Clone Cabinet Evolution

Hello, I’m showing you the results of some recent maintenance & upgrades to my seedling/ early veg/ clone cab :

The walls are stained wood. I had temporarily been using some white foam-core board leaning against the walls, which worked great until I recently started using a humidifier. The foam-core bowed & condensation was also starting to collect behind them, so I pulled them out & finished up some seedlings in front of the wood-grain. =) Once they were out of the way, I prepped the surfaces & gave it two coats of Kilz latex primer & two coats of flat white ceiling paint. I like looking at & being in front of flat white paint a lot more than aluminum.

Swapped out three 40w 6400K T5 CFLs for three LED conversion tubes, consisting of two 10w 5000k & one 30w 6400k. It’s easy to run one or more fixtures depending on what is needed. I also added the yellow sliding rails for the hangers :

Added a 4" exhaust fan & carbon filter :

Unfortunately the fan above is not fully compatible with my new thermostatically-controlled speed controller, so I swapped that fan out with a Vortex VTX400, which I knew would work with my new controller. I added some felt filters to the carbon filter to keep the carbon dust in there. The factory sock is installed internally. Exhaust from the filter passively exits through a port that I cut in the back of the cabinet. The best tool I had for that cut was a Sawzall, so it got a little janky.

This intake flange steps up to 5" :

I improved the intake filter. Before, I was just taping the fabric over the holes with some packing tape.

Existing light-trap.

Front panel for light-trap. I’ve since gone back & added foam strips behind the panel around the perimeter & on the front edges of the light trap panels to fully seal it. The panel stays in place via four small pieces of foam insulation that I stuck to the wood right in front of the panel, after pressing the panel against the rear foam perimeter.

The box is under-intaked, so in the future I plan to go back & address that.

My cloner got fresh bubble-sticks & 4mm silicone lines, & I upgraded the collars from 5/8" split fuel hose to real clone collars. Also upgraded the pump from “10gal tank” to “40gal tank” size. The gang-valve is a TopFin & is decent.

Other new/ recent additions:
-Oscillating fan, & a cycle timer for it.
-Bluetooth Thermometer/ Hygrometer.
-Better power strip, has some level of surge protection.
-Rubbermaid pitcher Humidifier & Inkbird humidity controller. (I still need to build the humidifier in the pic, but I’ve already built one, & it works well.)


Welcome to the community!!
Nice looking rig you got there - ought to do the trick nicely!

If your main growing space is a nice and neat you got a winning set-up for sure!
You definitely have a good base to start with!

Best of Luck to you!!


Congratulations and welcome. I am on my second roll of black duct tape. Manufacturing or taping over it provides quick stick support. Have you cloned in the past?

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@PhotoFinisH Ventilation question for you. Clones and seedlings do not normally smell, do you have a smell problem?

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Beautiful set up there bud. And welcome.

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Welcome to the neighborhood :grinning: You’re going to have a blast with this family :crazy_face:

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Thank you! My main cab has also evolved with some much-needed updates, & I will share those soon. It’s a small footprint, think oldskool Mills Pride C13, but built-in with one door & more headroom. That’s what I used to run back in the day, a Mills Pride C13 & a 250w HPS. Had to chop it up & toss it when it wouldn’t fit down the stairs on moving day.

Thank you! I have cloned a number of times, but the last couple of times have been the most successful, because I started using methods found in a thread somewhere online. The gist was to run a home-built Aerocloner, put it on a heatmat set to around 78f, use RO water ph’ed to 5.5 to 6.0, & set the water level to an inch or two below the stems. Find bubble sticks which give you many micro-bubbles. There was no need for cloning gel/powder/etc. , no need for a humidity dome (or a humidifier for that matter), but I liked to add some H2O2 & a drop of Superthrive to the water, & I added the sunshade. Also I liked to use stem scraping & stem scoring to help get the roots going. One thing I can’t remember is if dude misted his clones or not. Maybe once for the first couple of days, & that was it. Also can’t remember if he was leaving full fan leaves, or partially clipping them back. He might have been running full fan leaves. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve last run anything, & I can’t remember if I misted them for the first couple of days, & if I had partially cut back the fan leaves. I think I did both, but not sure.

I can usually start to smell seedlings once they are around three weeks old.

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Makes for more fun, thank you for your reply.

