My new Grow Cabinet

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Ginger
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Ooh, those blown glass

Ooh, those blown glass watering thingies are elegant and cheap! But yeah, 2 liter soda bottles are probably a better capacity for watering a tomato plant. (How much do those glass bulbs hold?)

I'm amazed that you can tell the difference in tomato plant growth overnight! 

Interesting - I too would have thought 48" was good-size. But yeah, I guess pots are rather tall. With a rectangular floor and space at a premium, those coco-coir grow-bags kinda make sense. More readily squishable into available shape and space.

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

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11.9.08 - 11.13.08 Been

11.9.08 - 11.13.08

Been experimenting with different times and settings, watching temp and humidity. I have the lights on 16 hours and off during the heat of the day for now. Have added three potted adult tomato plants with one still hanging in the utility room for a control. We see a difference overnight with tomatoes turning red and lots of new growth. Am trying an experiment with redneck watering - a narrow necked bottle stuck in the soil, a poor man's version of these that we have in two of the plants. They work fairly well for small indoor plants but are expensive and need to be filled every day or more, a tedious task.

Am going to the hydro shop tomorrow and get some sort of hydro setup to use as these plants die. Still don't know what I want to do but a tilted piece of corrugated fiberglas panel draining into a 5 gallon bucket on the floor with a pump feeding water rings every 30 minutes or so is awfully tempting, not to mention cheap. Having to worry about different heights in an ebb & flow system sounds like too much work unless Peat can enlighten me. I think I'll have plants in different stages so will need to raise smaller ones closer to the lamps as well as using the high/low hangers and modify the hangers for the T5 lamps, they're 16" long and take up 1/3 of the tent.

Conclusions so far:

  • Having a tray of water with airstones raises the RH so little it isn't worth the noise or space. The essential cooling fan changes the air every 30 seconds so it's futile.
  • In a hot environment with a light tight tent, change the light timing so its on during the coolest part of the night. Even T5s give off a lot of heat.
  • It's not as enjoyable as seeing our plants all the time and harder to maintain.
  • It needs more head space. 48" sounds decent but with lights and pots, it's not much more than an AG deluxe but it is lots bigger.
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11.08.08 12:20 am - all off.

11.08.08

12:20 am - all off. Temp dropping quickly, humidity rising slowly, from 24% to 25% in 20 minutes. It's pulling a steady 213 watts when all is on, according to my killawatt meter.

02:44 - all back on, just to see what happens. Humidity hit 30% and temp was 67.3*. Will give it 30 mins and go back to bed... Can't find our timers so have to make a run to Lowes tomorrow. Will find timers an hour after I buy new ones.

03:20 - all off again. Temp climbed to 71.2* and humidity dropped to 26%.

09:40 - all on. Temp dropped to 64* @ 5:58, now 66*, humidity rose to 35% while it was off, house humidity is 32%..

11:50 - Turned air pump off! 76.1*, 29% rh

15:00 - Air pump back on. 80.1* 25% rh

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Edited 11/07 AM... Decided to

Edited 11/07 AM... Decided to consolidate each day's comments into one post, editing and adding as I go. That should make less of a mess I hope. *****************************************************************

Gisette, maybe I should have made a blog or something for this. I like using it as a record of what I do and how it affects things. If you don't mind, I'll continue or you can move it where ever you want.

11.06/08

12:10pm  - I installed a 4" duct top left rear. I situated the duct and 80CFM fan on the outside of the tent, blowing out. I can already see temp rising and RH dropping as it draws in outside air.. My thinking about putting the duct and fan on the outside is to give me more room to raise the light hood. As it sits, it's 16" from the top of the tent and only gives me 30.5" to the floor. A Deluxe raised to the max has about 25" so I want to raise the lamps as far as I can. I'll give it an hour to stabilize then turn on the lamps. The images below update every 15 minutes and link to my weather station page for more info...

12:54

...

I forgot to put the recirculating fan inside. It's clamped on the right rear tent pole blowing out and downward.

13:45 - noticed the temp going up a couple of degrees and couldn't figure out why, I hadn't turned the lamps on yet and the little recircualting fan shouldn't cause any heat. The sun was shining in the open window and hitting the black cabinet! Closed the curtains.

14:05 Turned on the lamps and it's still not looking pretty, it's 82* and still slowly rising. Will tape a bottom vent wide open to see if that has any effect.

