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Titan Controls: Flo N Gro Review

Xlr8

Member of the Year: 2012 - Nug of the Year: 2012 - Member of the Month: May 2011, Mar 2012 - Nug of the Month: Sept, Dec 2012
Here are my initial impressions on the Titan Flo N Gro (Ebb N Gro style) hydroponic system, and how I customized it to work in a smaller space.



First, I decided instead of buying their complete 12 bucket system, to build a smaller system using some of their primary components. I have a tent, so I wanted to go with a 6 bucket system.

Primary concerns for me when buying this system was maximizing vertical growing capability, as well as being able to let it run without me a couple of days as necessary, and this fit that bill. I've also seen some amazing grows with Ebb N Gro units, so I knew that decent results should be possible with this hydro method.

I purchased the Titan 6 site upgrade kit, which came witch fittings, buckets, and netpots, as well as some tubing to connect the buckets to one another.

Additionally, I bought their "brain bucket" - the Oceanus Flo N Gro controller, which I felt was essential to manage being away from the grow room for a few days as necessary.

That left me missing a few things to make it a working system. Specifically, I needed a reservoir, water pumps, fittings to connect the unit to the reservoir and additional 3/4" and 1/2" tubing. *These are all things that are included if you buy the entire system, but I was piecing mine together.

I purchased (2) 30 gallon Rubbermaid trash bins for reservoirs, and took one of the lids and installed fittings and tubing to connect the pumps to the reservoir, etc. If you buy the complete system, it comes with a sizable 55 gallon drum.

Since I'm only doing 6 grow sites, and space is a consideration, I went this route for a reservoir: I use 2 containers side by side, one in operation, and one that I pre-fill with RO water and use for reservoir changes. Both are outside of my tent, and pump nutrient solution to brain bucket and plant sites through tubing from reservoir into tent through an access port.

I just add new nutrients to the other rubbermaid, mix up, balance PH, then swap the lids from one rubbermaid bin to the other (along with the pump and tubing connected to the lid). This makes reservoir changes a snap. Afterwards, I clean out the bin that was being used good, connect it to my RO unit, and fill it up with RO water in advance of next reservoir change. Works great.



Price for complete 12 site system is about $600, and comes with 55 gal. drum for reservoir. I spent:

  • ~$300 for Oceanus controller
  • ~$100 for 6 site upgrade
  • ~$60 for (2) Maxijet 1200 pumps
  • ~$20 for fittings and hoses
  • ~$40 for Rubbermaid bins

About $520 total for my custom set-up. I didn't save a ton of $, but I did get it set up the way I wanted it, and it fits my space better



Here's a couple of pics of the unit and some with my particular set-up:

Here is the complete 12 site system, which can be purchased like this in entirety, for about $600
floNgro.gif


Here are the Rubbermaid bins I use for reservoirs, just outside of the tent - notice that I have connectors on the front to refill with my RO system. For 6 sites, I keep reservoir at ~20 gallons:
reservoirs1.jpg


Inside the tent - about day 3 bloom, plants vegged nicely!
sept-26-2.jpg


sept-26-1.jpg


3 days earlier, plant in bottom left is a DWC bucket, and not part of the Flo N Gro:
sept_23_6.jpg




Couple of notes about customizing your own system like I did:

  • Use their recommended pumps - Maxi Jet 1200's
  • Make sure to drill a 1/8" hole in the "flood" fitting in the reservoir above where it connects to the hose. This is essential or you will flood your growspace. Without this a siphon is created and it will continue to flood after pump shuts off. *Please let me know if you have questions about this, it's really important to do this right, but not easy to explain in shorthand*.



Pros of the system:

  • Nutrient solution temps stay cooler since the nutrient solution spends the majority of it's time in a dark cool room outside the tent. (DWC is always a battle to keep the nutrient solution cool without a chiller as it gets so heated up inside the tent).
  • Having the nutrient reservoir outside the tent makes it so I can correct PH between flood cycles even during lights off
  • Square, bucket design keeps plants relatively low so that I can maximize space vertically
  • Don't have to deal with airstones
  • Would work with Scrog
  • 5 gallon buckets with 4 gallon netpots are a nice size and plenty big

Cons and potential pitfalls:
  • Could flood if connections aren't tight
  • some nutrient solution sits in bottom of bucket, but doesn't seem to be a problem
  • Requires a lot of medium, in my case hydroton

Overall, I love this system so far, and so do my plants. There is really nothing I can point to I don't like. The roots on my plants are bone white.



