Auto Airpot Waterfarm LED Grow

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by ssj4jonathan, Apr 28, 2017.


    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    I'm back at it again! A few upgrades later, my setup is better than ever. I've been able to dial it in with for this grow (*crossing fingers*) by learning from my recent disaster of a grow op. (Organic LED DWC Grow). As great as this community is, I wanted to share my grow experience with everyone, so lets begin!
    The Setup: Using three 5 gallons buckets. One is the reservoir (top), the other is the water level controller, and the last one holds the 5 gallon Airpot Waterfarm. This setup took a lot of customizing but it's straight forward. If anyone wants to replicate this, use a yellow Airpot instead of the green one. This will save you from the hassle of shrinking the circumference and adding feet so to keep it from sitting in the water. I took the Airpot one notch higher by putting a collar around the base and a 200 micron filter on the base. Hoping this filters the water and keeps all the Growstone dust and junk inside the pot. We'll see how that works out. And the pump in use is a JW Pet Fusion 700.
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    As for the controller bucket, a PVC Mini Float Valve did the job. One trick I copied from another grow is to hold the float valve in place with a neo magnet and by using some sort of anchor, i.e. tupperware. This makes the water level adjustable and keeps the bucket watertight.
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    Last but not least, the reservoir has an inline ball valve to make transporting it a breeze. Another tip is to give both the controller bucket and reservoir tiny airholes.
    Nutes: Nothing special. Using the Foxfarm trio -- Big Bloom, Grow Big Hydro, Tiger Bloom, along with Busdoctor Microbe Brew.
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    Strain: Bagweed seed? (thanks to Americans for Safe Access). Not using feminized seeds is setting me back a bit. Currently growing my plant in rockwool alone, then once I can sex it, I'll move it into the hydro setup. During my last grow I was brewing earthworm castings and Espoma plant food to make nutes for my girl. For whatever reason, the brew wasn't giving my plant what it needed, as the middle picture indicates. I was forced to add the earthworm castings and Espoma directly on the Rockwool cube then feed it plain tap water. This was the magic procedure (don't rethink the circle moment...). It's been doing fine since.
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    Medium: 3x3 Rockwool cubes and Growstones GS1
    Lights: Starting off with one 8 watt warm white LED bulb and one 12 watt red, blue LED bulb for the seedling stage. Next I'll be moving to a 600 watt COB LED full spectrum grow light. I'm debating whether I should build it myself or buy one off ebay....
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    Growroom: 3x3x5 ebay grow tent.

    Hope you enjoyed the read. There is more to come so stay tuned! :bigjoint:
    GreenLogician and Organic Miner like this.

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    One month later.... Here's an update: Growstones are the worst hydro media ever! Stay away from these rocks, shun them like you would crack rocks. Don't waste your money or time on this product. You've been warned! They might be great for soil since they can be used as a lime substitute and do aerate the surroundings; not sooo great for hydro. So what's new you ask? Well I had to shelve my hydro setup because these growstones are loaded with lime, which was keeping my reservoir at a steady 8.0 PH. I literally conditioned these stones for a month in 3-4 pH'd water and I still couldn't put a dent in the amount of lime these rocks have in them. I was having to add milliliters of 33% sulfuric acid to the res everyday. My only solution was to go with the HEMPY method . Its sad but true. Switching over to neoprene, and recently bought a roll of sponge foam which will be my next grow medium. Read a great review about using this as a medium, since it's pH inert and sterile out of the box. Only down side is the roll has to be cut to size, which means scissoring a shit load of tiny chunks. Looking forward to that....
    Now that I switched to the HEMPY method, my plant is doing much better. On top of that there's more good news: I just now discovered it's a SHE! This might very well be my mother plant for the time being. As for the new setup, I removed the waterfarm tubing from the airpot, and removed the airpot from the 5 gallon bucket. Right now the Airpot is sitting in a basin where my nute solution percolates into it. I'm having to cycle my nutes 3 - 4 times through the medium, each time adding more acid to make the runoff hit 5.5 pH. The basin is also being aerated. This is very similar to my OG setup, except the plant is being watered once every few days versus continually, and the growstones are not sitting in the res. Everything is going good so far doing things this way.
    Not too long ago I popped another bagweed seed, just in case my first germ was a boy, so now we have two plants. My #2 is very stocky, and has a thick brown fuzz that can be seen at the center of the shoot tip where all the leafs come together. I'm thinking this might be a very good sign of what is to come. It was also started off in a 3x3 rockwool cube, and has a similar hempy style setup where the cube is sitting on growstones is a small basin.
    Plans are to take some cuttings from the mother plant and bud them in the hydro setup using the neoprene medium. It's a never ending battle with this hydro. Improvements are coming along everyday in grow room. I decided to increase the rez. volume by putting the 5 gal. bucket in a 10 gal tote. Also picked up some net pot lids. And to top it off, I'm in the process of building a 600 watt dimmable IC LED water cooled rig. I'll add a link to that once all my ebay parts come in and have some time to build it. You guys don't want to miss out on this.

