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The Meticulous Grow - DWC - 4x4 - 400W/600W MH/HPS - 4 Ladies - 2 Strains

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
Greetings once again 420

In the last month, I've written a "Planning Phase" post that was not much of an interesting read due to lack of pictures, and with only theory issues being dealt with. There have also been some delays with some material at the local grow shop, forcing me to have started the journey 1 week ago.

In that post you can find all my grow set-up information: https://www.420magazine.com/forums/...-tent-600w-mh-hps-4-ladies-3.html#post2285343

How things are by now...

Seedlings have sprouted by "Paper Towel" method, although I believe they germed for way to long before being moved to the Rockwool. As a result, I couldn't press the seed as down as I would like into the Rockwool, as it would damage the taproot by forcing them down. As a result, I ended up having way to tall and thin stems, with both cotyledones starting yellow, but having turned green later on. This did not happen with the Super Lemon Haze, only with the Blue Dream, because SLH had a slower root popping out of the seed.

1 of the blue dream has fallen into one side due to weight and, because the rockwool was cracked, the root hole is to loose. I'm transplanting this plant right away into the netpot with hydroton in order to keep it vertical and with some stability to the stem.
The 2nd Blue Dream is having trouble getting rid of the seed capsule, and has not "open" its cotyledons.

Both Super Lemon Haze are up and strong, already starting to have the set of true leaves (serrated leaves) and is already ready for some lighting.

Seeds took 1.5-2 days to germinate in moist paper towel, and are sitting in rockwool for 4 days now. The rockwool is being rehydrate once everyday, with 5.5 tap water (chlorine evaporated) and no nutes yet.

My alternative for the "to tall" Blue Dream is to drop the rockwool a bit deeper in the netpot than planned, holding the stem with the hydroton media, and not having the plant poking out to soon.

Cajuncelt, I'll be needing some help as this journey has started pretty nasty already.
Keeping my mind positive, I've always put effort into getting the mediums and material sterilized and PH buffered down to 5.5, to avoid bigger PH fluctuations once the DWC is running.

Paper Towel Technique, sitting in lamp with cloth to stop the light, plus giving the heat:

Ladies on the Rockwool (they usually sit in a home-made germination box):

Blue Dream sprouting issue (in the back you can see the curvy blue dream that has now fallen to the left. I've put the rockwool on the side so gravity can keep the stem from bending even more)

The Room:

'Dem totes Ph buffed after chlorine evaporation:

I would very much like to know your opinion on nutes for this 2nd week. I feel they could use some nutes (30-40% of recommended dosage) and the incoming light, so some of these initial issues can be dealt with.
As I'll be using 250w MH for vegetation I really need to test the light with air extraction on and a fan blowing the hot air coming from the lamp to the top of the tent (no cooltube).

See you soon! :Namaste:

Light Addict

Plant of the Year 2013 & 2016 - Member of the Month: Nov 2013, June 2015, Oct 2016 - Nug of the Month: July 2016 - Plant of the Month: Aug & Dec 2013, Mar 2014, Mar 2016, Dec 2016
Subbed and thanks for the kind words on my thread! :)
Don't be afraid of supporting them with cocktail sticks or such like. I use CFLs for baby girls, and have them just a couple of inches from seedlings.
Burying the lanky further down in the net pots should be fine! :)
As for the bit I'm about, the training. Ill happily help all you want. Just holla anytime and Ill do what I can.

Best of buds! :)


New Member
Groovy. You're seedlings need more light. Drop that light down to about 24"-30" above them. After a couple of days lower light more just a hair. This will get the light to em. They're turning yellow from the light being too high.

Prop the bendies with toothpick or similar.

Don't over water. Get a gentle indirect breeze on them from a floor fan. Go out & get Silica or ask shop for a sample size. This will make the lil ones heat resistant & immediately strengthen the plants cells.

Don't worry. I dislike the 1st week of seedlings too. Always have. They'll kick in after you harden them off & be vegging happy.

You've LA here so you're in great hands. You'll be up n running soon. You picked some awesome strains by the way.

#1 early mistakes... Too much water, too many nutes, too much (or little) light. Stay out of their way as much as possible for now.

Keep posting & have fun!

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
They did not receive any light up until that picture. There weren't any cotyledones on the blue dream by then: one hasn't open properly due to problems extracting the seed (by it's own, I did not force any capsule removal) and the other girl was underdeveloped.

