I am a legal medical marijuana grower with license to grow from Health Canada and would love to meet on line with other growers to discuss technical aspects.
There are hundreds of pot forums - why not visit them and leave this one alone?
Mike - Why so anti legal pot growing. Artificial light plant growing is interesting to me. I start my garden stuff under light also. If you know of other forums that would be interesting to me send me a list and I will check them out.
Try Googling 'Growing Marijuana Artificial Lights.' You'll get more than 50,000 hits!
For the record, I'm not against pot growing - it seems to be a challenge. But I haven't used it for >25 years. And the pot growers seem to be leading the way in the best artificial lighting. But for my tomatoes, peppers, basil and other plants, I'm not interested in fast growth, just the best way to utilize what lights I have and possibly find alternatives that work better.
My ideal LED would be a one of those full color Billboards whose lights are computer controlled. I would use the full spectrum (more than likely 256 colors) because plants do absorb some green and yellow light.
If I was growing a plant whose product sells for hundreds of dollars per pound instead of a dollar per pound, I would be seriously looking at them.
I think you are missing the point Mike. I don't grow for profit and I don't sell. I grow for my own medical use only. I am going to be claiming my equipment costs and electrical usage off my taxes this year as a medical expense.
I am not interested in high production but rather interested in effectiveness of the product. I grow under a combination of high intensity spiral home type bulbs (150 watts ouput) along with Metal halide and HPS replacing the MH for the flowering period. I try to keep my nutrients as organic as possible. I am interested in lowering power consumption so I look for alternatives.
I think I have tips and knowledge to offer. I don't want to offend you or others so if you people think I should withdraw from this forum site I will.
I think what we have had is a failure to communicate! In your first post, you made it sound like you wanted to talk about only growing pot and while I'm confident there are a few GW members who do, mostly the talk is about veggies and flowers. Talking about artificial lighting for growing plants in general is different.
I can tell you from experience I had a pot plant growing under a 125-watt Red, Blue and Orange LED and it is doing great. Not growing fast but very thick leaves that are large in size and very tight internodes. But... it is not a marijuana pot plant, it is a 7-pot (aka, 7-pod) hot pepper.
It covers about the same amount of area as a 400-watt HPS and costs just a bit more than a combo HPS/MH system (or it did until just recently when the price went up a bunch) but at 18 hours a day and an electricity cost of 10 per kW hour, it saves nearly $15/mo.
There are also some models that allow you to control the R/B ratio but they are pricey!
I really want to learn and when possible experiment with the most cost effective lighting system to use to set up a medium size (56-60 plants) project. My goal is the same as many pot growers - to sell my harvest and make money. But my plants will be legal ones: basil and tomatoes!
Let us just start a fresh - I agree. I think we are both interested in learning how to grow plants under artificial light or we would just build ourselves greenhouses. I am very interested in learning what you know about LED lighting. I am generally a scientific person and I do keep good records of my growing activities. I am anxious to try experimnents with LED panel and look forward to your input.
I did build a greenhouse! Discovered there are impermutable factors such as how much light is needed per day to grow tomato plants to the stage they produce ripe fruit.
It's a really basic guideline based on the number of photons of light in the PAR range that a plant gets over a 24-hour period. It's called Daily Light Integral, measured in mols per day and there is research that shows what different type of plants need to basically grow, grow nicely or grow profusely.
But from what I have learned so far, this knowledge is like learning one's ABC's. It gives you the basic stuff you need but doesn't tell you how to spell words or write sentences.
Honestly, I don't have the knowledge to say what type of light will deliver the best produce per dollar of use. I love the way the LED lights have worked so far on peppers and tomatoes, but I am a few weeks away from expecting blooms, let alone seeing if they turn to fruit.
Then there is the whole area of growing mixes, or nuits if one is doing hydro. Last evening, I was upstairs playing around in my grow room. I had a basil plant that, at first, did great under a 400-watt HPS, then nearly died. I stripped off most of the leaves and let it go. It didn't die (it is under a 105-watt, 5000K CFL bulb, but it didn't grow either.
