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Old 05-19-2017, 08:08 PM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline
Replies: 41
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Sojourn into hydro land with Strawberry Cough

Hi all, welcome to my second journal. My first journal over a year ago now was done using an Aquaponic system.

I was very pleased with the results and was very much looking forward to pushing aquaponics further and doing another run asap. Add one part land lord drama forcing a move and another part new baby and well ... I'm jut now getting back into it.

Sadly, I don't have enough space to do indoor aquaponics right now. This IMO is the most critical limitation for aquaponics as it pertains specifically to heavy feeding plant varieties. Meaning, you really need minimum 200 gallons to do aquaponics properly, IMO, and this really limits how small you can go. that all said, had to do hydro.

The goals for this grow:
1) learn the manifold technique
2) use a bare bulb and grow vertically around it
3) See if I can hit 2g/watt
4) apart from the AC unit, try to keep the noise of the entire system under 50dB
5) run an 18 hour light cycle (12/6 - 6/12) and see how that works.

The stats/gear:
3x3 tent
1 x 315w phillips CMH/LEC 4K running bare bulb/remote ballast
DWC top fed hydro build using DIY reservoir
RO water shooting for 5.8-6.2 PH
Exhale co2 bag
3 x Strawberry cough
3 x Critical Kush as alternates if required

The nutes:
Emerald Harvest A/B
Emerald Harvest Sturdy Stalk (silica)
Emerald Harvest CalMAG (waste of money, not because it isn't a good product tho)
MaxiCrop Liquid Seaweed
Organic Black Strap Molasseses
Great white
Hoffman's Hydrated lime (this is why the calmag above is a waste. hydrated lime is cheaper and contains the same stuff)

So there you go, lucky for you all this grow is already 29 days in and I have a lot of pics already so stay tuned.

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Old 05-20-2017, 12:55 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
These 3 pics are from April 21rst so not quite a month ago - the seedlings going into the DIY top feed DWC.

May 1 a few days later

again on May 6th

Up to this point I'd never done pure hydroponics, i've always been an aquaponics guy. Tons of bleed over and I'm finding myself to be quite comfortable.

At this point though I know I've got a problem. Well, let me step back a bit.

This run started with me hoping to run 6 plants, 3 x S Cough and 3 x Critical Cure, the critical cures all failed. 2 of 5 just didn't germinate the other 3 all had .. idk SIDS? They popped, looked ok, and then all 3 just died. Its times like these that I feel like I did something wrong but I'm not seeing what ... anyway.

So plan A didn't happen and I reached for the fastest finishing Indica I currently have and hope I can 'catch up' to the 9-11 week S-Cough.

That may 6th pic then are 3 x S-cough and 3 x Crit Kush instead of the Crit cure.

Great ... but I can already see the inevitable happening and the S Coughs just rapidly out pacing the seedlings. Further - due to work/travel etc, unstable power on this ciruit, and random other shit ... i don't have a veg area to make use of the cuttings i need to take from the S coughs to prevent them from getting too bushy and starting the manifold process ...

... so i have to just let them grow.

And grow they do. That is from the 15th of may. However, I've been planning during this time and this is also from the 15th ...

Hooray! Veg space! Still no cloner and my power situation is worse. For those wondering that LeD bar is a USA Heatsinks 5" x .. 5/16" x 28"? I think ... anyway large heatsink with 3 x Bridgelux v29 v2s under it with ... well here is a pic

Super shitty hack of a design ... but it works and is a fantastic amount of light. I run them with the dimmer turned as low as possible.

So now I have the space but I still have power problems but ...

As you can see the plants don't give a shit about my physical realities and as you can see - I'm out of time. If I continue on the S Coughs are just going to crowd out the Kush's ... and I still don't have a fucking cloner nor is my power stable.

Fuck it ... as this all is going on i'm trying to design in my head a better DWC res and came up with the below. I like it better, still has some room for improvement though.

All that happened on the 15th. On the 16th I moved the S Coughs to their new home and moved the existing DWC into the new veg area. Hooked all the lights up behind UPS and crossed my fingers as the power guy had to push a day and that means ... well i had some power stability issues. Anyway, some shots from the migration.

roots lookin great

New homes

From the 17th

Note how much more 'perked' up the leaves are. I'm not running a chiller and disolved O2 levels were a concern going in to this. I upgraded the air pump and reduced the plant numbers. That in addition to a water change and these plants went from a bit droopy to crazy vibrant.

From yesterday aka the day my power situation was resolved. BTW anyone in San Diego that has power problems PM me. The electrician who helped me is a total bro and has a grow himself.

And from just a few moments ago

So now you're all caught up. Next step is to top the strawberries and start pulling them towards the walls. We'll see how that goes. While the stalks aren't too woody yet, i've never seen stalks this thick this early and ... well this growth rate in general is pretty silly. if i were doing regular SCROG i'd flip the schedule pretty much right meow or maybe even a few days ago but that isn't what i'm going for.

anyway, i'd classify this as voracious and determined growth.

hoping to do the cutting/cloning tomorrow but whenever i get around to it i'll post pics and updates. also need to probably give more detail around certian parts of my setup. for now, enjoy the pics and ask questions if you have any.
Old 05-23-2017, 02:40 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
Well a few days have passed and I've had to deal with some problems.

First, gotta chop the Strawberries and hopefully get some clones out of them. However, that can't be priority one because the closet space I need to clone isn't ready and can't get ready without riggin up some ventilation as the temp in there is too high and worse - the kushlings are starting to smell.

