New RDWC SCROG Setup Idea

CyborgGold

New Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I am planning on getting a RDWC setup going in the coming months and I have a setup in mind I want to bounce off a few more experienced growers. I guess I will just lay out what I want and see if anybody has tried it or has some tips on how to tweak it for best performance.



I am going to try to give each plant it's own 'room.' I want to section things off so I can have a rotation of plants enabling me to harvest every month once the cycle gets going. I have settled on Crimera Blue to start with which has a 50-60 day flowering period. The rooms will be 4' square. I will have resevoir for every plant in veg, and each room will have a one bucket RDWC for flowering so I can treat defecientcies individually as they occur and transition between phases of flowering easier. Thes veg res will be made from a medium sized tote and run through every room with bypass plumbing for when the plant in that room flowers.. I plan on making 4 of these rooms in my basement so they can be locked to meet local guidelines. The three main grow rooms will be able to run either veg or flower, but I will always have two flowering and one in veg state. The fourth room will be for cloning/early veg. I plan on running a 4 tube T5 for cloning, and some 600 Watt hoods in the 3 main rooms due to cost. Eventually I would like to get some killer LED systems in the 3 main rooms. I will be setting up a net for scrogging in the 3 main grow rooms, maybe a double net and use the top one for supporting the buds in case they get too heavy to keep themselves up (hey, a boy can dream.)



After early veg, the healthiest plant will be xfered into a 5gal DWC setup with a Maxi Jet 600 inside for aeration it so I don't have to listen to an industrial air pump constantly running. I'm also considering running a 1200 gph pump in the res that will run to a custom headder with hose running to each bucket. The res will sit outside the rooms to keep the water cooler and more accessible for checking levels. Each room will have a therm/hygro in it. I will have a fan/duct system running from room to room in the main 3 with acarbon filter in the last room to exhaust, as well as a couple wall fans in each room blowing down and diagonally for circulation creating a weak cyclone effect for more even temperature. Each room will exhaust from the bottom and blow into the top, with foam filters and duct interiors painted flat black to block light pollution. I figure sucking the coldest air from the previous room would help keep the next room cooler than running them traditionally with keeping the exhaust high. My other option would be a connected exhaust at the top of each room running into a box I can build which would house the filter and exhaust into the basement, then have cold air pushed into each room at the bottom, but this would be more costly.


I will be putting the plants in hydroton, and the pots will be linked in series if I put a aeration pump in each bucket, or parallel if I go with the header and mega pump. If I use the 1200 gph pump I will have the water being injected into the water using a 90deg elbow so the force of the water will be aggetating the water for aeration. I have a plumbing system in my mind for the main 3 rooms so I can easily switch between veg or flower res with a few valves so I don't have to keep disconnecting/reconnecting the bucket when I flip each plant.


What this will do for me is have each plant in the clone room for 4 weeks, veg in a main for 4 weeks, flip to flower in that same room, and after the 7-8 weeks I can harvest. This would mean every 4 weeks I would start a few seeds/clones and begin a harvest as long as I don't run into stunting issues. Once I get the hang of it I can expand my grow by adding more rooms if I need more than one plant per month. The seed co. is saying that each harvest should yield 4-500g from each crop optimally. I figure this means I will probably be getting about 12oz to a pound once I dial in the system.


Here are my questions:

1. Are there any specific pumps you would recommend throwing in each res? The veg will run 4 5gal buckets and the small early veg/clone container which will be made of a small tote about twice the size of a shoebox maximum. Of course the cloner will have it's own res as well for early seedlings/clones at various phases.


2. What nutes would you guys recommend getting? Keep in mind I am trying to grow as close to pure organic/natural as possible. I will be flushing the plants very well, and every 20 days on a 10 day feeding change cycle, but I want everything to be as clean as possible throughout the grow.


3. Are there any basic things to keep in mind that a beginner might overlook which may lead to devastation? I have done about a year's worth of research, and I attempted a grow before (failed due to reasons not associated with the grow, before cropping) but if I miss something obvious I will kick myself for not having asked this one!


