Ask Josh

Ask JoshWelcome to the Ask Josh area of the AutoPot USA website, here you can ask questions and have Josh reply with an answer!

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Do you offer a quantity discount? I need 68 of the 3.9 gallon pots only. How much would that be? Also, how much would it add if I also got an additional 16 full 3.9 gallon sets? (No tank needed) - Posted by Howard Cohen

Hi There - what do you mean with 16 full 3.9 gal sets ? Please advise - looking forward to your reply - you can also sent email through - cheers

I have the Autopot 4 gal 4 pot system and I have a couple of questions. I would like to use this as a self watering system on my balcony in Southern California and have my sprinkler system and a float valve keep the water tank full and not add liquid fertilizer. For the soil medium what do you recommend to grow tomatoes? I know the instructions says soil, but is that a normal potting soil or a compost peat moss type? What about time released fertilizers? - Posted by Bart Joseph

Hi Bart. Please go to " useful informations " on our web for some medium recommendations. Any ready mix soil will do the job like Foxfarm you get in any Hydrostore - make sure to mix 50 \ 50 with Perlite for good air retention and capillary activity and have 1 inch layer of Hydroton or Growstones at the bottom of pot. Time released fertilizer are getting very popular - you will need more food for sure growing tomatoes - the soil mix will only last 3-4 weeks - tomatoes are very strong feeders - try " Aptus Pellets " from Dutch Garden in Irvine - or Winchester Gardens in Ohio for slow release pellets and spikes - you then only feed water at all times - never feed liquid organics in the reservoir as they will rot and clog the system - also you can top feed organic teas in-between - turn off system beforehand on day before - let the tray dry out - feed the tea and turn on the system next day again - Josh

Hi Josh, i am looking to purchase a setup using the 12.4 Gallon Black Tank but there are no measurements of the tank on the product details of the online store on your website. can you please provide this information so that i may plan a location in my room? much appreciated, Thanks. - Posted by Chris

Here you go - 8.5" x 12.5" x 24.5" - Josh

Good evening Josh, I currently grow in an ebb and flow system using hydroton as my medium. I have chillers, air stones and mixer pumps in my res. Everything I read about the auto pots says I don't need any of this equipment. Is this true? What's the chance of root rot? I usually try to keep my res temp around 68 degrees. What temp does the auto pot res need, I've seen some pictures with the auto pot system running out doors. How high of res temp can I run with out the fear of root rot or other negative issues. Also do I need to weaken my nutrients due to the medium change from 100% hydroton to the 50/50 medium. I normally use GH 3 part with Floralicious plus, sm90, cal/mag, roots excelerator, and Rock resinator. Are these fertilizers ok to use in the res? Should I use an additive to keep the lines clear, if so could you advise on brand and regimen. I'm thinking about using grow stones at the bottom of the buckets instead of the hydroton. Will this be ok, will there be any negative affects? How many gallons of water a week should a 60 pot system with 6.6 gallon pots use? I have controlled environment. Thanks for any info, I look forward to trying the auto pot system. - Posted by Dirk

Hi Dirk. Yes that is true - we don't need any of this equipment. With the extra layer of 1 inch Hydroton or Growstones in the bottom of each pot you don't have to worry about root rot as the roots are enough aerated . 68 degree is fine and keep your reservoir shaded out door and never let run down further as 1 - if you reach in the reservoir out door the water can get pretty warm but when you reach in deeper the water temp is much lower and suitable for the root zone - we have very big out door operations in Brasil and Thailand and there is never a issue. You don't have to weaken down your solution - just follow your feed chart as usual and go according to your substrate. GH Flora line is all you need for healthy plants and maybe SM 90 \ drip clean from House and Garden or Zone from Dutch Master to keep the system free of clogging but I would stay away of too much additive - if used wrong they do more bad than good and are more a invention of the Hydro industry making you think you that you need all this - best is to do a side by side trial with and with out your extra additives to really find out how the plants react and if they are worth the money you pay - rule of thump when growing is keep it as simple as you can - we are trailing now the very simple GH Maxi Grow and Maxi Bloom powder to see what it does and if it is worth buying water and nutrients in a bottle. I find Grow stones very good - better than Hydroton as they are always PH stable. We recommend a 105 gal reservoir for a week - in this system the plants will very strongly feed on water and nutrients - you will be surprised what they can take as they are in charge what to do and we not telling them when to feed - all we do is supply food 24 and let them feed on demand - you can't overfeed or underfeed - can't beat mother nature. Just as a tip - when filling the reservoir on a Monday just fill water and add nutirents next day Tuesaday so pipes and roots get one clear flush of water - water only 7-10 days end of cycle - no flushing from the top ! If you sent me your email to I can also sent you a pdf file how to pot up a pot in Autopot. Happy Growing ! Josh

