Grow #1- OOPs I Put Cart Before the Horse- Asking for assistance

I have seed in hand with no real plan. Reality has set in. I need help.

Recently drove thru the Great State of Colorado and did some “Recreating” << “Air Quotes” while we were there. Once I got back I made a purchase of Gold Leaf Auto flowering Strain by Robert Bergman. Package arrived (18 October 2019) and I can say I was not really prepared to put the very first time grow operation into motion.

Hopefully I can scratch out a good first grow and have somebody take the time to help me get started to self-reliance. I purchased the 10 seed pack. Noticed some of the seeds that arrived look smaller physically than others. I have no clue to what really makes a good seed.

Currently I am ready to purchase grow equipment, tent, lamps, hydro bucket gear, possible bucket DIY and get the operation going.

// Question: How long will the seeds store for time wise and how should they be stored? I have mine in the sealed bag they came in in a 80 degree air conditioned home.

I need some sound growing advice on auto-flowering “Gold Leaf” ILGM Robert Bergman Strain specifically for this first grow. Also some board recommendations for rookies starting out. I will say I personally can take on a more hands on role as I have time to devote to the horticultural process. Although I am totally clueless. I do remember a small part about photosynthesis back from my school daze.
(I want a 2 5 Gal Bucket Grow area)

I envision a 2 plant grow / 5 gal bucket, inside home in a grow tent on a continual basis for personal use. Hoping to yield 4 oz range on a 90 day continual basis. Not sure why I selected Gold Leaf strain, but it seemed like a great idea at the time.

Question: For a guy that lives by the work4iT mantra I am looking for something easy and get a confidence builder in the grow category chalked up.

I really have no clue on what is a simple but proven first grow technique where I can multiple my chances for success. I feel as if I want to water grow, as opposed to soil and I am hoping I can get some board advice. I am thinking I want to go 3x3 tent (Height? Not sure but concealment is not a huge concern).

The light I am interested in is Spider Farmer SF 1000 LED Grow Light with Samsung Chips LM301B & Dimmable Mean Well Driver, Sunlike Full Spectrum 3000K 5000K 660nm 760nm IR for Indoor Plants Veg Flower. Is there something out on the market that is capable on providing full spectrum lights for a 3x3 tent that is better? Really I should ask is this a decent LED light set that will produce good results?

As a rookie, Should I go old school dirt for the first grow?

Feel as if I want 5 gal bucket hydro with 3”seed cups, rockwool, out the gate with GROW #1. I don’t have a lot of cash to sink into the equipment but realized some has to bee spent.

I am hoping for some help.


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Welcome to the forum!

I can help with lights, but if you plan on running hydro there are others around that would be much better for that. Are you settled on a 3x3? How much was the spydr farmer light?

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Welcome to ILGM you’ll find plenty of folks to help ya here. @dbrn32 @blackthumbbetty @Mrcrabs @elheffe702
You’ll hear great input here. I’ll start by saying i would only want one plants roots taking up that five gallon bucket. I find keeping the pants in each also enables feeding according to their individual needs. I use a Mars hydro 2000W in a 48x48x72 tent one covers it. I was running a pair of 600 watt LED lights.

Welcome to the forum. I’m not a Hydro grower so no clue who to talk to. I love my 4x4 tent.

You are definitely at the right place. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge on this forum. I too am new to this indoor growing idea. I have always been a outdoor guerilla grower in the past but, dabbled a bit with the indoor to get a jump start on my plants before taking them up in the mountains to their soil home. That being said, my best advice to you would be to do as I have, read as many articles on this forum that pertain to what your intent and intended outcome is and as many articles that you think that don’t pertain, you would be surprised. Ask alot of questions, my experience thus far is, there are a lot of great people here that are willing and will answer. I take notes, only because I’m getting older and my memory isn’t what it used to be. Okay, I lied, that’s not the real reason for the note taking. My real reason is to have an easy to use reference for myself. You can’t possibly and never will be able to remember it all, don’t try to fool yourself. I wish you the best of luck and I can ever help please don’t hesitate to ask but, again I am new to this indoor thing too and I will be using soil. The best advice would be to ask questions. No question is a stupid question. Someone else may have the same question and then you both will have the answer. I think that you and I are both in the same situation and I believe that this forum places us in good hands, with the people and the vast amount of knowledge to be successful. Now don’t get me wrong, I expect many operator errors and learning curves but hope to keep them as minmal as possible. I figure these first few grows if I hope for the best and expect the worst, I will be happy either way. Kinda like when I first started growing outside, the advantage I have now is the vast amount of knowledge available on this forum and the people that are willing to share it with me

I appreciate the feedback from the members. I have a couple follow on questions.

I decided to go with MARS HYDRO Grow Tent 2’x2’ 1680D Canvas 100% Reflective Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tents Indoor Plant Growing Grow Room 27"x27"x63". Priced at $90 because it will provide enough room for my 2 each 5 gal bucket set up and has some vertical height to it.

