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    I'm stumped!

    Hi everybody, This is my first post, but I have used GWE for years for the articles and helpful posts.

    Now I have a problem I want to share and hopefully get some guidance.


    Basic info:

    I have been growing in the same small enclosure for 9 years (18x30x48)
    I started with photo plants but have grown only autos for the past 3-4 years.
    Lights are 2x Advanced Platinum 150 LED and 2 small leds for side lights.
    With both the photos and the autos I have consistently harvested 2-2.5 oz per plant. Nothing to brag about, but it works for me.

    I’ve always grown in soil

    A year ago my plants began growing smaller and yields decreased. I hadn’t changed anything, so I figured it was a one-time thing.

    Since then, my plants and yields have gotten smaller with each grow.

    I keep good notes, so I went back to my earlier successful grows and duplicated everything 100% and my yields continued to decrease.

    My last harvest was about 9 gms per plant.

    I normally use LST, primarily bending and tying down, but to avoid plant stress I have left the last couple grows to grow as they want. The last grow had one plant produce seeds. That’s a first for me. Also, they finish up (harvest) weeks earlier than in the past. Signs of stress, I imagine.

    One weird thing is that the plants look perfectly healthy. Other than small size and yield, they look perfectly fine with no obvious signs of disease or deficiency. Even the root system looks the same as always, tho a little smaller.

    I have tried several soils with no change in results. (Ocean Forest, Happy Frog, Roots Original).

    I had been using Aurora ferts for years. Tried a nonorganic brand instead, but yields have continued to plummet.

    I had been using a liquid test kit for pH, so I bought a meter and have been using it for the last couple grows.

    I keep the temps at mid to high 70s with lights on and I let it drop to 70 when lights are off.

    Lights on 18hrs

    I can’t control the humidity. For 2/3 of the year it’s at 60 and in the winter it drops to 40.

    The maddening part is that I had changed nothing prior to this problem. Of course there has to be a reason, but I just can’t figure it out.

    To make it worse, a friend of mine reuses his soil for years (his current grow is in 3 year old potting soil) and doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing. He uses only cheap generic soil, ferts and lights and he’s getting 3-4 oz per plant. It’s no good asking him for advice, because he admits that he has no idea what he’s doing.

    Drives me NUTS!

    This has become such a “head-scratcher”. I just can’t figure it out. I’ve tried everything I can think of.

    Thank you for reading through this post and for any suggestions.



    #2
    How old is your light? It may not be putting out the juice it used to which would decrease yield.

    Also humidity and temperature need to be controlled in the room your tents are located, not inside the tents themselves. The fans inside the tent are there to move air, control smell and remove old air while bringing in fresh air. I use a combo of a dehumidifier, a humidifier and a portable ac unit inside my grow room itself which then gives my plants the environment to thrive
    Last edited by bboyfromwayback; 01-11-2021, 01:40 PM.

    Comment


    • bboyfromwayback
      bboyfromwayback commented
      Editing a comment
      I was a big proponent of HPS for years bc they’re cheap but man leds are so much better than they used to be. No heat issues either

    • Wolfe0420
      Wolfe0420 commented
      Editing a comment
      I love my HPS

    • bboyfromwayback
      bboyfromwayback commented
      Editing a comment
      Yea they’re hard to beat. Some of the new leds are comparable but you MUST do the research before purchasing. With HPS you just go buy one based on wattage and they’re all the same. Cuts right through the crap

    #3
    Sounds like you need more light!

    Comment


      #4
      My guess is that your LEDs have aged and lost output power. Like any light source, over time they get weaker and weaker.
      There are 3 things you must check everyday when growing in hydro:
      1) Water level (How much h2o is she drinking in 24hrs)
      2) pH level (change over 24hrs)
      3) ppm/EC level (How much food is she eating in 24hrs)

      Comment


        #5
        Thanks for replying!

        I did wonder about the lights. Here are the specs for what I'm using. I have 2 of these in an 18 x 30 enclosure that is about 4' high. The plants do not stretch for the light like they would if they were not getting enough.
        HID Replacement 250w HPS
        Width 5 in | 13 cm
        Length 19 in | 48 cm
        Height 3 in | 8 cm
        Weight 8 lbs | 4 kg
        Max Coverage at 18″ Height 4.5’x3.5′
        Core Coverage at 18″ Height 3’x1.5′
        LED Quantity 50x3w
        Lifespan 50,000 – 100,000 hours
        12-Band LED Spectrum Included
        Secondary LED Focusing Lens 90°
        Warranty 5 Year Complete Warranty
        Voltage AC85-260V
        Bloom Power 87 watts
        Veg Power 50 watts
        Amperage (Veg + Bloom) 0.8A @ 110V / 0.4A @ 220V
        Amperage (Veg Switch Only) 0.5A @ 110V / 0.2A @ 220V

        One of the lights is about 6 years old. The other is 5 years old. The best I can figure based on my past grow schedule is that the older one has about 33,000 hours on it and the other has about 28,000 hours.

