Recirculating DWC systems make use of one large tank that is connected to a number of individual smaller reservoirs for each plant. The feeding solution is fed from the large tank to each of the plants, and is recirculated back into the tank. Some systems may just have one air pump and an air stone in the large tank, while others may have an air stone in each container for each plant. Air stones create bubbles to ensure proper gas exchange.
Note: When your seeds have just germinated and are now sitting in pots in your DWC, the roots will obviously not be long enough yet to reach into your reservoir. Until this happens, you will have to top-water your plants. Some more elaborate DWC setups do top-feeding/top-dripping where water from the reservoir also trickles directly over the seedling’s roots. However, top-feeding will provide a benefit for about two weeks when your plants have just sprouted, which is why many growers forgo this addition in their DWC setup.
When looking around online, you will find lots of different air pumps offered that are not very expensive. You can get quite powerful pumps for less than €30 today. A problem, however, can be choosing the right one for your DWC system. Air pumps mainly differ in how much air they can pump per hour.
You can grow pretty much any strain in a DWC if you keep a close eye on everything. On the other hand, some strains are less susceptible to fluctuations that can happen in a DWC system, making them an overall better choice for hydroponics.
Here is a list of strains by Royal Queen Seeds that can tolerate nutrient/pH fluctuations well:
One advantage of DWC is that it can require less nutrients than other growing methods. However, you should be regularly monitoring the pH of your feeding solution. To correct any pH issues, you can get ready-made products such as a “pH Up” and pH Down” in any good hydroponics store. Most of the time, you will only need a few drops of these pH correctors.
Once a DWC system is set up and running, it requires very little everyday maintenance. You can even leave it alone for over 24 hours.
Aside from using quality hydroponic nutrients in the recommended dosage for your particular reservoir, one of the most important things for hydroponics is pH value. Most of the time, if something goes wrong with a DWC grow, it is likely because of a pH imbalance. For your DWC, the ideal pH is around 5.8. Make sure not to stray out of a pH range between 5.5 and 6.5.
Purple Queen by Royal Queen Seeds is an indica-dominant cultivar that blends the qualities of purple phenotypes of Kush mountain strains. This gorgeous lady loves to show off beautiful colours and rewards you with a deeply relaxing smoke. She has a high tolerance to fertilisers, which makes her very suitable to grow in DWC.
Deep Water Culture is a great method of growing cannabis hydroponically. Learn all about DWC and be rewarded with fast growth and extraordinary yields.
Then, check the pH level of your system. Keep it in the range from 5.5 to 6.5. If it drifts from the above level, you need to adjust it by using some pH kits on the market.
Let’s illustrate the real process. You can see in the image above.
The smaller air bubbles, the better aeration they provide for the nutrient solution because they have more contact surface with the water. The contact between the air bubbles and the water replaces the dissolved oxygen absorbed by the plant roots.
Any types of mineral nutrients work well in the DWC. Many growers also use organic forms, and it still produces good results with some drawbacks. If you are an experienced hydroponic grower, you can go with the nutrients of your choices. But for starters, and for ease of growing but still get the best results, I recommend any nutrients made for Hydroponics (not the multi-purpose nutrient package for plants) and stay away from organic nutrients.
Typically, you should grow 1-3 plants per bucket. More than that and it can bring a threat of the roots clogging the air stone, and less oxygen absorbed per plant.
The reservoir that contains the plants must hold a good amount of water. The more water there is, the more stability in the nutrient solution and the less maintenance, and monitoring.
Let’s get into details.
Deep water culture system is the practice of growing plants in aerated water. Many growers consider this system to be the purest form of hydroponics.
And don’t turn on the grow lights 24/24, your plants need some rest too, just like human beings. 8 hours of darkness a day is fine.
Deep Water Culture (DWC) is considered the purest form of Hydroponics. Though the concept is simple, there are many ways to use and build the deep water culture using different materials.