Getting Started in a Calif 6X Aeroponics LED Grow

Discussion in 'Newbie Central' started by GoatSoup, Jan 4, 2018.


    GoatSoup Active Member

    With the recent law change in Cali I've decided to restart growing. Cali restricts free growers to six plants, and my grow area will be a bath tub. 27" W X 52" L X 72 " H. Right now I'm thinking a four plant SCROG to keep the plants frame about 5-12" above the grow tubs for access to the tubs for rez changes and maintenance? And using two plants for Clone Mothers, this will allow me to use two strains.

    My objective is to grow 12-16 buds on each plant and keep the lamps down about 20' from the plants so that each bud will be 6'-8" tall and dense. I'm not sure this is doable, but a good objective.

    I had very good results from a Stinkbud Aero/NFT system a few years ago and it is pretty simple to keep up as long as the heat doesn't get out of hand. To keep the heat down I'm figuring on using LEDs. Last time I got a 8 bulb 48" T5 set up and it generated ~500 watts which meant I had to vent the closet all the time and still had high heat. This caused a stink problem even using a homemade carbon filter. I'll make a new carbon filter and a 4" inline fan to vent the room and a 4" inlet duct from the window to draw in air from outside. In addition I will get a small ozone generator to further attack the smell in this small bathroom.

    Questions for experienced RIU growers?

    My initial objective is to grow some bud fast, I might be able to get some Jack Herer and Durbin Poison Autos clone that are 55-60 days (maybe faster) strains? Supposedly short fast and potent sativas with good high and little couch lock. If I grow the autos there will be no clones so I'll just get six in flower as soon as possible and train/trim for eight buds each? Is this reasonable? I could just use my T5 fixture with half the bulbs at a time for ~250 watts. I've got both grow and bloom bulbs on hand.

    My for veg/flower objective is about 1700 - 1900 lumens don't know how to figure LUX or candlepower or stuff.
    My previous experience is with a "50" (really 14) Watt 12'X12" panel in a cloner which worked a treat and made clones in 4-7 days Though this time I'd get two real 30 watt 6 color panels and put them on the sides of the cloner rather than on on the top.

    For the grow tub I'm thinking 3-4 lights would be better than two to get the coverage needed for bud in a rectangular space like this and might keep the heat down too. Or maybe six COBs? I spent 30 years in electronics so I'm pretty handy with an soldering iron and stuff. I can use the T5s until I can get something better.

    Objective -FAST! for now and Better Buds later. (I've been dry for two years except for some mercy bud from friends.)

    I'm trying to get some clones locally and might just have a source for $18 dollar 4-6" auto fem clones/seedlings. What fast + good sativa is available in Nor Cal (Sacto) area?

    The Fast Jack and Durbin poison sounded ideal, and since my last Super Lemon Haze grow was about 15-18 weeks, eight sounds fabulous!

    I read on RIU that if you just put regular in flower at 6" tall ( no veg) they are fast too, but short? Do you think I could get 56 Buds in 24"X 48"on 4-6 plants?

    You LED gurus could help me figure out the LED loads. There is a lot of BS flying in LED efficiencies as always. I see some of the Ads are claiming 600 watt performance on 60 watts actual, fat chance. Give me some hints on Quantum panels and Cob usage if you can.

    Happy New Year and hope your bud is bountiful!

    GoatSoup Active Member

    I'm still mulling over Autos or Photo Periods. I like the Photos for clone production and perpetual grow of a good phenotype, once I find a jewel. One idea I read about on RIU is that photo clones 6-8" tall can be put into flower and grown short and quick, if they are the right strain. Is this true?

    Since I'm growing in a 2'X4' approx space and no more than six plants I figure one rez will work best and there would be space for another tub to use to set up the next rez change, dechlorinate, ph balance, and mix nutes etc. The "Set Up Rez" could be smaller than the Ruff Neck tub bc I can run the water level higher in it. This would leave me some space in the bath tub for water management purposes and not have to worry about leaks.

    GoatSoup Active Member

    After a trip to the gym this morning, I went out to scout some pumps and stuff. The last time I grew I found two Hydro stores in my neighborhood, but alas one of them folded, however the other has moved into a new location 3x the size!

