Humor a New Grower?

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design/Setup' started by JDSlaughter, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Hey guys and gals! I am a lifetime smoker (at heart, at least, when I couldn't in reality) who is building my first grow box from scratch. I only want to grow like 2-3 plants - in case one fails- for personal use. I do smoke quite regularly, maybe 2-3 oz/month, and don't need research lab grade potency (though I like strong bud as much as anyone else!). I have a few questions and am open to suggestions...

    1. I am going to go hydroponic, and have selected either the General Hydroponics (GH) Powergrower or GH Waterfarm. Am I an idiot for narrowing to these or are they pretty solid choices for a home 2-3 plant grow? And is one better than the other or grow larger plants?

    2. I have budgeted for a HPS lighting system, but in researching and reading, I have heard that a pure CFL system, paying close attention to the color ratings, can be used throughout the grow. I have also heard that you can use CFL for vegging and HPS for flowering. However I would LOVE to avoid the heating issues HPS and MH bring if at all possible. Thoughts?

    3. My cabinet will be: W 5' X L 4' X H 7'6" with about 20 sq/ft growing floor (4' X 5'). I will have about 4' to 4.5' from hydro-pot top to light hood bottom, so I'm thinking I have at least 36" of growth room before the tops of the plants get too close to the light. How much smoke-able bud do you think I'll get from two plants with 3' to grow and about 3' - 4' to canopy? I know it's not an exact science, but assuming I do things in an overall "right" way, what do you cats think? 8 oz? 16 oz? More?

    4. Is a CO2 generator necessary for a 2-3 plant grow? I have seen that a good air exchange gives enough CO2 to the plants, especially for small grows with large cabinets/rooms. I have also seen that the "yeast jug" method works very well for small grows. Anyone have experience in comparing the two?

    I am willing to invest the money to make it right (to an extent, of course, lol), so if you have good tips that mean added expense for substantially better bud or substantially easier and dependable grows, I am all ears and willing spend the extra bucks.

    I will probably be on and off the board as I build with more questions, but I would REALLY appreciate the opinions of my seasoned "brothers-in-toke" on these few starters!
     
  2. 1.. their both good systems... especially for store purchased.. yes it will work for 3-8 plants with no problems.. having the controller bucket and res will greatly help ease of maintenance.. it just adds more water... but either way you cant go wrong

    2. you have a giant grow room/tent..your going to have to use a HPS/MH system... 1k watts if you can run that much power, or shrink your grow room down(this is an opinion)

    3.its all guess work till you have a couple grows done in your grow space..
    1/2 a gram per watt per month of flower... so if you have 1K watts.. and flower for two months=1Kgrams

    4.always use CO2 if you can afford it... if your planning on exhausting your grow space air your going to have to use bottled air, not the yeast JUG method... but anything will help.. using CO2 will give you 1/3 more bud

    it might be best to grow out a single plant using CFL's for a first run... maybe a diy bubble bucket to just get a handle on things... this way its cheap and gets your hands dirty... some find after a single grow that its just easier to purchase...

    or give us a budget and see what people come up with... a very solid dollar figure will help and dimensions of your grow space... and where you plan to exhaust your grow space air... and if you plan to use a A/C or water chiller
     
  3. Tihspeed gives solid advise...
    But let me toss in my 2 pennies too...

    Your chamber you want to do a 4x5 (20sq)..
    So CFL would be a COMPLETE waste of time, effort, and money...

    You need at least 1000w to give you the suggested 50w per sq ft.
    Now, the 1000w lamps put out WAY to more heat, and WAY less lumen per watt then the 600w lamps puts out..

    So, I know it is more up front, but you'll get a MUCH better grow if you can afford two 600w lamps.. It would also give you better light coverage too...

    1000w lamps put out 140,000 lumen
    600w lamps out out 90,000 lumen

    So by using two 600w lamps, you would generate just about as much heat as the 100w puts out, but would give you 10 more watts per sq ft. and 40,000 more lumen...


