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pitchatent

making the switch from soil to hydro...

20 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hi everyone, if you're reading this then thanks for taking the time to do it.

 

I'm a fairly experienced soil grower (experienced in the sense that I've done many grows over many years at least), who typically grows autoflowers under leds - I have an 80x80x160cm tent with a viparspectra 450w led, 4" rhino carbon filter and rhino twin speed extraction fan, I usually stagger 3-4 plants at a time in 7 litre pots using Terra professional soil.

 

Every time I switch to a new bag of soil, I have the nervewracking time of wondering if this bag is going to be gnat free or not - I've recently opened a new bag of soil, my newest plants are around 3 weeks old and I now have the dreaded gnats flying round my grow room.  I've got the yellow sticky paper, I can put some sand on the top of the pots, I can water from underneath etc but it's an absolute pain in the ass.

 

SO - I'm wondering if it's about time I investigated moving away from soil and moving to a hydroponic system.  I've been looking at NFT systems and the GT205 seems to be a fairly inexpensive starting point for me.

 

I have absolutely NO clue about how this system works really, I know it means keeping an eye on nutrient levels and ph levels but I don't know what products I actually would need and how much of each one I might need to use.  Although I've grown in soil for a long time, I very rarely even mess around with nutrients and am typically a 'throw the seed in the pot and let it grow' sort of person - I know others get better results than I do (I probably average 21g per plant) but I grow only for myself so I don't need anything outrageous, especially if I can stagger my grows.

 

Can anyone help me with an absolute beginner's guide I can follow from start to finish for my first hydro grow in the setup described above?  (80x80x160cm tent, 450w led) - (as in all of the different equipment I'll need to get started and what I'll need to have a stock of for use throughout the grow) - I know there are an absolute ton of guides out there but I'm getting confused the more I read :D  

 

Any help or assistance would be very much appreciated, thank you so much in advance!

 

 

Edited by pitchatent
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7 minutes ago, pitchatent said:

NFT systems

 

Hi bud,

I wouldn't start with NFT as it's one of the most unforgiving of mistakes,

DWC or RDWC are good systems but with the hot weather coming you'd have to invest in a chiller.

I would have a look at 'Wilma' instead.

I use Advanced Sensi nutes as they don't need PH checking and adjustment, costs a wee bit more than most but worth it imo.

All you need is Grow A+B and Bloom A+B...don't be tempted by any of their other stuff, it's not needed. add Buddhas Tree PK for flowering.

You'll also need an EC meter (bluelab truncheon is best) to measure strength of feed in the reservoir which indicates what the plants need.

Pots and clay pebbles, Rootit or Root Riot starter cubes for seeds/cuttings

 

That's pretty much all you need to get going...tag me if I can help...:yep:

 

:oldtoker:

 

 

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Thanks for taking the time to reply Stu, I really appreciate it!

 

Funnily enough I was just looking at the Wilma system and I'm definitely interested - can you recommend which size I'd be best going for to use in my 80x80x160cm tent?  I'd like to do 4 plants at one time max.

 

So I get my (ideally sized) Wilma system, fill the pots with clay pebbles, fill the reservoir up with water, add the nutrients and then add the seedling?  Also, with the root riot starter cubes, how long does the plant need to grow roots before I can add it to the wilma system and does the plant need to be under my leds to get it going before I can put it in the wilma system?

 

Apologies for the basic questions and huge, huge thanks for taking the time to help!

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4 minutes ago, pitchatent said:

which size

 

Google wilma and you'll get the sizes, a 4 pot should fit into that space (I think there's several different sized 4 pot systems)

Seedlings can go into the system as soon as roots appear outside the rootcube. Water with a weak feed solution once a day to start and build up from there.

I use a small 20w cfl to start seedlings or to root cuttings in the cubes but you can use pretty much any light providing it's not too strong.

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Just now, stu914 said:

 

Google wilma and you'll get the sizes, a 4 pot should fit into that space (I think there's several different sized 4 pot systems)

Seedlings can go into the system as soon as roots appear outside the rootcube. Water with a weak feed solution once a day to start and build up from there.

I use a small 20w cfl to start seedlings or to root cuttings in the cubes but you can use pretty much any light providing it's not too strong.

 

Excellent!  Thanks again Stu - I'm looking at the 4 pot system now, trying to decide if I should get the 4x6 litre pots or the 4x11 litre pots - I guess the only difference is in height, I'd worry that my plants might get too big in 11 litre pots and get too close to the led light.

Definitely looks like the wilma is the sort of thing I want, really appreciate your advice Stu :)

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Funny i used nft years ago and was the best i have used(only hydro tried),had more trouble with compost back then, use coir now but prob go back nft sometime

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47 minutes ago, Personunknown said:

 i used nft years ago

 

Me too bud, it's a real 'marmite' system...love it...or...in my case, fecking hate it...:rofl:

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You can do passive hydro too, something I hope to try this year. Coco or perlite etc. You'll still need a ec meter but it saves buying a system. Just a thought. 

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Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, pitchatent said:

Every time I switch to a new bag of soil, I have the nervewracking time of wondering if this bag is going to be gnat free or not - I've recently opened a new bag of soil, my newest plants are around 3 weeks old and I now have the dreaded gnats flying round my grow room.  I've got the yellow sticky paper, I can put some sand on the top of the pots, I can water from underneath etc but it's an absolute pain in the ass.

 

 

2 words

 

Hypoaspis miles

 

E2A you can always re use your soil once you know its good, just rejuvenate with worm castings and amendments like eco thrive life cycle. 

 

Edited by MindSoup

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Posted (edited)

If u want a simple hydro type setup have a look at hempy buckets, they're about as low tek as you can get, so less expensive and less to go wrong, 2 things that have always put me off hydro growing.

Edited by MindSoup

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Can't beat a bit of compost and hand water if you ask me, nice and simple :yep:

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18 minutes ago, mr rhino said:

Can't beat a bit of compost and hand water if you ask me, nice and simple :yep:

 

I can certainly beat it, hydro is faster and gives higher yields with no handwatering...and it's also nice and simple...

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Posted (edited)

22 hours ago, stu914 said:

 

I can certainly beat it, hydro is faster and gives higher yields with no handwatering...and it's also nice and simple...

 

IME it's rare anything that's made faster ends up better, anyway whats the rush? Always preferred quality over quantity, and IMO that comes from organic soil. 

Edited by MindSoup
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10 minutes ago, MindSoup said:

Always preferred quality over quantity, and IMO that comes from organic soil. 

 

Each to their own bud...:yep:

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I'm considering moving to hydro too, used biobizz soil last grow but hydro seems like the next step for me 

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