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Thread: How To Grow Hydroponic Marijuana

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    Thumbs up How To Grow Hydroponic Marijuana

    This is a very well explained read on
    How To Grow Hydroponic Marijuana


    How To Grow Hydroponic Marijuana Introduction

    When you grow hydroponic marijuana yourself, you know the crop will be potent (if you started with good seeds) and clean. That is something you can't always count on when buying from someone else. This is especially important if you are growing for medical reasons.

    Using hydroponics to grow plants is fairly simple once you understand how it works. Anyone who wants to learn to grow hydroponic marijuana will succeed in time.

    When you know how to grow your own, you will not have to pay ridiculous prices for top grade marijuana and you will never run out.

    You can use a hydroponic garden to grow just about any kind of plant, not just marijuana. The experience you gain growing hydroponic marijuana can be applied to any other hydroponic crop you decide to grow in the future.

    A hydroponic garden will require monitoring to make sure everything is working properly. If you are away from the grow area for long periods of time, growing hydroponic marijuana might not be possible.

    How it works: A seed that has been germinated and sprouted a root or a plant cutting (clone) is placed in a hydroponic garden and supplied with nutrients (food) and light. After this, the plant develops a root system and leaves. Plants are given about 16-18 hours of light a day during this (the seedling) stage of growth.

    After the plant has put down a solid root system and grown some leaves, it enters the next stage of the marijuana plant life cycle. This is called the growth or vegetative phase. During this phase the light source is on 18 to 24 hours a day. When growing hydroponic marijuana indoors the seedling/vegetative stage usually lasts 4 to 8 weeks.

    The next stage is called flowering. When growing indoors, the flowering stage is started by cutting the light down to 12 hours on and 12 hours off per 24 hour period. With most marijuana strains, the flowering stage lasts about 8 to 12 weeks. Almost all THC (the primary cannabinoid that causes marijuana intoxication) is produced during the flowering stage.

    Total time from germinating to harvest is about 4 months. This can be shortened to 3 months or less by using two growing areas, one for the first stages of life and another strictly for flowering. At the end of flowering, marijuana plants are harvested then allowed to air dry.

    Where To Grow Hydroponic Marijuana


    This guide is about growing hydroponic marijuana indoors, so the growing will be done indoors. Where to grow your marijuana depends on what space you have available. An attic, closet or similar space will do, but a room dedicated to growing is preferred.

    Things to consider include:
    airflow - has to be good
    water - easy access to water
    well hidden - minimize the chance of theft
    electricity - enough power to run everything
    temperature - cool area that stays above 60 degrees F

    The biggest problem most new growers face is maintaining the proper temperature for the plants. A room with an exhaust fan on the ceiling is a good choice, if it is available. The exhaust fan on the ceiling will help keep the temperature cool, and if needed, you can upgrade to a stronger fan to remove a larger volume of hot air (created by the grow-lights).

    A section of a basement also makes a very good area to set up a grow room. An attic will work but heat can be a real problem unless very well ventilated. All grow rooms require fresh air (from another room or outdoors) to replace carbon dioxide that the plants breathe when the grow light(s) are on. Almost any grow room will need some kind of exhaust fan that will move hot air out of the grow room.

    After you have decided where you are going to grow, you have to clean the area and keep it clean. That means scrubbing walls, cleaning equipment, washing floors, etc. Carpets should be removed, if possible.

    Everything in the growing area should be cleaned then sterilized with something like lysol, bleach, or some other germ killer to prevent the marijuana plants from being harmed by germs, bacteria, molds, etc.

    If you are going to grow in an area where the floor may be damaged by water spills (there will be some), the area where the hydroponic system is placed should have some kind of floor covering that will protect it. A thick drop cloth (the plastic sheets painters use to protect items from paint damage) will do a good job.

    Once clean, you can paint the walls and ceiling with white paint to reflect light or use black/white visqueen plastic (white side towards the plants so light is reflected). Commercial reflectors like mylar are sometimes used for this purpose because they are more efficient. Do not use mirrors because they absorb light.

    gloss white paint is about 70% to 75% reflective
    flat white paint is about 75% to 80% reflective
    white visqueen plastic is about 70% to 80% reflective
    mylar is about 95% reflective
    .

