BetterGrow Hydro Blog

New Year + New Website + New Products = BIG SAVINGS!

BetterGrow Hydro is proud to announce the launch of our new website!

Since 2000, BetterGrow Hydro has been a leading supplier of gardening supplies and equipment. And our award-winning website has been the leading online presence for most of those years. We wanted to let you know that after many months of planning and hard work, you’re favorite website has just received a huge face-lift.


Get in it to win it – RAFFLE TIME!

BetterGrow Hydro is launching its largest customer survey ever and offering you a shot to win some of the hottest cultivation equipment on the market!

Give us your honest opinion on the Best Gardening Products of All Time and you will be entered in a free raffle to win a Can-Filter 33 Boxed Combo, a Digilux bulb, a Gen-1e LP CO2 Generator, an Ebb & Gro 12-Site System or a Sun System 150-watt Compact HPS Grow Light.

To enter the raffle, simply complete this survey. Entries will be accepted through Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, and winners will be notified in December.

Your opinion gives you a chance to win:
The Can-Filter 33 Boxed Combo contains all you need to control grow room odors. This properly matched 6” fan-filter-flange combo will produce 152 CFM of odor-free air for 12 to 18 months. By itself, the high-output 6” Can-Fan generates 392 CFM and the Can-Filter 33 features a 2.5” bed of activated virgin carbon, ensuring maximum odor removal.


C.A.P.'s Digilux bulbs offer a wide color spectrum and high efficiency. Engineered to operate with digital ballasts, Digilux Metal Halide bulbs feature an enhanced blue spectrum for the vegetative stage while Digilux High-Pressure Sodium bulbs produce an enhanced red and orange spectrum that promotes flowering.


The Gen-1e LP CO2 Generator by C.A.P. is a cost-effective way to provide your plants with optimal CO2 levels. The liquid propane-fueled Gen-1e LP features electronic ignition and four burners that safely and reliably produce up to 15 cubic feet of CO2 per hour. This unit operates roughly 100 degrees cooler than other generators on the market and can easily be converted from propane to natural gas in a matter of minutes using an inexpensive conversion kit.

C.A.P.'s Ebb & Gro 12-Site System includes a 55-gallon reservoir, a controller module and a dozen 2-gallon nested growing containers that create a highly versatile and easily expandable growing system. The growing containers are plumbed together and connected to the controller module, which has a built-in timer. When the timer triggers an irrigation cycle, a pump in the 55-gallon reservoir fills the controller module with nutrient solution, which then flows to the containers. A pump in the controller module then drains the nutrient solution from the containers back to the reservoir. The growing containers nested in each site can be removed so plants can easily be rearranged under lighting to even out growth or moved into another system.

The 150-watt HPS Sun System Grow Light is one of the most powerful compact systems on the market, delivering 16,000 initial lumens. With the ballast assembly is built into the reflector, this grow light is plug-and-play ready and perfect for small growing areas or supplementing existing lights.



Now for the fine print:
We value your privacy and your information will not be sold or given away.  The raffle is free to enter and no purchase is necessary. One entry per person. Multiple entries will be disqualified. Raffle winners will be drawn at random and the winners will be notified via e-mail. Participants who complete the survey either online or at a BetterGrow Hydro retail store must leave a valid phone number or e-mail address to be entered in the raffle. Participants must be 18 or older. Void where prohibited.

[sorry our Raffle is no longer open for entries]

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It’s Webprice Week at all BGH retail locations!

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BGH Does Denver

Learn and Grow with Maximum Yield, PGTA and BGH

The first annual Maximum Yield Colorado Indoor Gardening Expo took place earlier this month in Denver, and BGH was there to show our support for the industry, network with the community and learn about upcoming new products. The folks at Maximum Yield always put on a great show that draws people from all over the world. Maximum Yield was joined this year by the Progressive Gardening Trade Association (PGTA), an international organization of retailers and related businesses whose mission is to bring earth-friendly, water-wise and organic products and practices to the gardening community. What a great organization!

The PGTA held two days of educational seminars given by various industry leaders and experts. BGH was proud to see our resident electrical technician and friend, Dave Van Sickle, give two presentations regarding critical electrical issues facing the indoor gardener, basic dos and don'ts, electrical maintenance, and how to avoid burning down the barn!