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Not a problem. After thinking about it & googling around, now I think that I might not have been misting my clones, & was probably running full fan leaves, & I think that is what was recommended in whatever aerocloner guide I had been following & having success with. Unfortunately I can’t find it online right now. I think one other important thing that I didn’t recall yesterday might have been to change out the aerocloner water daily or every couple of days. Sorry that I’m forgetting some of the finer points of the guide & what I had been doing, because I only started using the aero-cloner & following that guide for my last couple cloning attempts, & then stopped growing for a while until recently.

Lots of different methods for cloning. @beardless has recently posted his method, different thread, somewhere on here.


Time to bring my mini-cab back online to crack some beans & grow some seedlings. This is in a different area from my main cab, so I spent yesterday & today dialing in the air conditioner & exhaust fan temp set-points, then the humidifier, & the box is bouncing between 80 & 82f & 60 to 65% RH as the exhaust fan & humidifier turns on & off. I may move the numbers a little, but it is a good place to start. A/C is cycling minimally - good.
I needed to solder a matching connector onto the 12v DC inverter for the humidifier fan since the original inverter is still installed in my main cab.
I put my spare oscillating fan in, since the one posted above is now in my main cab.
In general some of the wires are still being situated & just dangling or laying around.
I made my sunshades for the temp sensors.
I’ll be starting off with one 10watt 5k LED conversion bulb for germination. Once they all break the surface I’ll bring in the other 5k bulb for better coverage & I’ll set the PPFD again. Then after a week I’ll bring in the 6.4k blue bulb & set the PPFD again. The seedlings will be seeing around 150 PPFD from the single 10w bulb when they break the surface.

I have a new carbon filter on the way, since the original one shown above is now in my main cab. A temporary foam block holds the fan level.
I’m hoping to get a seedling into my main cab as soon as it is clear, & then I’ll probably use this as a drying cab.

Dropped some beans last night & I think I can see at least one splitting in the pic below, but one definitely popped a tail after this pic was taken. I tried two of this strain last time. One split & died. One got as far as chucking the husk & producing the first leaves, but the root had stalled & it died too, after about a week. So this time I’m trying five & hoping for one good one to send over to the main cab. I usually try the worst-looking seeds first just to get them out of the way if they aren’t going to go or get far. These were the last of the worst-looking ones in the 20-pack, the remaining ones look better. But these all floated for a few hours & then sank after I sent them to the bottom, so a good first sign. Water is tap water + a drop of old-formula Superthrive & 5ml H2O2 per gallon, then PHed to 6.0.
Cup is being kept on the top shelf, in the dark.

Prepped rockwool cubes await.

Welcome to the community.

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Thank you. Welcome to this thread!

Today two of the beans had 1/8" tails, & the other three showed no signs of activity. The three will go back on the shelf in the cup for another day or two before I abandon them. The two active beans went into some rockwool.

I soaked six Rockwool cubes for at least 24 hours in the same type of water that the seeds had been soaking in, but PHed down to 5.5. , & I changed it out a few times. The cubes will run the PH up without the soak. Then a few hours before planting, I re-soaked the cubes in some RO water prepped for the first week of watering (1 gallon RO water + 1ml calmag, 1 drop superthrive, 1 drop sm-90, 2ml H2O2, PH down to 6.0). I like to peel the cubes into layers & sometimes add extra pieces if they seem too small for the plastic. I don’t like to make the seeds work so they are placed with the root pointing down & the bean nearly at the surface, & without any rockwool above the husk. All seems to make it easier. If they spring up too high, then I’ll bury the stem when I pot these in about a week when the taproot shows up at the bottom. I strongly fling the water out of these before setting them in the plastic & setting the seed. If any water drains out from under them, then they are too wet. I’ll water these no more than once a day at the bottom by filling the center ring & no more. If it needs a little more, then I move it to the outer ring & water that to the top of the center ring.
PPFD is 175 at the tops of the rockwool cubes, light is on all of the time. I bumped up my humidity target to 69%, box is bouncing between 65 & 70%. Temps are bouncing between 80 to 81.5f. That’s about as high as I want the temp to go for now, & I may raise the humidity a little more tomorrow, but waiting for some leaves to see what their temps actually end up being before setting more definite targets & ranges.