    Indica And Sativa

    Before you can start to grow, you will need marijuana seeds or clones. There are two species of cannabis that are grown to produce marijuana, they are Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Even though there are dozens, if not hundreds of marijuana strains, most strains used to grow marijuana are mainly indica, mainly sativa, or an indica/sativa mix.

    All things considered, mainly indica plants are by far the best plant for hydroponic beginners growing indoors. They are easier to grow, don't get as tall, and produce a larger harvest than sativa plants. The only drawback is indica plants have lower THC levels than sativa plants, this makes them a bit less potent.

    As a grower gains experience they may try growing an indica/sativa mix. When very experienced, an indoor hydroponic grower may try a mainly sativa strain. But for the first few crops, stick with indica or indica/sativa plants.

    Hydroponic System For Growing Marijuana

    Now you have a basic idea of how things work, let's get into more detail. If you are going to be growing hydroponic marijuana and have chosen a suitable location, you will need a hydroponic system, also called a hydroponic garden.

    There are different types of hydroponic systems available to marijuana growers. If you would like to know more about hydroponics and the different types of hydroponic systems, there is an article at wikipedia.

    The most common systems for growing marijuana are:
    aeroponics
    deep water culture
    drip (top feed or top irrigation)
    ebb and flow
    nutrient film technique (NFT)

    The method you choose should meet your budget and be able to fit in your growing area. NFT and aeroponic systems are the most efficient types of systems, but they are a bit harder to maintain.

    The number of plants your garden can sustain and the area your garden covers will determine how much light you need. Read the section in this guide about lighting before deciding on a hydroponic system.

    A hydroponic system is made to grow plants without soil. Plant nutrients are mixed with water and 'delivered' to the plants roots by a pump or other method. This delivering of nutrients means that the plant doesn't have to use as much energy making roots in search of the nutrients it requires.

    Energy not used looking for food is used to make the plant develop its leaves and flowers faster than they would if grown in soil.

    It's not uncommon for marijuana plants in hydroponic garden to grow as much as 1 to 2 inches or more, per day, during the vegetative growth phase.

    Because no soil is used, some hydroponic systems require something for the plants roots to anchor themselves to. This is usually referred to as the growing media or growing medium.

    For a personal indoor hydroponic marijuana garden, plants should be grown about eight to sixteen inches apart. Some strains are bushy and they will require more space but produce a larger yield than a slender strain.

    Unless you plan on growing small plants, the roots require a fairly large area to grow in. The opening for each plants roots should be about three inches (or larger). This will accommodate a marijuana plant that will produce a half ounce of marijuana or more. Smaller plants can be grown with a smaller space for roots.


    Lighting For Growing Hydroponic Marijuana

    Choosing a hydroponic system will necessitate the consideration of the right grow light for your needs. Metal Halide (mh) and/or High Pressure Sodium (hps) are the lighting systems you need to flower hydroponic marijuana.

    Fluorescent and LED grow lights are good for the seedling/vegetative stages of growth (or as supplemental light when flowering) but at the present time, they will not produce as big of a harvest as mh or hps grow lights during flowering. It will also take more time for the plant to mature.


    Metal halide light fixtures produce large amounts of blue spectrum energy and are best for vegetative (beginning) growth. The light produced looks similar to the 'cool white' fluorescent light found in schools, offices, stores, and other high traffic areas.
    High pressure sodium light fixtures produce large amounts of red spectrum energy and are best for when the plant is flowering. The light produced looks similar to the 'warm' incandescent lights found in homes, but has a deeper orange-red color. The street lamps in many cities are hps lights.

    What light should you get?
    In a perfect world both metal halide (mh) and high pressure sodium (hps) would be used during both the vegetative and flowering stages of growth.

    For example, a garden with 15 plants or less could use a 250 watt hps and a 250 watt mh lighting fixture. A garden with 20 plants or less could use a 400 watt hps and a 250 watt mh lighting fixture (or 250 watt hps and a 400 watt mh).

    This is not always possible because the cost of two light fixtures will be more that of a single fixture. Two lights will also take up more space and might produce more heat than a single unit.