Now back to the lighting. Can anybody tell me if that spider light or the Mars hydro 1000W (smaller than NeoFireBird’s set up) is enough light coverage for a tent this size? Of course I want a very good full spectrum light that is capable of handling the area without breaking the bank or consuming a vast amount of electricity and not being a fire hazard generating lots of heat. I fell that being ultra thrifty in the light purchase may be the equivalent of shooting myself in the foot. Looking for some good yields on a smaller scale. 1000 w -vs- 2000 w set up for this grow tent. Not trying to overkill or buy too small for the footprint coverage. Are the Samsung chips on the Spider Farmer Light board superior? I am trying to get a set up that will perform well and something I will be happy with.

Can any Hydro growers recommend a good feed solution and any tips for 1st time grow?

Thanks in advance.

Hi @Work4iT and welcome to the forum. I am hydro, soil is for covering bodies. I like the GH Maxi series nutrients. They are powdered, therefore less expensive and do a good job. I know NOTHING about autos, but just finished some Gold Leaf photos


I know autos, but am not a hydro grower.

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I do autos in hydro. The 1000w Mars hydro or that spider light, I checked the 1000w Mars covers a 3x3 area. I started with orgagrow nutes from Amazon - easy to use. I’m now using Humboldt’s secret. It’s a 2 part formula. Plus added Cal mag, hydroguard, and silica.

@Work4iT. Welcome!

You have a bunch of good advice.

For me, I think 2x2 is too small. I know this is your first foray, but I doubt it will be your last. Smoking, vaping, and ingesting cannabis is not addictive, but GROWING IS!

With this in mind I think you should buy the biggest tent you have space for, up to a point. 2x2 sounds way bigger than it is. I would consider 3x3, 2x4, or 4x4.

Once you have nailed down your tent size, then you can choose your light. @dbrn32 will get you sorted on that.

Good luck.


I would spend the extra $40 for a qb 135 r-spec kit. Its very Similar, but more light. That would be excellent in a 2x2. If you want better than that I can help you get components and you can assemble yourself.


Welcome @Work4iT i would go with the 4×4×8 tent u will need the room growing auto in hydro the plants can get big fast and @dbrn32 can help with lights I’m doing hydo and have grown auto and they can get big i use ph perfect nutes silica hydroguard cal-mag

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KK, I am thinking about a single 3" net cup per 5 Gallon Bucket, total of 2 each. Should I go with a hydro set up that brings water and pumps solution over the roots in the net cups or is a simple bubbler pump to aerate the bottom of the 5 gal bucket the way to go? If I go with the static option when I mix the grow solution with water and set solution level in buckets initially (Fill bucket to bottom of 3" net cup?) how many times would I check and or add water during a 90 day grow?

I keep the house set to around 78 on thermostat, and live in a mild climate in the winter with low humidity / Desert like. I plan on staying with the tent I spoke of earlier in the thread.

Also, with ph perfect nutes silica hydroguard cal-mag you mention is that all you are mixing with the water? Can you share your mix ratio and levels you are trying to attain for the solution? I see people warn not to overfeed.

What type of measuring and monitoring tools should I go with to be set up properly in the hydro game?

Thanks to everybody providing input. I am wanting to get this grow going right after Thanksgiving.

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Dbrn32, I am staying with the 27x27" tent foot print will the Spider Farmer SF 1000 LED Grow Light perform well for me?

Also,I am googling the “qb 135 r” you mention and am not pulling any exact matches.

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Grandaddy, Nice, very nice! Impressive. How long have you been doing Hydro? Is it easy to do? As a guy whose pictures show you know what you are doing, what advice would you have for a a person just starting to grow-hydro?

This is light I would probably go with


It’s all personal preference. I didn’t much care for the 5gal buckets. I’ve got a bad back and changing buckets every week was a PITA for me. HOWEVER, they do their job. I was growing in 20gal containers. One per plant. I’ve now converted to 27gal totes, running perpetual garden. MAIN things, in my thinking, are, good light and good water temperature. Of course environment and all that BS, but all that is the same regardless of medium used. I’ve been doing hydro a little over 3yrs. First 2+ years, I battled with root rot but didn’t know that was the problem. Once I knew, I bought a water chiller and haven’t had anymore problems. I personally think it’s easier than soil, but I’ve never done soil, so I can’t really say. Once you get your system going, you will learn what to do. I just monitor my ph and ppms, and adjust as neccessary. Let the plants tell you what they need. One more thing, whatever type of nutrients you use, start with 1/4 strength and go from there. Usually, if you add what it says on the container, you’ll burn them up.

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Explanation of plants telling you what they need.

  1. Water levels go down, ppms go up. Too much nutrients

  2. water levels go down, ppms go down. Add nutrients

  3. water levels go down, ppms remain the same. BINGO you are at the sweet spot.

After I got my chiller, I pulled 3lbs 10oz off 2 plants. Hydro rocks


While you can fit 2 5 gal buckets in there, I wouldn’t grow more than 1 plant in that sized tent. It’s not a good idea to cramp or squeeze the plants in a small space. You want plenty of room between them, and the walls of the tent.