Dragons Flame Mac Dragon bx1 in Updated RDWC System

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Moe.Red

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Been super busy with the kitchen remodel and have not had a lot of time to spend on this gal but finally got in and gave her a major haircut this morning. I finally got the greenhouse harvest all taken care of and some breathing room to focus more on the house, but in the meantime, this gal is going nuts on me! I removed a bunch of large and small fan leaves and some obvious sucker branches but some of the branching is not so obvious as to whether or not they will be suckers at this point, letting her ride to see how the stretch progresses, and then take the suckers as they reveal themselves.

I got an answer about my RO system. As I suspected, I got a lot of construction fodder that made its way into my RO 50 gallon barrel. I shut off the valve and used up the remainder of the water for the humidifier and to top off the plant res etc. When the water level got lower, I could see the bottom of the barrel and there was a lot of crap settled on the bottom, explains why my RO water ppms were sitting around 160. I drained out the last of the water and washed the barrel out, then refilled it with RO water over the past 2 days. Checked the ppm this morning and sitting at 13 so my filters are all doing their job. The demo work is finished on the remodel and so there should be no more of this problem going forward and glad to see that this most likely did not affect the plant, at least as far as I can tell at this point.

I also this past week got an answer as to what has been going on with my silica additive Tree Trunk. The question was if this stuff was performing as it is supposed to and I do believe the answer to that is no, it has not. I had noticed that the base of this stuff in the past was very strong and I didn't I need to add much to raise the pH fairly quickly, but after the last res change, didn't seem to be as effective. I ended up ordering a gallon of Silica Boost-


I have observed that it takes a day or three for a fresh res to settle down and that for the first few days, the pH will drop as the base is established. After the last res change when I noticed the Tree Trunk was not nearly as effective and I was almost out so I ordered the Silica Boost. It arrived just in time and so because I was unfamiliar with the product, I started adding small amounts to see how strong of a base it is. I was a bit surprised that it seemed to take way more than I thought it would. If I remember right, the pH was around 5.6 at the time and it took 20 ml of the Silica Boost to get it back to 5.9, which I thought was a lot at the time. However, the base is strong indeed as I have not had to adjust the pH up since so I am very happy with this product. Since then, I see the pH as very stable and have had to adjust it down one time since using pH Down, which I see as 100% normal.

I'm still dumbfounded by this plant and her short, stout stature. 11 days into flower and no sign of pistils or stretch at all. I've rooted some clones and am thinking about keeping one as a mother to grow this pheno again. I'm not sure what the hybrid ratio is for this strain but from what I can tell, this pheno is leaning heavily toward the Indica side, which I really like. Can't wait to see how she progresses and all the things I am learning along the way.



Glad to see you back at the Farm Moe and hoping you have good news coming from the Dr.'s!

So yea, I am measuring top offs and since my last res change (November 15th), I have added back in almost 4 gallons. From your direction here, I am thinking I need to learn how to amend the res soon to keep up with the changing nutrient needs during flower. Ppm has slowly been dropping and sitting at about 825 atm. I would be curious about what formula you use to calculate amendments to the res? I think I have the logistics down fairly well, I just need to learn how to keep the res in line with what the plant will be needing going forward.

Last two photos are after I gave her a major defoliation.
So there are a few ways to handle top offs. Here is the easiest for your situation, then we can go deeper if you want.

Use a float valve in the res to set the water level. Plumb that float valve to your RO system. So as water is removed, it is replaced with RO.
Once a week or so do a res drain and replace. This includes nutes.
Only adjust PH between res changes as needed. If you are 100% healthy and your system is buffered, this will not be needed as PH will stay in the range you set it to and stay there for a week. Moving up or down from say 5.6 - 6.0 is a good and healthy thing for RDWC

So basically, you have 1 maintenance day a week. You are going to completely dump the res which will get rid of exudates and other potentially harmful imbalances, and reset your buffer and nute levels. Starting with RO when adding your nutes just manages all the imbalances. Even if you are a little off with your proportions for the stage of the plant, it will still have what it needs and the system will be very forgiving.

While the res is draining / filling, get out the snips and clean that girl up. Get rid of anything that will become larf. Get rid of the huge fan leaves that become less efficient solar panels with age. Make sure airflow is good. Watch very closely for pests of any kind. Perform any LST or canopy adjustments at this time. Confirm that lights are at the right height and the proper PPFD for your goals, which will change over the plant life. If you have control over spectrum, now would be the time for evaluating the plant response and adjusting as needed.

It takes me about 1/2 hour to drain and fill my 70 gal RDWC system, then another 15 minutes to get the nutes perfect and stirred, and final PH set. Once you get it dialed in, this 45 minutes a week is all the time that needs to be spent. You can spend more time primping and measuring things like brix or just in general fussing over plants, but that once a week thing is 90% of what you need to be successful.

