first EBB n FLOW setup questions

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by g0tgot, Jan 31, 2014.

  1.  hello all!
    first time post... here goes...
    I have setup an ebb and flow system using botanicares 3x6 foot table and 50 gal res...
    1000w HPS
    using botanicare pure blend pro nutes and rockwool
    here is my feed setup for week 1
    BPBP grow, calmag plus, liquid karma at 950PPM 
    PH is at 5.9
    temps range from 19-23  celcius for the water
    when i first got the clones in rockwoool 2 days ago there was not much hope, there was a poor root structure and they were exposed to the back of a pickup for a long ride from mendocino county...
    the STRAIN is Girl scout cookies X Grand Daddy Purple
    I had 12, I am down to 7 because some of them didnt make it to my house in good condition....
    Here is my question....
    do these nutes run real High in PPM while following the grow chart from botanicare? i filled the res with the recomended use for week 1 and found a PPM of about 1260. I felt that it was a bit high for the new cuttings with minimal roots just popping out the bottom of the cubes.
    I have used botanicares line for outdoor in fox farm soil for quite some time, works great, love the stuff...
    as far as the medium for my tray I was thinking just using 4X4 cubes with flood and drain...
    I have some growstone but I am not sure if I should put it in the table or not....
    also I have seen signs of life starting to come back today on day 2  with the light about 40 inches up from the top of the plants.
    I want these plants to start looking a little better but this is my first time on ebb and flow and I have no friends that utilize this method..... I went to a collective here in town and this is the exact same setup they had but with 8 4X8s and many lights with a air conditioned room and sulfur burners CO2 etc....
    I am gowing for club quality but I am doing a quick test run with these to get comfortable with the system.

  2. #2 g0tgot, Jan 31, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2014
    copy paste dont work well so please see feeding chart attatched....

    Attached Files:

