Indoor Stealth CFL Grow

Discussion in 'Indoor Grow Journals' started by bwainwri, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Whats up GrassCity! i'm really psyched, my roommate and I finally moved into our new apartment and started construction on our stealth growbox. My original plan was to use a dresser and hollow it out, but we couldn't find a big enough one. Instead we're going to attempt a modified rubbermaid grow similar to others i've seen on here. The major difference is...

    In most i've seen on here, people have been turning one container upside-down, and placing it ontop of one rightside-up to leave a large opening inside. while this is effective, it is not very stealth because, honestly, who keeps rubbermaid containers in their closet stacked like that? We got two very large rubbermaid containers roughly 4ft long, 2.5ft wide, and 3ft deep, that each came with lids. We kept them both rightside up, and both with the lids on. We simply cut a hole in the lid of the container on the bottom of the two container stack, and cut out the bottom of the one stacked ontop. Now, inside, there is a large amount of space, and on the outside, it looks like nothing but two rubbermaid containers harmlessly stored in my closet. I would post pictures for you to get an idea what i mean, but right now my apartment doesn't yet have internet, but it should by the end of the week. Anyhow, we then duct taped the edges of the two holes to one another from the inside of course so it still looks like a harmless stack of containers. And now we have our first roadblock...

    Problem - Tested it by putting a light inside and closing it up, and oh my god, it looks like a lantern. Totally obvious that there is a light inside and i only tested it with a single incandescent bulb lol not 8-12 cfl's so alot of light proofing is our next task.

    Solution - We are college students and very poor, so cost of materials plays a big part in this. Tin Foil is cheap, and if layered, i think will prevent the light from penetrating the box. Once light no longer gets in or out, the tinfoil will be covered by cut up, white garbage bags to get the flat white inside we need.

    Thats all we have for now, any comments, advice, or constructive criticism is much appreciated. We want to start testing temp. and humidity on wednesday and start germinating as soon as the Fox Farm soil comes in the mail so stay posted.
  2. good luck
  3. 8-12 cfls in a rubbermaid box covered in tin foil is like an oven, temp will be hard to control.

    I had a lot of trouble with the temp in my box getting into the high 90s when I first strated and I am using 8 cfls also and my box is much larger than a rubber maid container. Make sure you have really good ventilation and a good tempature.

    I had to install intake and exaust fans to get my temp down (something thats should be done in every box to keep fresh air inside)

    I don't know anything about the rubbermaid containers though so dont take me too serious since I don't have much knowledge on the subject. :confused_2:

    but anyways best of luck to you!! :smoking::smoking:
  4. thanks indi420, that was one of my other concerns. I planned to cut an exhaust hole in the top to let the heat out and purchased a 4 inch Massey high velocity fan. Since this is all stealth, i planned to put a light trap around the hole, disguised as a box just sitting ontop of the rubbermaids.

    I could attempt to use that fan with an intake hole in the bottom somewhere to force in some fresh air, but that will need a light trap too... then get another of the 4in. fans to aim up at the lights from the inside and force some of that heat out... just an idea, but do you think that would keep the temp. at a reasonable level?
  5. #5 runner's high, Jun 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2009
    Dude, it's like I'm you. Just today I bought 2 4" Massey fans for my Rubbermaid grow! I'll be growing two white widow / skunk hybrids - how many plants are you trying to grow? Unfortunately I'm a complete noob to growing and it sounds like you're ahead of me, having already started your setup, but I'll be following your thread and probably posting my own when the time comes. Good luck! :smoke:

    EDIT: By the way, like the guy said tinfoil can become a sauna so you might consider mylar instead. The upside of mylar is that it's a reflecting material that won't trap too much heat, the downside is that it makes light escape and it's somewhat hard to find. Anyway, if you're looking to reduce heat, you might also consider fluoro tubes or the right LEDs instead of CFLs. These give off almost no heat, just make sure you get them in 6500K for vegging.

  6. Thats awesome man! i'm pretty much a noob too, i just did hours and hours of research on here for like a month before i could get started.

    I'm jealous you are growing such great strains. Since i live in the US and can't order them, i had to try to get seeds from a buddy and it didn't work out so i'll just be growing bagseed.:( It's ok though, i figure the yield will be better buds than the source of the seeds because i'm not keeping males. I read that the plants stop producing THC once seed production begins. so, the unpolinated girls will produce THC until harvest as opposed to stopping THC production early to grow seeds like the buds i got the seeds from must have done. And that should give me something decent to smoke:smoking:

    thanks for the tips too, i was going to use mylar, but i couldn't find it anywhere. The foil is already in place, so i think i'm gonna just keep it there. If temperature is still too high when we test it before starting the grow i guess i'll just add additional intake/exhaust holes.