        I didn't realize that LEDs get dimmer / weaker over time. Have others had this happen to them? How long do people generally keep their LED fixtures before having to replace them because the performance starts to lag? Is there a way of measuring this (besides under performing plants...)?

        I bought the second light hoping to increase my yields. After doubling the light I saw no increase in yield. I figure there must be another limiting factor, but I would sure be happy if all I had to do is buy a new light.

        While I would rather not spend the money on lights, it's way cheaper than buying weed on the street, and way,way cheaper than the pot store.



        Last edited by kenKgrow; 01-11-2021, 04:35 PM.

        Comment


          #6
          Going by the specs, your lights weren’t very powerful to begin with. Now they’re 5 and 6yrs old. If you’d trust what many have previously mentioned and go purchase a new full spectrum LED that actually pulls 250W instead of being compared to it you’d be amazed at what you’ll get 1st grow under it. HLG has a light that only draws 150w that would cover your space for less that $200 last time I saw it advertised.

          Comment


          • kenKgrow
            kenKgrow commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, I'll check them out. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge. I seem to know just enough to get myself in trouble...

            EDIT: I checked out the HLG site and couldn't find any lights that fit that description. Perhaps it's discontinued.
            EDIT: The same model light that HLG lists as "VEG Spectrum" on their site is being sold on Amazon as "VEG & FLOWER".
            Last edited by kenKgrow; 01-11-2021, 06:28 PM.

          • kenKgrow
            kenKgrow commented
            Editing a comment
            This the response that I got from HLG (within an hour of contacting them!!). "They both can be used for full cycle. But one offers better results in veg while the Rspec effects are better in flower."

            Both of these lights are 95 actual watts and sell for $150 so I'm wondering if they are the ones you had in mind. That's less powerful than my original lights.You mentioned using 250w, but only 95?Their next light is $400 and draws 90-270 watts.
            Last edited by kenKgrow; 01-11-2021, 08:10 PM.

          • bboyfromwayback
            bboyfromwayback commented
            Editing a comment
            https://www.amazon.com/Horticulture-...0395632&sr=8-4

            That’s the one 95w draw will suit your needs in a budget. Always go with the rspec. Considering you can get great results vegging under a T5 I personally wouldn’t waste money on a veg light

          #7
          I've been searching the web trying to educate myself about LED grow light lifespans. On the Spectrum King site they tell you how long their lights will last. After 6.5 years at 12 hours per day (25,500 hours) the output is greater than 90% of it's original, and at 15 years it's at 70%

          Those numbers are way better than I've seen elsewhere. I read various statements about this and most seem to say to change them every 4-5 years, depending on actual use. I've also seen a "rule-of-thumb" that they lose about 5% per year. Of course the quality of the construction and materials used will play a major role.

          So it seems like you guys are on to something, and I should start shopping for lights.

          bboyfromwayback, I get your point about the humidity etc. and I know you are right, but considering that all of my "successful" grows were in the same environmental conditions, I don't think that that is the cause of my current problems. I would like to take your advice and get the humidity fine tuned, but The cost of heating, dehumidifying, humidifying and cooling my entire basement all year would just be too much for a 2-3 plants. If I can get back to 2-3 oz per plant I'll happy again.





          Comment


          • bboyfromwayback
            bboyfromwayback commented
            Editing a comment
            I’d almost bet money it’s your light. You’ll be shocked at how much better the new full spectrum LED’s are compared to your old lights.

          #8
          I agree 100% with hlg. Check amazon for HLG 100 R Spec its $149 with prime or you can buy direct from hlg for the same price. If I were in the market for lights for a small enclosure Id cram as many of these as will fit. I just got the hlg 65 yesterday to replace a crappy 300w blurple in my veg tent. I was so impressed a second should be arriving any minute now to replace the other blurple in my veg tent lol

          Comment


          • kenKgrow
            kenKgrow commented
            Editing a comment
            I bought one and it's up and running. Nice light!

          #9
          Just a thought, but when was the last time you cleaned the lenses? I’m wondering if you have dirty lenses reducing light emission.
          There are 3 things you must check everyday when growing in hydro:
          1) Water level (How much h2o is she drinking in 24hrs)
          2) pH level (change over 24hrs)
          3) ppm/EC level (How much food is she eating in 24hrs)

          Comment


          • kenKgrow
            kenKgrow commented
            Editing a comment
            Do you mean I should look to the simple solution first? That's a good idea that I sometimes need help remembering...

