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Thread: Indoor Grow Box Set-up

  1. #1
    Malsor is offline Registered+
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    Indoor Grow Box Set-up

    Here is a quick layout on my ideal grow box. Im going to build a custom cabinet type grow box. As you can see in the photo its 3'x3'x7' and I plan to use a 4" exhaust inline duct fan with a carbon scrubber, im not sure what size intake vent hole yet, 400w HPS lighting, 2 CFL side lights, and a circulating fan for strengthing stems and in case I need to cool down the temp a bit. Any ideas on what I should add or change? Any suggestions on how many plants I can fit easily?


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  3. #2
    drudown11's Avatar
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    if its possible, get your ballast out of the growbox. The ballast almost generates more heat than the bulb, and in small growing spaces heat is an issue. I just have a feeling your gunna have a problem keeping plants short enough so that they wont get burned. You only have 3 ft ceiling and that 400watter needs to be about 2 feet away from tops.

    Its probably still gunna get hot as fuck with that light on, run a test run with no plants in there and check the temperatures . Its better to deal with a heat issue when before it kills or stress's your plants.
    Last edited by drudown11; Jun-19-2010 at 09:08.
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    Hello, You may want to rethink your vent size 4" may be enough for cfl's but not enough for a ballast and hps...
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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by drudown11 View Post
    if its possible, get your ballast out of the growbox. The ballast almost generates more heat than the bulb, and in small growing spaces heat is an issue. I just have a feeling your gunna have a problem keeping plants short enough so that they wont get burned. You only have 3 ft ceiling and that 400watter needs to be about 2 feet away from tops.

    Its probably still gunna get hot as fuck with that light on, run a test run with no plants in there and check the temperatures . Its better to deal with a heat issue when before it kills or stress's your plants.
    my grow box is 7' tall so height is not a problem, what are some ideas with the light ballast placement with my grow box?


    Quote Originally Posted by TheChameleon View Post
    Hello, You may want to rethink your vent size 4" may be enough for cfl's but not enough for a ballast and hps...
    yea I was thinking about the vent size. Im thinking something more like a 8" exhaust vent and as for the intake vent Im not sure yet.

  6. #5
    Malsor is offline Registered+
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    do you think a 600w hps will generate too much heat for my grow box (3'x3'x7' WxLxH) with a 6" vent air cooled reflector and 6" exhaust fan with the carbon scurbber? I was thinking of going with 400w hps but I would rather go with 600w if it wont give me problems. What do I need to change in order to make a 600w hps and 2 side cfl lights work with my grow box without the extra heat? I will exhaust everything out a window.

  7. #6
    khyberkitsune is offline Banned
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    Wow that's going to be a TON of heat in the box. Yes, get the ballast outside of the box. Beef up your cooling, if you're going HID you should stick with the 400w, get a cooltube for that bad boy, put it in the center, hanging vertically. 8 plants, one per square foot, on the outsides. You won't even need the side CFL lighting with that configuration. 600w would not be necessary. Try using MH for this, if you can, since they're more often used in a vertical orientation. This method will get you far more yield than you would by using an overhead horizontally-oriented/reflector light setup of the same wattage.

    You could also try LED, but that's only if you've got the setup cash. Two 120 or 150w panels would do the same thing, and with the way those work, this can give you an option of making two tiers in your cabinet, and doubling your plant amount, and giving you tons more options in your preferred method (you could run a mom/clone/veg cabinet down below and flower up top, for example.)

    Different approaches will yield different results. Just tossing in some ideas.

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    Malsor is offline Registered+
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    Quote Originally Posted by khyberkitsune View Post
    Wow that's going to be a TON of heat in the box. Yes, get the ballast outside of the box. Beef up your cooling, if you're going HID you should stick with the 400w, get a cooltube for that bad boy, put it in the center, hanging vertically. 8 plants, one per square foot, on the outsides. You won't even need the side CFL lighting with that configuration. 600w would not be necessary. Try using MH for this, if you can, since they're more often used in a vertical orientation. This method will get you far more yield than you would by using an overhead horizontally-oriented/reflector light setup of the same wattage.

    You could also try LED, but that's only if you've got the setup cash. Two 120 or 150w panels would do the same thing, and with the way those work, this can give you an option of making two tiers in your cabinet, and doubling your plant amount, and giving you tons more options in your preferred method (you could run a mom/clone/veg cabinet down below and flower up top, for example.)

    Different approaches will yield different results. Just tossing in some ideas.
    great info, im still confused about the vent holes. What size exhaust vent and what size vent for passive intake? Im going to be using a inline duct fan, not sure what size yet.

