Beginner Indoor Grow Journal - LED Grow Tent (Amazon supplies)

Hi all-- I am documenting my first indoor grow attempt with 3 different plants. Here are my specs and supplies:

HARDWARE:
32 x 32 x 63 TopoLite Grow Tent
Viparspectra DS600 600W LED Grow Light (plus an additional 300W LED supplement option)
Terrabloom 6" inline fan (for exhaust) with ducting
Terrabloom 6x16 Carbon Filter with ducting
6" clip-on oscillating fan
3x 5-gallon fabric planters
Soil PH Tester
Water PH Tester

BIOLOGICALS:
3 fem seeds: Blue Dream, White Widow and Bubba Kush (from ILGM and Seedsman)
Rockwool seed starters
Fox Farm Ocean Forest & Happy Frog blend (in 5-gallon fabric planters)
Fox Farm Trio Nutes
Cal-Mag Supplement
PH Up/Down
distilled water

I haven’t assembled my space yet, I am waiting for my seeds to arrive. I have a few questions while I try to finish gathering my supplies:

  1. Do I have enough light? Will the 600W Viparspectra LED be enough for 3 plants in my tent? Should I consider adding CFL bulb side lighting? I am afraid of fire so I went LED right off the bat. Would adding the CFL bulbs to the tent be wise? I should mention that I also have a Viparspectra 300W LED light laying around that I could add to it as well…

  2. Is my Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix + Fox Farm Trio nutes a sufficient soil medium for the 5-gallon planters?

Thank you in advance for reading/advising!

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I expect that you will struggle to cover veg and flowering for 3 plants with a 600w light, though it is probably fine for 3 seedlings. I run a 1200w and consider it to be a bare minimum for covering 2 plants.

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That is a small grow space for 3 plants so you will need to train your plants pretty early. I used a Viparspectra PAR600 in a 4x4x80” and it wasn’t enough light for 2 plants.

The one plant hit 39” tall and the other was over 60” tall. The big girl hogged most of the light aka my GSC Beast and my Blue Dream was stunted due to not enough light. I still pulled 3.32oz dry off of my BD.

BD is on the left side of the photo. Look for the huge Cola. The other is my GSC Beast.

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So would I be better off adding CFL bulbs and/or running my Viparspectra 300W LED alongside the 600W?

Yes, both, but you are really going to have to manage your canopy as your plants will still struggle to get optimal lighting.

Appreciate it! I am currently watching low-stress training vids.

What kind of CFL supplement would you suggest?

Also, any opinion on my soil medium? Should Burpee Potting Mix + FF Nutes be ok?

Your 600w is probably fine for seedlings. When you get to veg, then you will want as much light as you can get on your plants without causing heat stress.

I really would suggest running only 2 plants concurrently. Your space and your lighting are both going to be problems for the environment you are setting up with 3 plants.

I have a 2x4 space and I’d never consider more than 2, and 1 plant is really optimal. Here’s my lighting solution:

One 1200 watt grow light similar to your Viparspectra and 1 400w 5500k high bay light placed laterally in the grow space. Given that the high bay light is placed laterally, I can only run one plant at a time. I have plants a couple of weeks old. The current plants are not feminized and are an unknown strain (bag seed.) I’ll narrow it down to one once I can determine the sex of the plants. I have Blue Mystic seeds and Durban Poison seeds in the queue. I’ll only run one plant at a time.

Your 600w plus a few properly placed CFLs would probably be great for one plant at a time.

Just my opinion. Others’ may have more creative ideas.

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I don’t know much about Burpee. Stay away from anything that has time-released nutes. FF and Promix are popular choices.

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Now I am considering something new. What about returning my Viparspectra 600W and replacing it with the Optic 4 COB LED fixture?

Overpriced imo.

I’ve been thinking about upgrading my light so I can go to 2 plants and have been looking at the 2x HLG 260W (288) LED V2 Rspec Board XL kit. The ILGM lighting guru @dbrn32 has had great things to say about them. Very competitively priced and great performance.

horticulturelightinggroup 260w-xl-qb-v2-led-kit

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I’m not comfortable assembling my own light so I’m looking for something ready to go out of the box.

I’m looking at both the Optic 4 COB LED or the Timber Model 3VL.

Looking for any advice on the two @dbrn32

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@FlxerPower I made the jump to two 260xl kits and I’m beyond happy with the results. My plants no longer suffers from not having enough lighting.

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@aggrocraig Putting a HLG light kit together is extremely simple to do. I was able to do it with about 40 pills in me and I don’t have full control of my hands.

This one is pre assembled:

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I had to remove/edit your link: not an approved vendor for ILGM.

@aggrocraig: the light you reference is insufficient. You need a light (or lights) that will deliver roughly 400 watts from the wall socket and not what they tell you. That light only draws 130 something watts. You would need 3 to cover your area.

The QB’s can be run at a considerably lower draw (25 to 30 watts/square foot) as the efficacy of the LED’s is far superior to the diodes used in blurple lights. Yes: they are much more expensive. BUT! If worried about fire, a QB is the way to go. Passive cooling so no fan in the fixture either. Easily dimmable to whatever level is right for your plants.

You will be struggling to maintain room in that tent with 3 photoperiod plants in it FYI.

I would very strongly suggest you buy Fox Farms Happy Frog and Ocean Forest. Start your plants in a neutral media or the Happy Frog, then load your pots with a layer of OF on the bottom with HF on top. Please trust me that you will regret using the organic soil referenced! Not that it is bad but it will cause you many issues if you aren’t ‘Johnny on the spot’.

You do not need a soil PH meter. You DO need a decent digital PH meter and a TDS meter is almost as useful. FYI soil probe types, unless $100 or more, are essentially worthless.

If you use the FF soil you can avoid buying the FF trio (I know; it’s sexy to feed your plants but it’s likely not necessary and only in flower).

Welcome to the forum! You can tag folks using the @ sign like @PurpNGold74 this haha.

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Thank you @AAA and @Myfriendis410. I’ve succumbed to the idea that I will need to ditch the Viparspectra for a better light.

While the $600 price tag on the HLG LED panels is a bit out of reach for me, I would take the plunge on the Timber Grow Lights Model 4VS for my 32x32x63" tent.

I understand that the COB lights in the Timber would run a bit hotter than the panel LED but with adequate ventilation it shouldn’t be an issue.

All I read is great things about the Timber lights!

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Glad you found a resolution that you are happy with.

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You can do better than $600 to illuminate your space. Lets see if @dbrn32 is around as he lives this stuff.

32 X 32 tent, 63" high, wants to adequately light that for 3 plants.

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I think grabbing a 260 xw kit from growerslights and having them assemble it is better choice than going with a big timber light. More appropriate for space and cheaper.

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Welcome @aggrocraig

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