Today, one of the blue dreams has collapsed during transplantation to the netpot. The stem was to high, thin and fragile.

As it has only been a week and seedlings have had some stress that might have stunted growth (stayed to long in paper towel and didn't receive light at the right time), I'm thinking of popping the last blue dream seed to compensate for this one. This time I'll transplant from the paper towel into the rockwool as soon as it pops an half-inch taproot, and let it join the others on the room.

Question: The other blue dream that survived is the one that did not "open" and kept the seed shape on its end. Is there a way I can help it open? Like tearing the thin layer of "membrane" that is around it? Or should I wait for the effect of the light to appear, forcing them to open?


New Member
For the left over seed pod, put a dome or translucent plastic cover over the seedling. The humidity will shed the shell.
Oh, you're in rockwool. Spray the pod lightly & let the shell soak up the moisture for awhile. Should be loose enough to carefully pull off w/ tweezers.
For the lanky seedlings, you can repot them up to their coty leaves. Be careful, not recommended, but if they're gonna fall/break for sure then you might consider it.
When the pod sticks, there was not enough humidity or seed was too shallow. No biggie though. Carefully pull it off of it doesn't open the coty leaves in say, 2 days.

When your beans germ, get them under light ASAP.

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
Alright then. The "membrane" has been removed from the Blue Dream and it has open its cotyledons.

Plants have been put on the hydroton and net pot, still blue dream is quite bended.
The net pots aren't yet put in the totes as they still need to be finished doing the holes on the lids. The totem system (including water pump and tubing) will be running for 1-2 days with PH balanced water before transplanting to lower possible future pH oscillations.

Fan has been put since lighting schedule started (18/6), pointing upwards into the bulb, not directly into the babies, dissipating heat that couldn't reach the seedlings canopy. It results in a gentle breeze that moves the stems just a little bit. I hope this can strengthen them.
As the light schedule just started yesterday (big mistake) i'm thinking of only supporting the blue dream stem tommorow, so it has more width and can handle the "training". What do you think? Should I straighten her up ASAP?

Rockwool and Hydroton for next seed and to fill up a bit more an actual netpot have been washed and now are stabilizing in 5.5 pH solution.

Should I do a 1st dosage of nutrients (really weak, but how weak) so I have more chances of the steams hardening rather than keeping growing upwards?

Temperatures in the light cycles with 250w MH (dimmable ballast): Night: 24ºC (75F); Day: 26ºC (78.8F). It is standing at 60cm (24 inches)

Humidity: approx to 60% by day (vents open to lower temperature cause by lighting). At night usually goes to 70% with vents closed.

How it looks:

The room:

The kindergarden:

Blue Dream bent


New Member
More light. Drop that light down.
For seedlings, cheapo CFL's are best, not the HID. Keep the light on 24 hours for now.

CFL's work so well for seedlings because you're encouraging root growth at this stage, not hardcore vegging. Too much HID at this stage will kick in their growth hormone & they'll concentrate energy to veg, not root.

If you only have the MH, its no biggie. But, get that light down closer & leave it on 24 hours for a few days.The 18 hour lighting is for vegging. She's not there yet. Wait a few before 18/6.

Prop them up now. Theyll strengthen up pretty quick. Be REAL careful.

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
Really appreciated Cajun. Do you think starting to lower the light from 45cm/17inches (5cm/2inches per day from then on) is enough, or should I lower it more right away?

Im keeping the MH for now since it's kinda late to have CFL's. Next grow I'll invest in some.

Going to prop them ASAP, just have to study a bit for an exam :3

You guys are the best.


New Member
Your 400w MH is 17" from the seedling? Sorry, hard to tell from the pic. That's a good distance.

Leave it on them 24 hours for a few days, but with a 400w, keep an eye on them for heart stress/burning. You're probably good now.
Keep the air moving to make the vibrate with the indirect breeze. Sounds like you're there already. Good.

The light, air, no nutes yet, & propping the viney stretchers ought to get you to Week 1 of vegging.
Oh, & don't lower the light anymore if you're 18" or so from them. It looked like 3' up from the pic. My bad.
In about 3-4 days when they're under control, then switch to your 18/6 schedule. As babies, they can only synthesize light to a small degree. You want that tap root running around looking for air/room. So, seedlings are about getting the root system going initially for several days to a week under strong (not too strong), 24 hour light. After that, switch to 18/6, feed at 1/4 nutes strength lightly, don't baby them & mess with them. Those lanky weak stems will harden & straighten fast & hit veg in over drive.
Germ'g in nets sucks because you can't just up n repot them. You risk the clay crushing the seedlings.

