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I have the space, Please help me decide on a method

KeepOnTokin

New Member
I have a space that is approximately 10'x8'x7' high and I am having difficulty deciding which of the multiple methods of cultivating our favorite plant I am going to use. Let me tell you about my circumstances and my hopes for the system. I am a new grower who has spent hundreds of hours researching every method I could find (including about every inch of this forum). For the past five years I have been researching online and reading books about the subject. That combined with my background in science/biology, I feel pretty confident on the actual growing process (Im sure Ill have plenty of questions once the time comes). I own my house and the room is located upstairs. It has a window in it that has an a/c unit in it. I am wanting some sort of hydroponic set up that will allow me to perpetually harvest at least 6-8 ounces every two months or so. I would also like to keep it under $800 total for everything so I will be fabricating most of it myself. I am in a remote location so smell/security is not a problem. The main thing I would like to avoid is the need for CO2 supplementation. So far this is what I have come up with, I am open to any all critiques so if you see any flaws or have a better suggestion on anything small or large, please don't hesitate to let me know:

Design

I will build a frame to enclose two areas approx. 5'x3' and designate one for vegging and one for flowering.

The veg. area will use rockwool cubes and a hydro drip system. Light in that area will be provided by either a 400-600 watt MH or a series of 4' floros (all depends on the money situation). I would like to keep that area open so I don't have to vent it to control the temps. I am hoping the window AC unit will keep the temps right and provide enough ventilation.

The flowering chamber will use a homemade ebb-and-flow system that I will build and light will be provided by a 600 watt HPS. Once ready for flowering, I plan to take the rockwool cubes from the veg. room to the flowering room and place them in hydroton in a 4'x2' flood table. This room will not be open, instead I will seal it off from the rest of the room to prevent light from entering from the veg. area and interrupting the 12/12 cycle.

So basically I will have two areas in a larger room that has a window AC unit with the veg area open to the room on one of its' sides and the flowering area sealed from the rest of the room.

That is about the extent of my planning so far but I still have several specific questions that I would like answered by any experienced growers.

1. Since the flowering area will be sealed off, I know I will have to ventilate. But my question is can I just vent into the rest of the room since the air in the room is refreshed by the AC unit? Or do I need to completely vent outside.
2. If I can bring in air to the flowering chamber from the room, will the CO2 levels be sufficient?
3. Is it even possible to yield 6-8 oz. from a 4'x2' flood tray? Probably with 6 plants in it.

I will have a lot more questions so please be patient with me but I will try to keep it focused and not too general. And of course any help with this project will be deeply appreciated. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from everyone.
 

Stilletto

Active Member
Hello pal, Welcome! :)

So nice to see that you have done some research and have a plan. Since you are asking opinions I will offer mine.
I suggest going with a soilless set-up. I am bias but still believe that a new grower has alot to learn from real experience and should consider trying to just grow a plant through fruition, as opposed to making it as complicating as possible.
Now I know some of the hydro guys will disagree but there is alot of maintenace in setting up a hydro system properly. Learning Ec, PPM, PH, correcting leaks, figuring out pumps, and flow rates..... fun stuff but for a first grow it is alot to get right. My advice is use some soil/soiless and just see if you have the dedication to get a harvest completed. The lessons you learn will help to make your transition to hydro easier.
As far as your budget... well it seems tight, especially for hydro. The 4' flos are great for veg and seedlings. The 600w HPS is nice and will cover the area well. I strongly suggest air cooled shades, even with a/c it will alow the lights to be much closer to the plants. If smell is not an issue then no need for a carbon filter.
As far as ventilation, yes is it important, you can circulate air but without a source of fresh air the CO2 will become depleted. 6 plants under a 600w if done correctly could yeild 2-4 oz per plant. When it comes to hydro yeilds and questions I think the other guys here will be more knowledgeable.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your endevours!

Jonny
 

KeepOnTokin

New Member
Hey Stilletto thanks for the response. I like your idea of going soiless at first. Not only will it make the first grow a bit easier, it will free up some money to design better ventilation and CO2 systems. Nice grow journal by the way. WOW is all I can say. If my plants end up looking anything like yours I definetly wouldnt need 6 of them!

One thing Im still a bit confused on: If I vent the flower chamber out of the house, can I just have the intake coming from inside the air conditioned room? Because the ac draws the warm air out of the room and replaces it with cooled fresh air drawn from outside. And I plan on using CO2 now for sure.
If this is less than ideal let me know, because I am pretty flexible at this point. I want to make sure my plants thrive, I just don't want to cut any extra holes that are not necessary.

Thanks for getting back to me and I am inspired by your journal. After looking at your plants Im not so sure hydro would be worth the trouble. Time is not really a factor so much as yield and potency so I think I will stick with soiless.
 

Stilletto

Active Member
Glad to hear that you are making some key descisions and thank you for the kind words reguarding my grow. :)
Your ventilation question is difficult to answer but I will try to expand a bit. First of all I DO NOT use a CO2 system... I have considered it a few times and here is why I have not done it. First of all the cost is not an issue but at roghly $1200-$1500 for a CO2 burner and monitor/controller it seems pretty pricey for a 15% increase in yeild. I know 15% of my room would equal about 3 oz per harvest... seems nice but I already grow enough for me and the wife, and I do not sell so I don't really have any justification for the cost. I would also need to get an A/C unit to cool things off. Here is the 2nd thing... I am not an expert in CO2 but the ventilation is way different. You want the co2 monitor to turn on the generator when the right lvl of co2 is reached... you can not run exaust fans or you just waste the co2. So because smell is an issue for me I would need to run an exaust fan through a carbon filter then back into the room. (not really if I changed my whole set up) So the point for me is- Alot of money and esentially changing my whole current set up for 15% more yeaild that I don't need. Now if smell is not an issue it might get easier but one of the co2 pros here would have to chime in.
Now A/C... again... not an expert but I believe it sucks air from inside your house... cools it, and then sends the heat outside while returning the cool air inside. So it recirculates not replaces.
Sooooo.... You can have the intake IN your a/c cooled room going into the flower roon and exausted outside... no prob... except.... that is alot of power. If you run your a/c 12 hours a day and lights and fans etc... power bills are going to get pricey in a hurry. A/c is expensive. At this point maybe consider exausting inside the house... the moisture is not good but you could then reuse the cool air.....
... now this is all just confusing, I hope you can make some sense of all this jibberish I just wrote. LOL
I will check back...

Jonny
 

KeepOnTokin

New Member
Very true I hadn't even considered the cost of running that sucker.!.! So should I have the exhaust running to another room of the house? Or would it be acceptable to vent into the same room? And as for the CO2 after your suggestion and some further research I've decided i probably won't use it either...doesn't seem worth it for my purposes. I'm on my phone right now so I just wanted to type a quick response and thank you for the valuable advise... I can't wait to get started.
 
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