White Widow - Crop King Seeds, FemAuto - 400W MH & HPS - RDWC (Top-fed)

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Grow Journals' started by FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. #1 FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
    All entries up to 6 December are being added retroactively. Actually, I am copying my grow journal from another site that I am no longer interested in visiting. I won't mention the website, but it was full of LARGE personalities who think that if you haven't been growing for 45 years and using the same mother you grew from seeds you got when you were in 'Nam, you have little right to speak, let alone offer advice. This site is far better!

    I've never done a grow journal before. I think it will be great to get near-realtime input on how my grow is going. I am, by no means, an expert so I shall be relying heavily upon your experience and wisdom.

    OK...here we go with some details.

    Tent - 13 Nov 2018.jpg

    Vivosun 20"x36"x72" tent (placed on top of a 4' x 20" x 1' box that contains all of the electronics, pumps, reservoir, pipes etc.)
    400W MH & HPS Light
    10 micron intake filter (Fan driven at 110 CFM)
    90 CFM 4" exhaust fan
    2 Recirculating DWC 5gal buckets.
    Advanced Nutrients Sensi-Grow and Sensi-Bloom nutrients are top-fed from a 3 gal reservoir (total system size is 8 gallons) using a 160L/hr submersible pump with a 6-port outlet manifold.
    Air pump is 15L/min 4-port.
    2 x 6" fans inside the tent.
    Buckets are cooled via outside air. Here in Canada, it is getting cold enough to use outdoor air for cooling. I use two 4" vent hoses (intake/exhaust) driven by a small axial fan on an Ink-Bird temperature controller. The hoses supply cool outside air into the box I placed the grow tent on. The box has two large holes on top to allow the buckets to drop down into the box and rest on their rims. The hoses, drains etc. are all located inside the box so nothing is visible. Since the majority of the bucket is contained within a box, the cool air from outside keeps the roots cool. When the water is 66 degrees, the Rainbird controller shuts off the axial fan. If it climbs to 69 degrees, the fan turns on to supply cool outdoor air to the buckets.

    I will be insulating the hoses this week. If I don't, humidity/condensation will be an issue.

    7 Nov 2018 - Germination date
    I germinated two seeds via the paper towel method. The seeds cracked within 24 hours of being immersed in water. I transferred them to paper towel. 12 hours later I checked on them and the paper towel had dried. The taproot had grown 1/2" in the previous 12 hours so I figured it couldn't have been dry for long. I thought the root may still be damp enough to be viable. I soaked the paper towel again and watched carefully. A day later, both taproots had grown to about 3/4". They seem to have suffered a bit. They definitely nearly died. Hopefully they will recover from the shock quickly and catch up.

    9 Nov 2018 - Planting date - Day 1
    I planted each germed seed, with the taproot down, in small pieces of Hydroton. I have 10" netpots filled with hydroton. I simply sifted the hydroton to get the small bits. I make a small depression in the hydroton and then fill the depression with small hydroton bits. That provides a fine enough medium for the roots to grow. An easier alternative is a small amount of perlite. I didn't have any.

    10 Nov 2018 - Day 2: Plant 1 - seed popped above the surface of the hydroton.

    11 Nov 2018 - Day 3: Plant 2 - seed popped above the surface of the hydroton. Seed #1 still has the shell attached. Later in the day, I noticed that the shell was stuck on plant #2. I used a pair of tweezers to pull the seed shell off #2. The cotyledons 'sprung' out.

    12 Nov 2018 - Day 4: Plant #1 still had the shell stuck on. I used tweezers to remove it. The cotyledons opened up right away and two small leaves were already visible. Plant #2 also has two small leaves.

    I honestly thought I had killed these little seedlings when the paper towel dried out. They are struggling but I think we are over the hump for now.
  2. #2 FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    14 Nov 2018 - Day 6:
    #1 seems to be doing better. #2 has not grown since yesterday.

    My concern is that these are autoflowering plants. In less than two weeks they should start to flower and I am not getting any vegetative growth yet.

    Maybe I should just pull these seedlings and start anew. I have more feminized White Widow seeds but they are not auto-flowering.
  3. #3 FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    16 Nov 2018 - Day 8:

    16 Nov - #1.jpg OK, so #1 Seems to be doing ok. Not great but ok.

    #2.jpg #2 has not grown at all. She looks green and healthy. She's just not getting any bigger.