Please feel free to post here any questions on the system, or PM me, if I can help at all I will! :)
 

Goldengoose7

Plant of the Month: Sept 2011, Nov 2012 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2012
Great review XL! :thumb:

Anyone considering such a system should be able to gain a lot of valuable info here thanks to your thorough coverage of this system!

Well done! :bravo:
 

Magic beans

New Member
Great review X!

As I am someone who has this system as well, i will put in my thoughts to this review.

I bought the entire package with the 55gal drum, fittings, etc and my hydro store rep gave me a $25 discount for being a frequent big spender. So i paid about $600 after tax. Normally the price would be around 630 after tax so Xlr8 saved about $100 with his DIY res 6 bucket system.

When you buy the Flo n Gro, the Oceanus 1 is the main component. The Oceanus is an AWESOME controller bucket unit. I give it 9.5/10 only because of the high price point. Besides that it does what its supposed to do and flawlessly. One just needs to watch out when unplugging it and plugging it bavk in, as it may not work until you reset it by unplugging and plugging it back in again.

The main difference between this and any othe ebb n gro system, is the square pots and the mesh pot inserts. Now the mesh pots i didnt really think made much of a difference, until I realized that you van pick the pots up out of their blue buckets, rotate, and move them around. That definitely wouldnt be a fun task with your standard ebb n gro system with stationary, cylindrical pots. I also hear the mesh pots are helpful for root pruning and aeration. Well, root pruning, definitely not. Roots will come out of the sidesand bottoms of the air pots and form a great cluster, but i didnt find that being a problem. Aeration, well, possibly/probably but its something that i dont think would have made a big difference.

The one aspect of the full system that i wasnt 100% satisfied with was the nipples on the lid of the res and the fittings that dont fit lol. The nipples are very short, about 1 cm, and make it very easy for the flood and drain tubes to slide off, even when secured. This ended up causing a flood , partiallymy fault for not securing the fill tube tight enough. My solution was zip ties. They work and you can have peace of mind with them, just make sure to secure them nice and snug!

All in all the Flo n Gro, in my opinion, is a very effective system and anybody can grow a bountiful harvest with one, given the right knowledge. It is a turn-key system that comes with all you need besides medium (and seeds/clones of coarse). It worth the high price tag when considering ease of use and quality and superiority of the product as opposed to othe ebb n grow systems.

Thanks for your review on this system, X, maybe well inspire another grower and see another flo n gro journal in the future!
 

Xlr8

Member of the Year: 2012 - Nug of the Year: 2012 - Member of the Month: May 2011, Mar 2012 - Nug of the Month: Sept, Dec 2012
@ Golden Goose - :thanks: brother. Appreciate that!

@Magic beans - great additional thoughts and info. I'd love to see more journals with this system too. :welldone:

**I want to second the notion of making sure your 1/2" tubing is connected securely to the reservoir - I also use zip ties to keep it secure, but as MB points out, there isn't a lot of room on the fitting for the attached hose, so you need to keep an eye on it as it could create a flood situation which is something nobody wants to experience!**
 

OG13

New Member
Here is part of the flower room, sorry about the striping, no filter.
IMAG021412.jpg

The foreground are plants in soil pots, elevated on a 18" tall drain table about 4'x12'. Mr. W is checking things out in the Flow and Grow aisle. Got 21 buckets in a 4'x12' area, 3000 w. These plants were put in at 20" tall (above the hydroton) which was too big, but my buddy is learning about timing. He also didn't Bushmaster them....;-( that's why they are at 6' now, 3 weeks into flower. Those are Skunk and Strawberry Diesel.
 

4twenty4all

New Member
XL that looks like a nice custom setup. Does it recirculate? I may consider a recirculating DWC with undercurrent in the future.

OG13, looks nice! they did stretch a bit much but still nice. You don't work by green lights by chance do you? ;-)
 

Xlr8

Member of the Year: 2012 - Nug of the Year: 2012 - Member of the Month: May 2011, Mar 2012 - Nug of the Month: Sept, Dec 2012
@OG - Wow! Those are some trees! Nice picture and thanks for chiming in. Looks like it's working good, that's for sure. :thumb:


XL that looks like a nice custom setup. Does it recirculate? I may consider a recirculating DWC with undercurrent in the future.