4. I have heard from some growers that have been growing for decades that spraying a solution of water and baking soda over the leaves and buds helps make a smoother hit. Is there anything I need to be aware of if I try this?




I'm sure more questions may come up, and if there is anything else you would like to share, feel free to do so!



I plan on using nearly 100% of the plants as well. I will be using the fans/stems/roots to make hand cremes and things like that, sugarleaf for oils/tinctures/cooking for myself, and of course we all know what the bud is for. Once I get some experience, the laws become better in our favor, and I get the money to do so... I have a business in mind that will incorporate every phase of the process from grow to customer. I would really like to build a network of people in our community to make this happen that are also Michiganders, so if you're in my state let me know! I won't be discussing the details of my idea until I am ready to make it happen, but I plan on being a big part of our culture and community very soon.





Thank You, and happy growing!
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2006
Messages
19,438
Reaction score
8,313
This sounds way more involved than it needs to be and I really see no advantage. Either have a RDWC or a non-recirculating DWC. I also see not advantage in having separate rooms. Every single place you have the totes connected is a place for them to leak.

IMO, after many many years of running hydro, this I what I would do. Create 2 rooms. Do not push your lights as far as you are planning. A 600W in a 4 x 4 space is barely adequate. The people here who have used a 600 in a 4 x 4 end up getting more light for the space as they found 600W inadequate. There is no reason to have a separate cloning space--you can clone in your vegging space or almost anywhere. Part of the problem with a recircuating system is that all your planter need to be on the same level. I prefer to raise and lower my plants, rather than raise and lower my lights.

You may also find that the pump in the water is just as noisy or noisier than an air pump. They do make air pumps that run quite quietly now. Besides, a RDWC is not going to be quiet. Pumps that you put into the water also tend to raise the temperatures of the reses to unsatisfactory levels, requiring a water chiller, which is quite expensive. A RDWC also does not allow you to individually nute the plants. If you are going to run a perpetual harvest, you will undoubtedly have plants in veg that are different ages and require differing strengths of nutrients. While this idea seems well thought out, it is simply overly complicated with no resulting benefits. I really think that new growers should try to keep things fairly simple at first. This is not like growing tomatoes and there can be quite a learning curve, especially with hydro.

You need to start a scrog in veg and then probably not move it. By the time a scrogged plant is put into flowering, the screen has been in place for awhile and the vertical growth has been trained to grow horizontal. In other words, the actual scrogging is done in veg and during flowering you just let the growing tips come up through the screen. You generally cannot move it from one room to the other. You will also find that 4 weeks of cloning and 4 weeks of vegging is most likely not nearly long enough for the plant to reach sufficient size to scrog. The cut will not show any growth at all until it has roots, which usually takes about 2 weeks. A single plant scrogged to fill a 4 x 4 space is going to take several months.

So, my advice: 2 rooms. Flowering room say 5 x 8, 3 600W HPS, 8" exhaust fan and filter. Vegging and cloning room can be substantially smaller. How much smaller depends on how long you plan on vegging them. I really prefer T5s for vegging over MH, but they put out about the same lumens per watt and the correct spectrum for vegging, so either will work well. You want a minimum of 3000 lumens per sq ft for vegging, so your lighting needs to be sized accordingly. Each 54W HOT5 tube is 54W and puts out 5000 lumens. Depending on the size of your room you would need either a 4" or a 6" exhaust fan. There is not enough odor in veg to worry about a filter. You need oscillating fans for both rooms to move the air around. The flowering space will take more than 1.

I would run individual 5 gal DWC buckets and maybe some smaller totes for vegging with nothing recirculating until I got a feel for hydro. Later if you want to connect the buckets and make a RDWC, you can.

1. I do not like pumps in the reses. They raise the res temps too high and really are not a good substitute for air pumps.

2. Hydro and DWC do not take well to organic. And you are either organic or you are not--there is no getting as close to as you can. I prefer General Hydroponics Flora Nova Grow for vegging and General Hydroponics Flora (no Nova) 3 part series for flowering. I also use their pH up and down.