    I talked to the dude in the store, prices for misc Hydro stuff, and since I was the only one in the store, discussed his grow and what I was intending. He is a Stinkbud Rail guy, though he didn't seem to know about Stinkbud, but had the system as many have copied over the years.

    Nice guy and understanding of my poorness, being on Social Security and having little extra cash. He said he could help me do it on the cheap and suggested GH nutes as being perfectly adequate, for ~$40 for the three quarts I'd need for my micro grow for a longtime.

    He said he could hook me up to some clones/cuttings too! Maybe I won't have to start from seeds!

    He gave me a discount on the Eco 633 pump I needed to get my cloner working, so the trip was well worth it to get back in the Hydro community again.

    I need to talk to him about a small 4" carbon filter setup. The rest I can McGeiver.

    Thinking now about an upper structure support system for the fan-Filter and light hanger, figure I can make it out of two 6" redwood fence boards maybe three if I make a fancy shade hanger to seal the light on the front with panda plastic.
    I'll be limited to 15a @ 115v and have to run the electrical ~10 feet or more to the tub area I thought I'd make a distribution panel to hold the outlets, timers and Thermometers etc in one central place. When I installed my dishwasher I found they made flat plug #10 gauge extension chords for them, I'll have to check if they have them long enough?

    Maybe my goal of half a pound a 8 weekcycle isn't too far off? bongsmilie:bigjoint:

    GoatSoup Active Member

    Was looking on E-Bay for carbon filters and 4" can be had for $20-$30 the cost of fans is the killer. Do you think I can run one of the "Booster 4" fans (~$20) and get 100 cfm out of it with the filter?

    GoatSoup Active Member

    What? No help for a Viet Vet? Oh well I'll keep going on this project.

    I sprung for a $25, 30 Watt LED panel 1'X1' Red, Blue and White for my cloner, now that I got the pump. Last time I used a ~14W panel R&B and it worked out well but it was a little wimpy so this time I thought I'd try a 30 watt panel. This will give me a place to hold/veg clones/cuttings or pop seeds. While rummaging around I found a 15w "Healthy CFL" bulb that is supposed to eliminate germs and dust mold spoors and ciggy smoke? Says it is 3500K and 60 watt replacement. I thought It might fit in the cloner tub to provide a bit of light and negative ions to reduce any problems. Since I plan on using a 2-3" computer fan to vent the cloner tub I figured that a 15 watt addition shouldn't matter much. I might just use it in the flower room to hold down the stink.

    I found cheap TDS + PH pens for ~$14 for both on E-Bay. Even if they only last on grow it would beat ~$100 for the ones at the Hydro store.

    I looking for lights I found 2X 1500 Watt ( 150 ea 10 w LEDs actually ~225 watts from the wall) lights for ~$145. Says 18,000 [email protected] 1 meter and should flower 5'X5" . That is a little more wattage than I wanted ( trying for ~300 Watts max) but maybe one will do the job if I hold the scrog down to 2.5' X 4'?
    On looking at the insides it looks like they use two drivers blocks to run each half of the lamp and It might be easy to unhook one drive/array to cut down the power draw at the cost of losing half the light from one fixture?

    I'm out of money until payday so I'll just set up my cloner tub and think about arranging my bath tub grow until I can get some cuttings/clones to get started.

    A little feedback would help guys, please?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018

    GoatSoup Active Member

    I should get my 30W LED cloner panel today, I need to get my cloner tub put together. I noticed that I lost a couple of sprayers so I'll pick those up at the Hydro store and get some 2" net pots and collars on Friday when my Hydro Dude buddy is working. I want to talk to him about some clones/cuttings that he said he might be able to hook me up with.

    I've been reading a lot on RIU about stuff and saw a thread in the LED forum about the DIY strip lights. Since my grow is ~2'X4' and I want to keep the wattage of the lamps low, for low heat they sounded pretty good and easy to make. I read that by spacing the strips in a logarithmic spacing you can get better coverage on the edges of the grow. This was one of the things I was concerned about in using the 1500 watt (225 w FTW) panels, the footprint was very focused, not what I want for my SOG. These strip lights seem the way to go and not too expensive.

