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greenterror's Micro cardboard box grow

Discussion in 'Micro Grows' started by greenterror, May 17, 2010.

  1. Here goes my first indoor grow. I will be growing a completely stealth in a 1 foot tall cardboard box. Most items I use are just from around the house that anybody could use. I am going to build a net so I can try an LST grow. 1 or 2 plants, I'm not sure. I am using some bag seeds so it would suck it I only had a male. My goal is to yield a few grams quickly and cheaply.


    So far I am using:
    - 23w CFL bulb (5k I believe)
    - 13w CFL bulb

    I may just buy 1 or 2 more 23w bulbs and drop the 13w. I'm not sure if I could keep a 42w bulb cool in this small container. I still need a socket to hold the bulb that I can plugin to an outlet.


    Basic construction

    This is a small cardboard box, just over 12" tall, 10" wide, and some depth.

    For a reflective lining, I chose to use a shiny duct tape. It seemed more reflective than a sheet of paper, and I didn't want to use aluminum foil.


    There are some touch ups I need to do to keep this thing light proof. Here's what the box looks like:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    As you see above, I have a computer fan mounted onto my box. I should put a screen in front of it so the plants don't get in the way later. The fan is connected to a 500mA 12v converter I had laying around (for charging some battery). The 250mA didn't provide enough power. This is an exhaust fan that provides a good amount of air current IMO.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The rest

    I am not sure if these containers would be suitable for growing. My plants are only going to be around 8 inches tall, so I wouldn't think they would need a ton of root space. They are 22 oz containers. I want to stay small if I can so I can have more plant room.


    I don't plan on buying seeds unless I can get them concealed in an object, and some prices are a little high. (maybe somebody could hook me up)

    Suggestions are appreciated. I'll be updating this thread as progress is made.
  2. cardboard is a bad idea for several reasons.

    1. it's flammable.

    2. It will absorb moisture.

    So you will either have a fire hazard or a soggy piece of crap.

    I would strongly advise you find some other material for you project.
  3. Wouldn't the fan keep the moisture out? I don't think fire would be a big issue since most of it is lined off with duct tape and wires are completely covered.
  4. idk, but it has bad idea written all over it IMO.

    You'll probably get away with it. Then some kid will try and copy you and burn down his house, thats usually how it works, lol.

    good luck.
  5. #5 bestkeptsecret, May 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2010

    quote of the fuckin year!

    oops i just looked and noticed you forgot an intake homie. so you got a fan for exhaust, where the intake at? AND bagseed will be a long wait for results in that set up for sure(not to rain on your parade). get that intake in there and lets see how u do regardless.
  6. ya man i uno bout a cardboard box. i have seen it, but way bigger. Like fridge box's and shit..... not 1x10x? tho..... thats way too small. ur 23 watt is gonna take up like 4 inches of that.... assuming u give it a little space at the top so ur box don't catch fire. I wouldn't reccomend it, but i guess its ur house man.... good luck
  7. Is an intake fan really necessary? I planned on making a few openings for air to come in but the exhaust fan should be able to pull air in alone.

    im gonna keep going with it, but I'll monitor it closely when everything is setup. If I run into a problem with temperatures, then I'll switch to a rubbermaid container or something.

    btw: paper ignites at 451*F. I doubt the lights would get that hot.
  8. #8 greenterror, May 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2010
    Alright, I have an update today. 23w and 13w CFL bulbs have been installed. I am letting them run for a while and checking the heat every hour or so. So far, they only make the top of the box slightly warm.

    It turns out that cheap aquarium hoods use a 2 bulb socket (even though it only had on light). I had two old aquarium hoods with some sort of tube light (broke one on accident). After taking them out of the aquarium and rewiring them, they work great for holding CFL bulbs. If you have one laying around, I would recommend looking in it before you pitch the couple dollars on some sockets lol.

    Here's a pic of the exterior of my grow box. Looks more like a bomb with all the wires hanging out, so I should be careful about where it goes haha.


    The open box with a coke can inside to show how big it is.


    Here's a picture of the fan in action. Makes a quiet hum and is extremely hard to hear, especially over my computer.


    Outside of the exhaust fan. Covered in some filter fabric, all light goes down which you cannot see unless you're standing right over it.


    and I am germinating my first indoor seeds! I hope I can plant one tomorrow or the next day.


    Comments appreciated!
  9. Ummmm. Wow. OK then. If you seriously make that work you'll be the man. I will S*it bricks and build a fireplace. No disrespect to you. I just can't help smiling when I look at that. But seriously what do I know. I mean hey, they grow it in computers right ? Sorry, I hate to be a skeptic but I just don't see it as a good environment. Like I said, props to you if you succeed. I haven't done much research on CFLs. Will they burn the plant if the growth touches them like regular flos. My prediction is the plant will sprout and gain maybe it's first 3 or 4 sets of true leaves. Shortly after if not already it'll become root bound. The bottom leaves will yellow and it'll grow extremely slow if it doesn't just die. If by some miracle it flowers that root system will leave you in serious trouble. The watering alone just to sustain it, not to mention the stress and possibilities of pests. I wish you luck man, I honestly do.
  10. Im all for thinking that a plant can be fully controlled. That box is just to damn short no matter how you look at it. The tape is also not made for replecting light. the tape prolly absorbs more light than it reflects. I'd get a can of flat white paint and spray bomb the inside of the box.

