Cloning Machine

Kodiak

New member
Propagation Bubbler

Hello all

I have tried many different methods of cloning plants and I finally got fed up with poor results and clones dying on me.

So I came up with the idea of building this "cloning machine", which is basically just a bubbler consisting of a light-proofed bowl filled with water and an air pump with a hose running down to an air stone in the bottom.



There is room for 5 clones at the time. This setup keeps the water rich with oxygen, which should make the roots grow faster.

I read up on some mj botany and it seems like the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to rooting clones is:


1. No light should reach the lower part of the cutting as roots take a long time to form in direct light. If the cloning medium is soil or rockwool cubes that problem is already covered.

2. If the cloning medium is water, it is important that the water is not allowed to stand for many days on end and become stagnant as the cutting needs oxygen to form roots.

3. Plant hormones like auxin, cytokinin and gibberellic acid are beneficial when it comes to the formation of adventitious roots. They speed things up. The hormones are absorbed and travel to the shoots but if the plant is tuned into growing new roots, it will send them back down.


So what I did was take the cutting, dip it in clonex, add some seaweed extract to the water and fired up the bubbler. I'll probably change the water every other day and alternate between fresh water and the kelp solution.

Hopefully this will work as well as I hope. I might try to find a black plastic box with a lid somewhere and upgrade the setup but this should work just as well.

I have an electric heating mat that I will stick under the whole thing to warm things up a bit. That should also help the roots grow.

Just thought that I would share this idea if any one else is as frustrated as I am with poor survival rates for clones. This should at least give them a fighting chance. I'll let you know if it worked or not later and how fast the clone rooted.

Happy Growing

-Kodiak-

EDIT: The combination of heat and the kelp proved to be a bad idea as the stems went soft on some of the plants so I'll stick to room temp fresh water from now on.

I'm running clones in regular standing water alongside this contraption just to put it to the test. If it does not show superior cloning times I won't bother with it in the future.
 
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Kodiak

New member
Works like a charm.

Some clones are showing roots after only ten days in the bubbler. Clones of the same age that are in standing water look worse and show no roots, so this thing also keep the clones healthy for a longer time.

Now I have to build a bigger box that can hold up to 20 clones or so.

Sweet :D
 
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SativaFan

Guest
That's the same method "Lougrew" over on ICMAG uses for cloning

A Walmart mixing bowl, aluminum foil, and a bubbler/airstone.

You don't want the water to get too warm though, not using this method. More risk of root rot. Lou used a metal mixing bowl I think. Allowed water to stay close to ambient temp....around low 70's F if I recall. Towards 80F runs the risk of root probs.

It's worth reading through his thread on this method. Lou is not only a superb grower, but a funny guy :) lou's "foolproof" cloning method or something like that.

SativaFan
 
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Kodiak

New member
Thanks SativaFan, I'll check it out :)

Yeah, I know what you mean about the heat, learned it the hard way. I had the heating mat turned on for only 24 hours and some of the stems turned to mush. Room temp will do.

I'll turn it on now and then in case the water cools down to much, the setup is next to my leaky window and the temp outside is freezing. I cannot relocate it either as I use the 12w kitchen light on them.

The container I use in this 2nd design is much larger and the water should buffer out to constant room temp. It can hold up to 25 clones so there will be no more KIA's, I hope.



Since the most important element, namely oxygen, is in constant supply, I figure that I have to change the water once a week or so. I keep the airflow fairly low so that the bubbles do not interfere with root development.

The only thing that I added to the fresh water was a couple of teaspoons of clonex gel.

The final design will be a black plastic box with a lid, as soon as I find one.

...

One question; after the clones have rooted I usually plant them in jiffy-pots with soil, but are rock wool cubes better? I have a small plastic greenhouse that I can use as the newly rooted clones probably prefer a high humidity environment. I could keep them there for the hardening off period, until I see roots growing out of the medium.

So far I have been taking a whole bunch of clones from each plant and at least one has always survived, but caring for 50-100 clones is a lot of work so I rather improve on my technique and concentrate on a few clones of each strain.

Getting healthy clones as soon as possible is always important when growing from seed, as I need to have one of each plant before I put them under the HPS. I have tried taking clones during flowering but their chances of survival are so low that I won't try that again.

Thanks

...