    I found my cheapo light meter I bought for my old grow setup. It is calibrated in Candle Power and I need to figure out how convert to lux or lumens or PAR, PPFD???

    ( A quick Goggle and I found one CP =1 Candella =1 Lumen! There is some frequency factor by wavelength but why get all prissy with dope?)

    I'll keep on reading the info on RIU and see if I can find the answers to my questions. I'd like to post some pix of my developments but as a newbi I can't post them unless you guys give me some "likes or reps" or something?
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018

    Ablaze Well-Known Member

    Quick to harvest - I'd grow an auto or two to get you buy until photoperiod plants are ready. They're also very simple to grow and will get you back into the groove.

    Lights - That's probably a bit light on lumens. I have twice that with my LEDs. Of course, it's hard to measure the amount of light outside of a photography setting. I shoot for 3,500 lumens per square foot, or another way I also measure is a goal of at least 30 real Watts of LED per square foot.

    Personally, I wouldn't worry about venting too much if you're in a bathroom (which will be hard to seal). Many of these suckers STINK and will be hard to contain! It's legal to grow......I, myself, would just put up with it. But that's me.

    GoatSoup Active Member

    I've been looking for some fast Autos and found Gorilla Seed Bank on a RIU thread just now. They have some 55-60 days from seed verities that sound pretty good. The prices are not too bad either.

    Like I said I saw a thread on EB lamp strips and the guy was getting 50W/SqFt from a 2X4 foot array at not too much wall watts. If I reduced the number of strips to limit the watts to ~300 I'd have ~35-37 w/sq Ft? I do some more research on the EB strips and might just build one myself. No use wasting my 35 years of electronics, eah?

    GoatSoup Active Member

    I thought my LED panel would be here by now but it only has gotten to Nebraska! (1/2 way)
    I read some more on the EB strip lights in DIY Leds and that looks like the way to go. Nice even foot print and hell'a light for little watts! Plus you can dim it easy so you can adjust the lamp output to reduce the heat produced. These should be great for SOG grows and not too hard to build. I thought two 2X2 lights would be better than one 2X4 light and doing just two plants SOG'd at once and keep a mother to clone off of.

    Found some Blueberry Auto seed (55-60 days?) that sounded nice for a decent price, quick growers and might be just the thing to break in the system. Not sure I want to risk ordering the Gorilla Seeds, read about a guy who got screwed by them and a bitcoin order. My nephew says he has some killer seed but probably indica, so long growers. He grows outdoors and has a stash.

    Was considering using a different Rez system to reduce height and change the arrangement of the root chambers a bit to fit in the bath tub. I need to do some measuring and calculations on this but can still make a run with the ruff neck tubs

    GoatSoup Active Member

    Still no LED panel yet, but I got my net pots to put in the cloner and got a lead on some local clones. The Hydro store dude, another one, was trying to talk me into a 600 Watt HID lamp for my 2X4 grow, but wow the heat from that would be excessive. He said he was growing 20 plants in a 4X4 tent under a 600 W as a scrog, but he didn't train his plants at all?

    It seems like the Blueberry Auto seeds might be my best bet for fast and good genetics. I just hope they are still available when I get paid again?
    Lucky Luke

    Lucky Luke Well-Known Member

    Scrog is training.

    20 plants in a 4 x 4 is more a sog id think.

    yep, 600w hid in a 2 x 4 is a little overkill (but not much) depending on your climate and cooling setup.
    Ablaze likes this.

    GoatSoup Active Member

    I was thinking about building some strip lights but, I can get two "1500 Watt" led fixtures that draw ~200-225 watts from the wall each and each have a foot print ~2x2' at 18,000 lumens for ~$135. I figure that two of them will do me pretty well and it appears I can disconnect one of the two LED drivers in each if the heat gets too bad for my venting. For my ~2x5' grow area these should give me all the light I can use for about 400 watts.

    I've been thinking that I can reconfigure my system and use 3ea 31/2 gal or 5 gal pots with one/two sprayers in each and recirculate into one low reservoir. Use a tomato cage and screen for each to scrog for a even canopy on each and keep it all in my bathtub w/o sacrificing the heights too much.

    Pat and Titans are playing now. I'll be back! GO Pats!

