Paintedbudman's Hydroponic GDP Grow In New Tent And New LED Lights

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
Ok, lets try this again. I've been growing now for about 6 years and I've written several grow journals in the past but usually either lost interest or things just didn't work out as planned. This time it will be different! I think I know what has been going wrong. A friend of mine has said time and again “plan the work and then work the plan.” I never really had a concrete well thought out plan in mind when I started. I will first present the plan I have. Then describe the implementation of the equipment. Finally I will plant and follow the first grow in my new setup. By the way any comments, thoughts, etc. are always welcome and appreciated. I love commentary, and am willing to learn from anyone if they can explain why they are correct!

I've been thinking things over for several months now and believe I have a workable plan in mind with a series of considered steps (some of which will have to be modified in process or in other words work the plan). Below is an outline of what steps I plan to accomplish during this grow. After the plan description I will follow with the implementation. This will include more detailed descriptions of the components and their actual assembly (many pictures of this process will, I hope, be included at this point). It is my hope that after reading this grow journal you will be able to duplicate my equipment, procedures, and results. If you feel the need for more information to accomplish this goal please ask and I will try to provide!


First Step: Build the growing environment​

Grow Tent: Before you can grow anything you have to set up your grow tent. In this case I decided to start fresh and buy a new grow tent and light system (it is Christmas and I bought myself some presents). Some of my most recent grows have entirely filled my 4'x2'x6' grow tent so I decided to go a bit larger and have purchased a 4'x4'x6.5' Grow Tent.

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Grow Light: For the new grow light, I spent quite a bit of time looking and researching the newer LED lights that are now available. I decided that I needed between 400 and 700 real watts of light and wanted a very even coverage. I am also value conscious and was looking for a good deal. After a great deal of looking and specification reading I settled on a light that I think has excellent specs and a reasonable price. It is not a well known brand but I decided to gamble on it anyway. I purchased a 700 watt light that looks to me like it would be ideal in a 4'x4' tent. From all the numbers and the price (~$450), the UU7000 LED Grow Light looks excellent!


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This is very much one of those areas I would like some feedback on. If anyone can give me an opinion on this light, especially if you have one or know someone who has one of this brand, I would love to hear all about it!

Hydroponics setup: The hydroponics setup I have is homebuilt. It is a similar in design concept to the General Hydroponics Water-farm system but with all home bought or built components. I started with a 27gallon storage tote that I purchased from Home depot. I then mounted a 5 gallon bucket with a 10” netpot full of hydroton clay pellets in the lid. I used a small fountain pump from Harbor Freight to continuously run reservoir solution over the clay pellets using some drip irrigation tubing supplies. Inside the tote I have a good airstone to keep the solution aerated as well as well mixed. I'll show you pictures of each component as the system gets assembled. Right now I'll show a picture of one that is currently in use and most likely the one that will be used in the new setup.


I think that's enough for now. In the next section I will describe what and how I'm going to grow this plant. You know things like strain, Nute and Nute schedule, Watering schedule, data collection (pH, EC, etc.), training, light schedule, and probably a whole lot more. Take care until then!!!






 

Bill284

Member of the Month: March 2021; April 2022 - Grow Journal of the Month: April 2021 - Plant of the Month: Nov 2021 - Member of the Year: 2021
Hello @paintedbudman hope you are well.
Sounds like you have a good plan this time.
We are all around any time you need help.
That light though, I think I'd order something from a reputable sponsor who has been around a while.
I used a new company and had a fire from the light.
Well hope you don't mind if I'm first on the bus.:popcorn:
Happy growing

Stay safe
Bill
 

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
Second Step: Setting the procedural parameters
specific to this grow



Strain : Granddaddy Purple Feminized

Water: Distilled Until flush then use tap water. Water level in the resevoir will be checked and recorded every morning. 10” in the tank is 20 gallons. I add water everytime the level gets below 9” and add 1 gallon for every 1/2” below 10”.

pH and EC measurements: pH and EC measurements are collected every morning at least 30 minutes after water addition if there is one. pH is maintained between 5.6 and 6.0. If the pH is outside this range pH up or pH down is added. Approximately 2.5ml of either will move the pH 0.1-0.2 units in the 20 gallons in the tote.

