Starting a new grow(it has been awhile);all help/tips/advice appreciated

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by Qwatch2000, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. #1 Qwatch2000, Mar 28, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
    Getting started---Setting up my grow space, shopping for the best seeds & equipment and making a few early decisions

    Grow Space Dimension: 44" wide x 24" deep x 8' tall ; painting KILZ2 inside
    Seeds: looking for reliable online retailer to ship discreetly to southern US
    Lights: 400watt edit (600w) HPS/MH dimmable ballast with timer and gull wing reflector
    System: four 5-gallon Deep Water Culture buckets (ideally with a fifth bucket for making a circulating system), medium=HEC
    Nutes: General Hydroponics 3-part, Dutchmaster 2-part. (Nutes were not factored into initial cost estimate, estimate an addition $100)

    Airflow: intake vent in floor with air filter, AH inline fan in ceiling with carbon filter in room.
    CPU fan dedicated to the light if it gets too hot
    oscillating fan to blow things around

    edit: ROCK nutes is what i'm thinkin...

    600w MH bulb with gull wing reflector through vegging and then switch to HPS for fruiting ;on 600watt dimmable ballast ⬇️
    and four 5 gallon DWC buckets with HEC as my medium (there's a kit that comes 4 of what you see in this picture of $100) : Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bucket Kit 5 Gallon, 6 inch : Agriculture Plant Germination Equipment : Patio, Lawn & Garden[​IMG]
    There is also this kit for about $75 more dollars and comes with a few more goodies. : 4-site Hydroponic BUBBLER Grow kit ~ 5-gallon buckets (12"W x 15"H) : Patio, Lawn & Garden
    Or something like this like this build to be a re-circulating system with a resevoir bucket.,100_&refRID=BDSP0DZBY8WZ62AMDDV0
    I'm gonna do either Dutchmaster hydro nutes or go with General Hydroponics (I think it's 3-part) I used Foxfarm last time and it was just too chemically and strong for hydroponics IMO.

    I'm working with 44 inches wide by 24 inches deep and about 8 feet tall. I think I can fit four DWC buckets with one resevoir bucket and plumb it myself to make it a re-circulating system or something close to it, even if I have to manually empty and fill ONE bucket it's better than five. (Might just purchase, see above)
    All my supplies except for basic hardware store stuff is coming from Amazon. It's leaps and bounds cheaper and I'll take my chances with their customer service and do my own due diligence as always.

    Any and all advice, constructive criticism, a point in the right direction, or even just a reminder that I do kind of remember what I'm doing would be very much appreciated.

    This coming Friday is Bean ordering day and then we're off to the races.

    edit: ordered the fan and filter first, then lights, then buckets. i'm gonna get all my temps and airflow perfect before putting produce in there

    Happy Growing!
  2. If you try to cram 4 plants in there, you won't be able to grow them very big before you have to flower them.
    Personally I'd just do 2 buckets for now. Or DIY with light proof totes.
    And, without a good amount of air exchange in that area, it's going to get pretty warm unless you go with an air cooled reflector. 600 watts would give better yield as well.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Also, I've never had problems with The Vault for seed orders.
  4. Noted and noted...I've considered going up to 600. The price is not that big of deal and I will have fans galore. I have easily hundred of PC fans laying around and will little box fans as well as probably order a good 120mm fan for the actual reflector (suck through or blow across? ive always thought blow across), dedicated fans for the ballast, and i have a big exhaust fan i took out of my bathroom when i remodeled several years ago, hole in ceiling, activated carbon, boom. So how about 600watt and 3-4 plants? (ive also considered just doing like a T5 system with all CFL's but I just don't want to. I think MH/HPS gives me more control and versatility, also better/more food. I wanted to do four because it gives me more margin of error. Although the last time I used expensive feminized seeds I think I had 4/5 germ and 3/4 yield well so i have optimistic expectations. Also if it does get bushy in there, that's where i was going to add the little red/blue CFL's up under the canopy to let the lower fruit get special light maybe even swap in a red/blue array on top at the very end too. thanks for the input. stick around i do plan on doing a grow journal. i feel pretty safe about it....i think....
  5. If anyone could be or would be interested in mentoring me/guiding me on a more 1-on-1 level and helping along the way, I set up a shopping list that can be viewed and added to by anyone who has the link. If this is something that people do or anyone wants to pass on their knowledge to someone who will retain it and put it to good use for the rest of my life as well as pass it on to further generations, let me know, start a conversation. I would like to be able to correspond with someone via something other than this forum (they're great forums but not the best for quickly sharing text with photos) I plan on using all the resources I possible have at my disposal and a seasoned, mature, knowledgeable grower would be absolutely invaluable as a teacher and mentor.

