Thought I would document my first hydro grow and thought I would document it here mainly for my leaning and long term benefit. I have a few soil grows under my belt none went off without a hitch. But still yielded more than I would consume in a year+. But pants where generally small and looking for more. Wanted to try my hand at hydro which may prove to be a fool errand but shits already bought so here we go! Friday post will be wordy and looking for advice before I start and plan to update as I go along.
Grow space: less than desirable but again not looking to become a “major player” lol. I have two 2x2 Mars Hydro tents setup right next to each other. Admittedly, a 4x2 would have been a better initial buy but you know how it goes, you want to start small and then it all snowballs once you get into it.
So equipment is:
2 - 2x2x55” tents ( we’ll talk more about the birthright I’m sure)
4” ventilation fan with carbon filter
A couple tent fans
2 and 4 port air pump
250gph water pump
4 air stone
General Hydroponics Flora (grow/bloom/micro) nutes
Hydroguard & Cal mag
And all pluming fixtures.
6” and a 8” net pot. Growing in hydrotron
My plan is to setup a rdwc/fallponics system where I have the reservoir, pumps and vent fan in the 2nd tent and in the grow tent just the grow tote. This will give me the maximum high in my already short tent. I khow height is going to be an issue which is why I moved the vent to the second tent.
So right now I have two sizes of totes. 2 (of each) HDX 17gl and 12gl. The 17’s JUST fit. Bulge the sides out just slightly. I want to maximize the total system gallons with the space I have. I will be using a 17gal for Rez but not sure if I should squeeze the 17gl in for grow or just use the 12 which has plenary of room. Thinking I maximize space as it will help with water chem. I plan on 2” piping in between the two, 2 air stones in each.
is it generally agreed that I should squeeze in for the larger tote sizes for both tents?
Is there a preferred placement of the recirculating pipe(2” drain)? Ie opposite end of fill up tube or center etc.
am I missing any needed nutrients ie silican, epsom salt…. Anything……
most concerned on the water (obviously) o don’t have a chiller but have had a 5gal bucket in my tent for a week and it’s never topped 72* so hoping I can control with frozen water bottles ( I know brings in a whole new set of risks)
What else am I not thinking of.
Planning on starting in a two week.
Thanks to all, again this is more for my j go as I have been bad at journaling my last grows so if anything else documentation will be good for this.
I don’t have much experience with autos. I’m just getting ready to start my first auto grow in a 12 site rdwc. if you ever do photos in your current set up you will want to veg no longer than 4 weeks. As far as the bucket size I would go with the 17gals to match your Rez size the level you see in your rez will match the level in the rest of the system. As for the temp you should be good a 17gal is big enough that if you need to you could throw in a couple of frozen 1 gallons if needed
As for your piping there isn’t really a right or wrong way just lay it out and decide what the best set up is for you. I wouldn’t worry about epsom salt or silica in dwc most of the silicas are not dwc friendly and have been known to really screw your crop up due to them foaming from the the air stones and recirculating
I propagate in in the 1.5in rockwool cubes in a dwc cloner. I cut 2in holes in my 5.5in net cups so once they have good root systems I just move the plant in the 2in cup to the rdwc system ,and don’t have to worry about tearing roots or moving the plant to the larger system while it’s still really small.
I like the 5.5 because they are shallow and allow you to have a higher level for you nute solution. but you need to scrog with a 5.5 if you’re not going to scrog use the 8in because they’ll give your plants more stability.
UPDATE- Installed my system today. Got it all Plummed and rough wired. Currently if is running to test for leaks and I am testing my ambient water temp so I was going to let it run all week and see where it’s at by weeks end. Total fill was 25.3 gallons and the water is about 1/3” into the net pot.
If all is in good order at the end of the week I will start my seed germination next weekend. I have not yet decided between Bruce Banner or Gorilla Glue. But more to come on that.
Only think not shown is I will be using a 2x2 piece (cut down the middle) of garage styrofoam insulation. I will be using that as a light and psudeo heat barrier. So shouldn’t have any issues with alge in my clear water lines.( black not available).
So. Am looking into nutrient levels and what my system will require.
As mentioned I am using the GH Flora trio with hydroguard and cal mag. I found the attached feeding schedule from GH and a few questions popped up in my head.
is this 500 or 700 scale for ppm?
How often should I be changing the water/nutrient solution? 2-3week?
when feeding between water changes, I shouldn’t be adding the mute amount listed for that week correct? meaning I should be targeting the ppm range and not adding the listed amounts carte blanche?
Additmittly, the nutrients give me anxiety.
I am looking at my nutrient needs and just want to be sure that I am converting this correctly, it’s simple math.
But for the FloraBloom it says I will need 107.5ml per gL for the life of my grow. Which is a total of 2,687.5ml of the nutrient correct? Just want to make sure as that is nearly 6 16oz bottles and is excessively more nutrient solution used in my prior soil grows combined.
Thanks for the input and sorry for all the questions.
Hey all. So seed popped and moved it to the net pot last night. Added all the nutrients and ph’d to 5.87. Just now got home now and, phew smells really bad. Clearly an issue with the water. It’s gone bad!! Lol
Check and verify your air pump is still creating lots of air bubbles and movement in the reservoir.
water chiller (I don’t recall if you’ve got one already, sorry)
Hydroguard - or, if you want to use poor man’s hydroguard, I’ve switched to Southern Ag Garden Friendly Fungicide. It’s super concentrated Hydroguard - takes 1mL per gallon or less.
Paint your lid. Spray paint it matte black, then once it dries, spray paint it silver or white.
Oh and lastly, check all of your nutrients and see if any of them are organic. Sounds silly but I used Fox Farms liquid nutes and their Big Bloom is organic, which meant I was introducing all kinds of stuff into my water that made it smell real funky real fast. Discontinued use and cleaned the res, and had no issues afterward (with funky smell anyway)
Pump good. No chiller but water is 68* currently. I am using hydroguard and GH Flora trio nutrients. Water looks brown in the pics. Also as you can see in the pics I am temporarily insulating the grow tank with a garage foam panel to help with Rez temps and keep light off my lid.
Just a weird freak nutrient issue? I did notice when I was adding the last of my PH up it was hitting the water and turning cloudy.