I need your AutoPot experience

@CMichGrower @Nicky @PharmerBob @KikiGee @beardless @Screwauger and anyone else with AutoPots
I’m wanting to go with the AutoPot setup. I’m not sure which size to get, the smartpot xl or the hard pot xl. I’m in a 4x4 and like Nicky, I like growing autos but I definitely want to do photos too. I’m asking for all of your experience based advise so I can minimize my mistakes and setbacks. I was initially thinking a 4 pot setup but after reading most of threads on ILGM I don’t want to over grow the tent and have issues based on that either.
I’ll start out using ProMix HP because that’s what I have on hand but will probably transition to coco.

Thanks In Advance!

2 Likes

I’m running Autopot XL’s with the new valve, hard pots and air domes in Promix HP and Jack’s.

Second run now; all Durban Thai/Cindy 99 clones.

I’m not sure that I’m a fan of them but in fairness giving them a solid workout. Yields on previous run were off by 30% over conventional top-feed in Promix but this is the first run in the new house and setup at 7,000 feet elevation.

Here’s my journal if you are interested.

4 Likes

I am not much further along than you are. I purchased a one pot XL with the hard pot and just ordered a spring pot. So you can tell I was undecided which way to go. Now I can go either way. I use fabric pots now. I have two purple kush photos started and will choose the stronger of the two. I have washed and buffered the coco and will transplant a purple kush into the autopot this week. I will also be using Jacks 321 so I am getting used to it as well. This is my journal where it will all happen Let’s Grow Some Purple Kush
Not much help in terms of experience with autopots but I am looking forward to giving it a try. The concept of high frequency fertigation intrigued me and I figured an autopot would be a big assist in do it.

2 Likes

I would recommend soft pots, Jason the ceo has done millions of pots all around the world and if your looking for max yeilds and don’t mind cleaning the soft pots (I just got double so I’m not rushed) then fabric will give you a bit of a boost…
The new 5 valves and lines come with every setup so no stress there.
I like having 25 gallons minimum for 4 plants.

Run your pro mix and then switch later like you said no sweat.

If you want bigger yeilds possibly you can run an air pump and air domes with their line or a air stone in the bottom of the pot many have good luck with the air stones. You don’t need clay pebbles in the bottom but do they help and do air stones/domes help? That is up for debate in fabric it does help in plastic.

Personally I wouldn’t go with plastic but it will still grow fine.

It comes down to tuning your setup you have, both @Not2SureYet and @Myfriendis410 arnt getting the same yeild as they are from top watering but again still early on and running mostly plastics with air. I think @Not2SureYet is starting to run some fabric pots but other variables have changed like nutrients and Alan just moved.

My suggestion is go with fabric and if you want to spend more get the air domes and run. Them to see if it’s worth it fid yku do 50/50.

I would rather run 5 plants that are super easy to keep then 3 or 4 that produce maybe more which are more hassle,give me more real garden time less work. Or I use that time to chill more lol.

As for jacks I know it works and it can work really well I dont personally have a experince to say it’s better than this or that. I run chemgro and am trying to do a chemgro vs Jack’s but can’t get my Jack’s seedlings to survive haha. Just bad luck and haste on my part with changing variables

3 Likes

I have a 4 pot XL system and I think I got it on sale last April. So heads up, wait until April (4/20) which is just about here, and see if they drop the price for 420.

I have done two grows in a 3x4 tent and now one grow in a 5x5 tent. I squeezed in extra plants in 7 gallon soft pots in both grows, too. I upgraded to the new valves for this grow now. Four pots would work great for your grow. I am looking at the Spring Pot system with the larger reservoir, as we want to travel some this summer in our RV.

No matter which route you go, I think you will be happy with the AutoPot. It is super simple to do. If I don’t go for the Spring Pot system I will just get two more pots, which can be the soft ones, a larger reservoir and connectors. That is the cool thing. You can connect quite a few of them.

3 Likes

I just received the spring pot. I did not want to chance trying one of my smart pot or vivisun 5 gallon fabric pots. Do you stick with those offered by autopot or do you use something else?
Also, do you the exterior pot sock?

2 Likes

I think the XL hard pots are the way to buy for the first go. You can buy soft pots cheap for them and they also can be used with 3 gallon soft pots. This way too. You have the larger 6.6 hard pots for giant plants or when you don’t want to get more soft pots right away. I use air stones with these as well. Way cheaper than the air domes and work just as well for me. I use 2 per pot. 5 bucks for these or 45 for a pair of domes :shushing_face:

https://www.amazon.com/Stones-Aquariums-Diffuser-Bubbler-Hydroponics/dp/B07MMKHP6D/ref=sr_1_12?crid=2F6FT1KYUCO79&dchild=1&keywords=air+stones+for+aquariums&qid=1616792768&sprefix=air+stones%2Caps%2C286&sr=8-12

1 Like

The comparison between the plant size and yield difference is amazing.

This grow the sativa leaning lemon haze auto, is propped up on a pot. The other plants are Critical Mass photos (this was a little experiment of mixing autos and photos and I do no recommend it).

I just priced the six Spring Pot system with the heavy duty 25 gal reservoir, as they are out of the other one. Whew! Spendy, but halfway considering doing that on autos outside and keep the system we have for photos inside. We get drastic temp drops in Septemeber, 68 deg drop one year, so photos outside here are dicey.

