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$3500 grow room budget: My dillema

optikal

New Member
Hello all.
I have been a lurker the past several months and recently decided to actually sign up and ask some questions. I have about 3500 dollars to spend on a grow room / cabinet / tent, but I have a few issues. I'll lay them out for you.
One: I live in an apartment with room mates. That kind of puts the tent out, as I would require 100% stealth.
I don't have the time nor the know-how to build a stealth cabinet. Additionally, my room mates would ask what I was doing. Because no one can mind their own #%!*#! business.

So, that puts the whole DIY thing out the window. I was thinking about getting a nice sized tent, and just doing an honest-to-god tomato grow out of the first grow, and when I move in February of 2015, I'll have a little knowledge under my belt of how LED hydroponic systems work when it comes time to grow the "real thing" when I have my OWN place. I've seen some superb grows recently. Again, though, I don't want anyone knowing I have a tent even if I am growing vegetables in it. Did I mention that people are #%!*#! nosy?! I don't want to be known as "the guy who grows vegetables in a tent in his apartment--hydroponically." Next thing you know, I'd be that person who got raided growing vegetables, and anyway, I just don't want the extra attention, legit or otherwise. Does that make sense? I don't want to fuck with nosy. That's a fight I won't win.

So, does anyone have any ideas, or does it look like I'm stuck to grow in a turn-key system (Grow Box USA has some that are looking real nice, but so expensive) for the time being? Any ideas would be a great help. How smell-resistant and loud are tent setups? If you want to take the extra time, feel free to collaborate on some stuff you would buy and put together. What would you do with $3500 if you needed a medium sized stealth grow? (I'd like at least a pound every harvest by my 3rd grow) My requirements: 100% oder-free. No exceptions. RO water. LED. Hydroponics (Ebb or DWC.) And lastly, no louder than a box fan on low. Thanks for your input!
 
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optikal

New Member
I guess I am just going to go with a tent and shrug the roommates off when they ask questions about it. They're going to have a shitload of vegetables though. If I don't make it a bigger deal than it needs to be, chances are it won't be. I'd like to start growing cannabis immediately, but it'd be good to get some practice under my belt and get the kinks all out for my first hydro cannabis grow when I move into my own place in Feb.

Now, who has the best prices? What are some suggestions for good equipment? I've also decided that I can do HPS/MH no prob...better mess with LED later. I'm going to be getting a water chiller for sure, the summer months are damn hot here. I'm looking at a 6 site 55gallon res Ebb system by a name I don't know if I'm allowed to mention or not. I'm thinking dual carbon filter, as I don't care about going over kill with that, and a 8' x 4.5' x 6.5' tent. I'm eying 2 x 1000w digital dimmable ballasts. Any other suggestions?
 

Antics

420 Member
Why do you need to grow a pound every harvest? That's a lot of Cannabis. Unless you're a caretaker, I don't see the point.

If you're going for extreme stealth, a closet grow would be better IMO. Move your clothes to an Armoire, and free up the closet. I'd ditch the HPS/MH plans, and go LED. 1000w HID will produce a lot of heat, which requires a lot of ventilation in that small area.

Keep the risk in mind also. All it takes is 1 person with loose lips to find out, and you could end up in trouble. And if these roommates aren't Cannabis friendly people, you're definitely sleeping with the enemy here.

It's not an ideal situation to meet your yield goals in my opinion. I'd scale things down and look for a couple ounces. The likelihood of seeing a pound from a tent is slim.

Spend a little time going over this topic as well: https://www.420magazine.com/forums/...-grow-marijuana-everything-you-need-know.html
It has a lot of helpful information that covers everything from lighting, growing medium, ventilation and so on..
 

optikal

New Member
Thanks for the input. To address your question: A pound isn't all that much, IMO. I don't plan on any perpetual grows, or clones for that matter. I will be going from seed to harvest to seed tp harvest. After curing properly, we're looking at at least 4 months. That's a quarter pound a month, or an ounce a week. Not a whole terrible lot for someone that's a heavy smoker, as well as my girlfriend. To be honest, I'd like to have a little stash from each grow left over, if not just a couple of ounces as well.

I see you did a CFL grow. I haven't looked at the grow yet, but I certainly will. I gotta run for now, but I'll leave you with this thought: I was entertaining the idea of using six 4 foot by 2 ft T5 Fixtures that output 40,000 lumens each. I think that'd be about the equivalent output of a 1000w HPS if im not mistaken. In a 8'x4.5' space, I would have two on either side hanging vertically and 2 on top. Essentially, the plants would be closed in. Do you think that could give good results?
 