OG13, looks nice! they did stretch a bit much but still nice. You don't work by green lights by chance do you? ;-)

Hi 4twenty4all - :thanks:

This system isn't a DWC system, so it works a bit differently than that. It's a flood/drain style system that periodically floods the root zones in each bucket, then drains it empty again 15 minutes later. Other than these 15 minute root zone floods, (nearly) all of the nutrient solution is in a reservoir (in my case outside of the tent) waiting for the next flood. I do (on my own - not part of original system concept) put a pump in the reservoir that does nothing but circulate the nutrients in the reservoir to prevent "hot" spots in the nutrients, but it's probably not necessary honestly.

Currently, I flood the root zones for 15 minutes every 3 hours or so with lights on, and once during lights off (just to keep roots damp/moist). During the veg cycle, I don't flood quite as frequently. Every 4-5 hours or so, but may not need to do that much honestly.

As far as a DWC system goes, the undercurrent recirculating that you're thinking of trying is pretty awesome. If I did DWC again for my main grow system, that's what it would be. I'd really like to try an undercurrent set-up sometime.

For me, the Flo N Gro has some advantages over DWC, though. DWC is always a battle to keep nutrient solution temps ideal and aeration sufficient - and it's not nearly as critical or as difficult with the Flo N Gro.
 

OG13

New Member
It works well, even for a beginner. He has to keep the ppms a little low to cater to some more sensitive strains, but he is learning fast. Going to start doing only 2 or 3 similar strains in each system. He almost has the timing part figured out (just needed to not skimp in the veg side of the operation so much). Got about 2500 watts on veg right now to keep up w/ the flower side (12 k watts). For early veg, clones go into small net pots in a small flood and drain tray. For late veg he uses the flo n gro net baskets in a bigger flood and drain tray. Doing about 40% in soil or hempy and 60% in flo n gro. Got 3 separate flo n gro systems for production and soil/hempy is for special/breeding/long finish time plants. Keeps him hopping all the time. Fortunately he works in HVAC.
 

Ty13

New Member
Question about the Titan Flo-N-Gro...It says that it's expandable up to 12 pots right? Forgive me for my Noobieness but what makes it limited to 12 as opposed to the Ebb and Gro which is expandable to 48?? Same question for the Sentinel Ebb and Grow MEF-1??

Thanks in advance, Ty
 

OG13

New Member
I wouldn't run any more than 24 to 30 on any of the systems. Figure out how much water/nutes that many buckets holds......doesn't leave much in the drum. You will be adding about 5 gallons a day at 21 buckets. You also don't want to put all your eggs in one basket if you have a system failure or leak.
 

Ty13

New Member
I wouldn't run any more than 24 to 30 on any of the systems. Figure out how much water/nutes that many buckets holds......doesn't leave much in the drum. You will be adding about 5 gallons a day at 21 buckets. You also don't want to put all your eggs in one basket if you have a system failure or leak.

Okay, thanks! That helped me think a little more logically lol...12-4 gallon buckets is 48 gallons but then just need to calculate the displacement of grow medium and other small details etc. Much appreciated, Ty
 

Xlr8

Member of the Year: 2012 - Nug of the Year: 2012 - Member of the Month: May 2011, Mar 2012 - Nug of the Month: Sept, Dec 2012
Okay, thanks! That helped me think a little more logically lol...12-4 gallon buckets is 48 gallons but then just need to calculate the displacement of grow medium and other small details etc. Much appreciated, Ty

You're on the right track, and I agree with OG13 as well. The only thing I'd add is that you'll want to make sure you have a bit of extra nutrient solution left over to help keep PH buffered and account for the amount the plants uptake over time. 12 plants with a 55 gallon reservoir seems ideal to me, but you could probably squeeze a few more on it. You'll want to think about how long it takes to flood it all, too. I know you'd be okay up to 12, but it might get trickier over that. I'm thinking you'd want to keep it under 15 minutes (timer works in 15 minute increments). 12 plants would probably take most of that 15 minutes.... In case you can't tell, if it were me I'd not do more than 12 per 55 gallon reservoir personally. ;)
 

Ty13

New Member
You're on the right track, and I agree with OG13 as well. The only thing I'd add is that you'll want to make sure you have a bit of extra nutrient solution left over to help keep PH buffered and account for the amount the plants uptake over time. 12 plants with a 55 gallon reservoir seems ideal to me, but you could probably squeeze a few more on it. You'll want to think about how long it takes to flood it all, too. I know you'd be okay up to 12, but it might get trickier over that. I'm thinking you'd want to keep it under 15 minutes (timer works in 15 minute increments). 12 plants would probably take most of that 15 minutes.... In case you can't tell, if it were me I'd not do more than 12 per 55 gallon reservoir personally. ;)

Thanks Xlr8...It's great to hear from you guys with experience!

