PhotoTron Grow with Ebb N Flow

Will this grow succeed in your opinion?

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Hello. Newbie here who is attempting a first time grow as a caregiver for a prop 215 patient. Starting out can be very expensive when all parts have to be purchased all at once. I was able to get a start with a purchase from "da Craig"; a Phototron 9 for $50. :ganjamon:
I know that HID is the ultimate way to go but that will be in the future. So, to try out a modified 'tron grow.

Here is the overall space so far.


Closeup of the bottom of the 'tron and the "flood tray" which consists of an 11 quart bucket, overflow tube and small floodline from a small mag pump in the res.


Over to the left, you can see the General Hydroponics Flora Series being used along with a Vitamin B-1 solution that also contains Chelated Iron, Manganese, and Zinc. All are in a 5 gallon reservoir at 1/4 strength.

TDS readings are around 870 PPM.

The pH meter I had initially was malfunctioning so I did not get proper readings until day +4. I am aiming for pH 5.8.

Ebb N Flow has been running 5 times at 30 minutes each time spread out over 18 hours and then 6 hours nothing. I have replaced the timer at day +5 and set the schedule to 4 times at 15 minute sessions spaced every 6 hours.

Light cycle is presently 24/0.

Here are the two little ones.

Plant 1, Day +1



Plant 2, Day +1



Move forward to day +5 (today). Additional lights added. 2 27 watt, 5500K CFL's suspended about 4 inches above plants.

Plant 1, Day +5




Note the leaf curling along the center spine of each leaflet. Open to suggestions on cause.

Plant 2, Day +5




This plant does not have the leaf curl issue that plant 1 has. Rather, it exhibits some curling on the tips along with some brown tips as well. Even noted on new leaf coming from top and spotted some color variation of one leaf surface.

Temps would be considered high between upper 80s to upper 90s degrees F. Phototron book describes their method desiring that range. I'm considering placing or suspending a box fan above the 'tron to augment the otherwise passive venting it does. Garage can get fairly warm so would be nice to move some fresh air into chamber.

Heh. I just got the pics to show correctly so they can be viewed easier.

Thanks for the vote mystery person! I'm open to peoples comments so fire away guys and gals. Growth is slow; my guess is they are acclimating to their new home. Will post more pics in a few days. Considering a grow tent or fashioning a wood frame with plastic sheeting to get area zoned off and prepare for upcoming dark periods.

I'm guessing that you could turn off the 'tron's side-lighting for the time being with no hit to the growth.

Seems like kind of early in the grow to already be seeing nutrient salt buildup on your clay balls. Is that just from oversplash?
There was an initial problem with the overflow tip in the bucket. If the hose is into the reservoir, the back pressure forces the air to bubble out the top and that forced the high water mark to rise. It went to the tops of the rocks and onto some of the bottom leaves. :whoa: You can see that salt in day +1 shots. I've tried to rub off the salt. Anyways, if I make sure the return overflow hose is above the water line in the rez, it flows fine and I cannot see the water at all when flooded.

They are only presently getting 15 minute x 4 cycles per day. I've also got the 5500K bulbs down pretty close like 2 inches or a bit less. I can see the whiter light reflecting on the leaves now. I'm going to watch them closely but both have decent new growth. One just has a wickedly short internode right now. I'd say like 4 millimeters. Maybe the internodes will space out more on future nodes but for now there are like 4 leaves in less than 1/2 an inch. I think my low initial growth has to do with transplantation to a new environment. New nutes, lights, light schedule, temp level, etc. Newer growth is looking different, some broadening of leaves, generally healthier. Attributing this to acclimated foliage. Time will tell.

I have to come up with a light proof solution in a few weeks I guess.

Ok, it has been a while. I've made a few changes in anticipation of the oncoming dark periods. I splurged and got a proper tent with inline fan. Hydrohut silver edition 4 x 4 with Hydrofarm 6 inch inline fan. Cobbled together a scrubber mainly to help muffle the fan. Also made a fresh air intake that pulls cooler outside air into the hot garage and into the tent. Not as good as an A/C but uses much less electricity. I'm limited to the one shared 15A line so I just don't want to risk the extra load.

On with some pics.

Shot of inside the tent

Pic of the Ventilation

Now the little ladies with a Bic for size comparison


are you still using those little rocks? just out of curiousity, why aren't you using the spangdum moss stuff that the phototron is recommended to be used with.
Good luck on your grow. If done correctly, you will have a fine harvest.
are you still using those little rocks? just out of curiousity, why aren't you using the spangdum moss stuff that the phototron is recommended to be used with.
Good luck on your grow. If done correctly, you will have a fine harvest.

