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Any Give An Octopot A Try?

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yup, did that!  I they don't make anything smaller than the obscure 3 gallon offered occasionally. I don't know anyone who successfully

has received one of these supposed "three gallon" units. when I'm ready I'll lite a fire under his butt.

 

If my rapid rooter sits in a cup with water in the bottom it will die. I haven't vegged in the octo yet. I suspect with my short veg times no issues, except footprint.

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I am planning on  fitting my entire veg room now with octo's. I have a few in there now and love it.

 

I took another one for the team and used a retrofit five gallon pail as a replacement to the octo bag. I cut the bottom out and fitted the pan into it most permanently.

FAIL. I was able to save my three foot Cherry Pie tester by cutting a large mass of the infected roots off and transplanting into clean new dirt. I did a smell test daily until it got bad enough that I knew there was no return. I am sure its all about the air exchange of the bag, a luxury the bucket didn't afford. I suppose I could drill a thousand little holes in the sides, or just keep fumbling with this misfit bag concoction. I don't even know why I don't like the octo bags, I just don't. they've lasted through several cycles with no issue. I dry, snap clean and reuse with no worries, no rips, no fails.  I think an Airpot- http://hydrobuilder.com/superoots-air-pot-13-8-liter-case-of-12.html?dzid=csegps_THAP5&gclid=CN-G6OuIz8YCFQEcaQodcqQE7wwould work great, if I can find them locally, if they are cheap enough, if I still care when I see them. I see issue in the winter time with these, rinsing and such. I can go all winter without cleaning the octopot or bags, just dump, dry, and reuse. Those airpots look like they trap dirt to me..... normal grow bags would work too with a cut out in the bottom., but cost near the same as octo replacements.

 

I've found no more efficient way to grow in soil indoors. These are stars in the marijuana community. They support a six foot monster without issue and will self support a brand new rooted clone with only one top watering. I feel guilty for not using an air stone in each one, and smile every time I harvest. No fussing with air lines, stones, lid fit......

 

speaking of lids.....these could have been a bit sturdier imo, but I think they'll last forever here. I'm expecting 25 uses with each grow bag supplied.

Edited by grassmatch

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First Octopot Failure!!!
 
There's a few inch round dimple on the bottom of the reservoir. This is at the point on the inside where the total weight of the dirt above rests on a plastic nipple, concentrated in the few inch circular area in the middle of the res. Dumb idea me thinks, but didn't consider it till now. Easy fix but still a little bummed.
As each one cycles out I'll flip it and fill the dimple with silicone up to the surface of the bottom of the reservoir for total support under the area. I saw this same failure on the bottom of a large heavy duty tote I was using for a reservoir years ago. Source of a few drips unknown until the reservoir is empty one day, all at once.
 
I had my hydro era wet vac on hand, and a linoleum floor, but still.... :growl:

 

 

edit for update;  turns out this was most likely my fault. I bought a couple of those little furniture rolling cart, with no support in the middle. I only set one octo on one cart and forgot all about the cart, not that it mattered really, I didn't notice any possible risks. anyway when I put the octo on the floor filled with water the dimple kisses the floor, supporting it fully it appears. I'm still going to fill in this dimple on each one...

Edited by grassmatch

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ended up using a roll of weather strip. I rip a few inches off of the double sided padded tape fold in half and stick it to the bottom of the octopot res as they cycle through. I noticed the ones not retro fitted yet have grey stress marks in the fail areas, but I dont think they would fail if they were placed on proper support.

I haven't needed to replace a bag yet but am looking at options.

I'm leaning towards the metal waste paper baskets, tapered to the bottom. I got two for 7$ each at lowes. I was using them for collecting garden scraps and drying for the worms but now they sit lonely and full of inspirations.

 

these are like heavy duty screens with a metal base and open top. Bottom could be easily removed and replaced with the octopot saucer I think. the air exchange would be as free as with the bag and the bottom capillary action would be unchanged. It still might not solve the unbalanced saucer/net pot holding up the whole plant,  or maybe I could modify/ attach the saucer to the reservoir with appropriate plastic welded gussets to support it....then I could just set the waste paper basket on top of the saucers put rocks in the little basket, and fill with dirt.  after this, save any plastic failures over time, these will be perfected if this works.

 

 

big plants(5'+) empty their reservoir (in my room) in three days. the bag remains wet-enough- at the bottom to sustain health for two more days.

All the other plants take around  5 days to an empty res, and are good for another 2-4 without attention.   These are the growers vacation tools.

The lack of daily labor magically keeps the pleasure in the cannabis garden. My newest addition to the garden was a watering wand instead of a hose end sprayer I've used forever. NO more bending or kneeling for little res fill ups!  Next improvement will be a central pump hose to empty out water filled res' at harvest time. I'll drain it to the outside through a wall. Moving a half filled res is awkward and often wet to the legs. Right now my flower room has a block of the units 6wide, no walkway except around the perimeter. I can reach the watering holes with the wand, and at harvest time I scoot the units like one of those sliding square word games. It looks like a deliberate system now, with each stage of growth near similar aged plants, and finished ones ending up near the door for removal. 

