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Thread: Deep Water Culture grow

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    Deep Water Culture grow

    Ok has anyone tried this? From seed they work fast 3 days and White Rhino was peeking through. They are now creeping up on 3 weeks and it seems as if things have slowed drastically. Maybe I am a little excited about the first time and showing excelent signs from all the reading I have been doing and learning by everyone elses questions and the awesome answers. What I want to know is what have you heard and is there anything extra I should do for them besides 24 hours of light and 1/4 strength nutrients. I thought maybe the PH level was off but it is at 7.0 going to lower if needed but if not I will keep it the same. What experiences has anyone heard from this type of system. I am using 2 85 watt CFL one blue spectrum and one red spectrum. I was told this is good enough light pluss I have mylar lining the entire room with reflectors on the sides of the babies to give some under light. Talk to me I want to do this right. I am working on pics.

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    Cannabis Connoisseur Boss's Avatar
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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    May consider dropping to 20/4?

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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    Please explain how this will be benificial going 20 and 4

    I do know a bit about plants but first time in Deep Water Culture never a real serious grow either. Now I want it to go smooth. Thank you for the video now I know I have a very nice looking set going I will post soon.

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    420 Member BlackThumb's Avatar
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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    Hey GW, been a few weeks since your original post- hows it going for you to date? I'm curious as I just made my own similar based on user posts in this forum. Does that system just leave the water pump on all the time thru tubes to the bottom of the rockwool, or do you have yours on a timer? I know the air stays on, just wondering how you keep the rockwool from staying to wet.
    I just finished making mine two days ago and am nervous as can be having moved two little ones into their slots yesterday morning, although my lid only has three holes where you have six. I put my water pump on a ART DNe timer today as my cubes are way wet and both babies look over watered after work today. I'm still having trouble dialing in the correct on/off times. Very delicate balance between soaked, and don't let the roots dry, you know. I only see chasing this in the future as plants move through different stages of growth ie soaker to start, then roots hanging under net cups but above solution, then finally going DWC once they reach nute liquid level.
    The video S.Moose posted doesn't show under the hood either so just wondering how you throttle up/down on feed rate? You probably got some fancy regulator with a kit like that or something. I just used what was available locally for total cost of right at $50 US, not counting lights. Beside the timer, I used a manifold thingy made by Aqua Shuttle with cute little valves on each of six outlet stems. The things all plastic so not to sure about longevity. I have one tube each going to the bottom of the rockwool, and am playing with the Home Depot available micro-spray nozzles on the other three.
    My two lights for this unit look just like in the video and are Sunlite 85w, 65ook daylight bulbs. I know they also make 105w, but I got what my budget could handle right now. I also just used a big ass air stone where your unit has some big disc or something. I guess I will find out if mine puts enough agitation out. Are yours like those 4 or 5 inch diameter things I see at the fish stores, or something unique to this kit thing? Sorry for all the questions, I guess I could do a little digging online since S.Mouse's video has a name on the front of it, but figured I'd ask ya how yours are progressing. I took a photo of my lid before putting in service yesterday so will attach it here. Would still like to hear of your experience since original post. Thanks.

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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    The way you have your set up is good. I use nutrients to the gallon so I do not need a meter I just feed when low and they go from there. The pump is on 24 hours a day as well as the air pump. I actually need a part like yours that has the valves on it. Keep lights close and heat down and make sure you check on them often to make sure the water is ok. That is one problem I had with this thing. It took some work but they all made it and everything is good now.

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    420 Member BlackThumb's Avatar
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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    Do you check your nute Ph every day? My Walmart special bin is 10 gallon or so I guess, and I put about 6 gallons into it then just put me a marker line on outside to tell when it drops. I am using AN nutes and also mix per gallon based roughly on their calculator.
    I made my first big mess this morning trying to get samples out for testing/adjusting and hanging container on lip only to pour on my foot. There ain't no Ph electrode in my shoe, so needless to say needed another sample and to clean up my mess. I can only hope I get better at this on a short learning curve as I check Ph every morning and adjust EC with nutes as level drops. Started EC at 800ppm and moving to 1000 start of next week. This must get even more difficult as the plants grow in height/mass, do you block your lid up somehow when you need to go inside? Sure be nice if the thing would move straight up/down on struts or something stable. Got any hints on that for me?

