1st Time Grower, plus feedback on Disguised Growbox


#1

1st, I wanted to provide a testimonial for anyone still on the fence about purchasing seeds from ILGM. I mailed in my cash appx. 3 and a half weeks ago with the assumption that I was likely going to lose it. ILGM notified me promptly when they received my payment and that my order had been shipped. 11 business days later they arrived in good packaging with all seeds intact. No fuss whatsoever. So, if you’re skeptical, cautious and/or on the fence, don’t be. ILGM has exceeded all my expectations. My fiancee and I started germinating on Friday, soaking two seeds from each strain. Within 18 hours, 3 seeds had split, so put them all into pucks to germinate. Quality products!

2nd, I wanted to solicit some feedback on our grow box set-up. This is our first, so all constructive critiques are most welcome.

We started with a non-functioning refrigerator/freezer that I picked up off of Craigslist. Previous owner let us take it away for free. I gutted the interior of all shelving, electronics and cooling components. I also pulled everything off of the exterior including the fans, motors, freon tanks, etc. Basically, stripped it down to a bare box. Then, I was able to remove the barrier separating the freezer from the refrigerator and cut off the molding attached to the doors. They extended appx. 4-5 inches into the box, but I didn’t want to try to disassemble the doors to pull them off as I wanted to maintain the integrity of the doors’ seals. All of that was accomplished with a Dremel with a standard cutting attachment. Then a liberal washing with bleach and disinfectant to make sure I had a sterile environment.


In such a small space, I assumed heat and ventilation would be huge concerns. A quick trip to my local hydroponics store solved both. A 4" inline fan mounted in the exterior with a filter and some ducting took care of exhaust. I have initially mounted the fan and filter in the negative space on the exterior where the freon tank and fan were, but I’m worried that the long ducting and multiple turns are going to constrict airflow and reduce the ability to keep the box cool.


I also went with an LED light system to reduce the amount of space the fixture takes up in the interior, reduce future electric bills and (hopefully) keep temperatures down. I initially mounted it to the ceiling with screw-hooks, but I wasn’t that satisfied with the sturdiness. The insulation material beneath the plastic shell isn’t very dense, so I was a little worried about hanging a $700 LED light from four hooks punched into a few millimeters of plastic. Standard electric stuff and I have a draft version of this set-up to work with.



Since this, I have updated this build – no pictures at this time, but I will snap some and add them later if there is interest. To improve the stability of the lighting hardware, I tapped 4 holes into the top and sank .25x3" eyebolts into them, with a wide washer on the outside to disperse the weight. I took my Dremel to the length of bolt sticking out of the top, so they will be easy to conceal by stacking boxes on top of the fridge. I added some pulleys and cabling to the lighting fixture so I can adjust the height of my light. I also mounted a small wire shelf over the slanted floor towards the back to give me more horizontal space on the bottom. I also installed some locking shackles to the outside of both doors, so I can lock this whole thing up from curious eyes. Lastly, I stapled white reflective sheeting to the insides of the doors to give me maximum lighting on the bottom.

I ran a few tests to see what I was dealing with and from the outside. With the fan running at max, it sounds like a slightly loud refrigerator. Nothing out-of the ordinary, so I figure as long as I’m not running the fan too high, the sound signature shouldn’t raise any questions. However, the intensity of the light is visible from the outside around the seals.

I was thinking of trying to reduce that by caulking the inside of the seal, but I’m worried that might make the seal too rigid and reduce it’s efficiency. Bottomline is it’s only barely noticeable and this unit is going to be down in our basement where nobody ever goes anyway.

I also drilled out some holes on the slope at the bottom to give it a passive intake. Right now, there are 6 1-inch holes, but I’m concerned that this won’t be enough. I ran some short tests – no longer than 10 min each – and temps were holding in the mid-80s with a 30% RH, so I figure once I’ve introduced a higher RH to the environment, that should help with cooling. I was thinking of adding a couple of clip fans down by the intakes to encourage airflow.

Anyway, your thoughts?


Do I need a tent for growing one indoor plant?
#2

Absolutely amazing. Great imagination and hard work have created this one of a kind grow box.
I’m blown away at how nicely that all came together and how it looks! Great job all around!
I don’t think you’ll ever have to worry about someone finding your grow box!
Only downfall with this setup is limited space. Are you planning on doing a SOG grow? Maybe a SCROG grow?

The one and only thing I would recommend now…is to build another so you can one for veg and one for flower. Amazing tho man, I love it. Keep this thread updated because I’d love to watch you guys as you go!

Treez


#3

Thanks! I was looking into converting a chest freezer into a germination/veg chamber and budding in the fridge. Since we’re just growing for personal recreational use, we’re not trying to get the highest yields. We’re way more concerned with concealment. I am hesitant to do the second build because of the cost. I’ve read that if you plan to use LEDs for budding, then you should also use LEDs for veg otherwise the plants won’t react well to the switch in lights.

I’ve looked into a ScroG grow and think it would probably be the best use of our small space. Any resource suggestions to help us with that?