A couple of months ago, I built a CO2 generator, using sugar, yeast and baking soda. It finished generating and has just sat idle. Last night, I added a couple cups of that mixture to the worthless basil plant and this evening I noticed it has sprung back to life. So this evening, I used the mix, with some water, to water the other eight basil plants.
Where will this lead? I don't have a clue! But I did read a research paper where a combo of sugar/yeast applied to plants 30 and 45 days after transplant resulted in about a 15% increase in harvested fruit. Can this be applied to hydro growing? Again, I don't have a clue. But I know I will not find out without trying!
Nelson just remember this, while the state says it's ok for you to grow mj, it's still against government laws and they can take everything you own and make you disappear..forever.
Hi Taz Thanks for commenting on the legality. This may be the case in the USA where licensing is on the state level. I am a Canadian and here it is handled by a feds at an agancy known as Health Canada. They issue licenses to possess and to produce which are good in all the Provinces in Canada. I am a brain cancer survivor for over five years and I am applying for my fifth straight license from health canada. To get information you can google "health Canada" and then choose Medical Marihuana and all the forms for application come up. You need a doctor's form filled in by your doctor.
I would like to stick to the topic of growing under lights which is what I do and any topic that applies to feeding, light intensities and so on. Thanks for contributing to this string.
Interesting story Mike, my second LED/DWC array had a similiar problem with my tomato plant.
3 weeks of absolutely no growth, the stems hardened, the leaves turned a dark green color, then I put a 4.7w(apparently 50 watt equiv, but I doubt the numbers work in reality, only retail-ity) with warm orange and now 5 new stems have formed from the center mass.
There is a video series called 'How to Grow Green' with a green painted guy called, rather unoriginally, 'Mr Green'. Its an old video (VHS age) but its on youtube and makes for some interesting viewing, even for those not interested in growing marijuana.
Nelson - Where in Canada are you?
Anyway - in research indoor growing of Tomatoes / Peppers - I came across http://forum.grasscity.com/ - Which seems like an extensive wealth of knowledge on the subject - from Simple hydroponics, grow room setup, ventillation etc. I don't know anything about the marijuana side of things - but they def. know how to grow plants indoors.
Also - another was. http://www.icmag.com/ic/index.php which also was extensive from what I saw. I think I came across a grow there for an individual with Cancer who was producing enough in a small area for his personal consumption.
Anyway - those 2 forums will probably be better resources than this one, and smarter places to post - as the Marijuana laws in the states will make most leary of this post possibly? - though it's all intermixed right.
You grow what you grow, I'll grow my TOmatoes and Peppers. lol
Johny Rockets Thanks for the info. Hey, I like to eat too and I grow a lot of my own food including peppers and tomatoes indoors and outdoors. I just happen to be a medical pot grower as well. I am not a rookie as I have been doing it for five years indoors. Still lots to learn on my part. I am located in Quebec near the Vermont border.
We both have green houses as well as light rooms. I have three problems with growing in my greehouse. The first is that it is wicked hard to heat. It seems cheaper to have totally dark rooms with artificial light than to try and heat the greenhouse. I need to control the light cycle to get good flowering and fruit formation impossible to do in a greenhouse. I have had poor fruit setting and fruit formation on my tomatoes, peppers and pot bud. I have blamed my fiberglass glazing and would also blame the lack of good pollinators except the pot has the same problem and that does not relie on polination. I have had such good results under lights that I have given up on the greenhouse. I still do starts there but no growing to eat or smoke.
Pretty much ditto here. I can afford to heat it but we go through a "light" drought from mid-Dec to mid-Feb. That's a lot of days to heat the place but get next to zero production. My plan is to grow tomatoes and maybe basil from August-December and then start more in February. During the dead of winter, I'll grow upstairs and in the spring/summer in the garden.
One advantage of the upstairs grow is that it is cooler - plenty warm enough to produce ripe fruit but not so warm to make hydro more problematic. It gets only passive heat and no A/C so in summer it may be well above 90 or 100 degrees on a very hot, sunny day.
