Newbie Q&A, need gas & light advice please

captainblast

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Newbie here, long time lurker and researcher. Would like to say thanks for all the knowledge gathered thus far and thanks in advance for the lessons to be learned. Has been many, many moons since I grew at all and that was bag seed and outdoors pre sense days. Yep I got some miles on me. Anyway, in the process of setting up a room, so obviously lots of questions but will try to keep it to a couple at a time.
Have a spare bedroom for my setup and planning a 5x5 tent for flower, (1) 4x4 tent for veg, and (2) 3x3's one for clone and one for Mother's to start with. Will be up and running by the end of January.

Just starting, so I don't want nor can I afford to spend a fortune on separate light reflector, ballast and bulb, so would like input on best recommendation for a light kit such as Apollo, iPower, etc that will not break the bank but will give me a year of service (hopefully) so I can invest on better equipment as I gain experience. Looking for light info(1,000w) for my 5x5.

2nd newbie question: I live in a very rural area, not a legal state (no hydro stores), and would like to know if CO2 from a welder supply is good as food grade, I realize some gas suppliers supply both, just not sure about my area, if most of you rent/lease your cylinders or buy your own, and lastly what's my reasoning for needing a 50# bottle of CO2 when inquiring with a local welding/gas supplier, i.e., beer home brewing etc.?

Again, thanks in advance for any and all help/advice
 

stonedagain714

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check out plantlightinghydroponics.ive been putting a system together piece by piece,they seem to have the best prices around for decent quality.i picked up a decent 1000 watt system for under $500.got quantum ballast,xtrasun 8 inch aircooled hood,phat filter,avtive air inline fan.you could save a little more if you went with 6 inch instead of 8 inch.they gave me the adapter i needed for hydrofarm ballast to the xtrasun hood.-------i would not worry about co2 for a grow that size.
 

zem

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yeah drop the CO2 idea, supply fresh air instead. the plan sounds ok, i would make just one area for vegging cloning and mother plants, and another for flowering. makes venting, lighting maintaining everything simpler imo. I also drag air with a single fan from veg chamber to flowering chamber then outside. you are on the right track, you just have to put all the pieces together now
 

captainblast

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:goodposting: Thanks SA714, seems to be the consensus on the CO2 and will indeed allow more room in the budget for other goodies. Will check the site out tonight. Man I sure miss those Rorers, speak of the good ole' days!
 

captainblast

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yeah drop the CO2 idea, supply fresh air instead. the plan sounds ok, i would make just one area for vegging cloning and mother plants, and another for flowering. makes venting, lighting maintaining everything simpler imo. I also drag air with a single fan from veg chamber to flowering chamber then outside. you are on the right track, you just have to put all the pieces together now
so 4x4 would be good in your opinion for the veggie/clone/mother area?
bit confused on the dragging air from one tent to the next, seems like I would be brining warm/stale air in to flower tent?

as I told the lude dude above, CO2 was just a thought that I believe I will head yawls advice and do w/o for the time being.

Thanks for the input
 

zem

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imo 4x4 is enough for veg clones mom area but you can space it more if you had the area, however no need to split them in different chambers.
by making passive intake holes in the veg room them placing the exhaust fan in the flowering room, you would be pulling air form the outside in the veg area then flowering area then outside. the heat of the veg chamber is insignificant if you have a proper airflow. it's the flowering chamber heat that you don't want circulating inside
 

Hushpuppy

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First let me say welcome to the wonderful world off MJ growing :) second, let me say that you are stepping off into deep water with multiple tents (not a problem but very involved, especially when you follow with needing to not spend a bunch of money). You will need at least 1 HPS light at 1Kw or 2-600wHPS for the 5x5 fflower tent. I would highly recommend 2 600w for the flower tent as opposed to 1-1Kw light. Here is what I have been using for several years now without failure: http://www.hpsgrowlightstore.com/ipower-grow-lights-600w-dimmable-digital-ballast.html
http://www.hpsgrowlightstore.com/ipower-grow-lights-6-cool-tube-xl-11467.html
The first is the ballast and the second is the fixture. They normally have these in package deals with rope ratchets and bulbs and timers but they must be out of the packages ATM on the 600w sets. You may be able to find the same thing on Ebay or Amazon.