In DWC, you might try germ'g in starter plugs then transplant to net pots/hydroton.

Chin up. This plant is one tough sh%t. I frankly abuse the crap out of them during training. Low stress, but rough all the same.

I'm know you've done your research on hydro, ph'ing, etc., so if you will... on pics just for now put light height, when fed/watered, what week in veg, light schedule, & temps.

The other fun info like humidity, ect. comes later. I don't think you're gonna jack any of that up yet.

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
It's a 400W MH bulb but in 250w setting on the ballast!!! I'm not trying to fry them just yet :3 I'm just introducing them to light with the weakest I've got. it doesn't generate the same amount of heat as the 400w setting, and allows me to lower it.

Cajun, I feel your very kind and motivating words! It sure brings my enthusiasm and dedication up! I'm slightly scared because I didn't want the seedlings to be looking this stretchy and weak, and sadly I might have already wasted some genetic potential of this strain, obviously resulting in a lower yield. But practice always overcomes the ideological theory knowledge and kicks you right in the stomach saying: "WELCOME TO REAL LIFE!"

Let's get the hands dirty. Following a straight nutrient and cleaning schedule and being aware that action is required in unpredictable situations and FAST, I might just pull it out.

Kudos Cajun.


New Member
No sir. Those seedlings stretching won't affect yield, health, node spacing, nothing like that.

They'll get caught up quick & blow you away.

I'm gonna share something some may not know & may strongly disagree with:

Dimmable ballasts are almost useless. They're the best quality usually, but because the way they're made. Not dimmability.

It sounds awesome to be able to dim, but the truth for HIDs is that the bulb's color output as shown on the box is changed when you dim the light. Plants don't see light as we do. HID bulbs are designed to run at 1 full power setting. Any less you lose the benefits of the initial light spectrum. Other types of light can be dimmed & color not altered. Not HID.

IMO, crank that ballast up to 100% (400w) & get the true grow spectrum the plants need. Keep the height you have, but monitor for any signs of heat stress. I put my 400w Plantmax MH about 24" above for 2 days or so. Then lower a few inches until they smile, about 18" or so.

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
Very well,
first of all I must apologize my absence but these past two weeks have been a true pain in the a$$ as everything work/study/grow related has turned out less than satisfactory, really depressing and mood-killing.
Can't help to say that I was ashamed of posting the following bad-news , especially about one of this tale's main character.
I'm bringing my chin back up, dedication too, and hoping for luck to come by now. It is desperately needed. Work must be put now. The delayed growth and action will be back up!


Last friday 7/11, during prop of the surviving Blue Dream , because of inexperienced hands and care, the netpot dropped out of the table and fell into the floor, resulting in a stem lesion, much in the liking of a supercrop, thus partially blocking solute ascension to the photosynthetic leaves, coming from the root. I have kept the plant, propped with a shoe-lace tied around a pencil that was stuck between the rockwoll and the hydroton. Growth seems to be stunted, without new branches appearing and color hasn't developed as the other plants have (which, by the way, are rock-solid-shining green!)

Picture Update:

SLH #1: Solid Green, no heat stress, is strong and firm. This strain really adapts well to new growers since she quickly takes back on slightly over watering her (hand watering). She could look droopy on the first 2 days after an slightly-over-water feeding, but as the water was cut back from it (letting it dry a bit more than usual, and then applied the correct amount of H20), she quickly bounces back-up, invigorated. Remember that they may look tall, because they stretched quite a lot right at the beginning so (noob), still the new growth has come with really small inter-space between nods. I take this as a good response. I must care for the stem that, in my opinion should be already thicker.

SLH #2: Pretty much looking the same as the number 1

The New Baby BD. Now this looks more like a more properly done seedling. It still needs to been fully covered by hydroton, but only when she gets a bit more consistency.