One tomato that is looking ideal for indoors in called IT 06 313. It is producing softball size fruit with very few seeds and no 'white meat' - just red, juicy stuff! The seeds are a bit pricey - $12.50 for 50 seeds.
I don't have any pollinators though I was gently shaking the plants every morning. These days, I use an oscillating fan which seems to work great.
If I had the know-how, I would build my own LED panels. But it would be different from what is currently available. A 100-bulb panel would have a 5/3/1 ratio of 80 red bulbs in three different wavelengths, a 2/1/1 ration of 8 blue ones, again in three different wavelengths and 3 each of green, yellow, violet and white bulbs.
Not wanting to spark a political debate but I wished the idea of sending a manned spacecraft to Mars was not shelved. So much would have been learned about growing food in a small space. Now that would be a challenge!
My follow up is to thank you for your seed advice. Where do I order some. I have a question for you or whomever else wants to answer.
I measure my light with an old fashioned camera style light meter and convert it to lumens with a chart. I can't guage the spectrum other than by eye. Not too accurate for a Sci guy like me. Do you have any idea of how to measure spectrom without making Hewlit Pacard rich? I would love a complete bunch of filters that allow only one band at a time through. Does anyone know where to get that reasonably?
neseed.com has the seeds. They sell pepper and a whole lot of other seeds also.
Lumens don't count - lux or footcandles do. The latter measure the intensity of photons that are hitting the plant. I could have a bulb that outputs 150,000 lumens but if it is five feet from the plant, they will not get much benefit from it.
To measure the intensity of LED lights, you need a Quantum Light meter - ~$200 or more. I emailed a lighting expert to ask how to convert the microeinsteins into mols but that will only be part of equation - the wavelengths of the lights have to be taken into consideration.
I use 3 - 400 watt switchable ballasts. I use metal hallides in them for vegetative graoth and switch to HPS for flowering. I use 400 watters instead of the 600 or 1000 because I think I get better dispertion as shown by my light meter. The other nice thing is I get less heat from the 400 watters and the plants can get a little closer to the bulbs without frying themselves. Before I go into flowering I trim all the tops of the plants to the same height.
Some of my measurements are as follows at 1 foot away from a metal hallide bulb I measure roughly 38,000 lumens (this is as close as I let the plants get), at two feet it drops to about 9,000 lumens, at 3 feet it is down to 2500 lumens. The nice thing about the meter is I can measure the light at any hieght. I have the 3 bulbs spaced at two feet appart. My meter tells me this is the best spacing. The overlap of the bulbs increases the readings by about 25% and has few very few hot spots. When I switch to HPS my readings go up by about 25% over the metal hallide. This is pretty much in line with the old E = I/D sq. formula for light versus distance.
Whether it reads in Footcandles, lux, or Lunens it really is just light intensity. I agree no spectrum considered but it does spot hot spots and cool spots and really helps me with with spacing. What I would like to be measuring is PAR with filters to exclude anything not in the 3000 to 6,500 K band of light. They must make such a filter and I would love to find one.
In the old days they used to use the rating of 50 watts per sq. ft. for adequate lighting for indoor plant groth. I think it is a little too much for plant groth and not enough for flowering. But again not enough information. To flower properly I think pot needs 4 times the light as groth does and tinted into the orange spectrum. I think the orange color of the HPS do the color change well if not too well. When I flower I turn 1500 watts of spiral floresents with reflectors for a little bluer light and more intensity. The florescents add about 25% to 40% more lumens especially between plants where the leaves do a lot of shielding. I do admit to a certain ammount of leaf striping which many consider plant torture and a no no but I think it helps. Give me your thoughts on this
Again. Lumens are meaningless, except in comparing how one bulb compares to another. It is only a measurement of photons coming from a source of the light. OTOH, footcandles and lux measure lumens hitting the plant. A footcandle is equal to 10.76 lux, for whatever that is worth!
Without knowing how large of an area you are trying to cover it is hard to say - but I can tell you that if I was using 14, 105 watt, 5000K CFL bulbs, along with a 400 watt MH or HPS system, with the CFL bulbs draped between the plants, I could produce a lot of leaves of pot and a whole bunch of tomatoes or peppers, coming from at the least 10 plants.
