My first setup, seeking advice + budget reduction

Hi, I’m a first time grower and I was wondering if you could look over my shopping list and tell me what you’d do differently and also if there’s something I could save some money on?

My goal for the first grow is to get buds ASAP so I don’t have to keep spending money on medicine while I’m growing my own. I’ve got some GDP seeds inbound (the purple mix). I want to grow one plant at a time, using these things:

My priorities are speed to harvest and potency, anything over 30 grams is gravy

I also don’t want to waste money on something today if I’m going to end up replacing it shortly down the road.

20 x 20 x 48 TopoLite $50.46

Spider Framer $159.99

Canopy fan:
USB $21.99
(Already have intake fan)

Exhaust setup with thermometer / humidity monitor:
iPower combo $112.99

3 gal fabric pot x5 (only need 1 :/)
Vivosun $15.99

Super soil:
Kind $18.00 for 5lbs (only need 3)

Coco coir $21.99 (I think I’ll have it forever after buying once)

PH Meter:
Vivosun $16.99

PH Up:

PH Down:

I’ve got some other various power strips and like a plant pot saucer etc. Thanks for looking! I hope you have a good day.


I would ditch the Kind soil and coco and go for Fox Farm Happy Frog. It is a great soil and it’s good for beginners because it isn;t so hot. You’ll want to add a fertilizer combo such as the Fox Farm trio.

It’s a pretty good list. You’ve done your homework.


I would upgrade from the sf1000 to an hlg 135 r spec for 17 dollars more with code “dude” and you are gonna be tight on vertical space. You lose the pot height, hanging height for the light, and the plants can’t grow right into the light or they burn. You are going to have like a foot and a half to work with. I bought the same pH pen and tds meter you are looking at. Tds meter seems fine a month later. The pH pen already crapped out i’m back to the liquid drops for testing lol.


Welcome to ILGM!


Get the apera ph20 for 50$. You end up spending 50 with that vivosun set because you need to buy calibration fluid and storage solution. You’ll end up being able to make those last a year at most I hear. But the 50$ apera comes with everything you need and lasts for a long time from what I’ve seen. I just got mine and am excited to use it. The TDs meter can be cheap though. Just need to know you’re ppms are high or low. Don’t need to know them exactly right now starting. And agreed with @Eagles009 get the hlg, cost a little more but more efficient. Meaning it’ll work a lot better.


Like others said, upgrade the ph pen to Aperia or equal. 20x20 tent will only grow one plant efficiently. I do a 2x4x5 and fill it with one plant. If noise is an issue that vivosun fan will be very loud, look at the ac infinity brand.


Thanks for the reply! I like the kind soil because I wouldn’t need to add anything - if I get the frog soil do I have to add it to it continually or just once when I set it up?

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Welcome to the community ! Please don’t buy a cheap pH meter buy one you can depend on apera or bluelab either one will do a good job. The ipower exhaust fan will do a good job, if you are worried about odor the filter not so good.


Hi Eagles, do you mean this one? 135W QB® V2 Rspec® LED Kit – Horticulture Lighting Group - I think that’s out of budget at the moment. I was actually hoping someone would say I could get away with a cheaper light!

Based on the feedback for the tent I’m going to go with: (24 x 24 x 60) for $75

I’m going to research another PH meter.

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I have the 240w version on this one in my 3x3. This would work in your 2x2.


Is 30g going to last you at least 3 months? That’s about the absolute fastest you can grow a plant. If not you may want to look into a 2x4 tent and double the amount of plants you can grow. Or another small tent for veg so you can veg a plant while one is flowering. Then when the flowering plant finishes you can send another into flower cutting time between harvests to 2-2/1/2 months

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Thank you! Sweet price difference as well :).

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It probably won’t, I just don’t have a lot of other options for the future really.The longer I wait to get this going the more I’ll have to buy in the meantime :/.

No problem.

I found this! Even cheaper!

If you have the seeds, you can get one going now. You don’t need all that stuff to get seeds started and she can get growing while you wait on your shopping list to come in.


If a good led light is above your current budget wait and save more first! The light is the single most important buys you will make!!!


I ended up with:

ILGM: Purple mix (GDP will be first)
Tent: 24 x 24 x 60 (Hydro Crunch)
Light: EVQ QBS1000 (Samsung & Meanwell)
Canopy fan: USB oscillating that can mount to a tent pole
Intake fan: 4" USB
Exhaust fan (adjustable), filter, RH monitor, duct / tstat: iPower combo kit
Pot: 3 gallon fabric (HGT) (+ saucer)
Soil: Kind Soil (went back to it after reading KIND Soil Grow. Let's see if it's all they claim - #453 by Cannabian) + Coco Loco medium
PH Meter: Apera $50 tester
PH Up: Food grade potassium bicarbonate (4oz)
PH Down: Food grade citric acid (4oz)
Security: Luggage lock for tent zipper, door locks

All in it’s less than $550, saving this much money on medicine for less than what I spend in two months is literally going to help my family. The only thing I’ll need to buy more of is (that I can think of at the moment) is soil.

Everything is inbound, I’m going to make a grow journal. After reading a bit more about the strain specifics and the KIND grow journal I’m even more stoked!

Thank you all for all of your help yesterday :slight_smile:


This happened…

:slight_smile: The other one will be returned when this one is in place as it’s already in use.


You won’t be sorry.