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) Nutrients: * General Hydroponics three part nutrients (grow, bloom, and micro-nutrients) Lighting: * 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: * 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! Cheers!