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Help needed with Hydro setup

Discussion in 'Advanced Growing Techniques' started by Corn-dog, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. I am planning on making the jump from soil to hydro but I am not sure wich way to go. I currently have a 400w hps a 3x3ft grow tent, vortex blower, carbon scrubber, i also plan on getting an AC unit and a cool tube to keep temps down.

    What I need is help picking out a hydro setup and getting it started. I've been unsure wich route to go Ebb n flow, aeroponics, or DWC. My budgets about 600$ usd for everything including nutes. I also need something that is realitively easy to maintain and that once dialed in i can leave it for a few days unattened. At first i was thinking going DWC but maintaining individule buckets seems like it would be a pain. Next I was looking at a 9 site aeroponic unite for 295$ delivered and its 22x22, the pots are really close together but i think i could train the ones on the outside to optimize the room. The unit i was looking at was HERE has anyone ever used this and was it worth it?? that leaves me with about 300$ for nutes testing meters etc. If i went DWC it would definately be cheaper and Would only cost me about 150$ to build the system.

    I need help on deciding on PH/tds meters. Is a tds meter necessary?? I know you need a ph meter but whats a good one i could get for 100$ or less?? or a combo meter for 200 or less.

    For nutes i was thinking of going for advanced nutrients just for the track record. I was going to get a package of 1liter of grow micro and bloom and big bud powder 130 grams for about 60$. I also need ph up and ph down wich is about 20$, if going areo should i avoid powder ph up/down???

    Any help is appreciated.
    1. what system should i go with dwc/ebb/aero??
    2. Is a tds meter neccesary?
    3. Whats a good ph meter??
    4. if using tap water do i need ph up??
    5. anything else i might be forgeting i need??
  2. 1. Expanded clay drip system
    2. yes you will need a EC meter
    3. There are many good cheap meters,see your local hydro store
    4. Depends on your tap waters PH,buy a PH meter as well
  3. I use a DWC bucket system

    GH Flora Nova Nutrients

    250 HPS (3 - 4 plant grows)

    Tap water + Lime juice

    The GH nutes lower the pH even further.

  4. I agree with Karma -- dirp system with hydroton. Simple and idiot proof!
    You can buy a PPM meter on eBay for about $30, and PH meter for less than that. If you know the PH is of your running water, then the PH meter is not as important as the EC/PPM meter. But truthfully, you are operating blind without it.
    You might need PH Up once your plant have been in flowering for 3 or 4 weeks. Nutes generally (at least GH) will adjust the PH in your water when you start out, and of course the girls are not all that thirsty in the first half of flowering. If you have $600 to spend I would spent $50 on meters, $50 on a tray and some drip lines, and spend the rest on getting a 400 or even a 600 HPS light. I'm sure if you go thru craigslist you would find something better than the 250w you have.

  5. I think I am going to switch to hydro soon from soil. I am going to do a DWC with rubbermaid containers, should be pretty decent. Also I think Im gonna go with GH nutes as they are cheap and lots of people use them with excellent results.

    Excellent combo pen and on the CHEAP, I just ordered mine.
    HANNA HI 98129 pH EC TDS C Combo Tester, Meter
  6. DWC system

    nutra drip tri meter or any constant monitoring ph and ppm setup

    nutes, run the lucas formula.

    be ready for explosive growth
  7. DWC for sure very easy you don't even need an EC meter if you measure accurately.

  8. Listen to Doob

    DWC all the way, link up your buckets via hoses, and they all act like the same rez. +you can Isolate one if it need different nutes than the rest.

    meters are CHEAP for the info that they'll tell you. never puss out on meters. Hydro is a number game, meters will tell you those numbers.

    get a small bottle of Liquid PH up and down, you'll most likely need both.
  9. I'd had to say DWC is probably the way to go, and link them all up maybe even to an extra controller bucket with a large reservoir for extra stability and length of time it can reasonably run unsupervised.

    Though Hempys might also be a good way to go, depending on what you want to do. The DWC system can start simple and gain complexity or start complex, and has more ability to absorb transients.

    And in many applications you can skip a TDS meter, but it's always, ALWAYS better to know for sure rather than just guessing.
  10. If you don't have a tds meter then you should only be using distilled or RO water. Because some tap water can we high in ppm.
  11. Any help is appreciated.
    1. what system should i go with dwc/ebb/aero??

    I say you should read about the different systems, then pick the one that seems easiest to you. I have my own opinion, but that might not work for you.

    2. Is a tds meter neccesary?

    I don't use one in my own dwc grow. I planned to get one, but never got around to it. Then when I had a couple grows under my belt, I didn't see the point.

    3. Whats a good ph meter??

    I just use the drops. It's cheap and a bottle of that stuff lasts a long time.

    4. if using tap water do i need ph up??

    That would depend on your tapwater. Just remember to mix your nutes before you adjust the PH.

    5. anything else i might be forgeting i need??

    My own DWC system can be left alone for quite a few days. When I do check it it's to make sure they haven't grown too close to the lights. The reservoir itself can go quite a few days without needing to be topped off.
  12. Mycroft is right, that's exactly what I've experienced in my dwc systems. I'm enough of a meddler that I can't leave things alone even for 24 hours so I have to make an effort not to mess things up by paying too much attention.

    That's true, tap water can have high ppm, and having a TDS meter is very helpful, but even so it's not entirely necessary. Plants are better at telling you what they need than any electronic or chemical meter. They're decidedly harder to read, yes.

    But it's not that difficult to start out light on the feeding (like say half what would be normal) and work your way slowly upward until the plants are happy.

    TDS meter = better. But you can't stop reading the plants regardless, and learning to read them well means you need the meter a lot less.

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