Cheap Modular RDWC system

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by Han-Bolo, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Sup everyone, Ive been hardcore nerding out over my transition to hydroponics. Ive just about got all my parts needed for the build and I think I've just about finalized my plans for a simple, low cost, basic RDWC system. Its a variation of this guys system I came across on youtube except I don't want to do a leveling/nute bucket combo ill just stick with one res. I also want to install shut off valves on each bucket so that I can remove one and keep the system going when servicing.

    This entire system is set up with 5 gal buckets. One bucket as a res for every 3 buckets. I want to be able to move around in the grow space and not worry about giant 1in lines and all the extra plumbing running water too and from each bucket. This one is like a reverse RDWC system with water gravitating to the buckets from the res and the final bucket pumping water back to the res. I wanted to keep it easy and simple with smaller lines, less lines, and lots of aeration. I attached a pic below of my plans. I am in a tight space so I think the 5 gal buckets as reservoirs will work out well.

    I wanted to post this here with the hopes of getting some feedback/recommendations for my set up while I'm still in the development stage. My only concern at this point is the roots getting in the way of the pump in the last bucket. I might add one more bucket at the end dedicated to just the pump and also upping the total capacity to 12.5 gallons per 3 buckets. What do y'all think? RDWC.jpg
  2. My grow almost complete

    Check my tread. it has a diagram to build a RDWC that works really great i believe i spent maybe 200 to build the 6 pot RDWC
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  3. do you think my set up will be ok?
  4. The way you have it set ups, the inner two buckets will not have a flow.
    The flow will be from the res to the last bucket.
  5. Yeah I was watching that dudes video again on YouTube to see if he talked about that. I'm gonna test it out for shits n giggles. There would defintely be more flow in the final bucket for sure but I'd imagine the other two would have an almost tide/wave like effect with gravity and what not. The reason why I wanted to run the flow backwards like in the sketch is because if I shut the valve on the res I can do full water changes by just running the pump to pull everything out the buckets and into the res.

    I'll probably just run the pump in the res and run a line to each bucket to keep everything balanced. I still kinda want to try it out though. I could do a food coloring test in each bucket.

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  6. You need to have a "goinsa" and a "gooutsa" to have flow.
  7. So I'm working on the buckets now and I have them inline with 2 holes in each that way everything goes through evenly to the last bucket then gets pumped out to the reservoir.

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  8. I got mad flow. Lol
    @Han-Bolo build it and see. I can not vouch for a set up I do not run. I have ran 3 or so runs through my rdcw and I am learning as I go.
  9. Each run getting better and better
    Changing the strain and growing s legit strain for me would be a big improvement
  10. Im balls deep, no turning back now. Im excited to get back to Hydroponics. Back in the day I did some aeroponics. This will be my first RDWC grow.

    My next step is to build a reservoir. The space I have in the closet is about 2.5x1.5ft. Im sure I could get a decent sized res in there.
  11. cant wait to see some pics of the final setup.
  12. Its gonna look more like this. I'll post pics. I plan on having it finished by the end of this week. Just waiting on lines and pumps.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Grasscity Forum mobile app
  13. Hi
    So what's the chance you have over thought your system ?
    What if because you have zero experience in rdwc systems that you have over looked a couple of issues that once you start growing you will shit can your whole system except the pumps and bubblers .
    You say your system is simple?

    Here is simple
    I dont have one water line / hose on the outside of my rdwc systems .
    Description of my rdwc systems is self contained
    Each plant is has 20 to 30 gallon reservoir ......
    One of your first questions should be is can the root system partially or fully plug up the drain system.
    And on the average how much water does a 3 ft cannabis plant use in one day .
    My plants on a day ( I leave for the day and forget to turn on the a/c unit.) The answer is I have seen my rdwc systems use up to 6 or more gallons of water per plant per day

    At this point y ou will change your design .

    My experience is the roots seek out the drain systems and normally restrict it or plug it up to the point the system over flows or the plant gets sick and dies because lack of o2 .
    Normally root rot sets in once the roots lack oxygen
  14. I was a little concerned about the pump in the final bucket getting roots in it, so i might flip the flow and put the pumps in the res. each bucket has its own airstone along with the res so everything will stay oxygenated even without flow, as long as I have water. I picked up a 2x1.5ft container to use as a res.
  15. Hi
    Example is you have 5 gallon buckets that you think you can put 5 gallons of water into the bucket whole life span of your plant .
    Truth is those roots take up x amount of space meaning you cant put as much water in as the plant gets bigger .
    This changes because some people grow lager indoor plants then other so the root mass can be different sizes .
    Your Nutrients are mixed at a ratio that they will be used up in 7 to ten days .
    But in those 7 to 10 days the water needs to have half of it used every 2.5 to 3.3 days .
    then you add water , then in another 2.5 to 3.3 days u refill the system with water again , then in another 2.5 to 3.3 days you change the water and charge your system with new nutrients .

    Its a balancing act on how much water your plants use to how big you need your reservoir .

    Yes there are many ppl who grow in 5 gallon buckets , but I promise you they had to learn from the school of hard knocks on how long they can leave there plants unattended on hot summer days and your grow room gets hot .
    And how and when to use their nutrients ..
    Bigger reservoir or more forgiving ………………………. the water levels can be adjusted to how much water your plant is using to recommended nutrient ratio's
  16. put a plant in the 2x1.5ft container to use as a res.
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  17. #17 Han-Bolo, Jul 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019

    great info, Im a little limited on grow space so cant do bigger than 5 gal bucket per plant. im growing autoflowers so not gonna be huge photo root masses I would hope. I'll cover the holes in the plumbing with a screen too.
  18. I have a setup with four buckets for growing and a fifth bucket reservoir outside the tent. I’m in a 4x4.

    Depending on what you are growing, four can be a lot. Plants get BIG really quick.

    You might consider using two buckets in / one res bucket out.

    Either way, best of luck.
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  19. I think Ill stick with just a 6 bucket system and the one big ass res lol.

    the grow space is technically 5ft x 4ft10in. So almost a 5x5, I just try to leave a little room for me to slide by on the sides of the grow.
  20. The 5/8 interconnecting pipe is a risky diameter and prone to blockage.

    I use 2" diameter interconnecting between my tanks and I don't worry about roots or blockage or uneven levels.

    3 plants per tank.
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