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my first system


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  #1  
Old 02-11-2011, 02:45 PM
CAPT38 CAPT38 is offline
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Default my first system

Well this is my first system, its not finished yet but here is what I have so far..

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  #2  
Old 02-14-2011, 01:10 PM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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nice system. does each one of the pots have a drain back in to the reserve or do they drain on to the top of the tote and then the lid of the tote has a drain?
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  #3  
Old 02-15-2011, 11:52 PM
CAPT38 CAPT38 is offline
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Default re: drianage

Thanks cable,
I drilled holes in the top of the tote, and am using a y garden hose fitting one line feeds the micro drip heads and one recirculates back into the tank.
you can see it better if you follow this link My hydroponic garden

and thanks again
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  #4  
Old 02-16-2011, 08:09 AM
halfway halfway is offline
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What are you using for lights CAPT?

Looks good.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2011, 06:50 PM
CAPT38 CAPT38 is offline
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Hey halfway,
For now, all I am using is standard. cfl. Bulb in a book reader light. When i get back from work I'll be looking for a better light any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. ( lowes sells a very large CFL that a screw in light I was thinking about getting it and a clamp on fixture.)

so far I have 200 invested in this system including. The nutes and other miscellaneous items. I also plan to build a grow tent fro this system, but that may have to wait due to other hydro projects (Also trying to culture portabella mushrooms ) ( make lettuce raft ) and ( a 12 bucket drip for outside for my indoor transfers)
So I've got a lot on my plate and hope to have a lot in my fridge!!
Thanks for commenting.
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2011, 07:28 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I may not be the best person to reply because I have never used lights to grow plants (yet), but I think the tube florescent lights would be the best way to go, compared to cfls (compact florescent lights). Assuming florescent lighting is what we are talking about, and not high energy discharge lighting ("HID"/MH and hps). I was looking at some the other day, and was leaning toward the T8 bulbs. I think that would be the best bang for buck. The T 12's are cheaper, but put out less unsaleable light (lumen's). The particular T 12's I saw were 24 inch tubes, and put out 750 lumen's, the T 8's were also 24 inch but put out 1250 lumen's, and were only 2 dollars more (at about $10).

The light fixtures were not that much either, running about $12 and held between 2 and 4 tubes. Just make sure you get a fixture that's for the right bulb (T12/T8), their not interchangeable. Otherwise you need to exchange them for the right ones, or swap out the ballasts. These prices were at ACE hardware, and in my experience Lowe's and Home Depot are generally cheaper on just about everything.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 02-17-2011 at 07:37 PM.
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2011, 10:10 PM
CAPT38 CAPT38 is offline
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Default re: gph on lighting

There are a few perks at my job one of which is an abundance of supplies. I have access to as many. 2ft T12s as I need along with that I also can acquire 4ft ballasts. (Read something about boosting fluorescent lights) also I have found a bulb. That has npt 120v 1000w ..EIKO. japan on it
( going to research that bulb. ) ?
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2011, 08:17 AM
halfway halfway is offline
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Here is a post from my blog on my indoor grow light setup.

Note that I am not growing any type of fruiting plants and don't require red spectrum or the power to penetrate deep canopy.

This setup performs double duty as it is used for all my springtime "starts". A real cost saver to say the least.

/////////////////////////////

Grow Light Expenses????



Ok, so how much does it cost to purchase and operate artificial lighting?

Lighting expenses continue to be a concern for my indoor growing endeavor because I want to keep this cost neutral or preferably net positive if at all possible. After all, this is "Frugal Hydroponics" right?

The lights I use are simple 2-bulb, 32W, T8, 48" shop lights with on/off pull chains. "T8" fluorescent bulbs are much more efficient than the standard T12 40W bulbs. "T5" systems are more expensive for the initial purchase, but are more efficient than the T8s. I may switch to T5 in the future, but for now I am happy with the results and efficiency of the T8 system.

I bought 3 of these shop lights for less than $9 each and fashioned them together to operate as one 48", 6 bulb fixture of which all are plugged into the same light timer. In effect, I have 6 32W bulbs covering a 48" x 24" growing area. This easily accommodates several standard starter trays or least 3 of the hydro systems. I recommend watching your local big box stores for sales and manufacturers rebates. The lights I bought normally retailed at over $20 each, so wait for the sale.