Those are the old non-biodegrading green plastics. =)

The three remaining seeds never cracked, so I abandoned them after three days. Here are the two seedlings today. One has gotten mostly free of the husk, one is still hung up. I’ve been applying drops of water to the husks about twice a day for the past couple of days, & they should eventually free themselves. They are seeing 200 PPFD at the leaves. Still feeding them the mix listed above, but will switch to my ‘week1’ mix once the leaves are out. No roots visible out of the bottom of the planter yet. If still none after two or three more days, I’ll pull the plugs free to see if any are visible poking out of the rockwool anywhere & if so, then they will be transplanted.

Temp-wise, the box is cycling between 80.5 & 81.5f generally. I’m still dialing in the box humidity-wise. By the third day they started to look a little odd, & I started getting temperatures from the leaves & the top of the husk. The leaves seemed to be running from between 70 to 72, & the top of the opened husks seemed to be running at around 75f. The black planter was up to 85f, & the top of the rockwool was up to 85 but generally cooler than the planter. It was tough to get an accurate reading from the small leaves & husks, but sweeping over them a few times gave me a good idea. My temp gun projects a red dot to aim with, but I’m not sure it’s zeroed in, so I just sweep over it a few times & look for the temperature ‘hole’ where the top of the seedling is. If my numbers were accurate, then my humidity was far too high for good VPD numbers. I adjusted my humidifier down to a target of 49% & am still collecting data to see if I need to change it. I might need to raise it, not sure yet. Sometimes it won’t even get that low anyway due to ambient conditions. After I changed it I started checking some numbers & the seedlings were seeing .80 thru 1.0+ leaf VPD. Before they were seeing bad numbers like .2, .3, 0, etc.
I should be bringing the other 5k tube online soon, so that will probably heat the leaves up a little more & I’ll have to see if I need to adjust the humidity again to try & see good VPD numbers.

Yesterday the husk was still stuck & holding both leaves together, so I manually removed it.
I also gave them their first feeding of mixed nutes ( . 1 ml Si, . 25ml CalMag, GH Flora trio “Light” schedule Week 1 mixed at 50% strength,a drop of Superthrive, . 5 ml SM90, & 5ml H2O2 into one gallon of RO filtered water, then PHed to 5.8.)
Still only watering from the bottom once a day, & only to the top of the center ridge.
Still on the single 10w 5k bulb at just over 200 PPFD, I will probably add the second tube at the end of this week & readjust PPFD for somewhere around 250 or a little more.

Pics from both sides, since I move them back & forth once or sometimes twice a day to try & even out the evap rate & stress from the oscillating fan.

I’m still dialing in the humidity for good VPD numbers based off of my leaf temps, which seem to be running at around 73f. Air temp inside the box at canopy level cycles through 80.5 to 81.5f.
Ambient humidity outside has been very low for the past few days, so I’m able to see some low RH in the lungroom & in the box.

Highest RH hit last night (it usually creeps up on me during the night):

These next two are highs/ lows showing pretty close to where it has been running over the past couple days during the daytime.

Running today after lowering RH target maybe a little too much, it’s flatlined at 44%. I have since added a percent back onto the target & we will see where it ends up.

It should continue to run like this if ambient humidity isn’t high enough to overrun the set point :

The RH target setpoint above was still a little low. I bumped it up a percent or two. I’m trying to get it to cycle back & forth from 45% to 47% RH.

Here it is today after making the adjustment yesterday. It’s sitting on 49% because it’s humid again, & it’s just sitting within the setpoint/ offset, & I might lose the handle on it if ambient RH keeps going up. But if it cycles around my setpoint, VPD should be moving around .9 to 1.1 , since my leaf surface temps are at around 73f.
I will probably have to adjust again once I start using the second light, not really sure yet.

Still alive:

I’m using a slightly hotter nute mix than my last run of seedlings, not sure if these will like it or not. Three seedling-runs ago I was doing 1/4-strength of the GH light feed. The last run was 1/3 strength, this run is 1/2-strength. I know from the past that this is a little hot.

Still dialing in my low-humidity baseline, I think I ran them a little too hard with slightly too low humidity resulting in too high a leaf VPD, so I added another percent onto my humidifier controller target.

I also noticed some rockwool mungus starting to grow, so I took half a cup of nute solution & added 5ml of H2O2 & 1ml of SM90 to it, pHed the mix to 6.0, & top-downed a few tablespoons through the rockwool. I let that soak for an hour & then flushed that out with some regular nute solution. I put the rest of the mix in a spray bottle so I can mist the top of the rockwool for the next couple of days. I’ve seen this stuff before & generally it doesn’t cause any problems. In hindsight I probably should have gone with 1/2 strength for the nute solution used in the treatment mix, & I think I might feed them half-strength nute mix tomorrow.

