If you're a hobbyist cannabis grower, and want to keep things simple, then you should definitely consider setting up your own grow tent. Grow tents aren't meant for people with large-scale cannabis operations, but for those who only want to grow a few ounces a month, a grow tent could be the ideal way to go.
However, there isn't just one type of grow tent that will work for everyone. There are actually a lot of different factors that need to be considered. Thankfully, no matter how you end up setting up your grow tent, the process should be fairly easy to complete and understand.
So continue reading and we'll show you how to design the perfect grow tent.
Grow Tent Size
There are many different models of grow tents out there, and they come in a variety of sizes. It can be difficult to figure out which one to get for your situation but generally, the best hobby sizes tend to be 4'x4' and 2'x4'.
A 2'x4' grow tent is great because it gives the user enough space for decent yields (you can get multiple ounces per month) but it's not so big that it's overwhelming. You also get easy access to all of the plants, including the ones in the back. But you still reap all of the benefits that come with a full-size grow light.
If you want, you can start with a small LED light or CFLs in this tent size, and then still have room to upgrade to more powerful lights.
A 4'x4' tent is great for bigger growers because you can use it with the next class of grow lights. A tent of this size could support a 1000w LED or HPS grow light.
If you want to achieve maximum yield but don't want to have to make a whole grow room, then a 4’x4′ grow tent is the way to go! You can end up with a pound or more but still easily manage the whole system by yourself.
How to Set Up a Grow Tent
The first thing that you're going to want to do is make sure that you've got a full free afternoon to dedicate to setting up your tent. Take some time to clean up the whole space before you build your grow tent. It's much easier to get this out of the way before you set anything up.
When you build your tent, you want to build it at its final destination. If you build your tent beforehand, you might have trouble moving it or even getting it through the door.
Hang the Grow Light
The easiest way to hang your grow light is by using rope ratchets, if possible. These are affordable and very easy to set up. A rope ratchet makes is super simple to adjust your light whenever you want without the chance of dropping the light onto your plants.
It can sometimes be helpful to be able to quickly bring lights down or up, whether you want better access to the back of the grow tent without the light shining on your head, or you just want to take better photos of your plants. Just make sure that whatever you use to secure the lights, rope ratchets included, can handle at least twice the weight of your light, just to be safe.
A sturdy rope ratchet will let you move a grow light down or up with just a few clicks, so you won't ever have to hold up your light or worry that it might fall onto your plants.
Hang the Exhaust Fan
Hanging your exhaust fan inside of the tent is the best way to make your exhaust system as efficient as possible. Doing this will greatly muffle the sound of the running fan and it will let you make a fairly straight path from your light to the fan for optimal airflow and circulation.
Use rope ratchets or strong nylon rope to hang the exhaust fan inside of the grow tent (from the top bars) so that you can greatly reduce both the vibration and sound. If you just set your fan on top of - our outside of - the tent, it's going to sound very loud.
If you're utilizing a grow light that comes with an air-cooled hood which contains all of the heat, like a lot of the HPS or MH grow lights, then you can connect the exhaust fan directly to the hood for maximum cooling. This will let you vent hot air straight out of a window so that the heat is never overwhelming your plants.
In order to achieve the best results, you want to make sure that there's a way to get fresh air into the test. Practically all grow tents have removable vents that let fresh air in near the bottom of the tent. Some users take the covers completely off, however, that increases the possibility that the light will leak into the tent.
In order to achieve better circulation without letting in light, you can make a small window or light trap facing down in order to let air through while still keeping the light out.
Connect Your Carbon Filter
While some growers don't like to use carbon filters, those people might unwittingly end up creating a trail that leads right to their grow tent. That's because carbon filters make sure that there aren't any smells ending up where they aren't supposed to be.
Similar to the exhaust fan setup, you should hang your carbon filter with rope ratchets. This is because carbon filters are surprisingly heavy and rope ratchets will make it much easier for you to set any adjustments.
It's important that you have an air-tight line from the fan to carbon filter (without any leaking air) so that you can make sure that no smells escape the tent. Users tend to place the carbon filter in the back of the tent so that it's less in the way.
