"Organic" LED DWC Grow

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by ssj4jonathan, Mar 6, 2017.


    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    Recently pieced together my hydro setup and now I'm going to keep you all updated on the progress! Germing the seed as we speak but not sure of the strain; it's either cookies or barney's farm. Beggars cannot be choosers seeing how I got these seeds pro bono off a buddy.

    As for the setup: I'm growing out of a 5 gallon bucket. Using a green #5 Air Pot. Medium is Growstones GS-1. Aerating the system with a JW Pet Fusion 700 air pump and General Hydroponics Waterfarm kit #4115. My starter light is a 12W Tao Tronics LED bulb. I will eventually upgrade to a 1000w LED light in due time.

    Mentioned organic because the nutes are coming from 1.25-0-0 Earthworm Castings Soil Enricher and 3-4-4 Espoma Organic Garden-tone. No liquid nutes, no cal mag, just plain old worm shit and organic plant food. Every week I'll be brewing a filtered tea with these two ingredients to keep my thirsty lady happy.

    I wanted to create a simple hydro system that would mimic natural dirt as much as possible. Earthworm castings (EWC) tea fits the bill and is phenomenal for plant growth. However, the nutes coming from this shit is weak so I improvised and bought organic nutes as well. One good thing about brewing tea is that you are loading the system with bennies. This is something you want to do from the start.

    For anyone wishing to replicate my setup, some side notes: the green #5 Air-Pot is too big for a 5 gallon bucket. Modifications were needed like wrapping the pot three knuckles deep to shrink the diameter and then having to zip tie the base to the pot. Also I'm using ice cube tray squares as spacers to prevent the base of the pot from touching the bottom. This gives you breathing room to allow the drip ring to work.

    Sterile and inorganic hydro growers stay tuned, we might learn something.

    Attached Files:

    superdang9000 and Niblixdark like this.

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    This experiment has taken a turn for the worse. Fate has struck down a seedling! The agony... I carelessly left my germinating seed on top of the house propane heater, then lo and behold my gf puts the the dam thing on full blast throughout the night. One seed is toast so I'm germining my cookies strain. Things are going slow to say the least.

    Finished brewing some tea last night too. 1 tablespoon of EWCs and a teaspoon of the garden-tone. TDS was around 390 with tap water and the Ph was near 8. I'll have to brew another batch using filtered water when production starts.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    Update: Week 1

    Starting stats:
    2.5 gallons filtered water
    1 TBS EWCs
    1/4 tbs Gtp food
    Ppm 93
    Ph 8

    Almost one whole week since cookie was germinated and planted directly into the growstones (3/10/17). The drip ring has been running 24 hours pumping diluted EWC/nute tea. The hydro water still smells semi clean, it has this funky earthly aroma to it.

    Experiencing some problems so far: Though initially pHing the tea, my res had been jumping up to 8. Also the Ppm has shoot up to 268. Guessing the Bennies are liking their new home too much? As for the seedling, it has sprouted up through the rocks with a little bit of help and has barely turned green. It's developing very slowly to say the least. Baby leaves have yet to open. Not sure what the problem is but I've been turning off the drip ring occasionally hoping to remedy this.

    If anyone is curious to know how the EWC/nute tea is crafted, let me enlighten you. The first priority is hatching the mycorrhizal spores. So I'm adding oat meal and a dash of grounded wheat germ to the mix, followed by just enough water to keep it moist. The tea ingredients are stored in a sealed jar and placed in a dark place. Once I see hyphae, brown sugar and water are added then everything is aerate for two days. Afterwards the tea is sock filtered and more water is added to achieve desired res height. Finally the Ph is adjusted to around 6 with apple cider vinegar. Brewing this stuff is hard work, I'm hoping this all pays off and allows higher res temps come summer time. No chiller, or sterilizing chemicals needed. That's the plan but time will tell though.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
    MMJ Dreaming 99

    MMJ Dreaming 99 Well-Known Member

    Organic LED lights? This sounds cool. I really wanted organic and free range LED lights.
    ssj4jonathan likes this.

    superdang9000 Member

    They're not truly organic/free range unless you've visited the farm they're grown on and know their names. The LED I painstakingly selected was Charles.
    Yodaweed and MMJ Dreaming 99 like this.

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    Fixing to get my hands on a free range LED light in a few weeks. Uncaged and organic is the best of options nowadays.
    Yodaweed and superdang9000 like this.

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    I have some terrible news 2nd week in, Cookies has died, due to rough handling. After flooding the medium the rocks began to float upwards, so I instinctively pushed everything down with a little too much force, breaking the main stem. No worries though, thanks to my man from Americans for Safe Access, I have 12 other seeds I will be popping soon.

    This grow was a trial and error run and there's still a lot to learn. Even though the prep work is immense, I'm going to keep the setup and organic feeding routines and also improve what I can. For starters, the first improvement will be turning my one bucket dwc into a three bucket auto feeding dwc. Next, everything will be moved into a 4x4 tent. Also will be using a micron filter instead of a sock. Lastly the first Bennie I will introduce will be BT. I was on the verge of a fungus gnat infestation earlier. That wasn't fun.

    I'll keep updating this same thread, so don't chalk this experiment as a failure. More progress to come...

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017

    ssj4jonathan Well-Known Member

    Final update:

    Well I'm throwing in the towel. It seems that earthworm castings and espoma garden tone are incompatible with a hydro setup. I've been battling with nutrient lock out and my plant has been a pale green for weeks with minimal growth. EWC tea mixed with Espoma is a great additive to your normal hydro nutes but won't substitute chemical salts nutrients on its own. Already bit the bullet and bought FoxFarm's hydro trio set.

    For the time being, I resorted to adding the EWC and Espoma directly on the plant. This seems to be working better. I did some research and read some guy was boiling the Espoma to unlock all the nutes for his hydro setup. Only down side is the brew starts to smell like chicken piss. It had come down to this, so my hand was forced to cut the losses.

    On a side note, using rockwool to give the seedlings something to attach to is vital. I was planting the seeds directly into the growstones and every the medium was moved, the tap root was getting damaged.

    Guess I'll have to abandon this thread and start a new one that doesn't mention organic. Either way there's more to come.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017

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