So I have to setup the closet properly - or - more properly. To do this will require the 8" carbon filter that was under my big ole canmax 8" fan. Great fan BTW, just it was always intended for my 4x4 downstairs in the unsealed sometimes hot garage. even on the lowest setting it is gross overkill for this tent. I also have a canfan 66 filter again intended for downstairs but its what I have and I have problems to solve and not much time left to solve them in.

Step 1: Clean up what can only be classified as an on the fly engineering disaster …

Ugh .. so all I can say is it was a functional ‘working’ setup - and an obvious eye sore. This room also being my office and I have to look at that all the time … no thanks.

first we have to prep the new filter.

weather stripping under the flange, hold flange in place, screw in 6 x self tapping sheet metal screws, connect 6” duct, install 6” terabloom booster fan in ducting. pretty simple. Now turn off and pull out all the old 8” duct. With ducting out of the way, install the new filter/duct/fan on top of the tent like so

Forgot to add, go to home depot and buy a precut 2’ x 4’ section of 3/4” MDF and cut off a foot … unless you already have some 3/4” MDF in which case cut it to size and then using vinyl strapping, secure the filter to the board and lift. Now the ugly mess is almost 100% wife approved …

… almost the window insert needs to be redone with foam board. luckily that foam board can also be used elsewhere.

Real quick want to mention the Terrabloom 6” duct fan. This is an inline style fan, as in, designed to go INSIDE the duct. Obviously it isn’t one of the larger bell housing higher output fans. This fan is under 200CFM and I got it knowing it may not be enough airflow but hoping it would be … well … it just isn’t quite up to the challenge. that said, i love the form factor and the fan is extremely quiet so I have another on the way and will run 2 of these fans each with a 4” carbon filter on it.

Why? Why two lower flow fans versus a higher output 6”? The higher output fans are higher wattage. Further, the quiet ones are expensive. I know, the canmax 8” I have wasn’t cheap … great fan that also is quiet (relative to being 8”). Now, price in and of itself isn’t a problem for me. 2 x terrablooms isn’t so much less expensive that i wouldn’t buy the larger more powerful fan so why two?

three reasons.

First the least important one, but, risk is a factor. having two of something means if i have an exhaust fan failure i lose 50% of my exhaust potential vs 100% with a single fan failure. Not a big risk as most of these type of inline fans run for years. However, worth considering.

Second reason, and IMO the most important reason, efficiency. In this case, I can set one fan to run when the lights are on and another to run 24/7. When it comes time to dry, i can then set the fan speed controller on the 24/7 fan low to maintain negative pressure and control smell but keep total airflow down so i can do a proper slow dry.

Lastly they’re super simple to install and otherwise work with. not that other inline fans are some arcane devices impossible to work with, just that these things are very small and light making them real simple.

So thats that, i’ll be running 2 of those in the 3x3 soon so I can have the flexibility for more fine grained control of airflow and so when the lights are off i’m running the fewest watts and decibels possible.

All that is now done, onto the closet veg space.

Well, let’s see how bad it is.

Terrible rat’s nest and need to move one of the plants to make it easier to work in. Now, I did a bunch of crap inside the closet all of which ended in … mmm partial failure? No point explaining it all as the new design will actually be nice and much more functional. Essentially I taped and or stapled poly film and well, it just didn’t produce a workable solution.

I made a couple of side panels out of cardboard and a home depot yard stick for support then wrapped that in panda poly film. cut a hole for a 6-4 reducer, and then cut it to size. that all looks like …

and the final product …

Eventually I’ll put in a proper 4” filter to reduce the footprint even more - perhaps even mounting it up and behind the door idk yet. for now i am mostly pleased with this conceptually. the cut out card board looks like a second grade science fair project but hey … mine is a working process. this all gets torn out and re-done using a foam board, a spring tension curtain rod, shower curtain eye hooks, more poly film, and command strips. I’ll write up and take pics of that this hopefully this next weekend.

Want to see what the girls looked like before the haircut?

… but then they got cut. more on that soon
Old 05-23-2017, 05:25 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11

lets hope those aren't the sexiest pics from this grow.

now - like most people with any interest in this hobby - i'd read the articles. which articles? google cannabis mainline or manifold technique. there are great articles on pretty much every cannabis forum and elsewhere no point rehashing. this always interested me and since i'm in a very confined space having the ability to shape the plants to my needs seemed the right fit.

here goes ... *opens one of aforementioned links again on the screen*

which node again? third node? above it? uh huh ... between the 3rd n 4th you say ...

in hindsight choosing the one with the least space to work with as your first ever victim of this butchering is not the ideal route but ...

the after math

but wait ... chop them to practically nothing isn't enough pain you said? oh you are a naughty one - and i agree. back in the serious - we need to get some of these branches to the walls. i guess what better time than now? please excuse the terrible tape job this is a tarrentino post and i'm not telling it in exactly the same order but i'm fairly tired after a full day at this point so ... yeah

while that last one is particularly terrible looking i'll have you know it is perfectly sustaining the weight and allowing it to sway in the breeze ... is bullshit but sounds good.

now all that led to these

obviously it was many more than that but you've all seen clones so one last one of the sad clones about 20m after going into the cloner and then the next 'morning' -

looking pretty ok.

The lights just came on a few minutes ago making this the start of the second full cycle since the chop. Let's see how quickly they recover in this 12 on 6 off light cycle. I just had a peak and compared to this final pic my next update in a few days is leaning towards a positive update. until then i give you

what is dead can never die ...

