Help with first hydro set up

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El Diablo Verde

Well-Known Member
Jan 30, 2006
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Hey guys. I've recently discovered a local hydro shop and hjave been thinking more and more about settting up my next grow hydroponically. Only problem is I've never done it before. I was looking for some tips/tricks for setting up a grow in relitively small space for around $500-$600. I was also looking for recommendations of strains that excel in hydrog grows. Thanks
My setup was about 60 bucks without the timer. It's 140 with the timer. Just grow some 15 dollar seeds to start with. After your first harvest, see if you can afford more. I think everything excels in a hydro setting. tips and tricks.. I can't think of any really. But if you're stumped, let us know and we'll help. That's what we're here for.

You can grow 4 amazing plants from a 10 gallon bucket. My aero setup goes through about 5 - 10 gallons of water a week, depending on the stage of the plants. That's why I use 2 resiviours for my setup. Reverse osmosis water here is 39 cents a gallon. I used to have it delivered, but it was 12 bucks per 5 gallons. That's got way too expensive.
i just bought a 6-site aeroponic kit for 150$ plus another 50$ in supplies such as grow media, ph kit, etc. it is very small and could fit in a coat closet. you can find my same grow system all over the internet just search for it, i personally bought mine at the local gardening store with cash.
Diablo -

I know I am new to the board here but have been growing hydro for a long, long time now, and have experience with just about every type of hydro system you can think of. Would be glad to help you gather some info and ideas so you can make an informed decision.
The top 2 questions when setting up rooms -
1) How big is the space? (LxWxH)

2)Are you technically inclined or a mechanically challenged?
Useless - If I take a pic or a couple of my grow setup would you verify efficiency and what not? it's two 5 gallon single plant DWC's. 20 Gallon air pump on a t-valve with tubing connected to two a single 5 inch air stone in each tub. Hydroton, topped with perlite, 250 watts HPS, 5 inch net cups...gonna go grab the camera now.
The only way I know to evaluate air pump efficiency is watts per gallon.
You will want to run 1 watt of air pump power per gallon of solution in DWC.
Do you know of any problems of too much wattage?...I've noticed my bubbles are bigger than some other peoples and optimally it should be many but fine bubbles, i put it aside not worrying about it, i have 28 watts for 10 gals.

When I asked for help i didn't mean the wattage necessarily just my overall setup...I'm going to include a few pictures here and once i get my clones i'll post it all in a grow journal.

What do ya think?:)

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I'd say to pick an easier method like drip or flood and drain until you get used to ph and ppm levels. Aero and dwc can be a little harsh for the unsuspecting.
Looks like a nice setup lax4wm.
Keep and eye on ph, the bc will help since it is buffered. Run your ppms lower than recomended for dwc, less is more. If you mix by measuring, mix it weak at first. Too much nutes will hurt the plant faster than not enough. In dwc your roots will be in the nute all of the time so you don't need as much.
Absolutely, I have lab grade ph and will keep that in mind. I plan on starting at about a 1/4 strength, I once read somewhere a growing veteran suggests when feeding mj "feed weakly, weekly". PPM is my second to last concern I have no PPM reader, I plan on using measuring tools and mixing it one gallon at a time. I have laboratory grade ph strips that I use. I wish there was more info specific to the 'THC Bomb' strain. Thanks for the advice, I am going to have to be really careful with this grow.
El Diablo Verde said:
Hey guys. I've recently discovered a local hydro shop and hjave been thinking more and more about settting up my next grow hydroponically. Only problem is I've never done it before. I was looking for some tips/tricks for setting up a grow in relitively small space for around $500-$600. I was also looking for recommendations of strains that excel in hydrog grows. Thanks

If you want to grow hydro there are four measurements you need to concern yourself with. Temperature, Humidity, pH & PPM/EC/CF

Various strains will have different requirements of the later two.

Your budget is sufficient for a small closet grow.

I would recommend a flood/drain (ebb/flow) setup.

There is no need to buy anything from a Hydro store if you are concerned about going to one.

I would recommend two 50ltr crates that fit inside each other like these
If Height is an issue you can use the 32L version for the top tub.

You will also need a pump (100gph+), some hydroton, some 13mm and 19mm hosing <1mtr, and some tub fittings with risers. See Tub Outlets Bottom Right. You will also need a 400w HPS; given your budget I would recommend a 400w balast and a Son-T agro which will see you through veg & flower cycles. You will also need two timers, one for the light and one for the pump. Ventilation is also paramount, but I will need to know more about your grow space for a recommendation here; given your budget you may be required to use a couple of cheap bathroom exhaust fans with light boxes fitted to them, and a passive intake. Add a cheap desk fan or pedestal fan to circulate some air.

Depending on your location and ambient temperature you may need an aquarium heater for the reservoir.

Drill a hole in the bottom of the top tub and insert a 13mm tub fitting with the screen net installed on top. (hole saw will make life really easy or spade bits). Connect the pump to the 13mm tub fitting with your 13mm hose, no riser is required for this fitting.

Drill another hole for the 19mm tub fitting and install the 19mm tub fitting. This fitting should have a riser installed. It is optional to fit 19mm poly tube to the lower side of the drain; I would recommend it though as without it you will hear the water draining back to the reservoir; you only need enough to drop below the pump height.

I always wrap the toe section of a stocking around the pump to provide additional filtration.

Do yourself a favour and get a 57L garbage can or similar large vessel, (a bath tub will do also) and wash the hydroton until the water runs clear. It will have quite a lot of dust.

So you have the tubs sorted and the hydroton washed and ready. Fill the top tub with hydroton and fill the lower tub with water. You will get about 40 litres of water in there. Get a watering can with measurements on it and fill exactly 40 litres of water into the lower tub and mark a level inside where you can clearly see it. This will take the guess work out of the nutrient solution mixing.

Test the pH and PPM and ensure it is within tolerances of the specific strain you choose.

If space is tight you will want an Indica dominant or pure indica strain.

Last thing you would need is a sativa stretching like crazy in confined spaces.

You would want a strain that is fairly tolerant of a broad range of nutes and pH; but if you have a TDS meter & pH meter you can increase the odds of raising a healthy crop regardless the strain.

I prefer Canna Nutes, and NPK; others swear by General Hydroponics and various other brands.

Others will use 24hr light cycle for veg but I prefer 18/6. Root development occurs best in the dark cycle; but you can successfully veg in 24/0. Personally I've not seen much additional benefit from the extra 6 hours of light.

Switch to 12/12 when you are ready to flower.

The pump should cycle for 15minutes every 2 hours.

Then all you need to do is sit back and watch your lady/ies grow like crazy!!

IMO Flood Drain or DWC is the only way to grow.
Go to that "you tube" thing and punch in "hydro weed"....and hang on man !!! theres tons to lean from...good luck with the grow man !!!! PEACE

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