Autopot is an amazing gravity fed grow system which requires no power, if the Romans had invented hydroponics then Autopot is probably what they'd have come up with! If you've never grown with Autopot before then this guide will help you to get the best out of your setup.
Potting up with Autopot can seem a little tricky if you're not familiar with it. Many people struggle to get the substrate correct for this bottom feeding grow system.
First place the black matrix disc in the pot, this will prevent any media from escaping and blocking the aquavalve, then add a 1 to 2" layer of washed gravel or perlite or pH stable clay pebbles to the bottom of the pot.
If using an air dome then cover the domes 2/3rds up with washed gravel/ perlite/pH stable clay pebbles. Air domes will help more oxygen get to the roots of your plants, which will promote healthier root growth and increased yields of up to 30%
Fill the rest of the pot with coco, soil or a 50/50 mixture of either with perlite or clay pebbles.
You can then transplant your young plant into the Autopot.
Ok, it's not 100% set and forget! You'll need to hand feed your plants for 10 to 15 days to allow the roots to establish. If you are growing in soil then you need only feed them water at this point, if using coco or another inert medium then you will need to use a weak solution of nutrients.
After 10 to 15 days, once the roots are established, you can 'switch on' the Autopot feeding system. Hooray!
With no pumps, Autopot relies solely on gravity. This means you must keep the pipes free from any blockages caused by deposits. Some nutrients will leave deposits which can form a solid blockage over time. To avoid this you should only use mineral based nutrients and avoid any nutrients which require thinning down before using. Also avoid any organic nutrients as these can ferment which also can cause blockages.
If in doubt just try the teaspoon test. Just add a teaspoon of nutrients to a small glass of water for 12 hours, if it separates in the glass then avoid using them in your Autopot system.
You should also drain off around 2 litres of nutrient solution every couple of weeks to prevent sediment build-up and invest in some line cleaner to remove deposits keep those lines flowing freely!
You need gravity on your side, things may seem to be flowing nicely whilst you have water pressure but you may run into snags once the tank level drops! Keep your tank at least 6 inches higher than your highest AQUAvalve and never let the tank run below 1/4 full.
Keep those AQUAvalves clear by removing the yellow rubber bits, squishing them and then re-inserting them.
You don't want to feed those delicate root systems with an ice cold solution! Put a nutrient heater in your tank to keep the cold at bay!
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