Old 05-27-2017, 03:40 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
What's done is done - the morning after

and then the evening light cycle

At this point - I'm not sure what to think. The plants appear stalled. Leaves kinda droopy and I generally feel like I may have just killed them.

All the pics from the 23rd are on my phone and just haven't updated them. Nothing really worth showing. One thing of note had an AC malfunction and the temp ran deep into the 90s for a few hours on the 23rd.

Then on the 24th ...

Hmm - could be shock. Those bottom leaves weren't looking fantastic anyway prior to the cut as they were largely crowded out from the light. However this looks like calmag deficiency to me and I'm fairly sure it's the wife's fault. And by that I mean, I fucked up the conversion and didn't have her add enough. Further, I overshot with the PH down and had to compensate with Hydrated Lime ... this threw me off even further as calmag is in Hydrated lime ... anyway so my fault and 90% sure this is the culprit as I do use RO water.


The top leaves look fine. However I've been keeping an eye on it.

Saw some new growth on the left wall plant, not where we want it but a good sign the plant is alive and still trying.

That brings us to yesterday the 25th.

Confidence in the clone bucket is growing. Small amount of CloneX in the water and brought the PH down from 7.2 ish to 6.5ish but otherwise haven't touched a thing.

Now we're all caught up, time for today's report.

Finally starting to breath a bit of a sigh of relief. Swapped the water out today and put in 15G regular RO water and then 5G of tea. My tea is just molasses + scoop of great white and a splash of kelp me kelp you ... cause it was in arms reach. Added nutes, PH down, etc.

Because I'm a bit concerned with water temps, ordered a 1/10th HP chiller and also a 30 pint dehumidifier. Those should be the last purchases for this room.

Ran a decibel meter app on my phone the other day and with the AC compressor off the dB in the room reads 56, above my target. I have some plans to resolve that and also the second 6" duct fan isn't working as well as planned - and I have an idea for that too.

On the list of todo items then:
-Build a MDF box around the AC unit complete with 1/2" foam liner

-Get thermostat switch so the AC can totally shut off at times

-Using a 6-4" reducer make a heat exhaust sleeve to go over the bare bulb. run power cord up the 4" conduit, pop hole, duct tape hole, draw air over the bulb and exhaust it out.

-Install chiller on Sunday (thx amazon!)

-Redo veg closet this time MUCh simpler and much more effective.

-Another clone bucket so I can chop the Kushlings

At this point the only real effort should be primarily LST with a few more super crops here n there. If the stuff I've read is all true then these 3 plants will grow out 8 main colas each and those can be ... well as long as they can be. We'll be tying them back to the walls but otherwise not worrying about height.

Thanks for tuning in, more soon.
Old 05-29-2017, 06:37 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
Will keep it brief (ish) tonight - the status as of a few minutes ago

May not look all that great at the moment but what I'm seeing is a pretty good turn around.

Yesterday I spent a bit of time wrenching down everything that I could. A few of the branches that I cropped and bent hard I still haven't fully secured those - they're both still recovering. THis one though ...

Isn't going anywhere. I took a single flex wire, made a loop and twist tied it to the main branch between node 1 and node 2 then pulled it down where i wanted. Then with the same long wire loop through that eye hole on the plastic bin a few times to make sure it isn't going anywhere.

Now, still with the same wire, make another pass through the space between node 2/3, and then again between 3/4.

Now with one wire the whole branch is strapped down.

The other thing I do that I presume someone else has thought of is use twist tie wire (the bread like stuff not the aforementioned thicker wire) and passing around the tent poles all the way to the front poles. this way I can adjust the tension without leaning all the way into the back.

Yesterday I also installed a new window AC unit. The portable Soleus air 13K is almost 5 years old now and it just didn't feel like a 13K unit anymore - so it had to go. Costco has the Danby 12K so I got that.

and the tall fan bundle. that window AC unit is great. Now the heat from the AC is all outside as is much of the noise. This one also has an auto off function once it hits its set point. That tall fan is also ideal to blow air around and behind the tent.

Earlier today the other two essential components arrived. BnD 30 pint dehumidifier and an aquachill 1/10th HP chiller.

I might get to the veg closet tomorrow however it may wait. The kushlings are at the point where I need to either chop them into clones or take them to flower. Can't do that in the 3x3 so I'll be getting my garage 4x4 going and moving the kushlings down there. hopefully finish those before it gets too hot. Once the kushlings are moved out then I can redo the closet which will now be a big ole project ... hooray.

Anyway 3 more shots - 2 of the soon to be main colas ...

... and as we all know .... what is dead can never die!

till next time ...
Old 05-31-2017, 04:13 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
Quick update.

Looking good. Lots of lime color new growth.

I am slightly surprised that the right wall appears to be recovering slowest. Prior to the chop it was the largest most healthy looking plant by far. I'm not really sure what to make of it, the least impressive prior to the chop is now the most vigorous. fall down a well eyes go crossed, get kicked in the head by a mule they go back to normal ... idk.

Will have a more lengthy update soon - the kushling's new home is about 70% completed and that will hopefully make for an interesting write up.
Old 06-08-2017, 09:40 PM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
Ugh, work is getting in the way of updates.

At any rate, here is where we are.

apologies on the pics, still trying to find the right settings for high unreflected light. that said, what i'm looking at is recovery and rapid growth rate again.

