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    HYDRO My first post and my first grow!

    Hey everyone! This is my first post and I want to start by saying hello and I'm glad to be part of this community. I'm getting ready to start my first grow and even though I've read a lot of the articles on the GWE website, I still have lots of questions. I have zero experience growing other than an outdoor vegetable garden. All of the information I've gathered so far is from what I've read on the website and a handful of posts here. Please let me know if I'm heading in the right direction!

    My setup is a 4x4x6.5 tent, iPower 600w HPS/MH, (2)10gal reservoirs for top fed DWC. GH Trio, hydroguard.

    I haven't even started the grow but I am just about ready. I finished setting up the top feed, how much pressure do I want the feed lines to the net pots to have? Also is it going to be ok to run the pump constantly or should I have it on a timer to only run periperiodically?

    I bought quite a few different seeds from seedsman, all feminized. If I plan to use 2 reservoirs am I only going to be able to grow 2 strains or would I be able to grow 2 different strains in the same reservoir?

    How many plants can I grow per reservoir without crowding my grow space? I want to switch the plants to 12/12 after 5 weeks and I also would like to try some plant training.

    ​​I definitely have more questions but I'll ask as I go and I'm sure some of them will get answered before I ask.
    Thanks!!
    4x4x6.5 grow tent, Harvest Pro 600w ballast ,Vivosun MH/HPS, Vivosun 440cfm fan w/ filter
    (9
    ) 5gal dwc res.
    (1) solo cup in 5gal top fed dwc res.

    (1) solo cup roots organic coco premix
    GH Trio, Cal-Mag, LKB, Floralicious+, Sweet, Hydroguard, pH Down


    Current Grow
    White Widow (seedsman)
    Green Crack (garden of green)
    Northern Lights (00)
    Chocolate Kush (00)

    Solo Cup Challenge
    Alaskan Purple (seedsman)


    https://forum.growweedeasy.com/forum...-my-first-grow

    The splinter is the cost of the wood

    #2
    Welcome to the GWE forum. Plenty of answers from experienced growers and all around helpful people. I am not the best to answer your question but many can.
    They put up with all my questions and helped me all through my 1st grows.
    Current grow:

    Creme de la Chem, Double Grape autos from Mephisto Genetics

    (in a solo cup) Walter White auto from Mephisto Genetics

    Comment


      #3
      I've never done top fed so i cant answer those questions but i assume you could let it run 24/7 until the roots reach the water level.

      You could grow more than one plant in a res but i have found that doing single plants in a res works best for me. I found that having plants too close in the same res can actually cause them to root into each other. Sometimes this doesn't effect the plants but sometimes they can strangle each other off so i actually have had better success with buckets. That said it's not that it cant be done, just keep them separated and it should be fine. Another reason i like keeping them separate is if one plant gets sick it is less likely to infect the other plants.

      With a veg time of 5 weeks you could fit probably at least 6-9 plants in a 4x4 if they were in 5 gal pots (i have 4 with room for more in a 3x3) however with the 2 10 gal res i wouldnt do that. I would grow one plant in each and veg till they fill the tent horizontally. It will add to veg time but a 10 gal res would be small imo for 2 or more plant root systems per res and if you want to fill the tent you will need extra time to do so.

      Comment


      • NickyChicks
        NickyChicks commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks! I will probably get 2 more resevoirs because I definitely want to fill the space and I don't want to spend longer in veg.

      #4
      Hi NickyChicks, welcome! And congrats for jumping on in at the beginning.

      At risk of getting dismissed right off the bat, probably the best advise most new growers get is to slow down, maybe reduce the number of plants that you're going to be taking care of in your first grow. There's going to be plenty to learn, some of which will be critical to getting your first grow to harvest whether you're growing 1 plant or 9.

      The best thing you could do to ensure that growing is a long term hobby for you is to actually succeed at harvesting your first grow. And the best way to do that is start with 1 or maybe 2 plants, I would recommend in individual buckets or larger bins. That way if one of them gets root rot, it doesn't kill both plants, etc etc.