    You can run

    1. hps light through both stages of growth (ok).
    2. mh light through both stages of growth (ok).
    3. run a mh light through the veg phase of growth followed by hps light through flowering (very good).
    4. run both mh and hps light through both stages of growth (best).

    The list below gives an approximate idea of the area covered and how many marijuana plants can be grown with a certain wattage light system in a dark room. Any sunlight you can give the plants will increase the number of plants you can grow, and will help the plants grow faster.

    The number of plants in the list below is an approximate maximum number you can grow with various wattage mh or hps grow light systems. It is not exact, but it should give you an idea of the area a grow light can cover, and the maximum number of marijuana plants that can be grown in that area.

    * A 250 watt fixture will supply enough light to cover a 2.5 foot by 2.5 foot grow area. (6 plants or less)
    * A 400 watt fixture will supply enough light to cover a 4 foot by 4 foot grow area. (12 plants or less)
    * A 600 watt fixture will supply enough light to cover a 5 foot by 5 foot grow area. (18 plants or less)
    * A 1000 watt fixture will supply enough light to cover a 6.5 foot by 6.5 foot grow area. (30 plants or less)

    In order for the heat produced by a light system not to harm the plant, a 250 watt light system should be started 18 to 30 inches above the tops of the plants, a 400 watt light system should be started 3 to 4 feet above the tops of the plants,

    A 600 watt light system should be started 4 to 5 feet above the tops of the plants, a 1000 watt light system should be started 5 to 6 feet above the tops of the plants.

    The light should be lowered a few inches everyday until the light is as close as it can be without harming the plant. You will have to figure out the optimal distance yourself because it will vary depending on bulb efficiency, quality of reflector, and other things.

    Whatever your light source, replace bulbs after 6 to 12 months of use. If the light is on 24 hours a day replace it after 6 months. If the light is on 18 hours a day replace it after 9 months. If the light is on 12 hours a day replace it after 12 months.

    One note about replacement bulbs, they can be divided into three categories: vertical, horizontal, universal. Vertical bulbs have to be used with fixtures in the vertical position. Horizontal bulbs have to be used with fixtures in the horizontal position. Universal bulbs can be used in a horizontal or vertical position. If you aren't sure what to buy, make sure you get a universal bulb. It will work in either type of fixture.

    The standard ceiling is 8 feet (96 inches) from the floor, most hydroponic systems are on a platform that is 18 to 30 inches off the floor and the plant itself will probably be 18 to 36 inches tall when fully grown.

    In most cases if your ceiling isn't more than 8 feet (96 inches) from the floor, the largest light system you should get is 400-600 watts. 400-600 watt systems are used by a majority of marijuana growers who are growing for personal consumption. If you need more light, get 250, 400, or 600 watt lights rather than 1000 watt lights.

    Experienced growers know how to limit the height of a plant by making plants grow horizontally as opposed to the natural vertical growth marijuana plants follow. The first time grower should use a 1000 watt light systems only in areas with ceiling heights of 10 feet (120 inches) or more.

    For the first week, have the light on 18 hours a day and off 6 hours a day. After the first week you can add an hour of light a day until the light is on 19 to 24 hours a day. The longer the light is on, the faster the plants will grow, but the higher you electricity bill will be.

    You want the plants to be as close to the light as possible without being burned. If the parts of the plants closest to the light dry out, raise the height of the light source, they are too close. If the plants are too far from the light they will stretch and be tall but not have much bud. That is a waste of space and light energy.

    Start high and lower the light a few inches daily until you think the height is right and. Don't forget to raise the light as the plants grow. Plants can grow 3 inches in a single day.

    As the plant grows, some leaves will die and should be removed from the plant by cutting them rather than pulling them off by hand. You may also want to prune your plant, see why and how to prune and pruning tips for an explanation.

    The plant is allowed to grow in the vegetative stage until it is big enough to provide a worthwhile amount of marijuana when harvested. When growing hydroponic marijuana indoors, the seedling/vegetative stage usually lasts 4 to 8 weeks.