They're drinking around 3-5 gallons a day ATM. PH is being pulled down very aggressively. Now, in aquaponics this is natural and part of the nitrogen cycle, as plants uptake nitrates, nitric acid is created.

this is hydro though and i need to read some more to see if this cycle is 1) at play, and 2) a primary driver. Meaning, if the plants in hydro are rapidly taking out the SIlica as well as the calmag that buffer the PH (keeping it high), if the plants uptake if this alone is causing the PH to plummet or is this in concert with the natrual nitrogen cycle.

idk yet, but, i'm having to keep a close eye on it.

also, if the pics didnt suck you'd see a bit of blight on the left front lady.

i thought this may have been pythium, but nothing I've found on th subject matches exactly what i was seeing a few days ago.

Now, new groth on these plants even before i chopped them was always lime green however it would flush out to the emerald green typically within the same light cycle but always within the second. so, earlier in the time between posts i was seeing tons of very lime green growth, and it was lasting for days.

i thought nitrogen defficiency, but i had the right amount of nutes and havent been under 550ppm on the EC meter ... ever. I know there is nitrogen in there.

the other could be lack of sulfur. this is possible, so i dosed hydrated lime as the PH was also coming down fast. no real turn around. some slight improvement, but no turn around.

ok wtf.

complete water change, redose nutes, ph stable ... cool. a day passes ... still lime. the next day, recovery starts.

odd. none of that matches exactly to either nitrogen, nor sulfur deficiency IMO. Could be Pythium ... but the roots while not pasty white look as good as the roots from my previous aquaponics experience ... so i dont think this is it either.

so now i'm thinking i chopped them too late in their life cycle causing severe stress which exhibited itself as lime green leaves, some minor blight on lower leaves, generally stalled growth ... then a rapid turn around.

my working theory is now this, and, is beginning to show up on the kushlings too.

Chopped those 4 days ago. On day 2, lime green leaves. On day 3 and 4 ... minor blight on the lower leaves.

Excellent! Correlation ... but not enough for causation. To prove this theory will require me to run a test next run. 1 tent chop the moment we have 6 nodes. Tent 2, wait till around the same time that I chopped these girls.

Observe. If nothing useful comes of this then it was either nitrogen, sulfur, or minor pytium ... or a combo of all or two of those.

For now I'm just glad this ... wetf it was occurred during veg.

Presuming this rate of growth continues, i'll be flipping to flower ... 7-9 days from now. I want the colas to be a touch over half way up the net then i'll flip.

This weekend i have a lot of work planned.

finally redo the closet veg area
move the kushlings to their new home
move the 6 best clones from the cloner into their new veg space.

of those 3, i have to get the plants moved so the closet redo takes a back seat and likely slip to next weekend ... ugh.

speaking of clones - i haven't touched them.

compare that to earlier shots, they're clearly healthy alive and a few have grown so I need to do something with them soon or lose them.

And, my CO2 bag.

I'd say the company's stated timeline of 9-15 days ramp up time for output (3 months for peak iirc) is fairly spot on. the shroom colony is growing rapidly, no idea what the output is and don't really care. this thing does appear to work as a low maintenance CO2 generator though.

and the last for today, the knuckles from the super cropping.

strong like bull

as always thanks for reading and should have an update after the weekend.
Old 06-09-2017, 11:42 PM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11

Maybe. Still need peer review, and since that isn't happening i'll have to settle for experience via future runs.

I thought I'd have to wait till next run to get more info on this lime green situation, but I was wrong.

The kushlings needed the final chop on each arm to limit these arms to 4 nodes on each arm. 4 nodes, 2 colas a node, 8 colas. Well today was the day. Not even thinking about it, I made the cuts.

Nephew dropped by, we shacked a bowl from my new plenty vaporizer (so worth every penny) and shot the shit. 30m goes by and he wanted to see the plants.

WTF! Why are the leaves ... wait oh shit ... I think I found my causation.

Again, I've never run this method before and the articles I read never mentioned this so, here is what I'm seeing.

When a cut is made on a main stem, all nodes beneath the cut turn lime green within an hour and remain so for in my case up to 4-5 days.

Why though? This, i'd love for someone with actual knowledge to help me with.

What is going on here? Is the plant "re-finding" and or rebuilding the capillaries or something? It almost looks as though the plant is struggling to push nutrients up the branches for a bit which would make sense as this stress appears to be manifesting itself as a mobile nutrient deficiency in this case, a nitrogen deficiency.

I feel much better now after seeing this. Wasn't sure wtf was going on and was really concerned I may have had some Pythium - but - I think I'm good now.
Old 06-12-2017, 07:29 PM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
Real quick one to be followed soon by a very exhaustive write up covering everything I did this weekend. For now, just some pics.

First though, over 15K views? Wasn't expecting that, thank you. If you keep reading I'll keep writing ;-).

The girls

My 7-9 days to flower estimate was pretty close. I may just select Thursday to be lights off all day and flip them then. IDK that I can control all this growth - but i'll have fun trying ;-).

In the 3x3 I'm struggling to find anymore happiness than I have. Really feeling good about this space now.

But what about the veg closet and the kushlings?

and they're gone ... to their new home

One of these days I may wrap those buckets in poly film for an even bigger Mac store feel, for now though, I'm just glad I got it mostly all done.

Then there are these bastards

Completely fucked me. So frustrated, I thought I had a great fucking idea and honestly I'm pleased with how simple the idea is and how inexpensive. Anyway, bought a bunch of rope light shit over a year ago and just never played with it as much as i wanted. In the OP I link to my old grow, in there I made a 'budsaber' that was pretty neat, not relevant for this grow but it got me started.