Dave Van Sickle, BGH's resident expert on electricity, giving Expo guests a seminar basic panel safety.

Other seminars included topics such as aquaponics, new lighting technologies, legal issues facing the industry and more.

The BGH staff looks forward to the annual PGTA meeting every year, as it is the only venue of it's kind. Where else can you meet manufacturers and industry leaders face-to-face and hear them speak on the issues that affect growers and the industry as a whole? At BGH, we have have a thirst for knowledge; even though we've been gardening indoors for over 25 years, there's still a lot to learn, and we encourage you keep learning, too! If you are local to Los Angeles, our friendly staff at both our Pasadena and Bell locations are ready to help you. Web customers who cannot visit us face to face are welcome to contact us and receive the same product and technical support advice that our local customers enjoy. We can be reached online using our live chat feature, by email and telephone. We also have a great resource of FAQ's online to educate yourself on various hydroponic topics such as, "What kind of lighting do I need to grow my plants", "What are the benefits of adding CO2 to my grow room" and MANY more!

Our industry is growing and changing every day and so it is important to an eye on what's coming around the bend. After all, the more you know, the better you'll grow!

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The History of Hydroponics

This past October, Maximum Yield magazine brought its world renowned Indoor Gardening Expo to Long Beach for the first time. And as was customary with the annual San Francisco show, BGH was asked to provide an "Education Station" booth. Normally we would set up a booth of several complete growing systems as a way to educate attendees on hydroponic systems and methods. For the Long Beach show we decided to do something a little different. We left the HID lights and grow tents at home and instead, put together a booth that showcased the History of Hydroponics. The BGH team put in over a hundred and forty hours and consulted over 25 major organizations and companies all over the world. We reached out to numerous other sources when researching this topic, and many of our findings were surprising, even to us.

The history of hydroponics is deep and rich. Spanning thousands of years, hydroponic gardening has stood as proof of mankind's ingenuity and fortitude when faced with less than ideal growing conditions and hungry mouths to feed. What most of us today consider merely a hobby has been at the forefront of the advancements of civilization for several millennium. Come take a closer look with us at the vast and surprising History of Hydroponics!


New Product: APE 2.0 – Automated Pollen Extractor

The Agricultural Pollen Extractor 2.0. This is all that you need to get started harvesting pollen. Unrefined media is placed into the barrel and then into the machine. The results of the agitation process is refined product, which is deposited on to the tempered glass pull out catch tray for easy collection. The refining screen on the barrel can be quickly changed to outfit the machine for extraction of 220 micron sized particles and 180 micron sized particles (180 micron screen sold separately).

- APE polished aluminum housing
- Quick-fill barrel (160 gram capacity)
- Friction drive design
- Sealed ball bearings
- EZ access tempered glass catch tray
- Replaceable screen (220 micron)
- Overload protected motor. (120v 60Hz .57A)
- Weight: 21.2 lbs
- 2 year manufacturer's warranty


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BGH’s Top 10 of 2010

#10 - ZHO Rhizosphere Root Inoculant

2010 is the year of the root zone. From air-pruning pots to microbial inoculants and compost teas, indoor gardeners everywhere are putting more time and effort into building a beneficial root zone to help push their plants to perform at their optimum levels. Botanicare’s ZHO Rhizosphere Root Inoculant is our favorite beneficial microbial colonizer. ZHO is a 100% water soluble and proprietary blend of Mycorrhizae and Trichoderma fungi. ZHO allows you to build an effective microbial system that will help increase rooting and overall root mass, nutrient uptake, soil structure, and can help dissolve elements that are more difficult for your plants to use in their natural state. Unlike other rhizosphere inoculants, ZHO contains special amino acids that intensifies the root zone activity ignited by ZHO.

#9 - SNS Pest Control Products

2010 saw a newcomer in the pest control world - Sierra Natural Sciences. SNS offers up all-natural biodegradable pest control solutions in three options. SNS217 is their spider mite control spray. Available in a concentrate or ready to use (RTU) spray, SNS217 is a 100% pure rosemary oil botanical extract spray. However, unlike other botanical sprays we have tried in the past, SNS actually works. SNS244 is their fungicide formulation made from 100% pure thyme oil botanical extract. SNS203 is a unique soil drench formula made from pure rosemary and clove oil botanical extract. SNS203 is perfect for root aphids, thrips, fungus gnats, and most other garden pests that live above and below the soil line. SNS203 can be used as a soil drench or a topical spray and is available in a concentrate form. SNS products are all natural and can be safely used on plants up to harvest. Finally, an all-natural pesticide that is as effective as a conventional chemical pesticide.