    If I have to choose, I personally would go for the General Hydroponics WaterFarm..
    Make sure it says COMPLETE, or you will NOT get an air pump with it...
    You will see other companies selling them for cheaper, but no air pump...


    Now, personally I would not go for neither system...
    I have been down that road and what a PAIN IN THE ASS to maintain...

    You want to go to something that has 1 reservoir, not several..
    So I would go with something like the Ebb&Gro or Ebb&Flo, or DWC..
    Because you change and mix 1 reservoir and you're done, as opposed to 3-4..

    It also helps in reservoir temperatures as well..


    If I had my choice I would do a DIY DWC system......

    Get a tote, some 6" net pots, a Ecoplus Commercial Air 3 pump, a couple of the Deep Water Micro-Pore Oxygen Diffuser, and have a MUCH better system for a fraction of the cost..
     
  4. Hmmm, if it isn't painfully obvious, I really am new at this... lol

    Sounds to me like I am WAY too overambitious on my cabinet size. If I just wanted enough to grow, at most at any given time, like 2 or 3 plants with good yields, what cabinet size would you guys go with? The cabinet only exists on blueprints now so I can easily change size...

    I would also like to use as little electricity and generate as little heat as possible. I am growing in my garage, so I will already be drawing power for AC and heat during season extremes, and adding a 1000w-1200w lighting system seems like it would kill both those goals.

    How big can I expect the plants to get (height and canopy spread)?
     
  5. I would go with 250w hps make a grow cabinet (dont really know dimension) but it doesn't have to be big. Use low stress training to keep ur plants small and increase your yield. U could easily yield 2-4 ounces with good ph, temps, humidity, nutes, etc.

    That's my opinion, good luck in the future :) Us new growers gotta stick together haha.
     

  6. A 250w lamp will only do a 2x2 area...


    Usually a garage is too hot to grow anyway...
    It would be best if you could move it inside...

    As far as cost to operate:
    Power Consumption Cost Calculator

    As far as heat generated, again IMO CFLs do not belong in the flowering or vegetation rooms... Work great for mothers/clones... Some people swear by them...

    So IMO you have 3 options of: HID, LED, PLASMA..
    LEDs (again IMO) have not come far enough to replace the HID.
    PLASMA is so dam costly..
    That leaves you with HID, so you'll have to deal with the heat they generate..


    Now, as far as the size of the lamp..
    You really want to stick to the 50w or at least 7,500 lumen (some people say 5,000, I say bullshit) per sq ft. to get the yields I'm thinking you would like to see in your grow...

    So, a 600w lamp will light a 3' x 4' area and supply 50w or 7,500 lumen per sq ft. I would suggest using a cooltube or sealed hood which is seperated from the chamber...

    Lamp cooling:
    duct -> cooltube -> duct -> fan

    Chamber exhaust:
    Carbon scrubber -> fan -> ducting


    You should be able to fit 4 plants in that 3' x 4' area (depending on strain)...
    Average noob usually can get 1/2 gram per watt...
     
  7. Wow, you guys! Thanks so much for all the great advice. I am a pragmatist and always think it's better to execute a f'd up plan than f' up a good one. That being said, I think my dimensions are way wrong for the "grow a little at a time" results I am looking for.

    Perhaps, with the space and resources I have available, I should instead invest in two smaller side-by-side cabs - one ideal for veg (with a little clone prep subcabinet) and one ideal for flower, each with the appropriate lighting system. They could share CO2 sources, heat/ac systems and even heat displacement ductwork for the lamps (I would want to keep the irrigation systems separate so I could use veg/flower specific nutes). That way, I can constantly have a few plants just 4-6 weeks apart from each other's life-cycle and even re-flower if I want to try that out. Also, it would be more forgiving on my supply if I screw up a plant every so often.