    You can let the vegetative stage last several months with no negative effects on the plant. But the vegetative phase can be ended (and the flowering stage began) as soon as the plants are large enough.

    For the first week, have the light on 18 hours a day and off 6 hours a day. After the first week you can add an hour of light a day until the light is on 19 to 24 hours a day. The longer the light is on, the faster the plants will grow, but the higher you electricity bill will be.

    You want the plants to be as close to the light as possible without being burned. If the parts of the plants closest to the light dry out, raise the height of the light source, they are too close. If the plants are too far from the light they will stretch and be tall but not have much bud. That is a waste of space and light energy.

    Start high and lower the light a few inches daily until you think the height is right and. Don't forget to raise the light as the plants grow. Plants can grow 3 inches in a single day.

    As the plant grows, some leaves will die and should be removed from the plant by cutting them rather than pulling them off by hand. You may also want to prune your plant, see why and how to prune and pruning tips for an explanation.

    The plant is allowed to grow in the vegetative stage until it is big enough to provide a worthwhile amount of marijuana when harvested. When growing hydroponic marijuana indoors, the seedling/vegetative stage usually lasts 4 to 8 weeks.

    You can let the vegetative stage last several months with no negative effects on the plant. But the vegetative phase can be ended (and the flowering stage began) as soon as the plants are large enough.

    How To Tell Male From Female Marijuana Plants

    Sinsemilla marijuana is a term for female plants that have not produced seeds. Not producing seeds allows the plant to use more energy producing THC and other chemicals that users require.

    An ancient tradition for cannabis growers, sinsemilla is the result of removing male plants from the grow environment before they have a chance to fertilize the females.

    People who grow hydroponic marijuana indoors always grow sinsemilla. Growing sinsemilla outdoors is harder. Outdoors, a single male plant can fertilize females within an area of a few hundred feet. Indoors, a single male plant will fertilize all females plants in the grow room.

    If you have started from clones you can skip this part as the clones you obtained were female but if you have grown from seed, you will have to separate the male plants from the female plants before the male plants flower and produce pollen (unless you wish to produce seeds). There is approximately a 50% chance a seed will be either male or female.

    Assuming all the seeds are of the same strain, the male plants will almost always mature before the females. The male plant will have small oval pollen sacks that the female lacks. Once you see these sacks, remove the male plants from your garden. In contrast, white hairs (pistils) will begin to develop at bud sites of female plants.

    Male plants from some marijuana strains may be potent, while other strains are worthless for smoking purposes. If you remove male plants from your garden, try cutting 6 to 10 inches off the top of the plant. Dry it and try smoking, sometimes it's worth the effort.

    Harvesting And Curing Hydroponic Marijuana

    After about 8 to 12 weeks of flowering it will be time to harvest. It is very important to harvest at the right time. The optimal time to harvest marijuana plants is when THC production has reached its maximum.

    A rough guide as to when to harvest is to wait until 50%-80% of the white pistils (hairs) have turned dark (usually brown or red). But a better method of determining when to harvest is to wait until certain trichomes on the plant have matured.

    Trichomes on marijuana plants that develop a resin gland at the top are a rich source of THC, and monitoring them will allow you to best judge when the plants are ready for harvesting. A better description of harvesting directions can be located here.

    Right after the plants have been harvested, they should be manicured (leaves removed from the buds), then dried and cured. Marijuana is not potent just after harvest, it is also is harsh and bad tasting. Drying will let a majority of the water in the plant evaporate quickly and curing will finish the drying process.

    After the plants are cut down, some of the THC is in a non-psychoactive acidic form. Besides improving the taste, drying and curing marijuana will convert the non-psychoactive acidic compounds into psychoactive THC. A better description of drying and curing directions can be located here.

    If your marijuana is going to be stored for any amount of time, it should be put in an air tight container and be stored somewhere that is dark, dry, and cool. Remember that light, air, and heat are the things to avoid. They will degrade THC and make marijuana less potent.
    Last edited by up2nogood; 17-06-10 at 10:27 PM.
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    That was a great read but now my eyes are fucked,must be the green on green,try a different colour next time mate.

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    yeah maybe it was a bit hard on the eyes or maybe have to do it bolder

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