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your ballasts wattage is dependent on the area you wish to grow in. You want to aim for at least 50 watts per square foot. Simply multiply the width and length of your area to get the square footage, then take the wattage of your lamp and divide it by your sq ft to get watts per sq ft.
2 x 2 = 4 sq ft
400/4 = 100 watts/sq ft
3 x 3 = 9 sq ft
400/9 = 44.44 watts/sq ft
a 2x2 would be best for a 400 (maybe even on the strong side), while a 3x3 area would be the largest i would go with.
Quote: Where should I get a cabinet to house the HPS?
You mean your grow area? Why not build one?
Quote: What type of fan would be best for pushing the air through a carbon filter as quietly as possible?
You want at minimum a 256 cfm fan, if not stronger. Preferably with a 6 inch port. Elicent fans are purported to run pretty quietly. Keep in mind the longer you run your fan, the noisier it will get without maintenance. Squirrel cage fans are more prone to this, but all fans will suck up dust from the air and get gunked up over time. I cleaned out my little 4 inch squirrel cage this year and the amount of crap i pulled off the blades was crazy.
Also remember that all fans will create noise, there's just no way around it. If you take the time you can construct a box to fit around the fan which will absorb some of the sound. Unless you're running some monster ass fan, or you have your grow area right next to a door, sound can be pretty minimal.
Quote: Does anyone recommend hydro? I'm confused on which of the various type of nutrients are needed for producing a DWC style grow
there's pros and cons to all sides of growing. Hydro grows require a bit more attention and use up more nutrients. However if problems do occur they're easier to fix. Equipment failure, or power outages, are another downside to hydro growing. If a pump fails, or your lose your power, your plants won't get what they need and suffer. Soil grows are a bit easier to maintain, and if you prepare your soil, you can almost set and forget them. The soil acts a as buffer, but at the same time, it takes longer to see and fix any problems that occur. Soil is also messy and prepackaged brands like fox farm tend to be a bit pricey.
The choice is up to you, you can always grow both side by side to see which you prefer. If you're looking for an easy method to use, check out hanky's coco thread in the hydro subforum. It's a relatively brainless method of growing and produces great results. The biggest down side is you can't leave them for too long as they need water almost every other day.
Bumping your thread one minute after your last post isn't going to accomplish anything.
The carbon filter needs to be in the grow room itself, though. Air is pulled through all of its sides, so it has to be in the room with the smells that need to be filtered. The ducting will simply slide over the end of the cool-tube, and you just get one of those metal straps that wraps around it and tightens in order to keep it on there. If the air you're pulling through the cool-tube is coming from the grow room itself, and not from outside the room, you'll need to have the carbon filter hooked up to the cool-tube, and then from the cool-tube to your extractor fan. If you can get two extractor fans, I'd suggest pulling air through the cool-tube that is coming from its own intake duct from outside the room, and then extracting air from the room itself out through the carbon filter.