DIY Current Culture UC System

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by kryptickasserol, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. #1 kryptickasserol, Sep 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2011
    So I decided to go the path of hydro rather than soil, as I will be travelling more frequently than original anticipated. After first settling on a basic DWC system, I decided to step it up a notch and build a recirculating system modeled after Current Culture's "Under Control" System. If you haven't seen it, go check it out on their site.

    Here is a list of the materials I plan on using:

    4x 5-gal black hydro buckets
    4x 10" net pots
    1x 18-gal Sterelite Storage Bin
    1x Danner Pong Mag250 Pump
    1x Eco Air 4 Pump
    10x Uniseals (for 2" PVC)
    1/2" Black Flexible Hosing
    1/8" Clear Flexible Tubing
    2" PVC Sch. 40 Pipe

    Once I have all the materials I need, I will start assembly and be sure to post pictures on here by the end of the weekend. Until then, happy toking everyone! :bongin:
  2. Picked up the 10x Uniseals I needed earlier today. Still have to go back to Home Depot to return the pilot drill bit to use with my 3" hole saw bit, since it won't fit my drill (figures).

    Decided to go with 1/2" tubing running from the Tee PVC connector --> pump --> rez.

    This Saturday morning I will start cutting the holes in the buckets and rez. Once that is done, I will take the measurements I need for the PVC pipe, then head over to Home Depot to have them cut it for me. I will be assembling roughly 75% of the whole grow this weekend though, since my in-line fan won't be here until this Tuesday. Once that arrives, I can finish installing the ventilation, go ahead and connect the buckets to the rez, and test the system.

    I'm hoping that with the coming months it should be a bit colder outside and thus, a water chiller won't be necessary. I'm not too worried about water temp at this point though, since the res is sitting outside of the tent anyway. Plus, the system is recirculating water a a pretty efficient rate.
  3. #3 kryptickasserol, Sep 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2011
    The tent comes today! Stoked.

    Went to Home Depot last night to pick up the remaining pars I need to put this together, incl. the PVC primer & cement, the PVC pipe itself, etc.

    I also picked up 3/4" PVC, a couple 90 elbows of like size & some weedwacker string that was on sale for $2.59 for 75' roll. I plan on using this to build my screen. Now all I have to do is figure out how to suspend it above the plants. I was thinking about tying it to the top of the actual tent structure and letting it hang, and then drilling some screws into each PVC corner piping that is holding the tent up. I think by drilling a screw right above where the screen will sit, it will help to keep the screen suppressed when it's time for accelerated growth and stretching.

    Or, I could always go with something like this: "Super" 90 Fitting

    If I use something like that, I can just modify the heights of the tent structure poles in each corner and stick this in each corner. That way it will be anchored to the tent itself.

    Thought or Opinions? Any would be appreciated.
  4. Where are the pics ??????
  5. Pics will be up by Saturday. Did a mock run of the system with success earlier in the week. Had some leaks but nothing major (it was mainly where I joined the PVC, not glued yet). I did have a leak from one of the Uniseals, which I plan on sealing up with some Silicone.

    I'm debating whether or not to put a chiller in the setup. I've been reading more and more about how necessary it is to have one if you want to prevent root rot, but I don't want to try to much too soon. It does looks like craigslist is selling some at decent prices, so depending on what the budget looks like, might go ahead and snag one to be on the safe side.

    I also tested the fan out, both with and without the speed controller. I didn't realize it was going to sound like a jet engine! haha! It was pretty intense. With the Speedster Control hooked up, I gave it a whirl and to not to my surprise I heard a humming sound coming from the fan itself. I've heard about this problem before, but figured that I might get lucky and not have the problem. I was wrong.

    Turns out the humming sound stems from the way the actual fan controller works. To slow the fan down, the controller repeatedly shuts off the fan at set intervals, then turns it back on to attain the slower speeds that you wanted. The fan constantly turning on and off within the split seconds is what causes the "humming" that is heard.

    So to remedy this problem, I picked up a Variac (TDGC2-0.5). This speed control reduces the amps that the fan is using, which in turn limits the fan from spinning faster.

    I'm also hoping that I can find out soon how to adjust nutes in the control bucket. Still not sure if I just add ph up/down straight into the bucket, or mix it up with a gallon of water before putting in. I also have no idea what the drops to gallons ratio is...if anyone has any ideas/input, please chime in!

    Alright, time to enjoy some Netflix. Pics to come soon!
  6. Picture Update:

    Got the system all rinsed out earlier this afternoon and cemented most of the joints, so I figured it's time to throw up some pics. It's about 95% completed. All I have left to do is get some silicone around a few of the outside Uniseals, snag a 1/2" grommet for the hole in the CB that the return hose goes through, and cement the 4 buckets to the CB. Should be up and running by middle of this week if all goes to plan and I can manage to get some free time. Anyways, onto the show!

    Here are a couple shots of the fluid level indicator and drain valve that I installed on the CB yesterday morning, courtesy of Rumple's DIY Bubble Bucket Design. Guy is a natural when it comes to working with PVC (not to mention White Widow. :p). If you are interested in going hydro, or just want to see some killer pulls, I highly recommend checking out some of this threads.



