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Thread: grow tents

  1. #1
    Skilled Psychonaut sidefx's Avatar
    Join Date
    2007 Nov

    grow tents

    whos used them thinking about a setup and these mylar tents look like easiest solution.

    only problems would be heat maybe and if i pay that much and not enough room.

    do the frames hold up lights reliably.

    whats your thoughts on these?
    how many cups of sugar does it take to get to the Moon

  2. #2
    Improving Psychonaut
    Join Date
    2009 Oct

    Re: grow tents

    A mate of mine not long ago got one. If u want a quick setup and you've got the money then go for it cos they're just as good as what you could build. Make sure you get a good quality one though, and have thorough cooling. Heat and some plastics make toxic fumes. That's probably being a bit alarmist, but keep it in mind.

    For the time and expense though. I could have been up to B&Q and got the parts to build the same thing for a fraction of the price, and then you've got that DIY satisfaction!

    He had the money though, and it works well

  3. #3
    Improving Psychonaut
    Join Date
    2009 Oct

    Re: grow tents

    Just realised i didn't really answer your question. The whole thing is surpisingly sturdy once you zip the tent round the frame. It will hold a light no problem aslong as it's got a seperate transformer thingy. If heat's a concern look into them Cool Tube things. Not sure if that's a trade name, but it should get u in the right direction. Another thing is to make sure you have enough inputs and outputs for air in your tent. I think what i'm saying is - buy a full system or build it yourself then i can be modified. I was trying to say something anyway. :drinkers:

  4. #4
    peach's Avatar
    Join Date
    2008 Nov

    Re: grow tents

    I've used one and I can 100% give them the thumbs up. They are fucking awesome!

    I'm really good with my hands, building stuff and have had thousands of dollars worth of tools, but the tents are the way to go. There's no fucking around with them and someone's already worked out all the things that you'd spend weeks dicking around with try to get working, or be constantly putting up with having to renail things or make sure something didn't stop working. You just zip it up, light up and let it go. Forget DIY'ing rooms, foiling the walls, drilling holes and taping up seams unless you've grown a ton of times before. I've thought about it and tried growing in cupboards. The tent nails it.

    Some guys can DIY their rooms really well, but that's because they already have a ton of experience with how they want it setup and how to do it. If you have the money, go for a tent. If money's tight, save up the pocket money a bit, sell your PS3 and get one used.

    There are almost too many positives to list. Two major ones are that all the light is controlled, so the room won't be pitch black even with a kilowatt of juice being dumped inside the tent. You can control the atmosphere the plants are exposed to, so you can drag in fresh air through a vent or window and get rid of the stale. Add to that, you can scrub the air and even if the plants STINK, the exhaust will smell perfectly clean. The room I ran mine in actually smelt cleaner after I started growing in there, due to the scrubber. Working out how to duct your air means you can dump the warm air back into the house and not create a heat signature for the whirlybirds to pick up. If it's a small room, don't recirculate the air in there. It doesn't help the plants and the heat from the lamp won't dissipate, so it'll get really warm in there. You need to tweak that depending on where you live. If it's already hot outside, recirculating is a bad idea. If it's freezing cold, you can recirculate to get the temperature back up. Remember, it gets cold at night. If it gets really cold, you'll slow down growth and can damage the leaves if it start dropping towards 10C and below.

    You want as much fresh air flowing around as many of the leaves as possible, and to maintain the leaves in perfect, light absorbing, pure green condition. Not burnt, bleached or shriveled. You can use an oscillating fan to help spread it around, thicken up the stems and avoid pockets of still air forming around the leaves.

    For a 1.2m square tent you want something around 1kw of light. I used one massive kilowatt beast. But that's a bad plan for one reason (it has a positive I'll mention later), because it gives out too much localized heat and doesn't spread the light... hang on! I'm getting fucked by misquitoes and horse flies!

