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  LUXX 645W LED Review
Posted by: TheBeast - 10-05-2021, 03:50 PM - Forum: Lighting - No Replies

Thinking about getting new lights for the grow. Just watched this review - what are your thoughts?

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  Cloning 101 with CloneX (DIY Guide)
Posted by: TheBeast - 10-05-2021, 03:45 PM - Forum: DIY - No Replies

[Image: s-l400.jpg]


Cloning is a tried and true method for continued success in your garden. To keep your favorite strain in rotation you will need to take clones. A clone is a cutting (a small piece of plant that’s been cut off) that has re-established roots and is a genetic replication of the mother plant. This guide will take you through the steps to successfully root a cutting. Once you’ve mastered the art of cloning you’ll be well on your way to keeping your favorite genetics in rotation and having a self-sustaining garden. No more buying clones from questionable outlets or worrying about bringing in pests from someone else’s garden.

Mother Plants

A mother plant is a plant that has been specifically grown to provide cuttings for starting new plants i.e. clones. The cutting will be genetically identical to the mother, which is why you want to choose a mother that is a strong grower with good genetics. In other words, a healthy plant. Using a fertilizer formulated for the needs of mother plants, like MotherPlant brand fertilizer, is important for the successful rooting of clones. A good fertilizer for mother plants is one that limits excess nitrogen and provides the important building blocks for carbohydrate accumulation. The excess nitrogen contained in standard fertilizers results in low carbohydrate reserves and poor rooting of clones.

MotherPlant fertilizer is formulated to strengthen the cell walls of plants, improve water holding capacity and stress tolerance. This results in energized cuttings that are better prepared to generate healthy new roots. MotherPlant nutrients can be found online and in hydro stores across the United States. For the serious grower that wants to successfully clone their favorite strain, or just keep their garden going, this is an important step. Your mother plant should be watered a few hours before you plan to take cuttings. This ensures that the cuttings will be well nourished and hydrated, preparing them for successful cloning. It’s also recommended to spray Clonex Mist on the chosen donor sights a few days before taking clones. This will help to stimulate root development in your cuttings.


Taking a clone can be as simple, or as complicated, as you want it to be. There are multiple techniques and products on the market for cloning. For this guide, we’re going with a simple but effective method. The following are items you’ll need to successfully clone.

• Mother Plant 

• Rooting Gel 

• Shot Glass 

• Scalpel or Razor 

• Scissors aren’t recommended as they can crush the cutting’s delicate tissue. 

• Be careful not to cut yourself when taking your cutting. 

• Starter Cubes 

• Propagation Tray 

• Humidity Dome 

• Clonex Mist

[Image: clonex-clonex-rooting-gel-50ml.jpg]


Your mother plant is picked out and all your supplies are ready. Now it’s time to take some cuttings. 

Step 1. Sanitize Wash your hands. Then sterilize your equipment. Rubbing alcohol is an ideal choice for sterilizing. 

Step 2. Set up your work area. Have your items laid out and ready to go. A few things you’ll want to do now include: 

• Pour Clonex Rooting Gel into your shot glass. 

• Take packaging off your Starter Cubes 

• Root Riot Starter Cubes are available in both a ready-to-use propagation tray and bags of 50 or 100 count. 

Step 3. Choose your cuttings. You’ll want to choose a branch that looks healthy. Things you’re looking for in a cutting are: 

• Branches on the lower part of the plant 

• Strong growing tips 

• Multiple nodes (leaf nodes are where the leaf connects to the stem) 

Step 4. Take your cutting. Once you’ve chosen a branch, use your scalpel to remove the branch. You’ll want to cut just below the node (the area from which leaves grow) at a 45-degree angle. 

Step 5. Dip the cutting in Clonex Rooting Gel. Dip it directly into the rooting gel you’ve added to your shot glass. Make sure the entire cut area, and its surrounding stem, is covered in the rooting gel. This will stop air from affecting the cut surface area. Air exposure at this point can cause air bubbles that will prevent your cutting from taking up water and eventually rooting. At this point you should clip the fan leaves, reducing the leaf area by 50%.

Step 6. Place the cutting into your Root Riot Starter Cube. Once you’ve finished taking your cuttings and placed them in a propagation tray it’s time to add your humidity dome. You do not want to have leaves pressed up against the dome walls or stuck between the dome and the tray. Make sure you’ve spaced your cuttings to avoid either of these from happening. 

Step 7. Spray your cuttings. Place tray under suitable lighting. Spray your cuttings with Clonex Mist every other day to ensure they don’t dry out. Beyond that, leave the cuttings alone. Most plants will root in 7 – 10 days, but some could take up to 2 weeks or longer. When you see roots coming out of the cube then you’re ready to transplant.


Once you see roots coming out of your starter cubes it’s time to transplant. Most growers tend to use a cup (like the small, red Solo cups) to transplant their newly rooted clones into. The clones are still fragile at this point and should be treated the same as they were when they were cuttings. 

Step 1. Prep Fill your cup halfway with your chosen soil or soilless mix. Sprinkle Clonex Root Maximizer, a mycorrhizae, on to the exposed roots. Root Maximizer will help to extend the overall reach of your plant’s roots. This means your plant will be able to reach water and nutrients that might not be available otherwise. Basically, it helps the plant get more of what it needs to thrive. 

Step 2. Transplant Place your rooted clone in the center of the cup and fill in the remaining space with your soil, or soilless medium, and pack it just over the top of the starter cube. The soil should be packed gently so as not to disrupt the delicate roots or stress the clone, but also tightly so that the clone will not tip over. 

Step 3. Feed Water your clone with Clonex Clone Solution, a clone-specific nutrient. A regular Grow formula at this stage can burn your plant, most likely resulting in a stunted or dead clone.

Clonex Rooting Gel has been helping growers successfully clone for three decades. Billions of clones are proof of the effectiveness of using Clonex. 

Clonex Rooting Gel Clonex Rooting Gel contains a unique proprietary formula in a tenacious gel which will remain in contact around the stem, actually sealing the cut tissue and then supplying the hormones needed to promote root cell development. It is manufactured under strict pharmaceutical laboratory conditions and is, consequently, years ahead of old fashioned hormones and powders. 

Clonex Gel is recommended over powder rooting agents. Powder rooting agents: 

• Can and will be blown around 

• Will wash off the stem when watered 

• Contains talc - a carcinogen Clonex Rooting Gel is EPA registered in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. 

This means it’s approved for use on all crops, including food or ingestible crops. It’s also the only rooting gel approved by the Colorado and Washington Dept. of Agriculture for propagating medical plants. Clonex Rooting Gel is used at the beginning of propagation to help seal your cuttings delicate root tissue and provide the necessary environment for successful rooting. Clonex Clone Solution Clonex Clone Solution is specifically formulated for rooted clones and seedlings. It contains a special blend of minerals and vitamins that encourages rapid root development. Clonex Clone Solution contains specific micro nutrients, and the highest quality minerals including Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Calcium, plus Vitamin B1 which reduces the risk of transplant shock. It is formulated to nourish new root cells in plants. Used with Clonex Rooting Gel, it encourages rapid root development while helping to minimize stress. 

Clonex Mist Clonex Mist is a foliar spray that is for both mother plants and clones to stimulate root development. It is formulated to boost the health and vigor of young plants while promoting robust root development and the elongation of root hairs. Independent trials showed that the use of Clonex Mist vs. water alone to mist cuttings resulted in: 

• Rooting up to 10 days sooner 

• 30% longer roots 

• Up to 156% more roots

Clonex Root Maximizer 

Clonex Root Maximizer is a mycorrhizae fungus product which increases the surface area of your clone’s roots. Mycorrhizae fungus extends the plants reach, allowing it to get more of what it needs. Mycorrhizae fungus is a network of filaments that grow in and around the plant root cells. This forms a mass that extends considerably beyond the plant’s root system, making the plant stronger and more resistant to stress. It even protects your plant against unwanted pathogens. Clonex Root Maximizer puts life into your soil by adding bountiful amounts of mycorrhizae fungi, beneficial bacteria and Trichoderma that combine to improve the overall health and vitality of plants.

