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Let's Find a Mother! Hiking Through a Field of Mary Jane

Hiker

Member of the Month: April 2013
Greetings :420:

This is the journal for my first grow in a brand new flowering room. The plants have been in the buckets for a couple weeks already. I started a journal on another site, but I think I prefer the community here. There is too much bickering over there, so I've found myself here more and more lately. :Namaste:

So let's get started!
Quick Info:
6' x 12' flowering room in basement
3 x 750W HPS w/digital ballasts in AAW knockoff reflectors
C.A.P. Ebb & Gro with 22 sites.
GH Flora line of nutrients

I'm going to start out with a lot of discussion about how I setup the room. I know many folks just want to see the plants/buds, but I like to read about the room itself as much as the plants. Maybe someone will be able to take one of my ideas and apply it to their situation, or even better, improve on it. If anyone does take inspiration from any of my ideas, please share what you did with the rest of us. This will help us all become better growers. :high-five:

I need my grow to be stealthy, so keeping the sound down is important. Before I started building the first room, I needed to seal up the basement ceiling by installing insulation between the joists, covering that with plastic, then installing a layer of plywood, and finally putting green board on top of that. My theory is the extra layer of plywood might help reduce the noise coming up through the floor of the main house, but It will also provide the advantage of being able to put a screw anywhere I want and hit wood (although the only things attached to the ceiling are the lights). ;)

My home office is directly above the flowering room. I have an airfilter/fan that I run in my office, and I was surprised how much it caused the floor to vibrate. You can hear it throughout much of the house, and it was somewhat loud down in the basement. While I think it would do well to mask any fan sounds coming from the basement, I still have the goal of minimizing any noise coming from the grow rooms. One of the ways I helped minimize vibration noise was to build the walls of the room without attaching to the ceiling. On 2 sides of the first flowering room, I used Liquid Nails to attach some 2x2 (2x4 ripped in half) lumber directly to the basement's concrete walls without touching the ceiling. I built a wall at one end where all the electrical outlets are located, and that wall too does not attach to the ceiling. The remaining long wall is my removable wall. Rather than trying to access the plants through a door, I used 3 4'x8' sheets of Styrofoam insulation to make a movable wall (pictures later). Again, this 'wall' does not attach to the ceiling. I stopped all the walls ~1/2"-3/4" from the ceiling, then sealed that gap with spray foam. Then I hung the exhaust fan, charcoal filter, and the ducting from the walls rather than the ceiling. You cannot hear ANY fan noise inside the house, so I guess my ideas worked. :thumb:

So far I only have the first flowering room up and running. I will add a second flowering room after this one is dialed in and all the other parts of the grow are up and running (mothers, veg area, clone/seed area, etc). Here are the strains I am working with:
  • TGA Subcool seeds - Apollo 13 X Vortex
  • Nirvana seeds - AK 48
  • Nirvana seeds - Bubblelicious
  • Bomb seeds - Cheese Bomb
  • Bomb seeds - Bomb THC
  • Dutch Passion - Blueberry
  • Seedsman - White Widow
I started 3 of each strain, plus 3 femmed freebies, for a total of 24. All of them cracked, but one of the Cheese Bombs never made it out of the rockwool. The other 23 have all made it into the buckets. Four of the seedlings were struggling compared to their sisters, but it turned out to be a Mg deficiency. My tap water is very hard. It measures ~360ppm out of the faucet! Two of the four were growing, just much slower than the others. The other two were almost doing nothing. Both of the remaining 2 Cheese Bombs were among these 4 runts. Apparently, Cheese Bomb is very sensitive to hard water. I was able to identify the problem when some of the larger plants started to show signs of a deficiency. Knowing I have very hard water helped in the diagnoses. I had an RO system on order, so I had already purchased some Calimagic. I put some of that into the hard water res, and within 24 hours, they all looked better. Even the 4 runts showed an immediate improvement. Before transplanting into the buckets, I had considered killing the 2 smallest of them, but decided it wouldn't cost me anything to put them in a bucket together. In hindsight, I should have given them each their own buckets. They will always be smaller than their sisters, but they look great now. I only had to subject them to 2 reservoirs (about 2 weeks) of hard water. I got the RO system in and it is much much better. With tap water, I had to add up to a half cup of ph down to get the ph right. This is after adding the nutrients. With the RO water, I add the nutrient, and the ph settles at exactly 5.5.

