First Semi Serious Grow, LED DWC Auto Flowers

Discussion in 'Indoor Grow Journals' started by Ailanthus, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Hi all,

    Just starting up a new grow after playing around with a small setup over the last few months and really enjoying the process. I've done LOADS of reading, but I'm sure I've got lots more to learn so any comments or constructive criticism is appreciated. I swear if someone tried to learn everything about growing before starting they would never germinate seed 1.

    All that aside lets start with what I have so far.


    3 x Mars Hydro 300w: 1.5’ x 1.5’ footprint 138 true watts

    2 x Dual T12 Fixtures: 1x 25w 2500k 1x 23 5000k each

    6 x 9w LED spotlights: setup in two groups of three but not sure about placement yet

    1 x 7 day programmable timer

    Not sure I'll sure at all unless someone can think of a way to mount them in my setup that would be worth it
    Various Other CFLs and 2 Sylvania 65w “grow” light

    2X rubbermaid Roughneck 53L totes (extra lids)

    30L Water per tote to start, drop to 20L after roots drop (½” bellow pot @ 20)

    2x Rubbermaid Roughneck 37.9L Tote
    (same sized lids slightly smaller capacity)

    4X 6” square net pots

    Slab of rockwool: wasn't paying attention when ordering got a huge slab. Oh well lol. Made my own cubes

    Marina Air pump (225L Max)

    2 X 12” airstones

    2 x 1 ¼” x 2’ plastic pipes, elbow and 2 more 3” pieces of pipe

    I used this to make an easy fill and pump out in the lid of the totes, worked well for
    “practice” change

    Grow Space: Picked a little corner of my basement storage room. Tossed up some plywood on the shelving and painted it along with the back wall flat white. Its not great but it was free and took am hour tops. Measures 5'2" wide so with my mars LED footprint its 5" wider on each side than the footprint of my light give or take. The far side (where I take the pictures from) is open. Also the bottom of the area was left open to circulate air around the totes. Also there is a small window in the room that I can open if it gets too warm in there but I doubt it will. Have had thermometer in that room for a few weeks-month now and it stays around 20 degrees regardless. I also have the window taped off if I need to cover it at night and the door is fairly well covered for when flower time comes. Its an easy room to lightproof.

    Notes about my lights:

    My 3 LEDs are currently suspended 36" from the tops of the planters which puts them at the recommended height by mars for small plants. I don't plan on cranking them on right away or anything either so they should be good at that high for a while and its easy enough to raise them up anyway. I also have a straitened out piece of coat hanger run through the loops in the mounting wire on one side. Its keeps them from spinning out of alignment.

    As my understanding each LED is 138 true watts giving me 414 total over an area roughly 5ft x 2ft (6 inches longer and 6" wider than recommended) gives me 41.4 watts per square foot but considering my plants are likely to get bigger than that width (probably spin the totes the other way at some point or possible split them in to 4 totes) I'll need supplemental lighting.

    I currently have my 6 LED spotlights hung in two fixtures between the larger LEDs but I don't think I'll leave them there as I can't get them close enough to the plants at the right angle and not be blocking more light than they provide. Same problem as my spare bulbs. I might get creative yet though.

    I also
    have my 2 t12 ballasts in the back behind the LEDs at a bit of an angle to the pots. I was planning on using these as early lights for when I first transplant to the baskets. They are also fairly simple to lower or raise. I know they aren't the best lights but they were free from house renos and I got about 30 free bulbs :s. And what the hell they add a little extra light too right? Might need it depending how big the plants get

    IMG_20170715_223830.jpg IMG_20170715_224047.jpg

    Seeds: 10 x Crop King Auto Seeds
    Got a 10 pack of these seeds. They were easy to deal with and arrived in good time. Really my biggest complaint is that NONE of the seeds are labeled so.... no idea what I'm growing. So I get to be just as surprised as anyone reading this. It not that big of a deal for me but for someone who is serious about their strains probably shouldn't go this way.

    Other than that cool packaging and impressive color flyers and catalogues come along with so very nice presentation if that's your thing

    Bubbles :)
    Pump & airstone


    I'm sure there is some small details I've missed You might see my revegging mutant bastard child from my last grow in a pic or two. It's a long story but its there too. Just for fun. Oh and a clone from its sister.

    So as I post this its actually been a couple weeks in and I've got stuff on tho go but I'll leave that for the next post. I'm very new to this but if anyone has any questions or comments anything helpful would be great.

    I'll leave you for now with a Simpsons Quote:
    "I'm from Canada.... so they think I'm slow eh?"

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  2. I should also mention I ordered a PH meter that showed up with a broke electrode, so my free replacement in the mail. In the mean time I'm borrowing one from my old boss.

    Which brings me to my water situation. I'm using water from my village which runs an RO system (used to work there and run the plant). We're getting a 6.5PH @ the plant and 6.2 at my tap. That being said it is chlorinated, so I'll be letting my water sit before each change but other than that will be fine. They don't run the dosing overly high and a ran a couple tests and found that after 24 hours there is barely any free or total residuals so I'm fairly comfortable using it.