Nutes and Light Schedule: I use the 3 part General Hydroponics Flora series. Initial week of seedling growth reservoir is adjusted to an EC ~0.4 with a equal parts of FloraGrow, FloraMicro, FloraBloom , and CalMag. I think it ends up at ~50 ml of each but I will finalize those numbers when I actually do the additions. After the initial week I add additional FloraGrow and FloraMicro (50 ml and 25 ml respectively) every time I water until the EC gets to 0.8. I maintain this EC level by adding 50ml of FloraGrow and 25ml of FloraMicro every time the EC gets below 0.7. This usually takes it up to close to an EC of 0.9.

Once I change the lights to 12/12 (timing of which is described below in the LST section), I now add 50ml FloraBloom and 25ml FloraMicro every time I add water until the EC gets to ~1.5 at which point I try to maintain the EC above 1.4 with additional adds of FloraBloom and FloraMicro. I also at this point add some additional CalMag (maybe 50ml). About 3 weeks prior to harvest I stop feeding and just add distilled water. The EC drifts down slowly during this time. Finally about a week prior to harvest I drain the reservoir completely (or as completely as I can) and refill with pH adjusted tap water. I see no reason to flush with distilled water.

LST: I am planning on doing some low stress training and some pruning on this grow. First I am planning on running a wire along both diagonals of the grow tent about 10” above the top of my net pot. When the plant gets above these wires, I will snip the growing main stalk and all but the top 4 growing branches. The plant will be positioned such that each of these remaining branches will extend from the center of the grow tent along each wire to the corners. Once the plant has grown enough such that the branch growing tips each reach the corner and by necessity turn up, I will then change the light from 18/6 hours light to dark to 12/12 light to dark. Not sure how much trimming of the branches I will do as they extend out these wires. I will observe how much space I have but I expect at the very least the small branches that extend toward the floor of the grow tent will be clipped. My intention here is to spread out the growing plant and keep as many of the buds highly exposed to a good amount of light while keeping the plant low and out of the very intense light.

Well, I'm going to stop here for a bit and publish this but I will be back with more. I should have the grow tent actual installation started in a week or so where I will have many more pictures and explanations as I actually build eveything!! As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
 

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
Hello @paintedbudman hope you are well.
Sounds like you have a good plan this time.
We are all around any time you need help.
That light though, I think I'd order something from a reputable sponsor who has been around a while.
I used a new company and had a fire from the light.
Well hope you don't mind if I'm first on the bus.:popcorn:
Happy growing

Stay safe
Bill
I hear what you are saying. Safety is important. I worked in a research lab for most of my career so I understand the need for fire safety, electrical safety, chemical safety, etc etc. But I already bought the light so I will use it, but I will keep a close eye on everything. Beyond that: Welcome to the grow!! hope you enjoy!!
 

Rexer

Member of the Month: April 2021, Feb 2022 - Photo of the Month: July 2021 - Grow Journal of the Month: Nov 2021
Hey @paintedbudman
Nice start up of your journal. Mind if I grab a seat?
Can I make a suggestion? Well knowing me I will anyways :laugh2:
pH and EC measurements are collected every morning at least 30 minutes after water addition if there is one. pH is maintained between 5.6 and 6.0. If the pH is outside this range pH up or pH down is added. Approximately 2.5ml of either will move the pH 0.1-0.2 units in the 20 gallons in the tote.
Check your EC and PH each morning, prior to adding anything to the reservoir. I do a before and after each addition to the reservoir. A quick trick, use two Dixie cups, stick your ph pen in one, tds in the other. Snap a quick pic after (I usually poke my head in the tent while the meters settle), that picture has a time and date stamp which you can refer back to for your journal.
Your PH can also go up to 6.3 or so before needing a reset.

Did you already buy your nutes?
 

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
Rexer,

Welcome to the ride. Hopefully, we will all learn something as well as have fun!!!!