Antics

420 Member
For a lighter smoker like me, 16 ounces is a lot. I'm only going through 1/8-1/4 per month. But now that you break it down, it doesn't seem like as much. I still have that "Hey man, can you imagine if we had a pound of weed?" Idea stuck in my head since I've never bought more than an ounce at a time.

Photo period plants will take you usually 8-12 weeks in flower time. And the longer you veg them, you can see insane yields. I have 2 CFL grows, My first grow I use autos with no training, and a couple of autos for you would help get some Cannabis faster while you Veg and Flower the Photos, then wait for the dry and cure on them. And you won't have to change your lighting schedule when the autos flower.

With 8'x4.5' you can easily hit 1lb or more. That's a lot of space. Hell, I'm a new grower and confident I could exceed 1lb with that much space. But you have a nice starting budget to work with. Have you considered using LED grow lights?
420 Magazine has several companies that sponsor them: Sponsors : 420 MAGAZINE ® And you can find a lot of those lights having amazing results and very impressive yields in grow journals. Some people have reported yields that EXCEED what they have previously grown under HID.
And with an LED you will have less heat to deal with, which means less ventilation, and will allow you to focus that $ on other equipment.

Growing with your suggested setup would help a lot, but fluorescents just aren't as efficient as HID and LED. With your budget, the first thing I'd do is go right for the higher quality lights.

You're more than welcome to check out my grows. I have a small grow in a closet, 2 plants just for personal use (and occasionally my girlfriend partakes). My last grow with autos was a little over 1/2 ounce. This grow I'm looking to double that with photo period plants, and I should easily beat my goal of doubling that previous yield.
 

optikal

New Member
Well, T5's aren't set in stone. I was thinking of going with two 432 watt 7 band LED's for the top and 2 of the t5 panels for each side. I think that'd be optimal. I'd be pushing some watts, though. That'd be 1300 watts of T5's and 864 watts of LEDs for a total of 2,165 watts, or 60 watts per square foot. I'll have about 7 feet of useable vertical height, so I also wouldn't be switching at 4 weeks. I'd let them get pretty big. I'm thinking these watts would be used a lot more effectively though, do to the arrangement of the lights. Done right, I could be looking at some serious buds. I don't know if I want to do SCRoG yet, or LST. The reason being, I have been thinking about another way of training the plants in what might possibly be a better way.

I don't know if someone can shoot any holes in why this wouldn't work, and I have searched extensively for any examples, and I couldn't find any. My idea is to use some sort of clear material, maybe glass, and lay them over the plants, and let the plants grow up to them. After they can't get through the glass for a week or so, they're going to spread themselves out. At that point, I would raise the glass another 6 inches, and keep doing that until I have a nice, thick, bushy, completely even canopy thats filled out throughout the entire grow space.. I really don't see why this wouldn't work, and it would be even less stressful than LST. I am eager to try it out. Anyone have any ideas on why this would or wouldn't work?
Thanks for the link Antics, I'll check it out.
 

Antics

420 Member
Well, T5's aren't set in stone. I was thinking of going with two 432 watt 7 band LED's for the top and 2 of the t5 panels for each side. I think that'd be optimal. I'd be pushing some watts, though. That'd be 1300 watts of T5's and 864 watts of LEDs for a total of 2,165 watts, or 60 watts per square foot. I'll have about 7 feet of useable vertical height, so I also wouldn't be switching at 4 weeks. I'd let them get pretty big. I'm thinking these watts would be used a lot more effectively though, do to the arrangement of the lights. Done right, I could be looking at some serious buds. I don't know if I want to do SCRoG yet, or LST. The reason being, I have been thinking about another way of training the plants in what might possibly be a better way.

I don't know if someone can shoot any holes in why this wouldn't work, and I have searched extensively for any examples, and I couldn't find any. My idea is to use some sort of clear material, maybe glass, and lay them over the plants, and let the plants grow up to them. After they can't get through the glass for a week or so, they're going to spread themselves out. At that point, I would raise the glass another 6 inches, and keep doing that until I have a nice, thick, bushy, completely even canopy thats filled out throughout the entire grow space.. I really don't see why this wouldn't work, and it would be even less stressful than LST. I am eager to try it out. Anyone have any ideas on why this would or wouldn't work?
Thanks for the link Antics, I'll check it out.