#8 - Hanna HI 9813-6N

Hanna, a long time recognized leader in analytical instruments, has reinvented their extremely popular HI 9813-6 pH/EC/TDS/Temp handheld meter as the HI 9813-6N. With the “-6N”, Hanna made some drastic upgrades over the previous models in the HI 9813 line. The most noticeable is the extremely large display which makes reading the meter a cinch. The screen is even so big that there’s enough room for calibration instructions to appear on the display! Speaking of calibration, it’s never been easier with the “-6N”. Simply turn one of the two appropriate dials on the front of the meter with the probe in the proper calibration solution and you’re set. There’s also Hanna’s unique Cal-Check system, all you need to do is place the probe in Cal-Check solution and the meter will let you know what is out of calibration. Keeping an eye on the balance of your reservoir has never been so easy! All Hanna meters feature a 1-year warranty on the meter and 6 months on the electrode. And, you’ll never need to wait for repair work to be done with Hanna. If your Hanna meter ever stops working properly within the warranty period, simply return it to BGH and we’ll replace it with a brand new unit.

#7 - Orca Films

Not all black & white sheeting are created equal, and Orca Film is the absolute proof. Orca Film is the most reflective material on the market - period! We tested it against Mylar using a Hanna Digital Light Meter and found that it was literally twice as reflective - unbelievable! Orca Film’s microfiber construction effectively scatters light from highly reflective crystalline structures within the film. These microfibers are naturally diffused and lend to Orca’s extremely high reflective and ultra-matte surface. Orca boasts a 94% reflectivity across the full visible light spectrum opposed to most reflective films which fail to reflect light in the higher wavelengths. Orca provides 99% diffused reflection, reflecting light evenly regardless of the angle of the incoming light. This totally eliminates hot spots and also allows the film to not need to be hung flat. At 11 mil thick, Orca is thermally reflective, 100% light tight, waterproof and completely cleanable. It’s also won’t yellow due to prolonged UV exposure and is completely recyclable. Orca Grow Film, a high performance reflective L.E.D. microfiber wall covering, and one of BGHydro’s TOP 10 of 2010.

#6 - Easy Grow Films

You’ll never want to use regular Mylar again after you put any of the Easy Grow brand reflective films up on your walls. Available in several different styles so you can pick the reflective material that’s best for your garden and best for your pocket book. All of Easy Grow’s Lightite line of films are made using a three-part design where black-out material is sandwiched  between two sheets of white or PET (polyethylene terephtalate/Mylar) reflective material making it 100% light tight, highly durable and 100% washable. The Lightite Diamond Diffusion Foil utilizes a diamond pattern stamped into the PET cover with white on the reverse. The Diamond pattern scatters the light reflection, causing the light to become more diffused, which enables it to illuminate a larger area while eliminating hot spots. Lightite Silver White Sheeting uses a smooth PET film on one side and white film on the reverse to give you direct light reflectance and a mirror like covering. White Lightite is made from two sheets of white reflective material with a sheet of black plastic sandwiched in between. Easy Grow now offers Diamond Diffusion and Silver White in an economical two sheet design as well eliminating the blackout film in the middle but still maintaining the high durability and washability of the Lightite line. Eco films are great for covering solid walls and other applications where being 100% light tight isn’t a concern, making them the perfect replacement for Mylar. In addition, most Easy Grow products are now available in three sizes - 25’, 50’ and 100’; all rolls are 100’ long.

#5 - Dust Shrooms

Tired of cleaning dust and dirt out of the insides of your air-cooled housing? Want to prevent your intake fan from pulling in mold spores and bugs from outside? If so, the Dust Shroom is the answer for you. The Dust Shroom from Horti-Control is a reusable foam filter element designed to keep dust, dirt, bugs, mold, bacteria and more out of indoor gardening areas and air-cooled reflectors. Unlike paper HEPA filters, the Dust Shroom is completely reusable, cleanable and extremely durable. Horti-Control teamed up with UNI Filter, the world leader in reusable automotive & racing foam filters, to design a filter for indoor gardeners. Dust Shrooms are available in 4”, 6” and 8” duct sizes and come pre-oiled and ready to install!