I do usually check my pH and EC before I add water but what I've found is that if I adjust the water level first the readings are more consistent over time (shows a less noisy signal). I have taken pictures before but usually I just enter the readings into a spread sheet along with any other data that I collect on the plant (for example height, but in this grow with the LST I'm planning, I'm not sure if that would be really an important variable to track. Finally, I set my limits on pH because a single dropper full of pH up will adjust a pH of 5.6 to approxomately 5.8 and one dropper of pH down will take it from 6.0 to ~5.8. Its very easy to adjust pH, if you just add one dropper full of the appropriate material you generally end up right at 5.8, where I want it most of the time anyway.

Finally, I have already bought my nutes and I have been using these for a couple of years with good results. Why? do you have any suggestions for others I might want to try at some point. I'm always willing to listen, especially if you can give me data as to why your point of view is correct.
 

Rexer

Member of the Month: April 2021, Feb 2022 - Photo of the Month: July 2021 - Grow Journal of the Month: Nov 2021
Rexer,

Welcome to the ride. Hopefully, we will all learn something as well as have fun!!!!
Sounds good with me brother
I do usually check my pH and EC before I add water but what I've found is that if I adjust the water level first the readings are more consistent over time (shows a less noisy signal).
The reason I suggest doing it before, is it removes unknown variables and gives a true reading of the reservoirs current state.
I have taken pictures before but usually I just enter the readings into a spread sheet along with any other data that I collect on the plant (for example height, but in this grow with the LST I'm planning, I'm not sure if that would be really an important variable to track. Finally, I set my limits on pH because a single dropper full of pH up will adjust a pH of 5.6 to approxomately 5.8 and one dropper of pH down will take it from 6.0 to ~5.8. Its very easy to adjust pH, if you just add one dropper full of the appropriate material you generally end up right at 5.8, where I want it most of the time anyway.
sounds good to Me! You'll be perfectly fine in those ph ranges.
Finally, I have already bought my nutes and I have been using these for a couple of years with good results. Why? do you have any suggestions for others I might want to try at some point. I'm always willing to listen, especially if you can give me data as to why your point of view is correct.
Oh I was just curious, I've personally preferred the GH FloraNova series. One bottle for grow, one for bloom and gets great results, only downside is its viscosity is really thick.

In the end you know your stuff, and whatever works for you, works. Just making conversation and I really look forward to your grow!
 

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
I haven't been on this journal much lately because not much is happening. I am finishing of the harvest of a Critical autoflower (see below). Once she is done (Hopefully today), I can start to remove the current grow tents (a 2x4x6 and a 2x2x4 tent) and clean up the area where my new setup will be built, I hope to get this started this weekend.

 

LKABudMan

Nug of the Month: March 2022 - Grow Journal of the Month: April 2022 - Plant of the Month: April 2022

Bill284

Member of the Month: March 2021; April 2022 - Grow Journal of the Month: April 2021 - Plant of the Month: Nov 2021 - Member of the Year: 2021
I haven't been on this journal much lately because not much is happening. I am finishing of the harvest of a Critical autoflower (see below). Once she is done (Hopefully today), I can start to remove the current grow tents (a 2x4x6 and a 2x2x4 tent) and clean up the area where my new setup will be built, I hope to get this started this weekend.

Woohoo a new grow should be fun.
Hope everything goes well.
Tag me if I miss the start of the new one.
BTW congratulations on your harvest my friend. :thumb:

Stay safe
Bill
 

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
I cleaned out the area my new grow tent will be located.


The first step is the grow tent assembly. I unpacked the box and it all looked pretty simple. Everything was there and the instructions were about one page.


The metal frame was a snap to put together.


The grow tent skin was a bit more difficulty. For this tent size (4x4x6'8") and weight of fabric I would suggest 2 people to put it on. I managed to get it assembled myself, but it would have been much easier with 2.


Took a total of about an hour by myself to assemble the tent.

The final step was installing the light and a fan for air exchanges. And voila I now have a working grow tent.


The final step was installing the light. I installed the light by placing it on the horizontal support struts inside the grow tent. I then cut out a slit on the top of the tent to allow air and heat to escape as well as to make sure that none of the light was in physical contact with the grow tent skin (I have since cut the flap off that you see in this photo)


This also allows access to the controls on the light (this light has its own timer as well as a humidity and temperature sensor that displays on the light).


The next step will be to install my hydroponics system in this tent. I'll be detailing that as well as starting the germination of my GDP plant in the next day or two.
 
