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1st Meticulous Grow - DWC - Hydro - 4x4 Tent - 600W MH/HPS - 4 Ladies

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
Greetings, 420 community :420:

Let me start by presenting myself as a 1st time ambitious grower as I'll be jumping directly into the hydroponic ways. I believe that, along with greater studying motivation and with enough information filtering, a person can take off fairly elevated and take it from there. I've been wandering this forum for the past 2 months now and I believe I've accomplished enough knowledge to start getting my hands dirty.
I'm from Europe, and as so, I'll be stealth-growing, and you must excuse me for my English, which is kinda rusty.
Along this first post, you may find a lot of questions from me as I'm still on PLANNING PHASE, and for that I'm sorry if I'm letting people down already.
No, I'm not an experienced grower, still I tend to be very scientifically-minded guy, and always look at subjects after thinking over and over again, always trying to see the point from new perspectives.

As suggested by the admins/moderators I'll be answering the following questions:

Number of Plants? 4
What strain is it? 2x Blue Dream, 2 x Bubblelicious/Blueberry (still pondering, looking for mood lifting, non-earthy but fruity/herbal flavor strains, the ones that won't couch-lock you. My brain needs constant activity. Won't be going 100% sativas as I've heard they are a bitch to grow. Recommendations are well-welcomed)
Is it Indica, Sativa or Hybrid? What percentages?
Is it in Veg or Flower stage? Starting from scratch.
If in Veg... For how long? 4 weeks minimum
If in Flower stage... For how long? 55 days minimum.
Indoor or outdoor? Indoor
Space Available? 4x4x8 Mylar Tent. Budget 120$ from amazon. Just making sure it has minimum light leaks, and most important, the structure must be though to support lighting, fan and filter. Hoping to get multiple metal tubes in tent's ceiling for the needed weight support. Brands: ideas? seems that Virtual Sun is ok, but they don't ship to my country.

Soil or Hydro? Hydro

What size pot? Up until a couple of days ago I was to go with the RDWC method, covering 4 x 5 gal buckets plus one for reservoir. This method would take me a week or so to get the materials, set it up. and test for leaks. Truth is...I'm not an engineer god, and am inexperienced on this growing matter. The Guy at local store said that dwc systems are a huge pain to keep pH stable due to bubbling.. He suggested a product of their store which was a DWC with Top feed, without water aeration, as it was justified to me that the water dropping from the netpot would be enough to aerate the water. Such thing didn't make enough sense to me.
And as so, I'm building a 20-25 gal DWC "big plastic boxes" with netpot entries at the lid, applying top-feeding through a submersible pump. This will last for Vegetation, and then, for last week of veg and starting of flowering, I'll have another bucket like this, to have 2 plants per bucket, each at one side, applying constant top-feeding. (feeding intervals for vegetation??)

Lighting? Up until a couple of days ago, I was to go with the new LED technology, such as TopLed grow lights - the mars II 900w. Although their shipping rates to Europe used to be 30-35 dollars and now they escalated to 120$. And as I've read and come to the conclusion that 400-450w draw power of the model, won't bring me enough watt/ft for my 4x4 tent nor for my 4 plants during the flowering phase. FOR THAT, I'm switching to 600w MH/HPS combo set. The point is to get a dimmable ballast in order to get the MH running at lower output for early seedling phase. Thinking of going Cool-Tube + big reflector so I can have the lights closer to the ladies without burning, although the ventilation system must me adapted. I read that vent'ing hot air from inside the tent, through the cool-tube isn't very helpful.

Is it aircooled? 6'' 300 cfm inline fan. At the moment searching for silent fans due to this being a stealthgrow. Needs to fit accordingly to future installation of a Phresh Filter. Will have 1 to 2 oscillatory fans around the room for circulation.
Odor control: Will be fitting a 6x16 Phresh Filter(slightly higher cfm than 6'' fan, so I'm sure everything is getting filtered) by the flowering phase time - when the smells begin. If needed I'll pop Ona Gel.
Temp of Room/cab? To be Tested
RH of Room/cab? To be Tested
PH of media or res? Range, in theory: 5.6-6
Measuring Tools: Considering budget - ph and ppm/e.c pens + calibration solution and a regular temperature digital meter.
Any Pests ? Crossing fingers not to.

How often are you watering? For top-feed on Vegging, will be 15 minutes on each 6-8 hours. Will this suffice? REALLY NEED HELP HERE. Constant top-feed for flowering.

