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Joint hogger

Another Autopot Thread

16 posts in this topic

After doing a ton of reading about other folk using Autopots & what their expeience's have been like I've decided to switch from hand watering in soil for over 10 years to trying Autopots in soil myself.

The main reason Im sticking to soil over coco is that soil is more forgiving & once soil is wet, it retains water longer, it also save's me the hassle of going into the tent at different times as I work shifts,

it will also allow me to go away for more than a few days at a time unless I rope someone into wateing for me, which tbh I dont like doing. 

 

So anyway, I'll be using a 1.2m tent & was thinking about going with 9 A.P's as I usually grow 8 or 9 plants in soil in 11lt square pots but after reading some posts, I think 6 Autopots might be more suited

for the space with a longer veg, another reason I'm thinking about running less A.P's is that I want to keep the plant numbers down within reason as I have another new 1.2m tent & was thinking about running

the two tents side by side, something else to consider is that I also want to use a 100ltr reservoirs instead of a 225ltr reservoirs as Im a bit limited for space in the room as my veg cab is also in there & by

having two reservoirs is that it allows me to run different strains without burning one of them with hot nutes.

 

I'll also be adding a water timer too as I dont like leaving plants in sodden soil, another few things I'll be adding is a water heater & an air pump/stone for the reservoir/s, I'm also thinking about ditching the usual

16mm hose & use plastic piping with corner connectors to make it more rigid, this will allow me to also fit in tube heaters for winter time.

 

As for what nutes I'll be using, I was thinking about plant magics soil as its more chemical based & comes in either hard or soft water versions, my waters soft btw & unless I add something to the feed,

I usually endd up with cal/mag deficencies, I also want to keep the nutes as simple as possible without having to add numeous additives so something like a 2 part feed is preferred.

so I'm open to suggestions if there's something better for soft water.

 

As for what soil I'll be using, same again, its plant magics supreme as its been very good over the years but it doesn't like sitting in feed as it can some times become compacted, this could maybe be down

to me watering plants too fast, so I was going to add some perlite to make it more airy & have 50mm-60mm of hydroton in the bottom of the pots.

 

anyway thats it for now, hopefully anyone who uses Autopots will see this & chip in an idea or two.

 

 

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I've been thinking about going down this road myself for an easier life.  I'm not sure how narrow the tubes are with the Autopot system and whether thicker organic type nutes could cause blockages in the lines but the Canna Bio grow/bloom seems to get good reviews.

Or there's the Ecothrive soil option meaning all that's needed is water, or more or less.

Edited by JJJ
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the main supply hose is 16mm (OD) & 13mm (ID), the smaller tubing is 6mm (OD) & 4mm (ID).

 

if you use organic nutes, its the smaller tubing that get clogged up.

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I swapped over to autopots after moving to the loft and having issues with getting up to water them all the time. Only done 1 full grown and in the middle of another now.

 

I've stuck with soil and not gone Coco,.one less thing to worry about with pH etc. 2 inch of clay balls in the bottom for sure. I used plagrons batmix for the soil and added extra perlite at around 50/50.

 

I went for a 4 pot system with 15l pots and the 47l Res. I'm in a 1.1 X 1.2 X 2m sloped room and I personally think 4 is enough, it's more than capable of filling the room out. I'm sure 5 or 6 would work but I feel it would be very crowded with decent veg time.

 

I only use the 6mm piping but hope to one day upgrade to the 100ltr Res and larger pipe. I've had the 5mm splitter bit clog already although I think that was my fault from not cleaning it properly.

 

I thought about a timer but finding one for the 6mm pipe and hooking it up to something automated didn't look easy. I was worried about them being in standing water but I've seen no adverse effects so far. Clay balls in the bottom for sure.

 

I swapped from.organic nutes to hyrdro nutes. I used the hesi range so grow, bloom, root stim, boost, super thrive (or whatever it's called) and some pk13. I'd say I could probably get by on just the grow, bloom and root stim but using it all as I have it. Seen good results from last grow so don't have a reason to swap yet other than its 5ml per L so you use a lot! Also use 1ml per L of calmag as in a soft water area. My ec is 0 out of the tap!

 

I've got a water heater (50w I think) and a circulation pump in the res. Pump is just to keep the water moving, spread the nutes around and help spreads the heat around from the heater.

 

2 tents with 2 Res sounds like a good idea, if I only had the space!

 

Personally they've been brilliant for me. I was never able to water enough when the plants were accessible let alone when they were in the loft. This allows me to set and forget for up to 5/6 days if needs be although I try and get up every other day just to check plants and check res BUT if I can't it doesn't matter. The only worry is the Res running dry and the pump still running and making a shit load of noise!

 

3ph

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Morning @Joint hogger  . I have used  autopots for years, brilliant set up for a lazy bugger like myself.. not soil though .. I use coco with at least 2” clay pebbles in bottom of pot.....though with growth technology green haze nutes and don’t get any hassle at all with clogging..   had loads of clogging issues when I used AN Sensi ph perfect nutes but just changed the 4mm tubing every grow ...I bought a 50m coil of 4mm tubing for a few buks off the fleabay..   I’ve also never had a flood as I use toothbrush to clean the valves, maybe am just jammy or something hehe :skin_up:I do love the ease of the autopots though and  if there is an easier way to grow, I would love to know... .getting decent results too with 3-5 oz  / pot.. got vicfirths animal stompers and blues on go at mo.. man one of the stompers had me crawling around the floor,!!   Never had hit like that in yonks!,,  mrs gonge wisnae impressed .. even a few mates asking me ...waur the fuk did ye get that?? Hehe good luck and go for it.. 

