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First Time Grower, jumping right in w/ Titan hydro

Treehorn

New Member
Got the desire to grow, so with a supportive wife and Craigslist and a few bucks, I got myself a 5 x 5 tent, 1000w Light and ballast, The Titan System with expansion (18 sites, I am using only 6) and seems everything is working and waiting on beans in 'plain brown wrapper' as they say.

Selected bean strains are:
(all fems)

Afgan Kush
THC Bomb
Red Dragon
BC Kush
Pineapple Kush
Dark Devil
NYC Diesel
(and 2 free ones, yet to arrive with the others)


Some questions:

> With six sites, which six play well together, if there is such a thing?

> When we got the Titan System, the guy had soil mixed in with mostly hydroton pellets. I am washing the pellets as I think they are good in that they don't 'wear out' (correct?) and opting to go pure hydro with none of that guys soil in the mix. While he said they root faster, I'm not comfortable using his mix as I cleaned every part of the system before putting it together (its was filthy) Question is, should I go pellets totally? (no Soil?) Afterall, I AM trying to do a hydro system.

>I got a HPS light in the deal. 1000 Watt. When I set the ballast to 'Super Lumen' it really got bright. I understand that HPS lamps are best for flowering. Should I consider another blub for the veggie stage?

> Titan comes with this badass Breaking Bad esque 55 gal drum. Do I need to fill it all the way up for just 6 sites?
Would it help if I introduced C02 via an air stone planted in the drum with the water?

> Which nutes might you suggest?


Thanks in advance for your help and comments. I've looked and read everything about this I can get my hands on. I've found this forum to be the most active and complete and look forward to much info from the forum.

:thanks:
Jackie Treehorn
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
If you happen upon a YouTube grower named HygroHybrid, you will likely be watching his RDWC series. Therein he purports to harvest a pound from each of his 2 sites. His system circulates nearly 60 gallons for 2 plants and I don't recall him using a float valve on his res. The plants do consume a good amount of water, but they only consumed less than half.
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
I have been lead to believe that HGHB may have had some discrepancies with his grow, but the intended point that plants consume a lot of water in a DWC/hydro setup is what was meant to be implied.
 

Treehorn

New Member
discrepancies? I wonder what kind you can have. It works or it doesn't, but the point being, it takes a lot of water. I found his use of air stones under the mesh pots interesting. Better I suppose then air stones in the 55 gal tub, which would not reach the roots as well as demonstrated in the video.
 

AfricanGrower

New Member
How's it going Tree? Welcome to the site with your first post being the start of a wonderful, laborious, frustrating, exciting thing we call a Grow Journal! I hope you can learn all there is to growing with this journal, and I'm sure we will all be there every (mostly ;)) step of the way!

Now I myself just started my first 'Hydro' grow, but I have experience with soil grows in the past. I'll try my best to answer any questions you have, and hopefully some other more experienced hydro growers will chime in!

>>>With six sites, which six play well together, if there is such a thing?

In my experience I have never grown more than 1 strain at a time, but based on phenotypes of each specific plant, I don't think cannabis is a VERY needing plant to the point where it will compete for food with other plants needing the same required nutrients. But for example if you stuck a plant that uses more of a ratio of micro-nutrients (Boron, Manganese, Iron, etc) than a cannabis plant, then you might see some deficiencies start to form in the cannabis. But of course this is all theory based on research I have done, as I have never attempted to grow other plants in the same res as my cannabis. So all in all, you should not have a problem with nutrient availability correlate with strain type. However, you might get some pheno's that have 'bushier' or 'taller' characteristics, in which all you have to do is adapt your plants to its environment by methods of LST, HST, or even defoliating.

>>> When we got the Titan System, the guy had soil mixed in with mostly hydroton pellets. I am washing the pellets as I think they are good in that they don't 'wear out' (correct?) and opting to go pure hydro with none of that guys soil in the mix. While he said they root faster, I'm not comfortable using his mix as I cleaned every part of the system before putting it together (its was filthy) Question is, should I go pellets totally? (no Soil?) After all, I AM trying to do a hydro system.

You are correct in that hydroton pellets can be reused over again between grows. Washing them thoroughly in warm water to get any soil/rootmass out, then washing them in a strong disinfectant/bacteria killer like H202.I have read though that hydroton CAN break down after repeated use and could become more problematic to disinfect in the future. Is hydroton the only medium compatible with the Titan system? If it is the 'Flo-n-Gro" system, than check out this thread of a grower's experience with it: my-first-grow-ever-ebb-flow-hydro-grow-romulan-chem-4-qrazy-train

I also assume you have researched the potential problems you can have going into a hydro setup? The most prominent is pythium, or root disease as its known. Not having the correct environment dialed in before starting might leave you worse off. I suggest you read this article about Pythium control and the benefits of having live bacteria (YES, actual bacteria, but don't worry these are good for your plants) to prevent pythium rather than trying to sterilize everything.

