- Accelerated growth thanks to superior uptake of nutrients and oxygen from the nutrient solution. For example, you can grow lettuce and harvest in 30 days instead of 60 in soil
- Aerating the roots improves plants’ absorption and increase cell growth rate within the plants
- Because the plants are submerged in deep water culture nutrients, there’s no need for much fertilizer
- Once you set it up, it requires little maintenance. There are no nozzles, feeder lines or water pumps to clog
- Very little moving parts and assembly
- If the air pump gets broken, there is a very small window to replace it. If the air pump doesn’t work for a long time, the plants will rapidly decline
- If you are using a non-recirculating deep water culture system, it is difficult to maintain the temperature – the water tends to get too hot from the submersible pump running continuously
- The nutrient concentration, water level, and PH may fluctuate wildly in small systems.
- There is a risk of the plant roots drowning in low-oxygen nutrient solution if an electricity outage or a pump failure occurs
- In small systems with a small scale, it is very easy to over or under calibrate
This video shows you how falling water looks like.
If you would rather go DIY, here is the equipment you need. You can also find below steps to build this hydroponic system.
Basically, if you grow outdoor with enough sunlight, it’s great when plants can have sufficient light and have some rest at night when the sun it down. But if you grow outdoor, or your place lacks enough sunlight, time to get some.
Regarding PPM/EC level of the system, it’s advised that you always mix in lower amounts than the suggested dosage mix of the hydroponic nutrients. You can follow your plant’s response and adjust accordingly later. Understand that plants take up a significant amount of water, but they don’t absorb many nutrients. In this sense, when the nutrient solution in the reservoir declines, the nutrient concentration can reach a higher level, which can be harmful to the plants.
The key here is to leave an air gap between the roots and the surface of the nutrient solutions. That means parts of the roots are submerged in the waters while the other parts are exposed to the air.
To learn in-depth about this exciting hydroponics system, you can read our past post here.
In the deep water culture system, the more air bubbles, the better. There should be enough bubbles to make the water look like it is boiling. As the air bubbles rise to the top of the water to be most effective for the plants, they should rise up through and make direct contact with the roots.
As true Hydroponics in its purest form, Deep Water Culture is definitely among the easiest yet most effective type of Hydroponic systems.
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.
As a general rule of thumb, you should completely change your reservoir at least once every two weeks in the vegetative stage, and at least once a week in the flowering stage.
When it comes to Deep Water Culture, the main difference if you’re used to a hand-watered growing medium is you need to pay attention to the reservoir. Peeking into the reservoir through an empty net pot hole lets you ensure the roots look happy and that the water level inside is properly maintained. It’s just like paying attention to your soil except that the conditions of water can change quite a bit faster. On the flip side, you have much greater control over the root environment in DWC than any other grow method!
Should I try DWC for my first grow?
When in doubt, always contact your nutrient company to see how far ahead you can make your water! Most major nutrient companies have a contact form on their website and will get back to you in just a day or two. They know their products better than anyone!
With all the root space and light to themselves, two little plants soon turn into bulky shrubs!
However, while buds may fatten up more in the flowering stage due to great environmental conditions at the roots, possibly increasing your yields, they won’t be ready to harvest any sooner after the flip to 12/12. The time to harvest is mostly dependent on strain, and DWC-grown plants take the same amount of time as any other plants to fully ripen and be ready for harvest. (Why Aren’t My Buds Ready for Harvest?)
Unrelated Tip: Exhaust fan too loud? Try hanging your exhaust fan from inside the tent instead of setting it on top; this will greatly reduce the amount of noise!
As DWC has gained popularity for growing marijuana, we have been receiving lots of questions from hydro growers of all experience levels. Today, I’m going to answer some of the questions we see the most, as well as give you some helpful tips that will make your next DWC grow much easier and more rewarding!
(Click the picture below to see an animated version [3Mb .gif])
Deep Water Culture (DWC) means growing your plant with the roots in a bubbling reservoir of nutrient water. This perfect root environment is what gives DWC-grown plants their remarkable growth speed!