Anyway, so the interstrip connectors I bought over a year ago .. not the right ones. I did test out each strip and even aligator clip tested the whole thing, it is a fantastic amount of light given the cost of the strip. All in that strip will run 100W and put out I'm guessing around 2K lumens.

This goes in the 3x3 and i'll run them down low and behind the plants. I have run these literally touching plants before and there was only minor damage and even that was because the budsaber fell over onto a plant. When I resolved that situation these LEDs never again burned a plant. Meaning, I'm not concerned and this should be just enough supplemental for that area.

In addition to those, I have 3 more 16.4' rolls. I'm already planning a second set of these to have one more level of height, then, possibly, leveraging a third set of these for top down lighting.

On amazon right now ordering the proper connectors for these as well as different power connectors.

Closet veg area is also pretty much done. Picking up some odds n ends today to finish that. once I do, i'll write up a much more detailed post on the whys/hows/whats.

Thanks again for the views.

p.s. just got in some Rainbow kush, Pot of Gold, Night Nurse, and Mangolicious seeds. At least one Rainbow will get cracked and run next, but, Id be happy to take requests. I also have Blue Dream, Chem Dawg, and 4 more Crit Kush seeds. My thoughts, 2 x blue dream and 2 x rainbow kush and hope for the most colorful photos of a 3x3 tent ever ... ;-).
Old 06-13-2017, 06:35 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
Work conspired to ruin my day with ... you know ... 'real work'. As a result I couldn't get the new Veg space done.

I can talk about the new 4x4 though. First, an updated image from moments ago.

This is the 3rd light cycle since moving these. Not gunna lie, bit of root damage on one of the clones middle left. Compare the first link from the last post to this one ... nice turn around.

About to go back and dose the res. I've been cycling essentially (great white, molasses, kelp me kelp you) compost tea for a few days prior to moving plants in. Apart from that it is just RO water.

Let's talk about the tent though. Nothing too fancy

8" Qmax that was initially part of the 3x3 setup .. remember that ugly beast?

I love these fans. No, they're not inexpensive, the opposite of that in fact. They're not small in footprint either, again, the opposite of that. They do however move a fantastic amount of air and do so very quietly.

For now, that is the only fan.

Moved the custom LED bar from the closet veg area to the tent along side a second one. Both running full bore now though.

That is 6 x Bridgelux Vero 29v2 4K CoBs driven by the same Meanwell driver that is in one of the pics above.

Anyway, 500W of actual output 2 x 250 per driver. Each CoB is somewhere around 10K lumens output - aka a fantastic amount of light. I do need to get some reflectors for these to focus the output however for now this'll do.

In addition to those I have a 300W actual output marshydro I can bring in if this tent threatens to out grow these two.

Cooling them is a simple 9" desk fan. These heatsinks were sized specifically to be cooled like this. I've seen guys do PC fans using either a step down converter to leach some 12V or run an additional 12V power supply to run one or many PC fans. I'm sure those work, I went this route because once I get it mounted to the support bars and zip tied down I'll get cooling as well as some airflow at the plants all for like $13. Further, no need to run other power supplies, no converters, real simple.

Not saying I'm right and everyone else is wrong, just saying thats why I went this way.

I have some better shots of the prebuilt res somewhere, just can't remember which device has them.

These 2 x 27G tough totes are zip tied together at the pre-cut holes on each side. Highly recommend this as it really helps whenever you need to move it around.

Initially I tried using screw down bulk heads because I figured the flat sides of the totes would make these the best. Yeah, don't waste the money and get Uniseals. Uniseals + Barbed fittings = zero leaks. Tested this with standing water filled to the lip with and without weight distributed awkwardly to put odd stress on the tote frames.

Nothing, not a drop. The threaded bulkheads didn't leak bad but did leak. I'd say maybe a shop towel a day worth of leak. Enough that it just wasn't going to work, my engineering ADD didn't even let me move to any real stress testing I just rejected it outright.

Uniseals though, phenomenal.

Went with 3 of those in the 3/4" size. This gives me over 2" worth of pathway to shuffle water back and forth. When testing the threaded seals, I started with only a single path between the totes but filling and draining were a gigantic problem. Felt like I was in the military I was hurrying up to wait so frequently. 3 x pathways though and once you get past about an inch above the connectors the water leveling is almost instant and draining is solid until the first connector siphon breaks.

I like the design a lot. Had I chosen the correct seals the first time this would have been a very inexpensive design too. That design is essentially.

2 x 27G Tough tote storage containers
9 x 3/4" Uniseal
6 x 3/4" straight barbed connectors
6 x 3/4" hose clamp (some don't use these, it's $6 to prevent the wife from saying "I told you so" ... fucking spend the money)
A few feet of 3/4" hose cut to size
2 x heavy black zipties to strap the two totes together.
2 x precut 4'x2' 3/4" MDF (the depot has these precut. if you have tools/ability like I do you can save a couple bucks but I mention the precuts for ppl looking for easy)

Howto, I'll write this up in exhausting detail once I redo the 2.0 for the 3x3 after this run. I like the top feed partial suspended root partial DWC more than DWC. For now though.

1) cut 3 1" holes (spade bit or hole dozer, i used spade) in the base of each tote. this doesn't need to be perfect, just close enough. using the molded features to ballpark the cuts worked fine for me. If you're super anal, measure it, but I'm telling you after 4 days of standing water and no leaks - mine works fine ;-)

Skip these two if you aren't pumping water out of the tent to a chiller or something else.

