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Offlinecheezymold
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First hydro. Need some input for 4x4
    #748557 - 09/17/14 02:00 AM (2 years, 2 months ago)

Hello everybody.  I am preparing to do my first hydro and I'm not sure exactly which method I want to use.  Basically, I want to create a perpetual harvest cycle(2 weeks) and I'm looking to build everything myself.  The plants will go strait from rooting the clones to 12/12. 

Some things to consider:

-I live in a sub-tropical climate.  Average temperatures in my bedroom range from 84-92F.

-Electricity is $.35 k/w here.  That being said, I will probably be running a single 600w HPS in my flower room and only using about 3.5 feet of the space I have available.  This will also give me a little space to work with.

-I have a mini-fridge that I am thinking about converting into a heat exchanger for reducing the temps in my reservoir.  This will likely take some trial and error to get the temps where I want them.

-It is likely that if this goes successfully, I will be using some of the equipment to convert it to a high pressure aeroponics system.  The less things I need to re-purchase/re-build, the better.

I was thinking about using plastic fence posts to grow the plants in.  I see a lot of people using them in this manner
  I was thinking, instead of setting them up horizontally like the video(I'm pretty sure the video is not a real NTF), to set the posts vertically.  This will make it one plant per fence post, giving each plant her own root space.  This should allow me to place the plants closer together.

Some questions:

How long should I make each chamber?  I'm not quite sure how big the roots get with no veg time.

Should I set up each post with an airstone in the bottom of each post, or just one in the central res tank? 


Once I do convert it to Aero, how many nozzles should I use per tube, and what might be optimal placement for them? Also, would there be any recommended nozzles?  I plan to use 100psi for the future and I want to make sure the droplets are smaller than 50 microns. 

I'm planning on using a small/medium sized res for this setup.  I know larger ones help with temp control and ph swings, but I have severe nerve pain that sometimes prevents me from lifting on my bad days.  I need something I can work with even on my bad days. 

I know it is a lot of information, but any input would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you all.


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OfflineMidgetpawn
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: cheezymold]
    #749025 - 09/20/14 08:54 PM (2 years, 2 months ago)

I get the impression that a lot less people visit these specific sub sections of the cultivation forum. Not sure where all the people growing are using forums, but hope someone helps you. I kind of think growery might need to update their color scheme to something slightly brighter.

I only very recently have started paying attention to hydroponics just to maybe know what to do if I ever need to. not a bad homemade setup. I wish he showed how me made it though.


--------------------
Be sure to read up on "autoflower"/ruderalis seeds before choosing them. Unless you NEED autos, you might do much better with anything else. No more hoarding ultra genetics! We need more of the best not less!


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InvisibleMagashM
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: Midgetpawn]
    #749031 - 09/20/14 09:48 PM (2 years, 2 months ago)

This could work. When you get going your gonna find out just how crazy a way of doing things this is for that size space.


First find a 8 week strain. Sounds easy but one that isn't gonna have bud rot in that humidity isn't gonna be easy to find cause most short flowering strains are indicas. Your gonna want one that stretches a little bit to get something like this

These are straight from rooting to flowering.

These are hydro plants in dixie cups and lava rock in a flood and drain system. Just so you know cannabis likes a flood and drain type of system way more then a ntf as do many larger plants.

Also straight from rooting.

use half the space every 4 weeks and make life on yourself easier but if you want to be real use the whole space every 8 weeks cause anyway you go the yield is the same in the end.



:happyweed:


--------------------
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OfflineMidgetpawn
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: Magash]
    #749033 - 09/20/14 10:25 PM (2 years, 2 months ago)

Is it possible to just put some coco filled planters in a tray and just water the tray every day or so? I feel like some of these setups aren't big enough to need to be so automatic. Though I'm not entirely sure just how wet the trays generally need to be for flood and drain setups.

wait $0.35 an hour? that seems almost too cheap. Edit: er nvm I was misreading that as 3 1/2 cents. That is 35 cents a kilowatt, right? that actually seems expensive


--------------------
Be sure to read up on "autoflower"/ruderalis seeds before choosing them. Unless you NEED autos, you might do much better with anything else. No more hoarding ultra genetics! We need more of the best not less!


Edited by Midgetpawn (09/20/14 11:00 PM)


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Offlinecheezymold
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: Midgetpawn]
    #749068 - 09/21/14 12:45 AM (2 years, 2 months ago)

Those are some beautiful plants. What strains are those?  The cups give me an idea for how much space I will be working with.  I didn't get any other input, so I decided to just go with a flood table and using 5in square pots filled with hydroton. 

