Stealth Grow Box - CFL - Troubleshoot Need Help

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by obeewnn, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. What is your experience level? First Timer

    Your Equipment:
    .1) Type and wattage of lights: 2 GE CFL 42W 2700 Lumens 2700k for flowering tub, 3 Ecosmart CFL 23W 1600 lumens 5000k.
    .2) Distance from tops? 3 In
    .3) Reflector type? N/A
    .4) Is there a consistent fresh air supply? Yes
    .5) Do you have an exhaust fan and a circulation fan? Intake PC Fan, and exhaust Silenx PC fan, No circulation fan
    .6) What are is the light schedule? 18/6 Veg Box, 12/12 flowering box.

    Your medium:
    .7) Specific brand and type of soil: Miracle grow seedling starter mix (for veg), African Violet Potting Mix (for transplant, only soil I had).
    .8) Size of container. The seedlings are in 3-4 inch high 9 pot things, soon to be flowering plant is in a approx. 5x5x5 jiffy pot.
    .9) Did you use peat pucks (or similar) to root clones or germinate seedlings? No

    Your nutrients and water:
    10) Source of water? (tap, bottled or filtered) What's it's ph before adjusting? Tap, no ph tester, digital one won't work need to get another.
    11) Method of checking water ph. (ph pen, test strips, aquarium test kit...) See 10
    12) Method of adjusting water ph. (phosphoric acid, white vinegar, hydrated lime, PH Up...) N/A
    13) Specific brand and N-P-K ratio for each bottle. List dosages (quantity per gallon) and current feeding schedule. FoxFarm Trio, starting with big bloom and grow big, 2 times per week.
    14) How often are you watering between feedings, and how much per watering? Watering once a day for seedlings, and every other day with flowering.
    15) Any additives or tea's? No
    16) Are your ph levels stable, or do they fluctuate? See 10
    17) What is your ingoing water's ph? ...your runoff ph? See 10
    18) Do you foliar feed? If so, with what, how often, and at what time do you spray? No

    Your growroom:
    19) Indoors or outdoors? Indoor Stealth Grow Box, standard size storage bin
    20) What size of closet, room or hut? Approx 3x2x4 feet box.
    21) What are the temps and humidity levels while lights are on? ...With lights off? Temp hovers around 90, and humidity 30-35 with lights on, lights off it goes to 75 degrees and 70+ humidity.
    22) Have you seen signs of insects in the growroom? One maggot infiltrated a germinated seed and ate it all, haven't checked for more but some plants show stunting

    Your strain:
    23) What strain are you growing? Sour Diesel (could be different strain, untrusted source) and White Widow (trusted source).
    24) From seeds or clones? From Seeds
    25) Is this an autoflower strain? No

    First 4 pictures (591-588) are of the setup

    Problem #1 Pics 5-6 (582-583) are of the oldest and biggest sour d, shes on her 3rd week and the first set of serrated leaves have brown spots and are yellowing. I cut those off half way and the cotyledons as well since those were yellowing, is this ok?

    Problem #2 The 7th pic (#584) is of a white widow, in her 2nd week, showing small brown spots and leaves contorting. Not sure what's going on?

    Problem #3 The 8th pic (596) is of a sour d, in her 2nd week, showing the first set of serrated leaves major browning and yellowing.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Attached Files:

  2. they look a little over fertilised and perhaps watered too often. how close are the lamps to the plants? when you repot, mix some perlite with your soil at a ratio of 2 parts soil to 1 part perlite. maybe use a mild seedling soil next time, or a non nutrient medium mixed in like coco fibre.
  3. "see 10" doesn't tell us your ph. /thread
  4. jetski- thanks!
    Not Sure- Don't have the ph levels on the soil or water, getting a tester kit soon and will post updated ph levels and new pics on plants.
  5. #5 PassionBud, Dec 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2012
    Hey there!

    My opinion is that your soil is too "hot" for your little gals.

    I grew in miracle grow once (mine was moisture control type but i've heard that seedling starter is slightly better) and my plants never grew more than half a foot and were runts.

    I was on a very tight budget and it was a learning experience for me. Since then I've used Fox Farms Ocean Forest for soil, however that can slow your seedlings growth a bit too (as I've noticed this last grow of mine.)

    As they get more established they should handle the hot soil better, but if you want to minimize damage, I'd flush the plants with dying leaf tips or water until you get some good runoff. This will help to get some of the nutrients out of your soil.

    best of luck!

    Also, be careful not to overwater. I was just looking at the pics again and some plants look a tad droopy. Let the soil dry out a decent amount between waterings. I use the "stick your finger 1.5 inches down and if its dry that far, water" rule heh

  6. ^agree with this, OP said he waters his seedlings everyday. MG soil is notorious for ph problems, never liked the drainage either. All 3 of those conditions (overwatering, ph, poor drainage) can ruin a crop.