So since the Flo-N-Gro is a safe bet at 12-4gallon buckets and a 55 gallon reservoir, I'm assuming the CAP Ebb and Gro would be a safe bet at 24-2gallon buckets, provide that the "brain" you had worked well and the buckets weren't too fragile like I've heard?

I've been trying to pick the right ebb and flow bucket systems to fit as many plants as possible for my 15'X14.5' room that is split in to two rooms with the veg. being a little smaller.

What difference in yield do you think there would be using 2 gallon buckets as opposed to a larger system(4-5 gallon buckets) if aiming for a high turn over rate in a perpetual harvest?

Thanks again, Ty
 

OG13

New Member
You're on the right track, and I agree with OG13 as well. The only thing I'd add is that you'll want to make sure you have a bit of extra nutrient solution left over to help keep PH buffered and account for the amount the plants uptake over time. 12 plants with a 55 gallon reservoir seems ideal to me, but you could probably squeeze a few more on it. You'll want to think about how long it takes to flood it all, too. I know you'd be okay up to 12, but it might get trickier over that. I'm thinking you'd want to keep it under 15 minutes (timer works in 15 minute increments). 12 plants would probably take most of that 15 minutes.... In case you can't tell, if it were me I'd not do more than 12 per 55 gallon reservoir personally. ;)

I'm with you there 12.....my buddy runs 21 per reservoir w/ no problems. the Hydroton takes up a bunch of space. I know two guys that run 36 per reservoir and say they have no problems (I don't agree based on what their plants look like ;-)) You do have to be religious on your refill or have an auto setup to keep the res topped up. I would run 24 max per system (4 gal pots) with an auto fill via RO and check level, pH and TDS daily. 21 plants works good from what I've seen. No problems with the timer at 15 minutes to do 21 plants (only using 3 parallel strings of 7 pots) I would use 4 strings of 6 for 24 pots.
 

Xlr8

Member of the Year: 2012 - Nug of the Year: 2012 - Member of the Month: May 2011, Mar 2012 - Nug of the Month: Sept, Dec 2012
I'm with you there 12.....my buddy runs 21 per reservoir w/ no problems. the Hydroton takes up a bunch of space. I know two guys that run 36 per reservoir and say they have no problems (I don't agree based on what their plants look like ;-)) You do have to be religious on your refill or have an auto setup to keep the res topped up. I would run 24 max per system (4 gal pots) with an auto fill via RO and check level, pH and TDS daily. 21 plants works good from what I've seen. No problems with the timer at 15 minutes to do 21 plants (only using 3 parallel strings of 7 pots) I would use 4 strings of 6 for 24 pots.

Wow! I use it in such a smaller scale, and hadn't thought about maxing it out like that. But, good to know it can be stretched that far with a 55 gal. drum. Based on my own experience, I can't figure out how 36 could be done, at least with only a 55 gal. drum and not a lot of root mass. I'm sure he's got some trick, though! No doubt you want to max this out if you're going for production, but I still like 12 (I could see going up to 18) per 55 gal. if it was just about the ideal # of plants for the reservoir and not about maxing production. I like having a little extra nutrient solution in the reservoir, and I hate having it filled so close to the top, personally, but that's just my own baggage, lol! Good info OG13. :thumb:
 

Alaskan1

Member of the Month: Sept 2012 - Nug of the Month: Apr 2013
[*]Make sure to drill a 1/8" hole in the "flood" fitting in the reservoir above where it connects to the hose. This is essential or you will flood your growspace. Without this a siphon is created and it will continue to flood after pump shuts off. *Please let me know if you have questions about this, it's really important to do this right, but not easy to explain in shorthand*.


Xlr8, thanks for starting this thread and the write up. I bought a system based on what I read here. I do have a few questions though.

I am starting with rooted start up clones. What watering cycle should they be on?

I read earlier someone said they were watering for 15 mins every 3 hours, my Hydroponics store where I bought the system said once every hour? What's your suggestion?

I need a little more info in the drilling of the 1/8th hole. I'd PM you but I'm forbidden to PM due to forum policy on new people.

Thanks in advance !
 

Xlr8

Member of the Year: 2012 - Nug of the Year: 2012 - Member of the Month: May 2011, Mar 2012 - Nug of the Month: Sept, Dec 2012
Xlr8, thanks for starting this thread and the write up. I bought a system based on what I read here. I do have a few questions though.

I am starting with rooted start up clones. What watering cycle should they be on?

