Switching to hydro

So soil is is working me to death.
I just don’t have time like I use to so my choices are major down size or switch to hydro.

I want to get the easiest low maintenance setup with simplest nutrients.

I want to set up a 3x3 first so for now that’s what I need suggestions for. 1-4 plants I’m guessing :man_shrugging:

First few runs would be autos.


I’ll give you a suggestion. Run with it or alter it based on other peoples’ suggestions as they come.

Coco coir with auto pots is effortless and can be pretty self-sustaining. I know nothing about that but my understanding is @Nicky and maybe @Hellraiser run this system.

As far as legitimate hydro, if I could go back to the beginning of my set up and do it again I would do it as follows-

1 27 gallon tote - this will be the water reservoir. I set mine outside the tent and connected it with 2” pvc to the actual plant reservoirs so I can keep water temps lower.
2 smaller totes (I would do 2x 27 gallon totes but I have a 4x4 not a 3x3, not sure they’d fit appropriately in a 3x3) - these will hold your plants
1 water pump - adjustable power but with high max GPH is good
1 large air pump w/ multiple outlets
2-4 airstones per tote, including the tote outside the tent
Lots of 1/4” and 5/8” tubing for air and water pumping
1 commercial water chiller. I have a 1/10 HP for approx 35 gallons of water
Jack’s 3-2-1 fertilizer
Monopotassium phosphate for bloom enhancing
Silica (potassium silicate is best)
Optional, but if it were me- one additional 5 gallon bucket connected to the “final” tote where you would put the water pump. Water will pump from this bucket back into the res outside your tent. This is why I suggest lots of tubing.

@Covertgrower or @peachfuzz might have more intelligent approaches. My method works for me because I’m hideously lazy


Kratky looks super appealing but I’m concerned with water temperatures being an issue.
My next thought was rdwc maybe this helps keep water cool as it moves :thinking:

I also should have said I am very technical, I got 2 year degree in industrial maintenance but I do not have time to build it my self though I have the mindset for it.

I would like to buy a plug and play set-up…

Kratky with a 1 part nutrient would be awsome if it still produces quality results :grinning: maybe someone has experience with this.

This is a style of growing I haven’t seen yet. I didn’t look it up until @dbrn32 mentioned it.

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I have three of these in a 32x72" closet

Autopots, coco and Jack’s (walked into a bar)

I also have a 3x3 tent. I have two plants, 5-gallon fabric pots with coco. These are top fed. They get thirsty now and get 1.25 gallons ever other day. I could feed every day but they don’t dry out too much so I don’t.

Depending how long you want to veg, you could grow a simple photo in autopot with coco. You could also do two. More than that would be tough using XL pots.
Before I expanded with more autopots I did a one plant trial. It went well so bought a four unit XL spring pot system. Only using three of them.


Coco is technically hydro I guess. But only by definition, i feel it’s to much like soil :man_shrugging:

I’m basically just hoping someone says "yeah I use kratky and it’s awesome! :rofl:

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no clue what that is
Coco is nothing like soil other than it has structure

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The kratky method if it works.
Should alow me to only have to touch it once a week or even less often. From what I’m learning if I do autos possible only touch them once a month long as no issues arise. It just seems to good to be true :thinking:

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I tried it a couple of years ago with blacked out mason jars. Grow pretty well but all ended up being males😆 and forgot about it till this thread.

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The problem with limited standing volume is you will be mixing and filling twice a day in flower: that’s a lot of work. I second the Autopots for ease of use: it’s a gravity-feed bottom feed system with mechanical float valves in the main tray. The XL pots will allow you to use fabric pots or you can use the supplied plastic pots and drop an airstone in the bottom of the pot. You actually run hydroton on the bottom third with coco on top.

Like @beardless is doing and he’s on the Jack’s program: JR Peters “Jack’s” Part A and B to which you would add Epsom Salt and I add silica. Easy to mix, very economical and grows good cannabis. If you have the time, watch this video of Dr. Bruce Bugbee of Utah State and Apogee Instruments talking about growing cannabis. One of the best out there.


The idea once I find a method I like is to use the 3x3 for a single photo at a time and add the hydro set up to my big tent for autos. I just got all new 3x3 for photos but I really got ti rethink myself.
The only way I can do everything is to be alot more efficient.

This stick you plant in a bucket and refill it a time or two seems to good to be true. But if it works, it’s a game changer for me.

My goal is mainly to not have to feed and water so much. Since this new covid world we live in, I work so much fir weeks now I get in bed well after midnight from tending to my garden and I get up at 4am :disappointed_relieved:

I’m really getting desperate, I don’t want to stop growing it’s the only recreation I get :joy:

Would it really be that much refilling with kratky?
Or could I use a large reservoir with a limit switch to keep it topped off like a 35-50gal drum if that’s whatvit took.

Or would it be better to just go rdwc or would what I just decided basically be rdwc🤔

I check my res once every few days when I remember. Usually I have to top off the water. Haven’t conducted a reservoir change since installing it. RDWC can be a lazy set up. It sure is for me.

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Idk what I going to go with.
But I’m probably going to try it and just see what happens. Maybe if I use as large container and plan on adding a 2nd reservoir that basically just keeps the water level at the perfect height.

Kratky isn’t impossible to do, but just because it’s the simplest system doesn’t mean it will be the most simple grow. You’re solution is susceptible to all kinds of issues and could potentially have you changing it out more frequently than a dwc system.


Without looking into it, the Kratky Method, looks in principle to be a self-watering planter or sub-irrigated planter (SIP). They worked fantastically up to a point

You can check it out at


Want less time tending to your girls and more time enjoying them or ignoring them?

Welcome to my world friend, I work 16-18 days straight away from home and still grow decent.
Autos? No problem that’s my specialty as well.

Autopots do sound to good to be true but they arnt, it’s real. The only thing people worry about is flooding and you can easily avoid that. First you fill your reservoirs set your valves in the trays and then double check your valves are fully set in the trays (push hard) then you turn your system on and check on them in a bit. Then the next morning or latter that night, all good?
Well just to be sure you can put a water alarm (even a smart WiFi one that tells your phone) that you have a leak.

Downside? First 14 days roughly you need to top water.

I wrote this a while ago but it gives a goo basic idea, hit the blue Summerize button at the bottom of the first post it will help.

Ps I do have my girlfriend at home but she checks on them once a week and if I had to I could do it without her raising the lights would be the only issue… As the veg


Like @Nicky says Autopots are the real deal. They free up so much time from conventional watering. I typically refill my res once a week. I usually mix 5 gals of nutes at a time and just add to reservoir. I’ve found it much easier to control PH/PPM using Autopots and coco as opposed to soil. I initially started growing in soil but the PH/PPM swings were killing me. It was really difficult for me to continually have to adjust feeding and PH/PPM in soil to be able to keep my plants in the sweet spot. With Autopots there is much less fluctuation in PH/PPM readings and it’s much easier to correct when things get out of line. Also being a hybrid of hydro if you do have fluctuations you have time to correct it and you’re not risking losing a whole grow. I’m in a 4x4 tent and for me three plants is the limit I usually only do two at a time.

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Another pro to autopots, no wasted water, no run off or waste water.
Very economical and environmentally friendly.