    Can you grow with it? Absolutely.
  7. Hi,
    I read your original post again after reading Not Sure's and I'm fairly sure you're watering too often. My plants are in flower right now, maybe 4 weeks in and i'm watering once every 4 or so days (again with Fox Farms Ocean Forest as my medium). I could even let them go longer as they've never shown signs of wilting. I've read in many places that during the vegetative stage, letting the soil dry out more will help roots establish better.

    If your pots don't have drainage holes at the bottom, cut some. A buddy of mine had very few holes in his container and was overwatering (we determined later) and his plant succumbed to root rot a few weeks from harvest.

    Again, if you're going to flush I'd recommend letting the soil dry out good as they are already most likely over-watered.

    Hope this helps, sorry if it was a tad wordy.
  8. Ok so update on problems and new problems:

    PassionBud: I do let the soil get dried out, but never bone dry where the soil crumbles when you touch it, is this what I should do? Most of the containers are so small and have 2 holes at the bottom, that they seem to dry out really quick, and I cant really stick my finger in too far again since the containers are so small and close together. How long should I let them dry out for once the top layer looks dry? I usually water twice a day for the bigger ones and once for the smaller ones. Also which should I do first, flush or dry out the soil?
    thx for the help!

    Not Sure: GO AWAY BATIN, lol thx for the tips

    Problem 1 (First 3 pics): So I just cut off the cotyledons (sp?) and 3/4 of the first serrated leaves. Looks to be ok, growing really bushy. I accidentally tore off a leaf, which you can see on the upper right hand corner of the first pic.

    Problem 2 (4th pic): New growth looks fine and its really tall but the first set of serrated leaves are looking really bad now.

    Problem 3 (5th pic) This plant has been flowering for 4 days, and other than those first serrated leaves, new growth looks fine.

    New problems:
    Problem 4 (6th pic) A lightbulb fell on this one and cracked the stem, I used a q tip as a brace but it's just wilting, is there any hope for this one or should I just pull the plug?

    Problem 5 (7th pic) So I sprayed the plants with some regular water, and this one looks like so after 3-4 days. None of the other plants had this problem, should I not spray the plants?

    Problem 6 (8th pic) WTF. 1 cotlydedon, retarded first leaves that pinch to an end like a candy wrapper. So weird... wtf is wrong with it?

    Problem 7 (9th pic) Also, WTF. cotyledons look fine, but it looks like it skipped the first set of serrated leaves, and went to the next which are in line with the cotyledons, wtf?

    Problem 8 (10th pic) Also has some browning of the leaves, spots, is this from spraying them?

    Problem 9 (11th and 12th pics on next post) Not really a problem but asking of opinion, I have these two plants flowering at 2 weeks old, and have been under 12/12 light for 4 days now. Light bulbs are GE CFL 42 Watt 2700 Lumens, 2700K. These lights get a lot hotter than the 23w ones I have in the other box, and the plants are 1-2 inches away since the bulbs are larger. Also there is only an exhaust fan, and intake is just from the top of the box, a crack from the lid. Should I be worried about the heat and distance?

    Attached Files:

  9. Problem 9 Pics and overview pic.

    Attached Files:

  10. I haven't used that particular soil but that seems awfully quick for it to be drying out.

    Do you water through when you water? Meaning you would get run off.

    I've read that the cotyledons serve as nutrient reservoirs. That said, I don't think its detrimental to remove them once they've yellowed. I just let mine fall off.

    @Problem8 it just looks like you have a semi-mutant plant hah. It may have gotten stuck in the seed casing a weird way or something. Looks pretty healthy though.

    In my experience when you look to see if you've corrected a problem, you should look at the new growth.

    In other words your older fan leaves may not bounce back entirely but new growth should be fine once you've solved the issue.

    About picture 10, it could be that the spraying is causing the light to become maginified through the water left on the leaves causing burn but I've never sprayed my plants so I can't help too much regarding that.

    For your last problem/opinion I'd say to have a fan blowing over the tops of your canopies if you're worried about heat.