    Yay! Got beers, flies gone... hiding somewhere in here no doubt.

    doesn't spread the light around, you're way better off using say, 2 600W or 3 400W's for light distribution. Adding one extra of each wouldn't hurt, but loads more is kind of wasteful and can be counter productive. The ballasts and bulbs at those wattages are also more common, so they're cheaper and easier to pick up second hand.

    You don't need new ballasts, the old metal cased ones work fine. I had a super expensive encapsulated one and it burnt out after one cycle. You would not believe the trouble I had trying to get a refund from the prick. He only gave up when he got a letter from the court. Forget the digital ballasts and LEDs for now. Digital isn't needed and LEDs are too experimental (I'm sure there a lot of con artists selling shitty LED lamps for huge prices too). And yes, I know all about absorption peaks and quantum efficiencies of diodes. HID is still the way to go.

    The only problem with using lots of smaller lights is cooling them. A cooltube KICKS ASS! Flat out, it fucking rocks and you want one. Especially in a sealed volume like a tent. I would never grow without one now I've used one. 1kw of lamps will cook the plants without good ventilation and you won't be able to get up close with the lamp. Working in a DIY cupboard with shit ventilation, I've seen a 600W lamp bleach plants white in half an hour when the fan went off. In terms of cooling, one big 1kw lamp is easier because you only need one cooltube and very simple ducting; not a big network of the shit. But you could make something like a cooltube by getting some PVC pipe, sawing a slot in it for the light to shine out, capping one end with a push on fitting and then lining the inside with foil. Or, save up the monies and buy one. I'm not a rich person, but for one lamp it'd be easier to go with the premade option in terms of things like getting the fitting securely fastened. If you're using 400 / 600W ones, you may want to start DIYing cooltubes. If you use one big lamp, you can also just turn the pots as they grow. But again, you can't get a 1kw lamp as close as you can a 400W. With my 1kw lamp, I started to worry as the plants got really tall that they'd get too close. With the cooltube I could get them to about a foot and a half away before I started seeing bleaching.

    Once you've used a tent for a while, you'll probably be better suited to switch over to DIY'ing one without having to spend stupid amounts of time planning it and tweaking it. DIY'ing it is best reserved for whole room transforms.

    Check this out... I bought about $1500 - 2000 worth of gear and threw money at it. I sold all of it to some guy for about $300, and it was still in brand new, cared for condition. There are MAJOR deals to be had if you're willing to chill out a bit and look around. Like people selling 4 400w lamps in a big sell off for next to nothing. A bit of rust on the cases will do nothing to the performance and, like I've said, I'd actually rather have those old ones than the encapsulated kind (which cost waaaaay more).

    Basically, you can fine tune the whole setup to perfection, so there's no heat signature, no light escaping, zero smell and lots of fresh air.

    In a 1.2m square tent I did 5 sativas, I think they were in 15l pots. Anymore and it's way too overcrowded. You can grow indicas and churn out much more and quicker. Look at it this way, if you're doing it to sell, you'll pay for the gear with the first grow, have a good amount of notes left over and save yourself the fucking around with timber, foil, tweaking and stress. It's a kind of false economy for most I think, because you'll end up paying a similar amount as the premade options, either in actual cash or in different ways.

    I grew pure sativas because I it was all mine, and I smoked thru it like crazy. They were seriously trippy and not sleepy. I was growing them on coir I'd washed, pHed to slightly acidic, mixed some perlite into and then inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi. When I let someone else try some, they had an hour long mini panic attack from one or two hits of a joint. I was feeding them hydroponically. The buds were beautiful, sticky fuckers. I was growing Hawaiian Snow. I would recommend that for trippy clear headed quality over indica quantity. It was quite different to the weed I'd bought on the street. Complete with a gigantic THC content. I'd end up going in there like a 2 year old with a new toy, spending half an hour stroking them, smelling them and gazing lovingly at them on a daily basis. They were amazing.

