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DIY Ebb and Flow or Bubbleponics?

Novice Hydroponic Setup

  • Ebb and Flow

  • Bubbleponics

  • Top Irrigation

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HabitualConcepts

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Ok so I'm new to the grow game and learning as I go. I started by doing the basics i.e. organic miracle grow potting mix, water, and aquarium grow bulb. I've refined as I've gone and now have my beauty under a 4900 K LED bulb 24 hrs a day and water once a day when the soil drys(seedling small 2" sprout). After my dog knocked the pot off my fence during a beautiful sunny day we were having, I did all I could to get it back into the pot and under some soil as soon as possible. The little lady(I can hope) has since managed to remain erect. Thinking it could help I sprayed a diluted organic miracle grow nutrient on the leaves. Sure enough it seems to have interfered with the resin glands, and I notice the large crystals that were coming out are now very small. Also, I think I may have given the plant a slight case of nutrient burn with the leaves turning away from their beautiful green towards a slight yellow. Realizing this is the perfect opportunity for me to restructure my setup now that I've learned a couple things, I ordered a hydro kit and flora series nutrients last night. CAN'T WAIT!!!! This is also where I need help. I want to start with just a simple setup, the old 5 gallon bucket design. My big question is should I go Ebb and Flow or what I thought was called "bubbleponics"? The Ebb and Flow everybody says is easier, but isn't there a system where the roots lay in a continuous bubbling nutrient system? This seems the easiest for me. Any tips y'all could give me before I start my setup would be much appreciated. Also, any insight on the bulb I'm using:

hXXp://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

I thought the package I bought said 6200K daylight, but I suppose I was wrong. My plant doesn't seem to respond to this as well as one of the more simple/cheap twister fluorescent light, I believe was a 810 lumen, that was in it for a day. I know these are cheap bulbs, but I started this with the idea I could do it cheaply and practically. I'm looking at getting some LED grow panels right now, but in the mean time this is what I'm working with. What bulb type for screw in socket's is the most effective?

I'll try to get some pics of my little hobo setup on here.
 

Growdude

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Look into DWC thats the system that the roots hang directly in the nutes.

That bulb that you linked is no good, if you must use screw in bulbs use CFL spiral bulbs.
If your going to buy something dont get LED. Buy a HPS system.
 
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DWC--deep water culture--is what you are asking about. I believe that this is the simplest of hydro systems and does not require a water pump like the ebb and flow.

A 2" sprout is not going to have any crystals. If you believe you see crystals, it is something else. Be aware that moving the plant from inside to outside to inside to outside, etc, etc, can expose your plants to posts and disease that you may drag into your grow space. Seedlings do not need to be fed until they are 2-3 weeks old. It is very very easy to kill the seedling at this point.

I also recommend NOT using LEDs. While they are okay for vegging, they are not for flowering. You are going to need 3000 lumens per sq ft for vegging and 5000 lumens per sq ft for flowering. You are going to have to spend some money if you want to get anything out of this--you can only go so cheaply. Yield will be directly related to your lighting--more/better light=more/better bud. You cannot beat a HPS for flowering--when you look at all the figures, it is the cheapest to buy and use.
 

HabitualConcepts

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I wish I had found this forum sooner. Y'all are awesome, thanks so much. DWC, hahaha, these are the things that make me realize how new I really am at this. After staying up all night, I pretty much came to the same conclusions after watching some youtube experiments. "Mr. Blue Goo #7" is really interesting as it compares all three different lighting systems used in a professional setup. The results are really amazing considering the wattages of the HPS v MH.

The LED is straight up trash no lie. The one it's been under has kept it "alive". Though, after I thought I gave it nutrient burn I sprayed the leaves off with natural water, and after placing it in the natural daylight outside the plant has done a 180 in just a short matter of time. Have to love the 365 days of sunshine we get here! With every experiment/ comparison I've seen all the rumors I read of LED lights as the new alternative are FALSE.

I think I'm going to invest in one of the dual HPS/MH ballast and possibly thinking about getting one of the dual arced bulbs. Any thoughts on the dual HPS/MH bulb?

I'm going to go grab my camera so I can throw some pics of those little crystal looking things. I was all excited thinking it was good, but now that you've told me that I think I'm screwed. They've pretty much been on the top of the leaves, haven't been able to look at bottom, and growing along the stem since it sprouted.

It's really funny; this started as my buddy and I screwing around, has turned into my hobby with all the money and effort I'm putting into it, and I think is rapidly becoming my preferred lifestyle. I just wish I would have thought of this in high school!
 
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How much money have you put into this (what exactly have you purchased?) and how much more do you have to spend? I anticipate you needing several hundred dollars worth of supplies (several hundred dollars doing it cheaply and effectively). You need lights, ventilation, nutrients, grow medium. If you are planning on growing hydro, you are going to need a pH meter and an EC meter of some kind.
 