Well I have been trying to get this journal started here for a few days now, but I've been spending the time I have to browse these forums reading other journals. I wanted to include all the detail from the other journal, but that's not going to happen. I'll add more information as I make more posts on this thread. This has gotten long enough, so it's time for some pictures.


Looking south in the basement at the start of construction. I don't even have the ceiling sealed up in this shot. The area in that corner to the left is flowering room 1.



Looking north in the basement. You can see the stairs leading up into the house. The raised area in the back will be the area I use for vegging clones. The other side will likely be a drying cabinet.



This is where flowering room 2 will go. One of those pallets of pellets are already gone.



Insulation in. Plastic up. Plywood up. Building wall around stairs.



The reinforced door leading out of the basement. I added a third hinge and second, larger, barrel bolt. The barrel bolts are also going directly into a large support beam. This door would be extremely difficult to bust down.



The drywall is starting to go up on ceiling and some of the wall supports are going up.



view from the inside.



View from the outside.



The nursery. I've already removed the heating pad and humidity done at this point.



The babies in their new home.



Ingredients for bennie tea!



Detail of how foam panels are held up.



This is at the start of a round of LST. If you look closely, a couple have already been tied down.




Well that is for now. There have been several trials and tribulations along the way, but the room is working well now. Perhaps I'll discuss more of those details along the way. If you are really curious, I can PM a link to the old journal.
 

Hiker

Member of the Month: April 2013
Nice job on the room. I am looking forward to seeing more. Feel free to check out my journal also. Be great to have you along as you look from your photos to have similar height restrictions to me for flowering. Work with what you have eh! :thumb:
Thanks for checking out my thread Tony :welcome:

I've been subbed to your journal for awhile now. I have a little more than 6' of vertical. I am 6' tall and can stand normally with a few inches to spare. I forget how much you have at the edges and the center of your attic.
 

cannasensei

Plant of the Month: April 2013
Nice setup man. I wish I could renovate my basement... the wife wont have it lol. Can't wait to see the show I'm subbed for this one.

Sounds like we came from the same forum. Ull like it here I promise. Goodluck man. Check out my little grow if u get a chance
 

Hiker

Member of the Month: April 2013
Yep i have about 6 feet total in the centre and just over 4 feet at the edges mate! You are going to have a beautiful space there mate! Just make sure you take your time and do it right and it will serve you well. :thumb:
Thanks Tony. I do like my basement. :yahoo:

I've spent many many hours down there "planning" everything out. The pictures don't really show it, but construction has pretty much stopped since I got enough of the ceiling sealed up to build the first flowering room. Partially due to needing to get the environment in there setup asap. I germinated my seeds the day I got them even though there was no room to speak of. I don't even think I had the first of the insulation and plastic up the night I started the seeds. It certainly motivated me though! I don't think I rushed it, but there are several things I would have done slightly different, so I'm sort of purposefully dragging my feet building anything else down there. Even the RO system is only installed temporarily. There is a ton of construction left to do down there. I figure the longer I wait, the more time I have to ponder various aspects of the build. When I look at journals, I am certainly interested in the plant pictures, but I'm more interested in things about the grow room such as environmental controls, hydro systems, etc. Of course, I want to see the buds they produce, but I do skip ahead a lot. Hence, I'll not be posting as many plant pictures as maybe some others do.

Nice setup man. I wish I could renovate my basement... the wife wont have it lol. Can't wait to see the show I'm subbed for this one.

Sounds like we came from the same forum. Ull like it here I promise. Goodluck man. Check out my little grow if u get a chance
Thanks for checking out the thread. I had a perfect storm of circumstances that allowed me the opportunity to do this. I am a very lucky man indeed. :circle-of-love:

I'm still going to post some updates on my other thread. I have a couple RL friends that know about the room, but live in other states. They are watching that one for updates, so...

I'll go check out your grow.

:Namaste:
 

Hiker

Member of the Month: April 2013
I've been having an issue I think is temperature related.

I diagnosed it as a temperature related problem last week. My daytime temps were around 80F, but were dipping into the 50's at 'night'. I put a heater in the room to run at night. nighttime temps are now steady at 65F. I think the real problem is the reservoir though. It doesn't really get above 55F, and often sits in the 40's! At my next res change, I'll be putting 2" of foam under it to get it off the cold concrete, but I couldn't wait any longer, so I went to Walmart and bought a fish tank heater. The built in thermostat says it only goes as low as 72, so I'll use a timer to try and get it to stay at 60-65F.