I read earlier someone said they were watering for 15 mins every 3 hours, my Hydroponics store where I bought the system said once every hour? What's your suggestion?

I need a little more info in the drilling of the 1/8th hole. I'd PM you but I'm forbidden to PM due to forum policy on new people.

Thanks in advance !

Hi alaskan, sorry for missing your post initially. :sorry:

I think you'll really be happy. Did you do a custom style version like I did, or did you buy their whole kit?

I water every 5-6 hours or so during lights on for veg., and I start that as soon as they're in the system. I should note that I grow from seed and use a smaller hydro tub first to get the roots going. As long as you have some roots established you should be okay I'd think.

For me, first flood is about 15 minutes after lights on, and last flood is about 1/2 hour before lights off or so. I want them to be fed soon after lights on, but I like to have a 15 minute window to peak in on them prior to watering if I want. There are people who flood less than me, and probably some who do more, but that's what I do with excellent results so far.

In flower, I flood every 3 hours or so during lights on, and once during lights off just to keep the roots moist. I only flood for 15 minutes, which is plenty. No need to do every hour like the hydro store said!

If you are making a custom version of this, similar to me, then yes - you'll need to drill a hole in the fitting as mentioned. If you have one from them, they should have already done this.

Basically, the hole goes in the FILL fitting that connects the pump in the reservoir, to the lid of the reservoir - mine looks like this:

halfinchconnect.jpg


The pump in the bottom of the reservoir has a (1/2" I think?) tube connected to it, that goes to this fitting. The hose connects over the barb on the fitting, and slides, normally, until it is snug against the hex shaped center part of the fitting. I leave a very small space between that edge and the hose, and drill a 1/8" hole into the fitting right under the hex head that the tubing would normally push up to. This is on the underneath side of the reservoir.

If done correctly, when you operate the system as it fills the buckets, a small stream/trickle of water actually spits back into the reservoir at the same time from the small hole. Make sure your lid seals good or aim the trickle so it doesn't leak onto your floor (happened to me at first).

Without this hole, the siphon action created by initially pumping the water will continue to flood even after the brain bucket tells it to stop, and you'll have a flood in your growspace. I don't know how to explain this better at the moment, so let me know if this still leaves questions and I'll try again, no prob. If needed I can try taking a photo, just let me know, it's no prob.

I'll keep a better eye on this thread and answer any more questions, here or in my journal, that you might have. I'm happy to help, honestly, if I can! :)

I hope this helps, and :goodluck:
 

Xlr8

Member of the Year: 2012 - Nug of the Year: 2012 - Member of the Month: May 2011, Mar 2012 - Nug of the Month: Sept, Dec 2012
Found these tech-tips on the Titan Controls, Flo N Gro section of their website - I thought these were additional good tips on this product and it's use.... :

? = My Flo-N-Gro won't stop pumping water and the system is flooding?

A = There is a 1/8" siphon hole in the straight fitting that goes into the top of your reservoir. It is just under the top of the lid drilled into the side of the staight fitting. If this hole is covered by the fill hose, the system goes into a constant fill mode and can flood. If you back down the 1/2" tubing and expose the siphon hole, your system will function correctly.

? = I have 8 Flo-N-Gro GRO sites on a single run and they do not fill evenly before the FILL cycle is completed?

A = The 3/4" tubing can constrict the water and will not fill all the GRO sites evenly if there are too many sites on a single output port . If possible, try to run even numbers of GRO sites on each output port. For instance, run 2 lines of 4 GRO sites or better yet, 4 lines of 2 GRO sites, and you'll find that they will fill more evenly.

? = My timer does not seem to be working properly, it just keeps blinking?

A = The power plug acts like an ON/OFF switch in this product. Always make sure that your Oceanus 1 is unplugged before setting or adjusting the timer. Set your feeding schedule (3 times daily for Hydroton, 2 times daily for 80% HydroKorral/20% cocoa mix and 1 time daily for Grodan cubes, as suggestions), then set your correct time of day, and then plug your power plug back into a 120 VAC outlet. Oceanus 1 will maintain time and schedule until the power is defeated.

? = How can I check to see if my Oceanus 1 controller is functioning properly?

A = Go to the 'Tech Tips' section for the Oceanus 1 for a test procedure.​
 

Alaskan1

Member of the Month: Sept 2012 - Nug of the Month: Apr 2013
Thanks for the info!!!
I actually bought the entire system plus the 6 pot expansion pack. Kinda stoked to get it set up in my new tent!
 
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