    Poor Root Development.jpg So, a few days ago I removed some of the hydroton to look at the taproot. It was short and curled. It had 3 tiny root hairs coming off it. Today I looked and it was nearly the same. Nearly no growth. So, I replanted it in perlite. I'm hoping that the roots will develop better if they are in contact with more of the growing medium.

    I did notice that near the tip of the taproot was what looked like a 'bruise'. It was a band of light brown discolouration that went around the taproot about 1/8" from the tip (due to lighting, it doesn't seem to show in the picture). I just wonder if that band was caused by mishandling/drying out and now the root tip is unable to grow.

    Any thoughts? Besides, "Throw them away and start again..."

    You can see in the pictures what the roots look like. Yes, I know...I should never have exposed the roots to light. It was literally one picture then replant in perlite. 30 seconds tops.

    We'll see how it goes.
  4. Used CropKing for my first run as well here and pretty happy with them. Blue cookies. About to harvest em'. I think they're a decent seedbank, but apparently they don't have consistent phenotype because a few of my plants look different.

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  5. #5 FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    16 Nov 2018:
  6. #6 FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    21 Nov 2018 - Day 13:

    #1.jpg #1 - Starting to see some new growth now. Nutes are at 300ppm (EC - 0.6). That includes cal-mag and a root conditioner.

    #2.jpg #2 - It looks like she will make it. Starting to see new growth every day now. She has a few very small sets of leaves growing in, just in the last 14 hours.

    I am constantly chasing the pH. I adjust it down to 5.5 but it is 5.9-6.1 only 12 hours later. I turned down my air pump. The roots haven't grown down into the water yet anyway. I should turn it off for 24 hours to see what happens to pH.
  7. I use rockwool cubes to put the seeds in after germination.
    Great White helps with root development.
    Ye can't just dump em' into the hydroton without some way of keeping them wet, that is what the cubes are for.
    Might be why U have poor roots plus digging em' up.
  8. #8 FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018

    Blue Cookies (Blue Dream x GSC, I presume) must be a fairly new addition to their inventory. My catalog is a year old and doesn't list it. I was contemplating their "White Cookies". I have 'followed' your grow journal. Later today, I will read through it.

    I have to say, I am pretty impressed with how hardy these White Widow AutoFem seeds have proven to be. #1 is growing well and has started flowering, but #2 is languishing. It is 1/3 the size of #1 and it is not yet flowering. #2 has only a few short roots in the bucket. #1 has a root mass.

    I have used Crop King Seeds before with varying success. 3 of 5 Sour Diesel germinated. They have an 80% germination success guarantee. If 4 of your 5 seeds crack, they won't replace the other one. I would prefer a 100% guarantee.

    For my next grow, I will shop around for my seeds.
  9. Hardrive:

    I'm glad I did dig it up. Despite being top-fed (that's how I was keeping the roots wet), the roots were not making contact with the hydroton and were drying/dying. I transplanted her in some perlite and she started to grow. If I hadn't done something, she would have died for sure.

    If you had read the beginning of my grow journal, you would have noted that I let the taproot nearly dry out during germination. I don't think the taproot ever really grew.

    I'm pretty sure THAT is why my #2 plant is languishing.

    I planted #1 the same way. It seems to be doing fine. What do you know...you CAN plant a seedling directly in hydroton IF you are careful to ensure the roots can touch the hydroton. I guess we both learned something new about growing mediums, eh?
  10. #10 thebombhaha, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    Oh, I'm pretty sure I won't be using CropKIng for my third run and onward. The only reason I'm still gonna use their seeds for the next one is because I have 3 left from what I ordered.

    Some of them failed for me as well. I would even say the germination rate they give is a pretty accurate depiction of what actually happened in my case.

    Something to note is that I made an initial error of germinating some of them in the dark. I wouldn't even call it an individual error in the grand scheme of things. However, it ended up becoming a totality for the run at the time because I had many failures with this(wasted around 5 seeds), but I was simply following instructions. I was actually told to have them germinating in the darkness initially, and then to proceed to place them under my t5 when they showed green.