In the past I’ve already gone through ramping up the starting strength of the GH nutes with each successive grow trying to decide where to start, & I can’t remember if I liked the original ‘50% GH light feed’ or if I decided it was too hot. I know it was the highest that I went to in the past, though. I think back in the day I might have ended up deciding to go back down to 1/3-strength as my preferred strength, but I can’t remember.
These have got to be close to needing a transplant, but I haven’t seen any roots growing out of the bottom of the planters yet, so I’m going to pull the plugs & check for side-roots probably later today.

Time to transplant:

Media is lava wet with nute solution & coated with vermiculite.
4" planters, but a new thing that I am trying is that I added a 4" net pot inside to see if I’ll be able to move it straight into a bucket lid. There is a layer of lava at the bottom of the outer pot to take up the space. I added some water to the dish to keep it wet, but I usually water these top-down with an eye-dropper, & then eventually I’ll start to add some more to the bottom once they start drinking a lot. The vermiculite will slowly wash down until it is mostly gone. (I have to rinse it out the dishes). It’s there long enough to help keep everything damp. If some gets into the hydro bucket, it’s not a problem. I try to avoid any clumps of vermiculite in the planters, that can lead to root rot. If roots grow out before I’m ready to move it into a bucket, I plan to just prune them against the sides of the net pot. I plan to move one of these into a bucket asap, but doing the netpot in the planter could also make it easier to keep plants in this box for longer if needed. Usually after about three weeks, the regular 4" pots start to get rootbound & unhappy plants after 4 to 6 weeks. I used to sex a lot of regular plants in 4" planters & then transplant them, & they were usually always rootbound & unhappy after that long. I have some bucket blanks & bigger planters & net-pots & was going to do bigger planters, but I lazed out.

Brought the second 10w 5k LED conversion tube online & adjusted height for a PPFD of around 275. The 6400k 30w LED conversion tube is there if I need it later, but these plants may be out of here before then.

Leave surface temps are still running at around 71-73f. If they’ve gone higher, I haven’t caught it yet. They seem to be running towards the cooler end more often now since activating the second light, because the exhaust fan is cycling a little more often due to the air temps rising at a faster rate.

The timed oscillating fan seemed to be drying the leaves out at the edges of the leaves, so I’ve been reducing the on-time until they seemed like it stopped bothering them. They were getting 3min on, 1 min off. Now down to 30 seconds on, one minute off, & that seems to be enough to still give the stalks a little stress & also keep the air circulating inside the box, but not dry them out. Plus, I turned the fan speed down from ‘high’ to ‘low’.

Humidity is pretty close to where I want it based on current air temp & leaf surface temps. Shooting for the good leaf VPDs. I definitely tried to start gassing them with too-high leaf VPD last week. Now I’m back down to trying to keep them between .4 thru .8 Leaf VPD.
Setpoint is 57% with a 2.5% offset. It’s running pretty close although it’s been overshooting to 60% the past couple of days due to me refilling the humidifier. It’ll make a lot of mist until it gets down to under 3/4 full. Then it calms down for a while until it starts taking too long once it gets down to about 1/4 full.
RH will undershoot below 54-55% whenever the exhaust fan activates if the RH in the lungroom is lower, but the humidifier recovers it quickly.
Here’s how it ran today, in between door-openings:

Also, I did cut the nute strength in half last week, but I’m not sure I needed to. For the next week I’m going with 1/3-strength of the “Week 2 -Light Feed” GH Flora schedule. That is what I ran at this time for the last run, & will put me at a little higher PPM than the “Week 1” schedule at 50%.
1/2 gallon of RO water
.1 ml Si
.25 ml CalMag
.6 ml Micro
.57 ml Gro
.44 ml Bloom
1drop superthrive
1/2 ml SM90
2ml H2O2
Ph’ed to 6.0

Whichever one that ends up going in my main cab will be seeing higher temps in there, so I started to ramp up the temps in the minicab. Now it’s running from 82 to 83f. It had been running 80.5 to 81.5f. I also lowered the humidity target because my leaf surface temps still stayed around 71 to 73f, & I wanted to stay close or slightly higher than the same Leaf VPD numbers prior to raising the air temp, not close or slightly lower.

The one on the left seems to be doing the best so far overall since hatching.