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First grow advice

The Silver Bullet Special

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I recently joind this forum and before making any posts. I figured I would do some browsing to see what everyone is talking about and some of their setups are. It looks like people here actually are willing to help unlike other forums I've browsed in the past. I do have a general knowlege of growing, though I've never attempted one yet and have some questions just to strengthen my opnion on how to do it right.

I recently moved to a southern state and havnt gotten up in the attic to measure things but the room will roughly be 10'x8'x5' (insulated all around to avoid heat signatures and help keep stable climate). I've decided to go with a DWC system (non-recirculating) and SCROG the plants since there are height problems with he room. I don't know how much I will partition the room off for the mother and vegging but I plan on using T5's for vegging but don't know a whole lot about light requirements for plants when using them. I plan on using GH Flora 3 part system for the nutes. Since heat will be a problem and I will be unable to put an AC up in the attic to keep the res cooler I was going to use a chiller but having the cold water seperated from the ressys(to keep them isolated incase problems occur) and just pump through the res in poly tube for ambiant cooling.

I came across The Hemp Goddess' SCROG design for DWC system and will probably use something along those lines but 3 or 4 plastic tubs set up like that. LED lighting isnt something I'm sold on but it's what I plan to use because of the lower power usage and heat it produces It's probably my only option for dense flowers. After a few days of hard core studying on which LEDs to use the Lighthouse BlackStar 240W LED grow lights (two of them) claim their coverage is 3'x2' so two of them should give me roughly 3'x4' of lighting.

Another thing that I'm concerned about is odor and venting (other than I have a outside vent in the attic to blow out of) this is the biggest factor and cant have any lingering odors, I don't have any clue on how well carbon filters actually work, I've also read that negative ion generators help in odors? The fans I'm going to use are 6" inline fans with a speed controller, and a dehumidifier is essential for the climate I live in; is that water clean enough to use for feeding? Ozone generators are out of the question because their harmful risks they impose on the plants and health of the people living in the house.

Any feed back on good strains and breeders to use I plan on going with Attitude some choices I've thought about are Barney Farm's Vanilla Kush, Barney Farm's Phat Fruity, G13's White Widdow, or Mandala's Satori, Hashberry, or Fruitylicious.

One last question about SCROGing about how high above the plant and is there a specific way to run the main stem under the screen to allow the buds to evenly pop up under the screen and then flower once the screen is 70% full under it?

For the nutes I have a general idea of using a little bit weaker solution than the manufacturer suggest and will adjust accordingly over time once I get the hang of things.
The cloning will be done in a closet just because the environment will be more stable than in the attic with a 3 inch AC vent coming off the house hold air handler to the rooms.

Hopefully the book I just wrote will give someone you guys enough info to help out a little bit I won't be able to get things built and up and running for at least another 2 months. So I want to just clairify everythign before I get things set up to make sure what I have planned will actually work and I won't be getting ripped when it comes to the seeds.

I apologize if this was posted in the wrong section ahead of time, someone can correct me and lead me to the right spot to post if I'm wrong. Thanks!
 

Grower13

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going to be hot in an atic in the south
carbon filters work well
What are the inline fans for?
 

Grower13

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get some calmag to go with your gh flora 3 part............ do you know the ph of your water.......... I've read it's not good to use dehumidifier water for watering.

btw....... I read on the mandala site their strains(satori) are very heat resitant.
 

The Silver Bullet Special

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The inline fans are just to move the air out of the room and push it out of an attic vent. I was going to run 4in dryer hose off of the home air handler and into the room for cooling; Since the air handler main duct work is already up in the attic I was going to branch off of it. The LED lights for the flowering lights for the low heat they put out. Unsure of the ph as of yet (guessing its going to have a high ph for living near the coast) I need to get a ph meter still, not sure how expensive it would be just to buy store bought distilled water untill I can get an RO machine hooked up(still tryin to find a decent one and on how they work). Is GH's ph up/down good to use for balancing the ph in the res? I will probably go with the satori and for fun white widdow to try it. What does calmag do for the plants?
 

pcduck

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If you are having temp problems, you may want to re-think your choice of using DWC. IME my best performance with no slimy root problems was when I could keep my DWC buckets in the 68deg. range.