    This contributed to many failing+coming out weak at first. This is all documented in my journal. Stems were super long+flimsy, and I even had to crack a seeds' shell as a total noob to this because it couldn't open on it's own due to weakness. Upon a friends advise, I started germinating under my t5 fluorescent. I had zero issues germinating following this change.

    I'm considering The Vault for my next run, but we'll see if they accept my form of payment. Lots of other seed places denied my card prior, and was actually almost scammed by a dutch site. I "ordered" from them thinking they were legitimate, but when I googled the owner of the sites' name it began to unravel that he was a known scammer. I immediately called the middle-way company that handled my transaction to him and got my money back in less than 3 days.
  11. #11 FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    5 Dec 2018 - Day 26:

    So, it has been 3 weeks and 2 days since they sprouted their cotyledon leaves. I didn't think they would survive, but here they are.
    5 Dec #1.jpg #1 5 Dec #2.jpg #2
    They have grown quite a lot just in the last few days. Plant #1 has roots in the bucket now - LOTS of roots.

    #1 can be topped. I might wait a day or two. I am going to grow this as a SCROG so I will be topping a few times.

    #2 still has no roots showing outside of the netpot/hydroton. It is still being fed by top-feeding only.

    5 Dec Stem #1.jpg #1 stem - It has thickened considerably in the last 3 days.

    5 Dec Stem #2.jpg #2 Stem
    Still hanging in there. It's half the size of #1 but it's got twice the spirit...lol.

    Temps in the grow tent are about 88F with the lights on and low 70's with the lights off.

    Reservoir temps are about 66F
  12. #12 FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    6 Dec 2018 - Day 27:

    I have decided that topping or FIM'ing would be a bad idea. These are autoflowering so they likely won't recover and grow vegetatively any more before going into flower.

    In fact, they were supposed to go into flower 14 days after germinating. They are at 29 days already.

    Honestly, at this point, if I get only 1-2 ozs per plant, I will be very happy.

    Mind you, I am getting my grow tent/box dialed in nicely.

    I'm still waiting (nearly 2 months now) for some fittings to be delivered from Amazon. I ordered a bunch of plastic 'Tee' fittings for the 1/4" OD irrigation hose. I want to make a circular top-feed manifold with 5 Tee pieces (1 in x 4 out). Right now I have a single hose top-feeding the plants from one side only. I would prefer to provide 4 irrigation points spread out over a 6-8" diameter area around the stem. It would definitely help the roots develop better.
  13. #13 FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    9 Dec 2018 - Day 30:

    Front View - 9 Dec 2018.JPG In just the last few days, #1 has grown about 3". It is about 4 times the size of #2.

    Reservoir - Top View.JPG Reservoir Return Lines.JPG Reservoir return lines doin' their thing.

    Root Mass #1.JPG #1 Rootmass. I hope the brown is discolouration from the nutes. The temps are 65-66F and I am using a root conditioner - Regen-A-Root from CX Horticulture.

    Root Mass #2.JPG #2 Root (mass?) I think the taproot just stopped growing. The roots just ain't makin' it. If this plant flowers and produces anything at all, I'll be shocked.

    I will be switching the lights to HPS and 12/12 sometime this week. I decided to try leaving the MH in place for a few days after flowering started to limit the stretch a bit. If #2 stretches, I'm fine with that. LOL.

    I'll put a small heater in the grow room when I go to 12/12. It can get chilly quite quickly when the lights go out. When the lights are on, the room gets quite warm - 76F. Inside the tent it is about 78-80F. With the lights out, it can drop to 62F unless I have the heat turned on. In a few weeks I am installing a warm air recirculating system to carry the heat from my woodstove throughout the entire house. That will eliminate any cool spots and even out the temps between day and night.

    The woodstove ensures the humidity is around 30-40 at all times. I don't think mold will be an issue. In fact, I may need to add moisture if the plants don't do it as they get bigger.
  14. #14 FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 10, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    10 Dec 2018 - Day 31:

    10 Dec 2018 - Front View.jpg I switched to 12/12 today. I dumped the water and started fresh with Sensi-Bloom (Advanced Nutrients), CM Plus (cal-mag) and Regen-A-Root (root conditioner).