The glass idea doesn't sound too bad. I would make sure it doesn't block/filter UV or any specific wavelengths of light. At the same time, you also don't want it to magnify the light in any way. If the glass has any impurities, it can quickly magnify the light source and damage leaves. Other than that, the only other issues I see would be cost, and risk of injury if the glass breaks.
 

optikal

New Member
Yeah, that's why i'd probably go with thin acrylic tied down real well. That'd eliminate the risk. There would be slight uv blockage, but we're talking on a scale of 1-2.5%
 

optikal

New Member
I've thought about it some more, and it occurred to me how to reduce the already minimal impact that the acrylic would have on UV. Think of the movie theater. If you've ever been up close to a movie-projector screen, you will notice lots and lots of holes in the screen. This actually reduces the light that's reflected back to the audience, but at the same time, allows sound to pass through from the center, from behind the screne, without impedance to the audience in front. It's a classic compromise. In this case, if I were to drill multiple holes in this material, not only would more light be unimpeded, but airflow wouldn't suffer either. At the same time, there would still be that "invisible" barrier. If I don't try it, I sure hope someone else does. It deserves a go.
 

Greenthumb J

Well-Known Member
Your best bet would be a scrog made from PVC tubing. You can make it adjustable in height, multi-layered, and costs pennies on the dollar compared to a sheet of glass or acrylic. Glass and acrylic will also be much heavier and much more conspicuous to bring into your apartment

I live in an apartment as well.. Heres a suggestion (not sure if you're down for this, its a bit of an extra commitment..) if your GF doesn't live with you, move in together and get a place where you dont have nosy roommates. or get roommates that are cannabis friendly, so they can donate to your grow fund and you can in turn donate to the community med jar!!

My Gf an i live on the 11th floor of a 27 floor high rise. I have an 8'x8'x6.5' grow tent, a 4'x4'x6.5' grow tent and a 4'x'2.25'x4' self contained automated grow box all running here, as well my ensuite bathroom has my veg area with a 600w MH bulb in the bathtub on a light stand i built. 2 600w HPS in my large tent, a 165w LED i'm doing a sponsored journal on, and 800w of MH or HPS with a self ballasted 125w CFL in the grow box.

Those are my Roommates!! they pay more in rent than my old roommate ever could! And they provide my gf and myself, as well as the patients i grow for, with some top quality meds.

A grow Tent is your best way to go for a growing space. get the largest tent you can possibly fit in your space.. who needs living space anyways right? you can always hang out in the tent during the winter and catch a tan too!!

If you're doing any sort of hydro, you'll need a chiller. But if you wanna reduce the amount of tubing and hoses and all sorts of shit you have in the tent, reduce your plant count (in case you ever get an unexpected knock on the door!!) and get the most out of your space, take a look at The Capn's blog on his simple method of hydroponics.

The Capn's Guide: Simple Hydroponics

Its super easy, and its taking these forums by storm and people are pulling in some serious harvests.

Take a look through my journals if you have the time, perhaps it will give you an idea of the tent setups and all that
 

Greenthumb J

Well-Known Member
Have you looked into a BC northernlight grow box.

Don't waste your money!!!!

Read my journal with my BC Northern Lights "Producer". The thing is a $3700 hunk of useless metal and plastic piping. Gets too got inside, not enough airflow, the water reservoirs are inconvenient to change and clean, the boxes them selves are like mere inches off the ground so you're vent over, on your knees with your head in the box just trying to do some work on your plants. The hydro tub lids have the holes for the plants spaced too closely together, light penetration becomes a problem as well as adequate air circulation.

If you want a good grow cab.. Go with the super closet. The trinity 3.0 is where it at!


Ask me anything about these pieces of shit from Surrey BC and how much they cost when you could build the same thing for 1/4 the price..


Just stick with a tent!
 

armoire grow

New Member
Don't waste your money!!!!

Read my journal with my BC Northern Lights "Producer". The thing is a $3700 hunk of useless metal and plastic piping. Gets too got inside, not enough airflow, the water reservoirs are inconvenient to change and clean, the boxes them selves are like mere inches off the ground so you're vent over, on your knees with your head in the box just trying to do some work on your plants. The hydro tub lids have the holes for the plants spaced too closely together, light penetration becomes a problem as well as adequate air circulation.

If you want a good grow cab.. Go with the super closet. The trinity 3.0 is where it at!


Ask me anything about these pieces of shit from Surrey BC and how much they cost when you could build the same thing for 1/4 the price..


Just stick with a tent!

Thanks for the Input. figured I thought that they would be top of the line, but you answer all my questions. I'm a DYI guy, heck that why I made my box. As I started to encounter problem like heat, airflow in my box I was able to find a fixed for it. I keep wondering how the folks@ bc encounter these problems, only thing I ever saw on their website is to store in cold location. one question I would have where is the air intake located on this bc box and what CFM.
 
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