First grow box - plz help

guykhoury9

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Hey Everyone , i finally built my first grow box .

Dimensions :

- Height : 39.3inches / 3.28ft / 100cm
- Width : 23.6inches / 1.96ft / 60cm
- Depth : 15.7inches / 1.31ft / 40cm

Lights :

Veg :
3 x 23w (100W / 1398lm / 2700K) CFLs
3 x 23w (100W / 1398lm / 6500K) CFLs

Flo :
4 x 23w (100W / 1398lm / 2700K) CFLs
2 x 30w (135W / 1950lm / 2700K) CFLs

The only thing i haven't figured out yet and just discovered the problem today (Due to lack of knowledge and experience) : No ventilation , temperature rising to 30+C°/86+F° .

I ordered :
1) Small desk fan . Will be placed inside the box for air circulation .
2) 2x10 CFM Pc Fans . (Not sure how to mount them , either intake or exhaust)

P.S : Will be growing 2 x Purple Bud (Feminised Seeds) - 75% Indica

Any help on that would be GREATLY appreciated guys !

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Rosebud

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You have put a lot of work into that box. I have never used cfl's before but I believe they run hot..

I will bump this so others will pop in... Green mojo for you grow.

:bump::bump:
 
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First of all, ventilation is for more than heat control. Your plant needs a continual supply of fresh air all the time the lights are on for proper photosynthesis. Also, with CFLs, you may find that when you get as many of them as you need that the computer fans may not take care of the heat.

I would get rid of the foil--there is nothing good about foil in a grow room. There are reasons for this.

You will need more light. Lighting needs are figured by lumens per sq ft. For vegging you want 3000 lumens per sq ft of light in the blue spectrum and for flowering, 5000 lumens per sq ft in the red spectrum. Your space is a about 7 sq ft. So you will need 21,000 lumens for vegging and 35,000 lumens for flowering. These are minimums. Most of us like to get our lumens up around 7500 per sq ft for flowering. There are some places where you can scrimp or improvise, but your lighting is not one of them. Your lighting is directly tied to your yield. To get to minimum lighting, you will need about 16 23W 1400 lumens bulbs for vegging and about 25 for for flowering. A 400W MH/HPS dimmable in a cooltube would most likely be cheaper than buying all those CFLs. You should also have reflectors for the CFLs as you are loosing about 1/2 your light--it is just being disbursed to the top of your space. While the plants are very small, you can get away with less light, but after 3 weeks or so you want your light bumped up to the 3000 lumens per sq ft. for vegging.

Other than the needing way way more light, and probably more ventilation, the box looks nice. I think you are wise to start with known genetics and a strain that will stay smaller as you have very limited headroom.
 

guykhoury9

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Wow thats some great information right there ! Thank you for taking the time to explain to me everything you wrote above ! Ventilation , problem solved ! Did a pretty decent work ill post pics of that later . And as for the lights , i know its true but it sounds crazy lol ive seen people grow really nice buds with way less power , intensity , lumens , etc .. than i have ! This is my first grow so im just trying to keep it a bit simple and mostly a little "cheap" aswell ... I might consider buying an HPS light for my 2nd grow when im a bit more experienced . But like you said , light is the most important factor ! I also thought about adding reflectors but then again , i have 6 lights in total which most of them are going to be on the sides of the plants so they'll get enough light from those ones . Ill probably get reflectors for just the ones hanging on top . Is there anyway i could do my own reflectors ? And what about the aluminium foil ? Why is it bad ? I only used it to get more light reflection . Anyways thank you again for your help ! Much appreciated :)
 

Iron Emmett

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Aluminium foil doesnt reflect as well as you would think, it can also hold in heat and create hot spots in your grow, you would be better served to actually paint the inside of your box with a flat white paint, it will reflect more light than foil. the paint is also easy to clean and can help prevent the growing of mold etc.

