Two of the largest retail suppliers of hydroponic equipment, nutrients and fertilizers are Advanced Nutrients and General Hydroponics. Each company has built itself into a leading position in the hydroponics industry with operations throughout North America and Europe, and a strong online presence. Advanced Nutrients is also known for its specialization in the fertilization of large field crops.
Advanced Nutrients began with the foundation of Canadian Soilless Ltd. in 1996, by three partners, Michael Straumietis, Robert Higgins and Eugene Yordanov. The three professionals of business, horticulture and engineering later started a new line of hydroponic products under the name Advanced Nutrients, in 2001. Worldwide, it is responsible for the growth of billions of vegetables, herbs and houseplants each year.
General Hydroponics was founded by Lawrence Brooke in mid-1970s. It has since expanded its market to meet the international demands for hydroponic technology. It currently uses more than 10 acres for testing new hydroponic systems, crops and other technologies.
Advanced Nutrients provides hydroponic growing equipment, micronutrient growth enhancers and various specialized supplements. Products include those for rooting, germination and transplanting plants.
General Hydroponics sells products that provide for plant nutritional needs, such as liquid fertilizers for soilless systems. It has helped expand technology in the field of aeroponics, drip gardening, as well as the manufacture larger hydroponic systems. It works to develop stronger plant strains through cloning and advanced liquid nutrient products.
Advanced Nutrients publishes the magazine, "Rosebud," which features a blend of high-profile entertainers, sports facts and hydroponic content. It also publishes the online magazine, Advanced Nutrients Press.
General Hydroponics is known for its large research facility in Sebastopol, California and a 45,000-square-foot factory. Its research area typically tests new equipment designs, nutrient formulations and new crop breeds.
Advanced Nutrients dominates the competition with its technical support line that promises the latest information and 100 percent secure communications through email and phone. It offers technical advice and instructions on how to properly operate any of its equipment.
While General Hydroponics also provides customer support, it is not as extensive. It primarily helps clients with the return of damaged products through email or phone lines.
Advanced Nutrients has a region-specific website that allows consumers to choose their particular location. It provides a nutrient calculator so customers can know exactly how much fertilizer to use. You can also sign up for daily emails and updates on products. The site also offers reviews and FAQs on most products.
While the General Hydroponics website is less extensive, it provides a store locator, instructions on products and resources for further support.
Neither company provides online shopping.