Damaged and Prop'ed Blue Dream. Well, I've kept her hanging on, praying for karma to strike my way. Hopefully, after delayed healing, she might bring herself back up, but the recovered damaged zone now seems to have thickened but isn't functional - she seems strangled. Serrated leaves at the top have turned into darker green, and 0 new growth. Should I just take her off?...:'(

Future Plans:

After these 2 weeks, and the with the holes just finished being carved into the totem's lid, the Super Lemon Haze combo is ready to be placed in the totem. Such is scheduled to happen this friday/saturday. She is now almost 3 weeks old: 1 week and half for germing/rotting, and then 1,5 weeks of "real" growth past that. I think it is time to start dosing of nutrient solution, (at 30-40-50% question?) using the recommended dosage of GHE 3 part flora series for hydro/aero/coco set-ups. 100% strength says 2,5ml/10L (1ml/Gal) for first two weeks of vegging; 7ml/10L (2,6 ml/Gal) for 3rd week of vegging. I should have started using nutes by the beginning of this week now, but due to delays on the damaged BD and the new BD, and time being tight, they will start now, as if they were at week 1 of vegging. And so should I do the 100% recommended dosage for 1st vegging week (1ml/gal) as I am late on the schedule? and if they react ok I shall gradually increase the strength up to the recommended dosage for next weeks of vegging (2 and 3 and so on?)
I shall do the e.c/ppm test on a starting 30% nutrient solution, and check if resulting numbers all the way up to the desired ppm's.
With such a weird life going on, I must admit I'm missing on schedules and I'm kinda lost about what should be done now: What are the desired ppm's for the looks of those ladies (with and without tap water base ppm level)? I will re-study it but any help to take immediate action is needed.

New Blue Dream: She is young and might start on really light nutrient solution for first week of vegging (maybe 60% of recommended dosage)

Further questions: When to start training?

Will have ppm/e.c tests really soon too.
I need to crank myself up really fast.

Thank you for your time,

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
Temperatures in the room have been lower because of low ambient temperatures over my country. With lights on (26ºC), without light (21ºC). Because of the new seedlings, I must not lower the light much more than it is, but will lower 10 cm progressively(4 inches, in the following days). Light is on on the 18/6 schedule.

So, 1 week late on nutes, yet they don't show signs of "hunger". It could have been a really huge mess-up. I also understand I might have lost a week of bigger and fatter growth. A huge lack of time and mind-state can really take it's toll on a grow.

Now for today, I'll charge them with a nutrient solution by hand watering. Full first week of veg dosage (concentration). I stated those values on the previous post.

I wonder how soon can I have the 24/24 watering circulation system working on as it wouldn't need the hand watering. Still I don't think roots are all over the hydroton, and if I put the "waterfall" on the netpot sides, I'm afraid it won't reach for them roots or maybe even do the oposite: drowning the cube resulting in droopy leaves.


New Member
Hey Groovy.
They look great. I wouldn't worry about time so much. All grows ate pretty much like that. Wacky things go on here & there.
Of you haven't freed them yet, I'd use 1/4 strength no matter how old they werev first time. Don't be in any hurry to feed full strength. Growing is about the lights & roots, not the liquid salt we have to pour in them.

Sorry for typos... its from a phone.

Groovy Bud

Well-Known Member
Cheers once again Cajun. Thanks for letting my mind loose of this remorse.

Thing is that recommended dosage for first veg week of GH Flora 3 part series seems so low... (2,5 ml of micro, 2,5 grow, 2,5 bloom per 10L which converts to 1ml/gal of each). I've seen people going 600 ppm's for first veg week, and I'm worried that it might just not hit the spot.

Question: Initial nutrient solution's ppm/e.c. value. :reading420magazine: AND then ranges to stay within each week. I've read countless opinions, but as I look into the Lucas formula (doesn't use one of the 3 bottles) it suggests more added volume of nutes, more than the GH3 chart.

After this next week of vegging, as the new blue dream gains another set of leaves, I'll push the full 400w of that bulb lady, and take advantage out of the current low weather temperatures.

Light Addict

Plant of the Year 2013 & 2016 - Member of the Month: Nov 2013, June 2015, Oct 2016 - Nug of the Month: July 2016 - Plant of the Month: Aug & Dec 2013, Mar 2014, Mar 2016, Dec 2016
I'm not great at recommended levels etc. Yet most nute companies over state doses. Less is nearly always more with MJ. Its far easier to feed up then try and bring back after a overdose. Your plants will tell you when hungry through the colour. To light and you need more food as a general rule. To dark back off. :)
So start gently and work your way up incrementally! :)
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