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green_tea

Air pots, auto feed, advice needed

Hi fellow coco nuts!

 

Im planning my next grow, just wanted some advice as to the following:

 

I will be vegging 6 to 8 weeks, manifolding the plants so as to get 8 colas per plant, then flower under 400w HPS.

 

I have previously been using 15 litre round pots, which reading here, are way too big. The rootballs from previous grows bear this out, roots circling at the bottom and pockets of unused coco throughout the rootball.

 

So I am planning to use air pots, and also build an automated feeding system like in the sticky, to feed multiple times daily, when rooted out. Idea is to go more hydro experience, rather than treating coco like compost which is what I have been doing.

 

I am unsure of what size airpots to go for - 3.5 litre, 6.5 or 9. And also is it necessary to pot up with air pots? I understand its not due to the air pruning effect? I usually start with root riot cube then 1 litre pot.

 

I would be very grateful for any comments or advice, thanks :skin_up:

 

 

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Yo. What size tent/space are you using? And how many plants do you intend to grow?

4 plants of either the 3.5l or 6l airpots would work well, I usually do 4x6l under a 600w in a 90cm tent and they fill out nicely, usually 10ish days in final pot then flip to flower. With smaller final pot sizes especially I've not found significant differences going from rooted cuts - to ~1liter pots - finals vs rooted cuts straight into finals (unlike compost where the staggered pot ups usually seem beneficial). I use an 8 way dripper from greens/hydroculture with 2 blue flood stakes per pot (or just lines on stake holders), short drip lines <50cm long, and a 450l/h maxijet pump, feeding up to 6x1 minute a day, roughly 1.4l per feed between the 4 pots (frequency and duration will obviously vary with line length, diameter and pump flow rate) but essentially once the pots are well rooted out you can water as often as you want.

 

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Hey, thanks for the reply,

 

My grow space is 1.2 x0.9 ~ so 4' x 3'. I actually grow in 3x3 of that space which gives me 12" at one end for fan and dehumidifier. I always do 4 plants.

 

The 8 way manifold/blue drippers/maxijet 500 is precisely what I was planning on using so thats good to hear :0 Thanks for the feeding schedule, very useful info :yep:

 

Greens say 3.5 litre airpot for intensive coco, it just seems so small to me, but from your reply and what Ive read elsewhere on here it looks good, so I'll probably go with that.

 

Couple more Q's if you dont mind...

 

The run off should be 10-20% per day, not each feeding with auto feed, correct?

 

And only feeding during lights on, none during lights off? Assuming the last feed was ~ 1hr before lights off, a 3.5 L airpot will stay moist enough during lights off?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah you can grow plants with fat 1"+ stems in 3.5l pots of coco and over-rooting/multifeeding.

an old pic of a nice stem (4x3.5l in 90x90cm under 400w, fytocell and coco mix (straight coco is as good or better fwiw)):

gallery_18195_7204_523964.jpg

 

It helps to have the 8-way raised up in the middle, with lines arranged more or less evenly (at least with the 450l/h pump).

gallery_18195_7204_110416.jpg

 

The topsin 16-way drippers are another option, think there's a stickied thread in the hydro thread with a nice diy build using one. Way more expensive but supposed to be better (more even flow, more scale-able & have an internal filter, though they would need cleaning more often and might need a stronger pump). Would allow you to run up to 4 stakes per pot though which I think would be even better than 1 or 2, which work fine but it seems beneficial to top water from a can every week or so even when established- you get less mineral deposits on the pebbles and roots in every bit of coco that way).

With over-rooting, multi-feeding and careful monitoring you can run way less run off too, 10% of just one of the feeds per day seems fine and no better than 20%+ of every feed at least ime (saves a lot too), but 10% overall would be good too. You can also run higher ec without problems. Google 'djm coco tree's' for a really good thread on icmag about multi-feeding coco (he barely has any run-off except for monitoring purposes and at the end). 

I got deja vu writing this and think I made a nearly identical post in the past :D :stoned: 

 

e2a - Yeah regarding timings they don't transpire much at night so not needed, but half an hour after lights on and half an hour-an hour before lights off for the first and last feeds seems to work well. I use a digital minute timer from tesco and run it for a minute each feed but you'll want to base your timings & frequency on the setup once it's in place, use a measuring jug to check the balance and flow rate. You could also use adjustable or rose drippers for fine tweaking but they need much stronger pumps and will clog up a lot more, and it shouldn't be needed.

Edited by uBercaMeL
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Awesome, thanks bud, thats made a lot of things clearer. Those stems are enormous! Interesting with the manifold like that, I was going to split it in the res, but a more even flow would make sense with how youve got it, especially with the smaller pump.

 

Found the thread on IC, I'll have a look, thanks.

 

Really looking forward to the next grow now, with the auto feeding side to play with :-) (well, I always look forward to a grow, but I love tinkering with things like that, I'm a big kid really lol )

 

Im going to start a journal up in a week or so, feel free to drop by and I'll skin one up for ya mate :thumsup:

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