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thanks for the replies.

 

@3potheads  I looked at the 47ltr tank but if I wwas using that with 6 AP then I'd be lucky to get half a week feeding done, thats why I'm going with the larger res,

also, I wouldnt fancy trying to bodge a water timer onto 6mm pipe, too easy for a leak to happen. I also wouldnt want a pump running if its not submerged, too easy for the pump to burn its sef out.

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@jj69

 

If you dont mind me tagging you into my thread about autopots, I've a few questions for you if you don't mind.

 

what did you use to raise the water butt up  ?  

 

what size of space are you using  & how many pots do you run in it ?

 

do you just trim any roots off that escape the pot ?

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Finally bit the bullet as Greens had a 10% off deal & I went with a 12 autopot set up & a 225 ltr res, i know I said previously that I was going with the 100ltr res but once I thought about it,

the res would be lucky to hold 75-80ltrs due to where the tap is & the cable access hole on the back of the res near the top.

 

 

 

 

 

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Good luck with these @Joint hogger, just ordered the 4 pot system myself as I am away for a prolonged spell during the next cycle and want a easier life. I did notice you can get pot socks to stop the roots running away into the valve not that I bought any but I’m now thinking I maybe should have.

 

atb

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@golf.007.  I’m sure the 4 pot system comes with copper type mats which sit in tray under pots..they stop the roots getting to valves .. usually change mines every grow or 2....cheap and easy to replace aff flea bay.. great simple system..love it!  Cheers gonge.

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On 19/11/2019 at 6:19 PM, Joint hogger said:

@jj69

 

If you dont mind me tagging you into my thread about autopots, I've a few questions for you if you don't mind.

 

what did you use to raise the water butt up  ?  

 

what size of space are you using  & how many pots do you run in it ?

 

do you just trim any roots off that escape the pot ?

Hey, sorry for late reply,

I don't use any thing to raise the butt up.

The hole in the butt is cut 3" above pots height so if there is any sediment on the bottom of the reservoir it doesn't go in the pots.

6 pots in 1meter square tent.

Yes just pull all roots that escape the pot, also any that go near the aqua valve.

Hope it helps

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likewise  :smokin:

 

Anything Ive read mentions that the butt/res needs to be at least 6" higher than the trays  ?

the reason I wanted to raise the res is that I'll be using an inline filter with a water timer, so i'll probably knock something up with some 2x4 to raise the res a couple of feet.

 

I'm still undecided on how many trays to run in a 1.2m tent, depending on the plumbing & whether I can fit in possibly 1 or 2 3ft thermostatic tube heaters (120w)

to keep the temps up in winter time, I was thinking of going with 6 trays just now & come summer time when I can take the tube heaters out, I could try 9 Autopots :yes:

I also got the air domes to fit at the bottom of the pots for £2.80each compared to a £5 usually.

 

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Good thread, been thinking about the switch for ages and with the Green Qube tent, it has a handy inlet so you can have the water butt outside the tent.

 

Saw someone growing toms with the autopots and they looked fantastic.

 

As I'm organic, my concern was the nutes blocking the small feed lines.

 

For a 2.4 tent I'd have ten pots max.

 

I'd also provide under-heating for the pots as the reservoir might be heated but by the time the water goes to the bottom of those pots, I'd be concerned at root temps in winter.

 

I'd also have a pump to agitate the water as well as an air stone in there.

 

Using slightly hard water so might revisit OldTimes soil feed. Biobizz grow would clog the pipes. Biobizz bloom seems more watery than it used. Plus, when a plant food has like seven different add on feeds, I'm going to more simple feeds. Canna for soil was ace for dripper systems, although its not organic. Never could tell organic soil bud from the bud grown with Canna non organic bloom for soil.

 

I would be using H&G batmix with 25% worm castings. Nice soil, never compacts too much and you don't need to feed plants anything but water until about week 4 flowering. (2 weeks veg usually) Plant Magic I've not used but if anyone's used batmix and gone over to Plant Magic  then pray tell why.

 

Watering ten plants in 18L pots takes me a good two hours. I use a 1.2L liquid soap bottle so can aim the water evenly around the pots. This method, I can get 4-5L of water into the pots before it drains. I use a wet/dry cycle.

 

Too much hard work hand balling the plants.

 

Seems to me those who have gone to autopots have not looked back and do not miss having to hand water.

 

If the results are just as good or better, I guess I'm in.

 

Will check Greens see what the ten pot systems would cost.

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I've just potted up to 11tr pots with my current grow but because I'm using organic nutes with this grow I'll hold off to my next grow before I try the Autopots then I can switch nutes to a thinner chemical mix.

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@MyDisplayName2000 mate, greens had a 10% off sale in November as they were launching a new website. the 12 pot - 225ltr res is £290 which is a good bit cheaper than most shops.

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