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1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Special

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
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! :439:

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 07:28:08 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.
 
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Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

OK everyone...I figured out how to get around the safe mode issue by emailing the pics to myself (instead of uploading from my phone) and took it from there, so here's some pics of what's going on...

First...I built a housing for the fan and to help further cut down on noise I glued some foam to the inside of the housing:



another view:



Sorry I don't have pic's of me building the cabinet, but was too busy working to take pics and the 3/4" melamine is heavy stuff!

Here's what the finished cabinet looks like placed into the closet. I've taken the closet doors off to give a better view:



And here's what the cabinet inside looks like:



On the top-left you can see the carbon filter hanging, which I'll hook up once I start needing it. On the top-right, you can see the fan housing:



The left side is for flowering, and that's where I have the UFO with the additional CFL's for side lighting:



And, on the right side I have the DIY bubble cloner where right now I have the PE and KS germinating under the humidity dome with 24/0 lighting. The light is about 6 inches above the cloner, but I'll move it closer a couple of days after they sprout (hopefully soon!):



And finally, here's what the closet looks like all closed up WITH the cabinet inside & running:



It's virtually silent from just about all of the main areas of the house, BUT, instead of putting a hole in the closet and venting through there, I'm just venting into the closet, so even with the central A/C, I'm getting temp's as high as 84*...I'll need to work more on ventillation.

That's about it for now...hopefully I get some sprouts soon and can update with some GOOD pics! :)
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

It's been a little more than 72 hours since I began germination and nothing yet. It does look like the PE may be trying to push its way up. Is it true that if you check them every 10 minutes, they germinate faster? :)
 

decrimCA

New Member
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

Wow - great details in this post. Thanks for sharing this.

I like the setup: Advanced Nutrients Grow/Micro/Bloom plus Bud Candy, Big Bud & Overdrive.

I would just suggest that you add Voodoo Juice to the mix, maybe some B-52 and you'll be in business. Well, that's what I use along with your chosen nutes, but I use Sensi A&B.

Can't wait to see how this one goes.

And yes, germination does go faster when you check on your plants every ten minutes. :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

DecrimCA, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the advice. I've looked at the Voodoo juice and everyone says great things about it, but it's a little pricey. I do have some Superthrive & Hygrozyme which I think will help with root production and will probably spring for some Voodoo juice once I get a harvest or two under my belt. I'm going to try to keep this posts as detailed as possible (partly, so I can go back and reference for my next grow) and I'll keep the pic's coming as we get more progress. Best!
 

jcool09

New Member
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

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 have been using two of the Lowes cabinets for a little over a year. I have a 3'x1.5'x6' for flower and a 2.5'x1.5'x6' for veg/males/clones/moms etc. and they have held up pretty well. I also did a lot of research before I started but I was not properly prepared for the heat and odor problems. The carbon scrubber is likely not going to cut it- I would discuss your specific environment with an expert at your local hydro store if you can. Nothing sucks more than to find out the hard way and then scramble to make modifications while your grow is offline (been there). I asked about carbon scrubbers but was told that the only solution in a closed area that would remove odor completely was an ozone generator. Unfortunately it only worked when it was physically located in the cabinet and set to run long enough that it also caused plant damage. The only way I could deal with the odor and heat was to get the air completely out of the cabinet and the room.

The following was the solution that worked for me. The bottom/first shelf of my cabs are 4" off the floor so I was able to cut out the middle section for ventilation intake leaving a 4" perimeter around the edges to provide footing for the plastic storage shelf units (from HD) that fit inside perfectly. I have a 4" flexible duct mounted on he top rear of the cabinet that has a T that provides a raw intake and also connects to the hood of my 250w MH/HPS lamp. The 4" duct runs through the wall in to the attic above where a 6" duct booster in-line fan creates suction and then exhausts into an eave with a soffit vent to get the air and humidity outside. With the help of some weatherstripping and the insulation foam I have made the doors and sides light and airtight so the negative pressure created by the duct fan create a cool air flow from the botom of the cabinet and no odor escapes into the room. This system worked reliably through the 14 weeks of my SLH grow. The room would be odor free until I opened the cabinet. I used the ozone generator in the open room to remove the odor while I was lovin' on my ladies.

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 discovered these at the beginning of my 09/2009 grow and had very poor results. This grow was a failure but I learned a lot. You can see the early versions of my cabinet and shelving design. I followed it up with a very productive SLH grow that I decided not to journal due to time constraints. I hope you have better luck than I did with the STG, I look forward to some pics when your babies sprout. If you do have trouble and are looking for something else my local hydro store has what they call "super starter plugs" that are sold individually out of a plastic bag behind the counter. They're made from a brown organic material that is rubbery and pre-moistened. They retain a perfect moisture balance for starting seeds; I have had nearly perfect results so I'll never go back to using anything else. I'm currently doing a Lowryder2 soil grow- I linked to your journal from Dr. Feelgood's LED / autoflower grow. I'm interested to see how these new LED lights work out. You've got me hooked, I'm going to sit back and enjoy your journal and hopefully learn a few things myself. :popcorn:
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

JCool, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the tips. I just read through your entire first journal and perhaps I'm making some of the same mistakes. On the STG starter cubes, I've basically had these under 24/0 lighting since 36 hours after first starting germination. I'm also probably guilty of messing with them too often. :)

I've also used quite a bit of weatherstripping to get negative pressure in the cab and during flower, I plan on adding some ONA and hoping that with only one plant (depending on pheno), the odor won't get too bad, but certainly acknowledge I'll need to work on my ventillation and probably drill through the closet wall or ceiling to vent.