Now, with those lights you will need a 540cfm centrifugal ffan and carbon filter with flex hose to connect the exhaust fan and filter within your fflowering tent. You will also need to either connect your veg tent to the flowering tent so that you pull and scrub the air from it, or get a second exhaust fan that is about 200cfm to ventilate the veg space.
http://www.hpsgrowlightstore.com/vortex-6-449-cfm-powerfan.html
http://www.hpsgrowlightstore.com/vortex-4-172-cfm-powerfan.html
http://www.hpsgrowlightstore.com/phat-filter-24-x6-500-cfm.html
The carbon filter is critical if you don't want others knowing that you have MJ flowering in your house. Don't scrimp on that one :)

Now you will still need to have lighting ffor your veg space and that has to come first as you will be vegging first. Most of us use T5 4' fixtures with 8-12 bulbs in the vegging space. These still produce considerable heat that must be exhausted from the tent, thus the reason for the smaller fan. Its not enough to just leave the tent open and have a fan blowing into the tent. Trust me I have tried that multiple ways and it just doesn't get the job done, not to mention that you want fresh CO2 laden air going in for the plants to breathe. 2 of these lights is what I would recommend, but you could get away with 1 of the 8 bulb models if you don't use the tent really heavy:
http://www.hpsgrowlightstore.com/commercial-t5-4ft-6-tube-fixture.html

You will still need a couple decent fans to go in each tent to keep a breeze going as the plants do much better with nice breezes to keep them cool and supply fresh air to the leaves.

After that you will have to consider which soil/medium and grow/flower methods you would like to employ. Some like soil with synthetic nutes, some like organic soil with organic nutes, some like synthetic soil (soilless medium) with synthetic nutes, and some like hydroponics with some variant of soilless medium. I recommend that you get everything for your veg space done and done before you ever crack a seed. Then you have 6-8 weeks to get the flowering tent ready. If you have any questions or need specific help feel free to PM me if you want or just stay on the open forum iff you want, but don't be afraid to ask :)
 
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I personally think it is best if the discussions are carried out in open forum rather than PMs so the entire forum can benefit.

Hush has given you good advice. I would do like he says and get the veg tent up first and dialed in. I agree with Zem that forgetting the 2 3 x 3 tents is best, especially if money is tight. Light and ventilation is not something you can scrimp on--your light will will directly affect your yield and trying to grow with inadequate light WILL result in unsatisfactory results. You can pick up a good 600W setup (digi ballast, cooltube, bulbs) for under $200. You can get a 1000W for around $250. However, if you have the money, the 2 600s will be better than the single 1000W. LED lighting will cost substantially more than HID lighting--probably about 2-3 times as much. I encourage you to check out Amazon and E-Bay. Both have very good buys. I prefer Amazon as I have Prime and can get a lot of things shipped 2 day free.

I do not see anywhere that you mentioned genetics. I want to encourage you to look into some good genetics and not use bagseed, which can come with "built-in" problems. If you want to be thrifty you can look at something like the Safari Mix from Mandala. These are experimental crosses done by mandala and I have found a few absolute gems among them. Or I am sure that other companies have some special type thing on the same line. This growing thing takes about 4 months and for something that takes that long, it is worth your money to buy some known quality genetics.

Also remember that the more you know and are able to put it into practice, the better your grow will be. This includes being familiar with the different growing phases of cannabis and what each takes, the nutrient, pH needs, and the correct type of medium, light requirements and how to set up ventilation. So, the time between now and the end of Jan when you are putting this together learn all you can about this wonderful plant and you will be justly rewarded in the spring when you harvest a tent full of bud.

I love having 2 spaces--you have a lot of options. My old lady arthritic hands prevent me from doing marathon trim sessions, so I strive to have a plant come mature every 2-3 weeks, which pretty much keeps my friends and I supplied.