My RH is super low too, so I added a cool mist humidifier also. I haven't seen the humidity going up much yet, but it did seem to make the room cooler. I'd like to get my RH up from 12-20% up to at least 25-35%.

Lastly, I realized one of my new tower fans stopped oscillating. I'm not sure yet how that's gonna work out. I paid the extra $5 for the extended warranty, but it would have been easier if I had not. I could just order a new one and return the broken one to the store when the new one arrived. Now I'll likely have to be without the fan during shipping. I have a box fan I was planning to add to move more air around, so I guess I'll just install that before sending in the broken fan.

Here is a pic of the whole garden. This is 4 days since the previous picture. They are bushing out nicely. I didn't do any LST tonight, but I will tomorrow.


This is probably cold stress.


The only reason I am unsure is it happens the most in 2 'bands' under the lights. With my wing reflectors setup side by side, there are 'bands' or stripes of more intense light. I thought I knew what light bleaching looked like, but the problem does seem to happen more along those 2 areas of constructive interference.

Anyone have any ideas what this is?
 

cannasensei

Plant of the Month: April 2013
thats looking like magnesium deficiency, glad u gt ur temps up, thats a harsh blow in hydro.
 

cannasensei

Plant of the Month: April 2013
hard call really, usually mg will move from the tips in with marginal interveinal chlorosis, this seems to be moving from the center out and from the top of the plant down? making me think possibly calcium. but it doesnt scream toward anything in particular to me lol. your sure your ph is good and ur pen is calibrated? maybe you overdid the p locking out magnesium in turn locking out n? lol (magnesium is a catalyst for nitrogen)
 

cannasensei

Plant of the Month: April 2013
Last edited by a moderator:

Hiker

Member of the Month: April 2013
thats looking like magnesium deficiency, glad u gt ur temps up, thats a harsh blow in hydro.
Thanks for the feedback. You think Mg? I had an Mg problem when they were seedlings and for the first week after putting into buckets. I thought I fixed that with some calimagic. I can add more if they don't start looking better soon.

I still think it's temperatures, but I'll up the calimagic about 15% when I make the next reservoir. My temps have been swinging more than I would like. I'm still dialing everything in. A basement is a very very different environment than I am used to. In socal, I always grew in bedrooms and closets.

It's been a few days since I added the fish tank heater and it has warmed the water, but it can't seem to get it over 58F. I haven't changed the res yet though. When I do, I will put a piece of 2" styrofoam (scraps from door panels. This stuff is great!) under it. Hopefully those two measures combined will get my res to 60-65F. I can always add another heater or get a bigger one.

Having one of my tower fans die affected temps too. I should have the replacement next week. I've been in there so much this week working on things, it's also affected temps. If I have all 3 wall panels open, the room can drop down below 70F after an hour or so. I know I'll get everything dialed in perfect, but it's taking longer than I anticipated. I'll probably change my exhaust to vent into the home's heating ducts. You can see the big silver duct inside the room. There is an end cap I can pop off. When it warms up outside, I can divert it into the crawlspace, but for now I'll get a little free heat inside the house. I think my only hesitation is a concern about odor, but my filter seems to be working. The room already smells pretty strong, but if I stick my face into the exhaust, I can't smell a thing. I just don't know if it will filter everything out when they start flowering. I haven't entirely decided I want to change the exhaust yet though.

I also need to get a temporary clone/veg area setup too. I started setting it up last night, but I still need to wire in the outlets at that end of the basement. The box and wire are already there, but I have to shut off that circuit temporarily and it's in use. I'm probably going to flip the plants in the next week, so I need to take some clones soon. Gotta have a place to put them! There is just so much still to do down there! I spend most of my time down there training/bending the plants. I'm looking forward to flowering. I'll have more time! :24:
 

Hiker

Member of the Month: April 2013
A little tip for anyone running an Ebb & Gro...

When messing with the controller bucket's drain pump, make sure the power cord isn't hanging on the upper float. :oops:

Went down there Sunday morning and had a large puddle coming out of the grow room. I didn't realize what had happened until later. I thought maybe a bucket had leaked, so I made sure I was there for the next flood. When I looked in to make sure it was filling correctly, I saw the cord on the float. I suspect it held it down, so the system just kept pumping water into the controller bucket. Luckily there wasn't 50g in the res, but I'm puzzled why there was still ~20g in the reservoir the next morning. The system had only went through a single flood cycle while I was away.

