Taxonomy upgrade extras:
The beginning of me acquiring a 48x48x20" grow tent with four 4' Flourescent T-5 lights and buying an English made AutoPot system gisette turned me on to is chronicaled here , so I'll spare most of the uglier details. Quite a bit of frustration, aggravation and thought went into getting it running. It took three weeks from arrival to the first planting but all is going well as I write, two weeks into the first grow cycle.
The 62# package arrived early 11.4.08 and it took about 5 minutes to tear into it and see what I had. Surprisingly the grow tent itself was in the smallest box, the 48" 4 tube flourescent fixture with 4 6500K grow tubes and 4 3800K bloom tubes seemed HUGE. Next thing to do was see just how bright these T-5 tubes really are. They use 200 watts and put out 20,000 lumens so I was expecting a decent amount of light but I thought my eyeballs were frying when I turned them on. This picture was taken on our dining table about noon on a bright, sunny day.
It took about five minutes to set up the tent, everything snaps together and I already had a table ready for it in a spare bedroom. I installed the lamps, put in the velcroed double waterproof liner, a remote temp and humidity sensor from my weather station and put in an old bedraggled tomato plant we'd rescued from the cold outside. The first problem arose when I found the lights hung down 16" from the top so I had to tear them apart and install some eyelets for the high/low hangers to attach to. Now they only hang down about 6" and I can raise and lower them as needed.
After much tooth gnashing grief trying to find a hydro system that wouldn't take more of my quickly shrinking headroom, gisette finally turned me on to Autopots that were exactly what I needed. A mixture of coco coir and perlite resting on a bed of growrocks makes for a perfect growing medium. A $3 brick of coco coir mixed 50/50 with perlite will fill more than two 8.5 square x 6" deep pots and it's fun watching the hard brick turn soft and fluffy. Soon the system was installed and planted with Big Jim green chiles in the left two pots and Anaheim green chiles in the right two. I planted 4 sets of seeds in each pot, two in Rapid Rooters and two in dampened "soil" and covered them with cling wrap to hold moisture. The planting date was 11.24.08.
12.01.08 - 7 days after planting and most of the seeds were germinating
12.09.08 - 15 days after planting and already done thinning of weaker double plants
I'm using a weak mix of General Hydroponics Flora Micro, Grow and Bloom liquid nutrients with an EC of 1.0 in the 12 gallon tank using intermittent airstones to keep it in solution. It's develeped a thick tan colored percipitant on the bottom of the tank that just won't mix. My one gallon jars of the mixes are also accumulating this stuff. For now I'm stumped as to what causes it and if it will hurt anything. Any ideas?
Tomorrow I'll top off the pots with growrocks to help contain moisture and prevent algae.
My weather station is always live so you can see just what the conditions inside the tent are as well as a lot of other Albuquerque North Valley weather info.