The seeds that I purchased are all 9 week strains.  since I am running 4 different strains, I decided to put them on a perpetual cycle of 18 days.  This should give me enough time to root my clones and allow a little bit of flexibility in case they take a little longer to finish flowering/flushing. 

I am still interested in making an aero setup. I just really enjoy building things.  Maybe around tax season lol. 

Honestly, $.35 is way high compared to the .09 I paid where I used to live.  I can't even run the air conditioning without adding another $200 to my electric bill.


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OfflineMidgetpawn
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: cheezymold]
    #749077 - 09/21/14 02:45 AM (2 years, 2 months ago)

Yea 35 cents sounds like way too much. usually it's around 10cents/kw I thought

The other day I saw a fog maker that's meant for growing. I hadn't seen such a compact one prior to that one.


--------------------
Be sure to read up on "autoflower"/ruderalis seeds before choosing them. Unless you NEED autos, you might do much better with anything else. No more hoarding ultra genetics! We need more of the best not less!


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InvisibleMagashM
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: Midgetpawn]
    #749144 - 09/21/14 09:50 PM (2 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Those are some beautiful plants. What strains are those?




They are a homemade strain called Sweet 16 that I bred myself.

Quote:

I didn't get any other input, so I decided to just go with a flood table and using 5in square pots filled with hydroton. 




Way, way , way better idea then the ntf.


:happyweed:


--------------------
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:growingweed: Join us at the Growery! :growingweed:


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OfflineMidgetpawn
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: Magash]
    #749169 - 09/22/14 10:51 AM (2 years, 2 months ago)

Apparently you can water by hand 3-4 times day. to answer my own question.

not exactly helpful, but just saw this cool idea for how you could get a ton of plants in a tight space and wanted to share somewhere.

you'd probably have to grow on an angle for this to work with cannabis


--------------------
Be sure to read up on "autoflower"/ruderalis seeds before choosing them. Unless you NEED autos, you might do much better with anything else. No more hoarding ultra genetics! We need more of the best not less!


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Offlinecheezymold
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: Midgetpawn]
    #749219 - 09/22/14 04:45 PM (2 years, 2 months ago)

Sorry I didn't mean to ignore you lol.  The main reason I don't want to use coco coir is because of the high room temperatures.  It has a tendency to attract things like trichoderma.  That stuff sets my allergies off bad so I want to avoid it.  For my moms, I will be hand watering rockwool cubes.  Serves the same purpose as the coco but I don't think trich spores can grow very well in them.

I've seen a few grow logs with grows that are similar in design.  If I ever get a place with a yard, I wouldn't mind giving this a try.  I should try to draw something up with my idea.  I think I may have given some confusion lol.

For now, I will just be running a flood table with hydroton as my medium.  I'm pretty excited  :justcantwait:


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OfflineMidgetpawn
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: cheezymold]
    #749291 - 09/23/14 05:48 AM (2 years, 2 months ago)

I just saw some video that supposedly showed perlite allows the same exact root growth as hydroton but of course perlite is a lot cheaper.


--------------------
Be sure to read up on "autoflower"/ruderalis seeds before choosing them. Unless you NEED autos, you might do much better with anything else. No more hoarding ultra genetics! We need more of the best not less!


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Offlinecheezymold
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: Midgetpawn]
    #749482 - 09/24/14 12:22 PM (2 years, 2 months ago)

Perlite would work just fine.  I just hate using the stuff.  It gets all over the place and you cant re-use it very easily.  Also, if you plan to use it yourself, wear a dust mask when pouring it.  That stuff will fuck you up.


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: cheezymold]
    #752704 - 10/13/14 04:01 AM (2 years, 1 month ago)

I am a fan of drain to waste/non-recirculating hydro. It eliminates any tank maintenance you'll need to do. It will allow you to set up multiple tanks of nutrients for the different phase growth--P/K week needs its own tank anyway and you'll save having to manage multiple tanks.

I use coco coir and Canna Nutrients, check it out here

I would say if your doing small plants in small pots then Blumats are perfect for you. I use Canna nutrients to keep the salt residue to a minimum and avoid clogging. You could also do a drip line setup, but Blumats are automatic to the plants need. No timers to break and you can leave the house for as long as your res will allow it--one of the reason's I went with them. Now I use the shower ring only, but if I was to leave for a long time with nobody to watch them I'd set them up and let them work after the main res tank empties.