You PPMs will drop thru the week. That's totally fine. You just can't push this to every 2 weeks or every month or you will get out of balance, too little feed and too much waste.


You can take the black plastic sheet off the hydroton now. There is no light getting thru that canopy and thru all that stuff to get to the roots. The plastic is OK, but air movement up thru the hydroton and past the stalk is a good thing to prevent fugus, especially on the stalk. Also it makes a spot that pests will find attractive, moving kind too but especially fungus. If you want to put a light block down there, make it permeable. but again not needed at this point.

Just one man's opinion - take it for what you paid for it - but you could use a little more aggressiveness with the scissors. I know that it seems counterintuitive to cut off perfectly good leaves / branches. But you are growing buds, not leaves. The leaves are only there to serve, or steal from bud sites. Make sure everything on that plant serves the bud sites, not steals from them be it light, air movement, nutrients, or environment.

SnipPic


I marked up your photo with red where I would 100% remove these suckers unless they are connected to the bud site you want to keep at the top.

Some rules of thumb

Nothing below the pots.
Stems of fan leaves that point down from where they start on the branch will most likely be culled.
Nothing touching the top of the pot.
The center part of the plant should not have many if any leaves. Not enough light to justify the air blocking they do.
Flowers that form low on the branches are destined to be larf later in life. Cut them all off as they happen (once a week) as they will only steal resources from colas.


Looks like this one will be your best harvest yet. Having a healthy plant from start to finish is always the goal. We do a lot of recoveries on this site for folks having issues, so it may seem like growing is a nail biting stressful experience to keep the plant green. It really isn't, we just get exposed to all the bad grows on this forum. Think about all the folks who only post problems. So things may appear skewed towards constant struggles growing if you spend any time on the forum. In real life, once you get to the knowledge level you are at you will pretty much always have a good grow going forward, and the fun part is trying to push them to great with new genetics or pushing the plants.
 
SweetLeafGrow

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Extremely SOLID advice Moe, thank you for taking the time to help with such a detailed post!

I will report back later this afternoon after I have had a chance to do the res change and trim/hack job 😅

I've also been looking at the bio-media blocks I have seen you suggest in the past. It won't be right away but I plan to get some of these as you have suggested for the microbe colony.

 
SweetLeafGrow

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Res change went well and I'm happy with the new Silica Boost in place of the Tree Trunk, seems to be a very strong base and does not add to the ppms, which kinda surprised me.

I went off the GH chart as a guide and dialed in a bit more aggressive feed this time to try to push the limits of what this gal can take, and learn a bit in the process, will keep a sharp eye on her for the next couple of days to see how she handles the higher nutrient levels. I think this may be a mistake but I want to see for myself what that might look like and how to remedy things (if needed), which I believe, if the nute levels are too high I can just dilute them down with some fresh RO water.

The light has been dialed up to 90%, temps sitting at 74F, 50% RH, leaf temp between 70F and 71.5F, Ph at 5.8, ppms at 1130, water temp around 66F and rising to the chiller limit set at 68F.

Also, hope to make you proud @Moe.Red with my most aggressive hack job I've ever done. I could have made 50 real nice clones from what I took off her. I am guessing I will see more sucker branches as things progress and I will take them off as needed.
 
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Moe.Red

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Yup, proud.

Not sure if you realize this, but very little of the vegetation left will make it to the end. Once you start the stretch, that is where the buds will form. All the stuff below either needs to directly support a bud site, improve the overall health of the plant (its in a spot where if it was missing you would be wasting photons) or it is scissor fodder. At least the way I do it. I want all the growth in the 12 or so buds and no where else. You want buds larger than your forearm and 18" long. At least if you are going for max yeild that a light can produce.

You see how the net pot is lifting up? I'm getting that too, I need to design a better way to deal with that.
 
SweetLeafGrow

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Not sure if you realize this, but very little of the vegetation left will make it to the end. Once you start the stretch, that is where the buds will form. All the stuff below either needs to directly support a bud site, improve the overall health of the plant (its in a spot where if it was missing you would be wasting photons) or it is scissor fodder. At least the way I do it. I want all the growth in the 12 or so buds and no where else. You want buds larger than your forearm and 18" long. At least if you are going for max yeild that a light can produce.
Yea I do understand and hear what you are saying, and I have learned a lot in this regard although I know I still have a ways to go. I've never had a plant so compact and robust at the same time and it's been a challenge. Thank you for steering me in the right direction!

You see how the net pot is lifting up? I'm getting that too, I need to design a better way to deal with that.
Yea, I did see that and just left it alone, wasn't sure what was causing it and I did not want to damage anything by trying to push it back down.
 