    With CFLs closer is better but heat stress can be a problem if they are too close.
  11. if im totally honest i didnt read all of your descriptions, i skipped forward to the photos so i apologise if i missed anything. but all i see is nutrient burn.

    some of them really could do with repotting. the smallest of pots, or cell trays you have there arent really suitable in my opinion, they are simply too small. i find 2-3inch pots ideal for seedlings but after 2-3 weeks they will need repotting to at least a 5 inch pot if their metabolism is up.

    if i were you i would buy some different soil becouse that stuff is just too harsh for seedlings. if you cant buy lighter soil perhaps buy some inert medium like coco fibre and mix it in 50/50, this will in effect lower the nutrient content. also throw in some perlite so you have 2 part soil mix and 1 part perlite. you will see a huge difference in growth speed trust me

    also with the bigger pots you will only need to water every couple of days, and when they get a bit older and stronger start letting the soil dry right out so giving the roots a nice burst of oxygen. i water my plants about every 4 days and you can physically see the growth spurt between waterings. dont be afraid of the plant wilting a little, a small amount of wilt will do them no harm, obviously dont leave them wilting all day but get to know how far you can take it. watering too often is the number 1 common reason for slow growth with new growers
  12. Ok, going tomorrow to get some FoxFarm Ocean Forest, perlite and new pots. Height is an issue here, since the light bulbs are on the underside of the lid to the storage box, that doesn't leave a whole lot of room. I plan to LST/Scrog to maximize lateral space. Is this possible with 3" pots? Is there a way I can just fill the bottom of the bin and scrog one plant to fill the canopy?

    Anyways, I upped the lighting, from roughly 75 watts to roughly 150 watts. The temp raised to 90 within the hour, I added a room fan in the closet its in, but not sure if it'll get too hot overnight.
    Will be repotting tomorrow (hopefully) and see how many I can fit or see if I need to make another box.

    Thanks for the help, jetski, PassionBud and Not Sure. Will post updates and pics soon. And I need to get a damn PH tester!!!
  13. oh right I could fill the bottom with soil but if your ScrOGing it's going to be hard to maintain. you will still need drainage holes. your cfls need to be within a few inches to have a descent effect. I wouldn't worry too much about ph at this stage, you have bigger fish to fry at the moment.

    you said the box is 3x2x4, which is the height?
    I'm think you would be better off having the box so the lid is at the front and not the top. attach you lights to the top and then you will have a front view of what's going on instead of the top. you can then stack things underneath the pots to keep the plants close to the light. it may be worth getting some standard lamp holders and attaching them to the sides and back of the box so the lamps sit horizontal. cover the top with something reflective and put a couple of computer fans in the top to extract the heat
  14. The box is actually:
    9.5 In. Width
    1.5 Ft. Length
    1.5 Ft. Height

    I was way off last night haha. So yeah space is super limited, in all directions.

    Here are the pics of the light set up in the veg box. The lights come down about 7 inches, Four 23w and Two 26w, put together with reflective duct tape, planning on putting reflectix on the lid (pic #3). Just hadn't gotten to it because I didn't have a permanent makeshift fixture yet. I had also thought about putting in the clamp fixtures with the reflectors on it, so that'll probably be for the cloning box. Thanks for the tips! I do need to get another pc fan, I have one intake one exhaust, but one on the lid should definitely help, I'm also trying to figure out a way to put a circulating fan inside the box.

    Attached Files:

  15. I think as the plants get bigger your going to come in to problems with the height. if you put the box up on its end so the door/lid is facing toward you, you will have 18" high, 9" wide and 18" deep (front to back)
    now having it this way you can then cut a 3inch hole in the top of the box and fix a pc fan sucking air out.
    then drill 3 holes either side of the box just a few inches from the top. fix in standard lamp sockets.

    if you do this you will have a number of advantages. you will have a full size front door (the lid) so you can get at everything. the lamps will be horizontal so they will give you a nice flat even spread of light and will only take up about 3-4 inches of space opposed to the 7inches they take up now. because you can open up the front you can put things under your pots to get the plants optimum distance from the lamps, books will work well. once you start running low on height you can easily instal a mesh screen and train your plants along it. this will create a carpet of canopy completely filling your alighted area and still keeping your plants low while vegging for a bit longer
  16. as for reflectors you can make them out of beer cans very easily


  17. ^ Seems like your best bet to me. I have a stealth dresser going where height is an issue to avoid heat stress on the tops. I've LST'd to get a nice low canopy just using twine/thread/zip ties and anchoring to the pot.

    You could also look for a container that is rectangular so that your soil container takes up less of your vertical space.
  18. Sweet! So I got some ocean forest and perlite, and some new pots (3.75"). I had to take down 2 bulbs since it got to 105 degrees in there, now its floating around 85. So I watered them once I transplanted, and will be watering less often now, hopefully I won't have these problems.

    Attached Files:

  19. this grow has inspired me to do one similar. I love simple inexpensive grows that anyone can put together with little work. they are so efficient. I have all the parts I need already so may aswell have a go . growing big plants with big lights in big rooms is boring. there's nothing to work out, no challenges to conquer. I love the challenges these micro grows give you

  20. Unfortunately stealth is #1 priority here, so a box sittin up on it's side isn't very stealthy. I've researched and found out a good method of just stacking two tubs, one on top of each other, and cut the bottom out of the one on top, and cut the lid off the one that's on bottom. Then I'll get some good height going and can house a good mother plant, or I can use it to flower.

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