So where to start…
Well wanted to start growing to help reduce the costs of buying.
Mostly for medical purposes…inflammation and back troubles…mva awhile back.
So I started a few bag seeds I had laying around still to see if I could get them to grow and how hard the basic process of growing cannabis will be for me.
Well I figured out how to germinate the seeds just fine and seem to have no problems now…1 step forward.
Then I moved on a few months later to trying my hand at a few clones…I think I have it figured out fairly well at this point also.
I let the plants grow up a few weeks…think about 4…can’t remember now. Then put them into flower.
At the time I only had a few fluorescent tube light bars…so 4 x 32w…yup didn’t work all that well, but it did give me a very good idea of the whole process and it didn’t cost me a thing, but time…so far…lol
A few weeks went by and I had been talking to my friend that grows outdoors about what I had been doing…only to find out that he needed someone to do clones this year for him because he didn’t feel like doing his plants and clones for a few other friends so I got the task and a 400W MH HID, but needed new bulb…yeah some money to help get me going.
I started up a few seeds and grew them a month or 2 and then chopped them all down into clones…filled a shelf with solo cups/clones in a 2 foot x 8 foot(wide) x 8 foot(height) box I built quick from 1x2’s, 1/8" panel board and some reflective film sheets…few more in a closet too…I think it was almost 200 clones in all…I only need 60, but the extras were insurance just in case some died or whatever…lol
Ended up with about $400, but took 3 weeks to get paid and I ended up spending half my profits on supplies and my daily 2-4g/day…but it was something to get me started.
I managed to get a small bud piece left on a big stock from a large grow a friend did…another learning curve and some reading to do…re-vegging…got it to work too…feeling like a pro now…lol
So I started thinking more about actually putting some time and maybe a little money into a tiny setup to do a few plants.
Starting with 1 plant, some bag seeds, 400W MH, a few fluorescent lights and some time on my hands this journey began…
I started doing some reading online to help me figure out what I may have been over looking or have missed as well as find some new info maybe.
After some real basic and simple figuring and calculating I came up with what would get me started…besides lights.
We have a limit of 4 plants here per household (Ontario) and I’m not sure on how they count plants such as are mothers counted or not and so on…blah blah blah…so I figured stick to 4 plants and 1 mother.
Since most available seeds I had on hand were just bag seeds, I turned to using the bud I managed to re-vegged was from a very nice plant with 60-65 day flower cycle I began there…
short flowering time, with a strong resistance to mould and pests.
Flowering cycle: 60-65 days
Yield: 480 gr/m2
Genotype: Afghan x Mango
Species: Indica dominant hybrid
CBD: <0,5 %
THC: 18,5 %
Karibbean Mango features the perfect balance of acidic and tangy fruits with fresh fruit sweetness. This strain features huge buds that are extra heavy and dense. The narcotic high is the ultimate in relaxation and relief.
I smoke about 2-4 grams a day to help keep the inflammation down and enables me to be somewhat productive in a day.
So, for every flower cycle (60-65 days), I would need to grow 60-120 grams per plant, dried/cured…x 6 wet…360-720g/plant…the strain I have was about 480 so it should work out just about right…quick basic algorithm…
Need = 65x2 (days x grams per flower cycle)
= 130 grams needed in 65 days
I will need 1 to 2 plants every 65 days @ ~100-200g ea. (130-260/65)
This got me thinking about shrink things down and compacting it to a shorter grow.
I started a veg & flower cycle on the Mango…worked a bit better then the bag seed, but I had a few problems along the way…over watering, forgetting to water or being too sore or whatever the trouble was I figured I would need to figure out a better way to help me water and also started looking at lights at this point knowing I would need something much better to properly flower the plants and reduce the heat…get hot here in the summer…40 or more…yuck.
So where to start…
I started building a panel type light board from 3w ‘full spectrum’ leds…they were cheap, came with the little driver, if I needed to replace a LED it would be very easy if 1 failed one day, which I knew it would…nothing last forever…and was within my budget…$50 for 10 sets of 10=100 leds I think it was then.
Simply…2 X 50 leds, 2 X PC tower side panel and some glue, few wires and connectors/plugs. Then I put 15 drivers in 1 box with fan/cooling runs 150 LEDs or 3 panels of 50…1 for each box/area.