Moe.Red

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Yea I do understand and hear what you are saying, and I have learned a lot in this regard although I know I still have a ways to go. I've never had a plant so compact and robust at the same time and it's been a challenge. Thank you for steering me in the right direction!


Yea, I did see that and just left it alone, wasn't sure what was causing it and I did not want to damage anything by trying to push it back down.
So from what I see on mine, the plant gets top heavy and the little net cups are not enough to counterbalance the forces causing the plant to want to tip over. It's a geometry / physics thing. I have a new design rattling around in my brain, just gotta print them out. I'll send you an upgrade once I have this licked.

To you and @Madmax the simplest way to change plant morphology is with spectrum. To stretch these nodes out less blue more red from early on when you first noticed the "problem" would have triggered the plant to grow differently.
 
Madmax

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Yeah..I was going to mention that….I’ve had Different strains stretch out more as they were less indica dom.also I’ve ran a bigger temp gap between night and day temps help stretch..I used a pr of 6w far red pucks to speed up flower initiation for a couple grows and i was getting 2’ daily stretch lol..they did speed up flowering onset by 4-5days but I just couldn’t run them anymore..
 
Moe.Red

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Yeah..I was going to mention that….I’ve had Different strains stretch out more as they were less indica dom.also I’ve ran a bigger temp gap between night and day temps help stretch..I used a pr of 6w far red pucks to speed up flower initiation for a couple grows and i was getting 2’ daily stretch lol..they did speed up flowering onset by 4-5days but I just couldn’t run them anymore..
Experimenting with supplemental light is fun. I have LED bars in far red, UVA, and florescent UVB bulbs. On my last grow I was making Durban Poison (1000% sativa - nothing Indica about it) look like kush by pushing blue. It's just one more tool for optimizing a grow / genetic to meet your need.

You can pretty cheaply (DIY if you are handy) modify your spectrum if that appeals to you.
 
Dragonsflame

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every time i check out this thread makes me want to convert one my tents to DWC. cant wait to see flowering!

The mac dragon bx1 has the orange dreams in it - which is generally a very stocky, branchy af type line. Ill post some photos...
 
SweetLeafGrow

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Cruising along, starting week 3 flower and she is finally starting to stretch a bit. New blossoms forming and she is looking sharp!

I will be changing out the res tomorrow but would definitely be interested in learning from @Moe.Red or @Aqua Man the process of amending the res without changing it out completely. I don't mind doing that but I am seeing it will be a big waste of nutrients and additives. I'm using this new Silica Boost, which works well, but I have to add a lot more than the Tree Trunk and it has taken almost all week for the PH to settle down from the steady drop. This is the second res change using the Silica Boost and it seems to me that it takes almost a week to get the buffer capacity where it needs to be. If I can just amend the nutrients without a complete change out, this will preserve my buffering and my microbe colony. No big deal, I can make it to the end as is, but at some point I want to learn the art of the calculation of nutes.

It may not look like it, but I have pulled several large handfulls of leaves and probably 75 snips that could have made nice clones.
 
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Moe.Red

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Looking great.

The simplest way to amend nutes is to add in the right proportion to get to a target ppm.

Let’s say in your system you start at 0 ppm because you have RO. I’m gonna use round numbers to make the math easy. You then add 100 ml of cal mag and go to 100 ppm. You add 100 grow, flower and micro and each raise ppm by 100 so you are at 400. Your target is 800 so you add 100ml more of each.

Now let’s say you have not fed in a week and you are at 400 ppm.

If you change out no water and want to maintain the same ratio this week you add 100ml of each of the 4.

You will be roughly right.

You can get closer to ideal if you drain a refill 50% of your water and add 150ml of each.

Now plug in the real numbers for your system in the algorithm.

You can easily get away with this for weeks if things are going well. If you have anything start showing symptoms of nute imbalance just change out the whole res and you are back to baseline immediately.
 
Dragonsflame

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Cruising along, starting week 3 flower and she is finally starting to stretch a bit. New blossoms forming and she is looking sharp!

I will be changing out the res tomorrow but would definitely be interested in learning from @Moe.Red or @Aqua Man the process of amending the res without changing it out completely. I don't mind doing that but I am seeing it will be a big waste of nutrients and additives. I'm using this new Silica Boost, which works well, but I have to add a lot more than the Tree Trunk and it has taken almost all week for the PH to settle down from the steady drop. This is the second res change using the Silica Boost and it seems to me that it takes almost a week to get the buffer capacity where it needs to be. If I can just amend the nutrients without a complete change out, this will preserve my buffering and my microbe colony. No big deal, I can make it to the end as is, but at some point I want to learn the art of the calculation of nutes.

It may not look like it, but I have pulled several large handfulls of leaves and probably 75 snips that could have made nice clones.


DAMN she thick
 

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