#4 - Gnatrol WDG

Got Gnats? A common indoor pest, gnats are mostly harmless yet extremely annoying small black flying insects that are attracted to moist growing mediums and still bodies of water (read: wet rockwool, coco, soil, etc. as well as reservoirs). Gnat larvae live in the root zone and mostly feed on dead root matter. However, if the infestation is advanced and it turns out you have fungus gnats then they can start to have negative effects on your plants. But how do you fight them? Sticky traps don’t cut the mustard, and since they live in the soil, topical sprays won’t take care of the problem either. That’s where Gnatrol WDG comes into play. Gnatrol WDG is a water soluble granulate that is made up of a particular strain of larvicidal bacteria that goes to work dissolving the gnats and larvae from the inside out after the bug has ingested it. Gnatrol was formerly available as a liquid form. In 2010, Gnatrol was reformulated as a water soluble which doubles the shelf life, makes it easier and more accurate to measure, and costs much less to ship! So, if you have gnats going into 2011, get Gnatrol WDG, one of our Top 10 of 2010!

#3 - Can MAX Fan

Can MAX Fans are not necessarily new to 2010, but since we know these are simply the best fans on the market, we thought we would use the recent release of the 6” MAX Fan to their line-up as an “excuse” to include them in our Top 10 of 2010. MAX Fans, the leading name in mixed-flow in-line fan technology in our industry, are extremely energy efficient fans that easily outperform centrifugal fans of the same size. MAX Fans utilize an aerodynamically optimized airflow which helps them run quieter than other fans, as well as significantly reducing the amount of electricity used when compared to a comparable centrifugal fan. They also generate far more static pressure than conventional fans, which means they can easily handle the back pressure generated by carbon filters and long duct runs and force more air through them. The 6” MAX Fan generates 334 CFM and comes with a built in three-stage dimmer switch allowing you to customize your fan speed to your particular setup. MAX fans are easy to mount, light weight and cost less to ship! Available in just about every size possible – 8”, 10”, 12”, 14”, 16”, 18”, 20” and now 6” – the MAX Fan is one of our top 10 choices for 2010.

#2 - Lumatek High PAR Lamps

Lumatek, the long-time world leader in digital grow light ballasts, released their new line of High PAR bulbs in 2010, and we love them! Designed by the world’s leading HID lamp engineers, these lamps provide exceptional performance on both magnetic and electronic ballasts. 100% European engineered and manufactured, Lumatek’s High-PAR output lamps deliver an optimized spectrum and high level of PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) light to promote healthy plant growth. As more and more indoor gardeners realize that lumens are an ineffective and inaccurate measurement of a bulb’s effectiveness toward plant growth, more focus has been put on PAR light by bulb manufacturers. PAR, in essence, is a measurement of plant usable light, and Lumatek made high PAR levels the primary goal in developing their new line of bulbs. Available in 1000 watt HPS, 600 watt HPS and 400 watt HPS, Lumatek High PAR lamps are the perfect addition to your fruiting and flowering lighting program. Put these lamps up against any other enhanced lamps currently on the market and you will see that they perform spectacularly. And since they’re made by Lumatek, you know they are compatible with digital ballasts, although they will perform just as good in conventional magnetic ballasts as well.

#1 - Root Master Pots

Air pruning containers have been a hot topic in 2010, and we here at BGHydro have a favorite in the air pruning pot realm - Root Masters! Root Master pots are available in three different incarnations; RootMakers, RootBuilders and RootTrappers. Root Master Pots help create a fibrous, non-circulating root system that promotes vertical and horizontal branching. A fibrous root system means greater root tip surface area and translates into greater efficiency in the absorption of water and nutrients; an increase in growth rate, establishment and vigor; higher transplant survivability and ultimately, superior performance and production from your plants. If you haven’t done so yet, do yourself a favor and try Gro Pro Root Master Pots today. I know you’re thinking, “it’s just an expensive pot!”, but you will be shocked to see how much better your plants grow and, most importantly, yield. They will pay for themselves several times over on the first harvest alone!

