Floraflex watering design advice

LoganGP

Active Member
I'm looking to build my 1st automatic watering system and am hoping to not make any big mistakes.
Here is the room:
View attachment 4739622

I placed red marks to indicate approximately where the (12) manifolds will go:
View attachment 4739623

Am thinking of having an air bleed at the end of the line.
3/4" PVC
~93 plants in 7"x7" pots which is why I need so many manifolds.
Will be growing in a coco/perlite mix and will be experimenting with how often to water. Anywhere from 2 to 5 times a day is what I'm currently thinking.

What issues or concerns should I be thinking about?
Do I need an air bleed at the end of the line? Do I need more than 1?
Is 3/4" PVC going to be sufficient?
What kind of water pump you think I need for something like this?
Any and all advice is very much appreciated.
I'm looking to build my 1st automatic watering system and am hoping to not make any big mistakes.
Here is the room:
View attachment 4739622

I placed red marks to indicate approximately where the (12) manifolds will go:
View attachment 4739623

Am thinking of having an air bleed at the end of the line.
3/4" PVC
~93 plants in 7"x7" pots which is why I need so many manifolds.
Will be growing in a coco/perlite mix and will be experimenting with how often to water. Anywhere from 2 to 5 times a day is what I'm currently thinking.

What issues or concerns should I be thinking about?
Do I need an air bleed at the end of the line? Do I need more than 1?
Is 3/4" PVC going to be sufficient?
What kind of water pump you think I need for something like this?
Any and all advice is very much appreciated.

I’ve been running the FloraFlex octa heads for the last few months. I’m on my second grow ever. I also wanted a system that takes care of watering\feedings. So far no complaints. As some have mentioned keep all the 1/4” tubing same length on each head to plant. Also get a good pump. I’m running a submersible sump 3/4hp and is working ok. I was running a 1/3hp and was not enough.I’m
Using using 3/4” pvc for a 8’ run of piping And just 5/8 garden hose from pump to quick connection on pvc. I should prolly run 3/4 from pump one day though. Also using the florflex matrix round water plates to disperse water. I tried the wicking pads at start also, but removed as they did not let the plant dry out. Keeping the top too wet caused fungus flats to appeared. This has been cleared out by keeping the top of coco dryer. My first grow was hand watering and anything over 10 plans would be crazy to do. I have the pump hooked up to Wi-Fi timer just mix the 200l reservoir and turn on pump.I’m not using the air bleed and the pump keeps primed. I think with an air bleed it may not stay primed as well?
 

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Hot Diggity Sog

Well-Known Member
Would you mind sharing what pump you're using? And when you say the 3/4 HP is OK, do you wish you gotten something even more powerful? I just ordered a 3/4 HP and am now a bit worried it might not be enough.

Are you using any of the plastic limiter inserts in the manifolds or just open flow?
 

LoganGP

Active Member
Hey there, no I’m not using any flow regulators in the manifold. I do water each zone/manifold at once sometimes to get the water to fill the matrix up enough to get the water to reach outsides of the pots. I notice that the water does not really saturate the smart pots enough, There’s not enough flow/volume to fill to outsides of matrix. I’ll give each zone a full shot then open all up mid feeding. So I’m not sure if it’s a pressure or volume thing. But yea Wouk be nice to have more water coming out. I am currently running 4 heads. The 3/4 pump I had purchased from Amazon. FLUENTPOWER 3/4 HP Utility Pump,
 

Nizza

Well-Known Member
Hey there, no I’m not using any flow regulators in the manifold. I do water each zone/manifold at once sometimes to get the water to fill the matrix up enough to get the water to reach outsides of the pots. I notice that the water does not really saturate the smart pots enough, There’s not enough flow/volume to fill to outsides of matrix. I’ll give each zone a full shot then open all up mid feeding. So I’m not sure if it’s a pressure or volume thing. But yea Wouk be nice to have more water coming out. I am currently running 4 heads. The 3/4 pump I had purchased from Amazon. FLUENTPOWER 3/4 HP Utility Pump,
do you use the wicking pads that can go under the matrix trays? Maybe that would help out
 

LoganGP

Active Member
do you use the wicking pads that can go under the matrix trays? Maybe that would help out

I was at first as that was the idea. but I’m pretty sure they contributed to me getting Fungas Gnats ! The top of coco would stay went the whole time. Once removed the gnats went away.
 
