100% beginner on a (reasonable) budget

It’s getting pretty cool down in my basement and will only continue to do so as winter approaches. I now have 2 heaters in the tent. One is always on and has the thermostat set to 65 degrees. This will ensure the temperature never goes lower than that. The other heater only comes on when the light is on, and has the thermostat set to 75 degrees, so that it will never go below that when the light is on. This should keep everything in the recommended “daytime” and “nighttime” temperature ranges.

I also made a stand out of PVC and hung an oscillating fan from it, to blow on the leaves. There are also 2 clip fans in the upper part of the tent (not seen in the photo) to move air around.


Here’s something new and interesting… 2 days ago the temperature started going up in the tent, but the basement is still cool. I turned off the heaters to ensure they weren’t doing anything, but the temperature kept rising and rising.

I then noticed that there was very little airflow coming out of my fan. At first I thought the fan might be going bad. Then, I pulled the prefilter (the “sock”) off of the charcoal filter and it started flowing air again.

Upon closer inspection, there was a white powder clogging up the prefilter (which is also white, so I didn’t notice it before). My environment is very clean, so I’m not sure where this came from. The only thing I can think of is the humidifier that I added to the tent about two weeks ago. I have been using tap water in it. Could that white powder possibly be calcium or salt? There is no evidence of the white powder anywhere else in the tent or on the plants.

Has anyone else seen something like this before?


Yes! That’s exactly what that is. You can use distilled water to eliminate the white powder.


Today my plants are 30 days old, so I thought I would share some photos. If anyone has any opinions on their health, size etc. - please share. So far I am still watering (not drenching) them with distilled water adjusted to a pH of 6.5. I am keeping the humidity at 50% and the temperature between 73-75 degrees Fahrenheit. I am not adding any nutrients yet, but the plant is in Fox Farms Ocean Forest soil (Happy Frog soil in the center, surrounded on the sides and bottom by Ocean Forest). I have my 1000 watt Metal Halide lamp running at 75% power (750 watts) at a height of 32 inches above the plants, 18 hours on, 6 hours off.

These photos were taken under the Metal Halide lamp. I still need to get a “normal” lamp for taking photos.

Super Skunk 1, 4 inches tall by 7 inches wide:

Super Skunk 2, 5 inches tall by 7 inches wide:

White Widow, 3 inches tall by almost 8 inches wide:


They look great! Make sure you keep an eye on the ppm’s. When they get to between 300-500, you’ll want to start using nutrients.

I see that a lot of people use a reverse osmosis filtration system to produce cleaner water for their plants. Would that also produce decent water for the humidifier, or should I just stick with distilled water?
I did a search for what a reverse osmosis filter removes, and according to the CDC, it sounds like a “maybe” when it comes to calcium:

  • Reverse Osmosis Systems will remove common chemical contaminants (metal ions, aqueous salts), including sodium, chloride, copper, chromium, and lead; may reduce arsenic, fluoride, radium, sulfate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, nitrate, and phosphorous.

CDC article on healthy drinking water


Yes, I believe r/o water should be fine to use for your humidifier without leaving that white dust.

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My RO Buddy takes tap water @800PPM down to 27PPM which is really close to distilled water but the filters and membranes performance degrades over time so one must stay on top of TDS measurements…


That’s what I’ve been using in my humidifier. I had read that using regular water could coat your leaves, walls, etc with a kind of hard water crust. I never even thought about it clogging the filter.
Good catch, there!

My humidifier goes through a gallon of r/o water in about 3 days.

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Love my RO Buddy!


It looks like a really good deal and has high ratings.
Now I’m looking to see if there is a “Y” connector I could use on the faucet in my basement sink so I could still use the faucet but also feed the RO buddy…

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Good news - the sink faucet has the same thread count as a garden hose, so I already have a connector that will let me do what I want (down the road I can do some nice plumbing and make it permanent, mount it on the wall, tie it into the sink plumbing, etc).

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Been running mine for about 9 months, replaced the sediment and chlorine filter for $15 in a two pack. Back flushed the membrane install the two new pre filters maded it good as new

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You can use any garden hose or laundry hose type y adaptor.

@boardsbird @blackthumbbetty @hangthebanksters
Do you folks use the 3 stage or 4 stage RO buddy? The 4 stage seems like a no-brainer… just checking in case that extra stage isn’t worth it.

I have the 4stage, but haven’t bothered hooking up the di cartridge.

Deionization is for fish tanks I think, only use the three

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Thanks. Their description says that the deionization filter “removes the remaining total dissolved solids.” Of course, extra filtration also reduces output flow. And if @hangthebanksters is able to go from 800PPM to 27PPM and my tap water is (I just tested it) 193PPM, it sounds like I will be just fine with a 3 stage.

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Mine goes from about 400 PPM’s to 12 PPM’s

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Deionized water is generally used in laboratories for testing because it removes pretty much everything from water. DI water will leach impurities from piping after the filters