          #10
          You didn't mention if you start from seed. Perhaps I missed it but many seedbanks will admit if the seeds are old they will likely produce smaller yields. Of course different strains also make a difference too.
          I would say that if nothing has changed in terms of light, heat and water (including humidity) and no other technical changes (pots, fans, ph testers etc.) then look to the source of the plant itself, the seeds.

          I would assume that is where the problem is or that you have changed strains or both. Some strains, regardless of Auto or Photo, like moderate heat, some like high humidity, some like more arid conditions (Alaskan Purple), some like longer light periods(Northern Lights) etc. etc.
          Last edited by dilvish; 01-12-2021, 01:05 AM.
          I hope there is an afterlife...there are a lot of friends and family I'd like to see again, one day.

          Comment


          • kenKgrow
            kenKgrow commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks dilvish, Yes, I grow from seed. I've replaced my light, so I will go through a grow with no other changes to see if light is the problem. If I'm still not happy I will change some of the things you have mentioned.

          #11
          Beastie Boy has it right!
          ​​​​​​3 X 3 gorilla. Promix soil . Green Planet Nutes
          Optic 4 - 415w COB 18/6
          Vortex in-line 6" fan

          Comment


          • bboyfromwayback
            bboyfromwayback commented
            Editing a comment
            You got the bboy lol most do not

          #12
          kenKgrow , i have to agree with everyone suggesting lights. I too had a similar issue with my last two grows..Early grows were really impressive with fairly large but really solid buds. Third grow i noticed more of airy bud on a couple of plants which i thought was just probably strain related. Last grow was the same, light and fluffy buds. Problem is, i never would have thought to check the lights cause they both worked on bloom and veg. Long story short...Santa brought me a new light and when i was putting the Viperspectra s away i noticed a pattern of bulbs were toasted! According to their website the bulbs in question are veg stage bulbs. So..get a flashlight, turn your lights off and see if there is any visible failures. Good luck. Plants are luving the new fusion board..
          Shappel S3000 3.5x6x6' ice fishing hut
          Fusion Board 480w 4000k w/cree diodes
          45W Root Farm LED grow/seedling light
          50w Seedling/starter LED
          3 Vivosun oscillating fans
          6" Fusion Breath, Fan/Filter
          4" Vivosun fan/filter
          Canna Coco/perlite
          General Hydroponics Flora Series
          Cal/Mag
          FloraNectar
          Lost Coast Plant Therapy(WPM, Thrips,Mites,Aphids etc)


          Current Grow
          8 Sex Bud clones
          .

          Comment


          • kenKgrow
            kenKgrow commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah, that sounds familiar. I was surprised at how quickly things dropped off.

          #13
          Thank you everyone for your knowledge and helpful suggestions.

          I have taken the advice you gave and bought the HLG R-spec 100w. I have one seeding started and will put another in this weekend. I don't plan to change anything else so I can see if the lights were indeed the problem.

          I'll update this thread once I have something to report.

          Comment


          • SoOrbudgal
            SoOrbudgal commented
            Editing a comment
            Good for you and best of luck

          #14
          Thank you kenKgrow, you made me feel nuch better about my finicky LEC/CMH lights!
          A Legend...in his own mind - Grower's Choice 315 W LEC, 4' X 2' X 5' Tent GH Flora Trio/Calmag coco/perlite

          Comment


            #15
            Quick update:

            I attached a bar graph showing the decrease in yield over 16 grows. I included the harvest time, which also shows a downward trend. All seeds were from FastBuds.

            Current grow is at day 11. Too soon to tell if the new HLG light is making a difference.

            Comment


            • bboyfromwayback
              bboyfromwayback commented
              Editing a comment
              Grow 1 to 2 had a decent sized drop. Hopefully things start improving for you👍🏻

            • grouchyoldman
              grouchyoldman commented
              Editing a comment
              Hi Ken,

              Perhaps I'm reading your chart wrong, but there seems to be a sharp decrease in both Yield and "Harvest Time over time." They are positively correlated, in the parlance of data geeks. I'm not entirely sure what "Harvest Time" means, but if it relates to flowering 12/12 light schedule it might be a clue. Did you start harvesting early?

              You also mentioned that you began with phototropic plants and switched to autos. If that is the case your decreased yield isn't surprising, those pesty AutoFlowers are quick to harvest but stingy when it comes to harvest yield. Could your Photo->Auto switch be the contributing factor? Was your grow #6 or #8 the switch to AutoFlower seeds?

              I'm probably missing something here, but that's what jumps out to me.
              Regards,

              -Grouchy

            • bboyfromwayback
              bboyfromwayback commented
              Editing a comment
              Those are some important details Grouchy! Glad someone is paying attention to everything lol

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