advice welcome: 400W hps, 4 buckets setup - beginner

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by doss, May 5, 2011.

  1. #1 doss, May 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2011
    Hello GC!

    So my setup looks like this:

    Closet - 55x55cm.

    4 buckets(2,5gal or 10liter).
    2 air pumps - Køb Via Aqua. Infinity AP-950 R luftpumpe. 4.8 W - Tilbud: 107,10 (Før: 153,00),-
    Means 2,4watt per bucket, with an air stone attached to each end

    I will grow in rockwool cubes in netpots and use clay pebbles.

    Will be running a oscillating fan above the reflector
    -Euro reflector
    -400W HPS - Sylvania Son-T Grolux 400w - Grow Light Lamps Metal Halide & HPS - Progrow Hydroponics
    -Compact Ballast mk3 400w

    I will use the Lucas Formula for my buckets.

    How does it look? Any tips or adjustments?
  2. #3 doss, May 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2011
    Awesome post! I have changed my setup, so i will be using a tank now aswell to keep it easier on the monitoring of my water ph and ferts.

    This picture shows my setup inside my 55x55cm closet. Will the water flow and level be alright with the tank being below the buckets and will it have any different effect? Tank size big enough?


    So this is pretty much the setup i will be making. With the 4x 10 liter buckets, and a 40 liter tank. I will ofc be running airpumps into each bucket aswell. Any tips or adjustments?

    Can you recommend a reflector for a new grower? for 400W hps

  3. Everything must be the same level, or its a ebb & flow, which also works
  4. #5 doss, May 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2011
    So my system will work? The only thing that changes is the name? :p Or do I have to include another pump or something? Dont want to miss something cus im high..

    Would you recommend using a HPS lamp with dual spectrum like or buying a normal HPS and a MH?
  5. For it to work as you have pictured, you will need to make a few modifications.

    First and foremost you will need an overflow drain or you will end up flooding your closet. If it were me I would put the overflow where you have your fill located, which should be at about the bottom of where your roots will be.

    Second is relocate the fill to the bottom of the buckets, this isn't necessary, but it does make it not splash so much which isn't a big deal.

    Third, you will need to put your water pump on a timer cycling 8 minutes at a time four times a day during daylight hours.

    Fourth for this type of setup I would double bucket and fill the bucket with pellets rather than netpots. Reason being is if you will be doing a flood and drain you don't want your roots drying out in between floods.
  6. I have a couple questions now then :)

    My pump will need a timer to shut off each 6th hour for 8 mins at a time?

    I am not sure I completely understand what the double bucket means? What will it do good for? For the top lid, you want me to swap the netpots out for what? Wouldent it be easiest to use rockwool and pebbles?

    Great idea about the overflow drain, i knew that i had forgotten something important.. haha!
  7. I'm sorry I was typing on my phone before. I'll try to explain a little easier. :)

    What I mean by double buckets, is that you would use two buckets per plant. You would put one bucket inside of the other. The top bucket would have some holes drilled into the bottom of the bucket so the water would rise and fall inside the inner bucket. The top bucket would be filled with the clay pellets, and you would put your rockwool block in that.

    The reason for using two buckets instead of one bucket with a net pot lid, is because during the times that your pump is not running; your roots would be dangling down through the net pot and would eventually dry out. If you have them in a bucket you would have less chance of that happening.

    Now you wouldn't have to do the above if you wanted to do a complete recirculating DWC setup. But I think that would be a little more complicated to do. It's doable, but just a little hard to explain.

    The timer is to do a flood and drain schedule for the Ebb and Flow Setup. If you don't do a timer and go with a recirculating setup, just beware that if your pump burns out while you are at work. There is a chance that your plants will be dead or at least close to it by the time you notice it.
  8. I am still a bit unsure with the double buckets.

    If im using a 10 liter bucket, you want my other bucket to be how big? And if I drill holes into the bottom of my inner bucket, how will the water level rise and fall without me adding more water into the bucket?

    I really cant see the advantage of having double buckets, my roots will be dangling from the net pot and dry out between floods? But where will my roots be in the double bucket that ensures they dont dry out?
  9. #10 fyrhazzrd, May 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2011
    Here is a picture of what I'm kind of getting at. As you can tell in the picture if you hover your mouse over the picture of the buckets it will enlarge the picture. There are two buckets per plant site. The inner bucket is filled with hydroton. Your roots will not dry out in this system, because the clay pellets will retain moisture between flood cycles. Whereas if they are just dangling from netpots, they are just hanging there in the free air. They will dry out very fast when exposed to air.

