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Would you recommend Autopots?

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design/Setup' started by fred_light, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. Hi, I have been following Mr Postsmans grow, and I must say that I am a bit impressed of the Autopots.

    http://forum.grasscity.com/grow-journals/98645-mr-postmans-overgrown-closet-grow.html

    Info on Autopots and the Smartvalve system:

    http://www.futuregarden.com/hydroponics/systems_autopots.html

    has anybody used setups like this? And are you happy with the result/efficiency and maintenance of a setup like that?

    It seems that apart from going full hydro (Can't really do that in current room), this might be a good way to lower maintenance when we are talking about 20 pots that need water every (other) day.

    Cheers.
     
  2. Hey, you're in St. Paul, I'm in Minneapolis:cool: . I am using autopots right now and I think they are the shit. I got them because I saw Post's journal too. I'm about 2 weeks in and I've had no problems. I like the fact that you can use them for hydro or with soil (which I'm doing now), and I like how easy and maintenance free they are, the plants just drink at their own pace, and from the looks of Post's journal this makes them grow like motherfuckers. The only negative I've heard about them is some people say when you use them for hydro the plants are overwatered, but I've also heard that doesn't happen, who knows... I'm going hydro next round. Good luck.
     
  3. Twin city's :)

    Yeah, soil would be the medium of choice. Really like organic compared to chemical acutally. Even if Postman's Autopot system got clogged with organic. So I guess a little extra care is needed, but the Autopots is not for not careing about the plants, it's more a labour thing with 20+ pots and water that has to be worked a lot with before feeding the plants because of crappy/unhealth tapwater (have to use Hydrogen Perox on every last drop).
     
  4. i bet you could eassssily build something like that for only a fraction of the cost using stuff like those dogg food dishes that look like the single autopot garden since its got two bowls to put two pots in then just buy a water pump or somethin (just read up on hydroponics) all the stuff can be bought at homedeppot but the pump maybe at walmart or petco.this is a good idea i have a good idea on how to set one up...
     
  5. Thanks for the tip. Hydro is not an option right now, and soil is prefered. One can use soil in Autopots also. Going for a set-up like the autopots will primarily be for research in the first step, and of it works, maybe build something bigger. So the price of 70$ is not frightening since it requires no do-it-yourself and one gets to try out the technic. As you say you have a good plan for a setup, that plan is based on experience, just what an autopot would probably give :)

    Also, if someone can confirm that the rig works to a certain degree, one know that 10" pots, with this and this waterlevel works. Therefor it is not a trial and error thing (waste of time). And if the result is good, one knows that a replikate of some sort or another (if one decides to build one self) works.

    Based on what Postman wrote, his girls drank 3 times more than the soil counterparts. That has to give some effect I believe :)

    Post your idea for a setup if you think people would like it, and you wanna share it. That would be nice.
     
  6. Hey im checking into the Autopots also. Im somewhat worried about mold forming in the dirt. Not directly because of the Autopots, but because the area im growing in may have an excess of airborne mold particles. Not so bad in the proposed grow area, but its still a worry for me.

    This makes me very interested in using a soiless or Hydro grow medium. I cant find any information on how you could setup the Autopots for Hydro growing. The site says you can do it, they just dont tell you how to do it. Anybody know?
     



  7. The system works the same for both hydo, and soil. The only thing you change is the medium you grow in. Coco coir, perilite/vemiculite mix would be a good hydro medium.. They also sell premixed soilless mediums such as fox farms light warrior etc.


    As for anyone else thiking of the system it has worked for me.. I used a soil/soiless mix.. Basically I cut my fox farms forest blend soil with good amounts of perilite for good drainage which is important for this system since it works on a flood and drain principle.

    As for feeding I always recommend starting at 1/4 the recommended dose on the bottle, and slowly build to a stronger solution. If your interested in what I feed it's in my journal in the grow section. Make sure you check the ph of the nutrients going in.. This is important as lots of tap water is pure crap.. A good fert like pure blend pro usually puts ph into a decent range in my experiance. For most strains a good 5.8-7 will do. This is impotant for any kinda of MJ growing;) . Check the res. ph again mid fill to see if it's holding steady. Each fill I put in about 6-8 gallons. The rez holds about 14 though.. I did this so I'd have more control of the nutrients, and ph, basically I made more work formyself, but had tighter control of the plants food schedule.

    I also started my plants in smaller cups, and then transplanted them into the systems pots once they grew out of their small party cups. I think this will help as you'll already have a good root ball started to consume the water being provided in shorter time.

    The system does what it's suppose to do though.. The rest is up to you. The only problem I had was when my valve got stuck open.. I was using some organic additives that were thicker then ususal, and I think that's what caused that.. From that point on every res fill I just took the tray/valve to the tub and rinsed it out.