#4

Thats great you have made the same hiden box i am building now.l was hoping to be sneaky but you beat me :persevere: Thats a good idea cuting thru the freezer shelf I will do that too i think.
My fridge is alittle deeper i am using the floor and i have kepted the shelves to use as a scrog kind of thing as they are wire so it works in well. I havnt work out what system to use so i will have a bubbler and a smart bag side by side and will pick the best. I havnt grown for over 15 years but was a 10 year hydro vet back then but things hav changed so much I feel like buck rogers. What system are you going to use?.
Sorry about the wall of text Ido get excited :laughing:
I will take pic and post them if i can work out how
Thx for sharing keep the picks coming
I used panda film to make a skirt around the inside of the doors to block the light


#5

What a clever idea … mind if I pass it on?
MT


#6

Thanks! I’d be lying if I said it was all my idea. I first saw an article for a box like this in High Times about 15 or so years ago, and have since seen similar builds on youtube and the like. I did diverge by cutting the separating wall between the fridge and the freezer out and by mounting the fan on the outside. Other builds put all that in the freezer portion and mounted the light fixture to that wall, at the cost of losing almost 2 ft. of grow height.

By all means, share this away.


#7

Now I’m starting to think It wasnt my idea and I seen it in high times too, oh well.
Thx for showing me some great ideas.


#8

That is amazing!!! Love that…
It’s legal here now but, I first used a washer box in the closet, now i use the hallway closet/ washer room. Put a full board as a shelf, cardboard doors. Of i had to hide it i think i would use your way with it on outside. Thanks for posting this.
James


#9

This is awesome. Very thought out and executed very well my friend. My only two concerns would be air flow in as you mentioned. And the temp with humidity. Adding humidity wont lower your temp or not enough to matter. I had this problem also. Get the temps down to mid 70’s before you put the girls in as the high temp low humidity will cause ur plants to sweat and cause nute problems and stunt growth. But other then that you should be more then good. Idk to much about leds but u may be able to go threw ur full cycle in this box, depending how much u yield and how much u smoke. Happy growing.


#10

Attaching some pics of the updates to our little box.

Here are the eyebolts that were tapped through the roof.

From the top, the hardware looks like this.

The sturdier hardware and the pulleys so we can raise and lower the LED bank

This is the rack we installed with a germination set-up

The locking shackles on the exterior

And finally, what our box looks like running and in place

We are currently working with one seedling Super Silver Haze (Day 9 Seedling) and a newly germinated White Widow that has just shown us her taproot (Day 2 seedling).

I’ve decided to go with a modified ScroG grow using 2" chicken wire from Lowe’s. We’re planning on putting some screwhooks in about 12" or so off the top of our tanks and hanging the wire from there. When we need to change the water and scrub the tanks, we will unhook the screen and hang it off the top of the plants while we transplant the nets into an old aquarium we have laying around.


#11

I have a question I’m from Australia and want to buy seeds but I’m on the fence as to if in will actually get my seeds can I have some help please will i?get them


#12

Yeah mate, im from Adelaide and i have ordered two batches and both came. All good. I think Robert even guarantees delivery anyway doesn’t he? My next venture will be super skunk.

Cherrs-


#13

eyleslad24, I had the same hesitation you are having right now. I am now very glad that I got over it. I received my order and I think you will too.


#14

Xxxand3r
Ok great to here mate thanks so much might just have to do that then.


#15

White Widow at the bottom 3 days after sprouting. Super Silverhaze at the top 7 days after sprouting.


#16

Strain: 1 White Widow (5 days old), 1 Super Silverhaze (9 days old)

System type: Indoor closed system. Currently in Solo Cups with Jiffy Starter soil. Once root bound, I will transfer to GH 4120 Waterfarms

PH of run off: 5.8 - 6.1

Nutrient Strength: N/A

Light: Currently 150W CFL and a T5, stepping up to a Kind K3-L450 LED bank. 18/6 cycle.

Temps: Low 64F (night), High 78F (day)

Humidity: Low 24, High 38 (augmented with portable handheld humidifier)

Ventilation system: Yes, 4" inline 165CFM for exhaust. No filter currently. Clip fan at intakes for circulation.

The Super Silverhaze was germinated 14 days ago, but didn’t sprout for 5 days. We transferred to starter pucks to start with, but found that they were too dense and tight. After 9 days above ground, the SSH still hadn’t thrown a tap root past the puck. The White Widow was in a puck too, but I squeezed it quite a bit before inserting the seed. It’s taproot extended almost to the bottom of the cup. They are both now sitting in just the starter soil and getting nothing but 6.0 - 6.1 pH water for the past week. Both seedlings have started to show their 2nd nodes.

Current concerns are the humidity. I’ve been thinking of stepping it up, but I don’t want to spring for a humidifier if the RH is going to be stable with the hydro tanks in the box. Adding 8 gallons of moving liquid and a couple of plants should increase the RH, but I’m not certain.


Converting Refrigerator to Growbox
#17

Switched to the LEDs a couple of days ago and the temps elevated to 85F. I had to widen the intake hole, make the ducting more rigid, switch to an oscillating fan, and step up the humidifier. And now we’re holding 74-78F.

Both plants have started to sprout their 3rd nodes.


#18

Updates since last post: tested my tap water for the 1st time for conductivity and I have fairly hard water at ~280-300 ppm. I’ve switched to RO water being sold at my local grocery store for $1.75/5gal. Transplanted the plants last week to DWC and started them on nutrients, standard GH set – 0.5 tsp of each into the 2 gal tanks, almost 300ppm. Today, I cleaned out the tank and changed out the water, upped the nutes to 1tsp of each.

Also swapped out the evaporative humidifier for an ultrasonic humidifier and I’m getting much more stable RH at ~48-52%.




#19

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#20

I’m using the General Hydroponics 4120. I picked them up at a local gardening store for around $60. My only modification was to swap out the included air pumps for a dual outlet model I found at Walmart. I needed to reduce the number of plugs inside the box.