The lights worked well for the most part and they didn’t produce near as much heat as the HIDs I had been using. I used a PC fan with foam mat (feet) to help absorbe/reduce the noise a little.
Ended up having some issues with mites so grow didn’t go as planned…dam pests…grrr
Now its time to move to hydro…read about less risk for pests and solves my watering problem.
This is where some fun comes in to my little crazy project…I’m kind of limited to space (8’x8’x8’) and figured on 4 areas (each grows for 32 days, 2 veg and 2 flower=64 days for veg/flower). I use the save volume of space a regular bucket has and flatten it out in to a tote/under the bed bin and it could be up to 2’ x 4’(4 boxes @ 2x4’x6-10" each)
So next I moved on to some pumps, nozels and pvc pipe tests and was hunting down bins for cheap.
The pump is only 450 L/H, a 600 L/H would be much better I think, but the next size I have on hand is 800 and it was a little to strong I think…for now anyways…the 450 emits a slow and gentle spray.
This was a task to figure out and alot of pvc pipe pieces got cut and re-cut, but it seems to work and the roots seem nice and white for most of the grow then they tapper off to yellow slowly.
Lastly I started building a big box in my spare room that has 4 individual boxes in 1 large box…each is 2’ x 4’ and 40" high (can extend to ~48" later)…figure each area can hold 2-4 plants depending on size and training. 4 tents would of been pricey and top area wasted.
I run all 4 boxes independantly from one another from an Arduino with LCD touch screen and SD card, RTC, few modified relay borads, plugs and connectors…etc.
So now after trying a few things…failing here and there too…finding ways to make something work…here is where I’m at this far and as you can see I have a few plants started, but its not complete…they are mainly just test plants…if something comes from them great, but not worried atm with 3 mothers to clone from now.
Still have some ventilation to do and install/make the rest of the minor parts and pieces I need to finish and put in…theres always something to be done…always.
Oh and lastly, the current LEDs are a couple years old now…they were the “in” thing to have awhile back, but I will be converting lights to QB’s eventually, but for now I’m making due with what I have and can afford.
Forgot the driver box I made…15 little drivers in 1 box with a PC fan keeping them nice and cool.
Well as you see I have updated a few of my first thoughts and ideas to this 2 plant system.
2 plants in each box for 35 days (lots of room for 60-70 day flower cycle) hoping to get about 600g wet or 100 dry which will be about 2.8/3 per day every 35 days.
If I get more thats even better.
I have been able to train the plants down to a 24"x24"x12-18" height…with flower stretch it should go to about 18-27 max…usually keep it around 16" which ends up around 24".
The grow areas are 2 @ 24"x24"x40"…33" after the reservoir in put in…6-7" tall res.
This leaves 9" for the lights…plenty of room…lol
I can run the lights pretty close and use the silver film to reflect on all sides.
The test I ran so far gave me a little over 300g on a plant with 5 nodes/branches…had to use wire to hold up the buds at the end…but it works…yeah !!
Well better get some more done…1 pump to repair a plug on and 2 more to finish building and install…just the start of the long ‘to do’ list I have.
Happy growing all…l8r…
P.S…updates to follow as I get them done…and they work…lol
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Very nice! Lots of hard work there!
@Covertgrower, thanks…yes about 7 months almost now and almost ready to test it out…yeah !
I want to know if I have this right before I go and cut a bunch more pvc wrong…lol
The pump will run with 1" of water in the res, but figure why not add 50% and go to 1-1/2" for a max height for water level.
Then add 2" to get minimum distance between water and bottom of the pot, which would be aprox. 3-1/2" from bottom of res.
Now currently I put the nozzle to hit the bottom of basket @ ~ 3-1/2", but at what height works best and or what angle ?
Also wondering about pot sizes…currently using 3-12" wide by 3" deep…does size play a role in here too ?
Took a quick pic of the roots on 1 of the plants seen above in natural light…
I think this plant has been in veg for about 8 weeks or more…looks ok to me tho.
Started it into flower last sunday… 6th day into flower.
