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Journal: Bubbleponics, first time grower & questions

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    HYDRO Journal: Bubbleponics, first time grower & questions

    This is my first time growing. I decided to go for the bubbleponics route because hydroponics was always interesting to me and I wanted to make a kinda stealthy indoor set-up, odor-free. I've been reading a lot about bubbleponics and weed in general, took me a while to decide what exactly I was going to buy and build, and the list of parts was longer than I had expected.

    Apparently in my country, things are kinda cheap to build yourself compared to what I've been reading. That's why I decided to go for cob leds, cheapest option, not much price difference between them and CFLs. My total cost (including coolers, water and air pump, etc) was about ~100 usd dollars. I built it inside half of my wardrobe, since I basically never used that part. It's kinda small but I think it's enough for one plant, even though I'm growing like 4 or 5 right now until I pick the strongest female looking one. Or something similar.

    The gear:

    Lights: 4x cob leds 50w each. Yes, those cheap driverless ones. I may or may not add some CFL lights later if I see the need, especially in the flowering stage. I put them together myself, bought a proper heatsink and a cooler (same one as the ventilation ones)

    Ventilation: just 1 intake and 1 exhaust 4inch "pc coolers". Rated at ~104CFM. Super overkill. They gave me these by mistake, I had actually bought ones that were rated at 50-60CFM (which also were overkill, even with 25CFM I would have more than enough).

    Pumps: 15w water pump, 880liters/hour. Air pump with 2 outlets, 4.5liters/minute (270l/h). I am quite happy with them, the caudal from the water pump looks good and together with the air pump, they move the water a lot. I am using 2 small air stones, big ones are cheap and I could buy them, but I really don't see the need right now.

    Tools: 1x PHmeter (the cheap one recommended at, 1x thermometer suitable for water

    Nutriments: Local. This at first was an issue because I couldn't find what was inside any of them unless the product was imported (this is extremely expensive). Luckily I found a local website that produces them themselves with a lot of information about what they do, which basically makes me trust them a lot. And they even give you their own PH+ and PH- !

    Rockwool cubes: is there any other option? Rapid rooters and similar stuff doesn't exist here.

    Soon: SCRoG!

    The seeds: I don't know what they are. A friend gifted a lot of seeds to me after some of her plants went hermaphrodite.At this date, they are about 2 years old. Maybe even 3.

    The journey:(dd/mm) (you can click any image to see the bigger version in imgur, and here's the current post's album: )

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    4th of February: germination process begins. Started with 2 plates and a kitchen paper. Plan is to finish building the lights and etcetera while the germination takes place.Click image for larger version

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    5/02: I noticed it was drying too fast. Switched to an airtight tupper.

    6/02: first roots sprout on one seed.

    7/02: all seeds have roots. Some of them get too big. I'm in full panic mode. My wardrobe is not even close to being ready. I thought this would take longer... these are years old seeds! I spend 12+ hours finishing everything, it's summer, the afternoon is really hot. At around 11pm I put the germinated seeds inside cubes of rockwool. I find out the tubes I am using for the water pump are so thick and big, it's really really hard to bend them and make them stay in place. I spend hours trying to fix the issue. At about 2-3am I finish... I haven't turned on the lights yet.
    The ph'd water with nutrimets is at a PH of 6.2. A little bit on the edge, I know I will have to check and correct it soon probably.

    8/02: 2 seeds break the surface. At 8pm I turn on the lights for the first time.

    9/02: leds are on a timer of course, it's set to run on a 18/6 schedule (from 12am to 6am lights are off). At around 2am I notice leds emit small amounts of light. More on this later.

    10/02: I check the PH for corrections for the first time. It's up to 6.5. I get it down to 5.8. Water temperature is at 31ºc. I know they like hotter temperatures at this stage (with max being 30ºC) but it still worries me.
    I notice that the tubes of the waterpump have some rockwool in them. This is because I cut some rockwool to make space for the tubes and make them stay still. The loose parts apparently got inside.
    I don't think it can clog the pump, and I had already planned to change the tubes for smaller ones, so I don't see an issue.
    At this point I'm also considering changing the bucket for a more horizontal container. Those are hard to find here, and most of them are made of CLEAR plastic.

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    Aaand... here's my first question. Apparently the analog timer I'm using doesn't completely turn off my lights. Do you think it can and will affect the light cycle in the flowering stage?

    Here's how it looks:

    Left side: room completely dark, with the leds being the only (low) light source.
    Right side: my monitor's light bouncing off the walls. IDK why I'm posting this one. Perhaps some context?
    It's really low amounts of light, but I have no idea how much it would affect the plants.

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    Thanks a lot. I already have learned a lot by reading growweedeasy!
    Last edited by greytide; 02-10-2019, 11:43 PM.


    • DW2
      DW2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Howdy greytide, a small light leak can cause problems. I had enough light leaking into my grow room where, after a few moments, I could see my hand and features in the room. I installed black out curtains and cured the leaks. Your problem with the 'after glow' of the lights may not be with the timer, it may be in the power supply. Some power supplies have capacitors in the circuits causing a lower level sort of bleed off of the voltage. Do Your light eventually go dark, or do they glow all during the lights off cycle?