      Having said that, you only need a little, just enough pressure to provide a slow trickle into each cup. You can have them run constantly, or you can cycle them on for 5 to 10 minutes per hour, just enough to wet the root plug, hydroton pellets, and let a little rinse down your roots. But like Tersky said, you don't need top feed once your roots are hanging in your water. I would go farther to say that you don't need top feed at all.

      On my thread (light the grow gher), you can see that I have a grow bucket with top feed going next to a tote bin with no top feed. The seeds are different strains, but were sprouted on the same day. The sprouts with no top feed are just as big as the ones with no top feed. The roots aren't even touching the water. The bubbles are splashing the outside of the cup and the water is wicking into the rooter plug, and they are just as happy as the one getting fed. The roots are hanging down and will be in the water in another day or two.

      If you're going to have additional reservoirs circulating into your DWC, you can keep them outside the tent and run the hoses in through the sleeves. That way, your big reservoir won't get hot sitting under the lights, also you can give your plants more room for better light penetration and airflow. By the way, if you don't have a couple of fans blowing inside your tent as well as a big fan to extract the heat from your light setup, you will need one.

      Also, if your light's ballast isn't attached to the light fixture itself, you can place that outside your tent as well to reduce heat inside. I set mine on top with my tent exhaust fan blowing at it to keep it cooler.
      Nothing is foolproof for the sufficiently talented fool.

      Comment


      • NickyChicks
        NickyChicks commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for your comment! I'm definitely going to check out your thread. That's pretty interesting that the plants without top feed are doing just as well as the ones with, I was under the impression the top feed would grow faster. The pressure I have it at should be ok then, it's pretty much a slight trickle. I do have an exhaust fan pulling air through my light setup and I have a couple of small fans to circulate air in the tent. I didn't even think of putting the ballast outside of the tent, that's a good idea!

      #5
      Farmall shared this, it sound like exactly what your after.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1Eg...ature=youtu.be
      Nothing is foolproof for the sufficiently talented fool.

      Comment


      • NickyChicks
        NickyChicks commented
        Editing a comment
        Wow! That's pretty sweet, I may look into this setup a little more.

      #6
      Welcome to the forum. I started with a system similar to this and I kept my pump on all the time. Pretty much everything has already been mentioned. If you don't have a pH meter and a TDS meter you should invest in one. They're fairly inexpensive and they'll make your life so much easier. Happy growing!

      Comment


      • NickyChicks
        NickyChicks commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks! I think I'll set my pump on a timer, seems like either way is ok. Yeah I have a pH meter but I don't have a TDS meter, ordering one right now.

      • Tersky
        Tersky commented
        Editing a comment
        Oo yes TDS meter really helps dial in your nutes. I recommend for all growers using synthetic nutes esp in hydro.

      #7
      If your looking to use a system similar to the one in that YouTube video, it is a simple assembly with cheap plastic plumbing parts from Home Depot. The tubing quality is important as the first roll I bought was 50’ of twists and kinks and was pure crap. They Hydrofarm stuff was excellent.

      One key element is to use black hose to reduce light exposure to nutrient rich water which will grow algae easily under gro-lights. 2” airstones and a 4” one for the reservoir or more if you want. Oxygenated water is very important. If you notice how long the tube is in the reservoir to his pump, you can eliminate the likelihood of that hose kinking or folding by just running the hose through the reservoir like his 6 returns. What’s one more hole and the pump is submerged anyway.

      The 1/4” airline is also available in black and anything you don’t feel like looking for in retail stores, Amazon. The larger bucket attachments are call bulkhead fittings and for the hoses, threaded hose barb fittings.

      Comment


      • NickyChicks
        NickyChicks commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah this setup is pretty intriguing, I'm going to look into it a little more today. Thanks!!

