Planning my first set up!

Hi everyone, I’m in the process of planning my first set up. I have a few questions and will graciously except any advice y’all have.

I’m going to go with a 4x4x8 tent.
A 4 pot rdwc system with 10 gallon square pots, 8” baskets, and a narrow center 24 gallon control tank running from front to back.
A 6” exhaust fan with charcoal filter
Was thinking 2 small circulation fans
As far as light I am stuck between 2 viparspectra par450’s or 1 viparspectra par1200 (dimable series)

Let me know what y’all think!

I think that’s a great setup :grin: @Danfl21

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@Danfl21 the two smaller ones will have better coverage. Have you purchased them yet? Maybe we can save you the trouble of purchasing something else down the road? Everything else looks like a great tent set up.

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Have you done a hydro grow before?

I grow in coco which is almost hydro but far more forgiving. If I mess up (and I do) then the plants will survive and come back from the edge. Everything I have read suggests that a pure hydro grow can kill your plants in a few hours. For example, a power outage (likely in the winter with snow and wind) of 24 hours will wipe out a hydro grow but coco will just keep on chooching

I don’t want to rain on your parade, quite the opposite in fact, I want you to succeed. Getting a couple of successful grows under your belt first might be a good idea. It’s going to suck if you spend all that money and time and don’t get a smoke at the end.

The tent sounds spot on, I also grow in a 4x4. But:

  • Do you have anything planned to control the temps in your reservoir? Too hot and your roots will rot

  • How many CFM does the fan move? Is the filter rated for more CFM than the fan? How many cubic feet is the tent? (4 * 4 * 8) Robert sends out an email that talks about this. 6" might be overkill, my 4" setup (running at maybe 50%) sucks in the sides of the tent - proving I have negative pressure

  • How many watts per square foot will the lights provide?

Again, I’m not trying to p*ss on your fireworks, I just want to see you succeed - Hydro will get great yields but requires attention to detail (and frankly is beyond me)

PS: Have you thought about air pumps? In DWC your plant’s roots must have a reliable supply of oxygen. If the air pump packs up you need to replace it quick or your plants are toast. Maybe have a spare on hand?

Sorry guys. Appears I was only allotted a few reply’s my first day as a forum member. It made me wait 24 hrs to reply. I have not purchased lights yet @Covertgrower. Im still trying to get a idea of what’s my best bet. @DVM definitely have to have the air. I’m going to run commercial heavy duty air pump with 6” round defusiers in the pots and 2 12” defusiers in the control tank to ensure no stagnant water. As far as temps I’m going to be climate controlled so I haven’t worried to much until I get set up and see how it runs. And in my area our power outages are very rare but do occasionally happen. They usually don’t last more than a few seconds however I plan on having my climate monitoring system hook to WiFi which will alert me by text if temps or humidity rise or fall above a programmed boundary. It will also alert me in the event of power loss.

Thanks for all the tips y’all can provide I take no offense to any suggestions and appreciate all the help I can get. Im not necessarily locked on hydro but I find it very interesting and wanted to give it a shot.


@Danfl21 if you haven’t purchased any lighting yet, what is your budget for it? Lighting is one the most often overlooked aspect of growing, and it should be most of your budget when getting started. You can purchase cheap amazon fixtures, but you’ll probably end up with not enough light. You can buy already assembled fixtures, or put it together yourself fixtures. Are comfortable with assembling LED’s? If you can jumpstart a car, you could put one together. The only reason I say this, I started out with an amazon fixture and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I lost performance and efficiency with them and was not adequately covering my grow area.
What is the size of your grow space(s) you have to cover?


@Covertgrower I’m contractor and deal with plenty of wirering and building however saying I would even know where to start with it would be a overstatement. Im definitely down to do it just don’t know the schematics or a proper layout of bulbs. I’ve herd great things about the viparspectra, do you think I would be building a better product then they produce?

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Yes I do, with a more efficient and better covering fixture. @Danfl21 you could assemble some quantum boards, which are passively cooled, no fans and are extremely brilliant. I will be adding those to my current fixture of COB’s fixture. If you can assemble a fixture, which sounds like it would be easy, I would recommend the quantum panels. They will cover up to a 4X4 grow area. Let me find a link for you. If you assemble it yourself, it’ll be around $4-500 mark. Brb.



Awesome thanks bud.
What’s 4$-500 mark mean ?

That means the parts will cost $400-$500 for the components, and you’ll be able assemble together. If you purchase it already assembled, it would be closer to the $1,000 amount.
@dbrn32 can help better than I can, and is the lighting guru.
Here’s a video of the fixture unboxing.


@Danfl21 You should probably remove the [personal info] from that Amazon screen shot

Edit: Have it gift wrapped too, go on, spoil yourself, you’re worth it

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Another option is rapid led website. They offer all kinds of DIY fixture. I personally have the 4X4 fixture with Cree LED’s. 3000K 90CRI (coloring red index) I love the fixture and it coveres a large enough area adequately. I can take a few pictures if you’d like. Let me know. The citizen COB version is a little less, but equal in quality. If I had to do it over, I would have started with this fixture first. @Danfl21


@DVM thanks for mentioning that. @Danfl21 just trying to protect you in the end. Edit your location. If you’re not worried, then neither are we.

@DVM thanks bud

What those PAR maps tell me is that the 1200 light will flower a 2x2 space, and the 450 will flower a 1x1 space.

To cover your 4x4 tent you would need at least two of the 1200 lights for flower.


To pile on to the rapid led site if you don’t want to build your own but want something like what you could build yourself minus the labor and plus a little cash, Timber LED is a good place to look as well.


I’m here, I think @Covertgrower and @Bogleg giving you solid info. If you can build, you probably should build from a cost vs performance aspect. The guys pointed out timber grow lights and rapid led, great spots to take a look at and get an idea of what they’re talking about. Don’t get too shocked by prices though, as pointed out there’s some good money to be saved by sourcing and assembling yourself.

Quantum boards are probably the easiest diy you’ll see. Check this video out.

HLG Quantum Board Kit Review: Part 1 - Assembly - YouTube


@Covertgrower @Bogleg. I’m sold on the quantum boards. What’s the best place to order from? Is there a kit or just buy the components individually?
Thanks for the suggestion

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