems?

Drip systems are the most widely used Hydroponic systems in the world. They are commonly used in commercial facilities for growing long term crops like tomatoes and peppers. Drip systems provide plenty of aeration (more than ebb and flow) because plant roots are never totally submerged, but are never allowed to dry out.

Drip systems operate very simply. A pump has tubing connected to it which then branches off to smaller tubes feeding many plants. Nutrient solution is dripped onto the base of each plant where it then trickles down through the grow media (inert or soil based) and into the roots and finally drains into the reservoir where it is re-used, unless ‘Run to waste’ is employed ( dosing a precise amount of nutrient which does not re-circulate).

This growing technique is generally favored by gardeners that wish to grow small to large sized plants, while providing a precise and controlled feeding program.

Why choose Deep Water Culture systems?

The hydroponic method of plant production by means of suspending the plant roots in a solution of nutrient rich, oxygenated water. Traditional methods favour the use of plastic buckets with the plant contained in a net pot suspended from the centre of the lid and the roots suspended in the nutrient solution. An airpump or aerator is placed in the bucket or pod, which delivers a constant and very high level of oxygen, leading to explosive root production.

This growing technique is generally favored by gardeners that wish to grow medium to large sized plants.

Why choose Aeroponic systems?

Aeroponics is an exciting improvement on hydroponics that has been shown to greatly increase all aspects of plant growth, especially where Propagation is concerned.

The roots of the growing plants are suspended in the air in a suitable channel, where they are misted by high pressure sprayers. The sprayers break the nutrient into small particles and saturate the roots. The levels of oxygen in the water are kept high by the constant circulation of the water; this leads to explosive root production and enhances every aspect of plant growth. The nutrient run-off is then returned to the tank for re-circulation.

This growing technique is generally favored by gardeners that wish to grow small to medium sized plants or produce exceptionally healthy Clones where Aeroponic Propagators are concerned.

Aside from Propagators.. please be aware that if you are in a Hard Water area, an Aeroponic system may require extra vigilance and maintenance.