    PPM meter is lost in the mail so borrowing one when I need it.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. July 10 /17

    5PM: 4 seeds soaking in water, washed out tubs, net pots and clay pellets

    July 11 /17

    11AM: One seed sunk other 3 sink with a tap. Poured on to paper towel on dinner plate, let extra run off, placed in space bedroom where its warm and dark.

    Rewashed tubs, pots, clay, and air lines/tubes. Set up Each tub and added 12 Gallons of water to bring the water slightly above the bottom of the pot. (10 was about ½” from the bottom so will drop to that when roots drop through).

    Running air through just trying to purge anything left in the system. When I’m ready to transplant I will re wash and fill the tubs.

    I have extra lids for this size of tub and 2 extra tubs that I can transfer to when they start getting to big to sit that close to each other.

    July 14th

    ¾ Crop king Auto seeds germinated and sprouted roots. Placed each one in a rockwool cube and placed in a large plastic tupperware container with lid until they show leaves. Placed in sunny window with two garbage bags around them to grab some extra heat while keeping them shaded.. Found a Green Crack seed in a bag and started germinating it for fun.



    Flushed Water out of totes and replaced with fresh for when the seedlings will be transfered to the DWC. (may do again day before I transplant. Its only water :) And only doing it to try and flush out any extra gunk in the tubs from the factory or sitting in a hardware store or my creepy basement. Probably unnecessary at this point but can't hurt anything

    July 15th
    Mixed up some Velo Kelp @ 1.5ml : 1.38L.

    Cut some in half with water for drizzling on my clone and other soil plant. Might help with roots. They are just kinda experiments at this point anyway

    One Seedling popped through since being planted yesterday. Leaves are still really light colored and tiny so not giving direct light in the window.

    I'll try to get some more pics up of the seedling in the rockwool later.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 2
  4. Subbed up.

    Sent from my SM-S920L using Tapatalk
    • Like Like x 1
  5. So just a quick update. Haven't done one for a couple days. There hasn't been much.

    Moved 2 of the cubes to their hydroton homes. They are covered by a couple bottles with the bottoms chopped off. I know it's not fancy but it keeps them humid and from getting too much direct light. I'm still just running one Mars hydro in the room for the sake if the experiments from the last little grow.



    Two of my seedlings didn't make it :(. So 3/4 got a tap root and 2/4 survived being planted in the rockwool. Im not going to blame the seeds or the provider for that. Inexperience maybe? I was super careful with them but I took some notes and that particular one the Taproot curled back on itself really bad so maybe it got damager on the way in?

    I got my new ph meter today. Calibrated it up and tested it. My water situation was not as happy as I thought! Which is fine because I've been top feeding the seedlings with distilled water to start anyhow. Was reading about a 7.3 with the new meter, checked the other one, was off, re calibrated the old one with my own solution and sure enough 7.3. 7ml of pH down in each tub brought it to 6.3. I think I'm ok with that. Will keep an eye on it now that I can accurately anyway.

    Been reading up on rockwool as I've never used it before and it seems I did everything correct. But I'm new to it so maybe I missed something. Or maybe the pH was wonky enough to upset then? Anyway gunna try to get a few more sprouted quickly so they won't be so far behind the first too. Considering just planting direct to the rockwool as many people say it removes the stress of moving the seed later. Maybe that's better for a noob.

    My little experiment from the last grow has really surprised me! One of the two main stem has two nodes with actual normal fan leaves that are getting nice and big. The other stem has lots of mutant leaves but I've trimmed some back because it's starting to form normal leaves. I'd have to double check but I think it's been about three weeks since it was harvested so it's bouncing back nicely. I also FIMed the better looking side. Maybe too much stress for it but it looks better than it ever did before and the roots have exploded in their soil. I'll keep a close eye on it in case it decides to herm. Risk of re vegging I guess but it's more for fun so if I have to kill it later on no big loss.


    Just tell me about the golf shoes!!!

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Grasscity Forum mobile app
  6. Thanks for the sub! Hopefully it's interesting helpful or humorous to you ha ha.

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Grasscity Forum mobile app
    • Like Like x 2
  7. So had a little switch up in strategy since I lost 2 right off the bat.

    1 Seed
    ling is doing well. The other is... alive... It doesn't seem to be growing the greatest but I'm gunna let it keep going for now.

    Its barely wanted to make its way out of the rockwool so I pulled back all the hydroton from around it and very gently tugged the rockwool a little and the the leaves popped right out of the hole. They are a little messed up still but seems to be ok. I shook a little dirt down around the base to keep the light from the roots.

    So my new plan is to over germinate for what I need because its more a risk having all kinds of timings going on than it is having too many plants at this point.

    I took 2 seeds and soaked them and soaked up some 1" rockwool cubes. I planted the seeds directly in moist rockwool and made a little bubble dome to help keep them moist and humid till they germinate. I decided to try this after reading up a bunch and finding some people had trouble with taproot damage when planting in rockwool. Some people suggested this method so what the heck.