  3. #3 g0tgot, Jan 31, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2014
  4. PLEASE NOTE this is just a test run to see about doing 20 - 40 total in that tray... never done a flood and drain... going to see how it is and then decide of i want to try it with a bigger investment of plants...  or go soil because is more forgiving.... 
    4X4 rockwools are on the way from amazon... will update when they come in.
  5. so the 4X4 cubes are taking a really long time to get here, so i went ahead and used my 6" pots and planted the little guys in some grostone... I like grostone it comes in two different sizes i think, small and large...
    Coming to end of week one, I see tiny roots popping out of the rockwool cubes. I noticed the fan leaves on top turning a bright light green and the large fan leaves are dark green. I forgot to folair feed with rhizotonic so I started that today once the lights were off.... within about 3 hours the leafs are dark green again... 
    I am only feeding 2 times a day, at lights on, and right before lights off.... but I feel that it may be still too much water for these in the little rockwool cubes. So I may deter tonights feeding to see if they perk up a little more....
    again this is my first hydro grow indoors, but im not the normal virgin, i have done outdoors a few times. 
    wondering for week 1 what PPM for nutes would be ideal. I noticed that I am at about 1000 PPM on TAP water... 50 gal res on botanicare pure blend grow and calmag plus.... is this too much>? should I cut back?
  6. #6 g0tgot, Feb 3, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2014
    So i checked out my grow room today and found that my nutrients had separated from the water....... Grrrr.... probably not enough circulation in there... so i went out and purchased a small pump for 5$ from the grow store....
    I made a decision to go recommended strength nutes sin[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]ce this is organic and they have been introduced for a week to see how things go...
    I drained all of the res and refilled and am using the following
    Botanicare pure blend pro grow (500 ml / 50gal res)
    Liquid Kharma(100ml /50gal)
    Silica Blast(100ml /50gal)
    Cal Mag plus(100ml /50gal)
    aquasheild(100ml /50gal)
    I am also misting a foliar feed of rhizotonic 2 times a day, before lights go on, and after they are off for about 30 minutes.
    Temps are in the 50-60s here the past couple of days so I have been a little on the cold side but they seem to like it.
    PH is at about 5.8 and will monitor here is a pic of them since I last posted... I have now done the first session of topping to help increase the amount of colas.
    My PPM is at about 1010 currently and no signs of burn yet...... some weird leaf issues but i think it was due to the water separating from the nutrients and feeding with just straight water and concentrated nutes instead of it being consistent throughout the solution.... but we will see... will update in a few days.
  7. #7 g0tgot, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2014
    cut back PPM to 750 and saw HUGE growth gains in just a couple days...
    lil baby roots exploded in 2 days... i am using just base nutes
    now looking for info on how much i should increase PPM and when....... any takers?
    On a side note PH keeps rising, I have to use PH down every day...... what is this?
  8. [​IMG]
    Week 3 will start in 3 days... so this is at 2.5 weeks.. I got them as seedlings on 01/28
    looking good so far... What I noticed is that the TAP water here sucks. I went to the store at the beginning of the week 2 and got 25 gallons of purified water and added half tap to the 50 gal res.... This brought the PPM in there down to about 125. From here I added all of the additives first (seet, liquid kharma, silica blast, hydroshield) and that totalled about 400PPM. So i added base nutes to a total of 850PPM... leaves started growing like crazy but still a little yellow... 
    I then added some more base nutes to a total of 950PPM and now the leaves are coming out dark green and nice! i am not sure if this plant is just hungry or what but we are making progress. 
    I raised the 1K HPS to cieling height and I will leave it there for another week then lower it. 
    I topped the girls again .... trying to increase colas, I am also trying to train them a certain way... will update in another week...
  9. #9 Olde School, Feb 16, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2014
    Looking good, g0, I think you got the nute thing dialed in. If you're at 950 with 120ppm water, that looks about right for this stage of growth.
    Some general comments - back when you cut the nutes back to 750, and the pH kept rising, that's normally a sign that the plants need more nutes. But you timed it right, the weaker strength gave your roots time to establish & start using more of what you were giving them.
    A caution on the "dark green" you said your leaves were beginning to show - if this is new top leaves, that might be a sign of a bit too much N. You don't want pale yellow-green leaves (too little N), but you don't want dark emerald green either. Monitor closely.
    A vague and general rule of thumb - sativas need a weaker solution while indicas might eat you out of house & home. You're at 950 now, about 820 plus the water ppm. That's good for a sativa dominant strain, but a nute hungry indica strain might benefit from more as the veg continues. 1200-1300ppm is not out of reason for hungry strains. Just watch your ppm's & pH. If ppm goes down/ pH goes up, they can probably stand more nutes. Inverse for if the ppm goes up / pH goes down, it's getting too strong.
    When you find the "sweet spot", note this for the bloom cycle. The high side of ppm's during veg is where you want to be once the plants bloom.
    A word of caution, since you have hard water, evaporation can cause ppm's to artificially creep up crazy high between reservoir changes. These are minerals from the water, not nute strength causing the higher artificial readings. I've seen ppm's as high as 1600-1700 when using hard water, with no harm whatsoever to the plant (and you'll NEVER have a cal-mag deficiency :) which is about the only nice thing I can say about that). Observe the plant, watch pH even more closely, and act accordingly.
    Light height - these plants are growing healthy, start lowering. I'd drop to 30-36" immediately, then continue lowering by 4-6" daily, down to about 18". As long as they keep showing healthy growth they will use the extra light to veg even faster.
    Flood frequency - I'm not a fan of rockwool because it can hold extra water, which can deprive the roots of needed oxygen. But you have transplanted to grow rocks (are those silica?) which should help once all the roots have grown out of the rockwool into the rocks. I would increase frequency and monitor closely, while trying to get to 4 flood cycles per 12 hour light-on cycle. No need to flood when lights are off.
    For future grows, I would strongly recommend changing over to hydroton. Go to 2X2" rockwool cubes for germinating seeds / rooting clones, or better still, rapid rooter plugs. With RR's and hydroton, it's next to impossible to over-water your plant containers. Think of DWC / bubble buckets where the roots sit in water 24X7. With a well draining medium in your containers, it's easy to get to a flood cycle every 1 & 1/2 hours. The real benefit to this using hydroton is that each time the container floods and drains, the drain cycle pulls fresh oxygen all the way through the root zone. This improves everything - plant health, vigor, yield, etc. Even helps keep down the possibility of root rot when you keep plenty of oxygen in the root zone.
    But watch this carefully when using rock wool, it CAN over-saturate and cause root health problems.
    Set up an oscillating table fan at one side of your flood table, with the ability to raise it so that it continually blows across the tops of your plants & under the light. This will help with trunk strength & helps keep leaf sweat / humidity issues under control among your plant tops.
    Get those loose rocks out of the bottom of your flood table, they don't serve any purpose & can be a medium for bad things to grow in.

