1200W- The Underground Jungle - Hydro

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Grow Journals' started by rain dancer, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. #1 rain dancer, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
    My first hydro grow!!!! :D in the basement!!!!

    Backstory- (SKIP down if you dont care about this part) Last grow died from root aphids. Grow before that suffered from root aphids but I didnt know what was wrong. Got them from contaminated fox farm Ocean forrest soil. Typically organic grower, grow my own redworms in big wooden orange bins, have my own chickens and rabbit, small farmer. Had to go systemic to kill root aphids. Still lost. Decided to end the grow.

    Strain - was growing a few different strains which included: (blue dream, my own strains of orange kush, widow berry, widow, few others ill add later, cant remember right now. Accidently ripped off two small branches while lsting. Accidently made "clones." didnt care if they lived or died. Skipped the process of skinning outside layer, cutting at angle, cutting tips of leaves, dome, all that shit, just took some decade old rooting powder from walmart and threw the two clones together in a glass jar in the window and completely forgot about them.

    ---3 weeks later my soil grows in shambles. I kill everything, end the grow and then notice lots of beautiful roots on two clones. Left them, added fox farm grow big as a drop and started collecting parts o build 5 gallon bucket drip system.

    Strain -unknown(see above)
    4x Banana Kush
    1x Alien Og
    1x Confidential Cheese

    SETUP: had to go cheap--

    --Lowes 5 Gallon Blue Buckets -x2-6
    --Gh farm drip kit -x2 -->http://www.amazon.com/Farm-Kit-Item-4115-Hydroponics/dp/B0002JAY6E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1391560276&sr=8-3&keywords=Drip+system+hydro
    10 inch buckets for roots-x2-6
    2.5 lbs of hydroballs-x2
    Hannah ph meter -red one
    Hm tds ppm tester
    Distilled water
    Gh- Ph down 2.5lbs powder
    Fox farm 3 nutes
    Aquarium double pump
    Black air lines from swamp cooler

    Sun system super sun 2 hood
    2x600w quantum digital ballast
    Vegetative -600w plusrite bulb
    Flower -600w eye hortilux

    REFLECTIVITY -- not yet completed--needs to be setup
    Mylaar security blankets-x20 (took my tent down for more room)

    18 hours on currently.

    Feel free to ask questions or give input. ADVICE WELCOME!!!

    Will be providing updates and trying to keep a daily log/journal of my struggle!

    Pics to come!
  2. Awesome I just started my first real hydro grow from a clone from my bubble cloner ,some autoflower seeds and a cheap 40$ kit.
    Also I have won the war on spider mites only to have aphids get a start but am winning that one too.
    Im thinking hydro is the way to go. sick of playing in the dirt, I will keep my dirt outside.
  3. #3 rain dancer, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
    Hey brother, glad to have you in here! You just started? Good, we can figure this out together lol

    Spider mites are a walk in the park compared to those damn raphids! Ended up using bayer tree and shrub mixed with bayer citrus and it did nothing. OSUB said it was probably since theyre resistant since i live in the central valley (dumped 7 million tons of pesticides on us last year :-/)

    Forgot to mention both my clones showed white hairs the other day, so im growing girls for sure! :D

    I tried to do this once before at a different house using tap and ended up with water mold (white gooey cum lookin shit, was nasty!)

    Been a few years, we'll see how she goes!

    ------Ok so heres my first struggle.

    Ive been keeping my ph at 5.8ish. But every 5 or 6 hours its back up to 6.4-7

    I dunno wtf is going on. I assume its because i didnt soak my hydroton overnight, just kept soaking and rinsing it for an hour to remove buildup.

    My water temp is 65-68 degrees.

    Ive been adding ph down from general hydroponics, then waiting a few hours to test again.

    Leaves look nute burned.

    Ppm is 700-20ish.

    ------What am i doing wrong? Im about to flush, scrub the buckets and start over. Im using distilled water.

    ------My ppm on my tap water is 150. If i let it sit with an air stone to evaporate chlorine, can i use this instead of store bought? Store bought distilled is getting expensive!

