First, even though this is my first post, I want to thank everyone here at 420. I have been studying the forms here for months and am truly amazed at the ingenuity and expertise here, and know I'll be seeking more help as I go through this grow.
Some special kudos to guys like Scottyballz & others who, without even knowing it, have been a real inspiration and wealth of knowledge! You guys know your sh!t!
Thanks to all of you, I feel like I'm already an expert grower EXCEPT for the small fact that I've never grown anything!
Time to try to put all of this knowledge to the test!
Before we start, I promise to get some pics uploaded in the next week or so when my new laptop gets here. My laptop is dying and I can only boot into safe-mode right now & can't upload any pics from my phone :(
Stealth is extremely important to me and I have a spare room with a closet that's rarely used, so decided to dedicate the closet space for the grow. I also wanted to have some perpetual grow going on since getting seeds and clones is difficult as I'm in a state where this is frowned upon.
I looked a dozens of the pre-built systems, but quickly realized they were all using very cheap components. I then started looking at modifying one of the pre-fabricated cabinets from Lowes or HD, but again, they were all cheaply made and most had cardboard backs which wouldn't do a great job of hiding the noise.
I decided to build my own cabinet using 3/4" white Melamine. It would blend in well in the closet, wouldn't need to be painted/finished, and was nice & thick to help muffle the sounds of the fans & hydro pumps. Plus, the air handling unit is located directly behind the closet, so it would further mask any of the noises.
I made the cabinet 48"W x 24"D x 73 1/2"H with a top shelf located about 16" down to house the fan, carbon filter, pumps, electronics, and other stuff. Since I'm using hydro, I wanted all the elctrical located at the top of the cabinet and the water at the bottom (water flows down!). I also wired the cabinet to a GFCI circuit and have a 500VA UPS system providing battery backup in the event of a short-term power failure.
With the cabinet divided into two 2' x 2' (approximate) chambers for veg/mothers & bloom, I'm already wishing I had more room! I left the inside of the veg chamber with the white melamine and put permaflect film in the flower chamber on the sides and top.
I'm hoping to maintain two strains as mothers/clones but to maximize yields I think I'm only going to flower one plant at a time using a combination of topping & LST. The plants will only be able to be grown to about 3' tall but I'm hoping to get 2-4 oz. per plant/harvest.
I've purchased a couple of Waterfarms (the Complete system, not modular) that have been modified with additional holes, airstones, and larger pumps; and I made a DIY DWC bubble cloner using a 4 gallon container.
I ordered (5) G-13 Pineapple Express seeds and (5) Barney's Farm LSD seeds from Attitude, who I HIGHLY recommend for seed delivery. Make sure to specify the STEALTH delivery option, if desired!!! They also added 3 freebie seeds from Kannabia Seeds: (1) Big Band, (1) Power Skunk, & (1) Kannabia Special.
The truth is I can't WAIT to try some of the LSD, but since this is my first real grow, I figured I'd first try the Pineapple Express & Kannabia Special and see if I can get through an entire harvest before breaking out the LSD seeds. If I'm successful with this grow, the LSD will be next!
The seeds came in on Saturday 12/18 and I started germination at approximately 10:00am using Sure-to-Grow 1 1/2" starter cubes. I'm pretty impressed with the STG media (seems MUCH easier than Rockwool and/or Hydroton!) and will be using it exclusively throughout this grow.
I PH'd the water to 5.8 after adding just a small amount of Superthrive and 3% H2O2 and they spent the first 36 hours on a germination mat under a humidity dome before moving them under a T-5 that's on 24/0 right now. The seeds still haven't broken the surface, but the T-5 provides the small amount of heat that helps and as soon as they break, I want them to have access to light.
I know everyone wants pictures, but until I can post them, here are a few links to the equipment I'm using:
Using This T5 for Veg: GROW mh/BLOOM hps T5 COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHT 2'ft CFL - eBay (item 270652653488 end time Nov-14-10 19:00:15 PST)
Using This LED for Flowering: 180w Blackstar Ultra Violet LED Grow Light Cree 2 watt LED's
Note: I also have (4) 2700K CFL's I'll be using for "side lighting" during flower.
Using This 4" Fan w/ Filter: 4" INLINE FAN CARBON FILTER COMBO ODOR CAN AIR INCH 6 8 - eBay (item 400151951436 end time Jan-05-11 0708 PST)
I've got (2) of these fans (one in each chamber) blowing air up to the top of the cabinet where I have a passive exhause as well as the blower fan to extract the heat but I still think my ventillation will need some work: Best Electronics 120 x 120 x 25mm Low Speed AC Fan w/ 36" Power Cord (BT12025B1L) - FrozenCPU.com
Using this Ph/TDS meter: Hanna HI 98130 pH & Conductivity Pen High Range - Mitchell Instrument Company
I've also got (2) Waterfarm Complete systems and may order a 3rd depending on how the space gets filled: GENERAL HYDROPONICS
I also have Advanced Nutrients Grow/Micro/Bloom plus Bud Candy, Big Bud & Overdrive, but since the Waterfarms came with GH Grow/Micro/Bloom formulas and I've heard good things about the ease of controlling PH with the GH nutrients, I think I'm going to start off with the GH base nutes and when I get a little more experience, graduate up to the AN.
OK...that should be a good start for this journal.
I welcome any comments & suggestions (as long as they're constructive!) and thanks again to everyone for their help in getting me this far.