Good Afternoon Josh, i bought a 60 pot system with the air domes, could you tell me what size of air pump is needed to run all 60 domes or should i run multiple pumps. Res temps, how hot can the res get before i need to worry about it. Soil, I'm still not sure if i should run coco or soil, and with that said which brand. I do know that I want what ever is best for my plants, hopefully also the easiest to maintain. Could you make some suggestions. I did see on the web site one of the mediums is 50/50 hydroton/rockwool. What kind of plants would use this medium? Can I use Perlite or Growstones in place of the hydroton? Any extra info that you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Please send to Thanks, Dirk - Posted by Dirk

Hi Dirk. You can use 1-5 ltr \ minute airpump - so 60-300 ltr \ minute pump with one 1[askjosh/jfaq.php] fitting at the pump or several pumps when using 6 mm tubing - make sure you have the same air flow from first to last pot in the row. Turn on the pumps after 2-3 weeks when plants have established - 24 run if you can assure never less than 70 degrees- or solar panel what turns on when sun comes up and turns off when sun goes down. Never let the temp go above 85 degrees in reservoir - measure temp. at the bottom of reservoir not measure from the top. Good coco brands are Canna or Dome Garden supplies NF - NF has a ready mix coco 50 \ 50 coco\coco - Foxfarm soil is a good brand. Depending on your skills 50 soil\perlite would be the easier option - with coco you have to be spot on with a Ph of 5.5-5.6 when mixing the reservoir. Any plant would take 50 hydroton\rockwool if you know how to run it. Grow stones middle size or Perlite size 2 are very good substrates and don't need cleaning as Hydroton. Josh

I'm trying to stay away from soil. Can you use Hydroton Clay pebbles by themselves with these autopots Or do you have to use the pebbles and soil? - Posted by MsCous

Hi there. Hydroton Clay pebbles will not have enough capillary activity to wig up the moisture into the pot all the way up - we therefore recommend a 50 \ 50 mix pebbles and coco \ soil or rockwoll. Josh

Hi I just purchased a 4 pot setup and was just curious if clay pebbles are required at the bottom of each pot or mixed in with the medium or needed ato all?? (i am using coco/perlite mix) - Posted by Kevin

Hi Kevin. Yes - put in a 1 inch layer of Hydroton \ Growstones middle size or Perlite size 2 at the bottom of pot for extra aeration in the rots zone - same substrate as in bottom of pot or Perlite you can mix 50 with your medium - put in your plant and water throughly approx. 1 liter water and then let the pot dry out 5-7 days so that the roots shoot down into the pot to look for the water - then turn on to automatic feed - clean mineral nutrients in reservoir or organic slow release in the medium - then you only feed plain water - Josh

I would like more info on the soil-less Auto Pot system if you would please. - Posted by Jerry

Hi Jerry. We are not there yet - still trailing the systems - josh

Hi i just purchased your 4 pot system and had two quick questions, I was planning on germinating directly in the 4 gallon autopot My question is do i hand water the seedling until the roots have established enough or do I just turn the system on and let it do its thing and/or is there a special way to go about it? And lastly I own and used General Hydroponics Flora Nova prior is that safe to use with this Autopot System? Thanks in advance! - Posted by kevin

Hi Kevin. Yes - only hand water for 2-3 weeks to establish the plants as I explained to Steve below - GH flora line 3 part is fine - rule of thumb is to keep it simple and not add too much additives - never go more than a 3-5 part feeding scheduled - less is more - we are just trialling the simple GH MaxiGrow and MaxiBloom powder - thats all you need - simple . Josh

Hi I am just received your 4 pot setup and had two questions. Firstly is GH's Flora Nova nutrients ok for this system? I was also curios because I normally germinate in the final pot is it recommended to hand water until the plant has developed to a certain stage or is there a certain way to go about it? Thanks! - Posted by Steve

Hi Steve. Fill bottom of pot with 1" inch layer of hydroton growstones or perlite size 2 for extra aeration in the roots zone - then mix your substrate 50 \ 50 with perlite or the same substrate you filled in the bottom of pot . hand water your plants fro approx 2-3 weeks to establish ( do not overwater ! if the substrate is too wet the roots get lazy and won't grow down into the pot - lift the pot to see feel the weight ) - then let pot dry out 3-5 days and turn on the automatic feed. Established plants only need one hand watering and then let dry out 5-7 days but as you are germinating it will take longer to establish the plant in the pot - rule of thumb is to get the roots to grow down into the pot - that is triggered by letting the pot dry out so the roots look for the remaining water from the hand watering. Josh

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