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017

    rkymtnman Well-Known Member

    growstones work fine for me (almost 5 years later). did you wash them per bag instructions? i did it 3 times when i first got them and haven't had any problems. i'm using them in hempy buckets.

    rkymtnman Well-Known Member

    I missed that part. wonder why they are giving you such a headache?

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    Feels like my batch contained the max amount of lime in them. They're just not an ideal growing medium in hydro. Anything that loads the rez with pH up every watering is a never ending headache. I wrote a review about them last month:

    Never using this product again!
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
    rkymtnman likes this.

    rkymtnman Well-Known Member

    if i remember, there's supposed to be only 1% lime? wonder if they changed the recipe/method for making them.

    how old are yours? like i said mine are 5 years plus.
    ssj4jonathan likes this.

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    I read somewhere the max amount was 5% lime per weight. Ordered mine from home depot earlier this year, around march. 5 years ago I bet they were using more glass. After conditioning them with very acid water, I've caught a few rocks that have been badly erroded, so much so they're almost hollow.

    However, the Drain-to-Hempy setup I got going for the mother is working good. I set the pH of the nutes to around 4.5 and adjust according to the run off. On the up side, I'll never need pH up again... lol. Waiting to get my hands on this neoprene roll. Afterwards I'm back to full on hydro.

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    Shit just got lit, literally haha. Added the ultimate upgrade the tent: a custom 600 watt watercooled Smart IC COB rig, 50W 8 full spectrum COBS, and 4 cool white COBS. If anyone is interest in how to build one, visit my how-to thread.
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    my #2 is having a bad hair day. Left the res sitting too long and my old LED light bleached the hell out of it. Started to LST it today also.
    2017-06-27 20.53.41.jpg
    About ten days ago I started hydro-ing #2 (Drain-to-Hempy) and it had a huge growth spur. Same with the mother plant. They're getting real stretchy. Also giving them full strength (1 TSP per gallon) FF Big Bloom and its working too good. The mother is hella green. #2 is following behind. Going to cut it back to 3/4 strength, I'm not liking how tan they're getting.
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    Still using Growstones and having to pH the nute solution to 4.5 and then drain it through the medium for it to reach 5.5. It then sits for a week or two till the PPM drop below 200. Not aerating anything, depending on the Microbe Brew to keep the algae at bay. Temps are hitting the low 80's too. Finally got my hands on a neoprene roll. Going to make it my new medium, and hydro in that from now on. In a month or less I'll be taking cuttings from both plants and flowering them. Going to keep only one mother so I'll be the judge of which one gets smoked. My hydro setup will be put back into action real soon. Things are looking good.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
    GrnMonStr likes this.

    GrnMonStr Well-Known Member

    Looks good, what temperature is the tent running at now with your water cooled setup? I use Big Bloom and I really like it a lot, but for flowering I just started using Earth Juice Bloom.
    ssj4jonathan likes this.

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    Thank you my good sir! I looked up Earth Juice Bloom while I was shopping for nutes. It's made out of good organic stuff but I passed on it because I has used FF before also and reaped real good dank. Also FF sent me some freebies back in the day so I kind of owed them (they don't send out free samples anymore!)

    The lights are at 85VAC (2/3rds power?), and running only one cooling fan on the radiator at the moment. Ambient temp is 70F, my tent is at 72.5F, all without any active air movement. At max power (130VAC), temps did increase 6F, and the variac was humming! I do have two 120mm fans (rated at 90CFM) that will be wired up real soon though. This should eliminate all heat build up issues.