    Use buffered solution if you can and CHECK the pH when you go in to have a look. People always fuck that up and yield shit. It's critical stuff. If it's unbuffered, it will float back up to neutral in the tank and can go unnoticed. You DON'T want neutral conditions in feeds or the media (the media pH can be quite different to the feed, it's usually more neutral, and can accumulate salts you don't want as well). I used battery acid, diluted down a huge amount, to make it slightly acidic. The plants can eat the sulfates the acid releases. Buffered is easier because adding the acid needs care. It takes a looooooooooong time for the acid to fully distribute in a feed bin and then it very slowly reacts and neutralizes over a week or two. I could set my pH at 5.5 on a fresh tank, come back the next day and it'd be back at 7. It requires constant tweaking to pin it down. So going straight for buffered will help. If the pH is wrong, the plants won't be able to take up the nutrients because they'll not dissolve in water properly.

    Get a nutrient stick (second hand) and set your levels as per the instructions for seedlings. Ramp it up, SLOWLY. As soon as you see the slightest browning on the leaf edges, you've gone too far. Back it off a little and hold it there.

    You can also accelerate the seedling stage by covering the pots with foil to reflect the light back up. That'll work for adults and, in my case with coir, it helps prevent the water evaporating off with the heat and airflow. My coir was so loose that the water would run straight through, so it was next to impossible to water log the media.

    In terms of the strength of the frame... if you fall into it, it'll be pushed out the way. But some of them are strong enough to hang your weight off the top. And once they're all zipped up, they become a lot more sturdy. Also, if you're pulling in fresh air through a duct and sucking it out through a cooltube to a scrubber, the walls will pull in slightly on themselves and the whole thing will get quite rigid. They'll EASILY hold up lights. They're FINE with static loads. They only move when you start bumping into them.

    Incidentally, my scrubber ended up full of dead horse flies. I think they could see the UV shining down the fresh air duct and were drawn to it at night. Then sucked into the tent, then the cooltube, incinerated on the bulb and then flushed into the scrubber.

    I'm a believer that growing things on complex media, like mushrooms on grain or poo, or weed in soil, helps improve them. I don't dig organic food and the marked up price. And I'm a firm believe that you can reproduce those organic like complex medias in a controlled way. Normal soil will be RIDDLED with things like fungus nats, which will hatch in the warm and fill your grow space with annoying flies. That's the cool thing about hydroponics, fungi inoculation and tents. You get the benefits, but you don't get the fucking pests that spawn all over "truly" organic grows. Those kinds of grows end up adding all kinds of stuff to try and get rid of the pests, so wheres the real benefit and which is really better there? A tent with well thought out hydroponics sez I. The feed is from complex organic sources, like poo, no matter how cheap it is, but without the larvae and pests.

    I never reply to cannabis questions because they're all so similar, but (after throwing some money at it) I was seriously impressed with the results. You can do it on a shoe string, but if you're savvy with second hand gear, you can find a sweet compromise between effort and money.

    I'd still put some decent cash towards it if I regrew and I'd go for a tent for sure. But I'd go second hand for just about everything. I know it's a bitch man... I'll DIY just about everything. But just suck it up and lay out some money. You'll get better results.

    PM me if you have any specific questions.

  5. #5
    Wishful Psychonaut
    Join Date
    2015 Nov
    Washington State

    Re: grow tents

    I highly recommend buying a pre-made. I probably grow more than most since it's legal in Washington State but I bought a grow tent from WeatherPort. It is insane. I grow all year and had to buy some extra accessories but I tried building and it was a pain. I should have realized because I wanted to grow a good amount but hindsight is 20/20.

    In the end what I learned was if you have the money and land, buying something already made is soooooo nice compared to building.

  6. #6
    Wishful Psychonaut CosmicKid's Avatar
    Join Date
    2015 Aug

    Re: grow tents

    I've never had to use one in SoCal but visiting with some friends up north, I can say they relied on them heavily. You don't really want to take chances or cut corners so if you're not that great with assembly (I suck at it personally) get the ones that are pretty much ready to go. If you're a bit more savvy, you could probably customize and use the ready made tent as a foundation for your customization.

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