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Getting back into growing. This time hydroponics!

stides

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Hey guys I've experimented in growing in dirt and thanks to your great help here at MPF I actually produced some smokeable bud :hubba:

Now I want to attempt to do hydroponics. For my first time I think I want to try a "hydroponic kit" that already has all the stuff I need. After I see exactly how it works I'll consider building my own setup. (I'm one of those people who needs to see things at work to understand them).

What's a good starter kit to grow 5-8 plants? I have a 250 watt MH and a 150 watt HPS so maybe something I could use those lights with?
 

Sol

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Not sure about any kit, there are ALOT of different variations in hydroponics. And this forum seems to have the best info on creating just about any style you want, excellent resources.
Anyway, what i wanted to say is that i just finished reading your posts on your first grow, and very impressive. I only hope to do as well, its my first as well. Good luck and thanxs for the great read.
 

stemjosh

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Deep water culture is by far the easiest and you can build one very cheaply just a tote some netpots a airpump and airstone and your set you should be able to build one foe 30 bucks or lesshowever remember in hydro you will need to buy a ph tester to keep up with your ph in hydro somewhere round 5.8 is ideal

as far as lights how big is your space your intendin on using that 150 watt hps is good for no more than 2ft by 2 ft but i would still consider upgrading even if using a space that small
 
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Do some research and decide what type hydro appeals to you and will work in the space you have. I do DWC in individual buckets, like the setup stemjosh mentioned. In addition to a pH meter (do not buy strips or liquids or papers, etc), you are also going to need something to read EC--some kind of ppm meter--to check the concentration of nutes in your solution.

Tell us more about your space--size, ventilation setup, etc.
 

stides

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Well my size is big I have about a 7' x 8' room. It's got a window I could build a ventilation shaft out of. I plan on using the whole room one day but for my first hydro setup I want to start small so I can learn the ropes. I can buy new lights if the ones I have arent powerful enough.

I also have some random hydroponic gear. I have a big tote with holes cut in it. I also have a pump. I bought it off a co-worker before but never figured out how to use it. That's why I went with dirt my first grow.
 
D

dman1234

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upgrade the lights, but if you dont use both no matter what you do, a mix of HPS and MH is better than not enough light.

Cool Avtar, im in T dot also.

if your rich Bustan will have everything you need, but you can find it all online cheaper, just look out for the shipping.
 
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With that much space, you could set up separate vegging and flowering spaces, which I really like. A 150W HPS is only good for about 3 sq ft, so how big (or small) do you want to start? The size of your space dictates the lighting and ventilation you need. You could use both the MH and HPS together.

What kind of pump? An air pump or a water pump? How large is the tote, how many holes, and how large are the holes?
 

stides

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dman1234 said:
upgrade the lights, but if you dont use both no matter what you do, a mix of HPS and MH is better than not enough light.

Cool Avtar, im in T dot also.

if your rich Bustan will have everything you need, but you can find it all online cheaper, just look out for the shipping.
Wow I never knew you could mix the lights. Cool to know!

Bustan? What is that? Some kind of garden shop or grow shop? Where is it?

Yea T.dot rules! It's cool that we don't have to worry about doing hard time if we get busted here lol


The Hemp Goddess said:
With that much space, you could set up separate vegging and flowering spaces, which I really like. A 150W HPS is only good for about 3 sq ft, so how big (or small) do you want to start? The size of your space dictates the lighting and ventilation you need. You could use both the MH and HPS together.

What kind of pump? An air pump or a water pump? How large is the tote, how many holes, and how large are the holes?
I never thought of that but hey, if I could have a space for veg and flowering at that same time and get all sophisticated like that would be awesome. I just wanted to start slow but if you guys think I can handle it I'll try whatever you think is best.

I believe the pump I have is a water pump, and instead of trying to explain my tote here is a picture. Excuse the dust it's been sitting there for a while. I put a lighter on it so you could kind of tell how big it is.

tote.jpg
 

Sol

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If i'm right, i believe Bustan is a hydroponic shop in Toronto. So, if i read your post right, it should be clode to you. Its' not far from me either thats' why i know, i had to look it up to see about getting a part shipped. Acrually you should have several shops to choose if your near the city part.
You gave me some ideas with that tote, i have several of those kickin around, and to buy the same set-up is 100+$( with a little work, make the same thing)
 
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Let's get a look at your pump.

You could utilize that tote for a DWC--you would need 3" net pots, hydrotron (or some other medium), an air stone or two and an air pump (if you do not have one). Water pumps are used for aero type set ups in totes like thaqt. I would recommend DWC over aero for someone just starting out. I always seemed to have trouble with misters clogging.

With a tote that small, you will need to keep your plants small, but that would suit the lighting you have. You may also want to check out doing a scrog.
 

stides

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The Hemp Goddess said:
Let's get a look at your pump.

You could utilize that tote for a DWC--you would need 3" net pots, hydrotron (or some other medium), an air stone or two and an air pump (if you do not have one). Water pumps are used for aero type set ups in totes like thaqt. I would recommend DWC over aero for someone just starting out. I always seemed to have trouble with misters clogging.