Just something else to add to the mental checklist I go through each time I'm down there. :peace:
 

Hiker

Member of the Month: April 2013
cannasensei, I just realized I missed your other posts!

Thanks for posting that chart. I got my res temps into the low 60s. This fish tank heater is not able to keep my reservoir at 65F. It's got there one time (66F). I turned it off for about an hour, and the res returned to the upper 50's. I turned the heater back on and it has not been able to get even the small 25g up to 65F. I haven't changed out the res yet though. Putting 2" Styrofoam insulation under the res should solve that problem. Worst case, I'll buy another heater!

Saturday I just added 5g of nutrient mix to the reservoir rather than change out the whole thing. The next morning is when I found the leak, so I added back 5 more gallons of phed RO water. I did the second major veg defoliation on them, so I'll be flipping the photoperiod sometime this week. At that point I want to change the reservoir anyway. I'm going to pick up another heater for my RO tank as well, so holding off will mean I can make that new res without having to use such cold water. I'm starting to think it might be a Mg deficiency again. I had the problem initially with my very hard water. Now that I am using RO, I don't think I'm adding enough back in. I bought one gallon of FloraMicro for hardwater, so I am trying to use it up. When I asked H about using it with RO, they said to just add Calimagic. I was already adding that, but I'll bump that up to ~150% strength and see what happens.
 

Vick074

Member of the Month: Feb 2013 - Nug of the Month: Mar 2014
Oh Man!!
I can't believe I missed the start!
Sorry Hiker!
Excited to go back and read this word for word.
I agree, the documentation of the setup is almost more exciting than the grow..

I'm subbed the hell up!

and thanks for the reps
:thumb:
 

cannasensei

Plant of the Month: April 2013
^indeed.
Wish u lived down the road man. I have gobs of.time and would love to donate.time to a basement op lol.
We always redirect airflow in winter purely for the free(Ish) heat. And as Tony said let us know how they react to Cal mag.

And for Christ sake its been like a week. POST A PICTURE haha
 

Hiker

Member of the Month: April 2013
Keeps us posted on your issues and if the calmagic fixes the issue! You certainlt need to fix that res temp aswell though! I am sure that temps could also affect nute uptake which would just add to your woes! :peace:
Thanks for checking out the journal Tony.

I think I have a combination of things causing the problems. I'm pretty close to getting every aspects of the room the way I want though. The sad part is it will all change in a few months. Right now I'm just focused on making the most of this first batch. I'll worry about Spring and Summer after my first harvest.

^indeed.
Wish u lived down the road man. I have gobs of.time and would love to donate.time to a basement op lol.
We always redirect airflow in winter purely for the free(Ish) heat. And as Tony said let us know how they react to Cal mag.

And for Christ sake its been like a week. POST A PICTURE haha
Funny you should mention redirecting the air during winter. Just last night I decided I wasn't going to modify my exhaust. I came up with a new plan though...

Initially the temps were too high in the grow room. If I sealed up the room, the temps would reach the upper 80's pretty quickly. I smoothed out the exhaust ducting as much I could, then I started opening up the (passive) intake. I eventually made the intake large enough that it could supply all the exhaust fan could move. The temps were close to where i wanted them, but it was still a few degrees too hot.

My basement is very cold. If left on it's own, the basement was 52F in the winter and 56F in the Summer. I was spending so much time down there, I tried to warm it up a bit to make myself more comfortable and ti help out the seedlings I had down there. By sealing up the basement a bit, I was able to get it to stay in the low to mid 60's. Unfortunately, that temp differential was not enough to keep the room cool. I 'unsealed' the basement a little to bring the temps down, and that did it. Currently, I run my exhaust fan on it's lowest setting (via speed controller), and it keeps the room at ~77F.

(Added after review) I just realized I never explained what the new plan is... Originally I had a very restrictive, but light tight, intake. I had to open it up a LOT to get enough passive intake. First, keep in mind I'd like to have the exhaust running all the time so there is always a negative pressure in the room. This helps manage odor and ensure at least some fresh air is coming in. Here is the new idea that occurred to me the other night. I can put my light baffle back in place. This will mean that my exhaust fan can no longer vent the room fast enough. I can then add a thermostatically controlled intake fan that will kick on when the temps go above 78F (or somewhere thereabouts). This will reduce the intake resistance and allow the exhaust to provide it's maximum airflow.