If you do decide to stay with DWC you may want to do some research on water chillers in order to cool your nute rez. They are not cheap though.
 
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I am going to ask you to seriously reconsider flowering with LEDs. You may have noticed that there are NO grows here where people flower with LEDs. There is a reason for this and it is that they are just terrible. LEDs will not give you dense flowers. I understand heat being a problem, especially in an attic, however LEDs are not the answer. Regardless of the hype, LEDs do not flower well and do not get good results. It is going to take approx 4 months from seed to harvest--you want to get something for your time and effort. If you are going to be using 480W, I would step up to a 600W HPS, run the lights at night when it is cooler and figure out how to deal with the excess heat. If you get a dimmable ballast, you have some options on wattage you use.

Lighting requirements are figured by lumens per sq ft. For vegging, you want a minimum of 3000 lumens per sq ft in the blue spectrum (6500K or so) and for flowering 5000 lumens per sq ft. in the red spectrum (2500-3000K)

I'm also with the duck on res temps. IMO, you would be better off going with a good soil mixture (consider organic), a 600W HPS, and adequate ventilation to keep things cool enough. Don't scrimp on the ventilation--it is almost as important as you lighting. You are going to need a centrifuge type exhaust fan.

As I remember, I ran my screen about a foot above the totes. You simply bend the stem to grow horizontally under the screen. You can take new growing tips and train them to grow whereever you have open spots under the screen. I think about 70% filled is a good goal.

Strain? As most know, Satori is probably my favorite and I highly recommend it.
 

The Silver Bullet Special

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I know what your talkin on the LED's which is why I wasnt convinced they would actually work except for heat and for power consumption. Should I throw up some solar panels to a grid tie converter to lower my foot print? Would one 600W HPS be good for 4-6 plants close together scrog'd(I'll start looking into more about HPS lights)?

As for the venting do I run the exhaust fan 24/7 or just enough to exchange out the room volume about once an hour? The nights here run about mid 70's at its coolest till winter so lighting at night would be best (plus I can work with my plants when I get home from work so I dont interupt the dark cycles).

I chose DWC just because I've read yields/harvest are a little bit faster and heavier than soil. I have no clue at all about soil types and how to feed compared to hydro; all my research has been with hydro. The attic room will have insulation boards (those 1"thich foam boards from Lowes) no clue on how good they work I'll find out. The room will have the home AC blowing air into the room when it kicks on.

Thanks for the advice! And confirming my thoughts about LEDs.
 
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You do not need to worry about your power consumption with a 600W and solar panels and storage batteries are prohibitively expensive. You were talking about almost 500W anyway with the LEDs. Just pay your bill on time and do not steal electricity.

A 600W light will cover up to about 16-18 sq ft, but you can use it in a smaller space. I have one in a 2 x 6 closet now. So, yes, it would be great for 4-6 plants scrogged. You are going to want an air coolable reflector or I believe you will find it impossible to keep things cool. Fortunately, regardless of what type HPS you get, it should be substantially cheaper than 2 240W LEDs.

Ventilation....ventilation does 2 things--it keeps your space cool and provides CO2 to the plants for photosynthesis. I run my exhaust fan all the time the lights are on. I have a 448 cfm Vortex on a speed controller. Plants need a continual supply of fresh air all the time the lights are on for proper photosynthesis. I exchange the air in my space a couple of times a minute..