Since vegetative growth is achieved in the "blue" spectrum, I use 6500k bulbs. A 2-pack of Sylvania T8 6500k bulbs is around $3.50. Since I am growing lettuce, herbs, and my spring starters, the blue spectrum is all I need. If I were to grow plants requiring a flowering stage (peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, decorative flowers etc.), I would need red spectrum bulbs and additional shop light fixtures. At this point, I believe that is cost prohibitive for me as I will grow those type plants outdoors.

Calculating Energy Consumption: 32W bulb x 6 bulbs = 192 watts. 14 hours of use per day x 30 days = 420 running hours. 420 running hours x 192 watts = 80640 monthly watts used. 80640 / 1000 = 80.64 Kilowatts used. My energy company charges $.0783 per kilowatt, so my total monthly expense to run these lights is $6.31.

Expense re-cap: Total cost of shop lights: $27. Total cost of bulbs (replace yearly): $10.50 or $.875 per month. Total energy usage per month: $6-$7.

I feel this is economically feasible for the production I am wanting to achieve. I recommend researching "High Intensity Discharge" systems for anyone wishing to produce flowering plants or increasing production by several magnitude. These systems do require many additional considerations, so research diligently.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:10 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hey CAPT38,
How's the progress on building the system going? I'm looking forward to seeing it in action.

P.S.
Are you still having problems uploading pictures? I noticed that most of the previous pics/thumbnails are not click-able. I'm not sure why that is.
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2011, 04:25 PM
CAPT38 CAPT38 is offline
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Default got lights?

O.k. i go light, well actually I got two lights cfl's, 85 watts 4700 lumens per bulb got them at home depot for 14 bucks and their awesome very bright I will put some new pics as soon as I can.
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  #11  
Old 03-07-2011, 05:52 PM
Rkfm Rkfm is offline
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Capt, your set up looks very well made and efficient. However, you are going to be needing ALOT more light that a CFL can provide. Especially if you are going to grow cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.

A good CFL like the one you have is fine at this stage, but the toms and cuckes will not grow very much and will not fruit. Unless you want to buy 6 or 7 CFLs to place in and around the plants. Even T5s would not work well because once the canopy gets higher, the lumens reaching the lower parts of the plant are negligible. Remember the inverse square law. Those 4700 lumen bulbs will be 1000 a foot away, then 250 at 24 inches.

Your set up looks compact, I would go ahead and buy a 400watt MH/HPS. You can get a decent one for ~$160. Start with the MH bulb for veg growth, then an HPS bulb for fruiting. That 400watt bulb can cover a 4x4 foot grow space and provide 10,000 lumend at 30 inches.

For your lettuce bed tho, the CFL (or better the T5s) will work well because the lettuce has a low canopy and you can put the CFL or T5s right on top of them.

You've already spent some money on a well made system, why not bring out it's full potential with some proper lighting?

BK
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  #12  
Old 03-08-2011, 02:52 PM
CAPT38 CAPT38 is offline
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Default RE:lighting

Thanks for the comments Rkfm, and I have thought about buying a mhl and a hsp light I think that they have one that excepts either bulb hps or mhl but in my case I work offshore in the gulf of mexico and i am not home enough to ensure that a hot light source such as a mhl and hps wont burn my house down, besides the sun is free, and I am building a second drip system for outside that once my indoor veggies are ready they will be transplanted outside. so the 4700 lumen cfls tha i have will work out well ( the sell a 6500 lumen bulb also but I'd have to order it ) and walmart has a cheap mhl I think that it was 75 bucks ( I thought about buying it) but it only had 8000 lumens as did the ones at lowes and home depot. ( It seems that all the outdoor lighting is shifting to cfls due to the fact that their so efficient and the price per bulb ( I can buy 4 cfls verses the mhl or hps )
All in all I think that the cfls will do just fine for the vegetative growth, but there is no substitute for natural sun light but it seems that LEDs are leading the way for the future in grow light technology (which would have been my first choice but their to darn expensive as well as the mhl & hps) thanks for the advice rkfm.
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  #13  
Old 03-08-2011, 05:49 PM
CAPT38 CAPT38 is offline
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Talking

YouTube - My drip system. heres the link for the video
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  #14  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:55 PM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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Just saw the video. Look like your system is really working out. Do you set your drip to go off in a cycle or is it on 24 7?
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  #15  
Old 03-09-2011, 07:51 PM
CAPT38 CAPT38 is offline
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Default re:drip cycle

Its on 24/7

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