Lumens are a perfectly fine measurement of light intesity. It is really strange how a footcandle is a measurement of light intensity using a candle as the base of measurement. It doesn't say a birthday candle or a gig fat wick candle only that it is measured from a foot away. Lux is just a tenth of a foot candle, roughly that is. I agree that lumens are meanigless really without a distance factor added to the measurement. But if I measure 2,000 lumens 4 ft. from the source it is one really bright light up there. The funny thing is a lumen is based on a single candle also but in a sq. ft of area around the source. Whether we use one or the other the big problem is really we are not measuring watts delivered in the photosynthesis band. We will just have to disagree on this.
My rig is providing light to 32 sq ft. of grow area. I am sure you can figure out how many tomatoes that is.
Nice talking with you hope others are intertained and can feel free to comment or ask us anything.
I'll take a guess: 28? That's about what I am getting in the GH for ~32 square feet.
To grow tomatoes under the LED light, in a 15' linear span, I intend to use no more than five 125 LED panels but may need only four. That will be enough for 28 plants, maybe 30. To cover that same 15' using MH, HPS or CFL bulbs, and grow them to maturity, I would need at least 1600 watts.
If you are not getting ripe toms with your set-up, even without the CFL bulbs, something is awry. My 400-watt HPS produces about the same as yours a foot from the light - ~50,000 lux or 4650 foot candles. Running it for just 12 hours a day would deliver 26 mols per day, more than enough for tomato or pepper plants. I saw this in my GH this spring. Once we started getting good sunlight (30,000 lux through the covering) for 10 hours a day, I started to get blooms and tomatoes. Those 10 hours of sun translates into ~20 mols/day.
Are they in soil or water?
I always throw a couple of Tomatoes and Pepers in my grow room so I can have some through the winter. They do great in there especially when compared to my efforts in the greenhouse. I got a tomato question. Do you strip the leaves off near the end of the life as one would do outside to get the final fruit the push to grow when the frost will soon be along.
I grow in soil, the grog method, or sea of green as some call it and not in individual pots. I use kids swimming pools with holes drilled in the bottom to hold the soil and recycle the soil to my garden beds. I am converting one of the rooms to root spray this fall to give it a try and will have to come up with an organic fertilizer for feeding.
I cut leaves off once they start to turn yellow, no matter if it is May or September.
Oddly, after my GH disaster when it got way too hot killing most of the foliage on the hydro plants, one of them set fruit. By the time that happened the rest of the leaves were gone. The toms didn't get very big - about the size of a gulf ball, but they still ripened. And tasted great!
In a couple of weeks, I'm going to start four more plants - two Better Boy and two Celebrity in 5-gallon buckets (DWC). I'll use Tomato-tone fertilizer, something normally reserved for dirt growing. It is higher in P&K than nitrogen, plus not all the nitro is water soluable. It also has a decent amount of calcium to help fight BER as well as microbes. Plus, it is not expensive - a four-pound bag will last me for a couple of years and costs $6!
FWIW, if you are talking about aeroponics, many people will say it is the most demanding as far as watching the system goes. With DWC or NFT, if the electricity goes out or the pump dies, you have options that gives you time before the plants start to suffer. After several failures, I've knocked out a bunch of things that can and did go wrong - air pumps in which one side quit working, airstones that got clogged, pH meters that gave false readings.
I like hydro but it has taken a while for me to get my head wrapped the things that I didn't know that I didn't know. I didn't know to check both outlets of a pump to see if they were working, I had no idea that air stones could get clogged - they have only air blowing through them, 24/7! And had the pH meter just quit reading, that would have made sense. Instead, it would give me a reading of 7.2 on new water, I would add some pH Down and get a 7.1, add a bit more, get a 7.0, add a bit more and get a 3.5! And I'm only talking about five gallons of water and taking measurements every three-four hours - and it was aerated!