3. KEEP IT SIMPLE! This is not like growing a vegetable garden. The setup you have outlined would be complicated even for an experienced grower and, unfortunately, the timetable is way off for what you want to accomplish. Everyone has a business in mind. Do not get too carried away and put the cart before the horse. There is a huge learning curve to this hobby and it takes a lot of time, money, study, knowledge, and just plain old-fashioned experience. Don't get visions of grandeur before you have even dropped a seed. Start smaller and slower and work up as your knowledge and experience warrants. Virtually anyone can learn to grow great bud, but it is not going to happen right out of the gate.

4. This is totally false. This is not a good practice and can have many harmful effects on the plant. I have grown for decades and I can say that I have never heard of anyone doing this. A good cure is what gives you the smooth hit.

The fan leaves will not have enough THC to justify making anything from them but compost. Throw them in a compost pile.

Hope this didn't sound too harsh (I know that I can be tactless), but my goal is for you to have a successful grow and everything I have written is aimed at that goal.
 

CyborgGold

New Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I really appreciate all the feedback! There are a few things I want to respond to, and like you I tend to not put things delicately, so I want to say now that I'm not trying to argue, just trying to come to an understanding based on conflicting information I have found from what you said.

The idea outlined in the original post would have each plant cloning for 2 weeks and vegging for 2 in the clone room, then moving to its own for another 4 weeks where it gets its SCROG for a total of 6 weeks of veg, more if I have a longer flowering strain. The room idea was because as you mentioned, after weaving into a SCROG the plant would be difficult to move, thus having their own rooms would allow for flipping without relocation. 600W lights would be enough for each plant in that setup from what I have seen from quite a few growers to start with. Of course more light would be better and ultimately I would want to get up to 1k lights. Actually I would ultimately like to get some really nice LED lights eventually.

I never planned on getting the yields I spoke of right out of the gate, it was only a goal I would like to get to eventually once I know what I am doing. An RDWC would work fine for me, as I will have yo-yos on my lights, and during flower each plant will have it's own res. This would allow more water in the system which means less sensitivity to fluctuation with my nutes, making it easier to get on top of any issues I come across.

The fan leaves don't contain much THC, but they DO contain other cannabanoids and compounds that can be put to use for other benefits. I will be growing purely for medicine, and THC is not the only compound marijuana produces that have medical uses. In fact, one strain I am going to start with is primarily CBD at 17% THC content is under 1%.

All of that being said, I have reworked the grow space into two rooms. It makes sense for reasons you mentioned as well as allowing me to change things up in the future, and the lights will do better for the plants side by side as you hinted to. My new space will be 12x15, with a light blocking partition to section off veg and flower. I'll be able to keep any light leakage from being an issue. I'm going to side by side SCROG in the flower room with two 600W hoods for now, then upgrade to 1k lights or LED later. I have a plan for keeping my reses cool, and if all else fails, I will keep bottled water in rotation in them and my stand up freezer. I will be running tea as well if the water temp does prove to be an issue, which will help.

I have actually grown before, but not much, and I didn't get to harvest because my room mate decided to bug bomb the place without telling me about a week before I was able to start flushing. This of course led to me moving out and I am only now able to start again.

How much nutrients do you use for each plant over a cycle? Would a liter each of veg and grow be enough of those? Of course other nutes will be used too, I'm just trying to find out how much of my base I should plan on having per plant per cycle. I want to start as low cost as I can, and then build up from there.

What exactly could the spray do to the plants, just out of curiosity. The grower I was talking to has been growing since the 70s and she swears by it.

Once again, thanks for the reply!
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2006
Messages
19,438
Reaction score
8,313
This sounds like something I read in a book on growing off Amazon recently. I was looking for a good book for one of my neighbors. I was going to give it a horrible review because there was so much misinformation in it, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Where exactly did you come up with this idea as it is quite involved, but not at all efficient? I am thinking that someone who has grown once did not come up with the complicated system by themselves? If this was from the book: [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Small-Spaces-Big-Yields-Quick-Start-ebook/dp/B00E884MKY/ref=sr_1_8?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1413648874&sr=1-8&keywords=marijuana[/ame], almost nothing in here is true or accurate.


