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RageMonkey's Phototron - White Widow

RageMonkey

New Member
Well, I got my hands on a phototron, so i figured I would give it a shot and see what it could produce and maybe get some good pics for you guys of a white widow grow.

Anyway, here is what I started with:

- Phototron 8 (51" tall) with AVP module
- 1 bag of miracle grow planting mix (peat, sphagnum, whatever)
- 1 household CFL
- 1 sunleave hygrometer/thermometer with remote sensor
- 1 x 90 LED blue grow lamp 6.4 watt
- 1 x 90 LED red grow lamp 6.4 watt
- 1 spray bottle
- 1 digital timer to manage the bloom cycle
- bottled spring water (poland spring)
- some plastic wrap, tape, shot glass, solo cups, a knife, power strip, and rubber bands

Ferts:
- 2-4-2 vigaro root stimulator
- 10-10-10 vigaro all purpose
- 15-30-15 miracle grow bloom

Seeds:
- 10 x Nirvana White Widow

Lights:

- veg: 24/0
- bloom: 12/12

So, now that we got that out of the way - I'll lay out the expected plan:

Germination: This will be accomplished using the presoak method. Seeds are left in a shot glass full of poland spring 24 hours under two solo cups to block the light. Afterwards, solo cups are prepared for planting. Each cup has 6 slits cut vertically into the sides near the bottom approximately 1.5" in length. This is for drainage. Each cup is filled 2/3 with planting mix. The planting mix is thoroughly saturated with water to create a dense mud ball. 1 heaping tablesspoon of planting mix is placed on top of the mud ball. This is sprayed 2 - 3 timees with water to moisten the layer and settle it down. the seed is placed on this layer. Then a layer of planting soil is added to the cup 2mm deep and sprayed with water 2 times to moisten the layer. Solo cups are then placed into the large planter inside the phototron. The planter is wrapped in plastic wrap to maintain a high humidity environment. Rubber bands secure the plastic wrap extremely well. At this point the setup is only exposed to the single household CFL, placed low over the pot to add some warmth. NOTE: I tried to do this originally with the photoron lights and no AVP panel. That was a disaster. The high temperatures inside the box killed the sprouts and the seeds. The CFL keeps the cups at about 78 F and creates some humidity. Germination should take 3/4 days.

Sprouts: When The sprouts are out and displaying petals, I will switch on the phototron lights with the AVP fans running as long as the tmep stays near 80 F. Ejection temperatures of 99 F without the AVP fans killed my last sprouts, so I will have to monitor this the first couple days almost hourly. I will continue to use the CFL at a low level above the plants in an effort to keep them compact. At this point, the sprouts will recieve a mild dilution of root stimulator sprayed directly into each cup. Nothing can be porred into the cup until the roots have really taken. Sprout care should take 4/5 days.

Veg: Once the plants have a few leaves and don't need to be constantly sprayed to maintain humidity, water will be restricted until the planting mix is dry. The solo cups will be cut away and the plants will be transplanted into the main shared pot. The CFL will be removed and replaced with the blue LED grow lamp to supplement the phototron lights. The plants will be started on a 1/2 dilution 10-10-10 for the second week. I'm skeptical about the nutes already in the soil. I will probably need to add more nitrogen after week 3. I'll need to watch for light green color or dried leaf tips. Veg should continue for about 8 - 10 weeks. If I get a full 5 plants growing, I'll try some creative pruning on one of them. We'll see if the pyroponic pruning claims hold water. I'm not going to slash up all my plants. Let's try one and maybe compar eit at the end.

Bloom: Once the plants reach a decent height, I'll put them on the timer 12/12. I'll swap the blue LED for red LED grow lamp. Any males that show up in the box will get chopped. Flowering for these is supposed to be 8/9 weeks, so hopefully we get some nice photos of a completed phototron grow. Just before harvest, i'll cut the lights for 2/3 days and see if I can get these plants to panic and overproduce.

