If you have a hydroponics system you know that one of the most important elements is the nutrients solution/fertilizer. Only with it, your plants can get all the nutrients they need. In this article, we will go through the basics of setting up a hydroponics system and how you can get the most out of it with MARPHYL Soil Enhancer made of 100% wild marine phytoplankton from Vancouver Island.

And to avoid any confusion, let us clarify that the name “Soil Enhancer” doesn’t mean that you can use it only on the soil. Keep reading and you will learn that MARPHYL Soil Enhancer is perfect for any types of hydroponics as well as soil-based growth systems.

What is hydroponics?

Hydroponics is the art of growing plants without soil. The root system is supported using an inert medium (perlite, rockwool, clay pellets, peat moss, vermiculite, etc.). This setup allows the roots to come in direct contact with the nutrient solution and have access to oxygen, which is essential for proper growth.

The hydroponics technique has been utilized by many civilizations throughout history. One of the most famous examples is Hanging Gardens of Babylon – one of the wonders of the ancient world. The gardens were built partially on top of ziggurats, and plants were irrigated on channels.

Interesting fact

NASA has been doing a lot of research on hydroponics. Unlike travelers on Earth who have the convenience of roadside diners and fast-food restaurants, the dining options for space travelers are limited. As NASA’s astronauts prepare to fulfill the Vision for Space Exploration with increasingly lengthy missions, scientists are trying to find a way for them to grow their own food and one of the options is hydroponics!

Advantages of hydroponics

  • Higher growth rates. Some hydroponic growers claim that their plants mature up to 25% faster than the ones grown in soil.

  • Higher yield up to 30% more than if using soil.

  • Less water used as the system is enclosed, which results in less evaporation.

  • You can easily make it organic with MARPHYL Soil Enhancer. It is listed by OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) on OMRI Products List©.

  • Better for the environment (no waste and pollution from soil runoff).

  • Saves space. You can have many more plants growing close to each other, as they don’t need to spread their roots out into the soil to find the nutrients they need.

  • No worries about the changing seasons, as crops can be grown all year round.

  • Access to Roots. The roots are a clear sign of the health and well-being of your plants. Hydroponic system makes it easy to monitor the health of your plant’s roots and corrects any deficiencies or problems before they develop further.

  • No weeds.

  • No soil-borne diseases and pests.

To start with hydroponics you will need a few basic elements

Hydroponics system

Hydroponics system is a special structure that holds water and/or other inert medium and provides places to grow plants. You can build your own system or buy a ready-made solution. Nowadays, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Inert hydroponic medium

New kinds of growing medium pop up on the market almost every day. Some of the common types are rockwool/stonewool, oasis cubes, vermiculite, perlite, coconut fiber (coir), peat, lava rock, fiberglass insulation, composted bark, pea gravel, sand, expanded clay, sawdust, pumice, foam chips, polyurethane grow slabs and rice hulls. Each alternative has its pros and cons, and the choice will depend on many variables, including the size and type of plants you wish to grow and the type of hydroponics system you use.

Expanded clay pebbles


Hydroponic nutrients

Unlike most commonly available plant food, hydroponic fertilizers must contain the entire spectrum of necessary nutrients. The reason being that most plants rely on 16 nutrients to grow and reproduce – carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), boron (B), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), molybdenum (Mo), and chlorine (Cl).
Of these 16, only three are available through water uptake and air: carbon through CO2, hydrogen, and oxygen. The remaining thirteen nutrients are the mineral nutrients delivered to plants through nutrient solutions (hydroponics fertilizer).


MARPHYL Soil Enhancer is a perfect nutrient solution

Its only ingredient in 100% wild multi-species phytoplankton that is harvested near Vancouver Island. It is also listed by OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) on OMRI Products List©, which means it can be used for organic production.

Marine phytoplankton has been at the base of the food chain for all the creatures living in the ocean for more than 3.5 billion years, from the smallest species to the largest of whales. It has been created by nature and has been a keystone element of nutrition forever since.

Recommended use:
Shake well before use. Mix 1 portion of MARPHYL® Soil Enhancer by 20 portions of fresh water.


pH and EC meters

Supplying the correct ratio of nutrients in adequate levels is only a part of the nutrient management process. To keep those nutrients available to plants, you have to control the pH levels as different nutrients are soluble at different pH values.


The best light source for your plants is the natural one. Simply place your hydroponics system where your plants can get at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. If it is not an option, you will have to provide artificial lighting using indoor grow lights.

Room conditions

The ideal humidity for a room where you hydroponics system will be set up is between 40% and 60% relative humidity. Higher levels—especially in rooms with poor air circulation—can lead to powdery mildew and other fungal problems. Depending on your climate, you may need a humidifier or dehumidifier to adjust the relative humidity in the grow room to an optimal level.

Time and plants

You can grow with hydroponics both inside and outside. Any plant can be grown with hydroponics, but note that some are more challenging than others.

Stay tuned for more informative articles by following MARPHYL Marine Phytoplakton on Instagram and Facebook and by subscribing to our Newsletter.

Are you curious about hydroponics? Would you like to try it yourself? Leave all your questions and comments below!

Arantza and Benjamin, founders of MARPHYL Marine Phytoplankton



  1. Avie Grinberg 2019-01-28 at 10:08 - Reply

    Hello a question about your soil enhancer, does it contain the plankton in raw form or do you process it so that it is fertilizer? Do you have more information or references about Hydroponics. How does the dosing change (or does it?) when you use Hydroponics as opposed to a soil based system?

    Thank you

    • Hi Avie, thank you for your questions.
      Our Soil Enhancer is made of 100% wild multi-species phytoplankton from Vancouver Island. We don’t add anything to it. It naturally decomposes while keeping all the nutrients and minerals.
      There is no change in the dosage when using it in a hydroponic system. Just mix one portion of the Soil Enhancer with 20 portions of water and use the mixture as you would use water mixed with a nutrient solution.
      Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any more questions.
      Have a great week!

  2. Kate 2019-09-11 at 11:05 - Reply

    Can hydrogen peroxide be mixed with nutrient water? (Water + Marphyl)?

  3. Melanie Sy 2020-04-11 at 23:59 - Reply


    Does the ph have to sit between 5.5-6.5?
    How necessary is this process with fresh water? I have read that ph increases in the nutrient solution over time so it wouldn’t be a poor idea to start with a ph at 4

    • Hi! Thank you for your questions.
      The PH of our product is already 6.2 – 6.5. We are not sure we understand what you mean by starting with a PH of 4 in that case. Could you please elaborate?
      Yes, it’s necessary to mix it with fresh water or else it would be too many nutrients for the plants when you apply it.

      • Melanie 2020-04-13 at 23:41 - Reply


        I read from other bloggers experience that after mixing fresh water with their fertilizer, they use PH DOWN to reach 5.5.

        Between waterings, the ph in the cache pot increases. therefore, some bloggers have suggested to start with a lower ph nutrient solution (4.5/5)

        • This is probably not something that we can advise you on. It is all very dependent on your particular soil and your plants. We don’t lower the PH in our setups. But you are always free to experiment and find out what works best for you!

  4. Suzanne Bright 2020-06-30 at 03:57 - Reply

    Are any other nutrients required for passive hydroponic tropical houseplants? I am in the process of converting my houseplants and looking at a 3 part nutrient system, however, I would rather use marphyl if it contains everything the plants need. Thank you

    • Hi! Our Soil Enhancer contains all the necessary nutrients that a plant needs, feel free to use it for your tropical houseplants!

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