    OK, my buzz is wearing off & I'm getting hungry. Welcome to GC, hope this helps, & bestaluck to ya.
  10. #10 g0tgot, Feb 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2014
     Hey olde school!
    Thanks for the tips, it is copied and saved into my journal. 
    I have seen many weird things happen in regards to PH and PPM but I think the 950 is just about where they want to be for now, and this is where PH seems to stay stable. The res wants to stay at around 5.9 - 6.0 .. i drop it to 5.5 and the next day its back at 5.9....
    I then said ok.... im cool with 5.9... so i didnt add PH down, came back the next day its stable at 5.9. I think I may have found the sweet spot. 
    here is some pics from last week. I try to take pics when i change the res... I will also be taking out the rocks from the tray... I was told that they act as PH buffers.. so i thought i would throw the extra in the table just to see what happens... bad idea because i see algea on some rocks. (this will happen tonight)
    I started my first spray of azamax for preventive maintenance. I will do this once a week untill flower cycle. I have yet to see a single bug except a huge spider (predator).
    What i have researched is that this strain is mostly sativa but has hints of indica in there. Its a GIRL SCOUT COOKIES X GRAND DADDY PURPLE cross and they allready smell like a purple strain. I have also been folair feeding every now and then with liquid kharma which seems to be helping them move along. I will update next week
    P.S. check out the info on growstones here ( from what I have gathered it is recycled glass
  11. 5.9 it is!!! Actually, Hydro likes 5.8 to 6.0 as the sweet spot. You can drift as low as 5.5 or as high as 6.1 without problems, and some drift is actually healthy. But if you stabilize at 5.9 that's perfect, and it's telling you the ppm's are right where the plants want it. SWEET!!!
    AZAMAX - good product. Four applications, four days apart (days 0,4,8, & 12), and you should be safe to discontinue after that. This time of year is usually pretty safe from outdoor influences, so the advance treatment would just be a preventative against an unknown clone source. If you keep animals out of your grow area, and never go in yourself after wandering around through the woods or natural outdoor areas, you should be able to keep a bug free area for some time.
    The girls are looking good, keep up the good work. And thanks for the link on the grow stones. I stockpiled a couple of bags of hydroton when they quit manufacturing the real stuff and never got the courage to try the inferior hydrocorn or grow rocks. But I've heard good things about the silica grow stones, may need to give it a try when I get tired of cleaning all this hydroton :(

    Be checking back, keep us posted on your progress.
  12. OK! 
    here we are at the end of week 4. I have found a good spot to keep PPM around 900-950. I tried to increase a little bit towards 1100 and they starting turning real dark so i backed it back to 950 and they will stay there. I also noticed these bit**es started drinking alot of water. I mean i am missing a couple gallons within a week. 
    I have moved to 1 flood for 15 minutes in length every 4 hours. Only to total for four feedings on the 18/6 cycle. It seems the plants have exploded with growth and are getting bigger every day. The temps here have been around 60-68 and humidity ranges from about 52%-78%. I dont use a humidifier, i dont really see the point and I am tryin to keep my electric bill down.
    I have also added a few late rooted clones to the scene and I will attempt to see if there is any benefit of going to a 4X4 rockwool cube instead of going from a 1.5 straight to the net pots. ON TO THE PICS!
  13. here is another week gone by, I topped them again , I am going to veg a bit longer than the 6 weeks.. maybe 8-10

