How to Grow Tobacco

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 Post subject: First indoor growing experiment
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:13 am
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Location: Central Ohio
Hi everyone, I am new to the forum. I have been growing outdoors this year with great success so I thought I would try an experiment with an aquaponics system that I just set up in the basement. The plants I am growing are some very neglected and stunted burley seedlings that my neighbor gave me. He had planned to throw them out so I figured I have nothing to lose by trying to grow them indoors.

This is an aquaponics system that i set up for winter gardening. For lighting I am using 2 T12 fixtures each containing one red and one blue spectrum bulb. I plan to run the lights on 12-14 hour cycle with a timer. The fish I am using for the tank are plain old rosy red feeders and goldfish from my local pet store. The idea is that the waste byproducts that the fish produce are devoured by helpful bacteria in the growbeds and turned into usable nutrients that the plants use for growth.

This will be my first time growing tobacco indoors and also using an aquaponics system to grow anything. I will keep this thread updated as my grow progresses or fails. (whichever comes first :lol:)

Heres some pics of the set up:

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This is a front view with the tank shortly after I set up the system and filled it halfway with water.

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Top view of the system running before I added the plants.

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Top view shortly after I planted my seedlings


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 Post subject: Re: First indoor growing experiment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:53 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Welcome aboard HTGT !

Looks like an interesting techno experiment. Great fun!
Thanks for posting your pics.
I shall look forward to seeing how it works out for you.

Best
rc


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 Post subject: First indoor growing experiment: Update #1
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:06 pm 
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Location: Central Ohio
After a week of cycling the aquaponics system with aquarium water I added some fish. So far I have added only 1 dozen fathead minnows from my local pet store. Will add another dozen if these survive.

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Taken on the 7th

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Taken earlier this evening. Plants have nearly doubled in size. They have a nice healthy green color.


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 Post subject: Re: First indoor growing experiment
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
What will you do when they are larger? Just one burley could easily take up all the room that you show in your photos.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: First indoor growing experiment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:28 am 
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Location: Central Ohio
deluxestogie wrote:
What will you do when they are larger? Just one burley could easily take up all the room that you show in your photos.

Bob


The plants are evenly spaced at around 16" apart. The thought had crossed my mind about space. I figure I can strategically remove some leaves that might intersect, then on the next round grow less plants. The main problem that I will face this time around is the height of the plants. I do not have enough headroom for the plants to grow to their full height without running into the lights. I am thinking for the next go I might expand the system to grow tobacco in some 5 gallon buckets closer to the floor or try to find a shorter strain of tobacco for my indoor growing. This project was mainly to see if tobacco would take to an aquaponics setup. As I make mistakes and learn from them I can refine the system and redesign as necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: First indoor growing experiment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:40 am 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
I've got goldfish in a living room aquarium... they were 25cent feeder goldfish when we got 'em.
They grow BIG in lrge tank! lol

...Very 'dirty' fish... put out a lot of waste.

I usually drain the tank with a garden hose into a flower bed... I siphoned it into a 55gl barrel once, and tried to inject it into my drip system with an aspirator, but it did not work. Too much back pressure in the drip system.
I gotta figger out some sort of cheapo pressurized injector device.

Best
rc


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 Post subject: Re: First indoor growing experiment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:33 pm 
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Location: Central Ohio
rustycase wrote:
I've got goldfish in a living room aquarium... they were 25cent feeder goldfish when we got 'em.
They grow BIG in lrge tank! lol

...Very 'dirty' fish... put out a lot of waste.


I wanted to use goldfish for the system for that very reason but I opted not to. The aquaponics tank serves a dual purpose. One is to feed the plants growing, the second reason I chose fatheads is to breed them to feed my oscar fish. Goldfish are no good to feed to oscars as they have no nutritional value to them. Fatheads on the other hand, are good for them.


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 Post subject: Re: First indoor growing experiment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:56 pm 
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Location: Central Ohio
Image

Plants are still going strong since last update. There is a lot of new growth. I had expected to lose a couple of the plants due to mistakes. They all seem very healthy though. I discovered a guide online to stunt the growth of the plants. This will take care of the space issues when the time comes. On the next run I plant to get some N. Rustica seeds for my indoor growing. I read that N. Rustica only reaches about 3 feet in height. That will be perfect for this setup.

Had some issues with the nitrogen cycle since I added the fish. The nitrite levels were off the charts. Killed about 2/3 of the fish that I bought but it seems under control now. I will make sure the cycle is complete before I get another dozen to add.


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 Post subject: Re: First indoor growing experiment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:50 pm 
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how large is your fish tank? ...their volume of water???
How many inches of fish?
rc


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 Post subject: Re: First indoor growing experiment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:56 pm 
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Location: Houston, TX
Looks really interesting


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 Post subject: Re: First indoor growing experiment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:05 pm 
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Location: Central Ohio
rustycase wrote:
how large is your fish tank? ...their volume of water???
How many inches of fish?
rc


The tub I am using to hold the fish is 30 gallons. Each of the grow beds are approximately 13 gallons but that space is mostly taken up by the pea gravel. Right now I have four fatheads left out of the dozen I bought between 2-3 inches. Fatheads need about a gallon of water per fish. They can thrive in conditions that would kill many other species. The reason why I lost a bunch is partly due to the nitrogen cycle not being 100% complete before I added the fish and partly because the fish available from pet stores are pretty much guaranteed to be diseased when you buy them.


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