Intro/room setup/first grow journal

I wasn’t sure where to post, so I figured I’d just start a journal. Hopefully that’s alright for a first post. I live in a legal state, have some space in the basement of my house which I’ve started converting into a grow room(s). Ten years ago, I had one successful grow using rock wool and flood/drain tables. Other than that, no experience to speak of.

After a few months of research and forum trolling, I decided on building a 4 bucket/1 rez RDWC system. I work in a local dispensary which allows me to occasionally talk to patients about grow ideas. But honestly, all that talking with random people has left me confused and unsure of how to proceed.

My space is one big room 13 x 8 with 10’ ceiling. I sealed the room (as best I could) with panda film, and created panda wall making the room two… One 9 x 8 and one 4 x 8. I’m attaching pictures, but accept my apologies now. I’m no photographer. I did try to make a video, which is much more helpful for seeing the layout of my space, but I couldn’t attach it.

I think I’ve got ventilation sorted and that’s about all I’ve got figured out. On the subject of ventilation, I have two windows in the space. One used to to pull in fresh air, currently hooked up to an 8" inline blower, but I’ll probably just hook it up to a small 8" booster fan. It’s ducted up and across the room then back down to the window. I ran it, with the exhaust fan/carbon filter running, and it seemed to pull in too much air, hence downsizing to the booster fan. The exhaust is ported outside the second window. Hopefully the pictures give a general idea.

Basically I’m mentally locked right now and haven’t really progressed with putting things together for a while.

A few weeks ago I purchased HLG qb120x4 package with meanwell 240h 2100B and a pot from amazon. Today I put the fixture together and even though I have no idea if I’ll actually use it… That was a lot of fun, and I definitely wan’t to use qb’s for all of my lighting. I’m leaning on using 288 qb’s for the big room. Just not sure how many. I was originally thinking about buying 4 of the 600h’s because they were a kit, and I thought that was enough light. But lately, I’ve been second guessing light requirements. If the space is 9x8=72sq ft. I need roughly 3240 watts to light it up properly, yes? In any case, I’m enjoying the DIY aspect of building my own fixtures, so with some help on board and driver selection, I think I’ll have that solved this week.

Then there’s the issue of the actual RDWC system, and how in depth I want to set it up. My friend (a patient from my dispo) has an overly complicated setup, and he wants me to basically copy his system. I’m just looking to have a simple setup that I can drain and clean without much heartache. I haven’t purchased anything other than 3" PVC and 3" bulkheads. Leaning toward 13 gallon containers. The black ones with the lid that that opens. Not sure if I can say the brand name, but I’ve seen them on grow journals here. I have a 1/4 hp chiller which I’m planning on modifying so system water isn’t recirced through the chiller. That’ll be a later project if my water temps in the summer require my res to be cooled down.

I have the room divided, but I’m not sure why. Initially the smaller 4 x 8 space was going to be a veg room. But then I get into my head about the additional cost of building two systems, one for veg and one for flower. The idea of having 4 individual dwc buckets to monitor and adjust daily might be worse.

I’m not sure I need a separate veg room. Could I just run my 4 plants basically from start to finish in the main room? Once I learn how to train and crop my plants, even if that takes a few years, I feel like I could harvest 5 pounds every 4 months. Of course assuming all my parameters are in order. It’s not a super lofty goal is all I’m saying. If I’m running 3200 watts, and I’m only getting .5gpw… That’s still over 3.6 pounds. Even if that’s the best I ever do, I could live with that. So do I need a veg room?

Lastly, I am planning on running CO2 and I will be investing in a decent environmental controller to run the intake/exhaust and the CO2.

I’m sorry to ramble and be all over the place. Hopefully these pictures help show what I’m working with somewhat.


Go big or go home! The QB 288v1s are on sale at HLG. $66 with heat sink. I think you may need 14 boards for the 72 ft^2 space. @dbrn32 can help with the most economical setup to drive that many. 2 boards would take HLG240H-C2100A, but I doubt that is the best way to go. You definitely want reflector surfaces on the walls. Yo might want to check out @Grandaddy013 ‘s set up with the RDWC. He has a space that big set up for SCROG with several nets.


