Indoor Hydro/Fogponic grow - first grow diary - need advice.

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CruelSun

CruelSun

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Does not scare me at all. If you have a water report the only thing to look for would be sodium.
Did not have my water tested , but the water company website annual reports show no violations or high levels of sodium. My 95 PPM is squarely in the middle of the range listed in the report.

It will presumably have some chlorine in it so just let it sit for a day if you care about that. Some do not and are successful.

If you decide to go with automation and RO, you can do auto topoffs at close to 0 ppm with a cheap RO and a float valve like this


$13 for the float, and you can get RO under $100. Something to consider, because you need RO for fog anyhow. You run ultrasonics in straight tap water at a high rate and you will have issues with the minerals in the water.
I have a 55 gallon drum that I can fill with water and bubbler to off-gas The chlorine before the water is introduced to the reservoir.
For now, that tap water will need some downwards PH correction, but probably has adequate buffering to make running silica optional.
I have GH powdered pH Down, I will adjust the pH in the 55gal bubbler while it off-gases.

With GH trio, I'd just add the 95 on top of the chart numbers to start with. So if you are trying to hit 300ppm according to the chart, you will shoot for 400ppm because of the starting point.
Will do.

I am leaning toward building a DIY RDWC system similar to that offered by PA hydroponicsPA (4 plant RDWC). I'm planning on using the black totes with the yellow tops like you used in your fogoponic thread. I'm a little stuck on what size to use. I kind of like the 12 gallon size for grow totes and the 27 gallon for the reservoir. The tent is 5 by 5 so I could fit as large as 17 gallon grow totes. With the 12 gallon totes be a mistake if I could fit 17s?
One concern is height. I can only fit a 78-in tent in my room so I'm trying to find grow totes that are shorter in height. Hence the 12 gallon idea.

Is there a minimum distance from the bottom of the net pot to the nutrient level?
 
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Moe.Red

Moe.Red

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Did not have my water tested , but the water company website annual reports show no violations or high levels of sodium. My 95 PPM is squarely in the middle of the range listed in the report.


I have a 55 gallon drum that I can fill with water and bubbler to off-gas The chlorine before the water is introduced to the reservoir.

I have GH powdered pH Down, I will adjust the pH in the 55gal bubbler while it off-gases.


Will do.

I am leaning toward building a DIY RDWC system similar to that offered by PA hydroponicsPA (4 plant RDWC). I'm planning on using the black totes with the yellow tops like you used in your fogoponic thread. I'm a little stuck on what size to use. I kind of like the 12 gallon size for grow totes and the 27 gallon for the reservoir. The tent is 5 by 5 so I could fit as large as 17 gallon grow totes. With the 12 gallon totes be a mistake if I could fit 17s?
One concern is height. I can only fit a 78-in tent in my room so I'm trying to find grow totes that are shorter in height. Hence the 12 gallon idea.

Is there a minimum distance from the bottom of the net pot to the nutrient level?
Sounds fun.

The size of pot you need is dictated by the plants you run and how much head space you have. With a larger pot you can veg longer and get a bigger, taller plant overall. If you are limited in tent size, going huge on the pots does not make sense.

In the us those pots come in 13 and 8 gallon. Based on your post I would lean towards 8.
 
CruelSun

CruelSun

40
18
Sounds fun.

The size of pot you need is dictated by the plants you run and how much head space you have. With a larger pot you can veg longer and get a bigger, taller plant overall. If you are limited in tent size, going huge on the pots does not make sense.

In the us those pots come in 13 and 8 gallon. Based on your post I would lean towards 8.
Depends on where you go. My local Lowe's store has 5, 17 and 27 gallon. Home Depot has those and a whole assortment of intermediate sizes up to 55gal if I remember correctly. I'm leaning toward the 12 cause it is not as tall as a 5 gallon bucket (12.5" vs 14"), but even with some headspace under the net pot, it should have at least 5 gallons of liquid. Actually, the 17 is the same height as the 12 and four of them will definitely fit in the 5x5 grow space...

The plan is to fill a 5x5 screen with four plants. Which should limit the amount of veg time I need and the size of each plant. What size net pot would be too small? I have seen it least one denizen of the interwebs advocating the use of 4-in pot... I'm leaning toward a six" because I think 8-in is way too big for a plant that's not going to be gigantic. But the 4-in would take less headspace in the tote, so more new solution and more room for fog if I go that far.
 
CruelSun

CruelSun

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When determining volume of nutrient solution isn't more volume better, within reason? Would that not add to the stability of the system?
 
CruelSun

CruelSun

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They had two feet of roots which I had to trim down to about 3" when I set them in the 5.5" net pots and some old growth leaves that looked funky... But the new growth leaves look real good. So I trimmed off the bad leaves and gave them a light feeding. I plan to top each of them above the 3rd node in a couple days and try to keep the tops alive as clones.