HG is spot on about light, she really knows her stuff, you said you want to keep it inexpensive, which is understandable, but you may want to consider that you are going to be dedicating alot of time and energy into growing these plants, it is well worth the investment to help them be as happy and healthy as you can, when you factor in the power and seed cost, you may actually pull less usable bud than you could buy with the cash spent from your box. in the end of course its completely your choice and your grow, but im sure you would be much happier with the outcome if you invested in some serious lighting.

BTW i really like the box you made, nice work man :)
 
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Regardless of how it appears, foil is a poor reflector of light, as are mirrors. There is science to back this up. Painting the interior of your box with FLAT white paint will give you a lot better reflective surface than anything else for the money. Flat white paint is quite a bit more reflective than glossy paint, so another case where appearances are deceiving.

Not sure where you have seen the great grows with way less energy and less light, but it just doesn't happen. If you do not get more lighting, you simply are not going to produce much if anything. Just because you have the lights concentrated in one area is not going to make much difference--the light will disburse throughout the entire room. Truly if people could simply throw a few CFLs into a box and get dank bud, way way more people would be growing. There are no shortcuts and running a box so underlit is really not even going to provide you with that much experience. Plants that are grossly underlit and plants that are well lit behave entirely differently throughout their growing period.

Like Emmett says, it is your choice, but keep in mind that you do get out of this what you put into it. Scrimping on light is the worst thing you can do...
 

guykhoury9

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Thanks to both of you for the really nice info ! Ive made some research on lights and stuff , but i wanna ask you then what would be the recommended "type" and "energy" for this type of box ? Including the cooling system and everything ! Its been 3-4 days since i planted the seeds , i also added the ventilation system which is doing wonders (managed to drop the temp from 32C/90F to 25C/77F ! Everything's been going really well (for now) . Ill post pictures to show you whats happening atm :)
 

MR1

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Looking good , you could put your fan at plant level to get some airflow on the seedlings , it will help strengthen the stems and would also direct the heat upwards towards your exhaust fans.
 
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MR1 is correct about getting the circulating fan down where it will stir up the air around the plants and help strengthen their stems (for those big colas you are going to grow).

Without reflectors, you are loosing a big chunk of your light as it is basically radiating 360 degrees. It is important to make the best use of your light, especially when using CFLs.

My first post, I mistook the height for the length, so you do not have as much space as I had at first thought--the pics looked like it wasn't 39" long, so I went back and reread your post. Us old construction workers just get used to dimensions being given as length, width, and height last. A 150W HPS would cover your space, but I would sure like to see you with more light than minimum, so maybe a 250W. Or better yet, the 400W dimmable ballast which gives you the option of running from 200-400W. The CFL lighting you have will probably take you through vegging, so you have some time to save your pennies for a HPS. Using an HPS to flower is really worth it. The difference in yield will probably be more than enough to cover the cost of the light if you figure what you would pay for it on the street. Another bonus will be lower power bills every single month--CFLs will require about twice as much (or more) wattage as the HPS. Amazon has some good deals on HID lighting packages (ballast, bulb, reflector, usually hangers, and a timer). Get an air coolable hood.

Your vents will have to be made light tight when flowering time comes.
 

guykhoury9

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About the fan , i thought placing it on top aimed at the bottom would create an air cycle that will push the cool air to the top mixing with the hot air in order to have a constant stable temperature (And its aimed at the plants aswell) . But ill give your suggestion a try :)

About the reflectors , i tried to look for some reflectors in shops nearby but couldnt find any , and i dont wana order online anymore because im having problems with the post office atm (they're kinda renovating so its taking long to recevie the stuff and sometimes the packages are getting lost) . So would you know of any way i could create my own reflectors ?

Haha its fine , you kinda scared me with all those lumens in the beginning i was like where the **** am i gonna put all that ? lol
So about the HPS lights , to be specific , will the 250W one cover all the space i have for both my plants during the flowering stage ? Im gona research and see how much they cost here in the shops nearby with the accessories .