  14. Hey g0t, been a lazy assed grumpy pissed off frozen shut in the last week or so, sorry I haven't dropped in sooner. The girls are looking really good in these pics, keep it up.
    Where you settled for ppm's sounds good; just watch the trend every couple of days. If it starts dropping before you top-off your reservoir, it's telling you they can use more nutes. One of your strains looks like an indica dominant strain, and those can usually tolerate more nutes & reward you for it. But the other... looks a little sativa-like which isn't as tolerant / doesn't need as much. You might have a mild dilemma & just have to go by the looks and experiment mildly.
    Two gallons a week, heh heh heh.... wait awhile, they will gobble a couple of gallons a day :).
    If you're flooding for 15 minutes, you could easily go every 3 hours (I go 2 in bloom). Play with it.

    Since they are exploding, time to think about the stretch when you flip to 12/12. I always count on a 3 X stretch when flipped, so I flip when they are no more than 16" tall. Gives me a 48" average plant height after stretch, which is about all I can tolerate without running out of ceiling room & getting into the light.

    Humidity at 52-78% - see what you can do to bring that down. Good air exchange can help a lot, exhaust your grow room air & pull fresh air from another part of the house. Once you get into hotter more humid months, and you're in bloom, 78% is waaayyy too high & can encourage bud rot / mold. Experiment now while you have time & it won't hurt anything.

    Check your later posts later, it's dinner time :)
  15. ok so i switched it to 12 hours today because if its 3X height, i am at the perfect time. 
    I also switched the feeding to 12/12....
    I am starting at PPM around 800 since i havnt used the bloom before...
    Pureblend pro gro (small amount)
    Pureblend pro bloom
    Liquid kharma
    I wills tart the hydroplex and molasses with guano probably in week 3 of flower.... and go from there.
  16. Don't use molasses in hydro, it will clog up your pumps.
  17. #17 g0tgot, Mar 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2014
    how much dried product do you yield say for 7 plants like this? just curious. I had about 2 pounds off 4 outdoor plants in these wierd 10 gal pots... they were about 4 feet tall and i topped the hell out of them, i had about 16-26 tops per plant...
    wondering if I should plan for more clones next time go round.
    Also, would height be restricted by the size of my pots like in soil? or because the roots are coming out, does that mean the sky is the limit?
    Also i have noticed that the PPM usually gradually increases. I thought this was supposed to drop with the amount of nutrients taken in to the plant... hmm... maybe its because when i add water to the desired amount, its with the tap water that has 350ppm... what I have been doing is 25 gal of distilled water with half of the tap... plants seem to be happy with this....
    i will be investing into a small boy filter soon....
  18. #18 g0tgot, Mar 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2014
    SO i have decided to flip to 12/12 not thinking that 3X growth was to be expected... so it was the perfect time... here i am at the end of week1 of flower. I have used a combo of pureblend pro gro and pureblend pro bloom to ease into it, they seem to have taken a fancy to the flower cycle because they have grown more than ever!! I am feeding every 2 hours with no problems at all!  here are some pics!
    As you can see I have been tying them down to open the middle up to the light and i have a lot of tops now.
    I have not seen a single bug yet. I think its amazing that there has not been a sighting.... I put up that yellow fly trap to see if anything went around while i was not in the room. 
    Anyways... im feeling confident in the flood and drain. Final test I think will be this flowering section and the the end product. 
    Couple questions:
    I am going organic, is flushing last week recomended, and if so, what type of water? 0ppm would pull nutes out of the plant right?
    I will avoid the molasses, i have heard, if you put it in hot water and then mix it in the res there would be no issues, but im not in the position to be swapping out pumps every day...
    If i cant use molasses, what would a good carb be for increasing bud size and density? hydroplex?
    TOTALLY agree with dawill on this. I've never used Pure Blend nutes but I know they are an organic based plant food. Organics & pure hydro... never had the nerve to try it. My reasoning being that in order for most organic mixes to reach their full potential, they need a healthy population of beneficial micro-organisms which won't propagate very well in a pure hydro environment. It can be done, but dosages have to go way up & treated much more frequently. But... more & more nutrient vendors are coming out with supposedly hydro-compatible organic nutes, so we'll see. Me, I'm waiting for someone else to do the experimenting ;)
    Just watch for stinky smells coming from your reservoir, and/or slimy roots. Both signal trouble.
    But molasses is definitely a no-no. You HAVE to have a dirt-like medium for this to benefit (works with hempy buckets / perlite, or coco coir, but not pure water.
    Something like GH Flora Nectar seems safe - it's a sugar based additive but more refined and stabilized so as not to cause stink / rot problems in hydro.