      #8
      It's been a couple weeks since I posted, but I started germinating my seeds on 12/27. Today I put them into rapid rooters in the tent. I germinated 10 seeds with the goal of keeping 4 plants. It kind of feels like a waste but I wanted to give myself the best chance of ending up with healthy, strong plants. Plus, seedsman gave me a bunch of free seeds when I ordered, I think I got more free seeds than ones I paid for. Anyways, I have 3 white widow(seedsman), 3 green crack (garden of green), 2 northern lights(00 seeds) , and 2 chocolate kush(00 seeds). All of the popped open, the GC and WW much quicker than the others.
      I temporarily have them under (4) T8 florescent bulbs until my new light kit comes in. I ordered originally the 600w iPower kit from Amazon. Everything looked good but I didn't test it out until yesterday. When I unpacked the ballast and it sounded like a rattle. I shook a bunch of tiny little broken plastic pieces out of it. Figured I'd test it out anyways, it turned on but the MH didn't turn on, tried the HPS and it worked. So I got a busted ballast and a blown MH in the same kit. I'm returning it and I ordered the vivosun 600w kit and it'll be here Friday. That ordeal persuaded me to check out a local hydroponic supply shop today, which was awesome. Tiny shop, large hemp greenhouses out back lol. The dude was real cool and I ended up buying a used Harvest Pro Elite 600w ballast. He only wanted $100 and I know a new one is much more than that. Definitely much better quality than the one from the kit.
      Once the plants get big enough and I pick which 4 I'm keeping, I'll move them from (2) 12gal reservoirs into their own 5gal reservoirs.
      I'm going to try and post pictures as I go.
      Last edited by NickyChicks; 12-31-2019, 05:11 PM.
      4x4x6.5 grow tent, Harvest Pro 600w ballast ,Vivosun MH/HPS, Vivosun 440cfm fan w/ filter
      (9
      ) 5gal dwc res.
      (1) solo cup in 5gal top fed dwc res.

      (1) solo cup roots organic coco premix
      GH Trio, Cal-Mag, LKB, Floralicious+, Sweet, Hydroguard, pH Down


      Current Grow
      White Widow (seedsman)
      Green Crack (garden of green)
      Northern Lights (00)
      Chocolate Kush (00)

      Solo Cup Challenge
      Alaskan Purple (seedsman)


      https://forum.growweedeasy.com/forum...-my-first-grow

      The splinter is the cost of the wood

      Comment


      • dphipps1020
        dphipps1020 commented
        Editing a comment
        So for a general idea on flower times, etc I go to this site... https://en.seedfinder.eu/ they don't have every strain since new strains come out every day seems like, but there's a majority of the main ones. Hopefully that helps at least a few questions you may have.

      • NickyChicks
        NickyChicks commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks dphipps1020 , that's a pretty bad ass site.

      • Farmall
        Farmall commented
        Editing a comment
        I have spent from 2am to 3;15am playing with seedfinder website. All of the stuff I never wrote down is right there....this was a great 75 minutes. Happy New Year all

      #9
      4x4x6.5 grow tent, Harvest Pro 600w ballast ,Vivosun MH/HPS, Vivosun 440cfm fan w/ filter
      (9
      ) 5gal dwc res.
      (1) solo cup in 5gal top fed dwc res.

      (1) solo cup roots organic coco premix
      GH Trio, Cal-Mag, LKB, Floralicious+, Sweet, Hydroguard, pH Down


      Current Grow
      White Widow (seedsman)
      Green Crack (garden of green)
      Northern Lights (00)
      Chocolate Kush (00)

      Solo Cup Challenge
      Alaskan Purple (seedsman)


      https://forum.growweedeasy.com/forum...-my-first-grow

      The splinter is the cost of the wood

      Comment


      • SoOrbudgal
        SoOrbudgal commented
        Editing a comment
        Excellent NickyChicks poster child for newbies..great start and write up. Way to go learning few of the basic needs for getting started it's so refreshing LOL sounds like you'll be up and running in no time. Welcome to the forum and look forward to watching your grow. I'm not hydro but enjoy these grows. Good luck

      • NickyChicks
        NickyChicks commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks I'm excited, I know there's still a lot to learn

      #10
      NickyChicks agree with everyone... From my own experience, I can’t toss viable growing seedlings and started 14 last summer thinking along those same lines..they all grew but 1 AND ..it took nearly 5 months to finally clear out the tent. In fact, had to add another and it still is running flower. It’s like it never ends. I am honestly looking forward to cleaning up a bit. That plan only works if your ready to selectively cull any of them as your genetics sound good and barring any males what if they ALL look great?

      your ideas of elevating buckets is a good one but just have something aside in case you need to cover a bigger spread like 10-12” and that it’s light enough to move in place. Those buckets will weigh 25-30 lbs depending on fluid level. Hunched over in a tent is a hard way to work but Green crack is a winner. Good luck!

