Hellos all around from Switzerland


New Member
Hello folks

New here and following the SOP.... so yeah...HELLO!!!!

I go by the name of Jeff and live in Switzerland (wondering if there are any other fellow CHers on here), I have always been intrigued by growing cannabis but never bit the bullet....till today....

I throw myself in this adventure not so much for the harvest (partly lying) but rather for the whole experience of growing and keeping a living organism happy and healthy...at least until I shred it for harvest...

In fact I have always had a love for all things living, except certain humans at times. for those of you who know what it means, im the happy owner of 450 L. reef tank. This makes me no stranger to "chasing numbers" and keeping parameters in check, adding supplements and in fact I rather enjoy it oddly enough....

but enough about me, lets talk about my (first) setup.

Growing space:
small white wooden cabinet, about 43 cm wide,30 cm deep and 128 cm tall

6 x 21 actual watt=100 equivalent 2500k 1400lumen CFL (126 total watts)
6 x 23 actual watt=110 equivalent 2700k 1570lumen CFL (138 total watts)
which gives me a total of 264 watts (BOOYAH!!)

Strain and number of plants:
1 x Northern lights

Growing method:
from seedling

Ventilation and filter:
1 x 105m3/h 100mm VKO winflex (intake)
1 x 185m3/h 125mm VKO winflex (exhaust sucking air through...)
1 x 400m3/h 125mm PHRESH carbon filter.


I finished setting up the lights today but now that its done I fear a fire hazard, ill post pictures later but hopefully you will understand what i mean.

the bulbs are alined next to each other pointing in opposite directions in lines of 6. they are placed horizontally, so part of the bulb is pretty much touching the compressed wooden support that holds them. now iv drilled 5 1cm holes right where the bulbs are in hope that it would be enough to vent the hot air upwards but i can't help sketching out.

I plan to add a small ventilator inside the cabinet somehow that will hopefully help relieve the heat build up as well. keep in mind i havent run my lighting schedule yet so I have no idea how the "wood" will react with a 18/6 schedule but hopefully you folks can give me some insight.

secondly, though I enjoy the smell of a healthy female I would rather limit the propagation of said smell in the room. do you all think the ventilation/carbon filter is adequate? I realise its near impossible to eliminate the smell entirely unless you're venting outside a window, but thats not my case....

thirdly, my tap water tests out at 7.8 Ph. since im using soil, should I be concerned in lowering my Ph?

and lastly...I think.... the usual noob question....do I have enough light for my futur ladies?

I have a ton of other questions regarding mother plants and clones but that will be for a different time.

Thank you all in advance and glad to be on board!!!!!

P.s an extra thank you for the experienced growers who will probably be repeating themselves for the billionth time...I know the feeling
Welcome SS! :thumb:
A picture would help a lot. CFLs run pretty cool. I'd be surprised if you have a fire hazard, but better to be safe than sorry.
12 CFLs for a single plant? Sounds like pletny, but I would shoot for 6500k for the veg phase, at least.
What size pot? In soil, I don't worry much about PH. At 7.8, I'd leave it alone. IDK what to recoomend for smell since you already have a carbon filter - other than a bigger, better one.
You should consider starting a journal. You will get more assistance, make more friends, and we appreciate the entertainment. :cheesygrinsmiley: :high-five:
Salute major.

I plan in keeping her in a 14l. Pot 28.5x28.5x28.5 when she will be about 2 weeks old and has finished sprouting calmly, Im in no hurry.

hmmm seems I can't upload photos yet?...that or I'm internetly challenged....
Welcome Swissgeek! Coudln't resist and I dont' find it unnatural at all to be comforted by numbers and details. :thumb:

For your setup from your description here's a couple things that pop into my mind.

A intake fan won't be neccessary, if your exhaust fan is anemic, make a push/pull exhaust. You want negative pressure in your grow box so the smell all goes through the carbon filter. The intake fan would be better served inside the grow box just circulating the air around. This keeps co2 moving around the plants, and can help them get stronger due to the breeze. I'm not up to converting at the moment, but a small grow box should be fine with a 4inch exhaust and filter, especially a phresh which as supposed to be very good. I have a 8inch vortex fan 440cfm and a 18" scrubber and I can't smell a thing from three plants at the end of flower till I open the door, and I vent to right outside the box. As long as you don't push smells out with a intake fan you should be fine on odors. I'm in um. 75cubic feet, 3x5x5feet. And my fan is at probably 60%.

For your ligihts, and cfls' I tend to believe that you should look at lumens and not watts. The whole discussion of that makes my head hurt, but in my mind I've boiled it down like this:
CFLs have so little light 'strength' or legs, and that watts are typically 'equivelents', leaving the only real number of lumens. And 10,000lumens (per sqfoot?) is typically considered sunlight level.