    Going to need them as I plan to max the lights out once I figure out how I'm going to bud 4 clones and keep the mothers happy. On a side note, I'm also waiting on a power usage meter to arrive to know how much power my tent (and equipment) is pulling. Lots of work ahead!
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    Hot off the press:

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

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    Time for an update! Things are getting out of control, literally girls gone wild! Mother-dear is getting huge and #2 is following behind; had to defoliated mother-dear.
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    My new light is really allowing these plants to grow like no other. I've only been running it at 100W too. Won't be maxing out the LEDs untill I start budding and I really do want to get things rolling and start budding both plants... but I don't have any clones yet! Mother-dear's trunk is about the size of a nickel!
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    I've been trying to get a clone off both plants for two weeks. Made 5 cuttings and only two have survived... with no root development at all. And to my amazement, they're living off plain water alone on top of that.

    My clone station is super basic, I have the cuttings in a light proof cup and am aerating them by hand streaming water directly into the cup. It's not working at all. So I'm trying to another method now. I've wrapped a few stems off #2 in wet cloth and have wrapped that in foil.
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    Making sure everything is airtight and well watered, waiting and hoping for some results this way.
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    Temps have been getting very hot lately as well, into the mid 80's now. The highest the temps have gotten is 86 degrees but luckily the heat isn't really affecting much.

    The newest addition to the tent are two 120mm PC fans, wired in parallel to an 12V 2A AC adapter. They're pulling .5A each and are rated to move 93CFM. One is exhausting and another is pushing air into the temp. They're on a .5 on / 1 hr off timer, along with the air pump. All the electronics have been working without a hitch. The two pumps haven't given me a problem, the radiator fan is going strong also. I'm only needing one fan to cool the 100W worth of light. I've tried no fans and all pumps but the lights and water do get pretty warm. Temps go up about 3 degrees too.
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    As for the plants, they're both in small individual reservoirs. Instead of relying on the drain-2-hempy method, I've been filling up the res's enough to touch the bottom of the pots, and added an air line. This is working much better and doesn't require daily watering. However, given the warm temps, I'm noticing a brown sediment residing on the roots. It's not slimy and doesn't smell at all. My only guess is that the microbes and big bloom nutes' sediment are accumulating on the roots. I'm keeping an eye on it and have added H2O2 and bleach to the res to see if it clears up.
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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
    Organic Miner likes this.

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    Man did August fly by! Dam, I'm getting old... Anyways, here's some pics of the plants, Motherdear & #2:
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    Not sure what's going on with #2, its been having a rough time. All the lower leaves have been yellowing up and falling off. It might be root bound? Top growth is slower than normal also. Motherdear on the other hand is exploding. Having a hard time keeping her bonsai, she's a beast.

    Well, my update comes with good news. I started budding today, finally! I was able to get two clones to take root, one from each plant. With only one tent, I'm going to have to figure out how to where to grow these clones (L:Motherdear, and R:#2 ).
    2017-08-24 23.36.41.jpg
    My clone setup is very simple, I'm using the lower end of a gallon water jug to house a mini res, the neoprene cube medium and a 3x3 rockwool cube on top of all that. To fill you guys in, once my tent clears out in 3 months?, I'll be putting these clones into a 5 gallon waterfarm netpot setup with a neoprene medium and SCROG. I will still be putting to use the top 5 gallon res on the controller 5 gallon bucket originally pictured, but to expand the holding capacity of the controller res, I will putting all this into a 10 gallon tote. Also planning on running a water pump to circulate everything around. Already have all the material ready to assemble, just waiting on these buds to materialize.

    Next res change, Tiger bloom will be cracked opened. Also I'm upping the wattage on the SMART AC LED COB Watercooled light setup (jeez what a mouthful). They've been running around 120W right now, so by the end of the grow, I'll be pushing 600 watts. Thinking about upping the wattage 50 watts a week. The fun is yet to come so stay posted, updates every couple of weeks on the budding progress coming soon.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017

    albert111 Well-Known Member

    nice grow wish u the best
    i ordered 20 of those but just the 5k blue and 2k yellow

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