    GoatSoup Active Member

    Hooray, the LED panel came today and it is really bright, though it may be due to the white leds in the array. The instruction sheet says it should be 210 umols/at 30 CM (~1') or 6230 Lux at 30 cm. My foot candle meter verifies these values +/-. There should be enough blue light to stimulate branching. It is Interesting that this panel includes a small fan which means I need some space above it to vent the fan, so I can't just screw it to the top of the tub like my old one. I may just cut some holes in the top of the tub to allow fan input and put some spacers in to allow the exit air. It should work fine for cloning and early veg.

    I screwed up when I bought the Ecoplus 633 pump, I should have gotten the Ecoplus 396, though it will work, just about $10 too much spent. OR! I can set up the 633 to run two spray arrays for two different shorty tubs and use one rez for both grow tubs.

    Now that I have the parts to set up my cloner I guess I better figure out the grow setup! I'm figuring on using PVC for the SCROG net and set it on the lips of the bath tub, this will allow me to adjust the height with spacers if I have to raise the net during the grow.

    I'm considering only buying one LED lamp and then buy another in Feb for flowering. Spreading out the cost seems reasonable on my limited funds, plus I'd be able to get a $45 Medical card which would allow me 99 plants rather than 6! Then I can set up more clones per cycle and go perpetual! That will depend on how effective my lights are though.

    Since the actual grow 'tent' will be ~70-80 cu ft I'm figuring that a 4" filter and a 120 cfm booster fan should do the job to vent the grow an another booster fan in a 4" intake vent should keep the heat down well, at least in winter/spring/fall.

    I'll have to go to the hardware store and check out the tubs available to make some drawings and see what is possible on the cheap!

    GoatSoup Active Member

    I went to Lowes and found a tub that looks pretty good, slightly shorter than the Ruff Necks that I was using and made of a black plastic about 27 gal, ~$10, which should be enough for 2-4 plants. In looking at the scrog grows it looks like, if I do it right two plants will fill the tub area and I should get 16-20 buds in each ~2'x2.5' area. So I was thinking that two 3.5-5 gal buckets would do to get the stalks spaced right with a pvc base to hold them up and allow them to drain back into the rez?

    I have about 75' of half inch vinyl tubing left over from the drip irrigation I put in my flower beds and a bunch of sprayers and stuff left over to so I thought that might be better than the 1/2 inch pvc for plumbing the pump/sprayers in the pots. The tubing will make everything a lot more flexible if I have to move stuff around and It's already bought!

    I found some pumps on e-bay that are only $6-$10 and ~4-6.5 foot heads and 200 to 400 gph. Cheap enough to have spares in case they breakdown. They use very little current and only run 8-15 watts so they won't heat up the rez much with a 20% duty cycle.

    I guess tomorrow is hardware day, 'cause I have to replace a toilet valve and find out about hanging a light in the kitchen. After that I can set up my cloner tub and get my led panel installed.

    Ablaze Well-Known Member

    When you get a chance, post some pics of how far you've come. bongsmilie

    GoatSoup Active Member

    I've just collected some stuff but have been reconsidering the Rez and grow tubs. Researching the RIU info and searching for seeds and clones. I've been waiting for payday to order my PH and TDS pens, carbon filter, fan and LED light.

    Was turned on the and found that there are so many local resources I never knew about in the Sacto area. There must be 20 shown on the map, some have seeds and some have clones, most have ready rolls for a few bucks. I found one site that had Durbin Poison ready rolls, $30 for five. Another with ten for $40 sativa, indica or hybrid! Clones for $12 each. No Autos found so far though.

    Payday is Wed so I need to get some drawings done to plan the grow for a trial run of two plants. I want to grow some sativa but may just do what ever the fastest clone plants I can find for a test run. The LED lamp I found is supposed to put out 18000 Lux at 1 meter so that should do for now and I can get another next month. It's called a 1500 but it is 150x 10 watt Leds and draws 200-225 watts from the wall. Two of them should do well over a bathtub.