    The inner bucket has the holes in it so that the water will fill and drain out of the bucket. Your water pump is pumping water into the bottom of the outer bucket, the water level will rise in the outer bucket as well as the inner bucket (since it has holes in it). The water rises until it hits the overflow drain at the preset level of your choosing. The water will maintain that level until the pump shuts off. Once the pump shuts off then all of the water will drain out of both buckets through the fill line.

    I hope that helps. I know it can be a bit confusing at first, but once you assemble even one bucket and do a test run, the light bulb will light.

    You technically don't need the inner bucket to be honest with you. You could just fill the outer bucket with hydroton and be done with it. But I don't like to chance those clay pellets getting inside of my hoses and clogging something up.
  10. Im starting to get it now :) I only have a few more questions.

    The two buckets will be the same size? And the roots will grow between the clay pebbles but because I have a res I will never have to check on the roots?

    As for the ebb and flow, I have to shut off my pump every 6th hour for 8min? Is it not possible to just shut it off for 1 min or until the bucket is empty to just make sure the water has circulated enough? Why do it so often?

    And as for my res, I will need a res double the size of all my buckets for the ebb? So with my 4x10 liter buckets a 40liter res will be too small i assume? Or should i change to small size buckets?
  11. It seems abit to confusion for me as a first time grow with ebb and flow, so if i put my res next to my buckets it will be easier and i can run normal dwc. Since I have two closets next to each other, i will make a hole to let the drains go through to the other side, making it possible to have buckets and res at the same level.

    It will look like this


    With this setup, i should be able to run with netpots and single buckets? If my pump shuts down, water will level out so no worries? Wich would you choose between ebb and flow and this? Easiest for a new grower?

    Thanks so much for the help.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. It seems to me like you are having a tendency to try to combine the principles of recirculating dwc's with ebb and flow.

    If you are going to build a bucket flood and drain, then look at the CAP Ebb & Grow system and try to replicate it.

    If you want to go with recirculating DWCs, then look again at budslingers example.

    Otherwise, what has the least set up proceedure would be just to use your net pot lids and keep the DWC buckets independent.
  13. (Double post due to browser timeout)
  14. OK if you are going to keep them all on the same level and go with DWC, then I would put your airstones in the buckets your plants will be in and not the reservoir. DWC is definitely the easiest to maintain. Your drawing you have pictured above looks to be more recirculating DWC, which is a little more complicated, but will keep your nutes all one strength throughout all buckets.

    When I first started with DWC I was under the impression that all buckets would have identical nutes since they are all connected and auto level due to gravity. Well that is untrue. My res can be at 6.2 PH with an EC of 1.68 while my bucket closest to my res will have a PH of 5.9 with an EC of 1.5.

    So I would think that if I were to switch to RDWC that would take care of that problem, but as I said it is a lot more work and heat. I prefer to not have the heat associated with RDWC.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. I prefer tanks to buckets.

    My RDWC is as simple as it gets IMO.

    Anyway, keep your pump out of the reservoir.

    If you insist on that design, I would have a level switch in the rez turn on the pump when needed, rather then timed.

    Check out my rig, it works.
  16. You can use 8 or 10in bucket lids filled with hydroton and run a pump inline to drip rings 24/7 to circulate your nutes/oxygenate. If you use the drain holes to set water level to the bottom of the bucket youre safe from pump failure for a while.
  17. thanks all smokers for the constructive replies, helps me understand everything better :)

    I have decided to go with budslingers setup(the second picture).
    Now my plan is to keep it all at the same level and run with one bucket(net pots, clay pebbles and rockwool). I have a water pump in my res to circulate the water and an air stone in each bucket. Would you say this is the easiest setup for a new grower?

    Anything you will do different and anything I can do to improve or ease it up? Is there anything I can do to make sure I have the same ph level in all my buckets and tanks? Better circulation(larger pump/more ltr/hr)?
  18. I run 8 buckets two res's same system. PH will be the same in each bucket, most of the times. Since its constantly being recirculated and mixed.

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