So, let's get back to the basics. Keep your space the size you need it--12 x 15 is going to be way way too large. Your flowering space should be kept about 40-45 sq ft,. That is all the 600Ws are going to cover (if you read the book I think you did, you are miles away from "photoinhibition").

Partitions will not block light--you really need separate spaces for flowering and veg. You will probably need to build a wall in there. It really is harder to block large wattage lights than most people think.

Keeping the res cool is harder than you think also. With what you are planning, it is not going to work to put bottles in the reses all the time...and it would have to be done on a regular basis (probably 3-5 times a day) all the time the pump is on.

It will take several months to get a single plant to a 4 x 4 scrog. A 6 week veg is a short veg. An 8 week veg a little more normal, but is still not going to give you a huge plant. If you want a scrog that large, you are going to have to veg and train for months--probably 3 months when starting with an unrooted clone.

Actually since you have never grown RDWC, it is hard to say whether it work or not. I can tell you that I truly believe that you would be better off with individual containers. Otherwise, it is not going to be able to treat each plant individually. All this plumbing is going to complicate things, make for many more places to leak, and really, be of little benefit. I am not sure what your plan for keeping your reses cool is, but if it is not a chiller, it probably won't work. Water bottles is not feasible for a grow the size you are planning and they would have to be changed out numerous times a day.

I do not know what nutes you have decided on, but, no a liter is not going to be enough for growing hydro like you are planning. You cannot use organic teas with this setup either--it fouls everything up and causes problems. Organic and hydro really do not work well together.

When I speak of THC, I am also speaking of the other cannabinoids in marijuana, too. The fan leaves do not have enough of anything to justify making anything out of them. Even tinctures and hand lotions need to have something in them. Fan leaves belong in the compost.

I have given you my best advise, gleaned from decades of growing. What you are proposing is fraught with problems. A grower with only 1 incomplete grow is still a real novice grower and hydro can be hard to get a hold on to when first starting out growing. Plants react right now to anything you do to them. You can kill a plant overnight. So, I will try again to urge you to revamp your plan, forget the RDWC--you can always connect them later. Start smaller and slower and learn as you go.
 

CyborgGold

New Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
This sounds like something I read ... If this was from the book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E884MKY/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20, almost nothing in here is true or accurate.


... Keep your space the size you need it--12 x 15 is going to be way way too large. Your flowering space should be kept about 40-45 sq ft,. That is all the 600Ws are going to cover ...

Partitions will not block light...

It will take several months to get a single plant to a 4 x 4 scrog. A 6 week veg is a short veg...

Actually since you have never grown RDWC, it is hard to say whether it work or not..

... You cannot use organic teas with this setup either--it fouls everything up and causes problems...

When I speak of THC, I am also speaking of the other cannabinoids in marijuana, too. The fan leaves do not have enough of anything to justify making anything out of them...


As a matter of fact, I have never heard of that book and I did come to this idea all on my own. Complicated doesn't scare me, it's where my brain lives! lol.

I am making the grow space that size because I will be expanding the grow room at some point and I have to actually put up walls so I can lock it up to keep it legal here in Michigan. When I first start I will be using about half the space I outlined.

The flowering plants will be in side by side 3.5' SCROGs so they can share light from the two lamps. They will be about 18" from three walls, and I plan on hanging the vinyl I will mention later on the other side to keep the light within the flowering area as much as possible. If need be I might even make a second partition temporarily. A partition will certainly be able to block the light the way I am going to do it. I can get ahold of some very nice light blocking vinyl from a previous employer. It is very bright white on both sides, with a layer of black in the center, and you can hold up a 1 million candle-watt spotlight right against it without light penetration. It will be completely sealed off on all 4 sides with aluminum tape and/or gorilla tape. There will be a separate door for each room, on either side of the main partition.