    Second question:

    How do i purify rain water to remove any dirt/dust? I usually just filter it through some old T-shirts

    It raining right now.

    Any help is appreciated, thank you. Gonna add a pic from my ipad. Forgive the quality and the fact its not a thumbnail. Ill fix it later.


    ps, plants are green, they just look yellow from the light.

    Also, my nutes are 10+ years old. Could this have an effect?
  5. #5 dishphead, Feb 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2014
    A) 700 ppm is much too high for plants that young.
    B] I don't know if your nutrients being old has much to do with it, although I'm sure synthetic fertilizers break down after a while. couldn't hurt to have some new ones.
    C)despite hydroton being 'ph neutral' I've had fluctuations like that before. it will go away. tap water 150ppm is fine, exactly what I use. once it starts getting to 200 or 250 is when one should reconsider using it.
  6. do your nutrient "rattle" when shaken, like crystals/rocks are in the mix?
    if so trash em, if not rock on.
    gotta ask what line you runnin.. NVM I see Fox Farms.. yikes I hate FF for hydro ( and I'm not alone) .."why do I hate that stuff ?".. the gro is a pH fucker upper... kinda like Maxibloom in hard water ( a teaspoon took a 5 gallon bucket from 7.5 to 4.0..that's huge)
    if you do decide to change your nute line up .. I highly suggest you start here.
    http://lucasformula.com/  the standard "2 bottle" formula is best IMO. quarts of em should run around 12-15 bucks each and should last many grows for your size ( I see your on a budget). Matter of fact if you never go above this size grow op , you find gallons of Micro will " crystal " up before you can use em ..so quarts will be your staple IME
    I used to use homemade Waterfarms myself.. great units IMO/E.
    more hydroton in those pots next time/ or later on this grow, this system is more drip then bubble. so the plants will do better ( health, yields, and strength of growth)  with more root space .
    hydroton will have some Ph fluctuations in the first week or two of use I've found. I blame the dust , I can never seem to wash off the "travel dust" enough not to have this issue.
    run me through your pH testing process
    clones IME can use full nutes, unlike seedlings that need/want a gradual build up  least that's my experience, so mileage may vary :huh:
  7. #7 rain dancer, Feb 7, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
    where should it be? Clones are almost a month old but in terms of "clone" size theyre small.
    going to order an new lineup now, see if it makes a difference
    thanks for the clarification, i appreciate it. Will save me some money inthe long run.

    oddly enough, theres no rattle and the solution hasnt cystalized. This stuff was made before there was a hydroponic solution so it predates that. Not a big fan of fx farm either. Was going to see if i could use worm tea (vermicompost) somehow as i hate these nutes but from what ive read its not really possible yet for some reason.

    im going to try this new lineup soon. Also going to flush my plants today and put new water and let them get used to low ppm before i feed. I think i screwed up bringing the ppm to 500 on day 1 as per instructions i read online. Also, i almost ordered the general hydro line but didnt after a negative review i read. Will buy some for sure now.
    i have a whole bag (2.5 pounds) per 10 inch lid bucket. Is that not enough?
    i agree, hydroton seems to leave a lot of dust in the res. even after a thorough soak.

    To ph test what i do is take a bowl, grab the run off hose, pour some into to the bowl, pour the bowl back into the res. ido this a few times to make sure i get a proper reading. After 4 or so bowls, i test with my ph meter then ppm meter. I let them set a minute, then repeat the process, get a few more readings, adjust my ph by adding ph down, (havent fed at all since day 1)

    The ppm is nearly 800 on day 3 or 4.

    I bought another double pump and some 4 inch airstones from walmart and added them to the bottom of the buckets for dwc. This is in addition to my drip system. Im hoping this helps aerate the water better. Going to check ph now, then check my rainwater outside, see how much i got and get my ph in order.

    What should my ph and ppm be the first week. Thanks
    Oh, ok, didnt see this last quote til i asked my qs. These "clones" are already at least a month old, but they grew slow in the window seal.
  8. #8 rain dancer, Feb 7, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
    Ok so i cleaned my res, ordered some general hydroponics maxibloom (2.5lbs dry form) and to my surprise (not really) there was a shitload of clay dust at the bottom of the res.