      Comment


      • NickyChicks
        NickyChicks commented
        Editing a comment
        I only bought feminized seeds so I really hope I have zero males. I hope they all look good but then I'm still going to only pick 4, even though I would want to keep as many as possibly. However, being that this is my first grow, I don't want to overwhelm myself.

        As far as the buckets, I'd love to find a better option for ease of elevating them. I thought about small ironing boards, countertop sized. I just didn't think they would hold the weight. They also make small tabletop jacks for labs but anything that would support the weight, you're paying big bucks. I'll have to recruit my better half, she can help with some lifting and shimming if and when it comes time.

      • DingusKhan
        DingusKhan commented
        Editing a comment
        If you're in a bigger city where it's easy to meet other growers, especially others on GWE, AND if you live in a legal state, AND, (most importantly) you know other growers that you trust; you could give them away.

      • NickyChicks
        NickyChicks commented
        Editing a comment
        Dingus, that's a good idea. Unfortunately, my state is not so cool. Definitely limits the amount of people with similar interests. Maybe 2020 will be the year that changes, I sure hope so!

      #11
      Ok here's what I got made up for the dwc solo cup. I have a cup as an inner liner that I tried to cut down as much as much as possible without sacrificing too much structure. Then I took some panty hose (thanks to my gf) and cut enough to line the outside of the inner cup/inside of the outer cup. I used a drill bill and torch to melt a bunch of various sized drainage holes in the outer cup. I'm going to put her in one of the resevoirs I have now with my other seedlings until im ready to move them into their individual buckets. I couldn't help myself but to make the bucket resemble a solo cup.
      4x4x6.5 grow tent, Harvest Pro 600w ballast ,Vivosun MH/HPS, Vivosun 440cfm fan w/ filter
      (9
      ) 5gal dwc res.
      (1) solo cup in 5gal top fed dwc res.

      (1) solo cup roots organic coco premix
      GH Trio, Cal-Mag, LKB, Floralicious+, Sweet, Hydroguard, pH Down


      Current Grow
      White Widow (seedsman)
      Green Crack (garden of green)
      Northern Lights (00)
      Chocolate Kush (00)

      Solo Cup Challenge
      Alaskan Purple (seedsman)


      https://forum.growweedeasy.com/forum...-my-first-grow

      The splinter is the cost of the wood

      Comment


      • DingusKhan
        DingusKhan commented
        Editing a comment
        OMG, dood that is too funny!

      • Farmall
        Farmall commented
        Editing a comment
        Creative!

      #12
      It's almost been about 4.5 days since I started germinating and less than 48hrs since I put the seeds into rapid rooters. So far so good, have a few moving faster than the others. I took a couple pics of the ones doing the best, if it uploads in the right order, it's WW, GC, CK, NL.

      ​**​​Updated just to add some more pics from this afternoon**
      Attached Files
      Last edited by NickyChicks; 01-01-2020, 07:16 PM.
      4x4x6.5 grow tent, Harvest Pro 600w ballast ,Vivosun MH/HPS, Vivosun 440cfm fan w/ filter
      (9
      ) 5gal dwc res.
      (1) solo cup in 5gal top fed dwc res.

      (1) solo cup roots organic coco premix
      GH Trio, Cal-Mag, LKB, Floralicious+, Sweet, Hydroguard, pH Down


      Current Grow
      White Widow (seedsman)
      Green Crack (garden of green)
      Northern Lights (00)
      Chocolate Kush (00)

      Solo Cup Challenge
      Alaskan Purple (seedsman)


      https://forum.growweedeasy.com/forum...-my-first-grow

      The splinter is the cost of the wood

      Comment


        #13
        When I PHed my water on the first day of putting my seedlings in the reservoir it tested around 7.0 I got it down right near 6.0. I tested with a pen meter and the test kit that came with the GH PH kit. It's been a little over 48hrs and my PH is at 7.7.... is that normal to see that kind of jump? Possibly because of the hydroton? I washed it pretty thoroughly.
        Last edited by NickyChicks; 01-02-2020, 01:13 AM.
        4x4x6.5 grow tent, Harvest Pro 600w ballast ,Vivosun MH/HPS, Vivosun 440cfm fan w/ filter
        (9
        ) 5gal dwc res.
        (1) solo cup in 5gal top fed dwc res.