HabitualConcepts

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I've got everything you need to grow hydro at this point with exception of the the light system. Do you have any advice regarding what I mentioned about the lighting I'm lookin at?
 

pcduck

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For lighting I like to use t-5's for vegging, cooler then mH, and for flowering hps is the best.
 

HabitualConcepts

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I was actually thinking about putting a couple of t-5's vertically along each side, with a HPS above and maybe a 100w cfl below just for shits and gigs. I'm basically going to make an erector set out of all the stuff I've been buying and making. I figure why not I already got it.

Just as an update; I just got back from Petsmart and got some sweet aeration equipment. I bought the biggest air pump they sold (go big or go home) which I'm connecting to a 5" aeration disk at the bottom of the bucket along with four 18" tube aerators along the sides. I figure you can't really get any better aeration 360 degrees than this setup, but as always let me know if I'm wrong.

So I'm sitting here thinking about when I transplant my lil lady from her soil dungeon to her new hydroponic Barbie dream home. Since I've decided to use DWC, does this mean I have to have the fluid levels that high since she is so small or will I be using top irrigation until the roots grow longer?
 

pcduck

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Plants do not need light from below.

I use this air pump

plantlightinghydroponics.com/ecoplus-air5-80-watt-commercial-air-pump-p-2145.html

on 8 buckets

and these air stones

plantlightinghydroponics.com/eco-plus-large-round-air-stone-p-1521.html

When small I raise the water level to the very bottom of the net pot, once the roots get hanging I use about 3 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket. I just hand water for a couple of day so that the roots know where down is, no drip.
 

HabitualConcepts

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Ok, so I don't really need to put it in the 5 gal bucket setup at first but instead maybe a shallower system. I'm thinking a 3 liter bottle or something else that is sufficient for the diameter. Of course I'll be taping up the rez to keep out light. With the smaller system I think I'll be able to continue the DWC for the shallow conditions. I do enjoy hand watering, but I suppose it's best to start the DWC asap? What do you think?

Since you mentioned you use buckets, what would you recommend for the total number of plants for one bucket? I've seen some with 4 and some with 1. I guess the real question is which produces the most yield?

The air stones I got are:

hXXp://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752196 (5" size)

hXXp://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752294 (4x 18")

Also, I think the pump was rated for 100 gallons. I think these materials are suitable for me.
 

pcduck

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need to kill the live links:aok:

I place my plants into the net pots/dwc system as soon as roots show in the rockwool/rapid rooters or once I wash off the soil when transplanting. Plants veg fast and get bigger quite rapidly in dwc, no need to transplant more then once.

I use 1 plant per bucket. The number of buckets you use determines the size of your air pump, you want your water boiling. Your buckets cannot allow any light leaks.
 

HabitualConcepts

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Cool, it sounds like I'm good with my air and bucket setup now. I have an estimate of about 3" of root at this point since my dog helped me unsurface it the other day. Should I just go ahead and put it in the 5 gal, and just simply raise the water table? I just don't want to overkill the amount of fluid in my reservoir for the size plant I have. I'm going to try to follow the hydroponics grow table calculator they give you for the flora series nutrient line that I'll be using...unless I find out it's crap.
 

pcduck

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3" is plenty of roots to be able to put into the bucket.

I also use the GH 3 part and it works great. That guide they have is just a guide I would not follow it word for word. Start at about 1/4 of what it says and just keep upping the amount to you see a little bit of nute burn then just back off a bit.
 

HabitualConcepts

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Maaaaaaaaaaan, I got so excited after reading that 3" is the right size to start, especially since I just got my hydro kit. It would have been great if the guy wouldn't have shipped it with 2" pots!!! I don't think I can use these, but I could be wrong. I just ordered one of the bucket net pot lids. At least this gives me plenty of time to clean and balance my hydroton and rockwool. Still really blows. What a let down! 4 more days waiting!
 
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HabitualConcepts said:
Cool, it sounds like I'm good with my air and bucket setup now. I have an estimate of about 3" of root at this point since my dog helped me unsurface it the other day. Should I just go ahead and put it in the 5 gal, and just simply raise the water table? I just don't want to overkill the amount of fluid in my reservoir for the size plant I have. I'm going to try to follow the hydroponics grow table calculator they give you for the flora series nutrient line that I'll be using...unless I find out it's crap.
I don't understand this statement: "...I just don't want to overkill the amount of fluid in my reservoir for the size plant I have..."?

Don't be a slave to a nute schedule. It should be used as a guideline only. Different strains can and do have far different nutrient needs. Seedlings do not need any food at all until they are 2-3 weeks old.