There you have it, BGH’s First Annual Top 10 Products of the Year.  We can’t wait to see what 2011 has in store - see you next year!

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Black Friday Sale!

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SoCal Tradeshow Wrapups

Southern California October Trade Show Wrap-ups

Urban Garden GROW 2010:

Following the tremendous success of their Manchester, UK show, Urban Garden Magazine decided to bring GROW 2010 to the Los Angeles Convention Center on October 1st & 2nd. Marking the first of many hydroponic & indoor gardening expo’s to hit the Los Angeles area in the years to come, GROW 2010 was a blast with over 100 different exhibitors, workshops, guest speakers and presentations.

Friday Oct 1st; it was a bright and sunny day in LA. It was also opening day at GROW 2010. Walking into the Los Angeles Convention Center you couldn’t help but feel the excitement in the air. Huge banners over the doorways welcomed you into the convention and the lobby was bustling with attendees waiting for the doors to be opened. The first day of the convention was limited to industry-only participants while the second day, deemed “Grower Day”, was open to the general public. After a short wait, the doors finally open - and we’re in!!!

It’s always exciting to walk into one of these expos and be taken away by the magnitude of the vendor’s booths; each one trying to outdo the next with large-scale product demos, tons of information, raffles, prizes and an amazing amount of free samples. Some even boasted DJ booths, games, free food and drinks as well as plenty of sweet lounge spaces to take a load off from carrying around all those samples (I had to make 4 separate trips back to my car the first day alone because I picked up so much schwag!).

Some of the more notable booths were from the hydroponic big dogs like Botanicare, General Hydro, Sunlight Supply, Can-Fan, C.A.P. (Custom Automated Products), Lumatek, Humboldt Nutrients and many more. However, possibly the most impressive displays were in the Education Arena. Several manufacturers collaborated to set up a handful of intricate and technologically advanced grow rooms ranging in size from a few plants to many. Completely encased in Plexiglas, the gardens acted as the grounds for attendees to gain some extra knowledge while also keeping up to date on the latest and greatest the hydro world has to offer.

The BGHydro boys did a couple of workshops (myself included) on Grower Day in the Education Arena. It was nice to be at a show that was so dedicated to education and advancement and not just new and hot products. We also had a few give-a-ways on Grower Day and there were plenty of BGHydro shirts in the crowd. Overall, GROW 2010 was a fantastic show and I was grateful for the chance to meet a lot of new faces in the hydro world as well as reconnect with many old friends in the industry.

Maximum Yield Indoor Gardening Expo:

Maximum Yield Magazine, long heralded as the biggest Hydro magazine in North America and the force behind the premiere annual hydro expo in San Francisco, decided to bring their Indoor Gardening Expo to the Long Beach Convention Center on Oct 16th & 17th.

BGHydro once again sponsored the Education Station (as we do every year) and we decided to dedicate this year’s booth to the History of Hydroponics. Many people from both inside and outside the industry came by and marveled at the beautiful artwork and informative presentation. The history timeline spanned from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in 600 BC to modern hydroponic systems of today to the future of hydroponics. Many were amazed at just how rich the history of hydroponics is. Also featured on display was one of the Hydroponic Growing Chambers that BGH was commissioned to design for the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. This breathtaking and original work of art (a true museum piece that cost $20K to design and build) that was filled with lettuce from our commercial hydroponic farm (Living Lettuce Farms) captured the attention of just about every person that walked into the show. We did some give-a-ways and the Clipper Girls came out to lend us a hand and cheer on the winners!

[more photos on our facebook page]

Many new and unique products were on display from many different vendors. As is to be expected, there were plenty of free samples making their way into the hands of the masses who showed up on Sunday the 17th for the public day. Some of the more notable vendors were Hydrologic, showing off their new reverse osmosis systems, Dutch Master, Can-Fan and Sunlight Supply.

Once again, this show was a great chance to see some of the new and old faces in the hydro industry.


Do you prune your roots?

RootMakerRoot pruning is a technique overlooked by many growers today.  By pruning roots, you promote root branching and feeder root growth, resulting in a fibrous root system.  We offer GroPro Root Master Containers for every phase of plant growth.  Root Master Containers were specially developed to air prune the root system as your plant matures to increase the efficiency of water and nutrient absorption, and provide increased growth rates and higher transplant survivability.

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