    "Coverage Area: about 5x5 Square Feet ( The lighting area and the height are changeable according to different plants and environments ) Really like 2x2.5 feet for flower 2.5 x3.5 feet for veg according to the info sheet.
    Lumens: 26000lm
    Lux: 18000lux/1m 15000lux/1.5m
    Lifespan: >50,000hours
    LED Power : 1500W
    Power consumption : energy saving ,only consumes about 220W~260W power and much more brighter"

    I found some downward sprayers today at Home Depot that should help reduce the leakage from the aero tubs. I need to get by Walmart to check out some smaller grow tubs. Saw a RIU thread that had some ~12"x16" ones that looked good for single plant tubs and I can run redundant pumps to provide two different sprayer sets in each tub so if one pump fails I won't lose the plant? Might be a perfect way to use those $6 pumps.

    Tomorrow is Play Off day and fix the toilet day, so I'll get some drawings done on Monday and get some pix. Tuesday do the Cloner Assembly and Wed go see about some clones, Up/Down, neuts, ect.

    GoatSoup Active Member

    Well payday came and I ordered my light, two pumps, and Up-Down/PH and TDS stuff. I only ordered one light as I need to design and build the overhead support to hang the lights, Fans and Filters etc. I had no luck at Walmart for the grow boxes, they had some that would work but not in black, only clear!
    I've been considering a metric system and was considering a reservoir of less than the ~20 gallon one in the Ruff Neck tubs, ~1/2 full, that I used in the previous system. One tub I saw that was about the right size to put 2 1/2 in the tub and only 12.5" tall, Listed as 17 Gal. or ~65 Liters. So I thought 50 Liters? easy Ratios to in ml/l I just need a metric measuring cup!
    I had planned to put in external sight gauges on the Rez tubs. I saw a dude did that using plumbing plastic pieces!. Just need to calibrate the gauge to 50 Liters +/- 5. Then I can use another tub the same size and hold 55 liters of PH'd water aerated and ready for a full flush of the main Rez, or to be next Nute change.
    Now on top of those tubs will be one or two grow tubs plumbed with 1/2inch vinyl tubing, using only two, to three spray nozzles per root system and six plants the maximum, One tub could do for lollypops.

    I found some fan options and for a 4" filter,193 cfm fan and inlet duct fan I can have a 8o cu ft room/tent change in a few minutes. For about what the fan at the hydro store cost.

    GoatSoup Active Member

    Parts are starting to dribble in and I painted the inside of my cloner tub to reflect the light better. I need to find a computer junk store and get some computer fans, to vent the cloner hood. Fry's has a 120 mm three speed fan for $12 but not sure I want to pay retail for a fan.

    Since I ordered only one light I thought I'd just run the first pass with just two plants and hold everything in a 2'X 3' space and see how the light does with a scrog screen? Then I can get my fans and carbon filter setup next month.

    Still contemplating the placement of the fans and filters and the overhead structure to hold them. I don't want to screw up the sheet rock with screw holes unless I have to.

    GoatSoup Active Member

    Yesterday I went up to the Hydro store and returned my Eco 633 pump for a set of GH nutes. I got my clone tub fan, a three speed computer fan 80mm, and a wall wart to drive it. My LED panel has a daisy chain type AC input so I will connect the wall wart to the light panel and mount it and the fan today. I'm still waiting for my Up-Down kit to arrive.

    The Hydro store dude wanted me to buy some 'special' blooming nute supplements too. He said it would help build the weight of the buds and make them better, but being short of cash, I just got my three basic GH nutes. He said the kelp stuff was really good for plants in bloom.

    I found some lesser priced 400 gph pumps on E-Bay and got two of them, my TDS-Ph pens, and my big light came in. I just tried the light and WOW is it bright! Not a Burpelish as I thought, because of the white leds. It is like the Samsung panels with just LED chips on a flat panel. Not much heat, even at 6". My Foot Candle Power meter has a screwed up digit on it's LCD panel and so I couldn't get an accurate reading but it seems to be as bright as advertised.

    A local Dispensary has clones for $12 and The Hydro dude said that they should be pretty good, despite them not being of any strain I'd heard of? I'll see if they have any 'fast' ones as I don't want to get in a 14 week flowering cycle on the first run. I'll see if I can get more info on the strains and perhaps get two to start, veg them for a while and cut some clones off them to test my new cloning tub.

    Smok3yMcChok3y Well-Known Member

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