>>>I got a HPS light in the deal. 1000 Watt. When I set the ballast to 'Super Lumen' it really got bright. I understand that HPS lamps are best for flowering. Should I consider another blub for the veggie stage?

Yes that HPS technically could be used for vegetative growth as well, but will cause more 'stretch' than 'bush' and you want to get your girls to fill up as big a footprint as possible before going into flowering. As Rico mentioned, using CFLs for veg works perfectly well, and the low heat output is a great plus to CFLs as you can put your seedlings closer to the light for more compact growth! I have always used the 23 watt CFLs, and realized (after another grower on this site pointed out) that the 23w has the best ratio of watts to lumens, making them the most effective.

> >>Titan comes with this badass Breaking Bad esque 55 gal drum. Do I need to fill it all the way up for just 6 sites?
Would it help if I introduced C02 via an air stone planted in the drum with the water?



Yes this is sounding more and more like the Flow-n-Grow system that I mentioned previously. To answer your question, no you do not have to keep the res 100% full. It really depends on how much water your plants drink a day. Right now my plants drink about 1/2 gallon of water a day and they are only 5 weeks old. SO I doubt they will need 55 gallons worth of res, unless you will be willing to spend the extra money on nutrients to fill up that res every time you change it, which will be weekly to help prevent and deficiencies.

Adding CO2 to your nutrients is not the most ideal thing to do. Although plants use CO2, they only use it during photosynthesis, meaning they mostly absorb it through their foliage while the lights are on. Putting CO2 into the root system won't do much for the plant overall, so your best choice for providing more CO2 would be a DIY CO2 generator or a Co2 tank w/ regulator and just sticking that in your grow room/tent during your day cycles.

>>> Which nutes might you suggest?

This all comes down to personal preference. Many will recommend all types of nutrients that are BEST for growing, but it all comes down to which are easier for YOU to adapt to. I would stay with the big brands you hear like GH, AN, and Humboldt. I use FF, but only temporarily as I would like to switch to an organic line of nutrients. The most I can say is do you research and find out what others have the best experience growing with, based on all factors.

I hope I answered a lot of your questions and I hope I brought up some questions you should be pondering on until your beans arrive. It's an exciting process, starting a grow. I wish you the best of luck ;)
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
Great post AG! +REPs for being neighborly.

Tree, have you considered cloning? I also have beans en route, THC Bomb being one of my selections. I am likely gonna pop one of those first as I got 3 of those Feminized. With cloning, I can veg out the mother to a comfortable size and take cuttings when she's big enough to handle the loss (maybe 3-4 weeks in). After mom has recovered from that, I can send her into flower while vegging her clones. This way you can have one plant harvest and roughly 6 to go into flower, all of the same strain.

Being a new grower myself, I had recently failed miserably with a 7 plant grow. Initially I had a single plant in soil (bag seed) and this was technically my first grow. I introduced it to every stressful situation imaginable b/c I was such a novice. By the end of my grow, I had that single plant in soil in late veg/early flower, as well as a 6 site 3 gallon ebb & flow/aeroponic hydro. Those 6 sites were then divided with 2 sites for clones, and the other 4 sites for newly sprouted beans (all bag seed). During this grow I stumbled upon a thread here on 420 that suggested it would be helpful to included H2O2 into the regimen and shortly thereafter problems ensured. All 6 plants began to develop Lo Mein looking roots that quickly turned into pythium. Doing the extent of research I had done quickly lead me to believe that this was not a battle I was prepared to fight so I chopped all 6 and scrapped the hydro part of the grow. A week later, my monstrous mother plant turned out to be a male.

To summarize this all up, as a new grower I implore you to simplify your grow as much as you possibly can to increase your chance for success. My next grow will be "The Capn" style "simple hydroponics" top feed to waste in rock wool cubes (croutons). How to: Simple Hydroponics <---This is a link to his thread. Knowing the things this recent failed grow has taught me, simplify when at all possible. High res temps are the likely culprit that killed my hydro grow, and not being in the position to remedy this, I am moving away from every form of hydro that requires a cold res. The Simple Hydro method does not require a chilled res. It also uses a live res so I won't be troubled trying to find the balance for a functional sterile environment.

Growing 6 different strains at the same time for your very first grow in a system that you have never used, the most unforgiving of any kind of growing system, I promise you will come across issues that will gray your hair out. I am not trying to sway you away from hydro, I am also a fan of it's ability to surpass soil grows in production. Just want you to also know that the more complications in the system will equate to more complications in the solution to problems that WILL arise.
 