I put coupings on 1 ft legs on the scrog I’m building and then I’ll cut different length legs to have an adjustable height…if no one else has done it then u heard it here first and if someone already has then bah
My Gf said 3 times that’s not what they’re talking about but I’m of the opinion I know more than her lol…good job @T0Y on all the science stuff you were talking about lol
Was going in this direction with my question actually…
Where red circle is side view of PVC pipe and black square is the spray nozzle and blue is guess of water arch/stream.
Wondering if tests have been done to determine an optimal angle and or position or do I have more testing to do…lol
Nice looking roots my friend
@Covertgrower “Very nice! Lots of hard work there!” And money!lol
Hardcore awesome setup, been thinking of converting to hydroponics. Thanks for the inspiration!
I went with the larger 6” net pots. So there would be more room for roots to come through.
Not sure on the angle of the sprayers. I think as long as they’re spraying roots you’re good. @T0Y
@Mrcrabs … thank you…finger crossed they stay…lol
@DankGunslinger @Covertgrower …actually I think I may have about $500 in to it so far…thats 4 short tent setups…about $250-300 to go…newer lights.
@Sixpackdad …thanks also, if you need some help just holler…I still haven’t finished figuring it all out, but seems to be working at least.
@Covertgrower …I was just thinking about this the other day…I used larger pots in one of my tests and got about 300g from a 4 branch plant and now with the 3-1/2" pots the buds don’t seem as big…more of them but little smaller, but also its not finished either so time will tell…lol
So now I figure I’m going to angle the spray nozzle hitting the bottom edge of the pots with sprayers on top to create an angle to hit more top center of root ball, which I’m hoping will also help keep root rot away.
I had one grow where it got root rot from what looked like center out and I can only figure it was because not enough water was getting in to the center to keep it ‘clean’ enough and algae started and went to hell from there…sprayer nozzles were hitting just below the pots, but on roots and angled down a little…so now arch will be up and hit center more. The picture doesn’t show very well, but the spray arches up before it hits center then comes back down, but its about 3" to the centers and these are doing about a +4" spray…fingers crossed…lol
Root area temperatures are definitely something you do have to be aware of, 67-68° I think being the sweet spot. This prevents mold and algae from happening. With proper aeration I think they can endure higher temperatures, but I don’t have enough experience with hydro yet. I’m just getting into it. My set up is similar to yours it seems like. Except I went high pressure aeroponics. I intend to set it up today, and soak a bean soon to try it out. Still on the fence of journaling it in case of failure. Lol @T0Y
The larger net pots I think are the better way to go. I’m considering cutting/removing some of the bars to make more room for roots.
I agree the root temp needs to be fairly low…mine is running about 25-28 at the moment without anything besides cement floor helping with temp…runs high 70’s-80…so little high but not bad for now.
I have an idea to use a water cooler system to run water lines through chilled water area and back to res so it uses its own water still but it gets a brief cooling and depending on the flow rate would influence the temp…like how the little instant hot water heaters work…another project for another day…lol
I’m going to try larger pots on my next test run to see if it does help at all or by how much.
Journal away with a hydro-grow…other may learn from the mistakes just as much as the right things we do…easier to find help on our own by reading same as others mistakes. If you see a few journals with troubles same as yours you kinda figure it out…or should…lol
I was thinking high pressure at the start too, but I’m not sure how you could clean the pipes on the insides…mine comes apart completely…could probably throw it in the dishwasher…no glue anywhere, its all just press fitted together and custom made to fit in res just right, which keeps it together…I am trying a 2nd pump (little 12vdc) for water circulation in each res…also creates air bubbles too…double benefit.
We have alot of limestone in our water here, so buildup can get bad if not cleaned regularly I found.
40% solution of hydrogen peroxide pumped through the pipes will clean anything that’s needed. They’re slip/lock fittings so they do disassemble if necessary. As do the misters, and I have a pile of back up misters.
I don’t have a lot but some. I’m around 140-150 PPM.
The largest problem there just aren’t a lot of well journaled HPA’s systems anywhere. Including random searches on the internet. There’s a few on YouTube but they only give you some of the details. Wow, this obviously needs to be journaled the more you made me think about it. Thanks @T0Y I’ll be starting one soon. I rearranged the veg and flower tent today, and I put the grow tote in there.
Great news on the journal…yup, the more info the better…good and bad…lol