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Basic DWC starter


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Old 05-13-2011, 12:01 AM
silkcom silkcom is offline
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Default Basic DWC starter

I'm starting up my first hydroponic setup. I was planning on doing an aeroponic setup first, but was convinced by the guy over at Frugal Hydroponics that a DWC system would be significantly easier to get started.

The System:
2 10 gallon totes from Lowes - $14 ($7 ea)
1 can of primer spray paint - $3
1 can of black paint - cheapo - $1
1 can of glossy white paint - cheapo brand - $1
2 12" air stones - $5 each i think
1 40 gph air pump - $20 (cheaper if i'd do it from ebay or amazon)
12 3.5in grow cups - $6
Total so far: $50

Other plans:
2 bulb 4' long t8 fixture - $18 from lowes (still need to check price at home depot, i'd prefer a t5)
2 bulbs - $12
Nylon ropes to hold up the fixture and hooks to hold up the lights (not sure price)
Total after: $90 or $100

Not bad. I plan on adding the lights on next paycheck so my wife doesn't get mad .

I also bought some rockwool from a local hydroponic store, will probably buy online next time.

Just getting started, but figured I'd start a thread here. I do plan on making a quick site to show the logs and track results. I'm interested in ideas .

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  #2  
Old 05-13-2011, 03:45 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Ya, a DWC system is much simpler than a aeroponic system, and is a great system to get your feet wet with. I just have a couple of thoughts. You mention the air pump is a "40 gph" (gallons per hour), but air pumps are rated in cubic feet of air per minute. So I think what you have is a air pump that's designed for a 40 gallon fish tank. If so, I think you may want one for each 10 gallon tote for better results.

Also, if I'm understanding correctly, your lighting system is planned for one light fixture with 2 florescent tubes for both storage totes, if so that wont be enough lighting. Halfways lighting (the guy at Frugal Hydroponics) is using 3 times that.

It is a simple rig of three T8 48" dual shop lights fashioned together to create a 6 light system
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:55 AM
silkcom silkcom is offline
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So how much air is actually needed? I'm trying to build the cheapest first system I can that will work to show how it works. I guess that for now I'll have to just use a window maybe with some fluorescents. My worry with hids is the humidity (or other parts that have to be added to the system).
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:27 PM
silkcom silkcom is offline
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42 Watt - CFL - 150 W Equal - 2700K Warm White - Min. Start Temp. -20 Deg. F - 82 CRI - 67 Lumens per Watt - 15 Month Warranty - TCP 801042 | 1000Bulbs.com

I'm thinking that if i bought 2 of these per sq foot for tomatos and peppers then that should work for flowering?

Still looking around to find the cheapest price per foot with the most efficient lumens per watt. It would be cool if people could help in the search i'm sure there are plenty of others that would love to find this out. Those above are $10 per sq foot for 5k lumens, i'm still looking for a 6500k light for vegetation.

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

These should also be taken into account. Per bulb it will cost an extra $2 for the setup.

Last edited by silkcom; 05-13-2011 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:55 PM
halfway halfway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkcom View Post
I'm starting up my first hydroponic setup. I was planning on doing an aeroponic setup first, but was convinced by the guy over at Frugal Hydroponics that a DWC system would be significantly easier to get started.

The System:
2 10 gallon totes from Lowes - $14 ($7 ea)
1 can of primer spray paint - $3
1 can of black paint - cheapo - $1
1 can of glossy white paint - cheapo brand - $1
2 12" air stones - $5 each i think
1 40 gph air pump - $20 (cheaper if i'd do it from ebay or amazon)
12 3.5in grow cups - $6
Total so far: $50

Other plans:
2 bulb 4' long t8 fixture - $18 from lowes (still need to check price at home depot, i'd prefer a t5)
2 bulbs - $12
Nylon ropes to hold up the fixture and hooks to hold up the lights (not sure price)
Total after: $90 or $100

Not bad. I plan on adding the lights on next paycheck so my wife doesn't get mad .

I also bought some rockwool from a local hydroponic store, will probably buy online next time.

Just getting started, but figured I'd start a thread here. I do plan on making a quick site to show the logs and track results. I'm interested in ideas .

Hey! I know that guy!!

Best of success to you. It has worked well for me and I have no real changes in the immediate future.

If you intend on any type of flowering plant, spend the money on T5 system and a couple red spectrum bulbs. Once I relocate and build the greenhouse / hoophouse, I will add T5 to the system.

Best of success!
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:13 PM
silkcom silkcom is offline
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hey halfway love ur blog keep up the good work. Look forward to more videos
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:42 AM
halfway halfway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkcom View Post
hey halfway love ur blog keep up the good work. Look forward to more videos
Thanks. MA good portion of that info came from guys on this site. There is an incredible knowledge and experience base here.

Best of success!
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:48 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkcom View Post
So how much air is actually needed? I'm trying to build the cheapest first system I can that will work to show how it works.
Think of it like this:

How much air is actually needed? To grow what quality of plant? Showing how it works? To what extent? Are you trying to convince a significant other to allow you to spend money on the project because it will be cheaper to grow, than to buy? Keep in mind that not producing what's promised will have negative effects on their opinion of weather hydroponics work at all. you may wind up trying to defend your expenses, and that will just make it harder to negotiate for expenses later.

Spending the least amount of money rarely produces the best results (unless the design makes up for it). Same with lighting, that's why I chose to use natural lighting (it grows great, and is free). Simply put, bottom line I don't think you can give your roots too much air/oxygen. But to answer the question how much is needed, enough to produce the results your looking for. I know that's an ambiguous statement, but everyone's growing and financial situation, as well as expectations are different.

What type of results would you need to justify another air pump/more lighting? It really comes down to cost effectiveness to me. I would always say do the best you can, evaluate the results, and improve based on that. We all learn from our experiences. Just saying if you don't get great plants from one small air pump, and one florescent fixture, don't figure hydroponics doesn't work because you didn't get the best plants on earth. Learn from trying, and grow from your experiences.

But it may be harder to convince a significant other that doesn't have the same faith in hydroponics, because they will just be interested in the final results. Not necessarily how you got there, but how much you spent to create what can be bought at the store will be under a microscope. And if those results were lacking you will have a hard time convincing them to allow you to continue. But the catch 22 is if you try to cut costs to satisfy someone else, and don't produce results they expect, you face the same problem of them not beveling that growing hydroponically will save money in the long run, as well as quality produce.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:11 AM
silkcom silkcom is offline
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For sure. I'm wondering though, do u continue to see increases as u add more air or is there a 'sweet spot'?

What I'm really looking for is the most cost effective way to do this. I know I'm not going to find it but as close as I can come is the goal.


Last edited by silkcom; 05-14-2011 at 11:14 AM.
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