Coco is absolutely amazing when it comes to growth. I emailed Canna for quite a bit and they despise perlite. Forgot why, but they make their coco coir with various size particles to hold the perfect air:water ratio. Its easy to flush, but make sure you have a good way to flood the plants with water and collect it without moving the plants, as they don't like to be moved around and can be a bitch to rearrange. See my grow log above for how I handle flushing.


make an aerocloner and plant when they look like this


I like to use Superroot's 1L Airpots for transplanting, as they set the roots up to explode in the new medium. Cut from the mother plant 27 days prior, original clone leaves have the tips cut off, that's mostly new growth.


If you want larger plants get larger pots, but 1L will still do a decent amount. Use 2 Blumats and let them explode. Gotta find your size pot you like. 1L should be amazing for your straight to flower method, but WAIT UNTIL THE PLANTS HAVE ROOTED before flowering. You'll see the tips coming out the bottom, then the plant is ready to flower.  If you transplant always wait at least a week to let them build a root structure in full light. They generally do poor when you transplant and toss directly into flower. They always take a bit of time to build roots, given or not. Soil is the worst, hydro is much more forgiving as its more open and roots faster.

From the aerocloner at that stage above to an Airpot should be rooted in 3-10 days. Basically once its rooted you'll see a noticeable boost in new plant growth, that's when its ready to flower. You should put your plants into flower when there is vigorous growth--the plant has a pace, and if its growing and you throw it into flower it will continue that pace and kick some ass. If you put them in stalled out or root bound or not ready to flower they have to sort some shit out, get going slowly and just don't have the vigor like the others do.

Experiment and see how they respond. Some might do well straight into flower, others will stall out. Every strain is different, your going to need to find the proper strain to get the SOG type of bud that you want.



I Like LED, cost me ~$4-6/oz in electricity @10-14 cents/Kw. Nutrients are $3-5 using Canna, and should go down using the MBFerts Canna Boost replacement. LED is expensive at first, but well worth the investment. DO NOT BUY CHEAP, you gotta buy from a good dealer to get a decent light, but it will keep the costs low. Good for SOG style setup as it will give you good light penetration. I'm not sure which LED would fit your setup, I go with two fixtures that cost $1000 each for a 4x4 area, but they have a deep penetration, you'd probably want something like the XML-350 from Advanced LED, which is $1000, but would fit your area better I would guess. That light uses 330 watts and they will let you try for 90 days fully refunded if you don't like it.

LED's also run MUCH MUCH cooler, cutting back on cooling costs. Plants under LED grow better at a slightly higher temperature than the HPS. They like it mid-low 80's instead of 70's. So you won't need to cool any much more, but you will need a fan for sure, possibly A/C if your really in a hot area, but they can handle the 90's for awhile if you can't beat a heat wave.


Keep the rez out of the grow tent so it does not share the same high temperature.  With a drip system like the Blumats you don't need to worry about oxygenating the res tank. Canna recommends 1min of waterfall every few hours or once per day if you feel you need it, not air pump to avoid res tank complications and introduce bacteria from the air, etc. When the water falls from the drip line and hits the coco it draws in enough oxygen from the air naturally. By the time it gets through the drip line it should be about room temperature anyway.

You also could ditch the res cooler as well, maybe add some froze 2L bottles of water if its too warm, just refreeze and you don't have to worry about tank composition changing. The only reason I'd recommend cooling is if you have a noticeable problem with the tank. Canna Nutrients are great for stability and I don't have any problems even in the summer when its very hot out. If you have bacteria breeding or nutrients forming solids it might be worth it.

Canna also doesn't sell a microbe product on purpose, they have the basic tricederma in the coco and say its enough. The salt nutrients will keep the bacteria population down naturally, and any you add will just tend to die off. They recommend using their enzyme product to break down roots, double dose for the first two weeks when reusing the coco (up to 5 times reusable, probably more.) I just added some microbes to my coco to see if it changes anything, but still early on the first run. I also want to get into a semi-organic system where I mix in other stuff into the coco and feed less salt nutrients. Its a work in progress though.

I'm disabled and designed my garden to be as automated as possible. I cannot put in the work constantly checking pH and managing a tank, nor deal with a lot of other problems traditional hydro comes with, like oxygenating or temp. I put in about 10 minutes per week on a 4x8 tent and a 4x4 veg tent. Most days I don't even look at the plants, give them about a week or so and only then just pick them up to see if they need water. I'm thinking of doing a sealed grow, where I set up a camera and do a time lapse but never open the tent. Just feed the nutrients to them based on the week then open it and see what comes out...

Hope this helped.


--------------------
Authorized Medical Marijuana patient. Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws.