2) pick one side of the res, cut two holes along the upper rim where ever you want the water out line to go and another hole for the water return line

3) on the other res, only cut a single hole for the water return

4) Cut the MD to lay flat. Cut holes in the MDF for the drain on each bucket.

5) idk ... profit? wait, no, use an entire rattle can worth of wood sealant on that MDf board.

6) wrap it in poly plastic making sure to seal each crease up real good. Even though we sealed our wood, lets keep water out.

That's about it. Since I'll be running a chiller I ran the water out the back and the return comes in along the side. Next to this tent are steel storage shelves so the chiller will be on the middle shelf of one of those units. Return line from that comes in on one of the upper side holes of the tent, to a 3/4" to 1/2" step down, into a 1/2" Y. From here you can kinda see in these two pics

Basically, the octabubbler line off this Y goes almost straight down. The line that goes over to the res return lines then I zip tied (very poorly) so it is elevated. After this elevation then, down to another 1/2" Y and off each side of that, into the return lines we cut in steps 2 and 3.

Why over complicated? To be 100% honest ... the pump I was going to run the bubble on failed lol. No seriously I had an old just under 300 gallon pump I was going to use for this and the damn thing didn't work. I then took a 600 gph pump and instead of under working the hell out of it cycling water to a chiller that is still on back order, I decided on this setup. Where the Chiller will be exists a 90 degree 3/4" elbow connector for a simple disconnect and reconnect.

Really big risk running a single pump with hanging roots though. Need to get moving on some arduino projects I have planned so I can get flow rate monitored. I think I can throw together a fault tolerant ... oh nevermind that is another post for another day.

thanks for reading.
Old 06-14-2017, 03:55 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
Sometimes …

Sometimes you gotta fuuu…. erm .. you gotta tie her hard? I’ll let Jack Black do the songs but as you can see, spent some time today preparing to flip to flower.

Had to do a few things - first - the duct I had that ran down the bulb whip and sat right above the socket was more trouble than it was worth. The thought was if I could remove the heat right near the bulb I could keep the average temp down. Yeah didn’t have any effect, so, tore it out. It wasn’t a bad idea, just if it did anything it was barely noticeable and worse it made working in the already limited space much more difficult.

Installed 6 bamboo stakes. Simple install, cut to length ish with a bit of over hang, apply zip ties liberally, done. The netting sucks, again was a good thought but just doesn’t work here. I need to secure the colas in place and these allow for that.

And tie down I did, probably 70% of the colas are tied in a particular spot.

Was like fingering a girl for the first time in the back seat of a cramped car at night and she is wearing jeans. Couldn’t see shit for the first half but eventually found my groove and got the job did. Lots of tying loops with both hands bent over awkwardly with the sore back to prove it … but it is done.

As I was writing up this post I realized I fucked up. I may not have mentioned it but the intent was to run 8 colas per plant, not per arm. Damn you plenty vaporizer and your cavernous bowl - you’ve gone and done it now. With my goal overshot by 100% I’m a bit more confident in general at the density I may be able to achieve with this setup. Lets not weigh our buds before they’ve cured though and see how this all goes.

The correct LED strip light connectors arrive tomorrow and I’m hoping to get that knocked out. Once the plants settle in to their new positions I’ll see if i can get some shots of the lower back colas. They’re unimpressive on account of very little light getting back there. I’m hopeful the LED strip lights work out. Also re-read the specs and the power supply running these strip lights is 72W. That will bring the total light wattage to 387W.

Will also be re-cloning the clones in a few minutes. Essentially, I have no place to put them and no time to finish the closet before they become a real problem. My choices then are toss them or try to re-clone. No sense wasting good DNA, lets try to reclone.

Should have an update tomorrow with the strip lights going in otherwise It’ll have to wait for the weekend. Thursday is 24H of dark and Friday we switch from 12/6 to 6/12 and see what happens.

Thanks for reading!
Old 06-14-2017, 06:52 PM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
A couple quick ones for the morning.

Nice rebound from being tied down. All the tops that were pulled back have more or less righted themselves.

Perspective shot

Also recloned the clones last night. Everyone of them fell over as they usually do, thus far, about 60% of them have rebounded.

I'm waiting anxiously for a handful of amazon boxes containing various LED odds n ends. Hoping to have that all done today as I'm currently 2 hours into the 12 hour on cycle. If I can get the LEDs built, installed, and tested before 8PM then I'll just switch the timers to off tonight.

We'll see how that goes.

More soon.

*edit* yay, idk wtf i've used forums for over 20 years yet for some reason linking images on this one never worked for me. I'll fix the rest of the post too, makes it easier to read.
Old 06-15-2017, 02:58 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
Fixed all the pics ... figured I should do that since strip LEDs screwed me again.

I've had good luck with strip LEDs and soldered connections. I've had horrible results with the clip connectors.

Silver lining though, as I stood there staring at the girls enjoying a bowl from my Father's day present, a new Crafty vape (best wife ever),I realized I had a problem on my hands that wasn't going to be solved by my first design.

I would have had two main problems.

1) it would have been a huge PITA to get it installed at this stage as I was going to do one panel per wall and have them all wired together. Sliding all that in and behind that net (not coming down) would have been hell, so fuck that.

2) i really wasn't going to have enough light down low where I needed it and in general, the way I had planned doing it wasn't going to be effective. It would have been too spread out with gaps and otherwise crap.

... after finishing the bowl I decided upon the following.

