Posted 03 April 2010 - 08:23 AM
I have the Mini Coliseum and this is my first attempt at growing with this system. I'm beginning my fourth week of flower stage today and all is going well.
I'm using three of the five sections at 50% capacity. The reason I'm only at 50% capacity is that here isn't enough room to use every grow site because the grow sites are too close together. So I use every other site horizontally per tier and I stagger each plant vertically on the tier above. I'm sure that if I was growing a smaller strain I could fit more in but even then it would be a tight fit. Then to use the top tier you need to have a room with a 9-10 ceiling height. I pruned a lot off the bottom of each plant and that helped tremendously in getting light to all the plants, this also helps promote an increase the yield. On my next crop I'll use four sections for 120 grow sites.
Now for some spec. I'm using two 600w HPS lights but I'm going to start using a third light tomorrow. I use a variation of the Lucas Method for my nute cycles. I add 50% of the recommended amounts of B-52, Big Bud, Seed Weed Extract, Floralicious Plus and Cal Mag to the mix of 45 gallons of RO water and keep the ppm's around 1100-1250 with a ph between 5.7-6.0. All this housed in a specially built 8'x8'x8' room with an air conditioning unit with ventilation and ozone generator. I keep the room at 71º and the humidity hovers around 45%. I have an air stone in each reservoir
I like the compactness of the system, and it's relatively easy to operate on a day to day basis, but there are some draw backs with the system. The promise of 300 units is not realistic for this type of plant. I could see growing lettuce or string beans but not something that needs more space. One of the other issues is that the nozzles on the water feed lines clog and there isn't much space to work on the system, especially when you're in the flower stage. The other thing is that plants grow towards the light in the center of the room, so some of the plants are growing horizontally. I've tied back as many as I could but some just seem to be happy in that position. This also caused me to move the units farther apart which makes getting around to the back of the unit more difficult. I may add another door between harvests.
I'm looking forward to my second crop and implementing the lessons learned from the first time around. If anyone has any suggestion please pass them along.