Root Riot Plant Starter Cubes

Root Riots are ideal for rooting plant cuttings! They are pH balanced and pre-moistened, so they are ready to use right out of the bag or in the tray. Made from Canadian peat moss, Root Riot cubes have a great spongy texture which retains the perfect air/water ratio for healthy, rapid root growth. 

MotherPlant Nutrients 

MotherPlant nutrients are formulated for mother, or stock plants but can be used throughout the vegetative cycle of your plants with impressive results. It contains the perfect diet for mother plants without excess nitrates. Rich bio-organics are added to improve the uptake of nutrients and strengthen the plant’s natural immunity resulting in strong, vibrant clones. 

Rockwool Conditioning Solution 

Europonic Rockwool Conditioning Solution is an advanced formulation of ingredients that stabilizes and adjusts the pH of rockwool for maximum nutrient utilization by plants. It is ideal for pre-conditioning rockwool and stonewool cubes before starting clones or transplants.

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  Greenmile Hydroponics
Posted by: TheBeast - 10-01-2021, 03:09 PM - Forum: Nutrients - No Replies

If you are in the SoCal area near the IE, dont be shy - come on by and check us out. We carry some of the most extensive lineups of nutrients, amendments, additives, soils, and lighting to fit your needs! Our warehouse stocks over 4,000 items ready to ship or instore pickup today. Also offering free local deliveries**

You can browse our catalogs @ https://greenmilehydro.com 

Also, stay tuned for our FREE LIVE DIY series we are about to launch - both in-person, as well as on zoom.

[Image: IMG-0175.jpg]

** Free local delivery within 25mi radius - excludes heavy bulk items.

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  The Surprising Three-Part Base Nutrient System Veteran Growers Swear By
Posted by: TheBeast - 09-07-2021, 10:19 PM - Forum: Nutrients - No Replies

[Image: Three-Part-Base-Nutrient-System-Jungle-Juice.jpg]
The Surprising Three-Part Base Nutrient System Veteran Growers Swear By
Many growers swear by their old-school formulations. And it’s like they say…
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
But did you know that not every three-part base nutrient system is created equal? That’s right. Even if they’ve got the same obvious benefits — familiarity, flexibility, feeding program control — the subtle differences from brand to brand can add up to a massive variance in the quality of your crop.
That’s why we sell [b]Jungle Juice[/b]…
And why the demand for this base nutrient system never waivers.
Now, there are three questions growers ask us all the time before they make the switch:

What makes Jungle Juice different from other three-part base nutrient systems?

Should I use Jungle Juice or one of Advanced Nutrients' pH Perfect® lines for my grow?

What's the exact application of Jungle Juice?

We’re explaining it all right here…
So if you’re wondering whether Advanced Nutrients Jungle Juice is the right choice for your cannabis plants, then pay close attention to what comes next.

How Is Jungle Juice Different Than Your Traditional Three-Part Base Nutrient System?

No doubt, Jungle Juice bears some similarities to conventional three-part base nutrient systems you’ve seen on the hydro store shelves for years.
And that’s great news for growers who are most comfortable with old-school hydroponic nutrient solutions.
Composed of Grow, Micro, and Bloom components, Advanced Nutrients’ Jungle Juice features both NPK and the micronutrients cannabis plants need to thrive.
So can this base nutrient system actually raise your cannabis cultivation game?
The answer is yes — and here’s why:
In reality, most three-part base nutrient systems have been on the market since the late 1970’s.
That means they’ve remained virtually unchanged — for DECADES.
And while we recognize that many growers aren’t looking to reinvent the wheel, we knew we could provide a superior three-part base nutrient system…
One that combines the best of those conventional formulations with modern-day advancement your cannabis plants will love.
So with Jungle Juice, you’ll still enjoy the same perks you’re used to, including the ability to follow familiar recipes and dial in your own nutrient ratios.
However, you’re also getting…

Increased quality control

Higher quality elements

A better range of chelation

And when you combine those three benefits, you’re setting yourself up for success…
Without having to change your feeding program or dial in a new set of products.
By the way, Jungle Juice is just as cost-effective as alternative solutions, meaning you save money by purchasing a superior product.
Now that you understand the difference, let’s take a look at the second question we’re often asked…

Which Hydroponics Nutrients Are Right For Me — Jungle Juice or the pH Perfect[size=1]® Products?[/size]

Many newcomers to the Advanced Nutrients line ask us this question when trying to decide between our different base nutrient systems.
And chances are, if the question even crosses your mind, then the pH Perfect® line is a better fit for your cannabis plants.
To put it simply, our pH Perfect® base nutrient system is a more modern and comprehensive nutrient, and many of our top growers rely on them to achieve award-winning cannabis cultivation.
If you [i]love[/i] old-school formulations and want to stick with what you know, Jungle Juice is a fantastic upgrade that your plants will undoubtedly love.
Here are three scenarios that make you the perfect fit for Advanced Nutrients’ Jungle Juice:

You’re switching over from another old-school line. In fact, you can even mix and match bottles if you’ve still got some of your old base left, so you never have to worry about throwing away unused products.

You’ve got your own customized recipes that involve multiple products with varying levels of compatibility.

Your schedules are geared towards super-tight economies of scale.

No matter which base nutrient you choose, it’s also important to understand best practices for maximizing yields. This way, your nutrients can support the technique you’ve put in place for optimal success.
Alright, now that we’ve covered who will benefit most from Jungle Juice, let’s get to the final question most growers have about this product.

[font=Archivo Black]What’s the application of Advanced Nutrients’ Jungle Juice?


proper feeding schedule plays a huge part in the success of your cannabis cultivation.
And as you can probably tell by now, one of the biggest benefits of Jungle Juice is that it allows for a ton of versatility.
And you can still use many of the customized recipes that have been circling around the industry for ages.
For example, if you’ve always used the Lucas Formula — a recipe that originated on the online forums in the late 1990s and early 2000s — Jungle Juice can accommodate your current routine perfectly.
And in case you’re searching for a new recipe, the back of the Jungle Juice bottle features a traditional 3-2-1 1-2-3 application you can use. Once you’ve gotten familiar with that, the sky’s the limit when it comes to dialing in the perfect nutrient ratios for your cannabis plants.
[font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The Bottom Line…

If you’re familiar with conventional formulations, but still want to introduce modern advancements into your grow, then Advanced Nutrients’ Jungle Juice is the ideal three-part base nutrient system for your grow.
And when you put it to work for you in your garden today, you’ll benefit from strict quality control measures, superior inputs, and a better range of chelation.

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  N-P-K numbers?
Posted by: TheBeast - 09-01-2021, 03:36 PM - Forum: Nutrients - No Replies

[Image: Heavy-16-Product-Shots-1G-FIRE_600x.jpg?v=1629825362]

Every label carries three conspicuous numbers, usually right above or below the product name. These three numbers form what is called the fertilizer's N-P-K ratio — the proportion of three plant nutrients in order: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).

By Dr. Lynette Morgan
[font='Memphis W01', Times, serif]What do the numbers and letters mean?[/font]
If you (vaguely!) remember the periodic table from high school chemistry, you know that N stands for Nitrogen, P for Phosphorus, and K for potassium. These nutrients are the three numbers on a fertilizer bag listed in order (N-P-K). So, a fertilizer that contains 5-10-10 means it has 5 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus (phosphate), and 10 percent potassium (potash). A “complete” fertilizer contains all three.

What do the different nutrients do?

Each nutrient plays a different role. Nitrogen boosts green leafy growth. “It’s like the gas pedal,” says John Esslinger, horticulture educator at Penn State Extension. “That’s why many lawn fertilizers are high in nitrogen to promote leafy growth.” Phosphorus helps strong roots form, so plants lacking in phosphorus may be purple-ish and slow-growing. Potassium helps promote vigorous growth and hardiness, so a deficit may result in wimpy fruit or spindly plants that fall prey to pests and diseases.

How do I pick a formula?