Type and strength of ferts used? Going to Start-off with General Hydroponics 3 part set, as there is considerable greater amount of empiric experience on these, around our community. Been wondering about Advanced Nutrients too, as they seem to deliver higher-quality results, but requires a bigger number of products . Plus Aquashield (can't find at local grow store), PH up and down, and maybe a final flowering booster.

Training Techniques: As I'm a newbie, I'll be starting with Main-Lining (consist of topping and cable training). along with some super-cropping later on to even the canopy and/or to "reveal" some branches to light, if necessary.

Hydro medium in net-pot: Rockwool-like product in center with hydroton-like (pre-washed and ph buffed) around it and a layer of it at the bottom of the netpot.

Water Movement: 1 submersible pump for each 2 plants. or 1 pump for 4 plants. But as I'll be dividing the plants from 1 bucket with 4 plants to 2 buckets with 2 plants each, I think I'll have 2 water pumps for each 2 plants (even in the veg tote) so as I move to flowering, I can have 1 water pump at each bucket to top feed. As the submersible water pump will be meant only for top-feeding purposes, what power should they have? Would 1300L/h (340 gal/hour) suffice if I choose to have 2 of these? REALLY NEED HELP ON THIS SUBJECT, only experience can tell.

Water Oxygenation: Investing in a decent pump with increased concern about noise control. 4 outlets. I'll be using 3/4 air-stones at vegging tote, and 4 (2 per tote) as I come to flowering. Is this too much of a pump for my totes? Will 4 outlet models deliver enough power to get enough bubbles going on? Should I get a bigger one (6 outlets, 12gal/min like hydrofarm)

I must apologize again for many questions, but as you can see I'm a very meticulous guy. I want my things done properly and well thought. I just hope you guys can share your 2 cents regarding any of the mentioned issues.
I'll be uploading pictures as soon as I start getting the system running and will post constant updates.

As for the next days, I'll be ordering my tent, my exhaust (fan) and assembling my lights. First point will be measuring my tap water's ppm and pH (after let for 1 day chlorine to evaporate) in order to get either Soft or Hard water nutes. After, I'll let the water bubble and be top fed without nutes or plants (pH at 5,6 altho) for at least 2 days before getting plants in. I think pH fluctuation on early stages of DWC can be due to new plastic of the totes, and so, by circulating a correct pH'ed Water before getting it running, it might even the chances of getting those Fluctuations. I've already heard, as stated before, that it's due to bubbling/diluted oxygen.

Every help will be very appreciated! I'm really eager to get to know this community and getting to share my experiences with all of you. I hope this grow turns out great for a first timer, and that it can be later used by new-comers.

Out,
Groovy Bud :Namaste:
 

Yards27

New Member
Hey Groovy, thanks for the compliments on my first grow btw. I got my buckets online by trolling around for months and finding them cheap. I believe I paid $50 bucks for the four with netpots and air pump. The air pump was a cheapy though and used my own. I'm using the Rootspa buckets which have no airstone and provides it on bubbles for oxegenation. Works fine for me so far. You seem to have it all down and will be fine. Good Luck, I'm a newbie myself so all I can say is get started and learn from your plants and research. Good Luck:roorrip:
 

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member

Yards27

New Member
Have you checked Ebay? I know they have them on there and amazon as well. Inside Europe should be plenty of buckets around imo, but i believe you. I did find these for you, but may be cheaper to make your own by just googling DIY hydro buckets.
 
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timothypaul26

Well-Known Member
I have never done hydro, but did a lot of research on aero, and it seems to me the more air you can get in the water the better off your roots will be. If they're sitting in water all of the time you will likely get root rot. Adding an air pump and a few air stoned i would think would be good insurance. Sounds like you have a pretty good plan, lets get some pica up of the setup. Good luck, I'm Subbed
 

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
Yards, as I click your link, I get 0 results, and before you gave me the link, I had already done my search. I guess there are buckets for sale around there, thing is: they don't ship to my country. Thanks anyway, much appreciated!

Timothypaul, I'm keeping my idea that, good root aeration (bubbles) + temperature check (dropping frozen bottle if neded) + Aquashield = root rot might never be an issue. Thank you for you input mate!
 

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
Really appreciated toker! This guys is pretty smart. I might tweak this guy's method for 4 buckets, maybe in a next grow. I also think this is not my 1st time watching this video, but there has been soo much information for the last 2 months, that I can no longer remember some of it. :reading420magazine:

As I'll probably be doing some nute/ppm mistakes, I rather not do them in a reservoir, and jeopardizing all my ladies. As I'm doing 2 strains, their feeding schedules and intensity may vary, and I want to try a couple of times before setting for the best hydroponic method to suit my needs.