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    420 Member Racefan's Avatar
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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    Quote Originally Posted by gw701935 View Post
    The way you have your set up is good. I use nutrients to the gallon so I do not need a meter I just feed when low and they go from there. The pump is on 24 hours a day as well as the air pump. I actually need a part like yours that has the valves on it. Keep lights close and heat down and make sure you check on them often to make sure the water is ok. That is one problem I had with this thing. It took some work but they all made it and everything is good now.
    I don't know where you got the idea that you don't need a meter but your flat out wrong and statements like that could cause a new grower to destroy a grow. Even if your measuring at what's recommended per gallon. A meter will allow you to dial in your nutrients when first mixing and throughout the grow. The way your doing it now your getting it close at the first mixing but have no idea what's happening after that until the next nute change a week or two away when you mix new nutes. When you check on them to make sure water is okay between res changes how do you know what to add back with out a meter? If the plants haven't been hungry and have only been using water and you see your res a little low and add more water...then you've diluted your nutes and could cause deficiencies. If you add back nutrients then you've increased your nutrient strength and could burn them. Do you understand what I'm saying? I ask if you understand because you have some ideas and beliefs that are wrong and I want to make sure I'm clear to you on what I'm saying. Get a cheap PPM meter at the minimum. A truncheon or CF meter would be better but cost more. A cheap meter can be bought for $20.00 off ebay so cost is not a excuse either.lol
    Last edited by Racefan; 06-04-2008 at 01:37 AM.

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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    ^I fully agree. I have more crops ruined by not paying attention to correct levels, than I can poke a stick at.

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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    Everybody needs a PPM meter

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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    is a ppm meter similar to PH reader??

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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    PPM = Parts per million.
    PH = the acid/alkaline reading

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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    parts per million??

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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    TDS, PPM, and EC
    If you have any desire to mix your own fertilizers, it is important that you have at least basic understanding of these terms

    Electricity is conducted due to the presence of ions (electrically charged) in a solution. The ions get there by introduction of salts via our ferts!

    EC (electric conductivity) is a representation of how much potential a solution has to conduct electricity...SO, by testing the ability of a solution to conduct electricity, we can indirectly determine the amount of salts present....thereby knowing if we have the right concentration of ferts.

    E.C. is a measure of salinity by measuring its conductivity. You want an E.C. under 2.0.....anything around 4.0 signifies an extreme excess of salt which calls for immediate leeching. There are devices for measuring...honestly, I haven't bought one because I am pretty comfortable with this....but if you experiment may be worth a look!

    Despite my natural aversion for ppm measurement, it would be a good idea when mixing ferts as a beginner. Check your nursery or Home Depot. I've F-ed up a plant or two in my day, always because I THOUGHT I was more accurate with eye measurement than I really was!
    CF (Conductivity Factor) basically represents the same information but expressed differently. 1 ms/cm is equal to a CF of 10. I don't use this factor and haven't seen many people use it...but just in case, you now have a conversion!

    TDS is a measurement, by weight, of the Total Dissolved Solids in a solution and is measured in PPMs (Parts Per Million). Basically, when you hear someone say they introduce nutrients at a rate of 500 PPMs, it means that they have 500 milligrams of solid dissolved in a Liter of water.

    You can figure the PPM of your ferts one of two ways.....you can precisely measure the ferts and water you mix together...or you can make a solution and measure the PPM of IT. The shortcut lies in hand-held meters which measure the EC of a solution and then apply mathematical conversion to the EC figure to arrive at PPMs. Keep in mind, even this is an approximate measurement...but plenty accurate for growers!

    Some meters actually display the EC AND the PPM readings. Some only express the EC value and this can be tricky because European and American made meters measure at different rates.
    An American device that displays an E.C. of 1.0 has 500PPMs.
    A European device that displays an E.C. of 1.0 has 640PPMs.
    (I believe Australian manufacturers have a different conversion factor also...but not sure.)

    So if your American device only displays E.C., use that old algebra and set the two given equations equal to each other. For example, let's say your E.C. reading is 1.2.

    Using the known ratio given just above, we'll cross multiply to solve for x to get the unknown ppms.
    1.0/500ppm=1.2/x
    x=600
    Your solution has 600PPMs. (remember, this would be with the American device...a European device would produce a different result!)

    If you want to figure out the PPMs yourself, its pretty easy. Each 1 gram of fertilizer per liter of water gives 10PPMs of each given nutrient per percentage point. Sounds clumsy, wish I could state that better....here's an example.

    Use 1 gram of SuperPhosphate 0-20-0 in a liter of DISTILLED water. The solution would have 0ppm of N, 200ppm of P, and 0ppm of K. Also keep in mind that tap water already has dissolved solids...most likely anywhere between 200-400 PPMs. Use distilled water when possible...0 PPMs!!

    A guideline for NPK strengths
    Now, I have seen different parameters for acceptable PPMs. Here is a decent guideline for the N-P-K standards...play around, but make only gradual changes up! Approximate tolerance range of PPMs per nutrient .... most micronutes are tolerated by plants within the same ranges...but the plant just doesn't need nearly that much!

    N 200-400
    P 200-600
    K 200-600

    Approximate tolerance range of TOTAL PPMs in soil/medium
    (Obviously the plant can tolerate more as it gets larger and has more root area to uptake nutes and leaf area to transpire water.)

