Is my system going to work?

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by clarebearr, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Hi all! I'm going to try and explain the system I'm working on in hopes that I can get some pointers and an idea of if it will or won't work. Any feedback is welcome!

    I'm starting off with a 19 gallon storage bucket, the outside spray painted black to keep light out (lid is opaque). I have 5 holes cut in the top 3" wide (for 3" net cups), each of which are filled with clay pellets. The pots are 5" apart from each other. Inside the bucket I have 2 air stones (10" bubble bars) connected to a double-output 20gal air pump with check valves on each airline. The nutrients I'm going to be using are the General Hydroponics 3-part kit (Grow, Bloom, Micro). My plan is to have 3 or 4 of the Home Depot 5gal buckets filled with tap water to allow the chlorine and other chemicals to evaporate, then mix them with the appropriate ratio of nutrients when I need to replace my reservoir. I'm still trying to figure out the correct lighting for this set-up as well. Currently I have a single seedling growing in soil and I've been told my lighting is incorrect, so I am not sure what I'll be doing for 5 plants (when I get there, eventually). My seedling is under a 2w blue LED light and a 13w CFL as of now.
    Any pointers on lighting my seedling or my 5 plant set-up are greatly appreciated.
    Feedback in general is greatly appreciated!

    Here are pictures:

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    ImageUploadedByGrasscity Forum1414173330.755157.jpg

    ImageUploadedByGrasscity Forum1414173342.556393.jpg

    ImageUploadedByGrasscity Forum1414173365.576926.jpg

    Thanks again! :D
  2. #2 hddani, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2014
    1st timer here myself! Not an expert of course but I can give you a few pointers.
    You'll definitely want to bump up your lighting for that 1 seedling to at least 100W (+50w per additional plant) if you go with CFLs. I am using a total of 4 23w 6500k and 1 23w 2700k and my 19 day old plant is loving it, growing short and bushy.
    I'm saving up for a LED or COB light for a 4x4 grow area, but there are other less expensive options such as MH & HPS.
    You also have the nutrients needed to run the Lucas Formula (Bloom&Micro), that's what I've been feeding mine for a week now and its exploded in growth.
    What is your ventilation setup like?
    Happy growing! :smoke:  
    Awesome to get some advice from someone just starting out like myself! Sounds like you know more about it than me  :lol:
    I switched up my lighting to 3 CFLs, 75 watts (20 true watts), 6500K, and 1190 lumens, plus my 2 watt blue LED grow light and another 13 watt CFL, not sure the Kelvin on that but I'm thinking its around 2700k as well.
    Honestly, not sure about ventilation  :mellow: I have a fan in my room that could be used, I don't have any kind of special ventilation for it though. Probably not a good thing  :unsure:
    Happy growing to you as well!
  4. #4 clarebearr, Oct 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2014
    Here's the new setup:
    Currently it's 3 CFLs (6500K, 20 true watts each, and 1190 lumens) another CFL (13 true watts and 2700K) and my blue LED light (2watts, 2600K, 200 lumens). Planning to add more wattage as needed. Bulbs are about 8" from the seedling.
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    Feedback appreciated, as always! :D
    I started out just germinating a bag seed, throwing it in random potting soil, and then overwatering. =[
    After that I read A LOT on these forums about how to properly get started, and that helped me a lot on my 2nd (clones, failed), and 3rd attempts (from seed, currently on day 19)
    You should be okay for now with your setup. I personally would try and get the bulbs closer, currently mine are 1-2" from the plant. As long as you put your hand between the bulb and your plant, and it doesn't feel warm, it is ok at that distance.
    Ventilation is more crucial if growing inside a grow box/tent or closet, but with the setup you have you should be ok with just an oscillating fan pointed in the general direction of the plant. This will remove heat away from the grow, blow fresh air on the plant, and you'll notice it kind of fluttering in the breeze a little bit. You want this because it will causes the stem to grow thicker and stronger to support its future weight up. =]
    Only other thing I can think of is your air pump. It may not be enough oxygen for that big of a reservoir. Mine is a "20-60" gallon air pump from wal-mart but it is barely enough to keep 1-2 gallons of soup properly oxygenated for DWC grows.
  6. Third time is the charm right?! Haha awesome, I hope the fruits of your labors are well worth it! Right now I'm working on germinating more bag seeds, I have some coming in the mail in a few weeks but I'm definitely waiting to go through a grow before I mess with any of that! $35 for 5 seeds means I am definitely NOT fucking around with it until I know what I'm doing! Haha. Appreciate all the feedback, coincidentally I'm using an oscillating fan on my plant, only thing is the oscillating feature is broken. Hope that's not overkill on the ventilation. I got the hoods off the lights and got them as close as I could to my seedling, going to keep it like that the next few days and hopefully it perks up (had some issues with it losing color towards the middle of the leaf). Hoping the air pump is enough, glad you mentioned! it's made for 20gal, my container is only 19gal and I'll have some space at the top. If not, I'll just put it back in the box and return it. Mines from Walmart too, so I kinda feel like I'll have to swap it, it's probably same brand as yours. Mine came with some check valves though, might have to hold onto those :p Anywho, I think I have the majority of my issues with my setup under control, until I try hydroponics hahaha. Thank you for all your help!
    I'd definitely love to keep track of your grow, if you're posting progress on GrassCity! :)
    Thanks again, happy growing (and good luck!)
  7. Hahaha hadn't thought of that, 3rd times the charm I reaaaally hope so. Id hate to lose this plant it has spectacular genetics. I think its an indica, short bushy and fat leaves, plus it had purple on its leaves the first few days now some stems are a dank purp color too 😍.
    ImageUploadedByGrasscity Forum1414212935.592900.jpg

    I feel ya on that $ for seeds. Its expensive! I have plenty of bag seeds since I started asking my fellow smokers to save em for me to grow and Ill hook em up with some flowers. I don't see myself buying seeds unless its for autoflowers, local dispensaries here in Cali sell clones of almost every strain imaginable, I just need to practice taking my own and rooting them before I buy more.

    I recommend swapping the airpump, they are rated for keeping fish alive in a 20 gallon tank or w/e the box reads, but DWC is a different ball game and the roots require much higher oxygenated water than fish do. I spent $15 on mine at Walmart, and the commercial 20 watt ones on eBay are only $40! I was running one of those before it broke, currently waiting on a replacement. It pushed through an unbelievable amount of bubbles. For airpumps, theres a certain watt per gallon ratio or liter per minute per gallon that I cant think off the top of my head but research it, since its just as confusing as the watts on lightbulbs rules, until it just clicks then its not so confusing.
    Sorry for the long post!
    Oh yea my grow updates are in the thread in my signature :)
  8. #8 The Letter 3, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2014

    If you're in the states I like to recommend 2 litres of air per minute to every gallon of solution. This is the bare minimum.

    If you're across the pond 1 LPM of air to every 2 litres works out as well.

    Ive got a pile of fish style air pumps that are more $$ together than a single 70 LPM pump without matching the output.

    Anyways... Air is important.

    "Don't let the past remind us of what we are not now."

    1000 watt Scrog Journal
    Pretty little lady! Congratualtions  :hello:
    I've got tons of bag seeds that my dad gave me, but none of them are germinating when I try to germinate them! Oh well.  :rolleyes:
    Turns out I'm a liar and my pump is also 20-60 gallons! Woohoo! Only $11 too. :D
    Thanks again for all your help, will keep track of your grow. Happy growing :) 
    Appreciate the specs! Will keep those in mind :)

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