What I did in the GH this year was make a batch of nuits in a garbage can, five gallons at a time. Add the ferts and adjust the pH. Then as needed, I would add a quart or two to each bucket.
Good point about power failure Mike.
My present rigs need no special care when the power goes out. My circulation fans are not necessart if there are no lights on to cool. I have had a 36 hr failure and the grow cycle was not screwed up. The only time I have had a grow cycle failure is when the lights went on for 24hrs for aI don't know how many days. The plants got real unhealthy. This was caused by a defective timer that just stopped turning them off. I usually never go into the rooms in the dark period especially when flowering so it escaped my attention.
The other point you made is the pump circulation. It would be a real drag if the power went off. I don't have a power generator. It also has to be much more labour intensive and I have to agree it probably is.
Your points are making me ponder whether I should do this change over until I can get back up power generation.
I wonder how much faster the cycle would be in the spray hydroponics and also how the yield per sq. ft. would be improved. Any ideas anyone?
Indoor season just about over for me. Time to move outside for the summer. I'm gonna rebuild my lighting rig for the Fall season and I will post pictures if I can figure out how to do it. Anyone trying to get hold of me can email me directly if they like I'm on Gmail just type in nelsonethier and the rest of it you can figure out.
hi, you can contact me at email@example.com i am very experienced in this field.
My 2011 indoor season is about to start.
I usually start by cloning and then growing what will be the new clone mothers.
I am retiring one type of plant which is Jack Herer. The big reason is that it has been a problem with hermaphroditism. That is of course a problem with male flowers occuring on a female plant and causing seeds to form. In slightly related news from the pot world Jack Herer the person has passed on this year. He wrote several books on pot growing and he will be missed.
I have taken one of the clones of the Jack Herer and I am breeding it to a White Widow male. I will plant some of the seeds this season to check them out for groth, health and how the pot compares to the fine smoke that the parents produced. Hopefully the hermaphrodite problen will dissapear and I can return it to my favorites in its new form. Can any one suggest a name?
We are trying a new cross this year which iwe are calling Bee Jay which is a Jack Herer and Bob Marley cross. Bob Marley continues to be one of our favorites because of its potency and very short growing period. Bob Marley grown out of doors would be flowering by now.
I am in the process of changing my grow room over to soilless culture. I sure hope this turns out to be a good idea. Will update this site from time to time with my progress through the year. Your opinions and suggestions are always gratiously accepted and commented on.
My personal opinion: I'm interested in your media, lighting, nutrients and stuff related to growing. I don't give Jack Squat about what cultivar of pot you are growing. Don't get me wrong - I'm not opposed to pot - I smoked it for years, though I quit because it made me lethargic.
I will stipulate that growing it seems to be a much bigger challenge than growing most veggies. Potatoes and peppers do not rely on photoperiods so one doesn't need to worry much about switching between HPS and MH bulbs while growing. Basil, lettuce and other leafy vegs don't need HPS at all, and I doubt green beans, carrots or peas do. Not sure about broccoli.
A couple of things I strongly recommend - get a good pH meter. Those cheap ($35) meters go bad quickly and will give you false readings which can really screw you up. Also, get a PPM/EC meter - it will help you keep nuits at the right level.
I also mix my nuit solution - water and ferts - and add it as necessary. Some prefer to add the nuits and then water (or vice versa) and then adjust the pH. I figure if I add a solution that is the same pH and ppm (or slightly stronger as the plants grow) as the solution already in the buckets, it saves work.
Thanks for the advice. I do have an excellent ph meter that seems to read quickly and accurately and I use it often. Your advice about nutrient meter was interesting send more info on what your meter is and how well it works and where you got it.
When you go on about the different strains of tomatoes such as celebrity and better boy I don't complain to you for not sticking to the lighting and other equipment. Why because I grow tomatoes and it is interesting. There may be other medical growers that will find it interesting what I grow if you don't.
It is all a mater of growing under lights to me and I wish all of you well growing under lights no matter what you grow. I am just trying to learn and share like most of the people on this site.
Fair enough! But you'll have to agree that across the country, more people are growing tomatoes in their garden than pot!