    And here are some shots of how the system looks all put together (minus the air and water pump). You'll notice that I added some PVC Unions between the 4 satellites and the CB. This will make it much easier on me if I have to detach the CB for any reason (such as cleaning). Believe me, once you put the PVC into the Uniseals, it's a biiitch to get them out.





    More pictures to follow once I have everything in place and water running through the system, so stay tuned!

    And as always, happy toking! :bongin:
  7. Nice setup man....just should have a blue container set directly on top of that blue container hooked to the bottom controller by a float valve set to the water level you want in the system. This way you can test your ph and ppms in the system by testing the bottom container and add your nutes and ph up or down (usually down for me) to your upper res when you fill it. If the system is running high in PH, lower the PH in the upper res to bring it down in the system to where you want it or vice versa, same with nutes. Just my thoughts and experiences that I've had with a similar system. Good luck man...lets see some more pics...
  8. Yeah I was thinking about adding a control bucket, but I think I will wait to see how this grow goes. As this is my first and I'm already going far beyond what I first expected too, I don't want to go balls to the wall just yet. I think it's better to get to know how the strains I have react to different nute levels and what not before I automate it anymore than it already is.

    Thanks for the tip though! :smoke:
  9. The blue bin you already have is technically the controller, they only thing that the top bin would do when hooked up to the float valve in the bottom bin would keep the water in the entire system exactly the same level all the time. By adding all of the nutrients into the top bin, you are preventing yourself from having to add nutrients into the controller bin, then wait for the system to recirc, and keep testing it until you get what you want. With the top bin, the water that drips into your controller as needed will always be 1000 PPM and 5.6 PH,(just an example, this is what I run in mine). You have the recipe for success with your setup and the top bin is just a simple step you can add to help make your life easier, and to keep the grow running smooth. You can also throw some frozen two liter bottles of water in the top bin to keep the water cold and act as a ghetto chiller, actually works like a charm and super cheap!!! Let me know how it goes man...Good luck
  10. looks like mine good job but you dont have a res thats control bin i put a valve on my control so i can mix and get it set the way i want before i pump water to the buckets and if you used 2 inch pvc like i did you pvc pipe will cog with roots and your buckets will overflow so on your pump line i put a valve to stop that so when they start to clog i just trun down the water flow rate
  11. i pump 800 gallons a hour though mine i didnt see what size water pump your using
  12. I'm using a Danner Pond MAG250. Not sure how many gal per hour it performs though.

    Sounds like a control bucket could work in my favor. Got any pics? I'm trying to figure out how I would install it.
  13. your tote is your control bucket a thats only a 250 gallon an hour pump way to small to be consider a under current you need alots of water movement to get the full benafits of under currents systems my next grow im going with 3 inch pvc pipe 2 inch fills with roots and cogs i would put atleast a 600 gallon an hour on it or bigger and they say you dont need air in your buckets but i put in all my buckets and my control i put 2 stones per bucket for air and 3 in control bucket the air pump i got has 12 outlets piece that went with it more air and water movemnt mean way faster growth i got some old pics on here some where cant find my camra mine look like the one on the home page for under current but i used a eco water pump way cheaper then mag only costed 40 bucks on ebay
  14. then its 700 sorry my mix up
  15. what size tent u putting that in i got mine in a 3x3x7.5 and put control bucket on the outside just cut 3 hole in mine well not hole i cut x marks and taped the flaps to the pvc to keep light in/out
  16. Heres a little ghetto diagram for you dude...Real easy to set up. All you have to do is keep the top bin full and you are good to go. Be sure the tube you hook to the top bin is at the lowest part of the bin. Best of luck, let me know if you have any more quesitons, glad to help

    Attached Files:

  17. Mine is similar. 3x3x6.5. My control bucket is outside of the tent as well. Not only did I not have enough room for such a large control bucket, but I wanted to keep it out of the tent to keep the water as cool as possible.

  18. Sweet man, thanks for the drawing. I think I will head over to wally world to grab a smaller bucket for the res and put it square on top of the controller.

    I'm thinking that I need to get either a second air pump, or a better one. Got an Eco Plus 4 for my four buckets inside, but thinking I need to either go with an Eco Plus 8 or a GH Dual Diaphragm. Then I can hook up the Eco 4 to the controller bucket and res.

    Ordered some Alita 3.75" Air Discs. Still waiting on them to arrive via UPS.

    Question regarding the res: how do you adjust your nute levels if say, the solution is too strong...empty out the res and bring down the nutes concentration?
  19. If the nutes in your system are higher than you want them than add less nutes to your top bin. Example: Your system is 1300ppm, a little high for me...When you fill up your top bin, only set the nutes to say 500ppm. This way the water that is coming in is less in ppm and will lower the level of the system. My nutes usually drive my ph up over time so I keep my top resivor at about 5.2 or so, this way when it mixes with the water in the system that is usually about 6.0, it will keep it at a consistent level.(If i set the ph at 5.8 in the top it would not help to bring down the system overall, thus creating higher ph over time.) Also I would recomend using the same size bin for resivor as you have for your controller bucket. The more water in your system the better. Dont forget what I said about the frozen two liter bottles in the top bin, works like a charm!

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