Now you’ve got some homework to do. “Before you add anything to your lawn or garden, get a soil test,” says Esslinger. “Otherwise, you have no idea where you’re starting from and what your soil needs or doesn’t need.” In fact, some nutrients, such as phosphorus, are good at staying in the soil; you may not need to add them every time you fertilize. And more is not better. It’s not only a waste of money to add stuff you don’t need—it’s also bad for the plants. For example, too much nitrogen will grow monster tomato plants, but you may not get any fruit. And really, then, what’s the point?

Get your soil test kit from a local garden center or your area’s coop extension service; they’re typically about $10 to $20, and you only need to do one every few years. The master gardener at the county extension service can help you decipher the results and explain how much of each nutrient you need to apply. A balanced fertilizer (with all the same numbers, such as 5-5-5) may be okay for many situations such as flower and vegetable gardens, but only a soil test will tell for sure.
[font=Charter, Georgia, Times, serif]Finally, your test also will include your soil’s pH, a measure of how acidic or alkaline your soil is. It’s another important aspect of soil fertility because if your pH is too high or too low, your plants may not be able to use the nutrients you apply, says Esslinger. Based on your test results, an application of lime to raise pH or sulfur to lower pH may be recommended.[/font]

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  Understanding Nutrients
Posted by: TheBeast - 09-01-2021, 03:33 PM - Forum: Nutrients - No Replies

Article 4-1 Nutrients Too Much or Too Little

[font=Lato, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Nutrients – Under and Over Use
By Dr. Lynette Morgan[/font]

Nutrients are the basis of any hydroponic system and since we need to meet all of the plants nutritional requirements, it’s important to know what you are supplying and what can go wrong. With any nutrient solution the two factors to keep in mind are firstly the composition of your nutrient – does it contain all of the elements required for plant growth in the correct ratios. And secondly, with your balanced and complete nutrient solution, what strength or ‘EC’ should it be running at for your particular crop, stage of growth and type of hydroponic system, and how do we measure this.
[font=Lato, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]The nutrient solution – composition

Many growers prefer to buy a ‘pre-mixed’ nutrient solution which simply needs to be diluted (for liquid concentrates) or dissolved in water before use. Often these ‘pre-made’ nutrients come in 2, 3, 4 or even more ‘parts’ so a grower can change the ratio of the mineral elements to allow for either vegetative or fruiting growth or for different crops. There are many excellent brands of these pre-mixed nutrients on the market, however, many growers have come across major problems when they try to use some of the ‘indoor plant food’ or other nutrients which have been designed for plants growing in soil or a pre fertilized potting mix. Often these types of products are not suitable for hydroponics because they are not designed to be a ‘complete plant food’. It is always preferable to buy a nutrient mix which is sold especially for ‘hydroponic’ use, and is a ‘complete’ plant food. To be ‘complete’ a hydroponic nutrient needs to have the essential elements for plant growth these are:[/font]

  • Nitrogen (N)
  • Potassium (K)
  • Phosphorus (P)
  • Calcium (Ca)
  • Magnesium (Mg)
  • Sulphur (S)
  • Iron (Fe)
  • Manganese (Mn)
  • Copper (Cu)
  • Zinc (Zn)
  • Molybdate (Mo)
  • Boron (B)
  • Chlorine (Cl)
The levels that these elements are present in your hydroponic nutrient tend to vary between brands, since there is no one single recommendation for concentrations. Many nutrients may also contain some of the ‘beneficial elements’ such as Nickel (Ni), Cobalt (Co), Silica (Si) or Selenium (Se). While these are not ‘essential’ (plants will still grow without them), they can be beneficial to many crops.
[font=Lato, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Nutrient Problems

Whether you make your own nutrient solution from the different fertilizer salts, or buy a pre-made brand, problems can, an often do, arise with deficiencies of one of more of the nutrient elements. Common reasons for this are that (1) the nutrient strength may be too low, resulting in insufficient nutrients for the plants in general. (2) The nutrient formula you are using may not be completely balanced, and one (or more of the elements) may be deficient. (3) Occasionally, growers may unintentionally leave out one of the fertilizer salts or the wrong fertilizer was used when the nutrient formula was weighted out. And just to complicate matters further, even if your solution is well balanced, sometimes environmental and internal plant conditions prevent the uptake of certain nutrients and deficiency symptoms then result.
Signs of Deficiency
Each of the mineral elements required by the plant has its own set of ‘deficiency signs and symptoms’ and growers can learn to identify many of these. Many of the signs are similar in appearance, but others are very distinct and most good gardening and hydroponic books will detail what these signs are. Briefly the deficiently symptoms for each of the elements are listed below (these may vary slightly between different plant species and depending on how severe the deficiency is):
Deficiency Symptoms
[b]Nitrogen (N):[/b] Plants are short, leaves tend to be pale green-yellow in color, especially on the older foliage. On tomato plants, the undersides of the leaf and stems can develop a purple coloration.
[b]Phosphorus (P):[/b] Plants are usually stunted, and a dark green color. Symptoms occur on the older leaves first and plant maturity is often delayed. Phosphorus deficiency in some plant species can be due to conditions being to cold for uptake of this element, rather than a lack of phosphorus in the nutrient solution.
[b]Potassium (K):[/b] The older leaves become yellowed with scattered dark (brown or black) spots, followed by tissue death. Severe deficiency will stunt the plant and all foliage will become yellowed and curled. On lettuce the leaves may take on a yellowed, bronzed appearance starting on the older foliage.
[b]Sulfur:[/b] Deficiency of sulfur is not common – there may be a yellowing of the leaves, first seen on the new growth.
[b]Magnesium:[/b] Deficiency is common on tomato crops with the older leaves developing yellowed areas between the veins which stay green.
[b]Calcium:[/b] Young leaves are affected before older leaves and become distorted, small in size with spotted or necrotic (dead) areas. Bud development is inhibited and root tips may die back. Tip burn on lettuce is a symptom of calcium deficiency but is also caused by other factors not associated with a solution deficiency. Blossom end rot of tomatoes is also caused by a deficiency of calcium within the fruit tissue (not necessary in the nutrient solution), and is more of a ‘calcium transport’ problem within the plant under certain environmental conditions.
[b]Iron:[/b] Deficiency shows as a distinct yellowing between the leaf veins which stay green, on the new growth and younger leaves (this distinguishes it from magnesium deficiency which shows first on the older leaves). On crops such as tomatoes, iron deficiency may show when conditions are to cold for uptake, rather than be caused be an actual deficiency in solution.
[b]Chlorine:[/b] deficiency shows as wilted leaves which then become yellowed and necrotic, eventually turning a bronze color.
Roots become stunted and thickened near the tips.
[b]Manganese:[/b] Initially, an interveinal yellowing on the younger or older leaves, depending on the plant types. Brown, dry areas may develop and leaves may drop.
[b]Boron:[/b] Plant size is usually reduced, the growing point may die back. Root tips often become swollen and discolored. Leaves eventually become thickened, brittle, and may be curled with yellow spotting.
[b]Zinc:[/b] Short plants with a reduction in internode length and leaf size. Leaf edges may be distorted or puckered, Yellowing between the leaf veins may also develop.
[b]Copper:[/b] Deficiency is rare, but young leaves may become dark green and twisted or misshapen, often with brown, dry spots.
[b]Molybdenum:[/b] Older leaves develop interveinal yellowing, progressing to the younger leaves. Leaf edges may develop scorching or cupping of the leaves.
Solution strength – under and over use, measurement
Provided the nutrient you are using is complete and balanced, the concentration or strength of the solution has major effects on plant growth and development. This is why it is essential to be able to measure solution concentration, using a meaningful unit of measure. Many growers will still be working in ppm, using TDS meters, however there is now an industry move to standardize the unit of solution measurement to EC (electrical conductivity) which is a more accurate and meaningful way to monitor your nutrient. All a TDS or ppm meter actually does is to measure the EC of the solution, then use an approximate conversion figure to convert this to PPM. The problem arises is that this conversion figure is never very accurate, as different nutrient solutions with different compositions of nutrient elements will have different PPM values so using one conversion figure can be extremely inaccurate. What the plants root system is actually responding to is the EC (or osmotic concentration) of the nutrient so this is what we should measure. There are a number of different EC (sometimes called CF) meters, and the ‘water resistant’ pen type meters are commonly used by growers. Depending on where in the world you are, the units expressed on your meter may be different, however it is easy to convert between the different units of EC.
The most commonly used units are either Microsiemens/cm (EC) or conductivity factor (CF) (depending on which country you are in). Other units used or often expressed in crop recommendations are: Millimhos, micromhos, or millisiemens (mS). The conversion between all of these units is:
1 millisiemen (EC) equals 1 millimhos, equals 1,000 microsiemens, equals 1,000 millimhos, equals 10 CF.
It is simply a matter of shifting the decimal place to convert between the different units.[/font]