15:50 - Packing tape doesn't stick to ballistic nylon and the vent flap kept shutting, they need velcro to hold it open. Used two sets of super magnets to hold it open but temp was almost 83*. I unzipped the bottom front's zippers to give a little more ventilation and it went up 0.2*. Closed them and am monitoring room temp. We closed off central heat but I can feel a definite change in room temp. It's almost 3* warmer than the rest of the house already and still rising. Open the Bedroom door to let heat escape.

Next idea is a deep tray of water with two airstones adding humidity, I hope. Will rig it up and BRB.

16:20 - Put in deep tray of water with airstones. The water came out of our Brita pitcher in the 'fridge so it's temp will drop temps for a while, then we'll see what effect it really has, if any. The room temp is almost 5* above the norm, up to 76*. Hopefully leaving the door open will dissipate some heat and make Maere happy.

19:00 - Opening the bottom vent and the bedroom door has cooled things down to tolerable levels, 79* right now. The water and airstones don't seem to be doing much for humidity and the @#$% noise is almost unbearable no matter what I do with the Elite 802 air pump. Now I remember why I paid a fortune for a big, quiet air pump for the aquariums. It's making ten times the noise of the two fans, the dog, me, Maere, 3 computers and Billy combined and is irritating as can be. I'll leave the lights and air pump on overnight to see how things progress but the air pump is gonna go. What's a  good, quiet air pump that won't break the bank?

So far it seems to be teetering on the edge of usability but I'm not about to put my tomatoes and peppers in there yet. I just put one of the mother tomato plants in there with an aquaglobe just to see what happens. Maere trimmed them way back and brought them in for the winter but they're slowly dying with very little light in the utility room but still have decent tomatoes growing.

Hmm... there is just as much noise coming from the airstones as from the pump. Might have to get a 2' deep well to put 'em in if they help humidity. Here's a couple of pics, best I can do in a small room that serves as our junk collector. The open pic's lamps are so bright it blacks out everything above them but the tent is 16" higher. It is definitely a work in progress.


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11/07/08 Midnight - Unplugged

11/07/08

Midnight - Unplugged the air pump for sanity's sake.

9:00 - Plugged the infernal thing back in. Humidity dropped from 28% to 23% overnight and is coming back up fairly quick, up 3% in 90 minutes. The tomato survived the night.

 

Ginger
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Gisette, maybe I should have

Gisette, maybe I should have made a blog or something for this. I like using it as a record of what I do and how it affects things. If you don't mind, I'll continue or you can move it where ever you want.

We can leave it here for now, if you want. But I added a link to it under your growlogs page.

I use a Tetra air pump for my minis. The pump is nearly silent, but the airstone bubble-popping is loud. I should get a 4-way valve for that. Now I have only a 2-output valve, and 2 minis, so I'm stuck putting the whole pump air output into the water. Too much. Fortunately I like the sound of water.

Yay on moving in the first test victim tent inhabitant!

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

Ginger
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Good to know the humidity

Good to know the humidity rises so easily...

Relative humidity will definitely plummet as air heats, and the tent was getting awfully warm.

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

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I think the humidity will

I think the humidity will take care of itself once the plants and water are inside plus we have a humidifier that works it's tail off to keep the house's RH around 35%. The AGs and all our houseplants do well so I should be OK. The lamps may cook a little moisture out of the air but since the air will be replaced every 30 seconds or so I don't see that being a problem.

Just for data sake (2:15am 11/06/08) I put a small bowl of water inside to see what effect it will have on humidity. I'm seeing it climb fairly quickly. 'Course it's all closed up with no ventilation or light so it's just another useless data point that's interesting nonetheless.

Ginger
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I'm impressed! Data taking!

I'm impressed! Data taking! Figuring it out! Yes!

How are you going to humidify the tent? Or do you expect a certain amount of that to come naturally from putting the plants in? They do transpire... Actually, now that the air's getting dryer with winter, I find leaves stuck together with a fair bit of moisture quite often.

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

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Thanks, Peat. I figured temp

Thanks, Peat. I figured temp would go through the roof and RH would drop but WOW! the temp soared from 73* to 87* in less than an hour. The lamps are bright and HOT. You can see when I opened the tent and installed the lights, the temp dipped a little. Then I  zIpped up andI turned them on for an hour, then off. Within an hour, almost straight up and down temps. As the hanger cables come, they hang down 16", way too far for what I want so I'll have to rig up some sort of short tether for them.

Tomorrow I'll install the 4" exhaust fan and see what difference that makes. So far, we're hating to hide our plants and I'm slowly coming to grips with what I have so this could take a while...

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