    Seedling 500-600
    Vegetative 800-1000
    Flowering 1000-1500
    Flushing 500

    PPMs for each growth phase
    You may desire more N during veg stages for example. The key is NOT to obsess over the exact numbers. Too many experienced growers give advice in exact parameters to appear 'scientific' or something...but there are too many other factors involved in the actual UPTAKE of these nutrients by roots to claim specificity. These are just general parameters that you can tweak under your own conditions. And again, the plant can tolerate more as it gets larger and has more root area to uptake nutes and leaf area to transpire water...start light, gradually increase with each feeding as your lant can handle it.

    Keep in mind, my estimates are given for soil mediums which can tolerate higher levels because the soil components will bond with many elemental ions....a hydro system needs to be more precise....I'm not very familiar with those systems. You've read the dislaimer! Also remember that these parameters are based on the assumption of using DISTILLED water. Tap water will add another 200-400 PPMs, so you would have to adjust accordingly...especially with Cl, Ca, Na, and in rare case, S.

    SEEDLING (2-3 weeks...look for 4-5 sets of alternating nodes before moving to veg)

    N 150
    P 100
    K 150
    Ca 75
    Mg 75
    S 25-50
    Fe 15
    Cl 15
    Mn 7
    Cu 9
    Zn 3
    Total: 600ppm

    VEGETATIVE/PRE-FLOWER (2-4 weeks)

    N 300
    P 100
    K 200
    Ca 100
    Mg 100
    S 50-75
    Fe 25
    Cl 25
    Mn 10
    Cu 15
    Zn 5
    Total: @1000pm

    FLOWER (strain dependent-usually 6-8 weeks)

    N 300-400
    P 400
    K 200
    Ca 100-150
    Mg 100-150
    S 100-150
    Fe 25+
    Cl 25+
    Mn 10
    Cu 15
    Zn 5
    Total: @1300-1500ppm

    FLUSH/HARVEST (2 weeks)
    N 0
    P 75
    K 75
    Ca 50
    Mg 50
    S 50
    Fe 25
    Cl 25
    Mn 10
    Cu 15
    Zn 5
    Total: @400ppm

    I cannot stress enough that these are estimates...conservative ones due to the fact that chemical ferts allow less room for error. In addition, different strains and conditions will result in different ratios....experiment often and use caution always!

  14. #14
    420 Member BlackThumb's Avatar
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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    I went over digging around that SH Deep Water Culture site today "while at work", and was very surprised by a couple of their statements which indicate that GW was probably just following their directions. Down in one section where you can buy those pre-packaged nutes in a six month supply, they have a very clear blurb about how the stuff "auto adjusts its Ph to 98% of waters".
    S.Moose, Boss, D-Man...can that possibly be true? Seems to me that would be some kind of silver bullet that experts like you guys would have 55 gallon drums of in the garage already, and blowing horns from the mountain tops about.
    The other thing that caught my eye was in their pdf instruction file on using the nute packs. It clearly directs that you never, never use Grow with the Bloom. You use Grow & Micro, or Micro & Bloom. I only know AN and a few of the other most common systems where we do mix G, M & B. With AN if you are going for say a 1000ppm EC, you will be around an oz of G & M and maybe .2oz of B in a 6 gal tub during Veg.
    Experts again, whats up with that? Sounds like maybe G & B may be loaded with N or something that might scorch if combined, or could ingredients cancel each other out or something? Their B package is real red, or pink powder if that gives you guys a clue as to contents. No where on the site could I find the actual specs on the nutes as far as N, P , K or any other detail.

    GW, you need to get a meter if only to get us some readings on this stuff, if not to save your crop. It seems you are driving down a dark road at night without headlights on my friend, and the curves are up there ahead somewhere.

    HaHa, Prof. you have been S.Moose'd! I am laughing with you and not at you as I am just starting out also so I have to read some of his stuff 20 times to begin to get a grasp on all the details. Being a beginner, think of it like you are fixing to eat dinner yourself. You want a cheeseburger, some fries and a fudge sundae for desert, and are going to wash the whole shabang down with a tall cool glass of water. The Ph at a neutral 7.0 says its a glass of clean drinking water and not something I scooped out of the Atlantic and set on your table. No matter how good the burger is, if I stuff it into a glass of saltwater, you won't like it. Once you have chewed and swallowed all this stuff, you now have an EC in your belly consisting of cheeseburger, fries, sundae and water in some PPM. Your plant is no different except it ain't got no teeth, so you dissolve its food into some PPM portion in clean water for its dinner. Like you, sometimes it gets a Thanksgiving dinner, other times a snack but can not live on water alone no matter how clean. Just one beginner to another, as I'm sure the experts are shaking their heads at us about now. Luck to ya dude.

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    Re: Deep Water Culture grow

    How the fuck can a nutrient 'auto-adjust' to 98% of waters. I find that statement ludicrous. Thanks for posting this.
    Stick with sensi bloom 2 part lol

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