New Grower Considering Autopots

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Cannabis Seeds

Bl4d3

Auto Warrior
Sep 22, 2018
21
38
0
Hey guys and gals.

So, I've done a couple grows, the last 1 was an absolute disaster, my light failed while I was abroad and nobody noticed it for a week, basically destroying my grow.

Next setup :
2 x 600w LED lights (generic)
1 x 600w LED light on standby (because stuff that)
120x120x200cm grow tent
Oil radiator heater connected to thermostat set at 24 degrees (its winter in South Africa)

Now I intend to start off with an autopot 1 kit with a single pot expansion, giving me 2 pots total.

Heres the questions :
1. I intend to start the plants in the 15L autopots as I dont want to transplant, when do I start using the system?

2. Nutrients - How do I know when to feed? I've read that I must measure the EC / PPM in the reservoir. Do I just add nutes until I get to the EC/PPM that I want?

3. What EC / PPM do I need for each week?

4. Is it necessary to change water or will it be absorbed fast enough?

5. What are airdomes? The kit im looking at doesnt come with airdomes. Do I need them?

6. Do I maintain PH of 5.8 throughout the entire grow?

This is the kit im looking at getting :
https://hydroponic.co.za/hydroponics/hydroponic-autopot-starter-kit-1-pot/

Total cost is expected to be about R1500 or $108USD

Any advice would be much appreciated.

I intend to start the grow beginning of next month as I'm abroad on business until then
 

baked in the bluegrass

to the prettiest one
Gladiator level 1
Apr 10, 2019
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mephistopheles genetics cq x 24c
Heya, new grower here as well but i have a lil experience now with the autopot and ive read about a billion pages of info on it lol.
Lets see what we got...

1-autopot recommends that the plant be big enough that its leaves reach/touch the sides of the autopot, for me that was 21 days or so. Plant needs that time to develop the root system.
2- depending on your medium and nutes, you could start feeding when you turn on the autopot. My suggestion would be to mix up your feed then dump it in the rez so your llant is gettin fed out the gate. Go lighter on nutes than the manufacturer recommends and then adjust from there. I dont really fool with my ppm/ec meter so i gots nothing there.
3-gots nothin
4-i was just adding to the rez periodically to maintain my chosen level, 8 gallons in my case. I did a rez change at 2 weeks, and heres where i redid my feed, added or subtracted based on how my plants were looking
5-airdome is not necessary at all. It is basically airlines and a pump, meant to boost o2 in the rootzone. I dont use mine, i like that autopot doesnt need power so im not plugging up a pump to use it. Thats just me tho, many swear by airdomes
6-ph should be higher than that i think. Youre growing in soil/coco so maybe aim for a range like 6.0-6.8. Thats how ive been running mine and she seems to be a okay.

Damn, i typed a book lol, sorry bout that.
I luv my autopot, its not the end all be all, but it is handy and can help make a grow a lil more relaxed!
There are some really great threads here in the forums on autopots, and hopefully somebody more experienced will chime in and help get ya pointed in the right direction!
 
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Bl4d3

Auto Warrior
Sep 22, 2018
21
38
0
Heya, new grower here as well but i have a lil experience now with the autopot and ive read about a billion pages of info on it lol.
Lets see what we got...

1-autopot recommends that the plant be big enough that its leaves reach/touch the sides of the autopot, for me that was 21 days or so. Plant needs that time to develop the root system.
2- depending on your medium and nutes, you could start feeding when you turn on the autopot. My suggestion would be to mix up your feed then dump it in the rez so your llant is gettin fed out the gate. Go lighter on nutes than the manufacturer recommends and then adjust from there. I dont really fool with my ppm/ec meter so i gots nothing there.
3-gots nothin
4-i was just adding to the rez periodically to maintain my chosen level, 8 gallons in my case. I did a rez change at 2 weeks, and heres where i redid my feed, added or subtracted based on how my plants were looking
5-airdome is not necessary at all. It is basically airlines and a pump, meant to boost o2 in the rootzone. I dont use mine, i like that autopot doesnt need power so im not plugging up a pump to use it. Thats just me tho, many swear by airdomes
6-ph should be higher than that i think. Youre growing in soil/coco so maybe aim for a range like 6.0-6.8. Thats how ive been running mine and she seems to be a okay.

Damn, i typed a book lol, sorry bout that.
I luv my autopot, its not the end all be all, but it is handy and can help make a grow a lil more relaxed!
There are some really great threads here in the forums on autopots, and hopefully somebody more experienced will chime in and help get ya pointed in the right direction!
Hey man, thanks, it does help and I love reading so no worries, been researching for the last few days.

I just have 1 last question. When the res starts to drain, do I just top it up with water and add a bit more nutes?