Do you think I might fit 2 plants per 20-25 gal plastic box (1 at each end, as it is rectangular shaped)? Would there be any issues concerning root tangling or something like that?
 

toker69

New Member
That guy is really smart. His youtube has gone subscription only because of all the crazy organic growing "hydro hecklers" that were on his channel. So if you want access ya gotta pay 99 cents a month. This video was made by him, but it's not hosted on his channel tho. His channel is called "hygrohybrid" if you wanna search youtube, and signup. I think 99 cents is a great deal for all his info. Me I've seen all his videos already before he changed over. Great stuff, and all in great detail.
 

Antics

420 Member
Alright you asked for it. Here I am!

In the journal rundown, usually folks use these two fields:
If in Veg... For how long? 4 weeks minimum
If in Flower stage... For how long? 55 days minimum.
to list the current age of their plants when they start the journal, so as your grow progresses, keep a little note how long it's been going for new comers to your journal (and for your own reference, trust me, youll be glad you did it!) Especially in flower!!

For soil I would say a budget PH tester will work, but for hydro, I would strongly suggest buying a digital PH tester. PH is absolutely CRUCIAL in hydro, where in soil you have a little room to play.

If you use Ona Gel, or any odor blocker/absorber I suggest having it sit at the exhaust, and not in the same space as your plants. I know the claim to be plant safe, but I don't want to risk ruining a good harvest with those smells.

I really can't help much on the water cycling or movement questions, but I know airstones are extremely important.

I've never heard the term main-lining, but Topping/LST is an amazing way to increase your yield. Try to keep your canopy as flat as possible and you will definitely see the benefits of more budsites getting direct light.

If you haven't already, check out this topic: https://www.420magazine.com/forums/...-grow-marijuana-everything-you-need-know.html

It's a compilation of multiple forum topics all in one place, and sorted by category so it's easy to navigate around. If you can't find something or have additional questions, ask! The only stupid questions are the ones you didn't ask (and usually your plant suffers because of it!)

Good luck on the grow!
 

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
For soil I would say a budget PH tester will work, but for hydro, I would strongly suggest buying a digital PH tester. PH is absolutely CRUCIAL in hydro, where in soil you have a little room to play.

If you use Ona Gel, or any odor blocker/absorber I suggest having it sit at the exhaust, and not in the same space as your plants. I know the claim to be plant safe, but I don't want to risk ruining a good harvest with those smells.

I really can't help much on the water cycling or movement questions, but I know airstones are extremely important.

I've never heard the term main-lining, but Topping/LST is an amazing way to increase your yield. Try to keep your canopy as flat as possible and you will definitely see the benefits of more budsites getting direct light.

If you haven't already, check out this topic: https://www.420magazine.com/forums/...-grow-marijuana-everything-you-need-know.html


Good luck on the grow!

First of all, big thumbs up for coming by!

I'll definitely invest on a ph/e.c and ph pen, I'm aware of how much importance it is to be monitoring those levels. I will be checking ppm's and ph daily or even more often to get my plants to eat their nutes as much as they can, and stay intaking as much as possible by guaranteeing the pH levels between 5.5-6.

About Ona Gel, nice info there, mate! I was kinda considering where to put it when the time comes... you know.. that lovely smell that unfortunately might be dangerous if someone other than me notices it. :ganjamon:

Main-lining consist of a normal topping and training to get a 8+more main coalas from each plant. More like a combination of a 3 topping processes that accomplish geometrical effectiveness, area wise.

I'll definitely get some mean bubbles going on those big water sites. I find it a MUST!

About the 420 mega- "all you need to know"- post, Thank you for reminding me of it. I've been past it like a month ago. It sure does have a lot to dig into!

It has been so much information right now, that I might not overcharge my brain with much more methods now. It is only getting me more anxious and confused. I'm confident that 2 months of reading +3000 posts and you people's help will take this a long way.