    I have more plans for this system.. Basically once you have that smart valve you can flood anything. The whole system runs around that valve as it floods and drains without electricity.. I'm looking for a good sized tray/tub 4 x 2 x a couple inches high with a lid.. I'm going to cut the pot wholes into the lid, and flood this larger space/flower closet if I can ever find an appropriate tray to flood, and sit my pots in LOL..:smoke: Basically a system like this would cut a lot of the tending to the garden, as the plants drink as needed.. You fill that res, and let them eat at their own pace which I'm sure speeds up growth quite a bit. You can also use larger pots in the auto pot system.. as long as the diameter is the same they will sit in the system just fine.. You just have to drill some drainage holes if the container doesn't have them, and this will allow you grow trees if you wanted too LOL

    Anyway have fun, and keep it green
     
  8. I'm looking for an automatic watering system. I have 6 soil plants.

    How do I use autopots to accomplish this? Can I leave my plants in their current containers? What autopot items do I need to get?

    I was also thinking of the Oasis automatic plant watering system:
    http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/mist2.shtml

    Which is better? Which is easier? ;)

    Thanks!
     
  9. Basically all you need from the autopots is the smart valve which costs 20 bucks or so. You could make whatever contraption you want to fit your needs. Go to their website.
     
  10. I'm looking at it and it looks like it fills up water around a plant that is already in a pot in soil.

    Could I put my current 6 pots in a tray? Then get the smartvalve and a bucket for a reservoir?

    Shouldn't the plants be watered on the top?

    The Oasis seems so much simpler. I just set it to water, but it is only about 6.5 gallons.

    Please help me understand autopots, it probably IS better.

    Thanks!
     
  11. The medium in the autopot wicks water up from the bottom whether you're using soil or hydro, you don't have to water from the top. As long as the pots you use have holes in the bottom you could use those in a tray if you want.
     
  12. I think I understand now :)

    The web site bascially says I can use one module for 4-6 plants. I have 6.

    In the quad autopot kit (with 8 pots), 4 modules are included. If I just have one big tray can I just use one modoule or should I separate them and use more?

    Right now I only use about a half gallon of nutrient solution a day. Can I expect to use more or less with autopots? I'm trying to decide on the 14, 25, or 31 gallon Roughneck reservoir.

    So I need:
    at least one module
    one of the Roughneck reservoirs
    1/4" tubing
    soil and perlite (have this already)
    a try that is just big enough to hold my pots.
     
  13. i wouldnt recomend relying on one smart valve to do several plants, it would be a good idea to have 2 in each tray so if one was to "get blocked" or something you would still have one working... i supose its not so important in a soil based grow but for something like a DWC ALWAYS run 2 seperate airlines into the system to avoid a tragedy
     
  14. I have used them about a year now. I wouldn't recomend them with soil. Coco is much better. The only other guy besides me that uses them
    johny Chimpo on ICMAG, do a seach for autopot on their forums. He does scrog and I do light perpetual sog. I a have 14 gallon resevoir that lasts about 7-10 days for 5 auto pots. PM does form on the top coco but one very weak spray of neem oil gets rid that and the fungus gnats that are attracted to coco in the summer.

    I love my autopots... more to come... I'll post pics tomrrow.
     
  15. After I responded I realized that Jungle Jim had dung up an old post about autopots... I will respond and with some pics as I promised but more will come later as I am not fully finished with my room.... stealth rooms or grow rooms are hardly ever finished but yet are always improved upon except for Rumple, he seems to be more organized then 99.9% of us. He's truly an aspiration for the best small grow.

    I won't go into specifics yet, I save that for a future journal....

    Sorry for the HPS haze...

    Top shot of both grows, right is 8 weeks and left is 3 weeks,,, all clones of AK-47, my fav most durable, clonable yet stinkiest grow
    [​IMG]


    The autopots of the 8 week old clones, all clones started at 6-8 inches, these had 1.5 week of veg
    [​IMG]


    Getting some fat buds and I expect around one elbow
    [​IMG]

    These are 3 weeks and went str8t into 12/12 thus the notorious AK-47 stretch, more to come later, ;-)

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Hi Guys,

    One thing I don't seem to understand about the autopots is:

    1 - how do you start a plant off in the system since the rootball will be no where near the bottom of the pot.

    2 - how do you stop root rot happening in the bottom of the pot sice it will we flooded for the most part??

    If someone could explain this to me it would be much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Bighead
     
  17. im also wondering the same.
     
  18. i wish i asked that, even though im starting with hempy buckets in perlite i got the autopot set up as well.
     
  19. Use an inline tap. Autopots are the dogs bollocks. I'd never use anything else, so many past failures, but not anymore.
     
  20. no root rot because the smartvalve lets the roots go dry before reflooding.
     
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