"Hydroponics Made Easy"
by Jim Fah
The third edition of "Hydroponics Made Easy" by Jim Fah is now in print. This new 120-page edition contains twice as much information as the previous edition. Heaps of tips and pictures to make it easy and fun to read.
Smart-valve & Mini Smart-valve
The Smart-valve, the heart of Autopot® Systems. - this unit controls
the water level in a module (or your own tray) to give your plants the
wet-dry cycle. Over thirty years of trials, refinement and development
have resulted in today’s Smart-valve. Today’s version remains true to
the original working principles with refinements to allow adjustability
for even more reliable performance.
Unlike a conventional ball cock type float valve, the Smart-valve allows
total reduction of the fluid level before it refills. When connected to
a water supply (which can be from either pressure reduced mains,
pressure pump (like the Autopot® Smart Pump Set) or gravity tank) the
valve opens to allow water to enter the bottom of the growing container to a set depth (approx 35mm). The valve then closes and will not permit further water to enter the container until all the original supply has been used up by the pot. This absorption is achieved by capillary action that naturally occurs in the growing medium. Once the water has been absorbed to the extent that the film of water under the valve has gone, the valve re-opens and another supply of water enters the growing container : wet-dry cycles dictated by the pot's own rate of
The Smart-valve box is a casing that allows you to locate the Smart-valve in any tray to regulate the water level for your own tray setups. Now you can benefit from the versatility of a wet-dry cycle in any tray and pot configuration you like.
Features of the Smart-valve box;
- Smart-valve is encased to reduce debris from potentially fouling the operation of the valve.
- Root control mesh at the base of the box allows water to flow in and out, whilst limiting root intrusion to the Smart-valve.
- suitable for use with the regular Smart-valve or Mini Smart-valve (note Mini requires an adaptor - please specify when ordering)
- Simply place the box in it's location and place a weight over the top to secure in place and let the Smart-valve deliver plant driven feeding and watering!
Left are pictures of practical solutions when using the Smart-valve box - in these examples, large trays are serviced by a single Smart-valve box delivering wet-dry sub-irrigation to ornamentals in multiple large pots and grow bags.
Over the years, we have perfected our nutrient formulation specially suited for Autopot® use. Unlike most standard hydroponics nutrients, we adopt one formulation for both grow and bloom.
Available as 1L, 2.5L, 5L, and 10L pairs (A & B).+
Autopot® Powder Nutrients -
These are identical to the liquid formulation, however, being in powder form they need to be dissolved with warm water to bring up to the liquid form.
Available as 500gm, 1kg, 5kg and 25kg pairs (A & B).
All our plants are fed with only one nutrient mix without the need for having separate "Grow" and "Bloom" formulations.
CapPlus table replacement mats
Pre-cut to fit Autopot® CapPlus tables. High absorption fabric material available for replacing damaged or old mats.
This product is designed for plants that do not like wet feet. For use when there is too much rain when grown outside. The idea is simple. All this product does is to lift the bottom of the pots by 25mm (which is just about the maximum level set by the Smart-valves) and yet water supply to the pot plant is being maintained by the wicking action of the mat attached to the foam unit. The foam pads also displace the water from the hydrotray by as much as 80% which means there is quicker water change in the tray.
Suitable for both 10" double hydrotrays or the 12" single hydrotrays (ensure your 12" pot has holes at the base in order to contact the foam pad - if not, you will need to drill some holes for water transmission).
Installation is easy. Step 1 & 2, insert the strip of mat through the centre slot of the foam piece. Step 3 - Soak the foam pad in water before placing it into the hydrotray as shown. Step 4 - Sit the pot directly on the foam pad.
Some important points;
1. It is vital to soak the foam pad with water before use. Otherwise it may not draw water properly.
2. Some growing media work better than others. The best bet is to use potting mix or perlite/vermiculite mix. Loose growing media such as 100% perlite or scoria are not suitable as they do not conduct water properly through the felt mat.
3. You can stack more than one pad if you wish to give your plant a dryer condition.
Special pre-cut mats to fit 6 inch, 10 inch, 12 inch pots and the CapPlus Table.
To be placed in the bottom of the pots before potting to minimise roots growing out of the pot and also prevents loose aggregate from dropping out of the pot.
Mats for 10" or 12" pots. Used as an inorganic mulch for;
- Keeping the growing medium cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Preventing algae growing on top of the perlite.
- Reducing water loss through surface evaporation.
- Minimising salt build up.
Autopot® Window Boxes can be wall mounted (L) or hooked on (R) to a standard fence railing using these specially designed brackets.
Autopot® Hanging Baskets can be securely mounted on a wall or pole
using the Hanging Basket Ring ( Shown right) to give complete coverage.
Autopot® Square Pots can be securely mounted on a wall or pole using this galvanised steel bracket. Designed to handle heavy loads for
potentially big plants.
13MM TO 4MM Reducing filter
A filter with a removable mesh inner for cleaning.
This filter has 13mm connections PLUS additional 4mm screw on adaptors that convert the filter to a 4mm filter. You can use this as a 13mm filter, 4mm filter or as a reducing fitting (13mm tubing or grommet filtered down to a 4mm outlet - ideal for aquaponics applications to reduce blockages on drip lines). The 4mm barbs feature the white screw on caps which lock the tubing in place.
Also available are 13mm to 4mm crosses, 13mm Tees, 13mm elbows featuring the same barb and screw cap fittings for a secure fitting to the tubing.