AeroGarden Guide/FAQ v 2.0

Discussion in 'Aerogardeners' started by lurkmaster, Mar 4, 2009.


    lurkmaster Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] Guide
    version 2.0 by lurkmaster

    Required Materials

    24 Hour Light Timer - Digital or non, doesn't matter you just need to be able to fully control your lighting cycles for 12/12.

    Figure 8 Power Cord - Radioshack sells them, you need the NON-polarized version. (see useful info for picture). You will be plugging this cord directly into your AG light hood, and you can run this light on your external timer, instead of the AG timer.

    Nutrients - The stock ag nutrients are perfectly fine to use, but I would recommend something like the foxfarm trio, you will want to use the foxfarm feeding schedule. (See useful info section)

    Suggested Supplemental Materials
    Air pump/tubing - Any aquarium air pump will do. Any kind of tubing that fits your pump and airstone is fine.

    Airstone - I would go for the longest airstone you think you can fit in your res, I have fit a 10" airstone in my Pro 200. (see useful info section)

    - Walmart has a digital thermostat + humidity monitor for around $8.

    pH Test kit - Something that goes below 6.0, ideally 4.5-7.5 is the range you will be checking.

    pH Adjustment kit - pH up/down from petco, walmart or anything of the sort is fine.

    Additional Lighting - I would recommend CFL bulbs because they are inexpensive, can be bought at almost any store, and its easy to find mounting options.

    For Veg: 6500K (color temp) Daylight bulbs
    For Flowering: 2700K (color temp) Soft white bulbs

    23-26W bulbs are 1700 lumens
    42W bulbs are 2700 lumens

    The more lumens you have the better.

    If you can find y-socket adapters those will work nicely with 2x26W bulbs to keep your overall wattage under 60 for the fixture, and spread it out some.

    You should aim for 5000+ lumens of additional CFL lighting.

    Lighting Cycles
    Seedlings (week 0-2) - 20 hours on / 4 off

    Veg Period (week 2-5) - 18 hours on / 6 off

    Flowering Period (week 5-12) -
    12 hours on / 12 off

    Note: Do not strictly go by this guide, as your plant may grow at a slower or faster rate, these are just generalized numbers, only YOU will know when your plant is ready!

    Feeding/Nutrient Schedule
    If you are using AG nute tabs, it is a good idea to let your nutes dissolve in a cup of water before you add them to your res.

    If you are using foxfarm or some other kind of nutrients, follow their schedule.

    pH Level -
    You want your water's pH around 5.6-5.8, anything from 5.4-6.0 is acceptable, but the closer to 5.7 the better.

    Seedlings (week 0-2) - NO NUTE TABS!!

    Veg Period (week 2-5)- One small tab per week.

    Flowering Period (week 5-12) -
    One large tab per week.

    If you don't have the master gardener kit, and there is only one tab size, use one tab per week in veg, and use 1.5 tabs per week in flowering, the tabs break in half easily, you can cut them with a kitchen knife.

    Water level
    You should fill your AG reservoir a little bit past the fill to here marker whenever you initially fill it up. Its a good idea to periodically check your water level and top it off with pH'd water or premixed nutrient/water solution at the same PPM as the initial batch.

    Change your reservoir water
    It is good practice to change your res water out on a weekly basis, which is usually done with nutrient additions/changes.

    Preparation and planting your seeds
    Decide how many plants you want to grow in your AG - Keep in mind you have a limited amount of root space in the res, 2-3 plants is a reasonable number in a regular/pro model.

    Cover up ANY holes you are not going to be using - Plunk some golf balls over those holes, or stick opaque cups, maybe even coffee mugs over them, do whatever you need to do to keep light from getting inside the res.

    Light + heat = bacteria = root rot.

    Glue your plant labels onto the plastic rim of your grow nets
    - If you don't put your plant labels down you might end up with a problem like this. (photo courtesy of drdankyphd) If you already have a plant growing without the label, you are going to have to cut it the label to get it around the stem. (see useful info for a plant label diagram)

    Cut holes in your sponges for roots - Cut a small hole in the bottom of your grow sponge for the taproot to grow down into.