I presume that the best is to topup the res once a week and just add small increments of nutes and see how the plant takes?
 

baked in the bluegrass

to the prettiest one
Gladiator level 1
Apr 10, 2019
1,851
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Currently Smoking
mephistopheles genetics cq x 24c
I just top the rez off through the week/s with ideally the same solution you originally mixed up for the cycle.
So for example, maybe not a great example lol but anyways, for example i want to run megacrop, id start at 1/4 strength, mix up my solution and pour it in the rez. As the plant drinks id top off the rez with more of that 1/4 strength solution.
When i needed to make a full rez change, then id increase the strength to 1/2, mix my feed fill the rez, top off with 1/2 strength as needed, on and on.
 
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baked in the bluegrass

to the prettiest one
Gladiator level 1
Apr 10, 2019
1,851
4,878
20
Currently Smoking
mephistopheles genetics cq x 24c
I think with your coco/perlite you would be good to be constantly feeding light doses of nutes pretty much till the end of the cycle.
Maybe sneak in a week of water-only feeds to kinda "flush" the plant a lil every now and then.
 

pop22

Frankensteins Lab Leader
Gladiator Level 2
Dec 15, 2013
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I've been growing in auto pots for 3 years now.

Starting in big pots is tricky, IMO. it's better to transplant, With my method, there's never a problem. Plant direct into large pots creates issues with watering the seeding. If that is how you want to do it however, this is what I recommend. Water the pot well 1-2 days before before you plant. cut a piece of plastic the size of the interior of the pot. Cut a small, hole in the middle maybe 1cm, and cut a slit from an edge to the hole, to make it easy to remove later.
Plant in that opening. when the seedling sprouts,pour 4-6oz of water into the pot through the hole in the plastic. By the 5th day remove the plastic and water lightly.
I start feeding by day 14, and at the strength I use from start to finish. With my nutrients, I keep my ppms between 475-525 ppms
( 700 scale in case you need to convert to EC ). I stopped running low PH a long time ago, you'll have far fewer PH related problems by keeping your PH in the 6.2 to 6.4 range in coco.

Mix in a bucket, NEVER in the res! Mix, then adjust PH. Let the bucket set for 12-24 hrs and check PH again. It will likely rise. Adjust again. Wait 30-60 minutes and check again, if the PH has remained stable, then add to your res. I very rarely see the PH rise in my reservoir when I use this protocol. I feel that you should let the res run low, then refill when there is just enough solution in it to keep the filter/tap submerged. That way, the solution in your res is mostly fresh.

I love auto pots! And there are a good many auto pot growers on this forum.
 

Bl4d3

Auto Warrior
Sep 22, 2018
21
38
0
So you stay with the same strength nutrients throughout the grow? No increase at all?

Basically, ill be using tap water which has a PPM of around 250. RO water is damn expensive in Cape Town.

What PPM should I maintain if I were to use RO water (I will just plus 250 to that).

My fear is stuffing this up completely, I have never done a true hydro grow and im so naive when it comes to nutrient reservoirs
 

pop22

Frankensteins Lab Leader
Gladiator Level 2
Dec 15, 2013
15,945
50,184
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Wow! That's high for tap water. If you can't get RO, maybe you could get a carbon water filter and filter your water through that. With a ppm that high, its hard to recommend a ppm level for you. I'd say try 500 ppms and see how that works out. I use a coco/soil blend,which tends to hold nutrients better than just coco or coco/perlite blends. Depending what nutrient you use, you may need to go higher, but 500 ppm should be a safe starting point. With coco, I'd say 600-650 would be max. Because of tap water, everyone's grow requirements can be different.

If you get a filter, let us know what your ppm after filtering is. Depending on the actual content of your water you may or may not have problems. I use RO because my tap water KILLS cannabis! Literally! Which is weird as it doesn't seem to affect my veggies. I've posted pics of plants that look like I took a blow torch to them! I've had my water tested and still have no idea what the cause is. That's why I went to RO filtering. A carbon filter could make a difference for you if you start to have problems.

Yes, I use the same ppm, start to finish. Its my opinion that "feeding schedules" are a waste of time, plants eat what they need, when they need it, and htat's the beauty of auto pots is unlike any other hydro method, your plants have a constant supply of nutrients that are always available at the exact same amount. In DWC for example, not only does the ppm go lower as your plants consume nutrients, they make be taking more of one or some and less of another, so the solution is constantly going out of balance. This is one of the reasons conventional hydro tends to run high ppm/EC level, to try to make up for the imbalance.

post pics of your grow when you get going, I'll follow along!
 

Bl4d3

Auto Warrior
Sep 22, 2018
21
38
0
Ok, so I've done some in depth research when I should of been working, dont tell the boss.

From all the info I received here and combined with my research I have decided on the following nutrient setup.

Scrap the nutes that come with the setup
Follow Lucas Formula and use Epsom Salts at 0.25g per litre.

I found a supplier of RO water at R1.50 per litre (0.41USD per gallon) so im going to use RO water.