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Rex's Hydro Grow: Somango Auto & Super Skunk Auto: Drop In & Learn Or Help With Some Easy Hydroponics

Rexer

Well-Known Member
Hi folks and :welcome: to my 3rd medical grow using Autoflowers. I'll be using a DIY ebb and flow system that was relatively cheap to setup, is automated, & runs from my phone. The environment consists of an insulated grow cabinet that measures 5 feet height, 4 feet in width, and 3 feet in depth. The cabinet is an odd size as it was built to fit an odd space. There is no visible hinges or locks on it, and must be opened via a remote control key fob. And yes, I mounted a 46 inch TV to the door of my cabinet....cause well, why not?
For this grow I'll be using Mega Crop, GH liquid koolbloom, GH CaMg+ if needed, and H202 for sterilization. Cyco PH up/down, and I think that should be it.
Lighting will be a vivosun 400watt MH/HPS.
Temperature is controlled via an Inkbird Wi-Fi controller (can adjust by phone remotely). There is an 8 inch exhaust that eventually gets reduced down to 4 inches. And a 6 inch intake reduced to 4 inches. Air is exchanged via tubes to outside.
Humidity will be controlled by Inkbird humidity controller operating a mini humidifier and dehumidifier (swapped in & out as needed).
A 64 liter tote will act as my reservoir. Sitting directly above it on a DIY stand is two cheap mortar tubs fitted with ebb and flow kits from the Zon. A cheap vivosun water pump acts to flood the mortar tubs with nutrients. Watering is on a cycle that runs for 1 hour floods every 3 hours, this can be overrode anytime by phone for a manual triggered flood. Inside each tub and the reservoir is airstones powered by a cheap vivosun air pump.
On top of each mortar tub is DIY covers made from plywood holding 4x 6 inch Net cups.
Of course I have tds and PH pens to adjust the nutrients (aka nutes). Target PH will be between 5.8 to 6.5 using natural PH drift.

Here is a pic as I'm resetting the cabinet from my last run.
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The intake air ducting wraps around the reservoir helping to chill it. There is also a water leak detector on the floor of the cabinet.
The cabinet can also be monitored remotely via a paning camera.

Here is a write up on how I automated my grow. You can read the pros and cons.
How to setup a smart power strip for a grow

This grow will have light defoliation as needed, lots of LST, supercropping, and a scrog net to help. I've used all in the past grows without issues yet.

Beans have been dropped in water. More updates shortly!
 
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Rexer

Well-Known Member
So in .. I am tired of lugging buckets :popcorn:
I've got severe nerve damage, I can't lift more then a 4l jug without pain. I'll show you my method when filling the reservoir. Easy as can be.

And most importantly, thanks for being the first here! :48:
 

Rexer

Well-Known Member
I’m in great last grow I know you’ll do it again .
Ahhh thanks man, glad you found the journal! Should be interesting, I have no clue how these somangos will produce.

Never even heard of the strain before this week to be honest :hmmmm:
 

Rexer

Well-Known Member
Been a fun evening of boiling hydroton to disinfect them as I continue working on resetting my system.

Seeds have been planted after a 24hr soak. 3/4 have cracked and the tail is just peeping though.

I'm not using anything other then plain tap water and hydroton at this point. Not even PH adjustments.

My method here, while simple, is tricky. Take a solo cup, fill it with hydroton. Then fill it with water to about 3-4 cm below the top of the hydroton. Very carefully put one soaked seed in per cup on the hydroton. Gently tape a 2nd solo cup upside down to have a makeshift lid. Try not to knock the cup as you put it someplace warm and safe. If you knock the seed into the water in the cup it will drown. Right now it needs to be on the hydroton. Come back every 6-8 hours or so (can be done sooner, but I wouldn't go longer) and use a pipette to drop water carefully onto the seeds...one or two drops per seed total. The idea is to give it just what it needs to get it's roots down to the water.
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Rexer

Well-Known Member
Oh wow . Boil hydrotron ? How much does a bag of that cost where you at?