    Hi gt, and welcome to the forum: I dig your set up, very nice job!! Just you wait, though, once you get addicted to growing Cannabis, you'll want a grow space about 6x as big!!

    I totally agree w/ DW2 You won't want any light leak whatsoever once you switch to flowering, because it will totally mess up the flowering hormone, and you can easily end up with hermied plants.

    Also make sure that NO LIGHT WHATSOEVER is leaking into your reservoir, because it can give your plants a bad case of the dreaded and feared root rot.
    4/15/19 Grow #10: roomie 1: Green Crack (Cali Con), OG Kush (RQS), & Dr. Greenthumbs Em dog (HSO);
    roomie 2: C99 (G13 Labs), White Widow (DP), & Shiva Skunk (Sensi).
    2 BCNL Roommate hydroponic boxes w/ 400w COB LEDs & attached chillers.

    Future Harvest nutes


      You are right. It was the power strip, which I confirmed by connecting the timer+leds directly to the power socket, it doesn't bleed light this way. This is good news, I already had plans to change the thing.

      Thanks for the answers, guys. I still need to improve a lot of things.


      • alltatup
        alltatup commented
        Editing a comment
        Glad to hear you found the problem!! Onward and upward.

      • DW2
        DW2 commented
        Editing a comment
        I did not think of the power strip, but some of them do have surge protection that could cause the residual voltage to the timer.
        Glad to hear that you found the culprit!


      WEEK 2

      11/02 to 17/02: This week had my first water change. In retrospective, this was a mistake. I now know better. With young plants you should always wait until your roots are strong. More on this later.
      I also tried to fix some light leaks, it improved a lot but light was still leaking from the top.

      Full album

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      WEEK 3
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      18/02 to 24/02: Topping, first time for me. At this point I thought I was already in "maintenance" mode, which sounded nice to me. It was also the first time I had to refill 2 liters of ph'd water with nutriments, the plants were already starting to drink a lot.
      I killed a "mutant" plant, it was dying on his own, all leaves were super weird. It was an "okay" decision to me, since I was growing multiple plants so I could pick the best female ones to grow.

      At the end of the week when I changed the water, I started to suspect I had root rot. Brown roots twisted together. All tubes that pump air/water were slimy. I try to clean the bucket in the process. I kinda think the plant slowed down. Even though the plant was still "growing", leaves were kinda depressed.

      The problems? All of them. High temperature, oxygen (caused by the temperature) and light leaks. I begin to research heavily how to cure the plant. The very first thing I started doing was adding frozen (and closed) 2lts bottles to cool down the water and finally fixing the light leaks properly.

      Full album

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      WEEK 4

      25/02 to 03/03: in process, but for now let's just say that I added Great White powder and it's working REALLY well.

      Some thoughts: the root rot seems to be gone. I hope. No more slimy stuff, right after cooling down the water and fixing the light leaks, new roots started growing. I realized there was no rot in the roots that are inside the water, only rot on the ones that directly touch the air. Probably because of the light leaks and the stress of changing water on a plant that was so young.

      And since the plant started improving (apparently the environment was no longer fit to grow the stuff that makes the roots rot?) I decided to NOT use H2O2 to clean the roots, which was one of the main things I was discussing with myself. I am not confortable doing major clean up jobs on the bucket and moving the roots around.

      After adding Great White to finally kill the bad stuff, there was a boom of growing immediately after. Amazing. The grow is basically out of control.

      Full album

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      Last edited by greytide; 03-01-2019, 06:46 PM.


        Some questions... today, 01/03 I am switching to 12/12. Plants are getting too big, I can't wait for the "pre-flowering" stage so they show me their sex.

        I have 3 plants in there, my initial intentions were to find the best female one and kill the others. It's a 20 lts bucket, I don't think there's enough space for 3 plants. Maybe not even 2.
        Now, if just 1 plant had the size of my 3 together, that would be amazing. But it's not the case. The problem is, clearly I don't have the space to do LST on 1 plant to make it bigger when I am growing 3 in the same space.

        Am I getting myself into trouble by waiting to find 1 female plant?

        Also, I am kinda scared of doing something so bad they die. Today I noticed a very slight nutrient burn on some leaves.I diluted the reservoir water with ph'd water. I am trying to make as little water changes as possible, because I don't really have a good way to change the water. How bad things can get if roots get moved a lot? Maybe not "a lot", but you get the point I hope.


        • DW2
          DW2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey greytide, I would strongly recommend that You remove the CLEAR tubing and replace it with black (or opaque) tubing. The clear tubing can act as a 'light pipe' allowing light into the reservoir and allow algae to start, causing many problems.
          Other wise, Your plants are looking good.

        • greytide
          greytide commented
          Editing a comment
          I know, but they are extremely hard to find and/or expensive here. I was aware of the issue, so I blocked the light with some tape on the clear tubing. I may add tons more as a precaution. Before, the tubes were "inside" the bucket, so you couldn't tell at a glipse whether they were still attached and working or not, so I cut a hole on the lid and moved the tubes to the top. I had problems keeping them in place... which is why the rockwool cubes in the first photos look destroyed.

        • DW2
          DW2 commented
          Editing a comment
          I understand greytide, aluminum foil or reflective duck tape will block out the light, the foil would be easily removed for periodic inspection of the flow.
          Good luck with your growing.

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