    You should definately post the link in here for your journal so i can follow yours too and we can learn from eachother. Anyway, internet is supposed to get hooked up at my house on thursday so pics will be coming soon, i promise, as will more frequent updates. Right now i have to do it at work lol.
  7. #7 bwainwri, Jun 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2009
    As for an update, my roommate and i didn't have much time to work on it yesterday, but we're almost ready to put the white plastic garbage bags in over the foil so that the box has solid white interior. I cut a hole in the lid for the exhaust hole. I also cut a hole the same size in the bottom of a box to line up with that hole. This way i can hide the light trap in the nondescript box and the whole thing looks like nothing more than a pile of storage bins and boxes in my closet mwaahahaha (evil genius laugh):D

    This light trap might need to be replaced with a carbon scrubber in the flowering stage but it shouldn't be a hard modification to make.

    The Fox Farm soil might delay the start of the grow because of issues with my paypal account, but it is finally on it's way.

    Construction is moving a little slower than expected so Temperature and Humidity testing might have to wait until thurs. or fri. but hopefully we'll have germinated seeds in pots by next week.

    P.S. Indi420, how many plants are you growing with that many cfl's? I was planning on 6 plants, then of course eliminating the males so i should finish with 1-3 females, but i'm not sure 8 cfl's will be enough...
  8. #8 runner's high, Jun 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2009
    Hey bwainwri, I went to Lowes today and picked up two 27 gallon SuperBoxes - they're black so the light doesn't get out. They fit perfectly one upside down atop the other with built-in pegs; it's as if it was made to be a growbox or some kind of depressing doghouse. I couldn't find mylar either so I'm just gonna spraypaint in the interior white. Have you considered that? Maybe you could do a couple dark base coats to block out light and then a spray glossy white over it. The only other thing worth mentioning is that the fluoro ballast came today. I was excited at first but then I realized, being over 28", it can barely fit in the box. So I'm faced with two options: either do it your way with extra fans/exhaust holes and CFLs only, or keep the fluoro tubes and do the LST method to keep the plants height down. There's an awesome thread on the LST method here. It pretty much solves the height problem and also increases yield, aparently. Anywho, sorry to be piggybacking on your thread like this, but we're basically in the same boat and I'll start my own thread after I germinate. By the way, there are a handful of good seed companies that ship to the US. I got swindled by Dr. Chronic before, but this time I ordered from and the widows came in 6 days! If you can stand to wait any longer, it's a good investment.
  9. I order seeds just fine and I live in the US, its rather safe auctally.
  10. How big is your closet?

    I'm also doing a stealth grow I could throw some ideas your way.
  11. you could try buying some poster board to line the inside so it isnt "glowing", or like a previous post said, putting a couple layers of black paint on the inside. then going over that with white. i too know about being poor in college. lol so those wouldnt be to costly.
  12. It's all good, i like exchanging ideas with you. You're welcome to post as much as you like! i saw that thread on LST'ing and i'm considering doing it to increase yield b/c the six plants idea is starting to seem like too much. They would be literally right next to eachother, crammed in like sardines... I'm now thinking more along the lines of 4. Then i worry i might end up with only 1 or even worse 0 females if i veg. only 4... can anyone tell me how many females they've gotten out of their starting # of plants? how many should i veg. to get at least 2 females?

    I'm definately going to consider ordering seeds now, i didn't know it was safe. I heard others say they don't even let them in the US cuz of the potential "harm" foreign species could do to the ecosystem here, but since Indi420 did it.... That's some indisputable evidence that it's safe, i'll probably do that for round 2 in this box. They are expensive to buy and i wanna make sure this box actually works first.

  13. yeah just look up attitude seed bank, there is an entire forum on gc about seedbanks, you can find it at the bottom of marijuana growing section. ;):smoking:

    I feel safer about ordering seeds online than getting them in a bag from a deal lol!
    I also used my real name and home address when I bought them
  14. Well, it's maybe 3 feet deep and probably 8 feet wide, but just has a doorway opening rather than an actual door. Thats why we had to have a box to contain it that is lightproof cuz it's blatantly visible as soon as you walk into my room. Like, the right side of the box sticks out into the opening of the closet about a foot and a half, while the left side is blocked by the wall.