This thing reminded me of an idea I had some time back while growing outdoors. I gave some thought to growing plants "hydroponically" outside by using styrofoam around the pots to keep them afloat in a fresh water lake, and why not a running stream. Not sure if it would work but if the pot was anchored to the bottom with a rock and tied to a tree, perhaps it would stay afloat if the surface area of the styrofoam was large enough to handle the waves. It would be pretty cool as the roots would get nutrients directly from the water and fresh water lakes are usually quite nutrient rich and the water in streams are usually rich with minerals. Solar powered hydroponics in the great outdoors. Just a crazy idea :)

...

-Kodiak-
 
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SativaFan

Guest
I'm going partly on my experience with cloning(not much with weed) and what I know about this method from Lou and others, plus my non weed experience.

I rooted mine in the same soil I grow everything of mine in. I don't use rockwool cubes. Too much hassle with pH issues. I don't like fiddling with soaking rockwool in pH down, etc.

I just root clones in my soilmix. I think some folks make cloning too hard. I did my first "clones" before that word was popular. I was like 10-12 years old. We just called it "rooting cuttings". Rooted them in water from the lake in front of the house....nothing added, no bubbler, nothing. Changed the water every day or so.

I don't use cloning gel with this method of cloning. Gel goes right on cuttings I root in soil....when doing it that way.

Ihave used Maxicrop 1Tbls/gallon in water I bubbled for cloning. Change the water every other day. I try to keep water temps near 70F(21C). It's easier to do in my place if the bowl is on the floor where the cooler air always is in my spare room. Easy this time of year :)

SativaFan
 

Kodiak

New member
Ok thanks, I'll stick to the soil like before then. I found that if the clone has clean white and well developed roots before I move it from the water to soil, it usually makes it. The only important thing to remember is to be careful with the roots as they can easily break off if one is not careful.

The water in the container is cool but not cold and seems to keep that temp, which I think will work.

I have had better survival rates in water than in soil but I am sure that both methods can be used with equal success. I keep 4-5 clones of each plant until one of them roots. If I end up with more I can use them in breeding projects or give to friends.

I know what you mean, I also clone houseplants by leaving them in a glass of water for several months. I am not as careful or or tend to them as much as I do the weed clones and most of them make it to the pot.

As for mj, the more clones I have the less I worry but until they root I am always trying to maximize their survival rate.

Have you found that soft-stemmed or hard-stemmed cuttings, root faster and with better success?

Seems like the really soft ones go bad too fast and the really hard-stemmed ones take forever. Maybe the golden middle way is best here.

Thanks for the info :)

-Kodiak-
 

Kodiak

New member
Here is the final design, the black box.

I drilled 25 holes in the lid and covered them with a double layer of duct tape so that no light get through to the reservoir. I made a cross shaped cut in each hole so that it will be easy to remove the clones once they have rooted.




Here is the equipment; A heating mat, an aquarium bubbler, a hose and a flexible "air-stone", which I shaped to match the rectangular shape of the box.





And finally here is the assembled setup with the clones.




I am quite happy with this thing as I can see a real difference in root development from day to day.

Now all I have to do is wait.

Happy Growing :)
 
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Jamie

New member
ncie skills, mate - can't wait to see how this turns out (though from the rptotypes, seems like a winner :) )
 

Kodiak

New member
Thanks :)

I have always loved to build things. I get an idea and then I make it real. This final design is about as good as I can make it. I had it in my minds eye even when I built the first one.

Mission accomplished.

This propagation bubbler really does a good job. It keeps the clones healthy. Some clones that I took 2 weeks ago still look as green and healthy as the day I cut them from the plant, no drooping leafs or stem discoloration.



Roots develop really fast as long as I keep the airflow just right. Too many bubbles and the clones won't root.




I am also going to build a smaller version that can hold 5-10 clones that I will use when I have fewer clones to work with.

Considering how inexpensive this setup is and how well it works, I think it's really..

Sweet :D
 
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SativaFan

Guest
That's a real nice setup and looks like it is working really well for you.

Duct tape is great stuff. However, is the sticky side of the tape going to be a problem when you remove the clone? Will the roots hang up on the tape as you pull them through? Or are you gonna cut away the tape and replace it when you remove the clones?

And do you have check valves on the air lines? If your pump is below the water level, and you shut it down, water will siphon back into the pump. I know, cause I have a pump identical to yours.

I like that setup though. Nice job. Very clean and compact. Well donme IMO

SativaFan
 

Kodiak

New member
Thanks, it really does wonders for the clones. I'm actually surprised how fast the clones root. Every day I check on them they have twice as many new roots as the day before. The constant flow of oxygen really makes cloning a breeze now. The pitch black darkness in the box also plays a big part.