And about the prices on the streets where i live now its about 10€ per gram approx which is about 13$ . Quite good i guess lol

Now about the vents , i usually cover them with towels (sounds cheap i know) during the off time when there is no light (the exhausts are put on the timer aswell coz the temperature drops usually when its dark and thats what i want) . And i actually did a test to see if there is any light coming in when its all dark by placing several cams recording the inside ; result was dark af ! My box is placed in the corner of my room where its the most dark so it barely gets any light even during the day . So i guess its all good for flowering ?

Now i have one last question , i tried researching alot about the subject but i still kinda wanna hear your opinion about it (you seem really experienced :D and im thankful to be getting some help from someone like you) . When should i exactly switch to the flowering stage ? I know the purple bud doesnt grow that much in height but ive read alot of different articles stating different amount of weeks that the plant should remain in the veg stage , so im kinda lost :( another thing i learned is : for example your plant will be 2ft tall by the end of flowering , you switch from veg to flowering when its at 1ft (depends also on how much does it grow during the flowering stage) . Any recommendation of when i should switch mine to 12/12 given the the free space i have inside my box ?
 
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Yes, you can probably build some kind of reflector for the CFLs, but the HPS is probably going to have to be purchased online. Virtually all reflectors, etc come UPS or Fed Ex. I have never had anything that size of weight come USPS, so the service from the post office is anon-issue. Amazon has some good prices on HID light set-ups.

A 250W will cover the size of your current box fine. I would recommend looking on-line and getting a digital ballast that will run both MH and HPS and that is dimmable.

If you are in veg, you should be running your lights all the time. There are a number of reasons for this, but the first is that your plants will stay shorter and bushier if you run the lights all the time. This is especially important when the space is short as your is. Manually covering the vents when lights go out is not going to work either. And towels will not work--get something that will not let the light through. Just because your camera could not see light does not mean that your plants will not. Towels WILL let light through. Also it is a mistake to believe that you are going to be at home every single day and/or remember at exactly the right time to cover the vents manually for the time it takes to flower a crop. You will need another solution when it comes time to flower.

I would say that $13/gram isn't what I would call a great price, but if that is what it goes for where you live, that is what it goes for. So, an oz runs a bit over $350. A 400W dimmable ballast, MH and HPS bulbs, cooltube, hangers, basic time from Amazon--$150 [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Apollo-Horticulture-GLK400CT24E-Digital-Dimmable/dp/B00547I5I8/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1415549991&sr=8-15&keywords=250w+hps[/ame]. Four inch exhaust fan and carbon filter from Amazon--$100 [ame]http://www.amazon.com/VenTech-Inline-Exhaust-blower-Scrubber/dp/B005GJ7TFE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1415550181&sr=8-2&keywords=4-+carbon+filter+fan[/ame]

After you gets a few crops under your belt and some experience, if you get your space dialed in, you could produce 1/2 to 3/4 pound every harvest, every 3-4 months. Kind of makes the spending of $250 seem well worth it, doesn't it?
 

guykhoury9

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Alright i will look everything up on amazon . As for the light , i just thought like logically when the plants grow in nature they still get moon light , etc .. So i mean if the cameras couldnt capture it inside the box i guess it shouldnt be a problem since there is no direct light in contact with the plants . But then again , im going to get something better like you said to cover the wholes since i dont have accurate measurements about intensity and **** (just to be sure) .

And about the veg phase ? Any idea when should i go 12/12 ?
 
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Regardless of what you may believe, even small amounts of light will make a difference. The moon is not real light--it is only light reflected from the sun and it is about a quarter of a million miles away from the earth. In addition, growing outdoors is not like growing indoors. We are not trying to mimic outdoors when growing indoors.

You are so far away from going to 12/12 that we do not even need to discuss it now. It will be 6-8 weeks before the plants are ready to be put into flowering.
 

guykhoury9

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Alright ! Sounds good that's what i was thinking . Ill be posting pictures of the growth :watchplant:
 

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