HID/HPS can talk watts because the light is so much more powerful than a CFL and will reach farther.

LED can talk watts or par, since like HID/HPS, is a much father reaching light.

The cfl's useful range for your plant is like 4-5inches max, down to just not touching the bulb itself. So the amount of light you will have 'right over' your plant is to my mind easiest calculated by lumens.

That may sound overly simplified, and it is. There's tons of other things I find more important than geeking over light spectrum at this point.

So 6 23w cfls per plant or 1-2 square feet should be fine. 12 bulbs will be plenty for one or two plants in a small space. Quite alot. For temps of the bulbs, with so many, you'd want 5000-6500k for veg (6500 best but 5k works), and I'd toss in a couple 2700K bulbs just to give more comprehensive light. You can spare the extra lumens. And for flower, switch the bulbs. 90% 2700k bulbs and a few 5000-6500's to keep your flower stretch to a minimum.

For venting the heat from the bulbs, a small hole over the bulb itself will work, but I also make sure the ballasts on the bulbs is vented so none of that makes a heat blanket below the reflector. And there is no risk of fire unless you line your box with fluffed cotton or other highly flammable materiel. But the light is hot enough to burn and kill a leaf or coala top touching it within minutes, maybe seconds (yes I take over paranoid stance when it comes to protecting coalas!).

The Major seems ph gifted from reading his other posts, he has the best luck regarding that. I don't. But a high 7's ph in soil is a guaranteed lockout of iron and magnesium. You will have to adjust that down into the 6.5 range for your plants. Soil is easy to control and forgiving with good nutes, but starting high 7's, you will have problems if you don't correct this.

This is a great place for info and you should get all the answers you'll need.

To upload photos just follow the link on the bar above, it's pretty self explanitory. You've check this instruction too yes?

My inner macgyver wasn't happy until I went to hydro. Not enough numbers in soil, and it's too slow. This will make sense when you look into clones~

Welcome to the party!
thx for the replies folks! ill up load some pics to the gallery later today, need to transfer them from my phone first. the bulb story is reassuring....

Iv tried to "seal" the cabinet as best i could and I'm liking the idea of using the small intake fan to circulate the air instead of acting like an actual intake, ill have to try that out... will the larger exhaust have enough strength to suck fresh air in through the cracks and cranny of the cabinet without damaging it over time?

so so far i have 1 vote for not bothering with the Ph and one that says to lower it. Iv read time and time again one should test the Ph after it has drained should i do this? and I'm not sure i understand the mechanics behind it. i mean sure it nice to know that your soil has buffered the Ph but if you're adding it with a to high value won't it result in deficiencies? or does the soil instantly lower the Ph to an optimum (hopefully) level?
The thing about a negative pressure chamber is that it doesn't need to be sealed per se. As long as the opening that is the exhaust has a larger area than the combined area of passive intake, nothing will escape except through your exhaust and your fan will work more efficiently (presumes this is an adequate fan of course). If the intake area or volume behind the fan is smaller, it will not work as well, and your fan can end up cavatating and pulling air in the exhaust and rolling it around causing no circulation from behind it. I'm not an engineer, it's what I found out while I was putting together several exhaust boxes. Just drill some intake holes in or close to the bottom of your box and you're good to go. The bigger your exhaust, the more holes you make. You'd seal cracks to keep the air moving from your intake holes past the plants to the fan. The interior fan is to keep the air moving, without it dead air pockets.

Regarding buffered soil, I've never used it. I've used as plain dirt and vermiculite as I can find. There's some threads in the soil grow area that I've seen discussing it. I have no clue if buffered soil would last through a grow.

Checking ph in soil is pretty simple. Take some dirt, mix it in a cup of water, let it sit for an hour and check the ph. Exact ratio is probably somewhere in the soil grow threads. Dirty, takes an hour.
The other method is to mix your nutes to the proper ph, water, and test your run off and make your call from that. It's faster and cleaner. This allows you to lower the nutes periodically if needed to address any deficiencies while keeping everything fairly stable.

Soil gives you several days to address problems. Some people have green thumbs or just live in the right area and use the right nutes. But starting from ph 7.8... Check this chart and you should find out more details on buffered soil.

well actually you can't see....but I'm telling you

the pots you see are for the seedling and when the plant is about a week old. but I'm thinking i should place the seedling and the inflated disk directly in the black "teen" pot with sone soil and then move it to the 14l. final pot when its about 2 weeks old and skip the little pot all together...
I read somewhere about replanting that planting a small plant in a large container that basically ended with planting into the next size up is preferable. I honestly can't remember why. As long as you don't let the plant get root bound, replanting is minimal to no stress if you do it cleanly. Basically slipping the root ball out of the current cup into a same sized cupped hole in your new pot filled with the same soil. But I don't think there'd be that much problem going from starter to final 3gallon. But you might have a look if you're not pressed for time.

