Nulife's - Aurora Indica - Top-Fed DWC - Grow Journal - 2016


Well-Known Member
Hello Everyone, just started learning how to grow this year. Started with bag seed, made a bunch of mistakes but figured them out one by one. I'm a hands on learner, and have been reading EVERYTHING possible, including many grower's journals. I do not have a green thumb at all. Just moved to an area that I couldn't find a contact in a year, and way too old to hit the bars/clubs anymore, so decided what the heck lets see if I can grow it myself for myself. I'm completely done with my first bag seed grow, done curing for 5.5 weeks and its not bad at all for a first grow (if I do say so myself), especially with a ton of mistakes. I must say I'm hooked. I will never get from someone else ever again. I like knowing exactly how my stuff is grown and cared for. Not to mention having a variety of what I want on hand.

I have spent a year reading everything I possibly can, and now I'm in my research phase. Meaning, I want to try out all the ideas, concepts, training techniques, mediums, equipment etc that I have read about. I don't really subscribe to a right way / wrong way theory. I believe there is always something to learn despite if you're doing something wrong or right. Hence my research phase I'm on right now. So you're welcome to enjoy the journey with me, I welcome any opinions, or insight, all I ask is you be gentle in doing so. To warn you upfront I will create a very detailed journal, because this will be my reference material going forward. Pictures will usually be once a week on the wknd for a reference in progress. I will post what I learn, what I felt didn't work for me, and what does.

This newbie grower is trying out different mediums, so I can see which ones I like. I have several current journals with soilless coco/perlite medium, kindsoil medium (no nutes needed) and now Top-Fed DWC, which you can find in my signature. So far I'm loving the easiness of the kindsoil. Though it's a bit expensive if used on a large scale (several plants). I've also decided my bad back needs a break and I do love to travel, but travel has been stunted due to my plants daily needs. Which brings me to my next planned grow which will be with Autopots and Sohum Soil (no nutes needed), so be sure to stay-tuned for that one.

Now back on subject, so I finally was able to clean out my tent and get it ready for this grow I've been looking forward to doing for a while.

This will be a Top-Fed DWC (Deep Water Culture), I learned this medium through several sources, grow weed easy website, growers name Roseman and Tulip, and through quite a few DWC grow journals I've come across through various sites. So thanks to all the growers before me who have shared their knowledge, and I hope to learn and pay it forward one day.

Grow Start Date: 9/3/16 (planted in DWC Tank)
I'm growing Nirvana's 3 Aurora Indica Feminized Seeds which is a predominately Indica, which is an indoor/outdoor short plant, with high THC and CBD.
9/2/16 Seeds were soaked in ph water for 6 hours, then started with paper towel method overnight, on top of a heating pad and a bowl covering the paper towel. Two of the seeds popped open to see the tiniest bit of white and one didn't, but I planted them anyway in Rapid Rooter then in the DWC tank on 9/3.
Tent Grow: 2' deep x 4' wide x 6.5' High
Grow Medium: Top-Fed DWC - 10gal Sterilite Tote - 3.75" Netpots - Clay Pebbles soaked in Ph water (5.45ph)
Lights: 300w 9Band LEDs 40" away from plant. (size 8.3"x15.8"x2.4") The lights are off now until they sprout out. When all the sprouts come out I will turn the lights on. I will lower the lights when needed.
Light Schedule: I will probably do a 24 hour light schedule until I switch her to flowering schedule (12/12) If I decide to change the light schedule for any reason, I will post it.
Nutrients: General Hydroponics FloraMicro, Gro & Bloom. I'm not sure about CaliMagic, but will keep it on hand if I feel I need it. - I will keep PH Water between 5.5-5.8 - I will start giving nutes when I see the first leaves for each plant. *I will post my nutrient schedule in post #4 so you can reference it when I state what week's nutes I'm doing. Please see chart in post #6 to see the ph range I'm shooting for and why.
Tent Temp: For Veg 77-81 Degrees 50-60% Humidity - Temps controlled with central air.
Tank Maintenance: Water will be replaced/changed every 7 days, on the wknd.
Pest Control: Extreme cleaned tent and surrounding area then used Amdro Home Defense Pest Killer 24 hours before starting grow. All around tent and around all openings.
9/3/16: Week 1 (Day1) of germination (Seeds were planted in rapid rooter in netpots on this day).

Here is a list of most of what I used to create my tank setup. Everything was purchased on Amazon.