    Yield is going to be hard to predict. The "gold standard" is 1/2 gram per watt of light, per month of bloom time. That would be 2 pounds under ideal circumstances. But sooooo many variables with this - strain is foremost, along with grower experience, pot size, number of plants... yadda yadda yadda. First hydro grow, seven plants, 1000W light, if all goes well for ya, I'd expect a pound or better. Could be less, could be way more. I'm gonna predict 512.4 grams (but I'm full of shit & it's a wild assed guess :) )
    Keep LST-ing the plants during the stretch to open them up, try to keep the top leaders pulled down even with your strongest secondary branches (even plant canopy), watch your nutes, pH and environmentals... room temp, reservoir temp (try to keep it in mid / upper 60's) all will help. As mentioned earlier, humidity can kill ya if it causes bud rot.

    Mos'def' plan for more clones next time, you can never have too many (unless you get caught :( )

    Plant height will not be restricted by the size of the pot... I've had 6" square container plants consistently hit my lights at max. height. But container VOLUME will help per-plant yield, perhaps better than anything else you can do.

    Increase in ppm... a lot of that can be due to evaporation, flood tables are bad about that. And the high ppm water won't help. It will definitely make your ppm's go sky high during full bloom when the plants are drinking like crazy... I've seen 1800 ppm with hard water & without frequent reservoir changes. But this is different from NUTE STRENGTH that high, which can be deadly. Lay off the cal-mag supplements when using hard water, you definitely don't need that.
    As long as your starting mixture doesn't go any higher in ppm's than you did during late veg, you should be OK. Artificially creeping high ppm's, as long as plant health shows no stress, can be managed. The wild card is that you never REALLY know if it's nute strength or hard water mineral build up causing the creep-up. When in doubt, or at first sign of nute burn / plant stress, flush and change the reservoir to new nutes.

    OK, dinner time again, check back later. Hope this helps.
  20. g0t, 3X is pretty typical, a lot depends on strain (sativas are worse - can go 5X), but over the years, I hope for 2.5 & pray it stops at 3X - a 16" plant becomes 48". If it goes worse, string / LST is your friend, kinda like a red solo cup :)
    The burst of growth you're seeing since going to 12/12 is the "stretch" that gives you 3X; it usually lasts 2.5 - 3 weeks then stabilizes as the buds set & start to fatten.
    LST looks good, no bugs --- f#$%ing GREAT. It always worries me to bring in clones as they are an easy way for mites to hitch a ride. Keep all animals out of your grow room (cats are really bad), don't even go in yourself without changing clothes if you've been strolling around in the yard or the woods. Chances are you can go for a long time with no bugs as long as you take precautions to keep them out.

    Flushing, since you're trying the organic route you can get by with 3 days' flush. Just use pure water, don't have to pH balance (the right pH range is only needed for proper nutrient uptake; they will still drink water regardless of the pH).
    Bloom stimulants - afraid you're on your own there as I haven't done organic since I grew outdoors. I use GH liquid KoolBloom with great results but it's mineral. I checked my catalog, GH BioBud is their organic equivalent.
    Molasses alternatives - see my previous post. Or any of the "sweeteners" on the market should work. I do know of several hydro growers who have used FloraNectar with good results. Main ingredient is raw cane sugars & molasses (processed). The only thing not organic in this is "vitamins & essential minerals". Nothing that would violate your organic ways, IMHO, but that's up to you.

    Later dude, gotta shop for seeds.

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