    If you do not have a master gardener kit, you will have to take the seeds out of the sponge and make a perforated plant label out of cardboard or something

    Plant your seeds with the taproot facing DOWN - If you germinate your seeds in a paper towel, make sure you have the taproot facing downward towards the hole you just cut.

    If you germinate your seeds in the AG, just make sure the taproot part of the seed pod is facing down.

    Other Useful Info and Pictures
    Foxfarm hydro nutrient feeding schedule

    Seedbank Reviews

    AG Pump cycles for ALL MODELS

    RIU General Growing FAQ

    Figure 8 power cord looks like this

    How I have my 10" airstone in my res -The suction cups are angled a little bit with the curvature of the res. As long as the airstone stays clipped into the suction cups thats fine, you want to put the airstone behind the 'fill to here' marker but in front of the pump. You will have to put the pump into the AG at an angle with the airstone where it is. Here is an actual photo of it

    How to properly glue down plant label onto grow nets


    How much will I yeild per plant in my AG? There are too many variables to calculate this. Some people are yielding over an ounce per plant. It depends on the strain, nutrients, your lighting and grow room setup. Without any additional lighting don't expect more than a few grams (dried).

    Why do my plants look like X? Check your pH, temperature and nutrient levels, those are usually the easiest problems to fix. If your grow space is 85 degrees and you have a bunch of lights surrounding your plant and its droopy, the temperature is probably the problem. If the temp/pH/PPM all check out fine, check the sick plant forum. There is a sticky with pictures that explain what certain problems look like. If you can't figure it out from those pictures, someone here will probably be glad to diagnose it for you.

    What is the easiest way to change my res water? Unplug your airstone hose, and take your entire res out of your grow space, and carefully take it somewhere by a sink with a counter top. Carefully take your pump/lid out of the AG with the grow pods in it and set it down somewhere safe where the roots aren't constricted. I will say it again, be EXTREMELY careful when taking the pump off with your plants in the top piece, you do NOT want to break your roots. I angle the base of my pump on the corner of the counter and let my roots dangle in the air. Then just dump your res out (there shouldn't be anything in it but water/nutes).

    How far away should I keep my lights?
    If you are using CFL bulbs and the AG hood 3-4" from the plant tips is what you should aim for. You want to prevent stretching if possible.

    I have blinking lights/my plant is not in germination/mature growth on my AG what do I do?
    Don't worry, those lights don't mean anything, those are nothing more than a fancy timer.

    If you have any questions that haven’t been answered in this thread, feel free to ask them here. If you need a quick response now… Search function is your friend! This forum is loaded with information.

    :leaf:Happy Growing:leaf:
    special thanks to "SICC" for guide base.

    "SICC" Well-Known Member

    Nice man, this is perfect, great job :leaf:

    werdy Active Member

    i really appreciate this.. iv been reading on these forums for a while and have never posted.. i feel like hundreds of these posts could easily be summed up into one. :P

    anyway this may be a broad question, so i apologize if it is but what is some of the highest yields you have heard of from an ag grow? and what different (if any) techniques/materials/strains did those persons use? or have you found that this guide produces the highest yield?

    "SICC" Well-Known Member

    you can grow just as much bud in the AG as you could almost any grow, if you have sufficient lights, and meet the standards of the plants, you can do anything. From wat i have seen, with harvest pics, you can get an ounce per place with some good CFL's, and easily 3 if you have a big enough HPS, like anything, if you throw a HPS in there, its guarantee success :D
    bdt1981 and OGAerogardener1990 like this.

    playa23 Active Member

    Seedlings (week 0-2)
    Which is better 24/0 or 20 hours on / 4 off

    lurkmaster Well-Known Member


    Giving your plants some dark time is good for the root growth.

    24/0 kind of stresses the plants, they never have any time to rest.
    bdt1981 likes this.

