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Need help designing grow box for MAX yield

GreenDemon

New Member
This will be my first grow and am looking to optimize my cabinet setup for maximum yield. I've spent countless hours reading this site and plan to setup a grow log to help others, so any feedback is truly appreciated.

Here is my setup is so far:

  • Cabinet 25" Wide x 19" Deep x 70" High - lined with double sided diamond film/black poly for light proofing and sealed doors using weatherstripping
  • Ventilation will be a 110 cfm fan for intake and a 110 cfm fan for exhaust with a small DIY carbon filter. Plus 4" fan inside the cabinet for circulation


Here is what I need help with:

  • Lighting Watts- After reading the logs it appears the best bang for the buck is the Mars II (reflector series not as strong) from TopLED. I'm thinking either the 700 or 900 watt for maximum bud production. Although I'm not sure if the 5W led will cause plant damage as they will be close to the light at the end of the grow.

  • Number of plants in hydroponic setup - Either a 6 plant bubble hydro system using 4" cups (24 L x 18.38 W x 15.75 H" dimensions) or an 8 plant superponic system using 2" cups (18 x 10.5 x 9 in).

    The superponic is half the height which would allow more grow room but that also means less space for the roots to grow. Was also thinking of throwing in a small fogger unit if I get a bigger container.

  • SOG/SCROG/Topping - This is all new to me so I'm looking at the best way to use my small grow space. I can lookup how to do each method... just not sure which method to pick.

Thanks in advance for your help. I plan to pay it forward by helping others in the future and starting a grow log to document my experiences.
 

Dantes Monkey

New Member
Hi Green Demon,

:welcome:Welcome to the forum and congratulations on starting your first grow! First, let me address the title of your post and the "MAX yield" part. Seeing as this is your first grow, achieving the maximum yield of your particular strain will probably take a few cycles to learn your plants. Its next to impossible to say exactly what will achieve the best results for your particular setup, other than knowing your plants and what works best for you. There is definitely a certain level of trial and error that you should expect. But the important part is that you're on the right track and you've got a great community here to help. Next, on to your ventilation, I wouldn't worry about an intake fan. A single exhaust fan with a couple passive intakes should do fine in that space, and it will improve odor control by keeping a constant negative pressure area inside your cabinet.

For your lighting, I think the 700 and 900 watt TopLEDs are too much for your space. If you want the Mars II Series, the 400w covers a 3x3 area and should do just fine. The dimensions of your cab give you a square footage of about 3.6 sqft, and the 400w mars II covers 9 sqft. But just because the reflector series "is not as strong" (I assume you're referring to the 3watt LEDs vs 5watt in the Mars II), doesn't mean that its not a great choice. If I were setting up that cabinet, I would use the 48x3watt which is rated for 2.2x2.2' = 4.84 sqft. Thats going to be closest to your actual area while still giving you plenty of extra output. The 3w LEDs are more efficient and therefore will run cooler. The 5 watt LEDs on the other hand should give you better light penetration, but will put out more heat into your cabinet.

As for your number of plants and growing method, your growing area is probably the biggest factor here. You don't have much lateral area, but you do have a good amount of height to work with. You could fit one nice sized plant in your cab. What you are describing with 6 or 8 plants will end up being a sea of green (SOG), and you won't be able to veg very long at all. You'll end up with more plants but smaller a yield from each one. For a SCROG, most recommend no more than 1 plant / sqft. Which means you'd only want 2 or maybe 3 (I would run 2). Both SOG and SCROG are great for maximizing lateral area, but dont allow you to take full advantage of all that vertical room. Another option to consider would be a vertical SCROG (V-SCROG) with your screen in a v-shape to give additional canopy area.

In short, I think you really need to decide how many plants you want to have first. And your light, and growing method can be determined from there:

-1 Plant, no training, medium height, 400 watt Mars II for better penetration.
-2 Plants, flat Scrog, 48x3w Reflector
-2-3 Plants, V-Scrog, 48x3w Reflector
-4-8 Plants, Sog, 48x3w Reflector

If it were me, I'd probably do a V-scrog with a flat section (side profile would look like: \_/ ) with 2 plants underneath and the 48x3watt Reflector LED. Of course that's just my opinion. I could be wrong...

Good Luck with your Grow!
:Namaste:
-Monkey
 

GreenDemon

New Member
Thanks for all the great info Monkey! I have lots to think about now.

I originally got the 8 plant idea from looking at the superlocker which is close in size to my cabinet at 15 x 24 x 66 in. So it appears they are going the sea of green route.

Now I will consider doing less plants in a VSCROG as you mentioned.

I will also try to keep my expectations realistic. This is just for personal use and the fun of doing a grow, so no need to go crazy with my setup. ;)
 
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