Plants per sq ft in NFT?

terky

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Hello everybody,

I am building a NFT system in a 4' x 4' tent. I was wondering how many plants I should run.

I am using 600w lights.

I was doing nine 5 - Gallon buckets. The plants got about 3' tall from the top of the bucket. I topped them so they were bushy. I was getting about 1 and 1/2 lbs per run.

I was going to be running 3 trays with 5 or 6 plants per tray. So 15 - 18.
I was planning on maxing them out at 2' in this system. I have Indica strains.

So does my plan sound good or should I do less plants?
 

ishnish

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what was NFT?? can you toss up some pics of your setup?
i do 5 gallon buckets, dwc. in my experience, 1 sq ft minimum to 1.5 sq ft if you top the plants. my last one I topped twice and that girl was a lil over 3 ft wide, also had almost a month of veg time too.
probably depends on the strain too..
 

terky

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This is an example using 6 plants. I am willing to go down to three if that is necessary.

It will be 3 pipes deep.

NFT Diagram.JPG
 

terky

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After thinking about it I may have to go with three per pipe.


9 plant layout.JPG
 

Hushpuppy

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I have a system that is a hybrid variant of NFT (nutrient film transfer). I have also seen a couple of setups that use the pipes. IMO yu need to go with a bigger diameter pipe as the root balls will overwhelm and stop up the 4". I would use 6" at the very least, maybe as big as 10" if yu can find it. In my system, the rootballs grow out of the baskets and fill a large area that is nearly equal to the size of the "above ground" plant at early stages. IDK but I would think yu would have to force them into early flower to prevent them from getting too big, so sativas would be out of the question (I would think). It's a pretty cool design though. If yer pipes are only 3' long, yu definitely wouldnot want to put more than 4 per row, and that is if yer doing single cola SOG with very little to no trimming. Trimming is a double edged sword. It slows upward growth but encourages bushing which would be a bit of a problem in tight quarters. Good luck with it. please post pics as they come along. I would love to see it working. Good grow mojo to ya.:farm:
 
S

StoneyBud

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terky said:
After thinking about it I may have to go with three per pipe.


View attachment 165934
I think that would be wise, terky. NFT (Nutrient Film Technique), invented by Dr. Allen Cooper in England in 1970, is the most resource/labor efficient growing system ever developed. I've set up a few NFT systems before switching to ebb and flow, and it's an awesome method to use.

One thing you'll have to watch closely when using NFT inside is the flow blockage that can happen when roots mass in a particular area of the system. It can cause an overflow from the top of the pipe and really make a mess.

Its wise, for this reason, to put all of your electric in the area on a ground fault system so you don't walk into a sopping wet room and get electrocuted. No kiddin...

That's the primary reason I switched to ebb and flow. No leaks...ever. Every NFT system leaks sooner or later. Outside, it's not a big deal. A little wasteful of nutrient solution, but the overflow goes away easily. Inside however, its another story. It can lead to tragic or costly events. 200 gallons of water goes a long way through a house. I know that from personal experience.

Other than that, 9 plants at 2' tall in that much area is pretty darn good. It should fill the area very well if you LST the plants combined with a little topping.

A good way to check your NFT system for any upcoming problems is to put a cap on the top end of the system that you can remove. Then you can shine a light down it every week or two and make sure its open well enough.

If you haven't started building yet, you may want to rethink the NFT indoors. Just a suggestion.



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terky

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Thanks for the advice.

I was looking at an ebb and flow system at the hydro shop. I was a little skeptical about its reliability. Basically costs the same. Would you recommend that over N.F.T.?

I want a new system that I only have to adjust one reservoir and leak proof.
 
S

StoneyBud

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terky said:
Thanks for the advice.

I was looking at an ebb and flow system at the hydro shop. I was a little skeptical about its reliability. Basically costs the same. Would you recommend that over N.F.T.?

I want a new system that I only have to adjust one reservoir and leak proof.
For inside growing, I would absolutely favor ebb and flow over NFT. With ebb and flow, the only way it can leak is if you overfill the reservoir while it's "flowing" or if a bulkhead fitting isn't tightened properly.

You can save yourself a LOT of money by building your own Ebb and Flow system. I'd be more than happy to help you if you'd like to PM me.
 

jmansweed

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Terky,

Getting into which hydro system best suits your needs has allot of variables. With-out allot of description I'm also a fan of Ebb and Flow.

I work with literally dozens of hydroponic variations. Most of my systems are designed to grow smaller cultivars - i.e. - lettuce, spinach etc. When I grow larger plants - tomatoes, eggplants and of course Herb. I always use larger bucket type systems. Either Ebb and Flow, or top feed drip systems.

I've had poor results testing large cultivars using the thin layer of nutreint water NFT systems offer. You can still be successful, made obvious by your last production numbers.

Stoney and I are on the same page - simply for different reasons. All my systems leak sooner or later. I just feel Ebb and Flow work nicer for larger plants. The simple action of drawing tremendous amounts of air into your root system as the water flows out provides fantastic growing conditions for herb.

Regardless, if you continue with the NFT. My recommendation is your design with less plants per the space your growing in. It;s all about grams per watt anyhow my freind.

peace.............
 

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