Wow! I don't believe this. Wait until you see the link! Anyway, I use this one to measure pH and like it a bunch. I didn't pay quite $85 but I did pay way more than $50! I also ordered some solution to keep the tip in, so it doesn't dry out - that apparently is what led to the demise of my other two Hanna Meters.
I like DWC as the hydro method - inexpensive to set up and way more forgiving if the electricity goes out. We had a "hurricane" here in Cincinnati a couple of years ago (74+ mph sustained winds but nary a drop of rain - a weird thing where we got the end of a hurricane's features combined with a fast-moving front) that toppled thousands of trees in the metro area. I was without electricity for four days but my plants didn't suffer in the least.
Good luck and keep us posted!
My nuit meter is a TDS-3. Nothing fancy, but it has been reliable for three years
does that TDS-3 come with a name attached to it and where can it be bought. Do you like it?
What is the DWC method of hydro groth? I am not sure what you mean by that - expound a little so I can understand.
i agree with wordwiz about getting a good ph and ec meter. i bought a tri-meter a while back for my reservoir and i am extremely happy with it. i love being able to see my EC/pH/temp of the reservior right when i walk in to the room.
Thanks for weighing in chinamon. It sounds interesting. How much was it? Where can you buy it? Did you get it on line and if so what is their web address?
DWC = Deep Water Culture
Probably the simplest form of hydro. Roots grow in a nutrient solution that is aerated. As the plants use up the solution, you add more. Some people change the solution every so often, I change it after a grow cycle.
The cost to build a system is not much: a five gallon bucket, small air pump, net pot, bit of tubing, some hydroton or lava rocks and air stone or soaker hose.
I bought materials to build a 30-bucket system. The pump - 900 GPH was the most expensive at $70 but the buckets, because I needed 30, actually cost more total - $3.00 each. 100' of tubing was $26, 50 barbed T's to join tubing together as well as in the buckets was $9. The soaker hose (I used it instead of air stones - more reliable and less expensive) was $14. 30 3" net pots cost $15 and a 12-0utlet air divider was $15. The lava rock was $15. The total came to about $225 or $7.50 per station.
Not cheap, but most of this is a one-time cost.
Thanks Mike for taking the time to explain it to me. Obviously the choice for me is to go for a smaller bucket system for slog growing or to go for aeroponics spray system. I have a question on the buckets. Would one large 4' by 8' tank be just as good as all those buckets? Also if I build a tank how deep would it have to be?
I know that you think this system is much safer should there be a power failure and I agree. I am already looking for a water cooled diezel generator set to install in the complex so I can relax on the hydro issue. I am putting tbes into the floor so the cooling fluid would heat the floor. If the power outage wasn't a concern which would you choose aeroponics or deep water.
Thanks in advance Nelson
It's not a fair question to ask - I have no experience in aeroponics. I do have a cloning bucket and know that one concern is with the pump or spray nozzles clogging. If the system is kept pure, that may not be a concern at all.
For me, growing in larger containers is better. I ordered some 58-quart Sterilite containers from Wal-mart. $44 for eight of them. I plan on growing three plants per container, six containers per light. Two, one, two, one, two, one as far as plants per row on the upper group; one, two, one, two, one, two for the bottom ones. All of these will fit under one 600-watt HID (MH) light and not exceed minimum growing areas. It will only be a reach of two feet to the middle of the container, much like a raised bed. Each plant will have what amounts to at least 4 gallons of water. I've grown large plants in 4-gallon buckets (about 3-gallons of nuits). Plus, I've seen some great-looking pepper plants grown in like 2-gallon coffee buckets.
In my experience, the main concern of hydro growing it the solution. Find the right vegg/bloom combo, watch the pH and PPM/EC. Check the containers regularly - I lost some plants due to a pump failing (it was a two-outlet, one was working, the other wasn't) and plants due to the airstone getting clogged. This boggles my mind, as all that is flowing through it is air, but it happens.
My other bane has been putting seedlings into the pots. I have now been going with placing seeds in rock wool cubes and letting the ones that sprout get decent size. Put them in the the net pot and raise the water level to where it just reaches the bottom of the cube. Once it develops roots, I can let the water level decrease a bit.