Treehorn

New Member
I have considered using clones but not available here without Johnny Law asking questions... So with that in mind and time and desire in hand, I will take on the challenges. With the help of my research and the help of the online community, I am confident the learning curve may be steep but not impossible. As soon as I in place and my grow begins in a few days, I hope to start a journal and we can all see what happens. Just imagine how cool it would be to enjoy what I hope will be more than beginners luck. But if luck is all I end up with, I'll take it.
 

Treehorn

New Member
ok so.. we are a few weeks in... we got through germ and into Rapid Root blocks:

Then not too far after that, I put the blocks into some clay balls and uped the lights:

For just over two weeks out into the world, I guess I should be happy. I ended up with 5 babies. All seemingly doing well.

I used a mild solution of Rapid Start with good results:rip: (in that I didn't kill them.)

They get a little spray of Co2 charged water a couple times a day and still on the Rapid Start diet. But my questions are:
A) I see people post about not watering every day. Should I skip a day and let them dry out? That freaks me out a little, so someone tell me its alright as i know we non experienced growers tend to overwater.
B) When might I consider Nutes:MoreNutes: and what would work best for this simpleton. I am thinking letting these guys grow into the 4" post for a few weeks and feed and water PRN before going into perm buckets for titan system.


:thanks:
Thanks in advance for all the great reading and intel in this forum.
 

AfricanGrower

New Member
:cough: IT IS FINALLY HERE :)

Nice setup Tree, +reps for a very clean and positive start to a grow!

Over watering usually shows its face upon the new grower when starting in soil, from my own experience. IT takes much longer for soil to dry out compared to other soiless mediums, restricting the flow of oxygen to the roots.

Since you are going to be using a Ebb&Flow system and hydroton will be your main media, it is definitely okay to water once a day at this early stage. If you have a look in my journal, I replace your hydroton with rockwool minicubes for the fact they retain water a little better. In fact in hydroton I think you might dry out the roots before anything if you wait a few days before watering.

Now at since they are still in the rapid rooters, they have some medium to hold in moisture other than the hydroton, so I would only lightly mist the top of the rootplugs to ensure the plant doesn't dry up. As soon as those roots leave the plug and into the hydroton, it is safe to start watering once a day. A month or two down the road your ladies will be gulping up so much water they will need 3-4 feeds a day (I have seen as much as 6 feeds a day in hydroton). The neat thing about the minicbes I am using is that I only will have to water TWICE a day at the most due to its retention capabilities!

As for the nutes. I think you should be safe with starting out at 1/8 strength doses after the first 2 weeks. In my case, my seedlings starting showing signs of deficiencies shortly after this period. Always remember since you are in a soiless medium to always use 5ml/gal of CaMg especially in early growth, as these two deficiencies tend to knock on every hydro grower's door!
 

AfricanGrower

New Member
No Prob Tree, glad I can be of help ;)

I have the General Hydroponics brand of CaMg, but any brand will do for this purpose. And I think it will now be safe to water the rootzone once a day since you have roots poking out. In a bout a week or less I would even consider moving up to flooding the root zone once a day.
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
CaMg is made by General Organics (the organic line of General Hydroponics). CalMag I think is Botanicare and I'm willing to bet most of the top brands each have their own CalMag supplement, each accomplishing the same thing, to get calcium and magnesium into the feed regimen. I am also a newb, so my knowledge is limited, but it is widely taught that when using Reverse Osmosis or Distilled wat, a CalMag supplement is needed as those elements are filtered out. My understanding is that tap water has cal & mag in it already.
 

AfricanGrower

New Member
My understanding is that tap water has cal & mag in it already.
This may be somewhat true, but as far as I know, Calcium and Magnesium supplements are always needed in a soilless medium. I think it has to do with soil already having the capability to store MICRO nutrients longer than any soilless mediums. I use tapwater and I still add 5ml/g of CaMg everytime I feed.

>>>Im seeing a bit of yellowing happen a a couple of the babies.. will that help me?

Depending on where the yellowing is taking place. If it is starting to yellow from new growth outward then you may be facing a Mg def. If the spaces between your veins are yellowing then you might be facing a Ca def. If the plant is yellowing from the bottom, older leaves UPWARD then you may be facing a Nitrogen def. nitrogen deficiencies almost always show the possibility of underfeeding later in growth.

Here are what my seedlings looked like the first two weeks I watered with just plain tapwater and no type of supplements.



Notice the yellowing from the center, and overall the pale yellow color of the leaves. When coupled with both Ca and Mg deficiencies, you can also start to notice your leaves feeling like glass, more of a rough, hard glass than the leaf's natural smooth, soft surface.

Also a good sign of a Mg def is by the curling of the leaves as you see as well.

Here's what it looks like on a little bit older of a plant.



Compared to what new growth is sUPPOSED to look like below:

 
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