PXL 20230114 201510686
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CruelSun

CruelSun

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18
These are 4 Grandaddy Purples given to me by a friend who cloned them all from the same mother.
 
Mikedin

Mikedin

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Thank you for the link. I did some reading on supercropping, LST, HST, etc. Seems that everybody has their own fancy name for what seems similar to what I've been doing for years...

I have received the TDS /EC and pH pen kit. Watched a couple videos on how to calibrate. Unanswered question is: can I keep the pH calibration solutions for some period of time (stored properly in separate pint mason jars)? I feel that I would be much more likely to calibrate occasionally if I had ready-made solutions to perform the task.
That said, how often does the pH Pen really need to be calibrated if it is rinsed and dried after each use and stored with it's cap on?
Yes, I bought my own calibration solutions and use the same pens. Be warned they do go bad especially if you don’t keep the bulb hydrated. Mine lasted about 9 months before I noticed readings I shouldn’t have been getting, so not bad at all for $20 I actually just got a new one last week,

I do suggest buying pre mixed calibration solutions, I bought mine off Amazon it was about $15 and i calibrate about once every 2 weeks
 
Mikedin

Mikedin

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They had two feet of roots which I had to trim down to about 3" when I set them in the 5.5" net pots and some old growth leaves that looked funky... But the new growth leaves look real good. So I trimmed off the bad leaves and gave them a light feeding. I plan to top each of them above the 3rd node in a couple days and try to keep the tops alive as clones.

View attachment 1320247View attachment 1320248View attachment 1320252
That one leaf in the 1st pic that looks very white, is that powdery mildew on the leaf making it white like that? Or is it just the angle of the picture?
 
CruelSun

CruelSun

40
18
That one leaf in the 1st pic that looks very white, is that powdery mildew on the leaf making it white like that? Or is it just the angle of the picture?
I'm hoping it's not powdery mildew, but the clones were someone overgrown and packed together in the cloning machine before I took these four from my friend.
They now have plenty of light, airflow and low humidity so I'm hoping it won't continue to be a problem.
 
CruelSun

CruelSun

40
18
I'm hoping it's not powdery mildew, but the clones were someone overgrown and packed together in the cloning machine before I took these four from my friend.
They now have plenty of light, airflow and low humidity so I'm hoping it won't continue to be a problem.
 
Kraken.headz

Kraken.headz

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Oof, something is happening there. Had he treated those clones with something?
 
CruelSun

CruelSun

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18
I'm pretty sure that that was powdery mildew, so after trimming off the affected leaves, I gave them a spraying with Dilute milk solution and ordered up some potassium bicarbonate and sprayed them with that the following day. Have not seen any further issues with the mildew so far but have had some trials chemically so far... My pH has risen up to seven plus a few times. I mixed up a gallon of nutes to 220ppm, corrected the pH to 6.5 and soaked the net pots in it intermittently over a few days and then found that my pH was at 7.2. I corrected it back to 6.0 and the next day it was at 7.0 again, so I corrected it to 5.5 . But then I checked the PPM and it was over 700...?? I am using GH powdered pH down for adjustment. Is that adding to my EC?
I mixed the new gallon of nutes this morning using a gallon of distilled water I had. P. H. 5.5 /220 ppm. I'll check it again when I get home from work this evening.
 
CruelSun

CruelSun

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I have four plants in net pots each in its own small bubbler just to keep them happy until I build the rest of the hydro system.
PXL 20230121 142934144


I have been paying close attention to my pH and PPM over the past day and a half (as I probably should have been all along...)
Due to the problems mentioned in my previous post, I started yesterday morning with a fresh gallon (distilled water) of nutes adjusted to pH 5.5 and 220 PPM GH Flora series 3part. I pour the nutes through the hydroton and let it sit under the net pot and bubble. 12 hours or so later when I come back, I lift the plants out and pour the nutes into a container, The pH is now at 6.5 or higher and the PPM around 330... Each of the three times since Friday morning I have gone through this process, I readjust the pH to 5.5 and note that the PPM has risen a bit. So this morning after adjusting the pH, my PPM is now in the 600s.
I am just learning this, so I'm a bit lost...

~Why is my pH rising?
--- could the tiny amount of potassium bicarbonate mixture that I sprayed on the leaves 5 days ago be causing all this pH rise?

~Why is my PPM rising?
--- is the pH down causing all the PPM rise?
--- I am losing a little bit to evaporation but not more than 10% since Friday morning, so that shouldn't be it..?


~ Should I be using fresh newts (~1/2gal) for each feeding?

~ Will this continue to be a problem when I have a much higher volume of nute liquid in the RDWC system?