    Happy Learning!
  6. What's up bud, unfortunately I've only grown in soil so I can't give much advice for the hydro set up. For seeds I've had very good experiences with Gorilla Seed Bank and The Vault. I have a similar sized area, a 48x24x60 tent inside a walk-in closet. I grow 3 plants under a scrog net. I use a 600-watt cool tube light and have some heat issues in southern California with no A/C. PC fans might not get the job done imo.

    Good luck :RoorRip:
  7. That's okay. Like I said the only really brand new things to me are I guess switching from MH to HPS (research seems to say yes) and then adding in the little flood lamp red and blue bulbs around the bottom of the canopy when it starts getting thick in there. I'd love to have a square red/blue setup for top or sides to throw in with the HPS during fruiting. I may by the time I get there. The good thing is I can space a lot of this out and ease the pain it's going to inflict on my wallet and budget.

    So that helps me get better equipment and better prepared. I'm plenty patient now. Certain life experiences do that to you so I want to make them fatten up as long as possible.

    I had considered auto-flowering but decided against it and have decided to go up to the 600 watt, same exact kit, just more juice. depending on price I could go up to 1000w and just dim it. I've been seeing alot of scrog or SOG and i'm guessing they both refer to the screen method and forcing your plants to go outwards and branch. I don't really want to do that I don't think...???

    I do plan on harvesting only four and trying to keep a mother going at all times or is it better to just have clones on a good schedule and plan/time accordingly. of course more room and a cloning station will have to happen eventually. this will be a perpetual cycle is my plan.

    Thank you for your input
  9. My latest starts, waiting for the Big Buddha Cheese and Northern Lights to pop.

    Attached Files:

  10. Lookin good already! I can't wait. The order gets placed this Friday, and depending on how long Herbies takes to deliver I'll have time to start gathering all my equipment up. Are you pretty active on here? I see you're using the same kind of buckets I will be using with the clay balls. What do you think of my plan? I can't help myself to always think bigger and better and it will inevitably expand but for now I think I have a pretty good game plan. Things always change along the way though, that's part of the fun!

    Thank you for replying

    Happy Growing
  11. well i ordered the inline fan and carbon filter first. the exact one you recommended. i'll be getting a T5 in a couple weeks, 600w AH kit couple after that, and incidentals in between. last to come will be DWC buckets and seeds. i want to get all my temps, humidity and air flow just right in my room before i do anything in there... decided to go with Kilz2 for the walls as well. easy to reapply every season, its a built-in fungicide, mildewcide, all that, good sealer and reflective

    i am cutting a 12x12 intake vent in the floor, covering with a typical air filter vent and then putting the inline fan in the ceiling and the carbon filter in the room. i still don't know where i'll use that big leftover exhaust fan (the one i had sitting around from the bathroom remod) if i'll even need it until i move outdoors. i'm hoping this is the last fan i'll need for awhile.

    i had the idea of splitting my room in half since i have plenty of height (and don't neccesarily want that much height, i'd rather have width) and using the bottom as my clone/seedling area. I don't need much more than 3' for the little clone/seed setup and that still leaves me with 5 feet to flower in...

    my only dilemma is since i'm going to be cutting an intake vent into my floor for air circulation in conjunction with my inline fan in the i want the germ room under the flower room or above it...i kinda also had the thought that if it was in the 3ft above it i could use the heat and therefore humidity produced above my light for my seedlings...i'll plumb my DWC buckets through the floor and out the side of the house more than likely....
  12. do you start under fluorescent or your metal halide? i'm getting a separate T5 and the 600w MH/HPS but was wondering if i could get a jump start with my MH bulb??
  13. I start with CFL's until they are growing strong, about 2 wks, then I switch to MH 200w, 300w then 400w. I Bloom with a 600w HP and 2 LED 300w. Both ballast are digital dimmable. My veg is a lumatec and the 600 is a Nanolux.

