How To: DWC

Discussion in 'DWC/ Bubbleponics' started by VoidObject, Sep 20, 2011.


    VoidObject DWC/Bubbleponics Mod

    What's up guys (and gals..) First, thanks for stopping by. Second, if this is your first grow, you may want to try something a little less complex. While being beginner friendly, I don't recommend this to anyone who has yet to experience passive hydroponics (or at least some form of growing.) Third, and most controversial, the uncontested majority of professionals that I have talked to (which has been a lot..) have all told me DWC and organics don't mix well, and I suggest you heed these words as it took me months to figure out.

    Most of my start was wasted with inferior products and plain lack of, so it is important that you understand this tutorial will cover only setting up and some unique maintenance of this passive hydro method. I expect at least basic hydroponic knowledge when it comes to ph, nutrients, and possible non DWC specific hydro issues.

    This is a single-reservoir per plant tutorial. There are many pre-fabricated systems that do multiple plants per rez.. and that's not recommended. For multiple reasons.. mostly root competition.

    Video version:

    Next, what you'll need:

    1. (At least) One 3.5 or 5gal bucket, and one extra (for reservoir changes since we aren't doing RDWC or UCDWC.)


    2. Net pot lids for the bucket(s). I use 6" but it really should be dependent on plant size.


    3. Airpump, airstones, and of course ph strips (or even better a ph meter.) Air pressure check valves are nice as well. Also tubing!


    Other minuscule things you should already have (basic hydro gear): Rockwool, hydroton, ph up&down, hydro nutrients.. I'm only trying to teach you the basics of a deep water culture, not how to grow hydroponically.

    The Setup

    Here's how I put things altogether (The VO Grow):

    1. Wash the inside of the buckets and net pot lid (hot water and scrubbing at least, I also do h2o2 treatments{NOT WITH ORGANICS/BENEFICIALS!!}).. After that put a little hole in the bucket as pictured above so you can run the air hose through. I prefer two holes so that I know where I want the water level.. more on that further down.

    2. Hook up tubing to airstones and the airpump. I prefer using two airstones per rez. You can get by with one and no splitter.


    3. You can now fill the water level up to half an inch to an inch below the rockwool (where I put my second hole.) This is at first when you're working with seedlings/clones. Water will be spraying up from the airstones anyway.


    4. Get your net pot setup with the hydroton in the bottom and around the rockwool. Leave room to fill over the top with about half an inch of hydroton later when the stem gets bigger. Then set it on your bucket and you're finished! Read on for maintenance.


    Remember to: Fill up that water level every day! (You won't need to for the first couple months because they won't barely drink any, also dependent on your rez size.)

    Keep that ph in the 5.5-6.1 range!

    Change your rezes' nutes/water and wash at least once a month, twice is nice; I do it weekly.

    Try, try hard.. to keep your rez temps around 60-70. Use frozen water bottles if you have to.
    You can do it this way:


    I prefer you do it this way:

    Now I do things this way with a mini ac unit (with airpump directly on the unit):
    As far as replacing goes, you may need new airstones/air pumps but you can reuse buckets and airlines (because they never go bad/out and can be cleaned,) but other than that basic hydro nutes/mediums will obviously need replacing.

    Other stickies are recommended reads.

    Use the tea (if you're organic): Heisenberg's Magical Tea

    Check this out for more basic DWC info:
    It's very possible more coming later. Open to suggestions, answering questions, and trolling trolls! So don't be afraid to comment!
    Last edited: May 4, 2014

    jimmyjam22 Active Member

    That's a good tutorial matey! Perfect for newcomers. Also I like the idea of having 2 airstones like that....

    VoidObject DWC/Bubbleponics Mod

    Thanks, I'm going to talk to the other mods about getting it stickied. This will hopefully eliminate a lot of preliminary DWC questions.

    jimmyjam22 Active Member

    Good video too man. And good idea getting it stickied.

    VoidObject DWC/Bubbleponics Mod

    Yeah it's something this section just needed.. A simple and easy tutorial.

