Hydro Newb looking for help with DIY build

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by graying.geek, Dec 12, 2017.

  1.  
    graying.geek

    graying.geek Well-Known Member

    Okay Hydrophiliacs, after a couple of successful soil grows – first with Jack's Classic, then with organics only – I find myself wanting to give hydro a try. I'm a dedicated, frugal DIYer, so buying a pre-fab setup is not part of the equation. I'm looking for advice on putting together a 3-4 plant system that's simple, productive and resilient, and will all sit on a 45” x 17.5” platform under my 48” x 22” scrog screen.

    When I first started thinking about hydro, my vision was of the standard 4 x 4-gal bucket system with 3 for grow and 1 as the reservoir. So, without thinking through the implications and options, I picked up my buckets, $50 worth of 1.5” PVC pipe, joints, and bulkheads (crap, those things are expensive!), and started cutting holes and assembling.

    But after getting 50% completed, I'm thinking this bucket setup will end up being a huge pain in the arse going forward, and it doesn't seem make a lot of sense. A lot of complexity for what is, in the end, a large shared tank, so, why not just build my own tank? Seems like it would greatly simplify assembly, cleaning, maintenance, recirculation & mixing, everything.

    Before I go any further down this path, I'd appreciate your experiential input. If you're using buckets, are they as big a pain as I perceive, or is there some advantage that I don't? Do you wish you could start over with 1 large tank?

    I've NEVER been exposed to hydro before, so after I get my general design settled, I'll be back with a bunch of newbie questions. Please bear with me and share your experience. If you're a DIYer, what do you wish you'd done differently?
     
  2.  
    Anothermeduser

    Anothermeduser Well-Known Member

    I suggest you read up on cocoa, if you want to run buckets and keep things simple, fix yourself some hempys, set up a irrigation for them, understand that then try recirculating hydro. If you want to go hydro, the best is aero, all you will find for info on that is incorrect though, no documented large scale grows, or documented proper systems. 20 yrs ago seemed more common knowledge. The info is out there though, just on the forums the kiddies and tent growers have flooded it with misinformation. Can be done as reasonable as anything ealse and mostly from the hardware store if one has the desire.......


    Bucket systems are notorious for leaks and root rot.. these are your adversaries in hydro system building, design with these in mind... just my thoughts

    Also be carefull who one takes advice from as most seem to be about high 5ing and circlejerking when it comes to cannabis production and if you need it all explained your already fucked.. good luck budz
     
  3.  
    firsttimeARE

    firsttimeARE Well-Known Member

    Been doing dwc for 6 years and no issues with leaks or root rot.

    It is a less forgiving system than DTW coco though.

    A chiller helps. I grew many years without one. But it def helps in the summer.
     
  4.  
    mytwhyt

    mytwhyt Well-Known Member

    you can build your own version of a waterfarm drip system with 5 gal buckets and basket lids... it's not difficult to connect several, and even add a reservoir to circulate them.. the scottyballs thread is also a great one for learning how to fill a scrog screen..
    https://www.rollitup.org/t/pineapple-express-g13-labs-seed-to-harvest.344359/

    Someone's pic of a diy 5 gal bucket version. 1/2" grommets and barb fittings hardly ever leak.. You'll need a 13/16" spade bit to drill the right size hole for a 1/2 grommet..
    [​IMG]
     
  5.  
    PetFlora

    PetFlora Well-Known Member

    Do a search for Hail Hydro 2.0 New Beginnings

    I insert large square net pots instead of filling each full with ornamental stones. Due to mosquitoes I cover each tote


    IMG_3898.JPG IMG_3902.JPG
     
  6.  
    OldMedUser

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    I've been using RubberMaid tubs since I started doing DWC in '01 and am in the process of setting up a 4 tub grow space. Each tub will be independent as I'll be running different strains and some will be in different stages of flowering. Using AN nutes and RO water so don't need to bother with pH and can just top up every 3 days, check ppm and add a bit of nutes to keep it in my target range.

    One nute change right after the stretch is done and as each tub, (other than ones with stocky indicas in them), will have a ScroG screen above it attached to the tub I'll use a drill pump or shop vac to empty tubs for changes.

    Tubs will be on wheeled dollies to make it easy to move them around and cooling will be cold air from the basement coming in the length of the 4x8' space along the floor so it cools the tubs before mixing in the rest of the room. The whole thing will be lit up with a 1000W Super HPS riding on my 6'6" Light Rail 4.0. Love that thing and want another for my current grow room.

    Gonna crank me out some medicine!

    :peace:
     
  7.  
    PetFlora

    PetFlora Well-Known Member

    DO NOT rely on pH stability. Buy a cheap Milwakee pH pen (~$20). I have to correct daily, but not using AN
     
  8.  
    Jypsy Dog

    Jypsy Dog Well-Known Member

  9.  
    Terry385

    Terry385 Well-Known Member

    DWC one 5 gal bucket 6 inch net pot grows huge plants this one under 600 hps 2 1/2 weeks in flower IMG_20171210_174658259.jpg two lights 3 plants 4 x 8 tent 2 weeks apart flowering.. Add water daily is a must
     
  10.  
    Jypsy Dog

    Jypsy Dog Well-Known Member

  11.  
    OldMedUser

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    That's why I like growing in tubs. Can do multiple plants and still only need to top up every 3 days. pH and PPM are much more stable and if for some reason you can't get to your plants for more than the 3 days they could go another 3 days easy without any damage. With a big plant in in a 5gal pail that really only holds about 3.5gal you are f'd in a couple days.