    I had to change how the air stone went in the container so it didn't kink the line. I brought up the hydroton to keep the water over the airstone but then I couldn't use the origional lid so I'm using another container for now and covering them up. Seems to be working as the rockwool keeps opening up and I can see the taproot and the seed moving around.
    [​IMG] IMG_20170720_234228.jpg IMG_20170720_235605.jpg IMG_20170720_235826.jpg

    I am also germinating two more in the same method as before with the moist paper towel. This time however I stuck them in a glass dish with a loose fitting lid. I keep it covered with a thick garbage bag to cover them from light. Its fairly lose to allow air flow.

    Both sets of seeds are being covered and warmed by one of my Sylvania 65w "Gro" bulbs since heat seems to be all they are good for ha ha.
    IMG_20170720_235855.jpg IMG_20170720_235907.jpg

    I also did a little training on my reveg plant. Its looking pretty good it only has one weird leaf left on it now.

    pics show progress from july 16th - 21st
    Sorry about the blurple.
    IMG_20170716_092633.jpg IMG_20170716_092640.jpg IMG_20170716_175055.jpg IMG_20170720_173850.jpg IMG_20170720_173902.jpg IMG_20170720_173918.jpg IMG_20170720_173925.jpg IMG_20170721_190851.jpg IMG_20170721_190913.jpg

    The little clone is starting to really take off. Has defiantly rooted decent now. I'll probably transfer it to a larger pot shortly.
    Pics show clone from July 16 - 24th
    IMG_20170724_185036.jpg IMG_20170716_092648.jpg IMG_20170720_174022.jpg IMG_20170724_185623.jpg

    I quit being lazy and found better ways to mount my extra lights so they are helpful. Especially for the seedlings once they are in.
    I just drilled a 1 1/4 hole on each sidewall and ran my lamp sockets through them. Worked perfectly. I can adjust the angle and everything. The center one is just hanging out between my t12 ballasts. Its fine for now but might change that later. Also I don't know if I forgot the mention one of the center bulbs is actually a 16W CFL spotlight. I know its probably useless but I'm not sure how much the spotlight design concentrates photons so maybe it will be OK from that far back?

    I also turned everything and put my soil pots in a rolling plastic tote so I can make it easier to water them and pump out the overage. I'll transplant the clone to one of those them and if I wind up with too many autos a couple can go in soil too.

    So if my add up is somewhat accurate for lights now its

    138w x 3 (mars 300s) 414w
    9w x 5 (LED spotlights) 45w
    16w X 1 (CFL spotlight) 16w
    20w x 4 (T12s) 80w
    555w total

    So if shooting for 40w per square foot I could cover 13.9 square feet. My grow space is roughly 5 x 3 so I'm a little short of 40w per square foot. Thats kind of a rough guess for space since its open ended if I need more space and wind up with too many plants.

    If need be when the time comes I can spring for more lights and or possibly move the old projects back to the closet they came from to flower again. I might also have some 2X T8 ballasts I could add (2 for sure) in the near future.

    I think thats it for now but I'd like to be more regular about my updates. Kinda hard at this point with not much going on,

    Bork Bork Bork

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Just re potted my clone as well. Looks like it was just about the right time.


    Might have messed up the roots a bit removing the bit of plastic I had in the bottom of the first pot. But nothing horrible it should live. It's amazing to me because this bugger sat in a glass of water for a month then got transplanted with no roots out of frustration lol. It earned it's life. And a new home


    Oh and yes hydroton in soil. Why? Because my local hardware store doesn't stick vermiculite or perlite unless you want to pick it out of miracle grow. :(. Besides what can it hurt?

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Grasscity Forum mobile app
  9. Just some quick pics and updates.

    My #2 seed didn't make it either. I think it got moved to the rockwool too quick and might have got roughed up a bit. On the bright side the two seeds I started in rockwool sprouted and are doing great and are in the rockwool and doing ok so far.

    My other two cubes seem to be ok but not much action yet.


    #1 and #2 in the back under it's tent.

    Clone looking happy in it's new home. I'm counting 4 growth points on it. Hard to get pics tho it's a little bushy. Was topped when it was cloned so got at least 2 from that. If it grows up some I might try to train it and fim or top it again.


    The new #3


    I found some sheets of poly kicking around and made some little square pieces. They work really good for s humidity dome on my baskets. Just pop then up so they don't with right on the plant.

    Reveg monster


    I fimed a couple places. Hopefully I should have some extra mains. As it is I have 5 for sure.

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Grasscity Forum mobile app

    Attached Files:

  10. Ok I got all four in the hydroton now. My reveg plant is FIMed up and recovering with lots of nice new shoots.




    #1 is showing some signs of something wrong so I re checked my pH and adjusted to 6.1 again. Hopefully that helps, I also dropped the water level a little to hopefully get it's roots to drop.


    #2 and 3 seem to be coming along slowly but are happy as far as I can tell.

    Seedling #4 had a bit of a bent stem coming up but has fixed itself and is going towards the light so I think will be fine. Has yet to grow enough to cover it's rockwool without messing with it yet.

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Grasscity Forum mobile app
  11. Everything was going really well I just kinda quit giving a shit lol. Hauling about $1000 worth of garbage to the dump now.


    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Grasscity Forum mobile app

Share This Page