I have done DWC for many many years and am now getting into organics. IMO, I do not believe that hydro is any faster or heavier than soil. While you may get a little faster vegging growth, it is nothing significant. Nothing will speed up flowering. I have seen nothing in my grows or with the grows of my friends that makes me believe that hydro is faster or produces more. A buddy and I ran several of the same strains--he in soil and me in hydro. There was no real difference in the plant size, quality, quantity, or how fast they finished.

Are you planning on building enclosures?
 

The Silver Bullet Special

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Yes, The room I plan on building in the attic will be roughly 8'L 10'W 5'H(hopefully) with the heigh being so low is why I want to scrog them and keep plant count low. In time I want to do a continuous crop out so about 4 plants in veg and 4-6 flowers. Im not exactly sure how much vegging space I'll need but I was guessing at making the veg room 4'x8' and the rest to flowering. For venting that would I have two seperate fans for intake and exhaust in each room (4 total? other than the osc fans).

Cloning will be done in a closet where the atmosphere will be more stable. I've read on here that some people do motherless set ups where they take clones of clones; my only question to that is, doesnt that cause a loss of potency and vigor each generation you move down?
 
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You are going to need separate enclosures for vegging and for flowering. You are going to need an enclosure that is the size that your light is suited to. For instance, if you get a 600W HPS, you will need a space that is no larger than 18 sq ft. Your flowering space is also going to need to be be light tight--100% light tight. You are not going to be able to take 32 sq ft out of the attic and flower in the remaining 48 sq ft or so. You need rooms, tents, some kind of "space". You cannot just let the light disburse throughout the entire attic.

A vegging space that is 4 x 8 is way way larger than you are going to need and it would take a lot to adequately light that much space. I really cannot imagine you needing more than a 2 x 4 space to veg 4-6 plants.

I have not found that taking clones from clones lessens the quality of the plant. I had one that I really believed got better.
 

Grower13

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I'm thinking being in the south, his attic temps are going to run over 100 and up to 120 degrees for a good portion of the year. There will be many days where they stay over 100 for days on end. Plants will not survive this and not sure anyone could stay up there long enough to care for them.
 

BackWoodsDrifter

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Had my room run to 110 fur 4 day straight it was all i could do to keep my plants alive runnin through it, dont think plants can run much past a few days even though they be quite tollerant they will eventualy break and start to die. Attic be bout the last place I be growin less I had airconditionin to put in. Good luck your trails friend hope yual yeild yur need.

BWD
 

The Silver Bullet Special

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Okay so I need to majorly down size my plans for my veg and flower rooms. with the rooms being seperate once I run the exhaust vents out of the room would I be able to combine them into one main exhaust pipe to go out of the house; or make two seperate vents out of the home (I have 3 different spots to vent out of now so which ever way is easiet? What would you recommend for the flowering space4x6? (I'm glad I join this forum I appreciate the help its a money saver)

I talked to my grow partner that is also my roommate since he is buying the lighting he is dead set on those LEDs no matter how much I try to convince him he got sucked into the online advertising... Would it help thicken up the buds if I put in a small 150W HPS or two on top of the LEDs and add venting to it?
 

The Silver Bullet Special

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I'm going to have the main household air running up from a closet into an insulated area to try and keep temps down up there.
 

Grower13

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I wouldn't take the risk to grow weed in 100+ degree temps under LEDs. The results wouldn't be worth it imho. TSBS some of these folks here have been growing for a lifetime. They know what they speak of. IF LEDs made good weed they would be using them. Do your and your friend a favor and rethink your decision on lighting. HSP grew 99.9 of the indoor buds you see here.

LED's are not cooler than HPS light properly cooled with a fan pulling air through the hood/tube.
 

The Silver Bullet Special

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No basement in the house saddly Theres a few decent closets I may be able to convert or if I can get him to use the spare bedroom. I'm full set on using HPS my friend on the other hand thinks different and says he doesn't want to deal with ballasts *sigh*.. since I'm not the one buying the lights I have no say in the lighting till I can save up a few pay checks and buy some HPS myself. The attic temp probs were one of my fears that looks like its coming true.