    Pails are fine in an RDWC system with a big main rez but for stand alone take way more babysitting than I like to have to do. The shorter tubs hold 35L or almost 10USG and the taller tubs hold 50L or or almost 14USG so lots of room for error. I start mine in the shorter tubs then when stretch is over just get a tall tub ready with fresh nutes and lift the lid off the smaller tub and drop it on the larger tub as the lids are the same size. I drill two small holes under the handle of the tubs so there's nothing in the lids to get in the way. No holes below the water line insure I never have a leak and never have had one.

    I always have a 2" hole in the lid for inspection and to add nutes and water or suck out a sample for ppm testing. I just use a cheap drill pump to drain the tub if needed. Takes 2 min to pump it dry.

    An experimental grow starting seeds right in the pots with a little screened promix mixed in with the hydroton balls for the roots to find their way down. 3.5" net pots.

    TubsWithAirStones.jpg

    A one plant DWC ScroG. 8oz of bud and almost the same in sugar leaf and popcorn.

    1plantScroG.jpg

    Massive root development.

    Roots.jpg

    Gotta love it! circle.gif

    :peace:
     
  12.  
    PetFlora

    PetFlora Well-Known Member

    The hammocking is why I run separate totes per each plant

    If you get a male, or a sic plant, it's simple to pull when using separate totesl.
     
  13.  
    OldMedUser

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    Never had problems pulling plants and leaving the old roots in there and done it a dozen times at least. Always ran peroxide but since using my DIY chiller stopped that and old roots don't seem to bother the plants. Even doing reveg 3 times with a plant or two out of 16 dying each time had no problems.

    Or just cut the root mass apart and screen out any roots and keep going without changing nutes, no problemo. After 16 years and 50+ tubs I've tried it all.

    Can't grow in dirt worth a shit but rock DWC! :)

    :peace:
     
  14.  
    OldMedUser

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    I've seen those and they are just to much. Here's how I do my DWC ScroGs. Found a bunch of aluminum flat bar at the dump years ago and took it home knowing I'd find a use for it some day.

    Base of the flat bar is duct taped to the tub and at the lid level I drilled a hole in each bar and put a 3" framing nail thru and bent it so it fits in a hole I drilled in each corner of the tub. A 2x2' piece of sheep fencing for a screen that hangs on baling wire so it "floats" and can move up as the plants grow in height while I'm tying down the grow tips so they grow horizontally along the screen. Side branches get tied down as they grow out too. Once the screen is almost full I flip to flower and continue tying down tips thru the stretch. Short pieces of twist tie are used with ones further back moved forward so there's maybe 4 pieces on each grow tip. If I want to cross a gap I tie in a bridge of longer twist tie off a roll I bought to tie the tip to until I cross the gap.

    I'm sure with a little thought, very little I could come up with a similar solution to adapt my way to a pail but as I don't use pails I won't bother. Got too many irons in the fire as it is. :)

    So much easier and cheaper than all that PVC pipe and other crap.

    ScroGMar291005.jpg ScroGSetup02.jpg

    I cut a small piece out of the lid so I can lift the lid if I have to but never have had to as I can get everything done thru the inspection hole I cut in each lid. The tubs are on wheeled dollies for easy access when tying down tips etc.

    :peace:
     
    graying.geek likes this.
  15.  
    NrthrnMichigan

    NrthrnMichigan Well-Known Member

    Did somebody say scrogging? 4x8 tent, 1 plant in 5 gallon bucket. 20160817_224900.jpg
     
  16.  
    Jypsy Dog

    Jypsy Dog Well-Known Member

    "So much easier and cheaper than all that PVC pipe and other crap."
    Very Nice !!!! I have a Wonder Woman I'm about to "Flip" on my POS, PVC screen.
    [​IMG]
     
  17.  
    zypheruk

    zypheruk Well-Known Member

    @NrthrnMichigan now that is a proper scrog, not something you see to often these days. 99% of what people call scrogs are just supports to hold there buds in place.
    Real nice thanks for posting.
     
    NrthrnMichigan likes this.
  18.  
    mytwhyt

    mytwhyt Well-Known Member

    Scrog screen for 5 gal bucket using cutoff tomato cage.. Don't bend the wire at the weld, bend 1/2" above the weld, if you bend at the weld they'll break every time.. zip tie the screen on
    IMG_2854.JPG 1.JPG IMG_2857.JPG
     
    graying.geek likes this.
  19.  
    NrthrnMichigan

    NrthrnMichigan Well-Known Member

    thanks zypheruk!
     
    zypheruk likes this.
  20.  
    graying.geek

    graying.geek Well-Known Member

    Sweet! How long was that gal veg'ed?
     

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