Do you have a ppm and a pH meter?
 

rickyjack9

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HYDROTON DISCOVERY INDOORS 5-gallon buckets: 6 HRS BETWEEN 2 QUICKY FLOODS. my experience: 40 yrs, have tried all ways. i mean all. anything new comes out i try: hempys are simplest, and productive, vs work. soil experts win on aroma/taste if they have the know-how/secrets. must be witchcraft, definitely an art. hydro done well is up there too IF rarely not overnuted. then not over rinsed. 3 days w/little epsom salt and unsulphured molasses. for any rinse. yum. trick: maybe even cut stalk at hydroton level and quickly put in above rinse type bucket 3 days more grow. SHE will cry but will drink the rinse as no roots can feed her more nutes/water. remember grade school? the cut plants soaked up the food coloring, right? right. if overnuted you will need to rinse 5-10 days before any cuts. so reduce nutes before end...2 weeks?!
basic three 5-gal bucket hydroton *hybrid EnF/dwc system* is my favorite for most efficient, rewarding, quality production vs work:
ebb and flow on a digital timer. (add 24/7 bubbler/dwc idea later when roots breach 1st bucket by raising it somehow within the 2nd bucket. I use a 4-5 inch block of wood in 2nd bucket myself). SECRET is 2 quicky floods two inches from top of hydroton, and a SIX hr 'drying' cycle.
START: 5 gal bucket of hydroton. yes 1 bucket full, 2 or 3 seedlings. don't worry; lots of drilled holes in bottom for water and roots to go through eventually, placed *inside* an identical size 5gal bucket that has a water outlet for tubing very near the bottom. (imagination is needed here.) I use yard of 1/2 inch black tubing connected to pump which is placed in your final 3rd 5gal bucket/reservoir, which will need to sit a foot or so below the above two buckets. this system is fully re-useable. I have a 3 x 3 x 4 flower area. I dont use mothers, I just take a few clones a week before flowering and put the clones in a smaller veg closet. So just under 3 month cycles. I try to cut and trim before flowering. During flowering minimize stress else hermies odds increase. ive found 24 hrs on is begging hermies. 24 to 12 can stress too much. (hormonal imbalance). also I believe cuts then can cause disease/mites. I also bend plants under a scrog screen to maximize canopy to 3 x 3. I can then lower my air cooled 400w hps to 10 in. I also use 6 100w equivilent cfls, each uses 26w. some pros and cons in my opinion:
hydroton....reuseable for years, clean by boiling 15 min. dump the gunk.
.............. flood every 6 hrs then 2 quicky 1 to 2 min floods due to no
................overflow outlet. The pump can run dry for a little while. That
................means the water is at max height for a few secs or minutes.
grow shops want your money. read ingredients. I just use earthjuice.
same medium for years is my attraction to hydroton. lots of root/air space.
perfect. overwatering causes roots to search for oxygen. underfeeding is rare.
soil, lava, perlite, rockwool...not very re-useable. hydroton lets the roots breathe...and get thick. If I were a root I'd want space and air and pellet to wrap myself around.
just flood every 4 hrs if using gh 3 part...organics takes 6 hrs. also try organic teas. Bubble your own in a sock/bucket for 48 hrs starting with warmer water to get things breeding. plants think its filet mignon. we like that. tea needs some unsulphered mollasses and worm castings or whatever in the bubbles remember. manure I think attracts pests. a worm and a cow are not similar. I once toasted a crop using excess worm doo. all leaves fell off, etc. ..mixing organic with pure minerals does work somewhat.
but test results for appearance, taste, aroma. experiment...super duper grow
parts 1 thru 10, big buds galore plus, ninja pow pow additive/stimulants. its mind-boggling..gets ya drunk. remember they want your money. I kinda get ill when I see so much competition for our dollars. KISS forever.
If I owned a hydro store my labels would help customers buy epsom salt for 10 dollars instead of a dollar at freddies. always DIY when possible. work
a little and be joyful. This 6 hr 'dry' cycle for 5 gal of pure hydroton EnF/dwc/scrog organic indoors earthjuice teas grow is furry, sparkly, eye-watering, but best of all is the great taste. close to best soil grows Ive seen. Oh yea, if the roots need it you may want to raise the 5 gal reservoir up to a level that keeps the roots in dwc conditions. So...2 quicky floods every 6 hrs
beginning at first light. no floods during dark. pour some slightly warm water
over hydroton each week/nute-change. also think about leaving 25 percent
old water during change if doing organic. I read that somewhere it keeps needed bios healthier. elec went off last week. thats when i tossed dwc
ideas. growing is addictive. lets us unfold...carl sagan, kristen dunst smoke or smoked everyday...2012 make weed legal sane persons. one person one vote.
thats what they are afraid of. follow the green. peace.
 

HabitualConcepts

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I meant I don't want to make a 3 gallon mix for a 3" plant that I will change in 3 days. Seems like that would be overkill for the fluid. I'm goin to try to start diluted and increase comparing the results to my plants. I don't have an EC meter yet.

Preciate that rickyjack. Looks like some interesting info
 

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