    Tested my TAP WATER and its 160ppm and 7.4 ph so i added some hydrogen peroxide 3% (10ml/gal) to help clean the lines as i didnt know how to clean the lines/hydroton without taking the plant out, which i didnt want to do. I also added ph down to bring it down, ill check it every few hours today til it normalizes at 5.8ish.
  9. Damnit, realized i effed up. X-(

    I didnt let my tap water sit with air stones for a few days to evaporate chlorine....

    Shoulda waited a little, now theres a possibility chlorine is in the hydroton.

    Its what i get for rushing i guess. Oh well, all a learning process.
  10. you'll be fine it'll go away in a few hours.
  11. when you use the Maxi bloom , do not Ph til you've mixed it up.
    @ 160 PPM you're just pushing hard water. so hopefully you don't see too big of a dip in your pH.
    also a little pro tip for running multiple water farms....
    get an extra 5 gallon bucket as a control unit and to keep an extra 3-4 gallons of solution in your system ..more solution = more stability in your system. Just get a couple extra barbed connectors and grommets ( just like the ones you used to put in that blue over flow pipe) and use that blue tubing already supplied. this way you'll never move a plant to change out solution or check it.
    also about hydroton levels.. I fill those things up until the drip ring is resting on hydroton. it will not effect the flow of nutrient solution IME. the nutrient solution will clog those in about 60-90 days.
    which brings me to another reminder about WFs.. those rings should be pulled off and clean in the kitchen sink with warm water and clean cloth about once a month. maybe use a toothpick if build up is heavy on the "holes". cause they do clog.
    I start my cuts around 700-800 PPM, and seedling closer to 400-500 PPM
    OTD: Rain yesterday ? another west coaster huh ? been pouring out there the last couple days.
  12. subb'd!
    good luck w/ the hydro run dude..
    looks like you got the right folks in here to help you out.
    have a good weekend man..
  13. Wow dude. You are running the gamut on problems. This is gonna end up a sticky. Best filter for rainwater? That is something I know. Don't use colored shirts or shirts that have been washed or had fabric softener on them. Plain white tee, boiled. Or a reusable coffee filter. Rainwater has life in it, so don't try filtering and storing. Filter and use as needed for healthy water. BTW a hippy I know drinks a glass out of every batch he pulls, and swears it is better than any vitamins you'd ever buy in a store. 70 years old and jogs 5 miles a day...so it hasn't killed him yet. But his water is coming off of his Green House roof, not asphalt shingles.
  14. Thank YOU all for the replies. I appreciate all of your input sincerely!

    ODD thing happening lately.

    Plants droop terribly at lower phs (5.7-6.3) but perk up happily at (7.1-7.4-ish)

    Im aware different nutes are absorbed at different phs, just thought it was weird how droopy theyve been the last few days and now at higher ph, no probs.


    Gettingmy nutes tomorrow hopefully tomorrow. Found a recipe online for maxibloom+molasses+cal/mag

    Was going to try it.

    Trying to write in this journal daily
  15. check the calibration on your meter. I couldn't believe that your plants are preferring 7.1 to 5.7
  16. PH Pen fucked up? or not calibrated?
    If you don't fill those pots with hydroton until the holes in the sides of the buckets are covered up, you are going to experience algee which will lead to root rot.
    NO LIGHT TO THE WATER. Inspect your roots, that could be your problem. White your still ok, brown your probably already screwed.
    PPM's at that size, 300ish.
  17. toss a link would ya ?
    molasses can be tricky in hydro, it tends to cause bacteria blooms. you're better off using Hiesenberg Tea IME for the benefits of the micro herd in hydro.
    basically it's just an inoculated ACT. I've found Fox Farms Bush Doctor Microbe Brew to have all the needed fungi & bacteria spores for proper inoculation. 
    inoculation is not needed ( save on the $$ for now as that's an issue) to work, you'll be missing a couple micro herd elements, but probably not enough to matter. it will also take longer to create the proper "foaming" effect that shows its done. but that's the trade off I suppose.
    I'd also like to point out that pH issues tend to take a few days to smooth out or even show. so you may not be seeing improved growing based upon what you think it may be based upon ( hope that makes sense..)
  18. The odd thing is I was reading random forums and stumbled upon a few people who preferred their ph to stay around 7ish. I thought this was odd as it directly contradicts my understanding of hydro.  