    VoidObject DWC/Bubbleponics Mod

    Need to get some hydro mods in here to give their public opinions. ^^

    panhead Well-Known Member

    I really like it & think it should be a sticky,any other hydro growers care to chime in ?

    VoidObject DWC/Bubbleponics Mod

    Thanks for the support pan. As soon as I get another mod in here to confirm my sticky request, I'll do it myself.

    VoidObject DWC/Bubbleponics Mod

    Managed to get Heisenberg's approval, so getting the sticky. I can edit this at any time, so lemme know if you guys think there's something missing (and I might just add it!)

    jusanothertoker Active Member

    Hey VO my 1st root just hit the water do I need to lower the water level again? Wasn't sure I know that eventually they will be sitting in water correct?

    I thought somewhere I read you told me to lower the water level another 1" or so when the roots hit the water.

    VoidObject DWC/Bubbleponics Mod

    Yeah good memory man.. Just let those roots ride out until they're about an inch long, THEN lower the water an inch below the net pot.. feel me?

    Your DWC system will splash water/nutes up onto the roots anyway, so as soon as you got a couple roots an inch or so, lower that level a bit. This promotes root growth and gives more oxygen to already established roots.
    kfos likes this.

    virulient Active Member

    Nice thread man, I needed something simple, yet accurate to send people who have the more beginners questions. +rep, thanks!
    VoidObject likes this.

    faller200 Well-Known Member

    How did this get to be a sticky with 11 replies???? OH I remember now. LOLOLOLOOLOL

    VoidObject DWC/Bubbleponics Mod

    We needed a DWC tutorial?

    Oh I see you're just trying to troll..

    ATL HYDRO Active Member

    while 5.5-6.5 ph is what you should shoot for, I would try to keep it 5.6-5.8 if possible. PH strips aren't very accurate either, you can get a ph meter on ebay for around $15. I set my ph to 5.5 daily, and it naturally floats upward towards 6.5.
    I definitely like the multiple airstone idea. Nice, simple and cheap. Good overall walkthrough.

    ATL HYDRO Active Member

    Also, I would change the reservoir minimum of once every 2 weeks, never wait 1 month in-between. I do it religeously every week. Airstones need to be cleaned with warm water often or they get stopped up and produce less oxygen for your roots.
    Pat666 likes this.

    VoidObject DWC/Bubbleponics Mod

    Thanks, but ph meters take additional maintenance/calibration and what-not.. ph strips aren't hard to use if you know what you're doing. And not breaching the 6.0 ph barrier lessens your overall nutrient uptake. Though I can see why you'd think that you're getting all those nutes, you're barely getting and P and Mg.

    Edit: Buy a ph meter though if you can. It's worth it. Start with a cheap one.

    bro54209 and Budoctor like this.

    ATL HYDRO Active Member

    Good chart. It also shows that P and K are locked out if it gets above 6.1 (which mine does daily). That is why you can't just adjust it constantly, set it low and let it float upward on it's own.
    doniboy and bro54209 like this.

    VoidObject DWC/Bubbleponics Mod

    Yeah, hence the swing range of 5.5-6.5

    kushnotbush Well-Known Member

    Hey VoidObject, love the tutorial bro. DWC is so simple in design it amazes me that it even works when you see how complicated some of the other systems are. Anyway just thought I would throw out some advice since it happened to me recently. I went in to my tent to change a res and low and behold no F'in bubbles, plant was looking terrible almost like a drowned soil plant. Found out one of my older pumps went out leaving two of my reservoirs without air! Man I was so pissed.

    I also run two stones in each resevoir so to correct this I decided to run each res off of two pumps, meaning each stone gets air from a different pump. This gives me redundancy now so if one of my pumps goes out at least one stone is still pumping in oxygen. Now, I know in a power outage your still SOL but I hope this helps because these pumps do fail and if it goes unnoticed too long well you know...

    Also anyone that experiences high reservoir temps in DWC I recommend trying a cooler as a reservoir and if your still too high then add the frozen water bottles. Using the cooler also helps making trips to the freezer less frequent.
    bro54209 likes this.

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