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paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
Next step is to install the hydroponics system in the tent. Shown below are a couple of pics of the actual setup I plan to start with. It consist of a 27gallon tote (Home Depot), a 5 gallon bucket with the bottom cut out mounted on the lid of the tote, a 10" netpot filled with hydroton clay pellets, a cheap fountain pump (harbor freight), some irrigation tubing and supplies, and an airstone (see pics below).





Now to add water and turn everything on. Done and done (I know you can't see it, but I've added 8 gallons of distilled water and got everything started). After confirming no leaks and everything is good continued to add water until I have 10" in (turns out this is right at 18 gallons but the last inch is almost exactly 2 gallons). Next step is seed germination.

Also, in the initial setup I noted I needed more airflow into the tent to maintain the temperatures that I want so I have ordered a fan for the tent and will install it once it comes in.
 
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paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
Started my seed germination this afternoon at ~5pm. I use a modified paper towel method for germination that has worked very well for me over the years. First, I place the seed in distilled water for ~24 hours. Every once in a while, I push the seed under water and check the temperature. I try to keep the temperature around 80°F throughout the germination process. Usually, the seed will sink to the bottom of the cup. After 24hours, I then transfer to a paper towel for 1-3 days, until the tap root is at least 1/2" long. At that point I transfer the seed to soil in a carboard planting container and plant in my hydroton pellets in the grow room. When this happens, I call it day zero of the grow.

Below are pictures of my seed in its packaging and and in the water. Also, seed next to light (heat source) and on top of temperature sensor and separate of sensor itself. I'll continue to document its progress pictorially over the next couple of days as things happen.




 

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
Added 25ml each of floragrow, floramicro, florabloom, and calmag+ to the reservoir last night. This raised the EC from 0.03 to 0.36. This is where I will let it remain until the next water addition, or after ~1 week if it doesn't need water before then. I will add 50ml of flora grow and 25 ml of floramicro and 25ml of calmag. This should bring the EC up to about 0.8. I'll maintain this at this level until flipping to 12/12s on the lights.

pH was 7.06 after overnight in the reservoir. Added ~2ml (~1 dropper full, one squeeze of the bulb) of pH down to adjust pH. Checked the pH after ~1/2 hour it was 5.7. This is good enough for now. I will monitor and adjust as necessary going forward.
 

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
The GDP seed was on the bottom of the cup this morning. Left it there until the full 24hrs had passed. Then transferred the seed to a paper towel that had been saturated with water. After ringing out enough water so the paper towel was wet but not too wet. I usually look for very damp but no drips or droplet formation when it is just held lightly. Then I put the seed and paper towel in a small plastic bag, seal it, and place it under a light to maintain temperature at 80-83°F. I will check this every ~24 hours to see its progress. In general, if I see nothing after 2 days it is probably not going to work. I had one seed that took 3 days in the towel to send out its tap root, but the rest if it hasn't happened after 2 days it isn't going to.



sorry about the blurry seed picture :(
 

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
Checked on the seed in the towel this morning - nothing, then just a bit ago, about 12:30ish I checked again and lo and behold a small tap root is starting to emerge. It should be ready to put in the dirt this evening or tomorrow morning. Shown below is the seed just starting and where it soon will be planted to start its long journey into my pipe!


 

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
After an overnight in the paper towel the GDP seed is ready to plant. Poked a small hole in the soil and dropped the root into the soil and left the head just on the surface. I covered this with a small cup to keep the soil moist on the surface and to protect the seedling. Don't know if this really does anything but I've been doing it for years this way. LOL.


 

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
Its a new day and my GDP seed is struggling to get out of its seedcoat. I'll update with pictures everyday or two as the girl grows. I will also about once a week publish the measurements and such I am collecting on the grow. If anyone has any comments or questions or well just anything do not hesitate to drop in and speak up!! As always keep it green!

 

paintedbudman

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the info! I will try that next time. I always just dropped the tap into the hole but I see the phenomenon that you are talking about. Maybe this is why I often have to remove the seed casing by hand. Which, by the way, I have just done a couple minutes ago. Here are a couple of pictures. I usually use a couple of picks to pull the seed casing apart and off (also pictured).




 
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