  9. #8
    khyberkitsune is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malsor View Post
    great info, im still confused about the vent holes. What size exhaust vent and what size vent for passive intake? Im going to be using a inline duct fan, not sure what size yet.
    If you do the cool tube method, 6 inch inline fan with 6 inch ducting, you'll need that much to accommodate the bulb. If you chose to go with a reflector instead of the cooltube, you'll need a 4 inch inline centrifugal fan minimum, with a three inch air hole. And yes you'll still need the circulation fan. If you go LED, you only need a couple of computer fans for intake and exhaust, use a couple 120mm for exhaust and a couple 80mm for the circulation/plant airflow/intake.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by khyberkitsune View Post
    If you do the cool tube method, 6 inch inline fan with 6 inch ducting, you'll need that much to accommodate the bulb. If you chose to go with a reflector instead of the cooltube, you'll need a 4 inch inline centrifugal fan minimum, with a three inch air hole. And yes you'll still need the circulation fan. If you go LED, you only need a couple of computer fans for intake and exhaust, use a couple 120mm for exhaust and a couple 80mm for the circulation/plant airflow/intake.
    alright, I'm going to start my research on LED lighting but what are the benefits of using LED over HID?

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    I've done a bit research on LED lighting and I'm not interested in using that method. I'm going to stick with HID. Im thinking of getting a air cooled hood. I was reading that the cool tube decreases some light and the reflector gets too hot so why not have both in one?

  12. #11
    khyberkitsune is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malsor View Post
    alright, I'm going to start my research on LED lighting but what are the benefits of using LED over HID?
    The benefits depend upon how you set things up, but ultimately, ~240-300w LED would equal or beat 400w HPS on yield, overall plant growing potential, with much lower heat output, and more space due to smaller sizes of panels versus lamp and reflector setup. You use less power on airflow and cooling. There are drawbacks like penetration power, but on the other hand, if you went dual-layer in the box, you wouldn't have that problem, anyways, as you'd have two 3x3x3.5 sections. Of course you could just use a couple of panels and see how far you can go, but with my panels I could guarantee you're not going much taller than 2 or three feet maximum.

    You also won't be replacing your HID bulb yearly for maximum efficiency. Every 7-10 years typically for LED.

    But as stated, LED are semi-pricey, and you would want ~240-300w of LED for each 3x3x3 area.

  13. #12
    khyberkitsune is offline Banned
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    You don't want them combined, cooltubes best uses are for vertical grow setups. And the amount of light a cooltube will waste will be negligible in such a small area. If you have it mounted vertically in the center, it only has to go out 18 inches in any direction before it hits a wall, so everything will be well-lit. With the cooltube in the center, you can still grow LARGE plants and you don't need more powerful bulbs to do it. This is IMHO the best way to utilize a single HID, and I'm actually working on LED based on the same idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by khyberkitsune View Post
    You don't want them combined, cooltubes best uses are for vertical grow setups. And the amount of light a cooltube will waste will be negligible in such a small area. If you have it mounted vertically in the center, it only has to go out 18 inches in any direction before it hits a wall, so everything will be well-lit. With the cooltube in the center, you can still grow LARGE plants and you don't need more powerful bulbs to do it. This is IMHO the best way to utilize a single HID, and I'm actually working on LED based on the same idea.
    interesting point, with that said I guess the best option would be to go with the cool tube and place it vertical directly in the middle. I have a question about the carbon filter. How do I go about attaching the filter on one side of the cool tube?

  15. #14
    khyberkitsune is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malsor View Post
    interesting point, with that said I guess the best option would be to go with the cool tube and place it vertical directly in the middle. I have a question about the carbon filter. How do I go about attaching the filter on one side of the cool tube?
    Put the carbon filter in an upper corner, hook up to the fan, hook up fan to cool tube. Run the heat out the bottom of the box with this sort of configuration (preferably in that center spot, make sure you've got your box raised about two or three inches off the ground,) as that will be the easiest way to keep the cool tube ducting as vertical as possible for the best orientation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by khyberkitsune View Post
    Put the carbon filter in an upper corner, hook up to the fan, hook up fan to cool tube. Run the heat out the bottom of the box with this sort of configuration (preferably in that center spot, make sure you've got your box raised about two or three inches off the ground,) as that will be the easiest way to keep the cool tube ducting as vertical as possible for the best orientation.
    I was thinking of setting up the carbon filter and duct it to the right side of the cool tube, on the left side duct it to the fan which I will place on the bottom of the box. Wouldnt the ducting block some of the light on the left side of the box since it will be running straight down to the bottom?