Again, I really appreciate the helpful advice and expect it will take a few grows to get it "dialed in". I'm also looking forward to see how the LED performs for flower.

It's good to have you in for the ride!
 

turttle

New Member
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

Nice mr krip.I like your set up.In my opinion this is the best way to go.Quality is best done with your own two hands and yours is basic well hidden and blends in with your home like its ment to be there.Awsome.:thumb:
If your interested in the leds be carefull there are only a hand full that work.I would recomend GLH 300 watt 12 band unit.Runs about 700 if you mension Irish boy.This light has gone threw many grows on these forums and seem watt for watt equal to hps but plants are a lot healthyer and picture purfect.Another one would by hydroponics hut with 7 band.I ran a couple of there 90 watt units and they did ok but I traded them in for a hh250 watt which I am in the process of seeing how well it holds up.:peace2:
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

Guys,

Thanks for the good words. I've been watching both your grows hoping to learn from the experienced.

Which brings me to my update...

It's now been 5 days since I put the seeds into the STG cubes and they still haven't broken the surface. JCool warned about having bad luck with STG and warned against messing with them too much, but, since I was getting impatient, I had to mess with them a little...

I took a sterilized tweezers and gently started pulling back the fibers on the STG cube. I think they were too tight to allow the seeds to easily break surface. Once I pulled them back to "loosen" the material, I gently recovered the seedlings.

The PE seed was just below the surface and I was careful not to complete expose either seed completely. I can't really tell what's going on with that one just yet, but it does seem to be close to the surface.

The KS seed was definately further down than the PE BUT as I was pulling back the fibers, I could see some green (unlike the PE which still appeared brownish), so I do think I will get at least one viable sprout.

If I don't see them break surface in the next 48 hours, I'm gonna start germinating a couple more seeds as a backup plan.

I'm getting pretty anxious here! :)
 

turttle

New Member
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

I have been having issues with starting seeds in rock wool my self.For cloning it works great but I think I keep drowning the seeds possibly as RW holds to much moisture.I have better luck if I sit the RW on a tray with heat matt.Also what I did with my new seeds I am just starting is I cut a middles portion of the rock wool out and filled it with starter soil.So far I think this works better for me.:peace:
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

Turttle, thanks for the tip. I'm definately going to start my seeds differently next time, but I haven't totally given up on the STG yet. On this round, I didn't soak the seeds in water at all or wait for a developed taproot before placing in the STG cubes. I just put them in a well-saturated STG cube, then put it in a humidity dome on a head mat for 36 hours. After 36 hours, I put the cubes into some STG inserts that hold the cubes and fit into netpots in my cloner. I put the water level about an inch or so above the bottom of the netpots figuring it would keep the bottom moist and help drive the roots down. I've also been supplementing with light surface misting when I no longer see condensation on the humidity dome.

From my "minor surgery" last night, it appeared that both seeds were taking, but they were having problems poking though the small center hole in the STG cube. They looked to be surfacing just off-center and were having trouble making it though the "skin" that covers the cube around the center hole.

Last night, shortly after my last post, I got a closer look at what was going on and then took some small (sterilized) scissors and cut back the skin of the STG cube making an area where the seeds could more easily emerge. I made sure the fibers weren't too "tight" and gently recovered the seeds by pulling some surrounding fibers back over. I also raised the light about to about 12" to try to encourage some stretching.

When I checked them this morning, they looked good and like they're just poking through now. I'll take some pics later and post them tonight.

I saw this really great method of germination I'm going to try next time...

I wish I could find the link so I could post it, but essentially, the guy makes a small tube out of a 4x4 piece of sandpaper that he rolls up & tapes. He puts the seeds in the tube and shakes the tube lightly for about two minutes to scuff the outside of the seeds. This supposedly thins the shell and helps them absorb water and break out easier. He then soaks the scuffed seeds for about 8 hours, then takes the seeds and puts them in a kitchen strainer (mesh screen bottom). He then wraps a wet towel completely around the strainer and puts it in a sink with the faucet set to just a drip (literally one drop every few seconds or so, just to keep the towel moist). That way, the seeds don't drown, either. He used older seeds that were stored in a freezer to show the effectiveness of the technique and in 36 hours had something like a 94% germination rate, even with the old seeds.

In any event, I think it might be better to get the taproot going before putting in the starter cubes. I always thought people did this because they didn't want to waste a cube if the seed didn't germinate, but I can see the advantages of getting to line up the seedling a more optimal way in the cube once it has a taproot.
 