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“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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Offlinecheezymold
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: phychotron]
    #753030 - 10/14/14 04:34 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

okay it looks like temperature is going to be my main problem for my grow tents.  Even with the in-line fans, I cannot get the temps under 90F even at night with only 4xT5.  This was somewhat expected since the room temp is usually a solid 95f all the time.  For some reason, my apartment never cools down. 

Looking at getting an air conditioner.  The problem is, it is impossible for me to put one in the window.  Also, would it be best to cool the entire bedroom or seal the tent up and just blow it in there?  I am not running CO2 since I sleep in the same room.

As far as the LED's go, I was looking at Advanced Led D300.  I want to start of with two for now and upgrade to four when budget allows.  Do you suffer any quality reduction with LED's or is it simply yields?

The air conditioner should also help with my humidity levels although the humidity in the tent is considerably lower than the room's.  Due to this, I might consider coco in a future grow to test my results.  Contamination is a big problem where I live, so I am a little hesitant. 

You mentioned that trichoderma was beneficial for the plants.  This is a common problem where I live, as it completely engulfs anything that is organic and moist no matter how much I clean.  It causes me kind of bad allergies as well.  My question is will the trich harm the flowering buds?  I surely do not want to promote it's growth if my final product will suffer.

Thanks for all the input guys


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: cheezymold]
    #753039 - 10/14/14 05:07 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Look into Portable Air Conditioners, they are made to be wheeled around your apartment. You need a little bit of a window to blow the air out, but not much. The A/C shoots out cold air and hot air, you want to let the hot air go out of the house so you don't have to cool it again.

Coco is very contamination resistant, never had a problem with it. The tricederma is what protects the coco from harsh invaders.

If you have problems with bacteria then I would suggest you don't water as much. If you let the coco/medium dry out a bit before watering it will keep the contamination down. Soil is the worst, you'll notice green mold on top in no time. Coco allows for a good air:water ratio, Canna makes their coco to hold that perfect moisture level. Because it dries relatively fast microbes don't have a place to grow for very long.

Other solutions include using Hydrogen Peroxide to keep the population down. Some hydro growers use it to oxygenate their res. It kills most of the bacteria in the process. I'd try and solve the problem without it though.

If you have a lot of contamination then don't use an airstone in your res, it will pump contaminated air into your tank. Use a pump/waterfall to aerate it.

Most people who switch to LED notice an increase in quality. Yield depends on your skill.


--------------------
Authorized Medical Marijuana patient. Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws.

Perfect Dry and Cure
View My Garden
Latest Grow Log - Grapegod under LED

Try adding a tablespoon of cooking oil to your bong water to keep it clean. The oil soluble resin stays off the glass.


“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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Offlinecheezymold
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: phychotron]
    #753056 - 10/14/14 07:10 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

I'm looking at one of those dual hose a/c so I can vent the heat out of the bedroom. 

As far as contaminants, we have bad problems with green mold.  If somebody leaves a beer bottle out, it will have a floating green mass very quickly.  We also have a hard time with insects, as they always get into my rice and other grains. 

I think I will setup a couple of pots with coir and tend to them as if they had plants inside.  Should give me a better idea of what I am working with. 

The other problem is disposal.  If I do have any contaminants, disposing of the medium will be difficult. My office manager is ultra anal about the trash cans(fucking tried to give me a citation for $50 for throwing out 3 bags at once), and there is actually cameras pointed on them so I really don't want to draw any unwanted attention.  Even though it is a legal grow, it is still against the apartments rules and regulations to have or grow on property.


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: cheezymold]
    #753069 - 10/14/14 08:03 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

pots of coco like plants are inside? its completely different, the plants suck down water, draw in oxygen while it does it, you water, you displace air, draw in more oxygen... a sitting pot is stagnant and promotes microbes since there is nothing else colonizing it. Plus your not feeding it salt nutrients...


coco is reusable, I don't have the option to bring bag after bag of medium in and out of the apartment, 5 times reusable, Plus its brown organic matter so you could just take the waste and pour it on the ground somewhere out of view if your concerned about it. Spread it out in nature, its not littering at all.


--------------------
Authorized Medical Marijuana patient. Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws.

Perfect Dry and Cure
View My Garden
Latest Grow Log - Grapegod under LED

Try adding a tablespoon of cooking oil to your bong water to keep it clean. The oil soluble resin stays off the glass.


“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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Offlinecheezymold
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: phychotron]
    #753075 - 10/14/14 08:40 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

I'm just doing a test with my square pots that I am using for my flood and drain.  I decided to germ a couple of seeds to run the test at the same time as my grow so I can get real results.  If anything, this could provide me with an easier option for my mother plants.  I still do not have a reasonable option for disposal though.  The population here is very dense, and I would have to walk it three blocks up to find a place that isn't concrete and asphalt.

