I've been cloning for years and built a lot of cloning machines. Also cloned in dirt and other mediums with success.
I've use Roughneck bins in the past when making units and have had my share of leaking problems. I've finall gone to a Colman Cooler and really like the results. Those who build cloners know the problems. Using the cooler was a tip I saw on the net and decided to give it a go. The tough part is removing the lid liner on the inside of the lid. They are double walled so yo have to remove it before drilling the 1 7/8 holes. Once removed I was able to drill 32 holes.
My last experiment was with a regular tub and I tried a airiator instead of a pump and spray. It did keep the cuttings wet but was not a success. So I'm back to my old realiable mister heads and submersable pump.
I'm testing a new rooting hormone idea now. Just started 32 clones last night. I'm cloning using reg tap water with a couple drops of super thrive and some willow water. Willow water is a natural rooting hormone you can make by boiling willow branch pieces and letting them sit over night. I cut them into 3 inch pieces and hammer them a few times before boing. When finished with this hormone tea I put a small amout in the water of the cloning machine. I also dip the clones in a rooting gel prior to putting them in the machine. I've always used the natural rooting willow tea when I transplant but this is the first time in the machine.
I'll post results here for other to evaluate and compare to their methods. I'd love to hear any tips others have.
This run I've cloned Platinum kush, Sensi star, Huckleberry, Maui wowie, Blue Dream x Trainwreck and Purple snow in order to see how fast each root. All are under fluorescent lights. Cloner is set on for 1/2 hour then off 1/2 hour for the 24 hours.
I forgot th mention that my cloning water consists of: 4 gallons tap water, 2 cups of willow tea, 4 drops of Superthrive. I also spray the clones everyday with seaweed extract / water.
I also use Olivia's cloning gel. I'll post progress every three days for each strain in my machine.
2 DAYS INTO CLONING PROCESS
All 32 cuttings look very good. As usual they looked droopy for the first 4 hours or so but all perked up and are standing tall with leaves reaching for the light. I don't think I mentioned that I also use an air stone in the water for extra oxygen.
Another interesting test will be one of my 9 Platinum Kush cuttings. It was taken from a flowering plant. It was 11 days into 12/12 light cycle. some of you will know that a cutting from a flowering plant bis called "Monster Cropping". Produces a super plant that is much more dense and produces at least double the amount of bud. They are the hardest to clone because you revert them back to veg. state while cloning. Read up on Monster Cropping for more info. This cutting will be a big test for me. As I wrote before, I've added some willow water in my cloner as an extra rooting hormone that is sprayed on the cuttings. I'll be very interested to see how this acts on the monster clone. If all goes well I'll monster crop 32 cuttings every grow at around day 11-14 of flowering. If they root in say 10 days, I can veg a whole group of monster clones for around 50 days before flowering them. At 2 to 3 times the yield, depending on the strain, this is the ultimate way to indoor grow. 32 plants that produce 5 oz bud each is quite a yield. 10 lbs per grow. Outdoors you'd produce 75 lbs without a doubt.
I'll keep you posted every few days. I expect this will take several test cloning sessions. I really just guessed on the amount of willow water to use. May need to tweek that. Possibly use more and change the water every 3 days. We'll see. Any input from you cloners would be appreciated.
My last experiment was a bad one. I tried using no spray heads but just my air stone with the water level just below the cuttings. The bubbles created did keep the clones wet but none rooted. There is reason to believe that they spray activates something that helps rooting occure.
Today at 6pm Day 3 ends for this test with 32 cuttings. This morning when I checked them it look as if one cutting was sprouting a root. It's kind of hard to see but 2 1/2 days to root is pretty damn good. I'll confirm tomorrow. The strain that looks like it started is Blue Dream x Trainwreck. More tomorrow night if any changes are seen. My new manifold in this cloning maching has only 6 spray heads. I don't believe you need more as long as you have a pump filter that stops clogging. I'm hoping to see roots tomorrow night on several cuttings and all rooting by day 10. All cuttings look very good on the top today. Lights are on 20 hours off 4. Sprat on every half hour and air stone running 24 hours a day. That's it for today.
End of DAY 8
The 2 1/2 day root was a false alarm. Did not root that fast. On day 8 all of my Blue dream x Trainwreck clones rooted. Only had 4 cuttings of those but all popped out on day 8. All of the other strains are swelling up and look like they will root in a couple of days.
On day 5 I emptyed out the original water and put in new tap water with no additive at all. Today, start of day 9 I put 4 drops of super thrive in the water. I'll let the 4 rooted cuttings go another 2-3 days before plating in soil.
I added one more monster clone two days ago. That makes 34 clones. I did lose 2 sensi star clones. Pissed me off. I wanted 100% success. Bummer. Both were on one side of the cloning machine, next to each other. Need to figure out why. They looked like the were getting hit with spray. Both were lower cuttings and small but I wanted to test that. Both of the Monster clones look great. they still have the small buds on them while i'm reverting them back to veg. state. Those have my keenest interest. as I mentioned in another post, I want those 2-3 X bud producers. One of them is a Blue dream x Trainwreck of which all 4 normal clones has rooted.
I have budding plants 18 days into bloom now. As soon as I plant the rooted clones i'll be taking Monster cuttings off those plants to put in the cloner. More to come as soon as I have more to report on.
Purple Snow - 2 of the 4 clones showed roots today. The 2 others look great and should see roots tomorrow
Maui Wowie - 1 of 4 rooted today. The other 3 look great
Platinum Kush - 2 of 8 rooted today. Other 6 look great. I LOVE THIS STRAIN. KILLER STRONG. Also have 1 monster clone 4 days into
the process. I want this monster clone bad.
Huckleberry - 0 of 4 so far but all look great. ANOTHER GREAT STRAIN.
Sensi Star - Bummer. Lost 2 more clones. Not sure why yet. None rooted yet. Love this strain too. I'll figure this out yet.
Looks like 8-12 days in the clonner will be the normal rooting time. The Blue dream x Trainwreck was completed (all 4 clones) in 8 days. Interesting how strains vary. Anyone looking for some clone trading, let me know. I have a wish list I want to test. I'm really not into growing from seed anymore but may have to one more time. I have some knockout Lavender x OG Kush seeds that I'll just have to grow and then clone. Too good not to. More tomorrow.
Rooted and planted in dirt:
1. 1 more Purple Snow
2. 4 Blue Dream x Trainwreck
All 4 Huckleberry are ready to por roots and look great. Same with the rest of my Platinum Kush. Maui Wooie also looks great. all of these clone are swollen on the cutting end and will root fast when they pop.
Nothing yet with the Sensi Star. Man that plant is hard to clone. I have two awsome lookin mothers and as soon as all the cuttings come out of my cloner from this batch I'm gonna figure out this stain. The mothers come from a great plant. Don't know why they fight cloning. I'm gonna work with my cloning gel and power next go around.
The two MONSTER CLONES also look great. Both were put in the cloner after the others. One is like 6 days in and the othe 4. At the end of the day I intend to do all Monster clones and get at least double the usual yield.