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Second Octopot Failure !

 

This one cycled around today and when I moved it I saw the puddle of water move with it. A small crack, same as the others report, was leaking slowly. I plasti-welded it/ covered it with goop on both sides and put the cushion on it. Not sure how many more I have untreated. dangit, really wanted to retire the mop!

 

I glued supports to the "tray" bottom on one to offer full support and prevent tipping bags. I cut a hole in the bottom of a metal mesh waste basket, about five gallons round/tall, and set this on top of the saucer tray, filled with dirt, jammed a fat

Jamaican Grape into it today. If this works out I'll most likely retrofit all of them(once again)

 

http://www.amazon.com/Lightweight-Sturdy-Circular-Mesh-Waste/dp/B00GO2G2EQ/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1439758316&sr=8-13&keywords=mesh+waste+paper+basketthe one I settled on is a bit bigger than this one, found at lowes, but that's the same kind I think

 

octopot-great idea, needs work though. can be perfected with some thought hopefully. I aint going back to top watering and have resolved to make these work for me, or at least the hybridization of them.

I suggest filling in this dimple on the bottom of every octo before use, with glue, silicone, whatever.

Edited by grassmatch

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I'm a bit disappointed in the Octopots. At first, everything looked good, but now that I'm harvesting plants from Octopots, I'm not as impressed as I had hoped. Yield was not only even 50%, and time from clone to finish was at least 25% longer. I can see how Octopots are good for some people, especially soil growers. Myself, I abandoned my DWC system for awhile to give the Octopots a try. Some of the larger plants in Octopots require watering every three days still, so there is no new opportunity for taking a few days off without worry.

 

A couple of years ago I was leaving for a vacation of about four days. I didn't know if the water I saw on the floor the morning I left was a leak in my system or just condensation. When I got home, it was clear that I had a leak. I'd guess the entire system leaked out within about a day, so the plants had only about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the buckets for about three days. With few exceptions, the plants were all fine. I fixed the leak and continued on almost uninterrupted.

 

I don't need to worry about my DWC leaking and flooding the basement. Any leaks quickly drain to the sump. My biggest concern with my DWC was that buckets will develop cracks in the bottom from time to time. But reading Grassmatchs' recent experience with a leaking Octopot, I see that the Octopots aren't immune to leaks either. I can replace a leaking bucket for about $3. A new Octopot is $45 minimum to replace.

 

If I run into nutrient issues in DWC, I can simply drain the system and refill - easy as pie. Maybe/probably, the experienced dirt grower has better results with Octopots than I have had.

 

I know some people don't want to hassle with hydro, mostly due to pH and ppm fluctuations. I have found that by running the same nute solution (about 500 ppm) for both vegging and flowering plants, all feeding off the same recirculating reservoir, I had stellar growth in veg and flower. And it was pretty easy to keep ppm's and pH within range, with adjustments needed maybe once a week. And all of my patients were happy. Maybe I suck at soil growing. Maybe I'm really accomplished in hydro. Maybe it's a combination of both.

 

In my own program, I no longer see any advantage to using Octopots, and I see many disadvantages. Of course, individual mileage will vary.

 

I can see using the octopots for growing mothers, maybe - just have a half-dozen set aside for cloning. I bought 10 Octopots for $450. My initial impression was so positive that I was almost ready to buy 30 more. I'm glad I decided to wait.

 

I'm not knocking the Octopots. I'm sure they provide great results for some growers. I'm sure that some/many growers can do better with Octopots than I can do with DWC. More power to them.

 

Myself, my DWC system wasn't broke, but I tried to fix it.

 

A good friend of mine has grown indoors since about 1980. He was one of my mentors for indoor growing in the early days. I remember him telling me, "The best grow system is the one that works for you."

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DWC was my first investment. I couldn't keep the (water) temps regulated and the leaks controlled. I loved the yields of dwc !

 

Its important to keep in mind that my two octopots failed because I did not follow manufacturers directions, akin to "make sure to tighten every hose clamp".

I placed a few on small dollies, with no center support like a fool. The weight of the dirt, and the plant resting on one center dimpled area was too much.

I suppose they don't work upside down either...lol...purely my fault.

 

my complaints are lodged, plant support, and the silly balancing act a five gallon pot has to perform to stay centered on a 1/4 inch stud in the center of the res, ridiculous. those two issues are remedied with a support system, like mibrains has-perfect bottom support, perfect plant support, easy maneuverability. he go it right he first time around, I cant wait to hear his next reviews.  

 

But the key to these units is the point I love. bottom feeding, soil growing. With a couple tweaks they're perfected imo. I know people who have never been able to grow in dirt, but rock in hydro too, with or without octos, makes no difference I see. a bucket of dirt is troublesome for some, like a res of nutes I for others.

 

thanks for sharing your experience here. I think its a swell thing to do for growers to be able to weight the pros an cons of many systems, before they decide on the best, for them.

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I've got a few complete systems stored in the rafters. Their performance was awesome with perfect nutrient delivery to each plant.  But not perfect, for me. They all had ups and downs depending on individual garden habits and expectations. I found my flood and drain systems to be the least troublesome, but still some leaks and tweaks, multiple reservoirs to manage, high humidity, and nutrient disposal concerns.