I was at first as that was the idea. but I’m pretty sure they contributed to me getting Fungas Gnats ! The top of coco would stay went the whole time. Once removed the gnats went away.
They didn’t cause the fungus gnats I’m sorry to say there is only 2 ways to get gnats. The less likely is it was in the media when you bought it or the probable cause being you overwatered. If you don’t overwater you’ll never have a gnat problem ever. The wicking pad wouldn’t cause it either way that only stops the water from setting to the bottom by wicking the moisture back up to even out in the media. If anything it would prevent your pot from being waterlogged at the bottom and help prevent gnats but you must’ve overwatered to the point where the pad was useless
 
I’ve been running the FloraFlex octa heads for the last few months. I’m on my second grow ever. I also wanted a system that takes care of watering\feedings. So far no complaints. As some have mentioned keep all the 1/4” tubing same length on each head to plant. Also get a good pump. I’m running a submersible sump 3/4hp and is working ok. I was running a 1/3hp and was not enough.I’m
Using using 3/4” pvc for a 8’ run of piping And just 5/8 garden hose from pump to quick connection on pvc. I should prolly run 3/4 from pump one day though. Also using the florflex matrix round water plates to disperse water. I tried the wicking pads at start also, but removed as they did not let the plant dry out. Keeping the top too wet caused fungus flats to appeared. This has been cleared out by keeping the top of coco dryer. My first grow was hand watering and anything over 10 plans would be crazy to do. I have the pump hooked up to Wi-Fi timer just mix the 200l reservoir and turn on pump.I’m not using the air bleed and the pump keeps primed. I think with an air bleed it may not stay primed as well?
The pads weren’t the issue it’s the irrigation frequency the whole point of the pads is to keep them evenly moist but in your picture the plant leaves are swelled like speed bumps, rolled under and have interveinal chlorosis which mimics a calmag deficiency but you won’t fix it with calmag. That’s just the symptom with the root cause being overwatering, the root hairs are rotted and won’t be able to absorb anything you give it so not only should you lower how often you irrigate but reduce the amount of water per irrigation cycle. tho if you have extra seeds or a clone source I’d dump those plants and start over healthier because they’re just about dead and if you salvage them your yield will be severely impacted. You look like you put some money in your grow and it’s not worth the time it will take healing half dead plants when you can start new healthy ones in the same time and yield properly

Find me on instagram @KronicKnowledge
 

1ManTeam

Active Member
If you want to avoid the clogging issue while using the bubblers I would stick with the open flow version rather than the pressure compensated models and tbh PC in irrigation is really only necessary if you’re mainline from the pump to your lateral lines has changes in elevation. Water will always flow towards the force of gravity and the PC emitters correct for that possibility but on a flat even surface it won’t help or hurt you to use PC. The open flow clogs less because it operates with a higher pressure needing 20-60psi to be efficient vs PC emitters needing much lower pressures at around 10psi. That extra pressure is what keeps any particles trapped in the lines to get flushed out during each irrigation cycle. An air bleed valve can be helpful more so in bigger setups but won’t hurt in smaller ones too. Just make sure it’s at the highest point of the system being at least 6” higher than the higher bubbler. Also if you’re using 1/2” pvc to run your system with a bleed valve sticking up at the end, use one pipe side bigger. It comes in 3/4” and 1” so use the 3/4” when running 1/2” pipe and 1” if using 3/4” pipe using a cheap pvc adapter. The reason being a bigger pipe diameter allows more water flow ensuring every bit of trapped air gets purged as quickly as possible so all the lines drip evenly. The same size pipe could work fine tho it’s more of an extra assurance and it’s the proper way to set it up. After that as long as your 1/4” tubing is all the same length you should be good to go.

if you wanna go one step further for another cheap assurance, add a check valve/back flow preventer after the pump discharge so when the irrigation cycle finishes the water doesn’t dra out back in the reservoir it stay primed in your lines for the next irrigation cycle ensuring even feeding and distribution

FOLLOW ME ON IG @KronicKnowledge for more advice and tips!

Do u run the matrix with the wicking pads? If so do u still have water sitting on the round matrix after feeding? Mine are not flush with the medium and is sitting on top of the fabric pot
 

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macsnax

Well-Known Member
I've seen a lot of people lately having issues and over complicating things with floraflex parts. There's plenty of YT videos to help, but the common denominator I'm seeing is making things harder than they should be. Cramming 10lbs of shit into a 5 pound sack. Enjoy all the new toys out there these days, I do too. But remember we are simply giving plants a means to grow to their potential.

