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.