 

 I really wanted to bottom feed in hydro or dirt, and spent some time with several commercial and home made bottom feeding dirt grows. They often had root rot in common. I settled on one gallon grow bags, took my lumps with the top feeding too. They were OK for a few years for me too until pic book mentioned the octo bottom feeder. I suspected root rot but tried it anyways. I think he combo of the grow bag along with the slotted tray in the bottom, and of course the little dip cup being the only part in the water.... all contributed to the success of this bottom feeding unit. After trying EVERY bottom feed unit I could find online, many with little moving parts, I found them all to fail miserably, mostly those little moving parts.  Cannabis discovery may never end.

I'm glad I didn't know about the octo when I came out of hydro recovery....I would have instinctively plumbed them all together for the water ease, and definitely would need to take the wet/dry vac out of retirement.  I'm partial to soil growing now after experiencing hydro to the 3rd power, and don't think I'll go back except in culturing.

 

My hybrid waste basket/octo is uptaking water now. I'm hoping for the uniform look of these baskets lined up instead of half tipped soiled grow bags, a no drip removal, and easy cleaning.   I have to control the temptation to try one with sand, one with perlite, some with fertilizer in the res......tbc

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Octopot Update

 

No damaged grow bags yet. I thought for sure a rip would occur by now. I trashed the waste basket hybrid idea and use the octopots traditionally.

I'm thinking about rearranging my little veg room to accommodate octopots instead of a tray o one gallon bags. I'll put them on the floor but will have to spark an additional t5 fixture for a total of two in order to cover my octopot space. I put on e on the floor outside of full light and the thing grew into a tree quick, so I was inspired.

These few trees here and there are enough to supply so I cut my offerings/strain diversity along with half of my space and its light(s) . I'll give trees a whirl now.

 

My most interesting plants come from using a basal salt mixture in the reservoir along with my traditional botanicare crumbles in the dirt. End use is not better but it is bigger, quicker getting there too. Buds are larger because of that. Big trees support big buds, and I'm loving them.

 

My bags are solid with roots growing outside of the bag and stuck to the inside when finished. I yank a wad the size of a basketball out after I dump the root ball and soil out.  But still only a few fat roots, and a few of the fish skeletons looking roots dangling in the solution, water or salt no matter.   The addition of salts to the res affords me a hydro style veg rate and I'm pleased.   Trees res in full flower uses one full res(6 gallons) every other day. The bag stays wet for another couple days and I haven't seen a plant suffer in them yet. Plenty want to tip and bend, but with a little stake and a tie not really an issue. I'm looking forward to my extended vacations this summer once again!  and a lower electricity bill this year too!

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Every Octopot grow bag is still in tact, no rips or damages. they are ugly though with dried roots dangling and bags all hardened up....but so what, no concern here.

tip over has been solved with a trip to the dollar general. A(trimmed up) colander in the res keeps the bags upright. They are expected to balance a five gallon bag of wet dirt on a three inch pedestal.......not with plants over three feet tall though. 

I've carelessly bent a couple of the res level indicators, no biggy. They make great hose corners......

 

I've started using them in my veg room also with good results. I dont move the whole res just the bag, when its time to flower, into a fresh filled res in the other room.

Big growth benefits are had transplanting cup sized rooters into the octopots, as opposed to into a one gallon bag, then into octo's later. That further motivates me to

totally convert the veg room to clone dome and octopots now. As soon as that tap root reaches the res explosive growth is seen. A large cup sized rooted clone will reach the bottom in about one week. I put some direct into flower and some I allow to veg. Some plants...it  doesnt even matter for my desired yield to be met. I find I can "name that yield" with most any genetic with more veg time regardless of which system I use. dirt always took a week or two so longer in veg (only) for me but a few foliar fert applications goes a long way to catch up.

If all of my octopots were stolen....I'd replace them immediately.  If anyone is considering trying them I suggest buying one and checking if this is the style for you.

They match my grow style and habits perfectly!

Now that  I'm alerted when the power goes out I'm taking the summer off!!!! (well), half of it, in increments.....

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one bag shows a rip at the top, right where I grab the scruffy thing to lift it out of the octopot. My bags are "hard" in some places. Maybe well water, not sure, is a nuisance but no issues, except this will lessen the life of the bags surely.

I'm really liking the results when I use botanicare hydro compost formula in the res while using bunny turds/botanicare crumbles in the soil. The results are better than one or the other alone /plain water in the res/ imo. for good measure I used some bottled nutrients in a few, in the reservoir only, with organic food up top, mostly to attempt recovery of the cost of all my hydro experiments, .....and can tell the difference, even if you cannot. 

 

Organic dead stuff and poop and octopots for the win!!!

 

 

 

these fail a bit in the sun when dry. they twist up just sitting there empty. keeping them nested or capped with the lids will prevent the twisting if stored in the sun.

I suspect they're fine when filled with water outdoors, but wonder of the lid/res distorting/ sinking when res gets low, especially in my hot greenhouse.....one of these days I'll get around to using some outdoors. no Octoregrets here!

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