    Do you guys think this is a wiser approach?
     

  8. Ya, that maybe a way to go as well....

    Like go with two 2' x 2' chambers and scrog them...
    You should be able to get 4-5 zips off a 2x2 scrog...


    Like you could do:
    2 - Hydrofarm Phantom 250W MH/HPS Digital Ballasts
    2 - Ultragrow Wing Reflectors
    2 - 250w Plantmax MH and Plantmax HPS Bulbs
    2 - GrowLAB - GL 60

    That would be like $610...
    Then just do a DIY DWC system for each chamber, would be maybe another $40 bucks for everything...

    So you would have 2 chambers setup for like $650 bucks...
    Again, if you do a SCRoG in the 2' x 2', you should be able to pull at least 4-5 zips out of each chamber...

    Just stagger them, so use an 8 week stain and as 1 tent is 30 days into flowering, you would start the other one...

    That would give you low electric usage, low heat output and give you 2 chambers..

    :confused_2:
     
  9. Ok, I have made the decision to go with the 2-cab system, one for veg, one for flower. I have also decided to go LED due to the fact that I have to garage grow - partly because temp control in summer might be a REAL pain with hundreds of watts of HID lights cooking away inside a box and I DO worry a bit about street-visible heat signature in the winter.

    So, that being said, with 2' X 2' growing area (in each cab), no more than 2 plants in either cab, what wattage range (hi/lo) am I looking for and where do I look for reputable, solid LED panels? I am so very weary of getting cheap knockoff crap in the high-end electronics world, so any advice backed up by firsthand experiences would be awesome.

    I can't say money isn't a factor, but I am also not too stupid to understand that good LED's are very pricey and am willing to spend more to get reliable quality products.

    Thoughts?
     
  10. Don't do the led's....you have to spend massive money to get a good light and usually all leds are just sub par

    HID for the win
     
  11. I 100% ^^^^^^^^^^ Agree!!

    LED is a waste unless you are going to do SOG...
    Since you do not have the room for SOG, LED would be a TOTAL waste of money..
     
  12. Ok, y'all. I've been re-scheming and re-scheming and have come up a "short list" for my shopping list. I've also decided to go with 2 simultaneous 4'x4' SCROGS - inside separate veg and flower chambers.

    Now, if I were going to go for "bang for buck", should I concentrate more resources on the veg chamber or flower chamber? In other words, what do you guys feel is the most crucial period as far as lighting and temp control go?

    I am likely going to grow in a split-chambered Sun Hut Silver XXL for a chamber. I also have a portable, stand-alone A/C and heater with heat exhaust. Now, if I were to invest an a "grade A" light system and a "grade AAA" light system, which chamber should I get the AAA setup for?
     

  13. Flowering chamber....
    There is not going to be a veg chamber if you're going to do SCRoG...
    You will veg for 20-25 days and flower for 60 days (depending on strain)...

    So make sure you get MH/HPS lamps...
    Again, DO NOT GET LED, they do not produce what they claim...

    Make sure you can get to 3 sides of the chambers if you're doing SCRoG to manage it..
    I also would add Co2 as well....

    If done correctly, you should get 2lbs + per chamber per chop (again, depending on strain)...
     
  14. Thanks, Jake... much love on stickin' with me on this adventure of mine, bro. I tried to rep-bump you, but I'm new to the forum and don't know if I did it right... so +rep real or in principle...=)

    When you say "get to 3 sides of the chambers if you're doing SCRoG to manage it", how much room will I need on the 3rd side (inside the chamber between the scrog and wall)? And, not to be a smart ass, but because I'm really a true noob, why do I need access to the 3rd side if I can reach across or under the whole canopy (I'm like 6'4")?

    Also, do you really think I'll get 2 elbows a chamber? This means I could conceivably get upwards of 10-12 pounds a year out of a setup like this...?
     