  17. #16
    khyberkitsune is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malsor View Post
    I was thinking of setting up the carbon filter and duct it to the right side of the cool tube, on the left side duct it to the fan which I will place on the bottom of the box. Wouldnt the ducting block some of the light on the left side of the box since it will be running straight down to the bottom?
    Here's how I'd run the ducting. Picture attached
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Indoor Grow Box Set-up-cooltubebox.jpg  

  18. #17
    Malsor is offline Registered+
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    Quote Originally Posted by khyberkitsune View Post
    Here's how I'd run the ducting. Picture attached
    I got you, that makes more sense. I can put a flange on the bottom of the box and I'll just build 4 legs under the box and I will attach another flange under the box to continue the ducting out the window. Thanks a lot man, you've been great help!

  19. #18
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    you dont think the light will be too close to the plants? Also, how do I go about vegging, can I use the same setup just with a MH buld?

  20. #19
    khyberkitsune is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malsor View Post
    I got you, that makes more sense. I can put a flange on the bottom of the box and I'll just build 4 legs under the box and I will attach another flange under the box to continue the ducting out the window. Thanks a lot man, you've been great help!
    Perfect idea, there. 4 legs, a couple flanges, and you're set to go.

    Expect some killer yield going that method.

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    Malsor is offline Registered+
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    any suggestions on the size of the intake vent? would it be better to have 2 smaller vent holes or 1 large one? Im also going to use 2 6" clamp on circulating fans in the grow box.

  22. #21
    bigsby is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by khyberkitsune View Post
    Here's how I'd run the ducting. Picture attached
    Open the passive intake on the opposite side from the filter for increase air circulation. A minor quibble to be sure...

    Intake should be 1.5x the exhaust duct size. So a 4" duct wants a 6" passive vent. Two intakes will work. You may need to partially close one. Get yourself a fan speed controller so you can dial in the right speed.
    Last edited by bigsby; Jun-20-2010 at 20:09.

  23. #22
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    If you vent out of the bottom of your tent you will want to give yourself at least a foot clearance and probably more like two feet. Any closes and you will decrease the efficiency of your fan due to resistance created when the exhaust hits the floor. Think about venting out of the side. You can always put a 6" riser in the bottom of your tent. Of course this creates another 90 degree angle which impacts fan performance as well. You should be fine with the fan you are proposing.

  24. #23
    khyberkitsune is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsby View Post
    Open the passive intake on the opposite side from the filter for increase air circulation. A minor quibble to be sure...

    Intake should be 1.5x the exhaust duct size. So a 4" duct wants a 6" passive vent. Two intakes will work. You may need to partially close one. Get yourself a fan speed controller so you can dial in the right speed.
    All of this really applies for sound proofing. since there's no intake fan he wants a smaller hole for ensured negative pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigsby View Post
    If you vent out of the bottom of your tent you will want to give yourself at least a foot clearance and probably more like two feet. Any closes and you will decrease the efficiency of your fan due to resistance created when the exhaust hits the floor. Think about venting out of the side. You can always put a 6" riser in the bottom of your tent. Of course this creates another 90 degree angle which impacts fan performance as well. You should be fine with the fan you are proposing.
    Well, that's why he wants an elbow flange for the bottom section under the box, so it doesn't blow towards the floor, it blows out sideways from the bottom.

    He really doesn't need more than four inches of clearance. Well six since he's going cooltube, unless he wants to fit some 6-4 inch adapters to the tube.

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    khyberkitsune is correct. I'm going to use an elbow under my box and continue the ducting out my window. Should I use another elbow in my box to connect from fan to cooltube since its going to be a 90 degree angle or the ducting works fine? Also, since I'm using a 6" exhaust vent, what size should I cut out for my intake? I don't care for sound proof, I dont want bad pressure in my box.

  26. #25
    khyberkitsune is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malsor View Post
    khyberkitsune is correct. I'm going to use an elbow under my box and continue the ducting out my window. Should I use another elbow in my box to connect from fan to cooltube since its going to be a 90 degree angle or the ducting works fine? Also, since I'm using a 6" exhaust vent, what size should I cut out for my intake? I don't care for sound proof, I dont want bad pressure in my box.
    Another elbow at the fan would be fine, or just plain ducting run along the ceiling. I've seen both done and both work.

    For your hole. 6 inch exhaust, 4 inch intake hole. Guaranteed negative pressure and consistent.

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