    Plant #1 - This morning I found the four bottom leaves had wilted. 2 of them were single leaves and two were 3-lobed leaves. They were the first leaves formed. Anyway, they were limp, green and one had a small brown spot. I removed them, of course.

    I am going to guess that since the plant went into bloom about 4 days ago, its nutritional needs changed. With the water change and the new nutes, hopefully the problem will disappear.

    10 Dec 2018 - Leaves.jpg I also discovered a set of leaves that had curled under. Everything else looks good so I am assuming the fan was too close to the leaves and perhaps dried them out a bit.

    What do you guys think? Fan damage?

    Plant #2 - very little change since 3-4 days ago. The roots are no bigger nor are they more plentiful. Now that I have gone 12/12, it will either stretch (let's hope!) or stagnate and die from lack of nutrients.
  15. I can't help with advice on the grow, since I'm on my first grow myself, but I wanted to say I love your riser under the tent. What an awesome way to maximize the grow space.
    I have a 5' tent myself, and will definately have to borrow this idea!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
  16. Hey welcome to GC fellow canuk. If you are looking for advice on DWC or anything grow related, hit up soil2coco as he has a ton of knowledge.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Bud&Brew:

    Thanks. I was able to make it from one sheet of plywood.

    I'm going to rebuild it after this run. I want to build the fans and filters into the base and have the air come up through the floor of the tent so it moves upward through the canopy to exhaust the heat from the light.

    Also, I will make it 2 inches taller so the buckets are raised off the floor of the box. That way, there is more bucket surface area exposed for cooling, and I can connect both buckets and the reservoir with a drain hose. I am already tired of pumping out each bucket when I change the water.

    I am sure I will incorporate a whole slew of additions to my box. My background is IT (software - programming) and engineering (mechanical). I would really like to automate everything with an Arduino. Wouldn't it be great to be able to take a week off and go somewhere while a computer monitors and perfectly tends to your grow?

    I'll take photos as I build it.
  18. Framia:

    Thanks very much. It's great to be here!
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Looking forward to seeing those design improvements! I was using arduinos to control the fermentation temps in my brewery before I switched to an all in one setup with the raspberry Pi. The arduinos were amazing though - I loved that after a power outage they would just boot back up and continue doing their job. The RPI, not always the case.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
  20. #20 FishFlavouredTimbit, Dec 12, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
    12 Dec 2018 - Day 33:

    12 Dec 2018 - Front View.jpg I am impressed with the growth just in the last few days. They are both getting much bushier and #1 is stretching herself out a bit. Lots of smally buds on #1.

    #2 is still languishing in comparison. There are only a small number of roots visible on #2. There are 2 roots that extend down into the bucket. All of the growth on #2 is down to being top-fed. Still no buds on #2.

    So, when I mounted the tent on the box, I cut holes in the tent floor for the buckets to fit through. I saved the 'hole' to use as a cover for the hydroton.
    Mylar Cover.jpg It keeps any water from the drip emitter from spraying wildly. It keeps the surface of the hydroton moist and it blocks light from the roots and prevents algae growth. I checked underneath the cover of #2 today to see how moist the hydroton is and I found roots growing UP out of the hydroton.

    12 Dec 2018 - #2 Roots.jpg How cool is that?

    It is clear that #2 suffered horribly from the very beginning, but I won't give up on her. She might bear 'fruit' yet.

    Nutes are at 1200ppm, pH is down to 5.4 (I'm going to let my pH swing from 5.4 to 6.2). I'm using General Hydroponics pH Down. Reservoir temps are 64F and the temp in the tent is about 73-74 with the lights on.

    I have started to gather a bucket of fresh snow each day to melt for my water supply. PPM is 14 and pH is, get this...5.8. I shouldn't be surprised. Deionized or distilled water is pretty much unmeasurable for pH and any reading I get will become more and more inaccurate, the closer the water gets to a true pH of 7. I'll add some cal-mag to the next bucketful of snow and measure the pH again. With some Ca and Mg ions floating about, the pH will become measurable.

    I would like to have some arrangement like a hopper of some sort that sits next to my woodstove. I could fill it with snow and it would drip from the bottom to fill my water jugs. A few days of that and I could have 6 x 5 gal water jugs full.

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