  15. No worries mate, anytime I can help... ;)

    What I mean by get to all three sides...
    Sure you maybe able to lean into the 4' tent and reach the back wall, but you're not going to be able to pull an arm back through the screen without ripping it up...

    I was getting an inch of growth a day through the screen, so if I did it in every 2 days, I have some pretty fat leaves through the holes... I pretty much had to use 2 hands to get it back through the screen without jacking leaves....

    Then it will be MUCH easier on your back in two 4x4...
    I spend about an hour every other day on a 3x3 with 2 plants....

    If that was in a corner, it would have been SO MUCH harder then where I can get to 3 sides of the screen... You just need enough room to get next to the screen (in the tent) and the wall, and then bend down to trim under the screen....


    Thus why I'm going to do a 2' x 10' lit by 1800w scrog...
    Being only 2', I won't need access to 3 sides, and everything can be handled from the front.... Being 1800w, will give me 90w per sq ft and I'd like to run Co2 as well...


    Why do you want to go with tents???
    You can't toss up dome wood and panda plastic to make the chambers??


    Well maybe not a full 2 lbs (not your first few times out) but real dam close to it, if you give the scrog as much light as you can (75-100w per sw ft) and maintain the 85-88F with Co2..
     
  16. hey not sure if it helps but i'm new on here and to indoor growing but heres a link to a post i made ealier of my setup if it helps to see a normal sized closed turned growbox
    i'm running a 400watt hps in there and having slight heat spikes here and there out of the blue but otherwise all is well so far.
    Heat problams... - Grasscity.com Forums
     
  17. I agree why buy a tent? If you own the garage take the section you are planning to use for cabinets and go floor to ceiling, creating your whole room.
     
  18. Afew timer battons and plaster board would be ideal
     
  19. You could even just start inexpensively by draping mylar or poly down from the ceiling and taping the edges together. . . .essentially making your own mini tent. . . . IDK I have never used a tent. . . . but they seem like an awfully expensive way to section off an area to grow(IMO)
     
  20. #20 JDSlaughter, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2011
    Hey, believe me, you're all preaching to the choir. I live in a pretty cannabis friendly domestic situation when it comes to lifestyle, but it took some compromise to begin home production. My garden has to be relatively modular versus integrated. Man, I have a coat closet in my master bedroom that would be a BADASS double-decker or side-by-side chamber... ugh...

    The flexibility in my project lies in the materials and cost, not the location and invasiveness. The lower the physical impact and non-permanency in construction, the better.

    Jake - As far as a pair of DIY tents, the convenience of having the framing pre-made and the light-proofing integrity pre-engineered, the $150 difference is negligible in my situation.

    That being said, are tents generally a bad idea versus other methods of non-structural environmental/light control enclosures for reasons other than cost?

    Also, has anyone used dual arc bulbs - that have both MH and HPS emitters in a single bulb?

    In the meantime, I'm finalizing my shopping list. Any items I'm missing? All for two 4'x4' chambers (one veg/one flower) each with a 3'x3' scrog (I'll simply swap lights between the chambers when I flower a crop)

    Tent
    600 HPS Ballast, bulb and enclosed reflector with 6" duct hookups
    600 MH Ballast, bulb and enclosed reflector with 6" duct hookups
    Pulley-style lighting mounts for both
    6" Lighting Ductwork with 95cfm inline fan (to draw air through exhaust)
    95cfm odor-filtered tent exhaust with carbon filter (intake will be passive with filtered cover)
    2x General Hydroponics Rainforest 318 aeroponics systems
    Free standing A/C unit with external exhaust
    Low-wattage space heater
    Reactive CO2 bags (don't like the flame generators... propane + firebox = scary)
    Fox Farm nute regimen
    Leca Clay Media

    I'm a proud noob, so please do not refrain from pointing out the obvious if I am missing something or going the wrong direction. I'm pretty stubborn, but I do like to be informed of alternatives...lol...

    And thanks, everybody!
     

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