Ultrabudda

Member
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

Try a paper towel, fold over twice, place in plastic bag in a warm dark place. Just add enough water to wet the towel "not too much".:wood: In a few days you should see seeds open. :peace:
 

Mr. President

New Member
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

Everything is looking great can't wait till you have some plants growing in that fine system you have there.
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

OK...updated pic time...not that there's much to show yet...

First, I moved the seedlings to the Waterfarms today...they are just starting to really break surface. I think my surgery last night paid off.

Here's the PE:



And a closeup of the PE:



And here's the KS:



If you look close, you can see the green in the KS...it's not quite as visible in the pic. You can also see how I enlarged the center opening to give it an easier time breaking through:



Merry X-Mas to all!
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

Merry X-Mas Everyone,

I got the best present this morning from Santa....I'm now the proud father of two bouncing baby girls. I'm gonna name them Kandy (Kannabia Special) and Pixie (Pineapple Express).

Here's some baby photos taken shortly after the birth...

First Kandy:





And Pixie:





I did start germinating one of the LSD seeds last night in case one of the girls didn't make it. I'm definately not gonna have room for all three, so, I'll probably need some plan if the LSD takes also...I may have to give one away to a friend to raise and it will probably be Kandy since she came from the free seed...although, since I still have another 4 PE seeds, maybe Pixie?

Anyways, if I had any cigars, I'd be passing them out! :)
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

Just starting Day #3. Pixie is already starting to show her first set of jagged leaves. Kandy is a little further behind, and I still have the LSD seed germinating.

Here's the latest pics before I ask for some opinions...

Kandy:



Pixie (see the new leaves?):



OK...so here's my dilemma...

I'd really like a perpetual grow of BOTH the Pineapple Express and LSD, but my veg area is only 2' x 2' and my flower area is the same size.

I know the SOG guys will tell me I can get 10 plants in that space, but I was really on planning flowering only one plant at a time and using LST & topping to maximize yields.

I guess the real question is how would you guys best use that space to keep a perpetual of both the PE & LSD with maximum yields?

The only plan I've been able to come up with is to harvest every four weeks (originally, I was planning 8 weeks, since I was only going to flower one at a time). After two weeks into Flower, I would take clones of the plant which would root for two weeks, and veg for another six weeks, before flowering for 8 weeks.

If I start flowering the second strain four weeks after the first then followed the same schedule/process of taking clones after two weeks into flower, then I could harvest a different strain every four weeks.

Other than the logistical challenges of more frequent moves, res fills, etc. the only real issue I see is space and lighting. In a 2' x 2' space, would flowering two plants that are four weeks apart raise or lower the potential yield? Presumably I would need the light some minimum distance from the TALLEST plant, so I'm concerned that the plant that's 4 weeks behind would be somewhat light-deprived for its first four weeks of flower (then, the other would be harvested and it would become the tallest).

I'd really love to get some suggestions on how you would all handle a perpetual grow of two strains with this space.

Any/all input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

trailblazer

New Member
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

hey man i love compact grows and this is really interesting. However i would be more patient with the rate of growing and make sure the lights are close, i had mione at your stage about three inches away from the light however mine are cfl, and they took a long time to get any where near the height of what they should be because of my lack of actual grow knowledge! SO i simplified and took it as it came. within that space i would keep two plants at the same rate, having two or more plants doing different things is not a good move.

keep it up you have a lot of good equipment here and its going well! good luck!
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Re: 1st Time Stealth DIY Cabinet Grow- Hydro/T-5/LED Pineapple Express & Kannabia Spe

Motion...thanks for stopping by and for the advice. I do have my lights right on top of the plants (basically, as close as I can without worrying about burning, or the water splashing back up on the lights possibly bursting them!).

And, I do need to plead guilty of being impatient, but, sometimes it pays off. Even though it can take up to two weeks for seeds to germinate, it has been my experience that you'll normally see something happening in a week. It was clear that both seedlings were having problems getting through the STG cubes and I'm confident that if I didn't "mess with them" I would have lost both seeds. I either planted them too far down, or in the wrong direction, or something, but they were both growing into the sides of the STG cube instead of out of the top. You can see how quickly Pixie has developed since I made the adjustments. Kandy, I think, is a little stunted...she was unable to grow through the top of the STG cube and had started to reverse directions, so her taproot appears to be U-shaped, which is why she is much smaller. Most likely, she'll be replaced with the LSD that's germinating now, and I think I've learned a lot about germination from the last mistakes! :)

Your suggestion to flower both at the same time is really a very good one! I wouldn't expect I'd get less of a yield than flowering only one (possibly less per plant, but not overall) and it would certainly be much easier to manage the schedules. I know you can grow the plants pretty big with these Waterfarms so was a little concerned about having two mature plants in there, but again, it can't be any less yield than only one...I just need to keep them smaller.

When you have a chance, Google "Scottyballs Waterfarm" and look for his " Pineapple Express G13 Lab's seed to harvest" journal...it's on another site, so don't want to put a link to it, but it will give you a great idea of what these Waterfarms can produce.

Also, I stopped by and read your grow journal...you're due for an update! Best wishes for a successful grow and I'll keep checking it.
 
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