No more weak or dying clones, only strong ones with a nice green color and abundant roots. The Destroyer clone that I just planted in soil looks just as healthy as when I cut it from the plant two weeks ago.

Duct tape is the greatest invention ever, you can fix anything with duct tape.

The sticky side of the tape is not a problem since I made the X cut in the tape and it loses it's stickyness quite fast in the humid bubbler. I will not cut away the tape as the roots always point down towards the ground, so the they stay intact when I remove the clones. I do have to be careful when I remove them but the roots flex and come out just fine.

I could have drilled bigger holes for the clones but then the trade off is that more light gets into the reservoir. I tried to keep that to a minimum.

I have an airflow valve between the pump and the stone and I have not seen any water flow back so far, but the pump is on 24/7.

Thanks for the heads up though, I'll make sure the pump is above water level when I turn it off.
 
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Kodiak

New member
Dizzy Plants

On a very very far (out) sidenote, plant roots navigate by the gravitational pull of the earth and shoots by light. Tipping a pot on it's side makes the plant grow in a S-shape, the roots towards the ground and the shoots towards the sun. That's why plants get "confused" in micro and zero gravity.

NASA has some interesting research on plant gravitropic and phototropic orientation.

Plants in space

They are experimenting will LED technology, so we might get our answers from them.




Researchers study how combinations of gravity levels and light affect plant growth. To create different levels of artificial gravity, researchers will spin plants grown inside a seed cassette at various speeds on a centrifuge.




I guess if the right artificial environment is provided plants can grow in any direction. You could basically have plants growing from the walls towards a light source in the center of a spinning room.

In zero gravity you could float around in your garden, a bit like us pot farmers do here on earth :D
 
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Jamie

New member
I guess if the right artificial environment is provided plants can grow in any direction. You could basically have plants growing from the walls towards a light source in the center of a spinning room.

Dude - what ARE you smoking?


ROFL :D
 

Jamie

New member
did u grow it in a spinning room? or was it responsible for making the room spin afterwards..


btw if you ever get the spinning grow room hooked up - I wanna come take a hit in there hehehe :)
 

Kodiak

New member
btw if you ever get the spinning grow room hooked up - I wanna come take a hit in there hehehe :)
That's already possible, just get high and visit the fun house at the nearest amusement park.

..best to be careful in the mirror maze though or you might suddenly find yourself tumbling down a rabbit hole to some strange fantasy land.. :D

Follow the white rabbit

I grew some weed recently that I named White Rabbit. It was a (White Widow x Super Silver Pearl) cross that a friend gave to me. It showed some similarities to the Super Silver Haze plant I had growing at the same time so I figured that the Super Silver Pearl in it was a cross of Silver Pearl and most likely SSH, or perhaps Super Skunk. I'll never know, but it was an excellent plant in many ways, very potent, you could smell the bud through a sealed glass jar. Unfortunately I was not able to save a clone but I do have loads of feminized seeds left over from accidental pollination by a DP Strawberry Cough hermafrodite. I called the the new cross Red Queen, sticking to the Alice in Wonderland theme.

I'll grow out those feminized seeds some day, along with the other feminized cross; Super Strawberry Haze.
 
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Kodiak

New member
Sure does :)

I think that it could be an interesting plant since the mostly Haze 17+ weeks flowering SSH mom was something spectacular and the SC "father" was a really nice medicinal plant with a euphoric high.

I bet there are some plants in there that display minimal hermafroditism that I could use to make new regular crosses and hopefully weed out the problematic and dominant trait somehow.
 
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Kodiak

New member
The cloning box is a fantastic contraption :)

I'm pulling clone after healthy clones from this thing. After a hardening off period of about a week I plant them in soil and they pick up from there. I put them under strong cfl lights at this point but I do keep a dome on them for another week after that. You can pretty much tell by the look of them if they are strong enough to make it without any help.

I can seriously recommend this for anyone looking for better ways to clone their plants. It's inexpensive, it works great and I am very happy with it.. and so are my clones.

Most clones root within a week or two, depending on the strain of course, displaying long and fine white roots hanging as long as 10cm / 4 inches from the stems. They keep their nice and deeply green color, as fine as the day they were cut.

On that note, it's probably a good idea to take clones from a well fed plant as the nutrients stored in the leafs will have to last the clone until it roots. This fact just hit me.

I love when things work out even better than planned :D
 
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