Harvest: I plan to do my best to clip the buds and leave the majority of the plant unmolested. If they survive, I'll throw them back into 24/0 for a month with the blue LED and we'll see if we can bloom them again like the phototron people claim.


Wish me luck.


Anyway, I'm already into the sprouting stage. So I'll try to get all the photos I've taken posted. So far, I have 5 healthy sprouts. 2 are forming the first two leaves after the petals. 2 are half way through unfolding the petals and 1 is 1 inch tall having discarded the seed cap and is getting ready to roll out the petals. Since I have a good mix of sprout stages I decided to remove the plastic wrap and start the sprout cycle. If the 5th one dies, then I know it needed more humidity and I can adjust my germ process on the next grow.

Pics to come soon. RageMonkey =)
 

MOTAvation

420 Plant of the Month: Third Place Winner
Good Luck! Ill be checking this journal out
 

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
Matey, could you please reload your images through the gallery and post them again. All images must be loaded through the gallery. If you have any problems, please let me know.
I will follow this journal with interest, seeing as I am just finishing off a grow with Nirvana's White Widow.
 

RageMonkey

New Member
Matey, could you please reload your images through the gallery and post them again. All images must be loaded through the gallery. If you have any problems, please let me know.
I will follow this journal with interest, seeing as I am just finishing off a grow with Nirvana's White Widow.

Hwy, sorry about that. I editied the entry and submitted the photos for approval. I'll post them after they are approved. Thx, RM
 

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
Thanks matey. Now, down to the serious business of your grow. I have been fascinated with the phototron for years. Good luck.
 

RageMonkey

New Member
Germination Photos:

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Germination Setup: Plastic wrapped container with solo cups. 1" water in the container to add humidity. Placed under a low CFL.

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1410.jpg

Sprout setup: Plastic wrap removed. Still under CFL.


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RageMonkey

New Member
Sweet dude! A phototron and L.E.D.'s! I've wondered if either could successfully grow cannabis for so long, now my questions will get answered! Excellent!

I actually took out the cfl and placed the blue LED in last night. They are now on full light. The phototron has an auxilary socket in the top that provides a standard household plug.

Since yesterday two of the sprouts are displaying a second set of tiny leaves and they have a nice lush apearance. I've managed to raise the temperature to 85/86 F and the humidity is now in the low to mid 20's as a result. If I left the CFL with the full lights, the phototron would be in the 90 F range and I don't want to go that high. It would likely cook the sprouts.

I'll get you a picture soon. It looks like 1 of the sprouts has a bit of a problem in that the two petals are stuck together. It's nothign I can fix without damagign the sprout, so I'll have to wait to see if that sprout works it out.
 

Herb Fellow

New Member
Are the sides of the Phototron one way glass with mirror side in?
 

RageMonkey

New Member
Are the sides of the Phototron one way glass with mirror side in?

The side panels are made of either acrylic or polycarbonate and there is a solar film (reflective) applied to the internal surface. I suspect these are acrylic. The film looks like 60% mirror tint like the
kind you would use on car windows. It works fairly well. when you remove a panel, the light that spills out is incredibly bright. It definitely keeps the vast majority of light in the box.

If you look at the 7th picture down from the top, it's a good picture of how well the inner surface acts like a mirror.
 

RageMonkey

New Member
I just found out I'll have to leave the country for 10 days at the beginning of October. Oh what joy. Anyway, I just ordered a Claber Oasis drip irrigation system to cover me while I'm gone. It should get here with a week or so. I should have enough time to test it before I leave. Hopefully, it doesn't turn my plants into a wetland scene.
 

RageMonkey

New Member
Yeah, these 5 sprouts are growing fast. The ones in the center exposed to more direct light from the blue led grow lamp are growing faster and noticeably bending away form the outside phototron lights and more towards the center. I had to rotate one of the cups because it has two seedlings and the outer one is two days behind the inside one.

I'm somewhat amazed at how well they repond to the blue led considering it is suspended 3' above the plants at the top of the chamber.