The older leaves kind of look like crap, but the plants are finally starting to grow a week after I root pruned and settled them into these net pots. The new growth is a bit pale but that could be due to the weak nutes I've been using while waiting for them to get over transplant shock...
PXL 20230121 143002146MP
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CruelSun

CruelSun

40
18
@Moe.Red

The hydro system is finally built!
PXL 20230215 114732674
PXL 20230215 114745018

4 17gal grow totes with a 27gal reservoir tote. A 200 gph pump feeds the grow totes through 1/2" PVC and drains back through 2" PVC. Reservoir return flows through a filter sock to protect the pump from debris. The same pump is used to drain the system after turning 2 ball valves.
An air stone in each tote, 2 in the res and 2 in the 55gal drum that I use to off-gas chlorine from the tap water, all fed from a single air pump. The air pump and bubbler are in another room to keep the noise out of the grow room.
I also installed 3/4" PVC into each grow tote in case I decide to go fogoponic...
PXL 20230226 143015360


The girls had been living and growing in the individual temporary bubble buckets under 1000W Metal halide. I tied bamboo skewers to the net pots and used LST, after initial topping, to tie the plants down to the skewers, getting a head start on spreading them out to fill the 5' square grow tent. They have now been in the new system for 2 weeks and I have been continuing the LST, tying them down to the grow tote lids.
They are growing well and seem extremely healthy, with bright green new growth and deep green, almost purple tinged, older leaves.
PXL 20230226 143242028

The plant closest in the foreground was just tied down again this morning, so it looks a bit strange.

Next task is to get the ventilation system finished. I installed a 6" exhaust duct from the basement grow room, up the side of the house and above the roof line, and a 4" duct as a fresh air intake. The exhaust duct will allow me to get the smell and humidity out of the house and keep negative pressure in the grow tent/room without using a carbon filter.
PXL 20230129 214754508
I'm going to build a filter box inline to the 4"air intake to block pollen/mold/critters/etc from the incoming air.
I have a large dehumidifier that I'll control with a wifi connected controller and a 6" duct fan managed by the same app.
Supporting and draining the dehumidifier in a top corner of the tent is still to be worked out. It's a bit heavy to just hang for the tent structure at almost 30 pounds dry... I'm thinking of supporting most of the weight from the floor with a frame made of 3/4"PVC, and hanging it from above to keep it in place. The support frame would block an insignificant amount of light from one plant, probably below the canopy level.
 
Moe.Red

Moe.Red

5,044
313
@Moe.Red

The hydro system is finally built!View attachment 1335078View attachment 1335079
4 17gal grow totes with a 27gal reservoir tote. A 200 gph pump feeds the grow totes through 1/2" PVC and drains back through 2" PVC. Reservoir return flows through a filter sock to protect the pump from debris. The same pump is used to drain the system after turning 2 ball valves.
An air stone in each tote, 2 in the res and 2 in the 55gal drum that I use to off-gas chlorine from the tap water, all fed from a single air pump. The air pump and bubbler are in another room to keep the noise out of the grow room.
I also installed 3/4" PVC into each grow tote in case I decide to go fogoponic...View attachment 1335094

The girls had been living and growing in the individual temporary bubble buckets under 1000W Metal halide. I tied bamboo skewers to the net pots and used LST, after initial topping, to tie the plants down to the skewers, getting a head start on spreading them out to fill the 5' square grow tent. They have now been in the new system for 2 weeks and I have been continuing the LST, tying them down to the grow tote lids.
They are growing well and seem extremely healthy, with bright green new growth and deep green, almost purple tinged, older leaves. View attachment 1335095
The plant closest in the foreground was just tied down again this morning, so it looks a bit strange.

Next task is to get the ventilation system finished. I installed a 6" exhaust duct from the basement grow room, up the side of the house and above the roof line, and a 4" duct as a fresh air intake. The exhaust duct will allow me to get the smell and humidity out of the house and keep negative pressure in the grow tent/room without using a carbon filter.View attachment 1335096 I'm going to build a filter box inline to the 4"air intake to block pollen/mold/critters/etc from the incoming air.
I have a large dehumidifier that I'll control with a wifi connected controller and a 6" duct fan managed by the same app.
Supporting and draining the dehumidifier in a top corner of the tent is still to be worked out. It's a bit heavy to just hang for the tent structure at almost 30 pounds dry... I'm thinking of supporting most of the weight from the floor with a frame made of 3/4"PVC, and hanging it from above to keep it in place. The support frame would block an insignificant amount of light from one plant, probably below the canopy level.
Wow you got it going on!
 
CruelSun

CruelSun

40
18
Here's the concept for the air intake filter box . With the addition of a whole bunch of duct tape and two 4-in duct takeoffs this can be in line, attached to the ceiling and out of my way.

PXL 20230226 1651369032
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I played with a bunch of smallish air filters and totes till I found a combination that would allow me to do this, and result in a compact package.
Under $30 bucks plus duct tape...
 
CruelSun

CruelSun

40
18
Dehumidifier supported from below with a bunch of 3/4 inch PVC that I reclaimed from an earlier project.
PXL 20230226 235747553
Couple of hours, two grow tent hangers and $0 for the PVC.
I still have to run a drain line, but in the short term I can just empty the bucket.
 
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