First time assistance wanted

I have been researching starting my first grow inside and I really would like to start off on the right foot.

Budget is flexible but I am truly trying to keep it below $800 for all items needed.

I already own and will be working with 4 gallon platers.

I will be starting off with a autoflower because I really want to avoid as many issues as possible my first time.

My allotted space can fit a 3 x 3 grow tent which is what I am aiming for. Any suggestions for which grow tent would be great but My research has lead me to the vivosun being a good option.

I am truly stuck on the lighting choice. I live in an apartment and so not pay electrical utility but I assume if I hack up the bill way too much it will open up too many questions from my landlord, though he is a chill guy. Though I stated I’m trying to save on budget I do feel that after researching, lighting is one thing you do not want to cheap out on because it is a direct correlation with quality.

Anyone got some great tips and suggestions?

Thank you!


Contrary to popular belief, autos are not easier to grow than photo plants. They can be twitchy and more sensitive to nutes and you only have minimal time to make adjustments or to do training since they flower when they want.

Take a look at the HLG 200 Diablo for lighting. It’s a great light for a single plant that is about $200.

Welcome to the forum and happy growing.


I’ll tag in @dbrn32 who can help you find a light to match your budget. My electric went up $50 a month when I started growing with cheap blurples.


Welcome to the community ! Another light option for a little more money would be the HLG 260 V-2 R spec for a 3x3 space.


Vivosun is a good tent but I think AC infinity is better and like @MidwestGuy said 2 HLG 200’s would kill in a 3x3


No matter what tent you buy invest in the $2.50 in a tube of zipper ease to coat the teeth. Always open the tent slowly pulling the zipper outwards toward you. The biggest complaint for any tent is the zipper catching.

I have two AC Infinity tents myself.


If I were to have 2-3 4 gallon planters with 2 HLG Diablos lights, that would be eff isn’t or stick to more of a 1x1 basis.

It is my understanding that 50w per square footage is the standard.

Correct. How you achieve that is up to you. If you want a light that will flower more than one plant at a time, then look at HLG’s 260 and 300 models.


Is the $800 for your tent setup, or would this include media, nutrients, and all the other odds and ends that are recommended to be successful? I’m sure we can get you a great tent setup for $800 or less, but there’s a lot of other stuff you’ll want or eventually need.


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I appreciate you thanks.

The $800 is for everything else included. I was going to go with the DIY route for a tent but I’d rather keep it as simple as possible now.

I definitely want to get a carbon filter also so I know that can range depending on tent size but I am currently under the impression that the cost should be $50-$100 for that.

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Search the web for ac infinity coupon code, and go with s6 fan and 6" filter from them. Should be able to find 10-15% off code without too much effort.

If you are into diy stuff, would you be willing to diy an led light? I can probably save you some money on a nice light.


I am always willing to try something. That would be awesome


I got a ChilLED Tech light that was DIY and it was super easy to assemble. HLG also does DIY light kits I believe. Can’t go wrong with either brand of those lights.

AC Infinity makes quality products and are reasonably priced. I use their inline exhaust fans for all my tents.

For the actual tent, I went Mars Hydro, they’re ok, but I do see some pinhole leaks around the zipper. Not an issue in my grow space as I have a blacked out room.

You will need some supplies. A good PH meter is essential. Apera 20 is what a lot of us use. Need a good pair of trimming scissors, look at Amazon and pick out a pair that looks good to you. PH up and down by General Hydroponics to adjust the PH in the water or other method if you choose. Measuring devices for nutrients, depending on if it’s dry or wet nutrients. I have 1 ML syringes, small scale and measuring spoons.

Medium. I use coco but did use soil at one time. Fox Farms has good stuff, Roots, Coast of Maine, Promix…just make sure it’s suitable for weed. No Miracle Grow stuff or really anything from big box stores.

Fans inside the tent is a must, stale air will add all kinds of problems. Grab a few 6" fans and mount one low and one canopy level(ish). Don’t want them blasting the plants too much but it’s cool if it blows on them.

Nutrients- Literally tons to choose from. I like Jack’s 321 for it’s effectiveness and value, but choose what you think will suit your budget and goals.

I’m sure I missed something, but hope this helps. Holler if you need anything.


Think you could do something like this?

I can find different components to make this a little cheaper. It wouldn’t be a step by step instruction though.

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YES Zipper sticking I use WD-40 and they slide better but not before one side zipper jammed but the other zipper goes all the way around sealing tent A Vivosun tent 4x4x8 feet


@spudeater65 My old Vivosun tents had zipper issues… It really sucks when your in flower and the zipper pull jams and comes off… It was a task trying to fix that but ultimately got it vack on and functioning… Soap on a zipper is good to.

When did you buy yours? I sold mine, had two, bought AC Infinity… Wouldn’t mind a gorilla tent with the height extension.


Viparspectra 2500 they are a great light for the price

Aug. 2020 If I remember right yes those zippers get stuck easly. I use Wd-40 or a slicone spray. I had to duct tape the zipper where zipper and flap is zipper ripped off the tent trying to close it.