If you have an air-cooled hood then you can connect the carbon filter to the light which you connect to the exhaust fan. This is referred to as a "complete" exhaust system because you're cooling the grow light and getting rid of all of the smells in one simple system.
No matter how you end up setting it up, the point is that you want to make sure that any air that leaves the tent is first going through your carbon filter.
So long as you keep the fan on and your tent closed, then you shouldn't ever be able to smell cannabis outside or even inside your home. The negative air pressure that's caused by the sealed tent will stop any air inside of the tent from getting out.
Opening the Door
When you hope the door of the grow tent, you'll break the seal. This could lead to smells getting out of the tent or getting into the exhaust fan premature. In order to deal with smells that escape when you open the tent, you can use different products that are designed to cover up odors on a short-term basis. ONA Blocks are great at this!
Also, you can set up a carbon filter with a fan attached inside of the actual room itself. This is in addition to the one that you have in your tent. This is what they use to keep dispensaries from smelling up and it can work for your home too.
If you end up with a smell emergency, you can use an exhaust fan that is directly attached to a carbon filter placed on the floor. While this won't be as effective as a "real" exhaust system, it should be able to clear up any odors in just a few minutes.
Checking on Sound, Stealth, and Safety
You're nearing the end of your grow tent setup! By now, the tent should already be set up. Now, all you have to do is double-check everything and add your cannabis plants.
When you hang your fans, instead of just sitting them on some object, you'll be able to significantly reduce the amount of sound that they produce. Also, you'll be able to keep the sounds low and keep your fans working efficiently by regularly cleaning them.
For both water pumps and air pumps, you want to place them on something other than the ground. For example, you'll be able to muffle the vibrations by placing them on planks of wood.
Smell and Light Check
You want to make sure that there are no smells or light that will make it outside of the tent. After you set everything up, turn your exhaust fan and grow light on for a day to test out the new space.
The sides of your grow tent should bend slightly inward when you turn the fan on. Inward bending means that you've established negative air pressure. This is ideal because it's going to stop odors from leaking into your house so long as the tent remains closed.
You also want to make sure that your carbon filter is attached tightly to the exhaust fan. There should be no way for air to leak out or in. A tight seal between the fan and the carbon filter will ensure that all of the air that leaves the tent will first pass through the carbon filter, which will eliminate all of the smells from it.
Take some time to look around your home and check if you can hear anything that seems odd when your equipment is running. A rattle or hum can lead to suspicions, so listen carefully. You can also go outside and walk around your house.
Go once in the morning, once at night, and once in the evening and check if you can hear any suspicious sounds or see any noticeable lights from your grow room.
Finally, you want to check all around the inside of your grow tent. Everything should be securely fastened and stable. There shouldn't any electronic equipment (wires, ballasts, power strips) on the ground, in case that there's ever a water spill.
A good idea is to keep all of the electronic gear above waist-height. And anything that deals with water should be below the waist.
You also don't want to leave any wires just hanging around inside of the tent. Not only is it safer to keep your wrapped up, but it also looks nicer too.
Now that you've got your grow tent all set up, we'll very briefly go over what the next steps are.
First, you're going to want to add a container with a growing system (hydroponics, coco coir, soil). Then add seeds.
Give it water and nutrients regularly. After about six weeks, you should put your grow lights on a timer so that they'll turn off for twelve hours each day. After a couple of weeks, buds will start to grow.
Lastly, harvest your buds a few months later and enjoy!
The Right Grow Tent for You
Hopefully, after reading the above, you now have a better understanding of how a grow tent works and what you need to do in order to have a successful growing operation.
If you're looking for an even easier way to grow cannabis, then you should consider Grobo. Grobo is an automated grow box. We utilize deep water culture, which is a hydroponic technique in order to grow plants.
All you have to do is simply add your plant, pick a grow recipe in the Grobo app, and let the system do the rest! Our boxes reduce smell and can get you growing up to three ounces every few months.
We also have a ton of educational videos on our YouTube channel! While Grobo mainly focuses on growing cannabis, we can also help with growing other plants too.
If you're interested in getting started with growing cannabis, contact us today and see what we can do for you!