That's plenty of ventalation for your light array, the only 'fire hazard' there is the sheer number of wires! lol .

With such a vertical space, you could make it two level and have a veg area and flower area above if you wanted. A proper scrog definately won't fill that vertical space. Or you have plenty of room for leds down the road. Also, you're going to have to watch your vegging, that cabinet is tight. If you fill your scrog then flip to flower, the tops will grow out of the scrog and turn it into just wire support. Flip to flower before your screen is 80% full, or even less. I'll be trying my first scrog soon so I'm not sure what or if there's any common percentage where people go to flower. But your plant will stretch in flower, and you need the screen space to accomodate that growth.
sweet, thx. Ill have to get my hands in the game to be able to properly judge when i should flip to flowering. I was thinking of letting veg for two months and then let it flower for another two. but you're right ill have to see in regards to how much space ill have as the plant grows.

are 6500K bulbs an absolute must for vegetation? i believe iv read somewhere as long as i have 2700K ones for the flowering the plant will vegetate just fine. I'm saying this because i just got these 2500k ones and it kinda pisses me off if i have to go buy a new batch of bulbs...

you really think ill have extra hight? thats a good thing, i could try slipping a shelf in there to keep all the grow related stuff, making the setup all the more stealth. for the record i was planning in converting this cabinet into the "dry room" after harvest, do i need to consider other modification in order to do so or will it be fine the way it is (obviously lights will be off during this time)
Ok,I'm saying you'd want to flower early because I've just seen the stretch from flowering. Your area is like 1 sq foot or not much more unless you have mini hands lol. So your plant will grow into and fill that space and then some easily if you veg for two months. That's a no brainer unless you keep the pot tiny to have a bonsai plant. When the plant doubles in size, in a scrog this will mean it will fill up X% of the screen. Since I havn't done a scrog yet, I can't say how much of your screen you should allow for the stretch, but I know you have to leave some space. A scrog is intended to keep all buds at the same level so they all mature at the same rate. If your top coalas stretch an inch above the others, then they'll hog everything, so yeah, you have to flower early or you're just going to run out of room.

Scrogging is advanced growing. The alternative is to grow it out normally, which you could do too, you'd just end up with 'tiers' of bud size and quality since they all won't get the same light. That would get you good basic experience without having to fret over scrogging, and scrogging for your second round will be easier because you can concentrate on it. Just food for thought on scrog or not for your first grow.

Arguably, no nothing is a 'must' if the light is intense enough. But using 2700 for the whole grow will result in a small plant with a low yield. You didn't waste money on the 2700k bulbs, you need them for flower, but 5000-6500k are recommended for veg because the plant uses that color spectrum of light the best, and grows the best in those conditions. Your grow room is your nature for your plant, and you're simulating seasons with different colored light. Blues for spring/summer growing, red for autumn harvesting. Same thing with light schedule. You can keep a plant in vegitative state indefinately if you keep dark hours less than 12/day. When you hit that mark the plant changes hormonally and begins to grow differently, by flowering to reproduce vs growing to get ready to flower. So you could technically put the plant into flowering conditions as soon as it breaks ground. I understand many (dutch) grow this way in a sea of green (basically as many plants as they can shoehorn into a space).

Oops, rambling. You didn't waste money on the bulbs but get some 5000-6500's :p

Yeah if you do a scrog and keep the screen to a few inches above the plant, the coalas even if they get beercan size you should have enough room for storage, easily I'd say. I'd have to convert your measurements so I can visualize them, but from the pictures, looks plenty tall enough to me.
would 3 bulbs be enough to add a little variety to the spectrum or should i aim for more? also i was thinking of "toping" twice but perhaps only once would be wiser
One or two out of six should be fine, you don't need any more than that. Your light is so overkill lol.... You want to do a temp test I'd say to run all of those sockets at once.

FIMM'ing vs topping. FIMM'ing once will get you four tops, attached to now four main branches. Topping once will get you two tops. I guess you could consider it this way, FIMM'ing would be trying to maximize your grow, while topping would be keeping it smaller and more manageable in the same amount of time.

This image is from the FIMM'ing vs topping thread.

my seeds arrived this morning fresh from DAM (5x northern lights)...WHOOP WHOOP!!!!! missing just my vents and filter and AWAAAAAY WE GROOOWWWWW!!!!:morenutes:
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