Hmmm it's less about how much it costs, vs what's in the budget. I think I paid around 100 bucks to have a huge bag delivered a long while ago, and am halfway through it. But it's a reusable resource so I try not to waste any. I also tend to use it in my outdoor hydroponic veggie garden. I got to try my first hydroponic zucchini and spaghetti squash this summr :high-five:
 

Northern Hydro

Well-Known Member
Hmmm it's less about how much it costs, vs what's in the budget. I think I paid around 100 bucks to have a huge bag delivered a long while ago, and am halfway through it. But it's a reusable resource so I try not to waste any. I also tend to use it in my outdoor hydroponic veggie garden. I got to try my first hydroponic zucchini and spaghetti squash this summr :high-five:
Ohh. Yeah ..I made that mistake , once, ordering it online ...turns out a 50 litre bag is like 29 bucks at my local hydro store haha
I spend too much time gazing at the plants to fuss with the built up salts and algae but I did bleach and boil a batch once ..pain in the ass!
You have the patience of a saint . :bravo:
 

Rexer

Well-Known Member
Ohh. Yeah ..I made that mistake , once, ordering it online ...turns out a 50 litre bag is like 29 bucks at my local hydro store haha
I spend too much time gazing at the plants to fuss with the built up salts and algae but I did bleach and boil a batch once ..pain in the ass!
You have the patience of a saint . :bravo:

Aww thanks! All I do really is pass them through a colander to give a good rinse, drop them into my spegetti sauce pot, and fill with water. Toss the lid on and come back a few hours later. Any plant material is boiled right down, the heat causes the pores on the hydroton to open up and rids any excess salt build up (at least i like to think it does). Stinks like hell though lol. Next they go back into the 6 inch net cups. Tomorrow hopefully I'll finish up re-plumbing everything back together (pics will happen!).
 

Rexer

Well-Known Member
So not much to add tonight. Checked on them a few minutes ago (was actually only 2nd time today). Added about 1-2ml of water drop by drop onto each seed. One looks like it's thirsty AF and has its tap root out. Always a good sign!
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Rexer

Well-Known Member
Today was a minimal kind of day. I had minimal energy, but got a few things just about done. Pump is back in, and two 6 inch stones have been sanded and put back in. The sanding helps unclog any porous parts of the stone where the air isn't getting through. First fill will have a very strong h202 addition and run to fully disinfect anything I missed (prior to plants going in).
Checked the seeds, none have fallen into the water and drowned :high-five:

One, in the last pic was so upside down I had to get her repositioned. Won't be long before they pop up and need light. Stones and seeds were still damp so barely any water was added. On a side note: when doing this method, should you notice the water level in cup needs changing, or is too high, slide a pipette into the cup to remove the excess water. It will disturb things less that way.
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Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018
Been a fun evening of boiling hydroton to disinfect them as I continue working on resetting my system.

Seeds have been planted after a 24hr soak. 3/4 have cracked and the tail is just peeping though.

I'm not using anything other then plain tap water and hydroton at this point. Not even PH adjustments.

My method here, while simple, is tricky. Take a solo cup, fill it with hydroton. Then fill it with water to about 3-4 cm below the top of the hydroton. Very carefully put one soaked seed in per cup on the hydroton. Gently tape a 2nd solo cup upside down to have a makeshift lid. Try not to knock the cup as you put it someplace warm and safe. If you knock the seed into the water in the cup it will drown. Right now it needs to be on the hydroton. Come back every 6-8 hours or so (can be done sooner, but I wouldn't go longer) and use a pipette to drop water carefully onto the seeds...one or two drops per seed total. The idea is to give it just what it needs to get it's roots down to the water.
20201212_185637.jpg

20201212_211737.jpg

20201212_212000_001.jpg

Hey Bro, that's the long way around...here's the hack with Hydroton. Stand a bag in the bathtub, open just the top evenly across, and FILL the standing bag with warm water until the water level is almost to the top, rinsing all around as you fill so the water flows over all the pebbles, then they soak. Once filled, use an ice pick or awl to poke a bunch of small holes in the bottom edge of the bag so the water all drains out. Move the bag slightly a few times so all the water and dust drains out the bottom. You now have rinsed clay pebbles ready for use, still in the bag. It's NOT necessary to disinfect this stuff, it's a neutral medium. But DON'T re-use it. Doing so you can run into a lot of trouble because you introduce every microorganism that grew during your last grow into your next one.