Kind of throwing a cog in the situation, later down the line next year I could grow in a spot out in the back yard if plants dont put out too much smell when growing outside and train it along the ground.
 

pcduck

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I'm full set on using HPS my friend on the other hand thinks different and says he doesn't want to deal with ballasts *sigh*.. since I'm not the one buying the lights I have no say in the lighting till I can save up a few pay checks and buy some HPS myself.
To tell ya the truth. The best thing you can do is back out of this grow. Tell your friend you are not interested in growing. Wait a bit and do it yourself, do it right and tell no one.jmho

While you are waiting, you will be able to research the proper way of growing and be successful at it.:aok:
 

Hushpuppy

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If you have a spare bedroom that you could use, that would save you a tremendous amount of headache (and backache). You can buy a couple of really nice tents for the same amount of money and far less effort than trying to grow in the attic. Smell is not a problem if you are diligent to maintain your filtering. Carbon filters work 100% at removing odors (when done right). Also there are plenty of quality plant strains out there that are not overly "stinky".

Keeping the tents in a spare room will make life incredibly easier for you to maintain the grow as it involves a lot of work to maintain a grow. Running hydro in an attic where you would be fighting high temps and lugging gallons upon gallons of water each week upinto the attic would be a killer in the best conditions. Don't be concerned about power usage either. Running 2 600w HPS lights with pumps and fans and 500w of T5 lighting for veg would run about 1800w, if everything was running at the same time. That is the equivelant of putting 100w lightbulbs in every socket in the house and turning all the lights on. Or just turning on the electric clothes drier. or you and your partner both drying your hair in the morning at the same time with hair driers. Or turning on an electric oven to cook a roast or turkey. :) You could set up something that would quadruple your power consumption within a month, but so long as you pay your electricity bill as soon as you get it, the power company doesn't care, and they won't ask you why as they are in the business to make money.

Here's a little information for your partner on why LEDs are not good enough for flowering. If you break out a biology book and look at photosynthesis, you will see that it is all about power. Plants use the energy that is in sunlight to power chemical reactions in a very similar way that nuclear fusion and fission work. They are splitting molicules and combining molecules rather than atoms but the process is the same and it takes a lot of raw energy to do it.

Some plants are low energy plants and don't need as much to maintain their growth (but those plants are far slower growing and are not fruit bearing plants) All vegetable and fruit bearing plants are high energy plants that need the 8000-10,000 lumens per sqft that is put out by the sun in order to produce the fruits that they bear. And remember that these fruits are the result of flowering (the procreation and seed producing process). MJ is a high energy plant that needs a lot of light energy, just like the fruit bearers. Yes MJ doesn't bear fruit but it does synthesize a very complex and potent chemical that we all enjoy(THC). MJ needs a significant amount of light energy for just veg growth just like any other plant, but when it comes time to flower, it goes to another level and needs at least 50% more than the amount for vegging to produce any kind of quality flowers(buds).

LEDs are great and produce little heat because they don't emit high energy light. They are superb at converting the highest amount of the electrical energy to light energy but watts equal energy. If a light is converting 100% of the electrical energy to light energy and that light is 5watts then it is not producing the level of light energy of a bulb that is 25watts and converting only 50% (HPS converts about 85% of its electrical energy to light energy). Also this energy conversion (and the voltage at which it is driven) relates to how quickly the energy in the light dissapates in the atmosphere. LEDs are driven at only 5volts while HPS is driven at about 500volts. This is why LED flashlights are not good for shining at any distance. Their light dissapates quickly over distance versus any other light source (including flame).

LEDs can be used to flower MJ if you have enough of them to be equivelant to the energy output of HPS, and have them within several inches of every part of the plants. To make that equivelancy you would have to have more in wattage (and purchasing cost) of LEDs than in HPS. It is all about light energy. :)
 

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