    I'm trying to think up a plan to add an intake fan at the bottom of the box. Right now i'm thinking of using metal ducting with a fan at the end that has enough bends in it to be a light trap, but that will totally give away what is inside the rubbermaids, unless maybe i hide it on the side blocked from sight by the wall... Does anyone know an extremely stealth way to add an intake fan at the bottom of a rubbermaid box? I need it to look like i'm just storing my junk inside, not cultivating my favorite herb lol ;)

    it's so hard to describe what i'm working with here, the internet should be hooked up in my apt. by the time i'm off work and i'll put some pictures up so you all can see what i'm working with...
  15. Buying seeds is really not as dangerous as you'd think. When I ordered from Dr. Chronic they never came, so I did a lot of research into what happens if your seeds are confiscated by customs. Turns out, 99% of the time, nothing happens. They just send you a slip that says in fancy legal terms 'You've broken the law, don't do this again' and that's it. But I never got the slip, so I assume I was swindled. Again, I'd recommend It makes sense though, to get your box in order first. I didn't - I have the seeds but not really the box. They give you 5 free seeds so I'm just using those for practice germination before I plant the widows, since I have no idea what I'm doing. You're still one step ahead of me, btw; I'm thinking of driving down to the nearest hydro store to get some Fox Farms Seasoil tomorrow. It'll take and hour or two but I don't mind driving.
  16. #16 bwainwri, Jun 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2009

    Finally got the internet hooked up, and now i bring you some pictures! We bought a lot of supplies today. These are the eleven 23watt(real) cfl's - 6500k we will be using giving us 230watts for 4 plants (decided 6 would be too crowded.


    This is the box. It is just over 3 ft. deep. covered in just foil now to keep the light from shining through the tub, the white trash bags will cover this once we patch a few leaks where light gets through. The next picture shows this better...



    The lights will be suspended by strings attached to hooks which were screwed into the lid. A clamp on the light fixture holds it to the string, this will allow us to raise and lower the lights as needed, although it will be time consuming lol


    this is the box sitting on top of the rig. It is there to hide the exhaust hole coming out the top of the box.


    This is a shot of what it looks like sitting in my closet... i think it's pretty stealth, what do you think?



    This is a shot looking down in with the lights hanging. We didn't get to dealing with the wires yet, they will be rigged up to the top of the box so they're not touching the hot lights.


    The power strip is attached to the top of the inside of the box so that only one wire runs into the box and is more easily hidden.

    Thats all i have for now, i'm gonna smoke break and then get back to work. There is still so so much to do and i want it to be ready when the foxfarm gets here early next week. I do have one question though...

    When should i start using nutrients? i've been putting off ordering them because they are like $50... this project is getting expensive, up to about $160 already... but that should be paid off in one crop:D
  17. Wow dude it turned out great, very stealthy :smoking: Like I don't think anyone would notice.

    I would consider panda film or mylar though,for reasons discussed earlier.

    You can get mylar out of those emergency blankets for like 3$ each you would only need a few.

    But it would be better to just get a cheap roll from a hydro store or online. :smoking:

    but yeah it turned out really great.

    as for nutes, I just use MG tomato fert 18-18-21. Havent started using it yet but ill let you know how it goes. its only 6$ for a big box.

  18. I think i already have an emergency blanket! my friend was really drunk and gave me what he called a "space blanket" lol. I accepted his gift of course cuz i never turn down anything free, and it was really shiny too so naturally it grabbed my attention and i had to have it lol. But it is huge, metalic silver in color and very thin. you can see through it if you put it really close to your face, is this the same thing?

    Ok, i was reluctant to remove it cuz it was so much work to put on, but last night i validated everyone's claims that the foil would make it like an oven in the box. With just the one exhaust hole in the top and no fan inside yet, the temperature reached 110 degrees F within 20 minutes of lights being on.

    I'm consulting with my roommate/partner in this project now, he hasn't read this thread yet, but once he does, we'll discuss what we should do. I like the idea of black paint to absorb the light from getting thru, then i could put the emergency blanket or white gargage bags over it. Will this help the heat problem i hope? or will the black paint retain the heat as well? i also need to test it with a fan in it, to see how much that affects the temp.
  19. Update:

    Well, as everyone predicted, the temperature was impossible to control. This morning i ripped all the foil out and did a temperature test again and got 95. it's closer, but still not good enough. I found another journal on here where they are using exactly the same rubbermaid, so i asked how they kept the temp. down. They said they have the fans blowing air out, i had them set up to blow air in. So, i'm going to try turning them around to blow air out of the box and then test it again. Hopefully this will finally bring it below 90 so i can focus on re-light proofing it and then finally germinating!
  20. I'm still having trouble getting below 90 degrees and getting very frustrated. i'm down to like 95 average now but it's not good enough. The fans are now blowing out, but because they were originally cut for intake holes, they are on the bottom rather than the top where the heat collects. The only other thing i can think of to do is to cut another exhaust hole in the top, making 3 total, each with 4 in. fans in them. Cut back to 3 plants:(, and 8 cfls so there will be room for a larger sized fan inside the box... and if that doesn't work, i don't know what will... With all these holes in it, my box isn't that stealth anymore, i will have to address that once i get the thing to maintain a decent growing enironment.

    I think my room being on the 3rd floor is working against me here... without an ac on, my room is like 85 degees:( i'm starting to get really frustrated with this but it has to work, i've put too much money into it already.

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