Thank you. I saw those V1’s. Also the atreum 288.2s look interesting.

I forgot to mention I have two dedicated 20amp circuits and one dedicated 20amp 220 circuit. I hope that’s enough power, because my house has no more for me to take.

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Problem is the 288V2’s are sold out. Everything is flying off the shelves at HLG.
Here’s a chart a friend of mine put together for the different boards available when I built my 4xQB304 setup. Ignore the cob section because @dbrn32 says it’s wrong.


288 V2s are back in stock. For now… @Verndoc may buy them all first…


288V1’s still a better bang for the buck.


Sweet setup! Looks strikingly familiar to @crazyots room actually.

I can help you most with lights, so I’ll start there… Do not worry about what you’re pulling in watts. 4 hlg-600’s or any configuration of 16 288 boards at 2100ma will get you where you want to be. You can get them wherever you want, just beware of potentially getting counterfeits that may be a little less performance. 8 fixtures like the one you already built would do too. Either way you look at it, it’s about 8 full hlg-240 drivers. The one thing you’ll likely need is light controller to start all those drivers, which will probably eat up one of those circuits by itself. Anything specific you need there I can probably help with, so just ask.

Your environmentals seem a little sketchy though. If you’re bringing air in from outside, you’ll likely need a long room to adapt air. Otherwise you’ll fighting rh and condensation issues. Also, if you’re bringing fresh air in and exhausting you’ll likely be burning through your co2. In most cases co2 would be run in a sealed room. You don’t need the air exchange because you’re already putting the co2 in, so it’s just up to you to maintain temps and rh within the space. I would probably drop the co2 altogether, but that’s up to you.

I’m not s hydro grower, so my experience there is limited to what I’ve seen. Running perpetual seems a lot easier on flood tables. You simply pick up pots and move them to where you want them. I think you can do on rdwc system, just have all your buckets be interchangeable and grab the lids with netpots and move them to the bucket you want them in. My biggest hang up here is that it likely means multiple chillers, pumps, and air pumps. And I feel like you’re already gonna pressed for power availability.

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First of all, thank you.

I’ll start with the intake situation. Sounds like I can just remove all that and seal up that window? I could get rid of all that 8” ducting.

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You’ll probably want the fresh air, but you should draw it from outside into a room and then from that room into your grow.


I hope I have the air issue resolved. I’ll just pull fresh air from my crawlspace which is much closer to the temp and humidity of the rest of my basement than outside. I hope that works. I don’t have to run CO2 first run, but I’d probably still like to take advantage of it in the future.

Didn’t mean to delete my post. Back to the lighting. I noticed you mentioned counterfeits and being careful. I am guessing the Atreum boards are legit.

I see that HLG has the 288v2 in stock today. So right now, it’s just a matter of which 288’s to get… The HLG v1, the HLG v2 or the Atreum 288.2.

I’m going to pull the trigger on some 288’s today one though I think. Just need to finalize my choice.

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I have both atreum and hlg 288v2. Their brightness appears equal to my untrained eye


I think so, haven’t seen them in person but people seem to be happy with them.

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That seems to be the consensus on the Atreums. I like the $75 with heatsink option.

Atreum 288.2

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Im going to settle on the 288v1’s. For drivers…Is the Meanwell 600H-54a gone? I was going to use 4x of those to run 4 boards each. Lastly, could I use 4x of the 480H-54 drivers instead as those are in stock?


May wanna tag @dbrn32 to get that one answered


Got it, thank you. Still learning how to tag people.

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Those drivers are too big to run 1 board each. Personally I don’t like the cv/cc drivers when running multiple leds. I would prefer suggesting using two hlg-240h-c2100a. Each of those would run 2 boards in series. If you want a single driver per board to run 4 boards, get 4 hlg-120h-54.


I was intending on using one driver per 4 boards. That seemed to be the same driver HLG uses in the 600H fixture.

The 600H-54a I’m referring to. To run 4 288 boards.