Running the correct EC for your particular crop and system is important. Some crops such as lettuce and other greens prefer a much lower EC than fruiting crops such as tomatoes, and each crop has its own ideal EC range for optimum growth. When the EC is being run to high for a particular plant, this will show as visible symptoms within the crop. A high EC, effectively puts the plants under ‘water stress’ since the plant cells begin to lose water, back into the more concentrated nutrient solution surrounding the roots. As a result the first sign of nutrient ‘overuse’ is plant wilting, even when supplied with sufficient nutrient solution. If the high EC conditions re not too severe, the plants will adjust to these conditions and you may see growth which is ‘hard’ in appearance – often a darker green then usually, with shorter plants and smaller leaves. When the EC is being run to low, the opposite occurs – greater amounts of water are taken up, growth will be soft and floppy and often a lighter green in appearance.
Fruit will have less flavour and the quality of the whole crop – in terms of dry matter, shelf life, firmness and colour will be reduced. Since other factors affect EC also, such as water uptake from the solution, concentrating the nutrients during warm periods, or nutrient uptake, dropping the EC under a different environmental conditions it is vital that the EC is measured, monitored and adjusted on a regular basis.
By focusing on the two most important solution factors – nutrient balance and nutrient concentration, the hydroponic solution will give maximum growth and yields. When things do go wrong, being able to correctly identify a deficiency symptom before it begins to severely effect your plants is also important, so as always, closely watching what your crop is doing is a growers best line of defence against solution problems

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  Simple guide to principles and hydroponic methods
Posted by: TheBeast - 09-01-2021, 03:27 PM - Forum: Growing: General Discussion - No Replies

PDF Link


Hydroponics is a word derived from Greek consisting of two words: ‘hydro’ meaning water and ‘ponos’ meaning labor. It is a method of crop production in which plants are grown without soil, and nutrients required for plant growth, are supplied through liquid nutrient solution. Plant roots may or may not be supported by artificial substrate such as perlite, vermiculite, rock wool, expanded clay, coconut coir, wooden fiber or a mixture of substrates like perlite and coconut coir (Figure 1).
[Image: figure-1-1.jpg]
[b]Figure 1. [/b]Dutch Bucket System with suspended clay balls.

Nutrient Management
Nutrient management is a method of using crop nutrients as efficiently as possible to improve the productivity without harming the environment. In hydroponics, nutrient management is a very necessary step. Total salt concentration, pH, alkalinity and nutrient concentration ratio are four main characteristics to focus on for nutrient management in soilless culture.
Water Analysis
The very first step for hydroponics is to have the water analyzed by a lab such as the Soil, Water and Forage Analytical Laboratory (SWAFL) at Oklahoma State University. Test for pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and alkalinity. Poor-quality water can cause nutrient toxicity or deficiency problems initially or later in production. Water naturally consists of salts like sodium, calcium, magnesium bicarbonates, chlorides and sulfates. These salts can affect EC and pH of the nutrient solution and should not be above the acceptable level (Table 1).

[font=Rubik, sans-serif][b]Table 1.[/b] Acceptable values for common nutrients found in water.[/font]

Acceptable value (ppm)


Acceptable value (ppm)

Magnesium bicarbonate

Acceptable value (ppm)


Acceptable value (ppm)


Acceptable value (ppm)

What is Total Salt Concentration?

Nutrients are applied in the form of salts, and when these salts dissolve into water they break down into ions. For example, NaCl breaks down into Na+ and Cl– ions. These ions conduct electricity due to their positive and negative ions. Thus, the conductivity of the solution increases with added ions. So EC is a good measure of amount of salts in the solution. A higher EC means higher salt concentration, while a lower EC means a lower salt concentration.

[font=Rubik, sans-serif]Excessively high levels of nutrients induce osmotic stress, ion toxicity and nutrient imbalance, while excessively low values are mostly accompanied by nutrient deficiencies and decreasing plant growth. In soilless culture, total salt concentration of a nutrient solution is the most important characteristic. Conductivity Factor (CF) is a measure of the electrical conductivity of a nutrient solution read in mS/cm (millisemen per centimeter) and sometimes given as μs/cm, which can be multiplied by 1,000 to convert to mS/cm.

[font=Rubik, sans-serif][font='Fjalla One', sans-serif]
Electrical Conductivity and pH Guide for Hydroponics

Published Apr. 2017|Id: HLA-6722

By Hardeep Singh, Bruce Dunn


Hydroponics is a word derived from Greek consisting of two words: ‘hydro’ meaning water and ‘ponos’ meaning labor. It is a method of crop production in which plants are grown without soil, and nutrients required for plant growth, are supplied through liquid nutrient solution. Plant roots may or may not be supported by artificial substrate such as perlite, vermiculite, rock wool, expanded clay, coconut coir, wooden fiber or a mixture of substrates like perlite and coconut coir (Figure 1).


[Image: figure-1-1.jpg]



[b]Figure 1. [/b]Dutch Bucket System with suspended clay balls.





Nutrient Management

Nutrient management is a method of using crop nutrients as efficiently as possible to improve the productivity without harming the environment. In hydroponics, nutrient management is a very necessary step. Total salt concentration, pH, alkalinity and nutrient concentration ratio are four main characteristics to focus on for nutrient management in soilless culture.


Water Analysis

The very first step for hydroponics is to have the water analyzed by a lab such as the Soil, Water and Forage Analytical Laboratory (SWAFL) at Oklahoma State University. Test for pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and alkalinity. Poor-quality water can cause nutrient toxicity or deficiency problems initially or later in production. Water naturally consists of salts like sodium, calcium, magnesium bicarbonates, chlorides and sulfates. These salts can affect EC and pH of the nutrient solution and should not be above the acceptable level (Table 1).


[b]Table 1.[/b] Acceptable values for common nutrients found in water.


Acceptable value (ppm)


Acceptable value (ppm)

Magnesium bicarbonate

Acceptable value (ppm)


Acceptable value (ppm)


Acceptable value (ppm)

What is Total Salt Concentration?

Nutrients are applied in the form of salts, and when these salts dissolve into water they break down into ions. For example, NaCl breaks down into Na+ and Cl– ions. These ions conduct electricity due to their positive and negative ions. Thus, the conductivity of the solution increases with added ions. So EC is a good measure of amount of salts in the solution. A higher EC means higher salt concentration, while a lower EC means a lower salt concentration.


Excessively high levels of nutrients induce osmotic stress, ion toxicity and nutrient imbalance, while excessively low values are mostly accompanied by nutrient deficiencies and decreasing plant growth. In soilless culture, total salt concentration of a nutrient solution is the most important characteristic. Conductivity Factor (CF) is a measure of the electrical conductivity of a nutrient solution read in mS/cm (millisemen per centimeter) and sometimes given as μs/cm, which can be multiplied by 1,000 to convert to mS/cm.


What is pH?

pH is a measure of how acidic or basic the solution is at the time of reading. The range goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. The pH of a nutrient solution influences the availability of nutrients, so it should be maintained in the optimum range. Nutrient solutions used for soilless culture should have a pH between 5 to 6 (usually 5.5), so the pH in the root environment is maintained between 6 to 6.5. This is the pH range at which nutrients are most readily available to plants.



