This post is a response to WildWeedWeiny’s first post about his Bato Bucket grow
So you’re using T5’s? that’s brilliant! Ive seen some amazing grows using T5’s including some record winning MI5s under a Quantom T5 BadBoy set up (they seem to work very well with autoflowering cannabis).
If I was you I would see if I could pick up a couple new bulbs both 6500K and the 3000 ish range. One of the great things with T5’s is that you can change the spectrum according to the stage of the plants life by changing the ratio of what kelvin bulbs you have at any given time. During veg growth an ideal ratio of blue:red would be around 5-6 x 6500K : 2-3 x 3000 K for optimum growth in a 8 tube system, and the reverse during flower: you would like to see 5-6 x 3000K : 2-3 x 6500k at least in an ideal world
Nutrient schedules for a Bato Bucket system
As far as feeding schedules every 6 hours will be fine however as the plants grow bigger you may want to increase the feed rate. A good thing to check periodically is the return readings for both PPm and Ph. Do this immediately as the batio start to drain into the reservoir (before the solution hits the reservoir). You can install a T with a tap for this purpose at the last pot, and it will cost less than a couple of dollars .
From this reading you can guage by the stability of the ph from the original to the waste how often you need to water & how the plants are taking your feed strength levels .
you’ve entered your ph at 5.8 and your cf/ec reading is 1.0 yet your waste reading is coming out at 1.5 with a ph of 6.5 this could be telling you one of two things:
1. you need to increase the frequency of watering or……
2. the original feed level was slightly too high so you adjust accordingly
The plants feed concentration requirements will vary during the course of the grow
As far as nutrients are concerned there are many good ones out there which I have personally tried and tested. Ones I particularly liked include: General Hydroponics Flora Series QT – FloraGro, FloraBloom, and FloraMicro
This is the one that I’ve been using for the past few grows. Its very economical to use (has a high dilution rate so lasts a long time), is easy to adapt to plant’s differing needs (this set does both veg and flower) and importantly, marijuana plants LOVE it!
It costs $34.90 for the 3, and comes with free shipping from Amazon.com
Other good nutrients include: Advanced Nutrients Bloom, Micro & Grow: their their ph stability is phenomenal although when using their additive range I honestly feel that they have gone into marketing mayhem! Despite this I would still reccomend their products for a newbie grower as they are very easy to use and stable.
Ok on to the best bit…… Autos!!!! you have made a good choice with your genetics, The World of Seeds “Northern Lights x Big Bud” is a very good yielder. I suspect it is going to take you between 70 and 80 days from seed to harvest.
what I will say at this stage is this:
If you are going to get good results out of an auto then you need to get the seedling and young vegetative stage perfect. As you are aware this stage is limited genetically to a set period of time (unlike photoperiod cannabis where you can grow it until its just right) so any stresses or problems at this stage will dramatically reduce the size & thus the yield of the plant.
Also the feeding regime of an auto is slightly different. I would recommend continiuing with nitrogen rich feed (veg nutrients) until all upward growth is completed (at around week 6 with this strain).
This particular strain Northern Lights x Big Bud Auto does very well with some early LST to encourage a multitude of budding points.
What would be great is a couple of photos of your set ups and if poss weekly reports with photos so I can pass the tips as they are relevant to the grow
Hope this helps & Happy Tokin’!!