    Attached Files:

  14. In retrospect I should have started with a dimmable 600 but started with a 400, which is fine for vegging as I can start at 200w and work up from there, the 600w is the best choice because its more efficient. The lums produced are roughly 35000 - 400w, 90000 -600w and 140000 -1000w. A 400 is about a 3.5amp draw and my nanolux 600 draws 5.2amps, a 1000w draws 8+ amps.
  15. the 4 bucket kit is finally ordered should be here in about 2 weeks:

    going to plumb them for RDWC and then only have to work out of one control bucket. considering in the 11th hour keeping all four buckets separate to a) allow customization between individual plants' needs and b) to grow more plants in one space because the res is wasted grow space and the plumbing between buckets will make them rigid and make their footprint larger...
    the con's of that are having to nutemix, EC,ph, and balance each bucket separately and also move the plant while changing each of their buckets. any thoughts or pro's con's from experience?

    got a nice gift from a great new friend in the form of a bluelabs truncheon 3-in-1 nutrient does EC, ppms, and ppmsx.07 or something...could someone explain the difference in the two PPM's? and which is better to go by as far as which one do most regular feeding charts go by or do they specify?

    also ordered an inexpensive Ph pen today:

    it was accurate +/- .01 and came with calibration fluid. reviews almost all touted it as accurate and reliable. store dry is what i've read regarding that one...any tips for storing the bluelaps nute stick? i usually keep it hanging up in the room for now which brings me my next step

    been running temp tests under the MH for 2-3 days on 18/6 and hitting a high of 84 degrees. I'm starting temp testing for the HPS tomorrow but tonight's pre-lim testing is looking to hover around 84-86...i'm probably going to order a 2 or 3 pack of water temp meters with suction cups on them because with temps that high in the air i'm more worried about the water being too hot and promoting algae.

    so a chiller may have to go into the budget for the reservoir. not exactly sure how that works if it just goes inside the bucket or inline of the water flow setup...not sure will find out.

    also may be adding that old bathroom exhaust fan after all to one side of the AC cooled reflector and either exhausting it straight down and out a new whole in the floor or straight up and let the carbon filter just suck it in and out into the attic. most of the cool air comes from under my closet door because after adding a piece of AC filter, custom cut to fit my passive intake, my air flow went way down through that hole; still not okay with having just an open hole to the outside...screen isn't enough; AC filter blocks the airflow too much; however the air coming in from room is clean because of the main central AC filter but its not very cool because of all my PC and entertainment center equipment set up in the same room (on two different electrical circuits).

    last thought...using RO water which is basically Ph neutral and doesn't make the bluelabs stick blink at all which the ROCK nutes and basically having a blank slate to start with...using the tap water and just pre-plan to let it sit out and evap for a day or so before nutrient change...or we've been going into our rainy season and I think I could capture enough rain water to use fresh or stored rainwater every res change for at least this season.

    ultimately i'm building a massive greenhouse with half fluorescents/MH if neccesary in a slightly colder environment for certain veg and fruit that like colder temps on 18/6 hours of light and then the other half under at least 2 HPS lights and kept slightly warmer while under 12/12 hours of flowering light. that's a ways down the road but this closet setup is falling into place nicely and about ready to crank up...

    need to do baseline water temp testing; HPS temp testing; and plumb for R DWC

    then i just neeed to order some seeds and pick a strain. it's looking it may just come down to some budget feminized from seedsherenow and have to pretend i don't know the name Kurple Guerilla...what a dumb name...i'll rename it.

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