DWC Hydroponic Systems
A popular hydroponic method used by hobby growers is the deep-water culture (DWC) hydroponic system. Not only is it useful, but it is also easy to maintain and set up. It is easily the most simple hydroponic system, especially for new growers.
Understanding the DWC hydroponic system
In a typical DWC system, the plant's roots are submerged in a nutrient solution. A hydroponic reservoir houses the solution, and the roots are soaked in it throughout their life. Hence, a water pump is not required. The air pump and air stone attached to the system provide continuous oxygen that prevents the plants from drowning.
DWC hydroponics is a life-saver for new growers as it comes with very few components. Since there are no nozzles attached, you don’t have to worry about anything getting clogged. This makes it different from hydroponic drip systems and aeroponic systems. As a result, this system is considerably easy to use and reduces the maintenance hassle drastically. Once you set it up, it sails smoothly.
The following are its top advantages:
- Fewer components (moving)
- Low maintenance
- Has a fast-growing time
Just like every other thing, DWC hydroponic system also has a few disadvantages:
- Fluctuation in pH and water level
- Can be easily overfed or underfed
- Fluctuation in reservoir temperature
Difficulties with DWC hydro systems
Most problems with a DWC system are due to human error. However, these can be reduced to a great extent if the grower starts with the soil. With the use of a pH pen or thermometer/hygrometer, you can easily avoid many of these issues.
When it comes to feeding the soil, it is crucial to dose the soil with the correct amount of nutrients. For commercial DWC systems, it is better to use nutrient and pH dosers. They will be responsible for maintaining optimal conditions in the system and mitigating the risk of human error.
Now, let’s discuss hydro nutrients briefly.
How to feed nutrients in a DWC hydroponics system?
Feeding nutrients in a DWC hydroponic system needs a little attention. Generally, hydroponic systems require specific hydroponic nutrients. One thing to be clear about is that, when using a DWC system, you’ll have to feed different nutrients as compared to soil plants. This is essential to keep everything running smoothly and prevent any clogs. Moreover, you’ll be required to change the nutrient solution often. Your nutrient schedule will help you with the specifications in this regard.
How to choose the right DWC hydroponic system?
Choosing the right DWC hydroponic system largely depends on three things: Your growing space, your budget, and the number of plants you want to grow. For hobby growers, a 5-gallon growth module is the best deal to kick start with a DWC hydroponic system. However, if you desire to grow high-yielding and huge plants, choose a 35-gallon growth module.
DWC hydroponic system – Singular vs. Modular
To simplify it further, the DWC system is broken down into two categories: Singular and Modular.
As the name implies, a single system allows only one growth module, i.e., it houses only a single plant. It is perfect for growers who take it as a hobby because they will have a single plant in focus. Then there are Modular systems that are connected to a central reservoir and have several growth modules. These systems transport the water/nutrient solution to individual growth modules from the central reservoir, making the systems ‘active.’
Plant count will make your job easy. Make sure you know the count before you start the process of growing. If you are planning a small-scale grow space, like a tent or a spare bedroom, 1-10 plants will be enough. For a commercial greenhouse or a largescale warehouse, plan to grow 30-40 plants.
A 5-gallon bucket system can result in higher yields for budget and hobby growers - find one from Active Aqua at Groindoor.com. Get a highly-functional eight-plant DWC hydroponic system for under $200.
The ideal DWC system
Recently, Groindoor.com launched a guide on the best hydroponic systems of the last year. The best bang for your buck is the Current Culture under Current systems. These systems cater to every grower's needs and have been able to establish a high standard for deep water culture. They include:
- Standard systems
- Solo systems
- Double Barrel systems
- Boneless systems
- Pro systems
- Evolution systems
Whether you are new to this or have experience in growing, we feature all the DWC systems here at Groindoor.com to help you get higher yields. However, for the best systems, choose Current Culture Under Current systems.
FAQs related to DWC hydroponics
It’s not uncommon to have questions in your head regarding the DWC system. Listed below are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the deep water culture hydroponic system. Give us a call or send out an email to 866-GRO-INDR and email@example.com if your question has not been answered, and we’ll contact you as soon as possible.
How frequently should the water be changed in a DWC system?
Though it largely depends on the nutrient solution you are using, it is advised to change the water once every 14 to 15 days during veg. This is essential to prevent contamination from getting into the system and affecting the health of your plant.
During flowering, it is recommended to change it after every seven days. During this time, your plant’s nutritional needs increase. To push out the bud development, you must stay on top of your growing game by regularly changing the solution.
The ideal temperature for DWC hydroponics
It is vital to maintain the temperature of your reservoir in deep water culture hydroponics. If the temperature drops too low, the plant interprets it as the time to stop growing. If the temperature gets too high, the oxygen levels will fall, and the plant will not absorb any nutrients.
To ensure that the plants live in a healthy environment, maintain a temperature range between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. For growers who live in a place where the temperature can either drop down or get too high, hydroponic water chillers and heaters will do the job of keeping the optimal range for you.
To what height should the plant be dipped in the DWC system?
The only part that should be submerged in the solution is the roots. You don’t need to soak the stems or the leaves as it can burn them down or result in mold or fungus.
If you are growing rock wool that has wicks, the best way is to keep them in such a way in your growth module that they are an inch above the water line. This way, your plant won't drown, and you might need to feed your plants with your hands for a few days until the roots get deeper into the module.
Pay a visit to our learning center to learn more about hydroponic growing. Our Hydroponics 101 guide is a great way to understand the different growing styles better and learn about other systems in the market.
Our experts are ready to help you. Call us at 866 -GRO-INDR!