Alkalinity is a term used to express the concentration of bicarbonate (or carbonate, if pH is above 8.2) in ‘natural’ or uncontaminated waters. Bicarbonate (HCO3-) is alkaline and therefore elevates the pH. High alkalinity water (>75 ppm) will cause the pH to increase in the nutrient solutions. For this reason, it is necessary to check the pH of the nutrient solution more frequently whenever high-alkaline water is used. Alkalinity can be removed by using an acidic fertilizer; adding an acid such as phosphoric acid, citric acid or vinegar; or by reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis is a process of purifying the water by pushing water using hydrostatic pump through a semipermeable membrane.


Difference Between Soil and Soilless Culture

In soil culture, soil acts as a buffer and helps to maintain a specific pH and EC suitable for plant growth (Table 2). This buffer is absent in soilless culture, so it is important to maintain an environment suitable for plant growth artificially.


[b]Table 2[/b]. Optimum range of electrical conductivity (EC) and pH values for hydroponic crops.


EC (m $/cm)
1.4 to 1.8

6.0 to 6.8

African Violet

EC (m $/cm)
1.2 to 1.5

6.0 to 7.0


EC (m $/cm)
1.0 to 1.6

5.5 to 6.0


EC (m $/cm)
2.0 to 4.0



EC (m $/cm)
1.8 to 2.2

5.5 to 6.5


EC (m $/cm)
2.8 to 3.5

6.0 to 6.8


EC (m $/cm)
2.5 to 3.0

6.5 to 7.0


EC (m $/cm)
1.8 to 2.4



EC (m $/cm)
2.0 to 3.5



EC (m $/cm)
1.8 to 2.4



EC (m $/cm)
1.7 to 2.0

5.0 to 5.5


EC (m $/cm)
2.5 to 3.5



EC (m $/cm)
1.6 to 2.4

5.5 to 6.0


EC (m $/cm)
1.4 to 1.8

6.5 to 7.0


EC (m $/cm)
1.2 to 1.8

6.0 to 7.0


EC (m $/cm)
1.8 to 2.4



EC (m $/cm)
2.0 to 2.4


Pak Choi

EC (m $/cm)
1.5 to 2.0



EC (m $/cm)
0.8 to 1.8

5.5 to 6.0


EC (m $/cm)
1.8 to 2.2

6.0 to 6.5


EC (m $/cm)
1.6 to 2.0

5.5 to 6.0


EC (m $/cm)
1.5 to 2.5

5.5 to 6.0


EC (m $/cm)
1.8 to 2.3

6.0 to 7.0


EC (m $/cm)
1.8 to 2.2



EC (m $/cm)
1.0 to 1.6

5.5 to 6.5


EC (m $/cm)
2.0 to 4.0

6.0 to 6.5

EC Management

The EC of a nutrient solution can be checked by using an EC meter, which can be bought online and ranges from $100 to $500. A meter that has both EC and pH capabilities is also available (Figure 2). The buffer solution, which can be bought online, is used to calibrate the EC meter (Figure 3).


[Image: figure-2-1.jpg]



[font=Rubik, sans-serif][font=Rubik, sans-serif][b]Figure 2. [/b]Combination EC and pH meter.[/font][/font]

[font=Rubik, sans-serif][font=Rubik, sans-serif] [/font][/font]
[Image: figure-3-1.jpg]




[b]Figure 3. [/b]EC buffer solution.





Every buffer solution has a specific EC (usually 1.41 mS/cm). After placing the probe in the buffer solution, set the EC meter to that specific EC by adjusting the knob on the EC meter. This allows you to calibrate an EC meter.


The following steps should be performed for EC management:

  1. Fill the nutrient tank with tap or filtered water and add fertilizer. Base quantity on the manufacturer recommendation.
  2. Calibrate the EC meter probe using the buffer solution.
  3. Make sure the nutrient solution is stirred up and allow the reading to stabilize, which may take a couple of minutes.
  4. If the reading is higher than the optimum level, dilute the solution by adding more water, then repeat step 3.
  5. If the reading is below the optimum level, add nutrient concentrate until the optimum level is reached by repeating step 3.
  6. Rinse the probe in tap water and store in probe-cleaning fluid.


pH Management

The pH of a solution is checked by using a pH meter, which can be bought online and ranges between $100 to $500. A pH meter probe is calibrated using pH buffer solution, which can also be bought online and usually comes in pH 4, 7 or 10 (Figure 4).


[Image: figure-4-1.jpg]




[b]Figure 4. [/b]pH buffer solutions.





The following steps should be performed for pH management:

  1. Set the desired EC value of the solution.
  2. Calibrate the pH meter probe using the buffer solution. Make sure the nutrient solution is stirred up and allow the reading to stabilize, which may take a couple of minutes.
  3. If the pH reading is high, add phosphoric acid, citric acid, vinegar or pH down products slowly. Wait several minutes before adding more. Repeat until the pH reaches the optimum range.
  4. If the pH is low, add potassium hydroxide, potassium carbonate or a pH up product slowly. Repeat until the pH reaches the optimum range.
  5. Clean the probe and store in cleaning fluid.


Important Points

  1. pH should always be checked after getting the EC into the optimum range.
  2. The pH and EC should be checked daily.
  3. Check the pH and EC at the same time of day.
  4. Water temperature of 72 to 75 F is optimal.


Refreshing the Nutrient Solution

Water may need to be added daily to refresh and replace water consumed by the plants, depending on your water tank size. Nutrient ratios can vary beyond their desired limits through time, causing deficiencies and toxicities. For example, sodium chloride (table salt) will increase in concentration with the constant addition of water and nutrient adjustments, resulting in toxicities. It is advisable to replace the nutrient solution completely every two weeks.


Automatic Monitoring System
[font=Rubik, sans-serif][font=Rubik, sans-serif]The pH and EC can be adjusted manually for small-scale operations, but for commercial farms the amount of solution used in hydroponics is very high, so pH and EC management is time consuming. An automated monitoring system has benefits, such as labor savings, avoiding nutrient shock to plants and removing human error. This system costs between $500 to $4,000.  Manufactures that produce products for automatic monitoring systems include Autogrow, Intellidose, Hanna and CropKing Fertroller System to name a few.[/font][/font]

[font=Rubik, sans-serif][font='Fjalla One', sans-serif]Credit:[/font][/font]
[font=Rubik, sans-serif]Hardeep Singh[/font]

[font=Rubik, sans-serif]Graduate Assistant, Vegetables[/font]

[font=Rubik, sans-serif] [/font]

[font=Rubik, sans-serif]Bruce Dunn[/font]

[font=Rubik, sans-serif]Associate Professor, Floriculture

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  Marijuana 101: Grow Lights
Posted by: TheBeast - 08-28-2021, 05:47 PM - Forum: Lighting - No Replies

[Image: Fluorescent-grow-lights-700px.jpg]

So, you’re thinking about growing marijuana and need to know more about grow lights? Whether you’re doing it legally in Colorado or performing a stealth operation in another state, the characteristics of your grow light will have a dramatic effect on the yield of your crops. The type of light also plays a role in your electricity costs. It’s important to understand exactly what to expect with each type of cannabis grow light available, so let’s take a look at some of the key factors that will help you decide which light to buy:
HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lights are the standard for cannabis growing. The most common HID lights for indoor grows are Metal Halide (MH) and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS). HID lights require more electricity and a larger upfront investment than other lighting alternatives, but they can also be considerably more powerful. If you choose an MH or HPS grow light, it’s important to have a high-functioning exhaust system due to the strong aroma of cannabis that will be coming from your grow room. HID lights also give off a lot of excess heat, and an effective exhaust system will help manage this issue.

High-Intensity Discharge
At different phases of the cannabis plant’s life cycle, different HID lights are recommended for the best results. Metal Halide lamps create a blue light that is well-suited for plants in the vegetation stage (this is the time when the plants begin to grow branches and leaves, still in the earlier part of the growing cycle). High-Pressure Sodium lights produce an orange/red light that helps stimulate the plant’s growth hormones during the flowering stage, which mimics autumn for an outdoor grow. HPS lights use high levels of energy but can make a strong impact on the yield during the flowering stage, so it is worthwhile to consider them. Some growers choose Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) lights, which are in between MH and HPS lights regarding efficiency.
If you choose to go the HID route, you’ll need a ballast to plug it into the wall. You’ll also want to purchase a hood to reflect the light coming from your bulbs. Make sure to match the bulb wattage with the wattage of the lamp (a 600W HID lamp should only use 600W bulbs, etc.).