You will find more than a few of us that are not spring chickens anymore. We welcome you to our midst!
 

stonedagain714

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check out plantlightinghydroponics.ive been putting a system together piece by piece,they seem to have the best prices around for decent quality.i picked up a decent 1000 watt system for under $500.got quantum ballast,xtrasun 8 inch aircooled hood,phat filter,avtive air inline fan.you could save a little more if you went with 6 inch instead of 8 inch.they gave me the adapter i needed for hydrofarm ballast to the xtrasun hood.-------i would not worry about co2 for a grow that size.
after firing up quantum ballast,it was sending rfi signals on am radio.hydro guy said that hydrofarm is discontinuing quantum ballast and recomended galaxy pro amp,cost $190,picked it up and works great and no rfi.
 

DankHobbyist

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I have a 5x5 tent IM about to try out and want another tent for veg/nor'easter clone. Not sure if I had the amperage for it. The tent I was thinking about would be the secret harden lodge. Has separate rooms. Would be awesome. But first go around 1 tent is fine. Next go around get another tent. At least that's what I want to do. I bought 2 600w lights I can't use cause they are on 240 and didn't move like I had planned. Wish I could trade them for some different gear. Never thought of sucking air through tent to tent. Already have 950cfm filter and 10in fan + 2 8s. Awesome idea.
 
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I looked at the Secret Jardin Lodge--thought it looked quite cool, too. However, they are quite proud of them aren't they? They do cost more than 2 seperate tents, so not really sure I am seeing a huge advantage to them.

I always use the heat from the vegging room to heat the flowering space during lights out.

Captainblast...you still out there buddy?
 

DankHobbyist

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Also for o.p. I second co2 forgetting about it. It will and can do nothing but cause problems unless you got everything else dialed in including the strain you are running. I also was trying to get co2 but wads originally only going to use 500ppm cause I was going to do sealed room.
 

captainblast

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Wow thanks HushP, I have been unable to fine my login but here I finally get back and see that you all have really had great input for me. I have been further doing my homework and looking at alternatives. After considering everything, I am currently leaning to (1) 8x4 tent w/2 600 w lights and one 4x4 tent w/400w (MH/HPS) light for my veg tent and a closet for seedlings/clones. This is going to be an experiment in automation as I work 2 weeks on and 1 week off, which means I am away for 2 weeks solid. Though for the first 4 month period I will have my GF there monitoring and tweaking our setup. My Gf spends her summers in AK so may or may not depending on setup results run summer grow though would prefer a perpetual grow. I think I may be getting it dialed in where I will run the plants in a tray dividing the 8x4 flower room into (2) 4'Wx4'Lx12"H trays (I have these already), siting plants in 3 or 5 gal pots sitting in trays of water/nutes, watering from the bottom, only adding water and changing water and solution every 2-3 weeks on my off week. Of course fresh air in trays (bubblers), float valve for water level, wicking medium (probably clay or maybe pea sized lava both would be mixed with 1/5 vermiculite). Water level at 2-3 inches in trays depending on pot size of course. Yet decided on # of plants, have thought about less plants and bigger pots.



input appreciated
 

captainblast

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Gracious Goddess goodness know the genetic/seed choice has currently been cut down to about 50, haha. So many strains so little time. I can't really decide, read a lot on opinions of different variety a lot and still working on narrowing it down. Of course I seek excellent quality and high yielding. Will spare no cost to get good genetics.

Favorites @ the moment:

Critical Kush
Big Bomb
Big Bang 2
Super Lemon Haze
Blue Dream


Thank you for your insights also.:joint4:
 
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To start, I think that you will find that 2 600W lights in 32 sq ft is not going to be enough light. although technically you are getting 5000 lumens per sq ft, it just seems that 600W really does not do a great job in a 4 x 4. Most everyone that runs a 600W in a 4 x 4 tent adds more light. A 400W MH in a 4 x 4 is probably going to be underlit also. The biggest mistake you can make is trying to make your light "go too far".

Also that is quite a big undertaking for a new grower and hydro tends to be harder. I really doubt that you are going to get away with not tending to the res more often than every 2-3 weeks. You will have pH and ppm changes that you have to deal with and when running perpetual, you may need different nutrient strengths for the different tables. There is no reason to add vermiculite to anything. For cannabis, it is not a beneficial addition and could actually cause your medium to hold too much water.