The standalone plant is a lemon haze auto I just harvested. I nearly killed it early on but it produced quicker. It made small 22 gram dry weight harvest. It’s buddy took all of 10 weeks to even start to flower; autos don’t do well on a 12/12 light cycle. In any case, the system can pay for itself in a couple of grows by the increased yield you will get. First two grows I did General Hydroponics. This grow I am using Emerald Harvest and am quite pleased with the plants.


1 Like

Do you have a air pump recommendation - size? Am I understanding you are saying pretty much any 3 or 5 gallon fabric pot will fit in the XL? Would make sense as long as its diameter is 11" or slightly less. I tried one of my #5 smart pots in the tray and it was too big. They are 12"

1 Like

I use these pumps. I can run 2 opts off each side. So 4 pot potential. The 3 gallon pots are 10" or close to it. I am using two 3 gallon pots in my new grow I have up. 247garden has 5 gallon pots that will fit in these for 1.58 each. Cheap shipping too. They are here in the states. These are about a 10" too. If you use air stones. You will want to get some clay balls to cover them. it doesn’t take a lot. @ravenchief turned me on to the link for the 5 gallon pots. I bought about 40 of them since I can go through 8 in a grow. :roll_eyes:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EBXI7PG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thanks for all of the info. I tried ordering some 1 gallon transplanters from 247. Out of stock. Do their pots hold up or one and done? At the price they go for, I would assume the later. Some of my bags are getting pretty ugly.

1 Like

I have a half dozen small grows (4 or less plants) under my belt in the last 12 months. Observations From my experience, others certainly may differ.

I have used both 3.9 gallon plastic pots with and w/o air domes, 5 gallon fabric pots, and I even tried an Easy2Go system with 9 autoflowers in 1 gallon plastic pots.

I don’t think the size of the pot is all that important. They are fed constantly from your reservoir so there is no issues using up all the nutrients in the soil where bigger pots mean bigger plants. My attempt to do a SOG of northern lights autoflowers in 1 gallon pots resulted in my calling it early when they outgrew the height of the tent and burned up in the lights.

Don’t do AutoPots outside unless doing short growing autoflowers. If you give a photoperiod plant a chance to veg for three months it will get too big and blow over. Even 6.5 gallon pots don’t have enough mass to hold up big plants.

Get push on supply line fittings rather than using the barbed fittings that come with the AutoPots. It is so much easier reconfiguring your pots and disconnecting the reservoir if you want to clean it out. If you use the barbed fittings and disconnect the hose you’ll need to recut the hose or there is a chance of leaking if you don’t get the hose back on the same barb.

2 Likes

I ran 4 in a 4x4 and it created a great canopy. With heavy defoliation I was able to run 4 photos with almost no issues.

Most of which I made of my own free will. Aqua valve 4 doesn’t like organic nutrients much. I hear the aqV5 is ok with running it tho

3 Likes

@CMichGrower haha I know I had that issue to, I have seen guys drill through them and mount them to something then seal it with silicone that works. My autoflowers do grest on my deck with them though. My photos got 7ft + tall and it was a nightmare in the wind haha.

The issue with buying your own soft pots if you have to get the size correct many fabric pots won’t fit the autopot XL base (the only round tray they make) so consider that.
I actually bought a hard pot system and never used it, returned the hard pots for a 30$ credit and blew it on rapid rooters which I now hate as well lol.

@beardless any brand of pot will work if it fits correctly, be sure it’s now spilling out of the tray it needs to fit correctly.
Also a pot sock is very ideal, in my opinion a must to be honest but without one you need to check the aqua valve every couple days Durring veg to make sure roots didn’t grow into it because if it does you’ll have a flood on your hands.

Using the microbes (@PharmerBob I use them in aqua valve 4’s no issue look into the fishsh!t by fish head farms) my roots go nuts growing through the pots and through the socks.

@Not2SureYet has more experience with adding air, I haven’t done it yet but if I do I’ll be adding air stones like he suggests

1 Like

You photo is why I prefer using the plastic pots, they can be reused over and over and over again. Fabric pots need to get tossed when the roots take over. The root control boots need to be replaced every grow too.

If I saw a big difference of the health of my plants in fabric pots vs plastic pots it would be worth throwing the stuff away every grow, but I just don’t see that big a difference. There are just so many other factors that play a bigger role in big yields then air pruning roots.

2 Likes

Sorry but I’m going to have to strongly disagree.
I let them dry out, I rub the roots off and once and a while I toss em in the washer and run a cylce.

Also if you find plastic work better I won’t sit here and say you don’t experince that but I spoke with the ceo of autopots who has run huge huge farms of these things and fabric out preforms plastic they have a research and development side and hence why I went with fabric.

1 Like

@beardless the 5 gallons that I mentioned are a lot better than the normal fabric pots on amazon. If you cleaned these. I bet they would last at least 10 or more. They are very well made. A surprise for the low cost.
I like soft pots too. but one of my biggest autos was grown in a 3 gallon plastic pot.

I just cut mine with scissors between the pot and valve space. It holds them back a week or so

Many thanks to all of you! I’m going to plan on a purchase soon, hopefully I’ll catch a deal on a 4/20 sale!

1 Like

Hu? What what?