        (1) solo cup roots organic coco premix
        GH Trio, Cal-Mag, LKB, Floralicious+, Sweet, Hydroguard, pH Down


        Current Grow
        White Widow (seedsman)
        Green Crack (garden of green)
        Northern Lights (00)
        Chocolate Kush (00)

        Solo Cup Challenge
        Alaskan Purple (seedsman)


        https://forum.growweedeasy.com/forum...-my-first-grow

        The splinter is the cost of the wood

        Comment


        • DingusKhan
          DingusKhan commented
          Editing a comment
          How long did you aerate your water, and wait after mixing up and pHing did you take you last reading before you call it done?

          Aeration blows off chlorine as well as other dissolved gases, which will change the pH. Also, the buffers in your solution need time to find each other and react before settling down to their new pH. It's best to let your solution bubble for a few hours before checking it again and putting it in the reservoir.

        • NickyChicks
          NickyChicks commented
          Editing a comment
          DingusKhan Filled reservoirs, added nutrients. Let it aerate for a few minutes and then settle for a few. No more than 10-15 between aerating and waiting. So obviously I didn't wait nearly long enough or recheck at the right time..... So a little over 4 hours ago is when I checked it and it was 7.7, I added PH down to each of my reservoirs. 9gals of water so I added 18ml (probably did a 1-2ml less) in each res trying to lower it about 2.0..... I just checked it now and it's sitting at 6.1
          Last edited by NickyChicks; 01-02-2020, 02:39 AM.

        #14
        Made some changes in the tent this evening. My new light setup came in, this time no damaged ballast or blown bulbs 🙌. I got everything hooked up and running. I moved the Alaskan Purple seed for the Solo cup challenge into the tent. I ended up germinating two AP seeds and I'm going to have one in DWC and the other in coco mix. I bought some roots organic pre mixed coco and Cal mag, already had the GH trio so figured I'd stick with it.

        I wasn't sure if switching from the T8 florescents to the MH now was ok or if I'd be stressing the seedlings. But for the sake of trying to regulate temperature I thought it was a good idea. The florescents give off practically no heat and i was worried if I cut them off at night It would get too cold, tent temp with them on was only 68°F . So I had them on 24/0. Now that I have the MH in there I set the timer for 18/6.

        One other thing, opinions on the little reflective covers for the net pots. I think they're a pain, especially with the fan blowing. How effective are they really?
        4x4x6.5 grow tent, Harvest Pro 600w ballast ,Vivosun MH/HPS, Vivosun 440cfm fan w/ filter
        (9
        ) 5gal dwc res.
        (1) solo cup in 5gal top fed dwc res.

        (1) solo cup roots organic coco premix
        GH Trio, Cal-Mag, LKB, Floralicious+, Sweet, Hydroguard, pH Down


        Current Grow
        White Widow (seedsman)
        Green Crack (garden of green)
        Northern Lights (00)
        Chocolate Kush (00)

        Solo Cup Challenge
        Alaskan Purple (seedsman)


        https://forum.growweedeasy.com/forum...-my-first-grow

        The splinter is the cost of the wood

        Comment


          #15
          I can voice an opinion on the p-touch labels. I thought it was a good plan sticking them together around the fabric bag handles and while thy did great for the first 2 months, some fell off and out of 12 plants, it got a bit confused for a few weeks. Luckily, they didn’t blow to far. And I used the 1” wide tapes for plenty of surface area to stick. Temperature in a 4x4 and 4x8 were 62 and 64 respectively at night in the fall. No problems at all in fact, my purple strain plants seemed to enjoy the cooler nights

          Comment

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