So in other words... I'll put the intake restrictions back allowing me to have the exhaust run all the time, but not make the room too cold. Adding an intake fan will then let that same exhaust fan remove more air when needed. I had been going round and round trying to figure out how to change how much air is moving based on temperature. Eventually I realized I would probably need 2 separate fans, but then how to use only one charcoal filter? Adding exhaust fans in series could possibly work as well, but I like this solution better. I'll post pictures once I build the new intake. (end of addition)

My air temp issues were solved, but by lowering the ambient temps in the basement, everything else got colder, including my reservoir. I had read people warning about their mixing pumps and air pumps heating up the reservoir, but even with a mixing pump, 2 air pumps, and the temp rise from the water circulating in the warm grow room, my reservoir temp would still get as low as the high 40's! Adding a fish tank heater has got it up to the high 50's, but I think the concrete is sucking the heat out of the water faster than the heater can add it back in. Like I said above, I'll put a piece of 2" foam under it next time I flush the reservoir (sometime this week). I bought another heater for my RO barrel too, but I can't get it to stay put in that barrel. The suction cups will not hold to the whatever the plastic is in this barrel (HDPE I think). I'll tie a fishing weight to it after I get a chance to run back to Walmart.

In regards to pictures... I'm trying to avoid posting a bunch of veg shots. I've been taking lots of before and after photos when I defol and tie the plants, but I doubt they are interesting to anyone but myself. I'm using them to track growth to aid with mother selection. I'm trying to stay completely open minded, but I'm already developing some bias about which plants are candidates for mothers.

I'll be sure to post pictures the day I flip to 12/12. I don't think I mentioned this before, but I'm using the GLR lighting schedule. I can't say it's had any positive or negative effect on growth rate, but I know I'm using less electricity. Although not too much less since I have a space heater running at "night" to keep temps up.

That leads me to a question... Do you guys think the little lights on the fans or heaters will affect the photoperiod response of the plants? In the old days, I was super paranoid about having the "night" be absolutely dark, but this time I'm reconsidering that. In the real world, there is a moon at night. If that doesn't affect flowering, would a tiny red LED do anything? I know moonlight tends to be more blue. Does that meant the blue lights on my oscillating fans are OK? This thought occurred to me the other night, but I haven't had a chance to do any research yet. Does anyone know? I'll go take a look and share if I find a good answer.

Thanks again for checking out my thread.

Here are a few pictures since cannasensei asked :Namaste:

The whole garden a few minutes ago. (it just happened to be the hour of light during their GLR 'night')

I took a couple different shots. I'm still trying to settle on a specific angle/composition to take the same way each time. I'd like an overhead shot, but I can't get the camera high enough and the lights are in the way :laugh2:

They look a little thin because I just did a heavy defol on Friday and Saturday. This is less than 48 hours later for the 8 plants at the bottom of the picture. The top group of plants were done on Friday night, so this is ~60 hours later.

I thought I had a picture of the whole garden right after the defol, but I don't.

It took 2 nights to defol and train the entire garden. Here is a picture of the section I did on Friday. This is less than 24 hours after they were abused. You can see a couple of the ones still needing a trim in the bottom left.


Here is an example of my training:
Before


After


This is one of my favorite plants. It's Apollo 13 x Vortex from TGA. This was my one 'expensive' strain I ordered. TGA's genetics were spoken highly of and I liked the idea of having something bred in my home state of WA. So far, this plant is on the 'likely mother' list. :Namaste:
 

cannasensei

Plant of the Month: April 2013
They look awesome man. I know how u feel o try refraining from putting up too many veg pics but then I stop and think. I can't recall how much time I spent looking over peoples veg pics to get an idea of how to train and defoliate. Noobs appreciate us being thorough.
They look great man. Looks like we use about the same techniques.

I will dig around for the post I made about my vent setup. Its essentially as u described. I have my veg fan always running to keep negative pressure. The flower tent kicks on at 79. My intake is passive but has a thermostat controlled inline set at 85. This way if something fails cold air still gets pushed in. (Lights run at night while I sleep so they may sit 8 hours before I discover a problem. U may have a look at my previous post and find it faster. I will dig around tho.

As for the accessory lights.. for me personally if it isn't green it gets taped up. But I am paranoid and run chemdawg hybrids (fire smoke but known for its instability in terms of hermie prone)

They look really healthy. I assume u got a handle on the yellowing issue u had?

Also u may try finding the rooms hot spots and cold spots and really arrange the Res and etc accordingly. A pita but it may help u get those few extra degrees ur shooting for
 
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