I have decided to ditch the RDWC and go straight DWC to start with, the main reason for that being cost. Less nutrient usage and no plumbing or water pumps needed. I will be running compost tea, and the setup will be in a basement where the ambient temperature (i.e. the air coming into the tent) will be constantly 50 degrees. A well strained tea will not wreak havoc on a DWC setup, problems come into play when you have particulates involved. I have been following several growers that use it every run and they don't have problems with their equipment even running RDWC. I will also have adequate exhaust to turn over the air in the rooms enough to draw out the heat, and will vent it far away from the air intake. This is more than I did last time I grew, and it wasn't a problem then.

Even if the plants don't get to completely fill the SCROG, this cycle will allow a plant each month for turnover, so lower yields are okay to start with. When I expand I can allow for more veg growth to fill them out more. The first run will go by what the plant is looking like, the 6 weeks is just an estimate I use for planning. With the way I was cloning before I was able to get rooted in about one week well enough to xfer the plant into a solo, so they may grow more than just the 6 weeks anyways. When cutting clones I have seen several people cut them larger than the normal 2 node height with good success, which means they will be larger to start with when the roots take hold well enough to start growing. The first cycle or two will be from seeds though, and I will have them in a cabinet growing under a T5 while I build the room so they have extra time to grow and become mothers. I'm not going to set a schedule and keep the plants to it, that's just nonsense. I know I will have to start small and ramp up to where I want to get to.

Fan leaves and roots, and stems, DO contain all sorts of beneficial compounds. I never said you can medicate with them. From the research I have been doing over the past couple years. I believe the entire plant can serve SOME purpose, I guess we will just have to disagree on that. Besides, what is it going to hurt for me to see what I can do with them and see if those secondary uses are any good? It's going to take a while for my personal compost to be of any use, and I can't really start it until next spring.

As far as my previous grow is concerned... it was a DWC setup in a basement similar to what I am going to be doing now, though a smaller space. I was able to get the plants close to harvest without a SINGLE issue. No nute burn, lockout, or deficiencies. No pests. No heat issues. I may be a rookie, but I glean my knowledge from MANY sources that have been doing this for a long time. I understand that you are concerned I may fail and you are trying to look out for me. I appreciate that, but I won't fail. I've been following the pros, and the idiots to learn what to do... and what NOT to do, lol.

When I get started on this I am going to be making a YouTube channel that will begin with the room construction and continue on, hopefully, indefinitely. I believe that with what I can research, the community online I can turn to if I run into a snag I'm unsure of, and the support from the viewers I get.. I'll be okay. I also have a few local growers I can turn to.

You make some really good points, but I feel as though you make some of them because you don't think a new grower has any chance at all of success in hydro and I find that very frustrating. I know I won't be pumping out 2lb plants right out of the gate... but I also know I won't be killing them left and right. As long as I can produce enough to cover my expenses within a few cycles, I will be doing good enough to start with. My goal is to have a 1lb+ plant within one year of the first seed dropped, and from there I will focus on improving quality.

I am determined to do this the right way. I am also determined to grow a specific way. I came here asking for ways to improve on my idea, and tweak the setup. I did not come here to be shot down and told to do everything completely different. I have goals both long and short term. I have NEVER failed to do something properly when I set my mind to it and I won't start now. There will be setbacks, of course. I'm sure even you have setbacks, am I right?

Once again, thank you for your input! I look forward to working with you and the rest of the community for years to come!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Aug 22, 2006
Messages
19,438
Reaction score
8,313
If it is complicated and it works, it is one thing. If it is complicated without any resulting benefit, it is not efficient.

You are wrong about the hydro--I love it an never have tried to discourage anyone form it--but you have to go about it correctly. I am not shooting you down. I am trying to show you the pitfalls of your design and plan. I am trying to show you the proper way. This hobby does have a huge learning curve.
 

MR1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2014
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
33
CyborgGold, go for quality before quantity. It is better to have a little high quality weed than a lot of mid quality weed. jmo
 

Latest posts

Top