    "SICC" Well-Known Member

    24/0 is just as good, haha no stress involved :neutral:

    john.v.farley Active Member

    Im pretty new here. ill be posting up pictures of my grow cab tonight. Ive got bag seeds for my first couple runs before I buy some really nice ones. Ive got a pretty sweet cab going and i can not express enough thanks to those who helped with both the origional guide and its revamp. The DIY articles and ingenuity of pot heads (in a good way) never ceases to amaze me :). Im planning on using the stock nutes from AG. Im also planning on scroggin which isnt included in this guide but i have been nonstop reading about.
    Is anyone else scroggin with an ag?

    The only things i need to finish my cab are as follows.
    -Reflective material - planning on stopping at the dollar store for some mylar like wrapping paper. only hydro shop in town wants 35 for 2mm. I can always order some off ebay later on.
    - the DIY c02 jug for 3 bucks with a jug and some yeast sugar and water.
    -A DIY carbon filter for 10 bucks. I have a carbon filter inside of an air filter purchased from walmart for 20 bucks but im going to cut the scotch pads to size and maky my own activated carbon filter instead of the supplied kind.

    Need some help with :
    - Air pump and airstone. Really any air pump? any air stone? I like the 10 inch one. Where did you get it?
    - A PH testing kit. There is one that walmart sells for 15 bucks thats got great reviews. Any suggestions on something better while not breaking the bank? Any local stores sell that perfect kit?

    Once i start my own grow journal ill link some pics. As always, they will be open for suggestions and any and all help is much appreciated and welcomed!

    Stay safe and happy internet role playing since none of this is real anyways.

    "SICC" Well-Known Member


    the40ozking408 Well-Known Member

    so hes sayin flower after 5 weeks?!?

    "SICC" Well-Known Member

    Well, again, the plants will almost triple in size during flowing, so you jus calculate that into how much space you have to grow. So say you flower your plant when she is 1 foot tall, she can possibly grow up to 3 feet when you switch to 12/12
    bdt1981 likes this.

    the40ozking408 Well-Known Member

    alrighty... I guess I'm gonna start around 6" then... Thanks

    "SICC" Well-Known Member

    no prob man, keep us posted

    werdy Active Member

    maybe a little unrelated but.. i was reading all about using a ballast set up with hid hps lights and metal halide lights and im still confuzed as to what exactly a ballast does. anyone? and are they necessary if im going to use those types of lights? also do you have to have multiple ballasts if you want to have multiple hid hps and metal halide lights?

    "SICC" Well-Known Member

    its to reflect the light and it needs a special socket to handle that many watts, and the cool tube to keep it, well cool 8)
    werdy likes this.

    werdy Active Member

    [quote="SICC";2186068]its to reflect the light and it needs a special socket to handle that many watts, and the cool tube to keep it, well cool 8)[/quote]


    so i do need to get a ballast then for each hid hps or metal halide light i get then?

    "SICC" Well-Known Member

    Yea, i havnt seen any one do any different, you want all that light concentrated at one spot, and you need a cool tube as well, unless you make your own

    werdy Active Member

    [quote="SICC";2186109]Yea, i havnt seen any one do any different, you want all that light concentrated at one spot, and you need a cool tube as well, unless you make your own[/quote]

    alright thanks and rep

    MrAlex Well-Known Member

    This looks real good guys.... Im gonna look through it later when I get home from work!....

    MrAlex Well-Known Member

    HELP!!! I woke up this morning and my plant is droopin real hard!! I checked the rez and the water was real low... I ran and got a fresh gallon of water... added a nute tab to it.. and flushed out the rez.... I hope that does th trick.. Here's a pic. Does anyone have any ideas on why??? I have the light cycle at 18-6.... the lights shut off from 12am to 6 am....... I noticed the drooping around 6:30 am..... Im going to work now and will likely find that my plant is FUCKING dead when I get home tonight... Keep your fingers crossed.... HELP!

    Attached Files:

    OGAerogardener1990 likes this.

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