And on the floraflex note, their nutrients are extremely pH stable and grow nice plants. I just got over the hump of learning the line, but it's good stuff. Fucking pH stays where I put over prolonged time, that's impressive to me. The key is base water that under 100ppm, I use r/o to make it easy.:peace:
 
Do u run the matrix with the wicking pads? If so do u still have water sitting on the round matrix after feeding? Mine are not flush with the medium and is sitting on top of the fabric pot
They are designed to have the matrix pad and the round cap sitting directly on the media. i don’t use them personally but I have in the past I’m very familiar with them. If they aren’t sitting on the media it sort of defeats the purpose because as long as you don’t overwater they prevent the moisture in the pot from settling to the bottom be wicking some moisture back up. Sort of like putting a dry sponge on water to suck the moisture back up to keep the media evenly evenly wetted from top to bottom. The round matrix being directly on the media too sort of keeps some weight on the wicking pad to allow it to wick more. It’s like letting the dry sponge soak the water up but it soaks up more when you press on it a little. So yes for whatever size pot you’re using the matrix is too big
 
I've seen a lot of people lately having issues and over complicating things with floraflex parts. There's plenty of YT videos to help, but the common denominator I'm seeing is making things harder than they should be. Cramming 10lbs of shit into a 5 pound sack. Enjoy all the new toys out there these days, I do too. But remember we are simply giving plants a means to grow to their potential.

And on the floraflex note, their nutrients are extremely pH stable and grow nice plants. I just got over the hump of learning the line, but it's good stuff. Fucking pH stays where I put over prolonged time, that's impressive to me. The key is base water that under 100ppm, I use r/o to make it easy.:peace:
trust me it’s not just floraflex they over complicated lol I’ve done grow room builds for people where they wanted crazy elaborate things and as long as I give them the disclaimer that it will work but it’s unnecessary then I don’t feel bad if they wanna build a $2000+ Automated watering system when a $10 digital timer can accomplish the same thing. It’s like they try to make it something that it’s not turning their basement into a commercial facility. Sure I run entire grow houses too and have the space to pull 20 pounds a harvest without issue and I enjoy having a presence in Instagram but I’m still a home grower and the point of growing (or any business for that fact) is to make as much output as possible with as little input as possible. But everyone is too busy playing “who’s got the biggest dick?” They forget to keep things in perspective. Sure the cola on your IG pic looks frosty and big but even a cfl bulb over a solo cup can make a small plant look frosty from up close. Let’s zoom out and see what the actual canopy looks like and you see they’re missing 50% or more yield possible for their space and it took 6 weeks longer than it should have while spending way too much money on and suddenly they’re dick isn’t worth bragging about publicly.

i will say as far as floraflex goes in comparison to other companies it i refreshingly affordable and the products are reliable with responsive customer service.

And just to show I’m not full of shit this is what I mean when I say ”show me your canopy and if you really wanna be out here flexing online” this is what I’m talking about. This was in a 4x8’ tent I used in the meantime to test a new seed pack while doing my latest build out since nothing goes into my production room without testing first. For reference I grew 8 plants here. I got the cheapest 4x8’ I could find on Amazon ($150), the cheapest pots which were just black 3 gallon poly grow bags ($10/25 pack only used 8, one bale of promix HPCC for ($25) and used 3 CMH 315’s that I’ve had for a few years. Only 2 were on until week 3 flower then I turned the middle light on. I hand watered from a 5 gallon bucket once a week with all the old left over nutrients I had left to get rid of them and yielded just under 3 pounds at $2200/pound, that is what efficiency is, not that $1200 led you bought and killed your plants anyways

The moral of the story being, sure the expensive toys are nice and I guess they work if used properly but if you can’t win with the basics then spending more won’t help. Just like anything else in life the one thing the greats have in common is that they constantly practice the fundamentals no matter how advanced they are and they’re the quietest people in the room.
 

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you should upgrade your lighting if you want better yields. 3 pounds off a 4x8 isnt anything to be flexing online about.
3 pounds with 915 watts is I didn’t say 3 1000 watts those were my veg lights I used in the meantime and didn’t need any cooling. I spent less than $200 on the setup and returned $6600 so I think I’m straight
 
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