    Your gonna have to keep your plant in a small container wich is a given. Your only real option for that is to almost bonzai the plant. you will have to take the plant out of the pot when it gets to root bound and has drained all the nutes from dirt. Then cut some of the edges of the rootball so that you can add new dirt. For instance, a 6x6x6 square pot and you remove 1 1/2 inch from each side and the bottom. This will replace well over half of the dirt then. Not sure how you plant will like it during flowering though.

    Also, you will have to get a square plastic pot and plant you plant to the side of it instead of the middle. after a couple weeks when the plant has grown a few good inches turn that pot sideways so that the plant is now like 1 inch from the ground. cut a hole in the side of the pot that is now facing up so you can water your plant. Also, naturally, you will have to tape up the natural top of the pot that is now on it's side so all the dirt dont come rolling out.

    I'll not tell you that it is a good idea to grow in a small cardboard box. It's actually a horrible idea. However, I'll not tell you that it can't be done.
  11. CFL's won't burn the plants unless they come in contact with them. They do not emit heat the same as HPS or MH bulbs.

    The lights have ran for over 12 hours and heat doesn't seem to be an issue.

    I saw a ~14 inch computer grow which yielded a good amount. If this doesn't work I'll go with a plastic container probably.

  12. Do you live with your parents? If so I will be watching the news for when the bomb squad gets called by your mom when she sees that box.

    I can hear it now

    "Bomb squads were called to a local household today when a mother found a box with wires leading into it in her teenagers bedroom. The box turned out to be an ingenious marijuana growing operation" ;) :wave: :smoking:

  13. Lol... Funny.
  14. So maybe I should just ask. Whats the security issue that your using a small box instead of say a discreet area somewhere in the home ? You know, part of a closet, attic, basement, crawl space, ect... Are you living with people who won't know ? Till your box starts to smell funny anyhow. Just curious.
  15. hahaha im just trying to see if a grow this small would work. not expecting a huge yield and didn't want to spend money on it.

    I also would prefer to conceal any grow ops rather than having a 5 foot tent in my house.
  16. The idea is novel but that's what we all love about being stoners anyways, MacGyvering some shit up! :p
    It will be tough but nothing is impossible and what matters is you learn, Have fun and don't get caught.
    Ideally, If you could mount another smaller box on top of the one you have you could flush mount your fixtures on the exterior of the box exposing only the lamps to the grow area. This would cut your space limitations in half and keep heat producing wires and sockets outside of the box.
    Equal sized openings for intake and exhaust will eliminate positive pressure in your box. I recommend using your fan as an exhaust pointing out rather than blowing in on your plants.
    Using a low-riding auto-flowering strain with good ventilation and low stress training you could definitely obtain a micro-mini "Bonsai-like" grow op.
    Again purely novel, More work than its worth but rewarding none the less for you.
    Best of luck M8.
  17. Thank you. Unfortunately, the CFL's are almost as high as they can get. I left a small clearance that I can change later.

    The seeds are showing progress but I will wait another day or so before I plant them.

    I still need fertilizer and nutes. I was thinking of using water from my fish tank (freshwater) but I am not sure how much better this is than alternative sources.

  18. Use tap water. isnt that where your fish water comes from anyway? just be sure to let tap water sit out overnight first and balance the PH if you can. Dont worry much about nutes for a lil while. As soon as a germinated seed gets it's tap root coming out you need to put it in dirt. Dont let it continue to grow a rood between towels. Once you put it in dirt it will get nutes that it needs and grow very rapidly. I try to plant my germed seed sideways in lightly moist dirt. Not wet or recently watered. I want the dirt to be close to dry so that the root grows at an optimal rate. Big root starting out means better growth later. Reason i plant it sideways is so that it leaves the shell in the dirt instead of stretching up with the shell stuck on it like my first germination attempt.

    Germed a seed the other day. It produced the taproot yesterday morning so i waited a few hours then put it in dirt. Today I had to dig it up cause I got some perlite for the soil. The seedling wasn't originally above dirt yet but it had a full root system nearly as long as my finger and the cotyledons are pulling out of the seed.
  19. Thanks for the information. I'm considering going 12-12 from seed. Would this be a good idea or would it affect the yield?
  20. Also, the fish water idea was for nutrients that might be in the water.

    My box is running a little over 90 degrees. Is this too hot for my plants or will it be ok?

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