IMO, DWC is easy, except for not knowing the things you wouldn't think about, such as one side of a pump going bad, a meter giving false readings, an airstone getting clogged. I have a tom growing upstairs that is only three weeks old and it looks like it is almost twice its age.
I think once you get the hang of it you will love it!
Always interesting to hear what you have to say. Thanks for the input. I will totally let the aeroponins thing go and won't ask you anymore questions to compare to your DWG method.
One thing you didn't answer is why not one big tank? How deep do you think that tank should be if you do think it is an OK idea?
The only disadvantage to one humongous tank would be if the solution needed to be changed. You could always install a faucet at the bottom to drain it but if the plants were very big, you would have to find something to set them in while you clean it out. I picked the Sterilites because they will be four feet wide (2x2') and I can reach the middle of the plants. Same thing with going 3 long - about 4 ft. If I want to trim leaves or harvest fruit, I don't want to have to worry about finding a way to reach the middle.
Not sure about pot roots but tomatoes and peppers can get quite long yet I have not had a problem growing in 5-gallon buckets (about 15" deep) or even kitty litter buckets (less than 12" deep).
I wouldn't give up on aeroponics or methods such as Ebb & Flow or NFT (You can Google to learn more about these.) With E&F and even NTF, if the pump was to quit working you could always water by hand. Lots of people like these methods - I started with DWC because it was the least expensive, easiest and probably most idiot-proof!
A few questions about your air pump. Are you happy with it? What is it exactly. Do you pump plain air. Do you have a figure for flow say per gallon. What discharges the air plastic pipe or a soaker hose or similar? How long can the plants be without the air bubbles before they are damaged?
You can get the details about the air pump here. Yes, it pumps plain air. You can use what are called air stones - they are as cheap as dirt and go up from there. Unfortunatley, I've had too many go bad after anywhere from a three months to a year. The soaker hose does just as good of job - I use a 1/4" though its bubbles are bigger than an air stone's. I also have to make sure it is snug around the container or put small weights or something to hold it on the bottom.
My pump delivers 950 gallons of air per hour. I bought it because it was rated to be large enough to handle forty 5-gallon buckets of water. I attach it to a multi-outlet air divider - it has valves so I can turn off what lines I don't need, and then run lines to the individual stations.
Not sure how long the plants can go without being damaged. One Sunday a couple of years ago, we had hurricane strength winds that toppled boo-coo trees. That happened Sunday afternoon. My plants didn't get any aeration at all until Wednesday, and then only for about 15 minutes twice a day until Friday when they finally restored electricity here. You could never tell it. They weren't huge plants nor were they small. I don't know how long my plant at the office went without air - I'm guessing weeks. It was a rather large tom and didn't die but over a period of a month, I lost a lot of leaves! These days, I try to check them at least every other day if not daily to make sure each and every container is being aerated.
I need to go to a meeting soon but when I get back, I'll try to get a picture of a tomato plant that has been in water for only three weeks - and it was a very small seedling when "transplanted."
I checked out the site you gave me for the pump but they don't ship to Canada. I will check around Canada for another source.
Talking about fence sitters I am nominating myself for fence sitter of the year. I am building a box with a center divide and have decided to try your DWG or whatever it was called side by side with aeropnics. I thought you would be amused with the experiment. I bought the wood today to start building it so it will be ready for the Fall. The box will be 4' X 8' and 10 inches deep divided down the middle with sperate drains for both sides.
I was thinking of lining it with either fiberglass or even more simply with a [lastic tarp - any thoughts on this?
Wish me luck and let the experiment begin. I guess I should open a new thread and post some pictures as I go. We will let the success or failure speak for itself.
I just realized, I have an aero system upstairs. I bought it as a cloner and never really had any success with the plants I was trying to clone (roses, toms, a couple others). I'll have to see if it still works and if so, start a couple of seeds. One for DWC and the other in it.
I was wondering what you were cloning. I thought all you veggie and flower guys just started everything from seeds.