Re-do the strip LED design this time instead of doing 3 levels of the old design, do one compact panel per wall thus delivering 72W per wall down low. Essentially collapsing the 3 panel design and adding 72W per wall.

Buy the following:
4 x Arctic Alpine 64 heatsinks
4 x Bridgelux Vero 29 gen7 90 CRI 3K CoBs
1 x Mean Well HLG-240H-C1050B

The plan will be to run one of these in each corner slightly lower than the main CMH in the center. Heading to the depot in a bit to get wire and all the other stuff comes in Friday. Will be a busy weekend.

My light setup will soon look like:

315W 4K CMH - Primary light throughout
240W 3K LED (4 x V29) - dimmer options but I'll likely only run this very late veg thru flower
216W 3.5K LED (3 x strip light panels) - Will flip these on and off early in veg depending on the state of the canopy and these will run throughout flower.
56W UV (2 x 26W E27 UV CFLs) - last 2 weeks

Veg wattage will be between 315-531
Flower wattage will be 771W
Finish wattage will be 825W

... Once I get all this done I'll be forcing myself to stop changing this 3x3 tent ...

... I mean after I completely redo the res and move to a bucket style top feed ... after that is what I mean ... I can stop anytime I want to ...

... what? i can! ;-)

till next time (Sunday?).
Old 06-15-2017, 07:06 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11

Moments before the final veg light cycle ends.

Just finished testing the first LED side panel, haven't tied it all together nor soldered it all up but each strip tests good. Two more to go, here is what it looks like.

Using the 24" strap from the alpha design and bought some 36" to run 5 x 36" strips. When final the strips will be spaced 1.5" apart. Should make for a nice wall of light.

See you all in a few days.
Old 06-18-2017, 06:39 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11

And we're flowering! Apologies for the terrible pics the A5000 ran out of juice. Will follow up with some pics of the side panels but they're in. Also, I lied. The power supplies are in fact 12v at 6A so 72W total output but I must have mis calculated somewhere as all 3 panels only draw about 80W. After this run I'll at least double the strips per panel, possibly triple and maybe even run 2 warm white to 1 cool white. Over all fairly pleased with them.

The place I ordered the bridgelux v29s from shit the bed and they haven't arrived yet, bummer. I would have liked to get those installed tomorrow as the heatsinks arrived but alas, i'm at the mercy of shipping. I feel good about the light coverage once those are in the system. I'm sort of treating this tent like a giant space bucket.

Anyway, more pics.

"day 2" (lights on cycle 2)

Day 3

We are all up to date. Left side plant and rear plant are already showing stretch. I was going to tie them back but I was at the beach all day and frankly, they're fine for tonight.

On 'day 2' I did a complete flush and filled with 15g RO water and 5g of my flower tea. Same as the regular tea just add a 0-12-0 guano so great white + molasses + some kind of kelp something + guano + air + minimum 18h maximum 48h of time.

That plus the late veg does of a/b nutes and calmag/sturdy stalk and i'm in the 650ppm range.

temps are 78-82 humidity at the canopy in the 50% range. not ideal, but, w/e.

whilst installing the side panels I took the time to move that clip fans down low, duct tape them, and now they're pointing up and blowing through the canopy.

At some point I'll have the wife find some sort of 2-3 foot tallish shelf of some sort to put over the chiller that looks like it belongs in a 'normal' office room. i'll put the dehumidifier up on top of that so i can run with a drain hose back into the res. changing this thing twice a day now and with 50%+ at the canopy already, i can't risk a few hours drifting into the deep 60s low 70s. that shit goes from low 40s to high 60s really quick too.

I have barely checked on the 4x4 but last i looked everything appeared to have fully settled into the new space. Since it is already getting pretty warm and I have no AC in the garage, I may just flip to flower and take what I get.

I said I was going to stop fucking with the room ... I lied. It will be cool though, so, there is that.

... I can still quit whenever I want ... ;-)

Thx for reading.
Old 06-18-2017, 11:20 PM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
End of "Day 4"

Tied a few of the longer ones back a bit. Also, if you make a custom light with strip LED I can't stress enough the need to solder every junction. The panel on the real wall is already sketchy, actually the left wall was sketchy too - point is don't be lazy. I'll have to get the rear one fixed and may as well do all 3 while I'm at it *sigh*.

PH just crashed hard on me the past hour thirty. Went from 6.1 to 5.0. Of course I spaced out and forgot to check PH until 2 minutes before lights out. I quickly threw in a guestimated amount of hydrated lime and then the lights went out ...

... the urge to check the PH is high but .... I have to find my green LED bulbs first. Can't crack the tent without those at this point. Time to find a lamp and those bulbs.

Will try to have two daily shots for you all, one from lights on and lights off. Due to the light cycle though, I can't get all of them.

So just a note on the light schedule. I start my cycle 8pm for both the 12/6 and the 6/12. This makes the numbers 8 and 2 the magic numbers. Example.

on 8pm
off 8am
on 2pm
off 2am
on 8am
off 8pm

etc etc and invert that for the 6/12. This is nice because during the day (say like 16 minute ago) your lights go out. I'm in the greater san diego area, inland a few minutes, it gets warm here. real nice not running the lights through that at all times - do note there is a 2pm-8pm lights on cycle in there eventually however for the most part you're either on in the evening through the night or real early in the morning to mid day.

power rates are best at these times and the stress on cooling is least.

for now I'm using the apollo 9 timers and all 8 of the program settings. kind of a pain. i have two CT-1 timers but one is faulty and i'm not sure which. I have some plans to put those into a use case where they can earn my trust as these would make this odd light cycle much simpler to deal with. i don't trust them yet though.