    Yeah I realized that the pots need to be completely filled for light leakage after i wrote you. Plan to order more hydroton in the next week. My ppm is 300ish currently, a little lower 270ish. Roots havent penetrated the hydroton yet, so i dunno what color they are.

    Your post made perfect sense. Appreciate all your input.

    I doubt i have any type of fungal/algae growth so far. Ive cleaned the res twice in 6 days, treating both times with h202. I plan to get some 35% h202 when i can afford some really soon, more hydroton and I wanted to try to use a 5 gallon bucket with lid as a feeding res for the other two buckets (have all three connected) so i feed one bucket and both plants eat the same.


    Heres the link for the maxibloom recipe using the lucas formula to a degree.


    I should be getting my nutrients today so ill be messing with plants and posting updates.
  19. #19 rain dancer, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
    Got a question.

    Do i ph before i feed then after? I dont add my water ppm to overall ppm, i just read the ppm once its all mixed together. Same for ph. Is this correct?

    I always do readings and adjust an hour or two aft i feed and stir the buckets.

    How do you guys clean your hydroton during veg/flower? Do you remove your entire rootball from the stones?

    Edit: heres how i clean:
    I take two lowes buckets, lift off my 10 inch basket, set it on empty lowes bucket.

    Scrub my res with a rag and plain water, then refill, add h202 and let it set a day that way after putting the baskets back on. I dont feel the hydroton or lines get cleaned enough. What should i do to cleanthose? Will 35% h202 help with that?

    Also, im noticing the hydroton is STILL leaving dust in my res. the bottom is brown, but im 100 percent sure its not a growth of any kind. Adding airstones to my res on top of my drip system is helping the water stay clean/cold and helping aerobic bacteria thrive a little better, me thinks.

    Also, i added some superthrive, which im mostly adamantely against and my leaves curled around to the side. No more of that shit. Had the little bottle for years but my plants seem to hate it....

    Im going to order more hydroton and h202 soon. Wanted some hydrozyme (believe its called that) but wanted your expert opinions. Appreciate your guys help, youre all godsends.

    Also, roots are poppin through the plant on the lefts basket. White and perdy!
  20. ok so first off, you should know your water's ppm and pH, so you know how much of each thing to add and how each nutrient is affecting your solution. I even go as far as measuring all the levels of my nutrients, so I know their ph and ec level. this helps with estimating add back ratios better. I always mix up my solution in a separate bucket, ph it, then let it sit for maybe a half hour, ph it again, then put my plant into it. big swings in ph will do nothing but harm, so it's always good to move in small increments, and ensure that your new solution your plant is going into is in check so it's not even the slightest bit shocked. let me give an example to better explain that:
    lets say you have nutrients that are relatively acidic (as pretty much all synthetic nutrients are). if you have a brand new bucket of water that your plant is sitting in, and you start adding nutrients, the ph is going to swing all over the place-screwing with all the aerobic bacteria that are helping your plants as well as your plant saying, 'what the hell is going on'. so try to mix nutrients and ph them before putting your plant in them.
    second, you do not clean hydroton during veg or flower. period. if you're trying to get dirt out of there, you can take plain water(preferably RO or distilled) and run it through the rocks and netpot. avoid using tap or soup water, as this can result in salt buildups in your hydroton when the water dries.
    third, if you're buying a product like hygrozyme, or the one I use; cannazyme (either one will work imho those are the best two enzyme products on the market) then definitely DO NOT USE H202. it will render it completely useless. also, using enzyme products, you wont have to worry about cleaning your lines and res really. I get almost no buildup using cannazyme because the stuff just eats away all that bad shit. So, use either H202 or enzymes, but never both. I, personally, suggest the enzymes. all kinds of good things come with that stuff.
    and yeah, superthrive is good for starting seedlings, I never use it for my plants though.

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