I personally would stay away from any strain that has Big Bud crossed with it. This has always been more of a commercial strain--big yield, not so good potency. I have grown out several big bud x whatever that I got as freebies and have never been the slightest impressed with any of them. Hazes can also tend to get quite tall and willowy--I worry that you may not have enough headroom in the tent for a haze. The same may also be true of the Blue Dream as it is also 1/2 haze. Of all the strains you picked, I believe that the Critical Kush would do best with the setup you plan. What specifically are you looking for in a strain? Maybe we can help you find a tried and true strain that would appeal to you.
 

captainblast

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Goddess thanks for your thoughts. On the lights I believe I could always add another 600w once I fine tuned and had more $'s if the (2) 600's I start with seem to be underachievers .
As far as the hydro, being passive and having a friend that travels 3-5 days a week and uses a setup of a kiddie pool with great success. He also uses CO2 and both are why I was asking about CO2 and also thinking to set mine up in a passive system such as my earlier post. Of course he puts plants in lava w/the vermiculite to help coat the rough lava edges and aid wicking (his words) he's planting 12 plants in this system and is now on his 3rd run. His first he used 400w and has gone to 600w since. I am thinking of doing a top feed w/soil in one 4x4 area and one as described before to try and get a feel for what I can better automate, as I don't have any other options other than trying to figure this out with my work schedule. He adds his nutes to the initial 2" of rez water and then just adds plain water manually until every 2 weeks when he changes the solution and refills the rez after flushing and cleaning. I have seen it work with him gone for up to 5 days at a time and hope/believe I too can make it work. Of course I expected plenty of naysayers as I realize in a perfect world one would not have to work and could just grow sweet grass. I've got a few more years before I'll be that fortunate.

:48:
 

captainblast

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now on to strains. I would love any and all suggestions along with seed bank suppliers recommendations. I use a little time everyday to look and see what everyone is liking in both yield and high/meds. Me I'm a pure insomniac and been at it for over 55 years :holysheep: so for myself I love something for an old weary boned dude to be able to get a decent nites sleep in. I will also be growing for some friends and they like taste and smell and different highs of good quality and is why I thought I might try and mix a sativa dominate with a nice indica.

please recommend any you have favored for a good yield, and perhaps forgiving for a first indoor grow. I'm pretty much stuck on just having 4 plants which I would veg/train for 6-8 weeks before putting to flower, looking for 5 foot +/- trees and hoping to produce 6-10 zips per, perpetual realizing there will be some flower time variations until I settle on a regular strain for my perpetual if I can make it work.

by the bye, I'm adding Pineapple Chunk to my list (Barney's)

also pros and cons of purchasing feminized seeds vs regular please?

what say you?

also nothing is set in stone as to the grow just yet.

Thanks again

:watchplant:
 

captainblast

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I will be a bit more specific, I have a 10x12 room (8' ceiling) that is sealed well with it's own a/c unit. I will be stripping it down, bombing it, painting it and resealing the 2 windows. I am now thinking to save dollars and build my own partitions off and use panda, etc for walls (looking at options and what I have on hand). I may or may not keep a mother but will clone for perpetual once I love a strain, I will also continue to run a new (for me) strain by ordering seeds. I love growing ****, building things too, funny how I make my living at sea and I graduated with a degree in agronomy. Always had that pull of woods-n-water. My place is in a non legal state, in the middle of the woods and no one dares to visit, few even know I'm out there (yes the purty meter lady does, those snake boots make her look some kinda sexy), nonetheless I try and remain stealthy. And no I'm not moving to a legal state, I like mine just fine. I think another thing is that I will probably do one 4x4 tray in soil (2) 20 gal pots and one 4x4 tray with (2) 12 or 20 gallon pots in clay balls, sitting in the rez as posted before.

Also will run a one area 2 stage veg room/partition using a T5 to begin and then a 400w MH as they progress.

I've had good input form Hush, HempGoddess, & Dank and the whole of these forums for that matter, would love more thoughts, especially strain related.

Thanks again and again and again and again....:48:
 
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I don't quite understand the system being "passive"? You are going to flood and drain with a timer aren't you?
 

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