Yeah, those rocks are called Hydroton rocks. That is the brand name. They are made from an inert clay that helps create spaces in the medium. My system is an ebb and flow setup, so I just flood the bucket inside the phototron for 15 minutes, every 6 hours. The rest of the time, the roots are exposed to the air in the Hydroton media. I've even added a air pump and stone to the reservoir and run it for 30 minutes just before the nutrient pump kicks in so the nutrient fluid is oxygenated as well.

The guy I bought the 'tron from said he had some good success with it if he followed the instructions exactly. That includes buying the moss from Pyraponic Industries. It has been reported that other bulk sphagnum moss is often treated with chemicals that will interfere with growth. So, if going that route, get it from them. The ebb and flow system I have was cheap to build and requires much less tending to make sure the moisture level is right.


P.S. Both ladies are growing well. Changed out rez on Sunday to the GH growth level formula. My TDS over doubled from my last rez change. I'm watching them carefully as this was probably too much too quick considering the heat levels.
Here is where I'm at on day 18. Looks like the ladies are tolerating the nute level just fine. I've started removing larger leaves (pruning) and a few lateral shoots (pinching) per Pyraponic's instruction book. The plant on the left makes leaves over 4 inches much easier than the plant on the right. Guess is it has more sativa in it as the internodal length is also longer. This leaf removal is slowing down the upward growth of the plant without question. Should be interesting to see how well this technique will work out in the end. The more indica plant on the right is catching up now.



Day 22. Just switched the lights from 24/0 to 18/6 per pyraponic's instruction for phototron. I will put in pics as notable, visible changes occur. Doesn't seem there is too much interest in this thread thus far. Guess I'm getting lost in the many journals on this site.
Don't get discouraged Munki, there are alot of journals and alot of established growers doing them. It just takes time to build an audience. Your plants look good and you seem to have a good grip on what you are trying to do...keep it up Brother!

+rep for you!
Don't get discouraged Munki, there are alot of journals and alot of established growers doing them. It just takes time to build an audience. Your plants look good and you seem to have a good grip on what you are trying to do...keep it up Brother!

+rep for you!

Thanks man. Sometimes us newbies need some support :cheer: so I appreciate the chime in. +rep right back atcha! Got a little less that 4 hours until the first dark period completes. I didn't poke my head into the tent too much before but its harder not to when I can't for some reason. Regardless, it is a good thing I can cut the lights for a while as the heat is on in my neck of the woods.

Hey, welcome to 420 forums, you will find everything here under the Grow Room section, and just by reading other people journals its amazing how much you can learn!

So far your plants are looking like they've perked up, and definatly on the up. Still early days, but just wait till they shoot up and start showing you the starting buds!

What strain did you say it was?

The other thing that's hard to realize is that 95% percent of the people that read these threads can't post because they haven't registered. Of the 5% that view, only some actually post; usually when they have something specific to weigh in on.
hi there tron and how is the grow going dude ??? any new photos to share with us yet ? i have been getting a grow on in soil but i am looking at other mediums because i am watering by hand and its a pain in the ass, do you recommend the ebb and flow system and was it expensive to buy?? keep up the good work bro,, green thumb
@Ms.Fox - Glad to have you aboard. As this journey progreses, I will most likely need your sage advice.

@fuuji0019 - Thanks for the post. Plants are doing very will so far. I can't tell you how stoked I am to see beautiful, vigorous, and green growth! :cool: As far as the strains, I don't know! I need to get back in contact with the loke who supplied the clones. Once I find out, I'll post it.

@Soniq420 - Thanks for fixing my pictures in post #8. Yeah, I know most do not contribute to a web conversation. That is OK as long as I can get a few newbie, skilled, and experts to post here along the way. That way, some good questions, answers, and advice will be wrapped into the completed journal and may help someone in the future or even spawn a new idea in this shared love of growing.

@Green Thumb - It's going good man. I'll take some more shots tonight when the ladies wake up but I can show what I "pinched" and "pruned" last night.


It feels almost sacrilegious to remove all this beautiful growth, but I understand what the designer's of this technique were trying to do. that is, limit upward growth to encourage the lateral branching. I think if I use the phototron in another grow, I would try adding Bushmaster to the mix. Seems like a natural fit to the limited space.

I can't post links to other websites here, but a Google of "tron2hydro" helped me out. No worries if fluid will leak into the ballasts using this method.

I thought of doing an LST grow here, but with all the lateral lighting, I wasn't sure if it would do as well.

+rep to you all.
OK. Here are some pics from today just before the lights went out for the day.




Note all the pruned petioles showing as I pruned a lot last night. Should be interesting to see if they fill out into these areas.
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