The reason I am reluctant to use it full scale is because I have used it for other purposes and contaminants are a problem.  I still have a bag of it that I can do my tests with.  The H2O2 is something I haven't considered.  I can try it out, but ultimately, if I have pests or contaminants of any kind(which I already have issues with) they will thrive.  I know keeping the PH a little lower with help some, but pests plague new homes and old homes alike here.

The blumats that you mentioned are very interesting.  I would very much like to try these with my mother plants.  I might give these a try with my next set of grows. Will be a bit more expensive than my current setup.  Right now, Ive got my mother plants in rockwool.  They are doing pretty good except one strain, which seems to be stressing from the heat.  That and I accidentally killed 2 seedlings with my permanent retard strength lol -_-


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: cheezymold]
    #753117 - 10/15/14 02:05 AM (2 years, 1 month ago)

I stopped using a mother plant and just do perpetual lower branch cloning when throwing plants into flower. I'm on ~12th generation with no decline in genetics. 

I would recommend using soil for mom's just for ease of keeping alive. You don't have to worry about feeding them as much and seems overall more stable for longer periods of time. 

I don't see any bugs in the coco. It comes clean, much cleaner than soil which is often loaded down with insects/eggs. Even when I'm done with the coco and sift it out it still retains its cleanliness.

Salt nutrients in the coco keep the pests away. Microbes have a hard time colonizing, nothing  feeding off the microbes leads to nothing attracting bugs. The only thing you have is coco coir, roots and salts..  The stuff is very clean when sifting it out to reuse.

Also you'd be able to sneak coco out in your regular garbage, just do it a liter or two at a time, eventually you'll be down to nil before you re-up. I spent $200 on 300L of coco to last me two years. I have to add a little bit more coco over that period but not much.



Diatomaceous earth is fossilized algae, its a good organic way to combat insects.
From Wikipedia:
"The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects' exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate"

"In order to be effective as an insecticide, diatomaceous earth must be uncalcinated (i.e., it must not be heat-treated prior to application)[13] and have a mean particle size below about 12 µm (i.e., food-grade – see below)."



Also, about your LED choice, four DS300's would be a shit ton of light for a 4x4 space. I like the DS400 fixture for their size, they cover a 2.5x4' section so two would be good for your space.. That's ~740watts of LED using two DS400's.

The DS300 covers a 3x3 area, and you would have a lot of overlap of lighting. Close to 1100 watts and $3200 for four of them.

The DS400 would be a better buy if you wanted to expand to 1100 watts, although I don't think you'll need it. Three fixtures would cost $3000, saving $200 for the same wattage, just three fixtures instead of four.

That said, I'd recommend using their newer light, the XTE, the XTE400 is #1200 right now but using much higher quality diodes and better overall design (specifically modular)

Growblu is a good alternative as well, Check out their Apollo 240x3 (500w). I'm rocking one and like it. Cheaper than Advanced and works comparable, however I'm going to get the XTE400 next as its got a bit more newer features.


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Offlinecheezymold
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Registered: 12/26/13
Posts: 595
Last seen: 3 months, 11 days
Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: phychotron]
    #753124 - 10/15/14 04:55 AM (2 years, 1 month ago)

I guess no other way to try coco than to dive head first lol.  Prepared two pots with perlite and I have the very bottom filled with hydroton since these pots are much taller than they are wide. 

So far of the 7 seedlings I have, one of them(moby dick by dinefem) seems to be having some explosive growth compared to the others, even though its the same growing environment.  I guess I gotta figure out which phenotypes I want to keep around. 

Sorry if I come off kind of stubborn.  I just have to see every possible problem and how I can fix them even before it happens. 

I had the rockwool before I started so I used that.  Pretty easy to work with after balancing the PH the first time. 

Eventually I will get a new camera so you guys can see what is going on over here lol


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Invisiblecaptain.koons
Failed Botanist
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 6,163
Trusted Cultivator
Re: First hydro. Need some input for 4x4 [Re: cheezymold]
    #757066 - 11/13/14 08:27 AM (2 years, 24 days ago)

If you want to grow without getting moldy buds you're probably going to want to run your temps below ambient which will require an AC. Id say get a 600w light air cool it I'd say air cool a room down to around 75-77F and get a split intake so 1/2 of the air comes from ambient and the other from your AC room so if it were say 77 and 88 you might get away with this or you might need to run a 2nd AC when temps are too high.

Will be costly, but might be the only way to go about it.


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