Go to it Mike do some research for me. I am all for it.
I'm trying to be multi-talented! One cannot get knock-out rose bush seeds, at least without paying an arm and a leg. Plus, there is lots to be said about growing cutting from an existing plant. Trust tomato seeds are like 61Â¢ each and my germination rate, at least in the short term, sucks. Plus, I did one cutting (that I stuck in water and let it develop roots) and after transplanting it, started setting fruit in about five weeks.
I hooked the pump and everything up - it works. No leaks, at least so far.
Nothing wrong with trying another method - I don't need to start my plants upstairs until late September. Gives me plenty of time to experiment.
The important thing for me, and not just figuring out the best hydro, outside and the greenhouse methods, it to be able to make a living growing veggies by the summer of 2013.
I'm pulling for you hope you achieve your goals. We have our disagreements but my heart is in the right place.
I am going to take photos of my tank building and then off my comparison hydro experiment it should be fun to see how I do with both.
Have you given up on LEDs or do you think there is a place for them?
No disagreements from me! I've come to realize that while we grow different types of plants, our goal is the same - the best way to do it.
I'll go back to the LED panel once the plants get to the blooming stage. It can deliver the intensity plants need.
When I clone I cut the clone to be about the length of the palm of my hand from the mother. I trim all the big leafs off and sprit the stem with a pair of scissors about 1/2" up the stem. I used to do this cut underwater but found it offered no improvement in rooting percentage. The method I am useing gives about 80% success ratio. I dip the cut end into a rooting hormone and stick it into promix in a 2" peat pot. I predampen the pro mix in the peat pot by soaking it in an inch of water in a plastic tub for a day before planting. I use an 18 on in 24 cycle with a CFL bulb.
I guess if I am going hydro I will have to change my cloning media from promix and a peat pot to something else. What do you use?
I don't do much cloning but the few I tried recently, I just stick the cutting in a quart jar of water and sat out of direct sunlight until roots developed. I think part of the problem with earlier attempts was the cutting was too small, no more than maybe 3-4".
You can also use rockwool or some neoprene collars.
Can you just stick the rockwool rooted clone into the lava rocks and stick it into the nutrient mix?
That's what I do. Set it on the net pot, surround it with lava rocks or hydroton and fill the bucket enough so water reaches the bottom of the net pot. Of course, with aeroponics, you just want to make sure water reaches the rockwool.
What are you useing for nutrients? Do you like them? Are they organic? Where did you get your nutrient meter and what do you want it to read when your mixing and testing your nutrient solution. Do you change nutrient solution when going from vegatative groth to making tomatoes?
I want to start out by saying I am far from an expert or even accomplished professional in this area. Please3, seek other advice besides mine
I use EcoGrow and EcoBloom as my nuits. Not organic, but made for veggies - it has a good amount of calcium, among other micro/macro nuits. Helps prevent blossom end rot. I presume this is not a concern of pot growers.
Got my nuit meter from some on-line store. If you Google TDS-3 you should find lots of links to places that sell them. I aim from 700 ppm for seedlings to 2100 ppm for blooming plants, though those figures are set in the opposite of concrete!
I don't "change" the solution during the entire grow. What I will do, when the containers need re-filled or topped-off is to add a bloom solution to whatever is in the pot. After a week or three, it's mostly the bloom stuff.
I like it when you say you are not an expert. Many say they are who are not. I always have a problem with what someone is about to say, when they start off their sentences with, "absolutely". I'm not an expert either but our info is good to consider because we are doers and experimenters. Experts can't be bothered to answer any of our questions as they are too busy preaching to the crowds. We end up having to read books and ask others for advice and then the most important part we give it a try and report our success and failures to others.
Thanks again for your advice and I value your input. I will keep my questions to a minimum and start building my tank. I will send you pictures on this site, or start a new string, of my progress with it. Others are welcome to weigh in on this stuff with their opinion as well. Even the "experts".
my marijuana plants are dieing and i do not know what two do tell me what to do
Just relax and wait there for the authorities. They'll know what to do!