Shipping Container Grow Set Up Help

Ive got an old shipping container that’s 40ft long, 8ft wide, 8ft+ high, that I’m turning into an indoor commercial grow op. I’m kindof wanting to stay with soil and move over to living soil one day, unless someone can convince me otherwise. Also planning to use HPS and MH lights up to 10-12 1000w lights maybe more if needed, with an air duct system to cool the lights. I also have an aeroponics cloner I made myself. So I’m curious on other peoples builds in shipping container’s, as well as wanting to know how anyone would set it up for max production out of it. What kind of HVAC system to use? Controllers for lights, temp., humidity, etc. What kind of venting, if any at all. I figure I’ll run a full group of plants at once from seed to chop instead of trying to split the container up into segments for different stages. Really just wanting to know the right and best equipment that I’ll be needing for near perfect grows that won’t break the bank. Ive grown many times before but always been outdoors. Just getting clobbered with so many different things, methods, and other ways to set up indoors but not in a container, that I have yet found, thats been informative or told the problems or regrets they encountered. Any input is much appreciated.

Thanks All.

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Welcome to the forum! I wish I had all your answers but I’m still serving my ilgm apprenticeship. HOWEVER you will be in great hands soon. This are the MVPs of growing weed in the world.

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OK thanks mate! And glad to be here!!

Also I’m located in Oklahoma, so not sure if I should paint the outside metal with something or build a lean-to over the container, or just leave it like it is. Bunch of choices everywhere I turn lol…

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Your biggest issue is going to be heat: both too much and too little. If I had a shipping container I’d first paint it white and maybe even use Sno Seal (white mobile home rubberized roofing paint) and consider insulating the walls/ceiling.

Putting it under cover might help with solar heating.

You HAVE to have ventilation as the plants need fresh air exchanged every few minutes.

You are looking at a large electrical load so plan your wiring accordingly You will likely need a BIG A/C unit and an equally large heater if growing in winter.

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In my opinion this would be a big mistake. Each seed plant is an individual, meaning variable. If you are trying to do a commercial grow I’m sure your clients will want to know that every bud in a batch is consistent. You cannot get consistency with seedlings.

You will want to find a group of Mother plants and do clone runs if you want to have consistent product to offer your clients.

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I agree. Thats why I start with the seed for the mother plant and then clone off of her in my DIY aeroponic cloner. But this is all the least of my concerns at the moment, more so needing to know the proper set up in a container for max yields and quality. Pitfalls, regrets, and things that worked great for a container set up. But thanks for the input!

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So my thoughts here so far are that I’ll start up in Feb.-March and run till end of Oct. then nothing Nov-Jan. I don’t know for sure yet, just a thought. I understand I need ventilation, but do I go with an exhaust fan style you see on greenhouses, or just use inline fans? I would love to get a nice good HVAC unit set up in it with tubing running along the ceiling. Again just another thought. Thanks mate!

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Myfriendis410, Are you saying to paint the outside white and then use the Sno Seal on the inside? Or outside? What about spray foam insulator?

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Sno Seal is a roofing product, rubberized. Paint on roof. Spray insulation or rigid foam on the inside. Heat and cold are your biggest issues at this point.

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I would try to find a roof top a/c and heat unit. Can easily chop a hole and mount it on roof. Or they make units for travel trailers- the job site mobile home type units. Those mount on a side wall on outside. But you would want to weld rebar across any holes to keep thieves out.

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With a shipping container I would install a mini split heat/ac system. Maybe even two small ones.
Only need a small hole for the lines to run through. Very efficient

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@RandMcNally420 found this nice article on shipping container living.
https://containerhomes.net/articles/how-hot-do-shipping-containers-get/

Basically everything folks above have said.

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There is a company that sells this exact idea called cannabox, check them out could give some design ideas

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These containers are really bad for condensation. I mean these things really sweat. I worked in this industry for a couple of years and our biggest concern was mould. So decent insulation and air movement will be key here. If you’re buying second hand make sure you check the roof over as they’re often double decked and the roof gets bashed, scratched etc. They can look ok inside and be a riot outside so inspect and protect that roof. Best of luck on this one

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Where abouts in OK are you located? I’m in the Tulsa area myself

Ok thanks for the heads up. Do you think closed cell spray foam would be good to help seal any crack dings or holes up? I’m going to also be putting the Sno Seal roofing paint in white to help with the heat. I have decided on splitting up the container into sections. Id like to have a section in back for flowering, section up front for Veg. and clones, as well as another wall right at the front to allow for the swing doors to be open but not affect the inside grow. With Myfriendis410’s input about the heat and cold Ill be opting for a Duel Mini Split Heat/AC system, so theres one in each section. Ive also been looking at ERV’s for helping with the air and moisture but haven’t a clue on which one to get yet. Going with soil in fabric pots, amendments, nuts, and coco. Whats a good size for pots for an operation like this? I would think like about 10-15gal pots, but Ive seen people using 3-5 gal’s so seems I’m still only vetted in outdoor grows where you get the roots as big as possible. Now just needing to try and figure out which HPS and MH lights are of best quality and performance, or do you suggest LED’s or CMH’s? I was wanting to get the Photo Boost lights but they are out of stock and on back order so might not have time to wait on those. Ill be putting a dehumidifier, 1 or 2 6"in exhaust in line fans, 1 or 2 6"in intake fans, contemplating a CO2 burner, and having a hard time trying to figure out a good automated smart system for the lights, temp., dehumidifier, irrigation if possible but not required, and any added accessories like regular fans, and anything else. Anyone have anything to add to this or tell me otherwise or have some good company names I should be checking into? or anything I’ve forgotten, shouldn’t do, or do do… haha

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I’m just a little south of you in Bixby.

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@dbrn32 is the lighting guru. I think splitting up is a good idea. From a light leak point if nothing else. It will hopefully contain any infestation problems you might get and will help control the different humidity levels you will need as well. We used to line our boxes out the same way you would do in a house. We used timber sheet and stud wall type build with the insulation behind it. Run pipes behind the walls and bring them out at key points along the box as well. They’re great for cables and keeps everything neat and tangle free. Always use put more in than you think you will need because you always end up using them. As for pots, I think the bulk of us use 5 gal. Remember if you double your pot size you’re doubling your grow medium bill. Not sure if you would see much of a benefit in doing that. Some of the more experienced would be able to confirm or deny that. Good luck on this one, going to be a great project :sunglasses:

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How much of that is actually going to be plant canopy?

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