With a tote that small, you will need to keep your plants small, but that would suit the lighting you have. You may also want to check out doing a scrog.
Okay lets get a couple things out of the way here. Remember I'm totally new to this. A blank slate. Like a virgin. So I've bolded a couple words you used that I have no idea what they mean. I hope I'm not being too annoying but could you explain these terms?

DWC ?
Air Stone ?
Aero type setups ?
Scrog ?

Thanks I promise I only ask dumb questions once :)

Heres all the junk I found inside the tote. Looks like an theres..

an airpump
a bunch of little pots with holes in them
some tubing
some other short tube with T intersections
something that im thinking might be an air stone
some chemicals of some kind that say A and B and like they might have gone bad
some black thing that says in/out thermal clock on it

Is any of this stuff useful to me?

hydrocrap.jpg
 

Growdude

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Looks like you have everything you need other than hydroton and new nutes.
If your new I suggest GH Floranova products because its a one part nute and very easy but also works very well.

If there are any terms you are unfamiliar with try putting them in the search box.
 
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DWC stands for deep water culture and is probably the simplest of hydro setups. You can do as Growdude suggested to learn more about DWC.

In addition to nutes (I also recommend Floranova) and hydrotron (expanded clay pellets grow medium), you will need a pH meter, pH up and/or down, and calibration fluid. You also need something to read the EC of your nutes (concentration of nutrients in your solution) and calibration fluid for that. The thing that says In and Out is a thermometer.

SCROG stands for screen of green and is a training technique.
 

zem

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IMO the most foolproof method is flood and drain, not that it's any better or worse than DWC, just that it's easier to get it right for a newbie. in DWC you need to take great care for water temps and bubbling, keep an eye for pump or airstone failure and repair it quickly, in flood/drain, it's less depndent on electric, and resists high temps better than DWC... just my opinion...
 
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zem said:
IMO the most foolproof method is flood and drain, not that it's any better or worse than DWC, just that it's easier to get it right for a newbie. in DWC you need to take great care for water temps and bubbling, keep an eye for pump or airstone failure and repair it quickly, in flood/drain, it's less depndent on electric, and resists high temps better than DWC... just my opinion...
Actually I believe just the opposite. I believe that flood and drain is more difficult and more reliant on electricity than DWC. IME, I have found air pumps and airstones to be more reliable than water pumps and if you are not recirculating you have no drain holes to clog. You have more space for roots to grow. You have the same concerns over res temps with flood and drain as you do DWC. However, I have found that water pumps tend to heat the water up, while air pumps can have the opposite effect if the air pump is intaking cool air. In addition, if you are using individual DWC buckets you can adjust nutes for different strains and you can raise and lower the buckets to maintain an even canopy. It is easy to move the plants around and cull out males or diseased plants. There are no timers and flood schedules to figure out. I have gone over 12 hours without electricity with no adverse effects on my DWC plants. I am not sure you could do that with flood and drain.

Just my opinion, too. :ciao: Hi Zem!
 

zem

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hey there THG! :) with my small sized grorock pebbles i could go 3 days easily without flooding. in grorocks, there's more evaporation and exposure to the air so i could grow healthy roots at higher temps than DWC, at least that's my experience with it. preventing clogging is as easy as putting a good plastic net on your drain hole. i still like DWC but i only do it in cool seasons, it's very easy to heat the res with a cheap heater than having to put a heater that requires much electric, so i could say that for me, DWC is better in winter, flood/drain better in summer... ;)
 

stides

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Well jeeze guys what am I going to do? Can you come to a consensus?

DWC or F&D??

If you guys can't agree on it, how can a first timer like me decide?
 

zem

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stides said:
Well jeeze guys what am I going to do? Can you come to a consensus?

DWC or F&D??

If you guys can't agree on it, how can a first timer like me decide?
what are the temps where you grow? i would say that if you have low temps or can afford a water chiller then do DWC, but don't try to fight high res temps in DWC, the roots get damaged quickly at high temps, so you need a res chiller that's a 300$ + investment. and you have another investment many times overlooked by newbs, and that iss a dehumidifier, which is an absolute necessity in late flowering if you managed to get thick buds. that's why i was suggesting for a newb to do f&d, simpler setup, a single large tray with a single hose from the res below and a timer, just fill the entire tray with growrocks, plastic net on the drain to prevent clogging. save some money for late flowering, if you managed to grow thick buds, buy the dehumidifier, if the buds are smallish, usually a simple oscilating fan and good exhaust does the job of preventing mold, and you can postpone the dehumidifier. i'm trying to help you decide which to chose, to each method its pros and cons :)
 
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stides said:
Well jeeze guys what am I going to do? Can you come to a consensus?

DWC or F&D??

If you guys can't agree on it, how can a first timer like me decide?
You have almost everything you need for a DWC. If you want to go flood and drain--it is back to the supply store...

Psssst--I never use a chiller and I have summer temps over 100F and do not have root problems.
 

SmokeMyPiece

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'Id' go DWC.

If you do run into high res temps:
-1Gal of water
-1Liter of ice
-small cooler
-Extra air line
res cooler.jpg
Run some extra air line (looped a couple times) thru the jug of water before going to the air stone in the res. Now, keeping this outside the heated area, the pump pulls cool air, cools down further thru the water, then introduces colder air to the res.
 

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