Is it possible your res just got a little warm or stagnant that led to root rot issue? Running perlite or not shouldn’t really cause this.
Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. Rather than respond to each one I’ll try to do that in a single post.
As I noted I’ve swapped the 2 pots around. Will give it a day or 2 to see if the same pot is still drying out. If it does the next thing I will do it is overfill the tray beyond where the water level goes from the valve operation. If that works then it probably means I put too many pellets in and I will continue with manual watering and apply that lesson to the next grow. (I think this is the most likely problem).
I will also try raising the height of the rez to see what happens. I don’t think this is the problem as it’s always been the same height for all my grows and it’s been fine for 5 out of 6 plants. It will be a bit of a challenge just because of how I had to set it up based on the space i have to work with and the limited length of hose they gave me but I’ll figure something out.
I would normally, and will always do this going forward, have a 20-25% perlite mix. I don’t think this is causing the problem but it is something I will make sure to do going forward.
Regarding the air domes, I have them so I decided to use them again but next time I’ll try again without. I’ve read people who praise them and others who say they’re a waste. My first run was my best so far and that was without the air domes so maybe they really aren’t needed.
Reservoir temp sits around 68F. It’s in my storage room in the basement so it never gets very warm in there. Also I have a little fish tank pump running in the rez to keep things moving around.
I have checked the silicone buttons and they seem to be functioning as intended, that was one of the first things I looked at.
I am using the potsocks from autopot. There are roots coming out through the slits in the bottom of the pot but there is still lots of room for water to get by them so roots blocking the water is not the issue.
I think that’s everything.
Thanks again everyone and I will report back in a few days with the results from my testing.
Sounds like a solid plan to me. You can overfill those trays by a bunch. I hope you get back on track!
Good luck. Keep Em Growing
Good luck! I am sure you will get it figured out.
I am sure that I have read in the AutoPot manual. If your reservoir temperature is above 70, or if the solution sits for a long time. You should add some air bubbles to the reservoir. As @dbrn32 suggested your reservoir may have become stagnant, do you remember it having a smell?
Thanks. I don’t remember noticing any smell in the rez. The roots sure did stink like sewer gas when I took it all apart at harvest. It was gross! I definitely would have noticed the rez smelling even a bit like that. I’m going to get the additive that someone recommended in the thread I posted for that problem to be safe. Stuff I read somewhere a while back said that a circ pump was better than an air bubbler. I would think a circ pump would do a good job at keeping it from “sitting” still for long periods.
I tried air stones once and the ph bounced real bad that didnt work so good. I never experienced root problems with auto pots.
I am using RO water and Jacks with silica. I am very surprised at how little ph bounce I get. But my reservoir only holds nine gallons, and gets refilled often.
I have always ph’d my reservoir at 5.8-60 and have never had an issue.
I don’t think that is your issue either.
But hopefully after resetting everything hopefully your back on track.
I just saying that when I was letting the reservoir go to 6.0, and when checking the ph in the AutoPots it was 6.4-6.5. Surprised that it was that much higher in the AutoPot than the reservoir.
Looks like @Ickey wins! I tried his suggestion of overfilling the tray so I filled it manually right to the top. I could tell the pot was really absorbing water as I watched the level drop noticeably over a few minutes. I guess this means I filled the clay pellets too high. Lesson for next time. I just have to baby the rest of this grow to keep the coco further up moist. Here’s a photo of the 2 plants on the go. The problem child is on the right.
@fourtwenty4_20, glad that you have it back on track. You may want to check out the AirBase for your next grow. They work for me, and you can use them with of without the AirDomes. They allow you to forgo the stones, and only cost about $10 each.