Tomorrow I'll be making my order list and head for the road!
 

hydrofun

New Member
Nice setup and ideas. I'm a newb but I'm sure you can skip the PH up as almost no one has high acid water but if you need to go PH up just by general hydroponics ArmorSi that silicate not only boost PH way up but strengthens cell walls = fatter branches. good luck
 

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
I'll be heading for the shop tomorrow (which is today) and getting myself half-way set.
I've been searching for some ec/tds and pH meters on ebay and I'm really afraid of getting those cheap "pens" that might just take inaccurate readings and blow my whole grow away.
At the shop I can get both pens (they seem more sturdy and are ADWA) for 80 euros. From ebay, the cheap pens would be 15 euro.
Once again, I guess I'll be reaching for my pocket for more funds hopping it is for the best.
Am I doing right? :32:
 

timothypaul26

Well-Known Member
I would be afraid of the stuff on ebay as well. Might be able to find a good one on cramazon, and at least you can see the reviews. Or your shop near you may have knowledge and a decent price on a nice pen. Can always google the pen they try to sell you there and check reviews that way, and can feel more comfortable that is of good quality.
 

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
Alright then! Made my trip to the shop and it earned me the following items:

-4x4x8 tent from Hydrolab. Sturdy little thing with plenty of air intake options that can be closed easily.
-Lumatek digital 600w dimmable ballast
-400w MH Sunmaster's bulb - for a 4x4 and for the Vegging phase, I was recommended not to over kill it, and advised me that with 600wMH in late vegging I would most certainly be getting too high temperatures to control, and that for the size/area of vegging plants, there would be no need for 600w. It made me sense to me, still I would like your opinion.
-600w Sunmaster's bulb is on the way as it was out-of-stock at the moment.
-6'' extraction fan with 500m3/h (300 cfm)
-Adjust-a-wings, which is a adjustable reflector that allows widening or narrowing the light. I will be testing the temperature close to the light source to see if I get more than 26ºC (78ºF) near the plants. If so I'll be getting the cool-tube with an independent air flow applied to it.
-EC and pH measuring pens from ADWA (includes pH and EC calibration solutions)
-Thermo-hygrometer


Still left to get:
GHE 3 part Nutrients, Aquashield, and
2x 20 gal "buckets".
4x 6' Netpots
2x Water pump for the top feeding
Tubbing and Dripping tubbing
Water Pump and Airstones(x4)
Rockwool
Clay pebbles
Seeds

For the second time now, and even by consulting with a college, the people from the shop advised me once again that bubbles in the water would drastically cause a lot pH fluctuation and the top-feeding drip system would create enough oxygenation as the water splashes on the water bellow and save me the pH trouble. THIS REALLY GIVES ME HEADACHES:50: since I've read a thousand times of the importance of water bubbling to mix evenly the nutes and prevent root rot. Indeed I've also read pH fluctuations due to it, but people seem to get it stable 2-3 weeks into the grow.

Currently, my country's temperatures are kinda high, but that's less than a week away from cooling down. I hope that by that time, I have my system set up and ready to start rolling.

See you soon.:Namaste:
 

hydrofun

New Member
Well trying only a drip is dangerous from what I've read. Airstones all the way bro the more the merrier. I am using 2 4" in 1 bucket and 1 huge pancake shapped stone in the other. Yes it's tricky getting the PH right but I'm in my 3rd week and the PH has finally stabilized between 5.8 to 6.0 so was it worth going hydro? Ya and airstones as well. I have seen lots of guys on the forums say that drip doesn't allow the roots to stretch out and seek the water at the bottom of the bucket as quickly. Good luck and check me out I'm closing in getting my 3rd seed to survive (LSD Barneys Farms). Ordered my Kessil H380 tonight (ships in September!). I'll be adding that. I guess I will actually be the first person to use a Kessil H380 on weed. I wish I could rename my thread. LOL
 

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
Hydrofun, interesting that Kessel H380 LED light. Will definitely read about it.

The Dripping system would be just in order to get the roots watered up until they don't reach the water level. I might keep it on even later to have more root surface area available to water.
Just wondering, how did you water up until you had them roots submerged? Using rockwool? How did you manage not to get it too soaked nor too dry? (manual water or a timed automatic watering system)
 

hydrofun

New Member
Rockwool is easy to deal with. I just soaked them in Ph 5.8 water with 1/16 strength cloning liquid or just water. A quick soak about 3secs submerged. I usually have my seed sprouted and cut the cube open longways and carefully lay the seedling in so that the root tip is almost out of the bottom of the cube and then just (this is hydro) add extra water so that the bubbles keep the cube moist. It takes about 3 days for the root to be branched and in the water. Hope that helps. I have seen a video somewhere of a guy that put an air stone in a dirt pot and just kept it overwatered and it bubbled right up to the subsurface by dialing in the air pump strength. With hydro I don't worry about underwatering. Its all about PH and not overnutrient them to death. My hardest task is changing the water without damaging the super spaghetti root system.
 
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