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Autopot self-watering system  

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hot for my age
(@hot-for-my-age)
Seedling

Autopot site

I usually work away from home for a week at a time and so need a way of keeping my plants watered whilst they're unattended.

I eventually settled on Autopot because it's gravity fed (no power supply needed) and I'm trying to keep my set-up as economical as possible. It's also pretty versatile as to how you arrange the pots & reservoir and is easily expanded: further pots & trays can be bought individually and plumbed into your existing set-up.

The cost is quite reasonable too: I paid the equivalent of around CAD110.00 for a reservoir, two pots/trays and the associated gubbins. I have the smallest 47l reservoir which is good for up to six pots, with each additional pot/tray costing a little less than CAD35.00.

There's no reason why you couldn't just buy the pots, fashion your own reservoir and plumb it in with an in-line filter: the "magic" is in the floats, which come with the pots.

Putting it together is very straight forward, you just need something to cut the hose, as all the connectors are push-fit. All you need to ensure is that the reservoir is 15cm/6" above the valves; in practice this means it needs to sit about 20cm off the ground, to account for the height of the valve.

The starter kit comes with a selection of T and X-shaped connectors, allowing you to connect everything up in a variety of ways. There are also two taps: you fit one immediately after the reservoir and another at the end of the run of pipe so you can drain and flush the system.

The valves have an internal and an external float, with the internal one controlling the flow of solution into the tray and the other responding to the level of solution in the tray, to control the former. The solution is then wicked up through the bottom of the pot.

I've only just got it running, so I'll report back on how it runs in due course, but so far I'm happy with my choice.

reservoir and filter

IMG 20190318 143440

filter fitted inside reservoir

IMG 20190318 144105

valve

IMG 20190318 144755

IMG 20190318 153816

layout

IMG 20190318 154034

IMG 20190318 154015

IMG 20190318 153804

Quote
Posted : 18/03/2019 3:20 pm
dR
 dR
(@dryken)
Stoner Admin

Very neat! I've been looking at a Setup Similar to this one, called the "ez planter" by Bucket Company 

They aren't gravity fed tho... which is why I am interested in the Auto Pots. 

­čî▒Cannabis Live Grow : https://www.twitch.tv/thebudlabca

ReplyQuote
Posted : 19/03/2019 3:54 pm
hot for my age
(@hot-for-my-age)
Seedling

One issue that has cropped-up now it's in use, is reservoir placement.

I currently have it in the tent because it's easier than routing the pipe from outside.

I have a 300w LED, so the solution isn't getting particularly warm, but cooler would be preferable and if you have larger/hotter lighting then I can see it being a problem from the start.

Also, I have two autos in there (so a relatively compact grow) which I've moved towards the back of the tent (and shifted the lamp accordingly), but even so I think it will get cramped once they're larger and everything will need to be moved to the middle of the tent.

As well as a passive air intake vent, there's a sock for an intake fan so I'm going to move the reservoir out and route the pipe through there. This means the reservoir will need to be raised even higher, but the only alternative (apart from making a hole in the tent) would be to route it through the zipper, moving a zip-pull either side of it.

Otherwise, it's working well! ­čÖé

ReplyQuote
Posted : 23/03/2019 1:00 pm
hot for my age
(@hot-for-my-age)
Seedling
Posted by: dR

Very neat! I've been looking at a Setup Similar to this one, called the "ez planter" by Bucket Company 

They aren't gravity fed tho... which is why I am interested in the Auto Pots. 

They look interesting, more sophisticated than the Autopot but also more complicated to set-up. Routing the pipework into a tent would take some thinking about. And using rigid pipework means "on the fly" tweaks to your set-up aren't practical, so everything needs to be well planned from the start.

Apart from not being gravity fed, the thing that strikes me is that there is run-off which means you're supplying more solution than needed, whereas the Autopot system only supplies what the plant actually needs.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Bucket Company's results are better than Autopots, but for me it fails my K.I.S.S. criteria.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 23/03/2019 1:22 pm
dR
 dR
(@dryken)
Stoner Admin

That makes perfect sense man, I didn't even think about half the stuff you mentioned. "whereas the Autopot system only supplies what the plant actually needs." That is big one as Nutrients aren't cheap!

­čî▒Cannabis Live Grow : https://www.twitch.tv/thebudlabca

ReplyQuote
Posted : 26/03/2019 3:42 pm
dR
 dR
(@dryken)
Stoner Admin

@hot-for-my-age

updates on the pots! How are they running with larger plants? 

­čî▒Cannabis Live Grow : https://www.twitch.tv/thebudlabca

ReplyQuote
Posted : 14/05/2019 6:55 am