First Deep Water Culture Grow

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by tanhauser, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. Hello everyone!

    Tanhauser here. I'm bad with introductions so I'll just cut to the chase. For the past few weeks I've been planning a small deep water culture grow. I've done an incredible amount of reading (there's just SOOO much information on the Internet) and I finally feel confident enough to start putting my system together.

    Seems to me that it'd be prudent to take things slow. I'm posting this in the hopes that I can get some feedback on my planned process. Hopefully I can get a lot of the wrinkles out before I take the plunge on some good seed.

    Basic system:
    * 24gal Rubbermaid tote (with holes cut in the lid to hang three net pots)
    * 4psi air pump (supposedly good for up to 7 air stones/30gal fish tank)
    * Two 5" air stones
    * Three 5" net pots

    Growing medium:
    * Rockwool cubes (Growdan Growcubes) or Hydroton expanded clay pellets (not sure which I'll use yet, read on for more on this)
    * Growdan A-OK Plugs (rockwool, for starting the seeds)

    * General Hydroponics three part nutrients (grow, bloom, and micro-nutrients)

    * CFL and/or fluorescent tubes (I'm not about to blow $500 on lighting. I figure I can get by on CFL/fluorescent as I'm only growing a few plants at a time, in the back of a large walk-in closet. Maybe I'll use HPS for flowering, but I've still got a while to research that.)

    * PH testing liquid (Again, I'm not ready to drop $130 on an iced out electronic tester, I figure that the testing solution will work well enough.)

    I've already collected the aforementioned supplies. I filled the Rubbermaid tote with water and hooked the air pump up to the air stones. I also tested my tap water's PH and found that it was a tad alkaline. I played around with adding vinegar and lemon juice to alter the PH. Really just an excuse to use my PH testing kit.

    This brings me to a few questions I still have. Hopefully some kind soul will care to help out a budding (pun! ha!) grower.

    1. Everything I've read says that Hydroton expanded clay pellets and rockwool cubes both work well for DWC. I'm torn as to which I should use. Anybody care to make a suggestion? Eventually I'd like to try both, but I need to pick one to start with. Is one more forgiving than the other? I know that the expanded clay pellets are reusable and that rockwool should be handled with a mask and gloves, but none of these facts seem vitally important.

    2. I'm worried about the roots getting tangled, which would make things difficult when I want to remove any males that develop. I've toyed with the idea of having a separate DWC system running for the initial growth. Perhaps grow a few plants, sex them, choose the strongest, and then take clones to plant in my main system? I don't have infinite room, but I'm not severely limited either. Eventually, I'd like to bring three healthy females to flower. Depending on the quality of seeds I get, I assume I'll need 6-10 plants to start with (some will end up male, some might not be clone-worthy)

    3. When I was playing with my air pump and air stones, I noticed that there wasn't much splashing above the water line. Is this alright? I worry that until my root mass is long enough to hang into the nutrient solution, my growing medium isn't going to be wet enough. Is this concern unfounded? I realize that I only held my hand above the surface of the water for a few seconds, and I COULD feel a very light mist, but it just doesn't seem to be strong enough to keep the medium moist enough. I can't imagine it's a problem with my pump, as I got one that I assumed would be overkill. I also have another, smaller pump. I figure I could always run both.

    4. I understand the fun in discussing the nuances of growing. But how worried do I have to be about the PH and temperature of my nutrient solution? A better way to ask this question might be, is a PH that's +-0.5 going to hose my grow? Is 5 degrees F going to make a big difference?

    5. Any other comments/suggestions on my planned setup would be appreciated! Are my net pots too small? Should I get more air stones and/or a larger air pump?

    Thanks in advance, everyone! I'll be sure to post updates as I build my system and start my grow. My buddy is spending six months in Holland, starting at the end of the month, and he's planning on mailing me a package of seeds. Maybe this would be a good time to ask another, related question. Does anyone have a favorite Indica strain that grows well in hydro? For years I've had almost paralyzing anxiety, so I really like the heavy stone. Almost makes me feel human again!

  2. hey there. thanks for sharing your grow with us! i have only done soil grows so i don't have much info for you, but i'm definitely hoping you get the info you need so that we can see your progress. i want to try a DWC grow for my next grow, so i too will benefit from the info that you get. as soon as you have everything ready and get some seeds in there, post some pics! good luck to you!
  3. Thanks for the encouragement!

    I set up a DWC system tonight in a 5gal bucket. I transplanted a basil plant I had going in soil. I realize that it's not the best idea to transplant from soil to hydro, but even if it doesn't work, I'll write it off as a learning experience. The plant was really root bound, so washing the roots was pretty destructive. Hopefully she'll survive. I used the GH grow and micro nutrients in the concentration specified on the bottle, and a little vinegar to get the PH to about 6-6.5.

    Now it's time for a glass of Bookers!

  4. The basil still lives! I'm going out of town for the weekend, and I hope that everything will be OK when I return. Wish me luck!

Share This Page