12 Tips for getting the most out of your AutoPot System!

If you want an easy-to-run and cheaply available Hydroponics system, we can’t recommend the Autopot System enough! Value-for-money wise, they’re a great investment and can output incredible yields if you know the right tips and tricks to making the most of them.

Below we outline our 12 top tips for getting the most out of your AutoPot System!


Tip #1: Until your plants have managed to establish their roots, hand feed all the way

Seriously, this makes a huge difference. Although it’s a couple weeks of extra work, the difference really shows! It’s important to note that you can still place your plants in AutoPots, just make sure to hand water them until those roots are really in there firmly. If you’re growing your plants in rockwool or coco, you’ll need a weak nutrient solution. But if you’re growing in soil then just clean fresh water will do just fine.

Tip #2: Set your AQUAvalve before use

Before use and after cleaning, you need to remember to do this. If you don’t you may not see consistent growth between pots and this can cause issues later on down the line. Luckily, it’s a very simple system to use. Just remove the yellow rubbers from the valve, squish them a little and re-insert them.

Tip #3: Have a thin layer of either clay balls or washed gravel in the bottom of each pot

Want to improve the drainage for your pots? This is easily the #1 way to do it, without this you’ll find you end up with a build up of salts which, long-term, will not do your plants any good. Just ensure you wash the gravel BEFORE you add it to the base. And keep the layer between 1 to 1.5 inches (25-38 millimetres) deep. This neat trick also prevents water logging which’ll ensure the roots still have access to oxygen for healthy growth.


Tip #4: Pick yourself up a line cleaner

The biggest mistake new users can make is failing to use a line cleaner. These amazing products help to remove mineral deposits and algae from your system which is a great way to avoid blockages forming. This is so critical as these blockages can contaminate your system and the algae build up can ruin your plants’ growth! Not just that, but if it’s clogged up especially badly, the whole system could completely shut down! This is especially true if you’re using unfiltered water, line cleaner is a must-have!

Tip #5: Between harvests ensure to clean the system

We can’t state enough just how critical it is that you clean your whole piping system between harvests. Without sufficient cleanliness, you’ll see all sorts of nasty algae forming and this could cost you a following harvest! We recommend scrubbing your AQUAvalves (although putting them through a dishwasher is just as effective), and removing all silicones before cleaning. Only replace them when they have dried. As far as pipework is concerned, using a line cleaner, especially something that can sterilise the equipment entirely, is really good practice.

Tip #6: Every two weeks, drain between 1 and 2 litres of nutrient solution from your system

The last thing you want is sediment settling in. And draining the nutrient mix is the best way to prevent this. Drainage is so important! If you don’t commit to draining your plants, you’ll see salt rapidly build up and offset the EC and pH levels of the water. This makes measuring the nutrients in the water an absolute pain and can certainly lead to blockages if left long enough in the system. It’s very easy to drain though! Simply turn on the end taps at the end of the 16mm pipes and you can drain the solution no problem!


Tip #7: Select the correct nutrients

You need to think this one through carefully, going with a non-mineral based nutrient mix could leave your pipework with blockages and could actively ferment and foam when oxygenated. Organic ingredients in nutrient mixes (such as molasses or seaweed) can have these effects and can actively lower the levels of oxygen in your setup. As a general rule of thumb, the AutoPot team have advised to avoid using anything that has a thick, viscous mix. If a mix is so thick that it needs to be mixed in warm water before use then don’t use it in your system.

An easy way to figure out what will work for your system is to leave a teaspoon of the mix in a glass of water overnight. If it has separated by the morning, don’t use it as you’ll see similar results in your setup if you do. And again, this will definitely lead to blockages.

Tip #8: Use a reservoir to flush the plants

If you add pH balanced water to your reservoir in the couple of weeks preceding the time of harvest, you won’t need to directly flush your pots at the end. You only really need to directly flush the pots if you dramatically overfeed your plants. Or perhaps in the event of nutrient lock-out. But, if you do this, there’s still a fix! Simply remove the pots from their trays and pour several litres of water through them. After allowing for some time to drain, restart at half-strength feed.

Tip #9: Avoid putting your AutoPot trays on any cold surface

Seriously, you need to avoid chilling the solution. Below 16 degrees you can cause your plants’ nutrient uptake to stall. In extreme cases the plants may even go into shock and stop growing entirely. So this is a huge no-no in our books. The easy fix is incredibly cheap. Simply place a polystyrene tile under each tray and you’re good to go!


Tip #10: Grow in an ideal media for your plants

We can’t state enough just how robust the AutoPot systems are. You’ll need media that is both very drainable and also absorbent at the same time. AutoPot themselves recommend using a half-and-half split mix of perlite or clay balls mixed with soil, rockwool or coco. If you’re using the clay ball option, make sure they have a stable pH, as not all of them are.

Tip #11: Mix the nutrient solution with a water pump

If you want optimum results, our experts suggest mixing your nutrient solution using a water pump. This will ensure that the nutrient solution in your reservoir is well mixed. And that your plants have an easy time uptaking it from the water. You should only use a small flow water pump. Avoid doing this with air stones or aeration pumps. This is just not an effective way of mixing the nutrients effectively. Although that said, using air stones and/or aeration pumps in your system overall isn’t a bad idea. It just won’t be enough solely for mixing the nutrient solution.

Tip #12: Get your gravity pressure perfect

The nice thing about AutoPot systems is that they make next to no noise thanks to their use of a gravity-fed system. Make sure that your reservoir is at least six inches higher than the top most AQUAvalve in your system. Otherwise you may not see full functionality and the water may even fail to circulate entirely.