Fluorescent lights are the second option. They come in two varieties: CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) and T5 lights. Both are less expensive and more energy efficient than HID lights, and they emit a wide spectrum of light, which is beneficial to the plants. In many cases, growers use fluorescent lights in conjunction with MH or HPS lamps to have a high-powered system that also exposes plants to a wide spectrum of light. Growing cannabis with only fluorescent lights is possible, but the yield will likely be smaller because the lights aren’t as powerful as a typical HID.

A third option and one that is gaining traction in the cannabis industry is LED grow lights. LEDs are smaller and give off less heat than HPS lights, and they can increase yield with better energy efficiency. Because LEDs use less electricity than HPS and MH lights, they are becoming a popular alternative to the standard HID. Environmentally conscious growers also choose LEDs because they don’t contain mercury like HIDs. LEDs also don’t burn the plants like HIDs do when they are placed too close.
LED lights are more expensive than HIDs and require a larger upfront payment, but over a longer period of time, they will bring a higher return on investment due to the lower energy costs. In addition to the cost of keeping HID lamps on, growers will incur significant expenses on fans and exhaust to reduce the level of heat in the grow room. HPS and MH lights also require light bulbs to be changed more often than LED lights, another cost to consider.

Wattage Specs
When purchasing a lighting setup, make sure that the wattage of the bulbs is suitable for your room and your expected yield. Commercial growers tend to use bulbs with higher power than home growers because they need to produce higher yields. For a home grower, a single 1,000W light could be enough for six to eight plants, but purchasing a 400W and 600W lamp and spacing them out in the grow room could spread the light around for a better overall yield. Whether the plant is a sativa, indica, or hybrid can also play a role in the amount of wattage needed. Sativa plants use around 66 watts of light per square foot, while indicas use between 40 and 45 watts (hybrids fall in between at about 60 watts).

[Image: grow-light-with-hps-400px.jpg]

In general terms, more light produces more cannabis, but there’s no need to use too much power and run up the electricity bill. Whereas a commercial grower might have 20 or more 1,000W grow lamps in a room, combined with some additional fluorescent lights to give the plants a greater spectrum of light, a home grower could use just a single 400W or 600W light if they’re only trying to produce two plants in a small closet. For example, a 2′ x 2′ grow room would do fine with a 250W HID, but if the plants are spread over a 5′ x 5′ area, then a 1,000W lamp might do better.
If you’re choosing between a HID and an LED lamp, some pretty straightforward calculations can aid the decision-making process. As previously stated, LED lights are typically more expensive than HIDs, but they have lower monthly costs, which will offset the higher price tag. Spending $969 on a top-notch 600W LED light is a higher upfront investment than spending $300 to $500 on a 600W HPS, but the monthly electricity cost of using an HPS will be higher (also don’t forget you’ll need more fans and a more efficient exhaust system with HPS lights). During the vegetative stage, lamps will be on for 18 hours per day, and during flowering, they’ll be on for 12 hours per day. That’s a large electricity expense, and it’s worth crunching some numbers to see whether it is worth it to make the higher initial investment in an LED.

Be Discreet
It should also be pointed out that if you’re in a state where it’s illegal to grow cannabis, HID lights could potentially make the electric bill jump to the point where it would look suspicious to authorities. HPS lights might also be detectable by thermal imaging techniques used to find infrared heat, where LED lights don’t put out enough heat to be spotted. Having a smaller grow operation is one way to prevent any chance of getting “busted,” so keep all of these factors in mind if you’re in the market for a new lamp.
It’s quite easy to purchase grow lights on the internet. Since they are used for horticultural purposes beyond just cannabis growth, there are no laws against purchasing grow lights like there are with buying marijuana. A quick Amazon search for “cannabis grow light” will send you on your way to finding the lamp that’s right for you. There’s also this list of the best 10 LED grow lights. If you are in a state where cannabis is legal, it couldn’t hurt to stop in a local dispensary and ask the budtenders for some additional thoughts on which brands they prefer. The cannabis industry has a “help each other out” kind of vibe, so don’t hesitate to ask the experts their opinions. Good luck!

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  Growing indoors for dummies
Posted by: TheBeast - 08-25-2021, 08:44 PM - Forum: Growing: General Discussion - No Replies

How to Grow Marijuana Indoors

Article By Kim Ronkin Casey

Growing cannabis isn’t like growing a house plant. For optimal quality and maximum yield, you should set up a grow room, so you have more control over the lighting, ventilation, air circulation, temperature, and humidity. If you’re growing photoperiod plants (which require 12 hours of darkness during the flowering stage), a grow room is essential.
Tackle the initial setup
The first thing you need is a room — an unused bedroom or closet does the trick. If you don’t have a suitable room, consider putting up a grow tent (or grow box) in an open space in your home, basement, or garage. You can buy a grow tent or build your own. Your grow room or tent must have the following features:

  • Sufficient space for the number of plants and size of plants you want to grow. The space also must be tall enough to accommodate the plant height and hang a grow light far enough above the plant to prevent it from burning the plant. A three-feet square, six-feet tall area is sufficient for growing one or two plants.
  • Light sealed. No outside light should penetrate the walls. If you close yourself into the room during the daytime or when lights are on in surrounding areas, the room should be pitch black inside. (This isn’t as important for auto-flowering strains.)
  • White or reflective interior walls, floor, and ceiling. If the interior isn’t reflecting light, it’s absorbing it, which is a waste of light. You want all light to be reflected back into the room, so that your plants can absorb it.
  • Floor drain or waterproof tray. You need something in place to catch anything that drains off from the plants.
  • Openings for ventilation fans. The room needs at least two openings, typically one near the bottom at one end of the room and another near the top at the opposite end of the room.
  • Outlets for plugging in lights or fans or an opening for power cords and other wiring.
  • Some type of framework near the top for hanging the grow lights and other equipment.
Simulate the desired climate
When you’re growing outdoors, Mother Nature dictates the climate. When you’re growing indoors, you play that role. Controlling the climate involves regulating the temperature, humidity, and airflow. Ideal conditions vary according to the growth stage:
  • [b]Germination:[/b] During germination, seeds need to be kept warm and moist in the dark. You can start seeds in dampened soil plugs in a mini greenhouse (available at most hardware stores). Just make sure the seeds don’t dry out; otherwise, they’ll be ruined.
  • [b]Seedling/vegetative:[/b] During the vegetative stage, maintain a temperature between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity between 60 and 70 percent. Proper ventilation is necessary to pull in outside air that helps cool your room and deliver a steady supply of carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 concentration should be between 700 and 900 parts per million (ppm). Proper circulation is also necessary to keep the plants healthy.
  • [b]Flowering:[/b] During the flowering stage, maintain a temperature between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity between 50 and 55 percent. Lowering the humidity discourages fungal growth on the buds. The CO2 concentration should be between 1,200 and 1,500 parts per million (ppm).
In terms of temperature, remember this rule: No colder than 60, no hotter than 85, and never above 90.
Focus on air flow
When you grow plants outdoors, air naturally circulates around the plants. When you grow plants indoors, you need to ensure proper ventilation and circulation. Ventilation carries outside air into the room and stale air out of the room, whereas circulation moves air around inside the room. Ventilation and circulation keep plants healthy and support growth in the following ways:
  • [b]Help to regulate heat and humidity:[/b] Grow lights kick out a lot of heat, which also increases the humidity in the grow room. An exhaust fan pulls hot and humid air out of the grow room, creating a vacuum that pulls in cooler, drier air (assuming the room has intake holes or vents).
  • [b]Deliver CO2 to plants:[/b] Plants breathe in carbon dioxide (CO2) and breathe out oxygen (O2). Without proper ventilation, the CO2 supply in the room is depleted, and the plants “suffocate.”
  • [b]Prevent pests and diseases:[/b] Warm, humid, stagnant air provides an ideal environment for mold, mildew, fungi, and certain pests. Pulling in cooler, drier air eliminates this problem, and having a breeze in the room helps to discourage infestations of small flying insects such as gnats.
  • [b]Strengthen plant stalks and stems:[/b] Plants sense the breeze in the room and grow hardier as a result, which provides more support for buds during the flower stage.
Improper air flow in grow rooms is the number one reason for reduced yields and complete crop failure.
Ensure proper ventilation
The first order of business is to install one or two fans to ventilate the room — an exhaust fan, an intake fan, or both. With an active system, you have an exhaust fan on one end of the room and an intake fan of the same size on the opposite end. In a passive system, you use only one fan. As the exhaust fan pulls air out of the room or the intake fan pushes air into the room, air flows in or out through one or more holes on the opposite end of the room. In passive systems, the hole (or holes) without the fan must be larger than the hole with the fan.
Most grow rooms use in-line duct fans, which are very easy to install. Installation is similar to connecting a flexible duct pipe to a clothes dryer. You can buy 4-, 6-, or 8-inch diameter in-line duct fans depending on the size of the room and the size of any existing holes. Six-inch fans are common. If you have a grow tent, check the size of the exhaust and intake holes and buy fans to match.
Also check the cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating of the fan(s) and buy a fan with a CFM rating that’s higher than the volume of the room in cubic feet. The general idea is that you want sufficient ventilation to completely replace the air in the grow room once every minute. Simply measure the room’s length, width, and height in feet and multiply the three numbers. For example, if the room is 3-by-3-by-6 feet, 3 × 3 × 6 = 54 cubic feet, so a fan with a rating of 100 CFM would be sufficient. However, you may need a fan with a higher CFM rating if you’re pumping the air over a long distance or have one or more bends in the duct pipe.
Your intake hole should be near the bottom at one end of the room with the exhaust hole at the top of the opposite end of the room. The exhaust hole is higher, because heat naturally rises to the top.
Whether you use one or two fans, install a filter on the intake and exhaust ducts. The intake filter keeps out bugs, mold spores, dust, and other contaminants. The exhaust filter is usually a carbon filter that helps to reduce the odors from the cannabis exiting the room. You attach the filters directly to the fans or use a piece of flexible duct pipe between the fan and filter.
Use as little duct pipe as necessary and run it as straight as possible. The longer the distance the air has to travel and the more bends in the pipe, the less efficient the air flow. If you must run pipe a long distance or add a bend, consider buying fans with higher CFM ratings.
Circulate the air
Air circulation is also important. Plants don’t “exhale” with any type of force during respiration. Fans used to circulate the air move the O2 surrounding the plants and replace it with CO2 that the plants can “breathe in.” You need one or more fans inside your grow room to maintain proper circulation. Deciding on the number of fans and positioning them in the room is mostly a process of trial and error. The goal is to have all parts of all plants “dancing” — all the leaves should be shaking gently. If you notice any part of any plant that’s not dancing, you may need to reposition the fan(s) or add a fan.
Start with two small fans in opposite corners of the room or one slightly larger oscillating fan in one corner of the room and make adjustments from there.
Supply carbon dioxide
Plants require CO2 to survive. This is the symbiotic relationship plants have with animals. Animals breath in O2 and exhale CO2; plants “inhale” CO2 and “exhale” O2. If your grow room has adequate air flow, CO2 sublimation isn’t necessary, but it increases overall yields if you’re using higher intensity lighting.
Several methods are available for adding CO2 to a grow room. You can buy a tank of CO2 and simply pump it into the room, allow dry ice to melt inside the room, or buy CO2 canisters or bags that release the gas slowly into the room over a period of time. If you’re adding CO2 to your grow room, keep the following important points in mind:
  • Add CO2 only when the lights are on. When the lights are off, plants slow down their use of CO2 considerably, so any CO2 added is CO2
  • Turn off the intake and exhaust fans for a few minutes when releasing CO2; otherwise, you’re pumping out the gas, and wasting it.
  • Add CO2 from the top of the room and in front of one of your circulating fans. It’s denser than air, so it tends to drop toward the floor. For example, if you’re using a CO2 tank, run a hose to near the top of the grow room and lower it so it’s in front of one of the fans.
  • Maintain a level of 900 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 during the vegetative stage and 1,150 ppm during the flower stage. You’ll need a CO2 meter to monitor CO2
Additional CO2 is necessary with higher light intensity, enabling the plant to take advantage of the added light with greater photosynthesis.
Set up grow lights
Lighting is a key factor in a successful indoor grow operation. The types of lights, the way you set them up, and other pieces that control and direct them are the keys to your yield and the flavor of your end product. Here, we guide you through the process of choosing and installing your grow lights.
Calculate your lighting needs
Before you head out to your local nursery or hardware store to shop for grow lights figure out how much light you need. In general, a standard 1,000 watt grow light will cover four plants that have a fully grown diameter of about 3 feet, depending on strain. If you set up your grow lights and plants and notice that some parts of one or more plants aren’t receiving light, you’ll need to add one or more lights.
Choose light fixtures and bulbs
Most standard household light fixtures and bulbs are insufficient for growing cannabis. They don’t provide the intensity and quality of light the plants need for optimal growth. The exception is fluorescent lights (typically T5s) or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), which are okay, but result in smaller, lower-quality buds. We don’t recommend fluorescent lighting.
After ruling out fluorescent lighting, your choice of grow lights depends on your goal and the stage of growth:
  • If your goal is high yields, choose a high intensity discharge (HID) bulb — metal-halide (MH) for the vegetative stage and high-pressure sodium (HPS) during the flower stage. These bulbs emit a lot of light and a lot of heat, so you need to position them at a greater distance from the plants.
  • If you’re looking for better terpene yields for extraction, use light-emitting diode (LED) or ceramic metal halide (CMH) bulbs, because these preserve the terpenes without bulking up the flower weight and density the way high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting does.
Your choice of light fixture depends on the bulbs you want to use. After choosing a bulb type, shop for grow light system that includes all the lighting components you need, including the bulbs. Components/features of a grow room lighting system include the following:
  • [b]Fixture with reflector hood:[/b] The fixture holds the bulbs, and the reflector hood directs the light down to the plants. Reflector hoods come in different types:
  • [b]Closed hood:[/b] Shaped like a box, a closed hood reflector creates a more focused beam of light (and heat).
  • [b]Vented hood:[/b] Similar to a closed hood reflector but with openings on the ends for connecting the hood to in-line duct fans for cooling.
  • [b]Wing:[/b] Typically a curved and textured aluminum sheet that provides a less focused beam of light than a closed hood reflector. The light covers a greater area but is less intense (so is the heat).
  • [b]Parabolic:[/b] Shaped like an umbrella, a parabolic hood distributes light like a wing but in a more circular pattern.
Your choice of hoods is a personal preference. Go with a closed hood if you’re concerned about heat or with an wing or parabolic if you’re not.
  • [b]Ballast:[/b] The ballast provides control over the current that the lightbulb draws from the power source. The following two types of ballasts are most common:
  • [b]Magnetic:[/b] Less expensive, heavy, hot, potentially noisy, susceptible to flicker, and supports only bulbs of a certain wattage. If you want to change from a 400W bulb to a 600W bulb, for example, you need to replace the ballast.
  • [b]Digital:[/b] More expensive, smaller, lighter, cooler, quieter, less susceptible to flicker, more efficient, may be equipped with a dimmable option, may cause radio frequency interference.
  • [b]Hooks and pulleys:[/b] Grow light systems often include hooks and pulleys for hanging the light fixtures in your grow room. Pulleys enable you to more easily raise and lower the light fixtures to place them at the right distance from the tops of the plants.
  • [b]Timer:[/b] Grow light systems typically come with a timer, or you can purchase a timer separately, which automates the process of cycling the lights on and off on schedule.
Mount your light fixtures
Mount the light fixtures to the ceiling of the grow room above the plants, positioning the fixtures to ensure equal distribution of light over the entire canopy. How you mount the light fixtures depends on the fixture and how your grow room ceiling is configured. Using hooks, ropes, or chains and possibly pulleys, you can hang your fixtures in a way that you can easily raise and lower them to the proper distance from the tops of your plants.
Position the lights above the plants, so all parts of all plants are receiving light. The light should be as close to the top of the tallest plant as possible without burning it. Keep a close eye on the plants whenever adjusting the lights, and if the top of any plant is getting burned, raise the light.
Don’t place anything flammable close enough to the light that there’s any possibility the light will ignite it.
Set and reset timers
During the vegetative stage, plants require 18 to 24 hours of light. During the bloom/flower stage, they need 10 to 12 hours of light and at least 12 hours of total darkness (for photoperiod strains); auto-flowering strains will flower without 12 hours of darkness. Putting your grow lights on timers greatly simplifies the process of managing the required light/dark cycles, but you still need to manage the changes in lighting over the growth cycle.
If you plan to have a continuous garden with some plants in veg and some in bloom, set up your lighting differently in those two areas. For photoperiod strains, use a separate grow tent or grow room for plants that are in the vegetative stage and those that are in the flower stage.
To monitor your plants through the growth cycle and adjust the lighting, take the following steps:

  1. [b]Position the lights at the proper distance above the canopy for the vegetative stage.[/b]
  2. [b]Adjust your light timer(s) to provide 18 to 24 hours of light.
    [/b]Experiment with different settings in that range over several grows to find the optimum amount of light for each strain you grow.

  3. [b]Keep an eye on your plants, adjusting the lighting as necessary to keep the lights the proper distance from the tops of the plants as they grow taller.
    [/b]When your plants are about half the size of full-grown plants, they’re ready to switch from the vegetative to the flower stage. (At this point, you either adjust the lighting, as explained in the remaining steps or move the plants to the flower tent or room.)
    The size of a full-grown plant is strain dependent and impacted by light, container size, and other environmental influencers such as CO2. You may have to go through several rounds of growing a particular strain to develop a clear idea what the size of a full-grown plant is and when the plant is ready to switch from the vegetative to the flower stage.

  4. [b]If you were using MH bulbs during the vegetative stage, change to HPS bulbs for the flower stage.
    [/b]You don’t need to change out fluorescent, CFL, or LED bulbs.
    When changing to the brighter HPS bulbs, shade the plants for a couple days to prevent them from getting blasted by the more intense light. You can place a piece of cardboard between the light and the plants to serve this purpose, but make sure it’s as far as possible from the light to prevent a fire.

  5. [b]Adjust the height of your lights to position them the proper distance from the tops of the plants for the flower stage.[/b]
  6. [b]Adjust the timers, so that the plants receive at least 12 hours of total darkness and 10–12 hours of light.
    [/b]Auto-flowering strains don’t need 12 hours of darkness; experiment with the lighting between grows to determine what’s best.

  7. [b]Continue to monitor your plants during the flower stage, adjusting the height of the lights as needed to keep them the proper distance from the tops of the plants as the plants grow taller.
    [/b]When the stigma (the hair-like strands that cover the bud) on half the buds turn orange and red, your plant is ready for harvest.

Measure the light
Light intensity has a big impact on yield. All parts of all plants should have exposure to the light, and the lights should be as close to the plants as possible without burning them. If the top of any plants are wilting or burnt from the light, raise the lights.
For more sophisticated grows, obtain a photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) meter and take measurements at several different locations above the canopy to measure the PAR output of the lights. The PAR measure should never rise above 1,200 PAR.
Decide on a watering/fertilizing system
Whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, you need to decide on a system for watering and fertilizing your plants. You basically have two options: manual and automatic. During your first grows, we recommend the manual method as you develop a sense of how much water and fertilizer your plants generally need.
After developing an understanding of your plants’ water and nutrient needs (which may vary depending on the strain), consider installing an automated irrigation system. These systems are equipped with timers that water and feed plants automatically on a pre-set schedule. They provide the same benefits of lighting systems — the convenience and reliability of automation. However, you still need to monitor your plants to be sure they’re getting enough and not too much water and nutrients.
Use a hydroponics system
In all hydroponics systems, plants are placed in trays or containers that contain a grow medium other than soil, such as pea gravel, expanded clay aggregate, coco coir, or vermiculite. Various systems are then used to deliver water and nutrients to the roots (see Figure 11-1 for illustrations of these systems):
  • [b]Aeroponic:[/b] Plants sit in a tray above a water/nutrient reservoir with their roots dangling down. Solution from the reservoir is sprayed up onto the roots at regular intervals, and excess solution drips down into the reservoir.
  • [b]Drip:[/b] Nutrient-rich water is dripped slowly at regular intervals into the grow medium where the roots can absorb it. Unused water drains back to the reservoir to be reused or to a waste reservoir and then discarded.
  • [b]Deep water culture (DWC):[/b] Plants sit in baskets above an aerated (and typically chilled) water/nutrient reservoir with their roots submerged in the solution, which allows for continuous feeding.
  • [b]Ebb and flow:[/b] Plants sit in pots in a grow tray. Nutrient-rich water is pumped into the grow tray at regular intervals and flows into holes at the bottom and sides of the pots. The pumping stops and water is allowed to drain back into the reservoir from which it was pumped.
  • [b]Nutrient film technique (NFT):[/b] NFT is like a cross between DWC and ebb and flow. Plants sit in baskets above a grow tray. Nutrient-rich water is continuously pumped from a reservoir into the grow tray and then drains from the opposite end of the grow tray back into the reservoir. This arrangement delivers a continuous flow of nutrient-rich water to the roots.
  • [b]Wick:[/b] A plant sits in a container above an aerated, nutrient-rich water reservoir, and a rope or other absorbent material (such as felt) is placed through the middle of the growth medium and into the reservoir. Through capillary action, the solution from the reservoir “climbs” the rope, providing the plant with as much or as little water and nutrients as it demands.
[Image: cannabis-hydroponic-system.jpg]Various hydroponic systems.

Here are a few suggestions for increasing your odds of a successful hydroponics grow:
  • Disinfect all your hydroponics equipment with isopropyl alcohol or bleach between grows to kill off any bacteria or other infectious agents. Anaerobic bacteria can build up in dirty systems and kill your plants from the roots up.
  • Use clean, pH neutral water. Water from a reverse osmosis (RO) system or distilled water is suitable.
  • Aerate the nutrient-rich water solution. You can place an aeration stone in the bottom of the reservoir attached to a small air pump like those carried by local pet stores. Without aeration, your plants may not receive the oxygen they need.
  • Replace the water/nutrient solution every couple weeks. Don’t merely add nutrients, because nutrient concentrations may become too high as a result. (Remember to use a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen concentration during the vegetative stage and higher potassium and phosphorous during the flower stage.)
  • After dumping the old nutrient solution, run a dilute water and hydrogen peroxide solution through the system to clear out any infectious agents and then rinse with plain water.
  • Consider flushing the grow medium with plain water whenever you change the nutrient solution.
When choosing and setting up a hydroponics system, research to find out the type of system that’s best for your grow space and skill level. Simpler is usually better. Use high quality food grade plastics in your system and make sure it’s leak free before starting your grow.
Keep your grow room impeccably clean
At the risk of sounding like your mother, we encourage you to keep your grow room clean. A dirty grow room provides the ideal environment for bacteria, fungi, and pests. Here are a few guidelines for keeping your grow room clean:
  • After each use, wash and disinfect plant containers, grow trays, irrigation hoses, and pumps. Use soap and water followed by isopropyl alcohol or a bleach solution (one part bleach to three parts water). Then, carefully rinse everything with plain water.
  • Keep your grow room free of any dead plant mater and debris. This is where many pests and pathogens can get a foothold in a garden of healthy plants.
  • Watch for common pests such as aphids, fungus gnats, spider mites, and thrips. If you see even one of these nasty critters, identify it and find an effective pesticide. This is where your friendly garden store or grow store staff comes in handy.

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Posted by: TheBeast - 08-25-2021, 04:51 PM - Forum: Greenmile Community - No Replies

Would you like to see greenmilehydro.com accept crypto? If so, which currencies? All feedback appreciated!

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