3 of the 5 plants are already displaying very lush, healthy 7mm fan leaves. 1 sprout had petals that were fused together at the tip. I separated these yesterday with fine cutical scissors and today the petals are open and the secondary leaves are approximately 2mm. 1 sprout was deformed and the dominant petal would not open. This was preventing light from reaching the other petal as well. this clearly stunted the sprout's growth during the first 3 days. Yesterday I removed the dominant petal in an attempt to save the sprout. Portions of the sprouts' remaining petal are a bit dried, but the secondary leaves have started to grow and are approximately 1mm. I will have to keep an eye on this sprout. I am fairly sure it will survive, but I fear it will be behind the others.

Temp is being maintained between 80 - 87 F according to the thermometer/hygrometer. Relative humidity varies between 17 - 28%. I definitely reccomend the sunleaves thermometer/hygrometer. the remote probe has been exceptionally useful in determining soil surface temperature and it has a min/max logging feature which allows me to tell how much the conditions have varied between checks.

I will take photos tonight and post an update, so you can see the growth that has developed over the past 3 days. These sprouts are very encouraging considering they are on day 6 from the start including the 24 seed soak.


When it arrives, I will post some pictures and after I return from abroad, I'll post a review of how well it worked during the 10 days that I will be gone. It should do fine considering it has a 25 liter resevoir. Right now these 5 sprouts are consuming approximately 0.4 liters of water/day on a 24 hour schedule. I imagine that in 1 month this consumption will have increase significantly.
 
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RageMonkey

New Member
I don't have good news to report. The sprout with the damaged petal is not looking so hot. The sprout that opened after having the petals separated has healthy petals but the tips of the secondary leaves are starting to shrivel.

The three sprouts that are displaying fan leaves are dark incolor. The biggest one is droopier more than I would expect. The middle sprout is showing some drying on the petals and I fear they will drop off too soon. The third is showing some drying on the tips of the leaves after showing roughly a 75% increase in size ont he secondary leaves.

I'm not sure what to make of why they seem to be turnign sick all of a sudden. I suspect there may be a soil ph problem. I will pick up a kit tomorrow and check it if they survive until then.
 

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
If you can get a hold of some sea tea, it is a fantastic tonic for stressed plants. Apply by foliar spray in 1/4 dilution every 5 days.
 

RageMonkey

New Member
Seriously, these look like they are on the way out. all the petals are drying out and the leaves are gettign crispy. I'm not holding my breath with these. They look terrible. I just need to figure out what went wrong so I can avoid this problem next time. Whatever it is, it pretty much killed them in a day.

The way the leaves are curling under suggests they are over fertilized, but I'm not sure how that's possible since I only gave them a 2-4-2 root stimulator like a week ago. It's possible this miracle grow planting mix has too much crap in it.

Anyway, I was planning to get myself some more seeds anyway. Next time I'll start the seeds in 'rapid rooters' and transplant them into a decent soil medium.
 

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
Bingo matey. Miracle grow is too hot for young plants. Many, many other growers have also had this problem with MG. It sucks!
 

Urdedpal

New Member
I don't believe that MG sucks, its just not for seedlings and no ferts on seedlings is best.
Combining the fact that you treated your seedling like a clipping being rooted also did not help. You don't need a humidity dome for seedlings (seedlings need to breathe) and your temp is not the best.

Now I know temp control is not that bad, but combining the other problems and you will have problems. I wouldn't use a root stimulator on seedlings. I thought they work best for clones and transplant.
I would also change to a potting or seedling soil with no nutes til the plant is at least 2 weeks old or 5 inches.
 

RageMonkey

New Member
Yeah I think I'm going to write these off and get some rapid rooters and Foxfarm organic. I'm pretty sure this soil sucks. I need to order new seeds. I think I'll get 20 or so northern lights instead. Supposedly, it will be alot more robust and I'll still benefit from a relatively short blooming period.

No worries. I figure I'll probably kill at least 50 plants before I gain the skill neccessary to produce some decent buds. I gues syou have to make all the mistakes to learn from them. =)
 
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