Bubleponics Materials - Supply List
- reservoir with lid (I get Sterilite 10-gallon tote) containers

- net pots (I get the 3.75" NGW net pots)

- water pump (I use the EcoPlus 185 Submersible Pump)

- hub aka "drip manifold" (used to split water stream from pump and deliver to each net pot - I use the DiG Corps 6-outlet Adjustable Drip Manifold)

- air pump - at least one powerful air pump per container (I use one EcoPlus 2 Air Pump w/ 2 Outlets for each 10 gallon container)

- Tubing for air pump & water pump - 3/16" internal diameter (1/4" outer diameter) vinyl tubing works great with the manifold and the air pump listed above

- Tubing to connect manifold to waterpump - a single 5" piece of 1/2” inside diameter (5/8” outside diameter) vinyl tubing is all you need (I also cute another 2.5' piece to use to pump the water out of the tank when connected to water pump already in the tank)

- 1/2" Male NPT to 1/2 Barb - This weird piece of plastic will make it so your drip manifold has something to connect to. This piece is absolutely necessary if you're making a manifold.

- large air stones (I use 2 x large air stones per air pump since the one I use has 2 outlets - this helps make sure there's plenty of oxygen in the water healthy roots and faster growth)

- 24hr timer (I use the Titan Controls 734100 Apollo 8 2-Outlet 24-Hour Analog Timer)

- hydro starter cubes (I used Rapid Rooters)

Optional Helpful Tools:
- Ph Meter
- PPM Meter
- 3.75" Netpot Lid Covers
- Water pump filter bag (this will keep the inside of your pump free of debris)
- Truck Window Reflector Shield to make insulation around tank to control temperatures under LEDs. (some velco too)

Some supplies, and holes cut into tote lid for netpots:

6 Split Manifold

Where the tubes connect (the other end will be placed in netpot)

Tubes placed in netpots, with water flowing

Placing the water pump and the airstones inside tank

Cut out a little section for the wire and hoses so the lid will close properly

Rinsed clay pebbles about a million times (still didn't seem like enough), then soaked them in ph water for 24 hours

Filled with ph water. (2&1/4tsp of Ph down per 5gal) Also marked a 5gal fill line to make things easier later.

Turned on air and water pump, and placed the manifold in a way that it wouldn't block the net pots.


After installing the insulation around the sides and top of tank, I then filled the netpots with clay pebbles and rapid rooter. I then placed one seed in each pot. The pots not covered are where the seeds are (a "V" shape). Then placed netpot lids over each pot.


This is the nutrients (nutes) schedule I'll be using during this grow. I will usually post each week which week's nute schedule I'm feeding the plants with.

Hey Croatsan!!! Thanks for stopping in and offering a guide. I truly appreciate it, cause I'm sure I'll be reaching out at some point. lol Now I need to go take a peak at your DWC grow.

I'm in the middle of my second RDWC (top-fed), also 10 gallon, also three plants, and I'm pleased to say, things are progressing smoothly. If there's anything I could help you with, let me know.
Here is a chart so you can see the PH Range I'm shooting for (5.5-5.8) and why. As you can see from the left side of the chart (Hydro) if I stay within this range, my plants will have the different nutes they'll need within this range. The right side of the chart is ph range for soil medium.

9/6/16 Week 1 - Day 3 from planting all 3 and I have a winner, which I shall call A1. She's just about sprouted but she still has her seed cap on.


So just a few hours later, I have learned I made my first mistake :-(

I took off the dome bowl I had covering them to take a look and she had shed her seed cap, and she was sticking completely out, I mean the roots were sticking out too. I take that to mean I didn't plant the seeds low enough. My bad. So not sure if it was the right thing but I gently pushed the root down in the hole so you can't see them. I know they're fragile as seedlings, so let's hope she survives.

I also took the opportunity to push the other 2 down a bit as well. One has opened but not sprouted.

Taking off the dome.

See?! the roots sticking out :-(

After gently pushing them back in.
9/7/16 Week 1 - Day 4 from planting all 3. So A1 or Plant1 seems to have recovered so far, but she's more yellowish than green, so hopefully when the lights click on she'll do a little better. Another seed has popped which we shall call A2 or Plant2.


9/8/16 Week 1 - So as of last night I have the 300w LED light on, it's hanging at 40" away. I will be keeping the light on 24 hours through the veg stage. Plant 1 & 2 are out and about, Plant 3 has popped but not fully sprouted out yet, and the sprout that is coming out doesn't have any leaves like the other two, so I might have damaged it a bit, when I pushed the seed back in a little further, maybe I rubbed the baby leaves off. I'm going to baby plant hell :-(
:welcome: PTSDgrower. Nice having you here.

Yes from the minute I started learning how to grow, I've come to learn stoners are very resourceful to say the least. It's all about motivation. lol I learned that when I made my first piece of equipment for my first grow, a poor man's light hood, it's in my first grow journal, I was rather impressed with myself for that one. lol I like building and creating shit, so I love looking at people's pics for inspiration.

I'm in! I like seeing home built DWC systems. Weed smokers can do some engineering shit..
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