First time grow, setup advice for LED DWC 4x4

Discussion in 'DWC/ Bubbleponics' started by Grower_not_Show-er, Feb 12, 2017.


    Grower_not_Show-er Member

    Hi All,

    Another noob post looking for advice. I'm working toward a relatively simple first grow and have already modified my plans a couple times. I tend to spend more time reading and thinking about all the things that could go wrong than I do actually getting started. I am pretty much out of excuses though and need a little assistance tying up loose ends.

    Here's the setup:
    8x Cree CXB3590 @ 400W on angled aluminum 3500K
    2x Meanwell drivers HLG 85-1400
    6" Hurricane Inline Fan
    6"x24" iPower Carbon Filter
    4x4 Apollo Tent
    EcoPlus 18w air pump W/6x manifold
    6x Large air stones
    3x 5gal black bucket + 6" Net pot lid
    3x 10gal tote (1x per bucket for cooling reservoir)
    Advanced Nutrient PH Perfect 3-part
    Advanced Nutrients boosters

    I plan on running 3 DWC buckets with 2 air stones in each one. Originally was going to do RDWC or even just a reservoir but I really want it simple and want to limit the chances of killing all three with a single mistake. I have seeds from Nirvana, Northern Lights Fem. I chose these as they are supposed to be forgiving to mistakes but still yield well. I will be using Hydroton (or whatever knockoff I bought on Amazon). I have rinsed/soaked these well as I did the air stones. AN PH Perfect will be my nutes for this for simplicity and I'll be using RO water. My 4x4 tent is in the garage, tucked into a corner. I have access to outside air for intake but not really for exhaust.

    I've been running some lettuce I do Kratky style in the tent just to get an idea on the temps. I am running around 72-79f during the day, down to low 60's some nights if it's really cold out.

    Some open questions -

    1. What do I do for intake? I'm using LED so I don't have air-cooling. I doubt I want to just open the bottom vent, seems like bugs would come in. Also, light escapes in/out if I do this.

    2. Buckets are new from Home Depot. I let some fresh rain water sit in them for a few days just to clean them out a little. Is it necessary to sanitize them prior to use with alcohol of bleach etc?

    3. I'll be starting seeds in Rapid Rooter plugs. Recommendations on best method? When do I move from the starter tray into the bucket/net pots?

    4. I have 3 rain barrels that I use for my garden. Would this water be good for DWC? PPM is around 14-20 so low. My concern is that it does sit in there for a while and there is algae on the sides sometimes. Am I just asking for issues?

    5. Using Advanced Nutrients with RO water. I've been to their nutrient calculator. Should I simply start here (at 1/2 strength) or is there a better known mix?

    6. Anyone have a good link to where I can find some sort of printable schedule for temp/humidity/feeding etc that would be helpful?

    Sorry for all the questions, I'm sure this won't be the last time. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Another question. Should I start my seeds under my small 12w LED (blurple), larger 130w LED (blurple) or my Cree's dimmed way down?
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017

    BornGreen1987 Well-Known Member

    Hey Not_shower,

    I'm running a remarkably similar grow right now (RDWC not DWC) and am impressed by this thorough attention to detail.

    I can't answer all of those questions but based on my very recent experience I've got a few tips for you:

    3. I started my seeds in plugs as well and moved them too early. I work for a company that runs hydroponic farms and we keep lettuce in rapid rooters in trays for 3 weeks minimum. They'll reach 3-4" usually before transplanting. In my grow however I thought it made sense to transplant them after only 10 days and not to topfeed, big mistake. Get that rootball nice and developed before you transplant then topfeed for at least a couple of days. Throwing a little Clonex or Hydroguard in the topfeed water will help reduce stress and encourage root development. Also, as they state on the packaging, do not pH the water, the plugs are pH balanced. Just use regular old RO water. Finally, if you can, throw some kind of shroud (plastic or otherwise) over the hydroton so light doesn't penetrate and hit the roots.

    And for your last question, I'd start your seedlings under your Cree's at a low setting. I've got 2 -200w CREE bars with 6500k and 3500ks and they've been incredible for vegging, especially if you can dim them. I started some seedlings under a very similar 12w LED (more red than blue) and it not only stunted their growth but gave the leaves a really weird purple tint that is just now going back to green.

    Kind of excited for this grow. Hoping we'll see some pics of the setup when it's all ready to rock.
    If you're interested, here's a link to my current grow.

    Best of luck.

    Grower_not_Show-er Member

    Thanks BornGreen, I'll definitely check out your grow and appreciate the input. I know I threw up a lot of questions there. After a little research I did answer #1. Pretty simple really. 6" ducting into the tent at an angle covered on the outside with women's stockings (don't tell my wife :) ) Blocks bugs and light.

    I grabbed some fresh RO water today. 10 gallons. Figure I'll run the buckets while I get the seeds started. I'll post as I go in the journal section. Thanks again for the reply and good luck on your grow, I'll be following.

    BBbubblegum Well-Known Member

    Running one 13 gallon current culture reservoir in my 4x4 tent under a Phytomax400 led. If theres one bit of advice I can give you: water chiller.

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