Also, you will likely lose a lot of precious seeds if you try rooting them just by placing them in Hydroton...they need contact and support to develop for several weeks before they go into such a rough medium. You should use another neutral medium for the first step (like a rooting plug, below) THEN when roots get going (they are ready when the taproot appears out the bottom) put the whole assembly into a rockwool cube, below, which will keep the environment ideal for seedlings while their roots grow, and that unit is very easy to maintain and then plant INTO a full bucket of Hydroton. Seeds need more root protection, and ideally your roots will never be interfered with and remain protected as they grow with this method.

To illustrate:




I don't lose too many with this method, and all these neutral elements work fine with hydro.

Just some suggestions. There are many ways to do everything but my suggestions are the result of having tried a lot of different methods, all of which I have detailed in my journal over the past 4 years or so. We learn more every grow. Keep up the effort brother and good luck.

Peace, Hyena
 
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Rexer

Well-Known Member
Hey Bro, that's the long way around...here's the hack with Hydroton. Stand a bag in the bathtub, open just the top evenly across, and FILL the standing bag with warm water until the water level is almost to the top, rinsing all around as you fill so the water flows over all the pebbles, then they soak. Once filled, use an ice pick or awl to poke a bunch of small holes in the bottom edge of the bag so the water all drains out. Move the bag slightly a few times so all the water and dust drains out the bottom. You now have rinsed clay pebbles ready for use, still in the bag. It's NOT necessary to disinfect this stuff, it's a neutral medium. But DON'T re-use it. Doing so you can run into a lot of trouble because you introduce every microorganism that grew during your last grow into your next one.

Also, you will likely lose a lot of precious seeds if you try rooting them just by placing them in Hydroton...they need contact and support to develop for several weeks before they go into such a rough medium. You should use another neutral medium for the first step (like a rooting plug, below) THEN when roots get going (they are ready when the taproot appears out the bottom) put the whole assembly into a rockwool cube, below, which will keep the environment ideal for seedlings while their roots grow, and that unit is very easy to maintain and then plant INTO a full bucket of Hydroton. Seeds need more root protection, and ideally your roots will never be interfered with and remain protected as they grow with this method.

To illustrate:




I don't lose too many with this method, and all these neutral elements work fine with hydro.

Just some suggestions. There are many ways to do everything but my suggestions are the result of having tried a lot of different methods, all of which I have detailed in my journal over the past 4 years or so. We learn more every grow. Keep up the effort brother and good luck.

Peace, Hyena

Hyena, welcome & thank you. Every word and advice given (especially from truly experienced growers like yourself) is taken with great consideration and much appreciation.

Regarding the hydroton, and if you wouldn't mind weighing back in I'd appreciate it. The reason my hydroton was boiled for several hours was to sterilize it as it was being recycled from a previous grow. To say my budget is limited for the next foreseeable future is an understatement. The truth is right now it's hard enough to keep food on the table, so every penny I can save on my medication budget is done. So, bearing that in mind, inbetween each grow (veggie & cannabis) I boil my hydroton for several hours in a pot with the lid on then use h202 to sterilize when in the system. I'm not sure if I've just been lucky or the steps I've taken are enough.

I actually have rockwool (maybe a hundred cubes?) Left but have avoided its usage as I've killed less plants without it. Believe it or not, since using this method I've increased my germination success (watch now that I said that I'll have jinxed myself :19: ). The biggest problem I've had is the rate of shells stuck to the plant increases.
I'm actually quite fine should a small amount of stunting occur. It is impossible for me to grow 4 Autoflowers without incurring bud bleaching, its too low of headroom. 4 were planted as that is max i can in my cabinet, but really 3 should be my max (I accounted for a possible loss of 1 at germination). But next grow I'm hoping for some better changes to the cabinet. This grow will be a shitshow for visual appeal of the final product, it's all for personal and so long as it helps manage pain, then it's a win.

I'll be doing some work on the cabinet soon, and will show some measurements, it's less then ideal, but should hopefully give me 300 grams of medication, that's my goal anyhow.

Thank you once again brother :Namaste:
 
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Rexer

Well-Known Member
Thank you! Appreciate the kind words Vex, wish I could have built it a few feet higher or accommodate a external reservoir and lower the tables. Future hopes for some cabinet reworking. For now it fills as much space as I could squeeze in for a grow.

:ganjamon:
 
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