Thx for reading - more soon.
Old 06-20-2017, 05:38 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
Lights on 'day 5 of flower'

This morning I noticed the back LED panel had faulted. I knew where the fault was and why so I tore it out. Well, if i have it out of the system may as well upgrade it too right ...

... why do I do this to myself.

More than double the output now. I'm leaving the other two as is so I can compare the lower back buds at harvest. I'm still skeptical of these rope lights and I've run them before. Is this wasted wattage?

Well, we have two walls vs the one wall we can compare at harvest and find out for sure.

Also, Rapidled delivered the other LEDs around 1pm. Slightly bitter they didn't deliver over the weekend but I doubt I woulda had time anyway so ... yeah w/e.

I had also forgotten to come up with a solution for running the colling fans on these heatsinks. Thanfully I have 2 more 12V pwer strips for these LED strip lights that I can use but that will be gross over kill. I should dig through some storage bins more and see if I can't find something else. At any rate I have more work to do - highly doubt I get these done and in during this light cycle so that means tomorrow I can likely get them in during the 2pm-8pm lights on cycle which will be the 7th flower day for the plants.

PH is still being pressured really hard. Just put in 30ml of sturdy stalk to see if maybe that is what the plants are devouring.

Should have some pics tomorrow of the new LEDs. Till then

thx for reading.
Old 06-21-2017, 12:28 AM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11

New LEDs in. According to Bridgelux's spec sheet, each of these is pushing around 11K lumens. I don't have a PAR meter so can't get you umols for what they actually do. While testing ...

That shit gave me eye dazzle for a minute - and I was wearing sun glasses. My point, bright as fuck and may actually rival possibly edging out the main CMH bulb for total output.

Speaking of, I caught the lights on time today perfectly and got a couple shots while the CMH was warming up that show off a little bit of just how bright the LED side skirts are.

i'm hopeful these play well and actually produce results, we'll know in a few more weeks.

For now though, the Kilawat reads 683 watts. this includes the 6" can fan, a 9" table top fan, 1 x 315W CMH, 1 x 250W meanwell driver with 4 v29s, and the 3 side skirt LED panels.

Under 700w, over 80K lumens, and 51/52 decibels on the crappy ... i just got a galaxy s8+ let's see if this mic is different ... nope the same. 50/51 decibels with the lights/fans off, 53/54 lights/fans on, 59/60 with the AC going.

My goal was 50 decibels ... I don't see that as being a possibility without the ability to have the AC somewhere else and or the intake/exhaust fans in another room/attic. I'm happy to be wrong here so if anyone has any thoughts on how to quiet my setup down I'm all ears.

However, missing my goal by 1-2 decibels ... meh ... not bad for free labor. I'm putting this goal to bed, it isn't feasible and my current setup is workable.

2 grams per watt felt a lot more doable with only 315w of output. It may have been realistic had I not miscounted and over shot my density goal, but now I need to pull over 3lbs ... yeah I'm not holding my breath i'd be stoked with 1.5. I do have a ridiculous amount of light now for only 1 square meter of space - so - let's see how it plays out.

I'll be gone till Saturday, should have a nice update for you all then.
Old 06-23-2017, 07:24 PM
thebaronofsd thebaronofsd is offline

Join Date: 03-02-2016
Posts: 11
So I'm in Seattle about to board my flight and the wife sends me a pic. Uh oh - she can be so naughty ...

NOT the pic i was hoping for ... wtf?

Shit, I have about 20m to text and talk her through the diagnosis and the fix.

First, is it just this one plant or all 3? Is the air pump on, do you see bubbles in the water?

One plant, pump on, bubbles. Ok, good. This can only be one thing, something in the water.

Whats the PH?

5.1 ... k ... not great but shouldn't be causing that.

k, babe what is the ppl? ... motherfucking auto correct ... what is the PPM?

"IDK, I can't red the meter is hits 999 and then idk 'bugs out'" .... well babe, don't spare the technical explanation ;-).

So EC/PPM uS/m however you want to refer to to much disolved shit in the water ... was the problem.

Now, this highlights a big weakness in this system. Namely, my wife's ability to lug 5 gallon buckets full of water up a flight of stairs. Time to move the RO filter upstairs under one of the sinks I think. That and moving the dehumidifier will go a long ways towards ease of operation. I could also keep it simpler and just install a good under sink filter and bubble out the remaining chlorine. This may be the better route - idk - gotta think about it a bit more.

Many frantic texts, a quick call, doors closed and angry flight attendants telling me the plane will crash if my magic communication device isn't turned off ... and I'm in the dark.

Due to the 6/12 light cycle, she barely got the water swapped and dosed before the lights went out.

12 very baited hours later ...

Have to give her credit, she saved the day. Moral of the story guys, make sure to show your woman how to run the system before you travel lol. Our newborn has made training difficult so we just hadn't gotten to that whole training piece yet, wish we had, but she did great.

some other quick shots of the under canopy but first, this.

Leaf literally 'on' one of the 5630 LEDs

No damage

If you run these, don't worry much about damage. In my previous aquaponics grow, the one time I saw some damage was when the light bar fell over onto the plant. The plant then now became part of the heatsink. With this setup, the metal strips are sinking that heat, spreading it across the entire 3' surface, then the floor fans cool and push that heat up. That was the design intent all along and it appears to be working as planned. Those metal bars themselves are slightly warm to the touch but barely.

These I just put the camera under the canopy and fired away

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