First DWC Grow,

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by Cyllas, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. #1 Cyllas, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2013
    I Have been gathering together the things that I need to start my first DWC (Deep water Culture) grow, this is intended to be a critique of sorts, although im going to add information into this that maybe someone could use when starting their first DWC as well.
    This is my current setup, its not done yet i need many more things, but im documenting each step starting now, this is setup in a basement room built under the stairs.  (Currently at 55% humidity, 75 Degrees F)
    What your looking at:
    2 - 5 Gallon DWC setups (Airstone inside bucket not pictured), I have not bought the net pots, yet as my local hydro store is closed on sundays, and i got there after they closed on saturday, ive noticed that MANY hydroponics stores close at 4PM, some are open till 7, and most ive seen are closed on sundays.
    2 - Lamps, each with a 6500k, 1450 lumen CFL in it, although i am thinking of upgrading to a HPS system.
    - The shelf will be where i store nutes, gloves, spray bottle, ect..., it is also where i currently have my humidity/temp reader, i might invest in another gauge, and put one high, and one low in the room as the way the room is shaped, i am thinking that hot air will rise and funnel to the tip top, which is where my exhaust fan is...Its a cheapo from walmart, idk if its strong enough to vent out a room as big as the one i have is, but i am hoping so.
    A Closer shot of the lamps and buckets (The black stuff around the buckets is Gorrila tape, but you can use contractor trash bags, gorilla tape, or there is this special tape that looks like sheet metal, i cannot remember what its called, but it works, its usually near the gorilla tape in the tape isle of ur local home improvment store, i bought mine at Lowe's. Also that is my heater, I set it to 80 degrees.
    Here is a shot of the exhaust fan (being held in with gorilla tape until i can attach it properly)
    And another from behind
    Next Step for me now is to either cover the walls with Mylar, or paint it flat white, i havnt decided yet...I also need to figure out how much air that fan will pull, because if possible im going to put a homemade CF on it, as it is cool for me to grow in my house, but i have to control the smell to a certain degree, the wood is not flush against each other in all spots on the side walls of the room, so there are gaps/cracks that you can see through, which is another smell control issue...but it will be fun figuring out how to do it. I will continually update this as i progress from finishing building it to actually using it. Any suggestions on what i have so far, or what i should buy first would be appreciated, I have a fair bit of knowledge on growing hydroponically, but ZERO experience with it, Im still learning about nutes, and things like that but my plan is too go nute free for the first 2 weeks. 
    This will be updated every time i get a new object, or any work done on the room, that may only be once every 3-5 days for now, then when i begin to actually use it i will probably update every day.
    This is my first post, i dont know if i broke any forum rules, or if this is the right spot to be posting this, let me know, sorry in advance.
    Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more.

  2. So far, it looks like a nice space to grow in!   It sounds like you know what you need to do still (paint white, or use panda film), get a carbon filter, lightproof your buckets, etc.
    My concern is heat.  Ideal growing temp is 78F with the lights on.  If you're already at 75, I already know this could be a problem.  I see your vent fan at the top of the space.  Where is your passive intake? You should have one low near the floor to bring in cool air.  Then you should have an oscillating fan to mix it up in the room before the warmest air is exhausted out the top.
    Panda film is less permanent than white paint in there, but white paint would probably be easier/less expensive.
    DWC works great, but unless you can control your temps (keep nutrients under 70) (68 is ideal)  then DWC won't work well for you.  If your space is already warm, then DWC may not be the best method in this space.  Another method might give you better results. 
    Since you're new to growing with hydroponics, I would suggest converting your bubble buckets to Hempy buckets, and explore the use of Lucas formula as your nutrient plan.  The combo of these two are undisputed as simple, inexpensive, and very effective hydroponic methods. Using these methods will ensure your plants get all the nutritional requirements they need so you can tune in the environment in your grow space.  After you've got your environment dialed in (may take a few grows) then I would suggest experimenting with different nutrients/hydroponic methods.  This will really help you to differentiate effective techniques from ineffective techniques.  You're on your way to a great grow, I can't wait to see how it develops.
  3. #3 GoldGrower, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2013
    looking good mate, I only have a few smalll points to make...
    you only need the one thermometer and that's at canopy level.
    your lights will be ok for the first week but after that you will need to increase the output. you have plenty of room for an hps, I would defo go that route. if you get a dimmable ballast you can adjust it to make any fine tuning to the temperature
    you will need to fill all the air leaks, otherwise you will get air coming in above the canopy level and leaving via the exhaust fan completely bypassing the plants and heat emitting lamps.
    not giving them any nutes for two weeks will give you major slow growth during the second week. give them an EC of 0.2-0.3 after about 2-3 days and adjust accordingly.
    .follow the "goldgrower method" and you will never have nutrient over or under dose problems...
    check your nutrient strength every day. if your figures are rising your solution is too strong, if the figures are falling your solution is too weak. add water or nutrients accordingly
  4. I will be putting the intake air fan (was going to use a 6" intake air fan) in one back corner, and the ocillating fan in the other back corner, then i am going to replace that current exhaust fan with a 4" exhaust fan with a 4" CF on it.
    Next im going to be covering the walls in thick plastic wrap, or something else that has heat, odor, and light filtration bonuses too it, if i cannot find something of that nature, i suppose ill go with mylar, but mylar would be a last choice, my plan is too but a thermometer guage/dial thing that the exhaust and intake fans plug into so they turn on when the temp reaches a certain number, say 80, then turn off when it drops down to 75, same with the heater...but turn on at 75, off at 80, This is probably a VERY inefficient way to do this, so any suggestions there would be helpful haha. My guess is running the fans like that will probably cause ventilahtion issues, which will lead to more issues, expecially with this plastic wrap creating a airtight(ish) hotspot.
    I am going to read about these hempy pots also, as if i cant get the fans to work properly to keep the tempurature in check then it might become my chosen method.
    mainly i think my problem is going to end up mostly (or the first problem at least), topping off the res inbetween changes, i know that it takes alot of practice to get good at eyeing ur water level, checking ur ppm and just knowing that you need a 60/40 mix or water/nutes, or a 70/30 mix just based on the ratio of water to nutes drank by the plant.
    I just got back from the local hydro store, i bought a 10" net pot for a 5 gallon bucket, thats obviously too big for a single plant, my question is if i regulate the water level the right way...can a seedling still get water from the res? or would the res have to be so high that the hydroton gets in the way...which leads me to my next question.....
    I have read, and read, and read about bubble buckets, ...and I still cannot grasp the concept of water do the roots dangle into the water, so that part of the root is actually under water? or do they dangle about the water so that no roots are in water, and the water just splashes up into the root ends,...I know how this question must seem to people with many grows completed, lol.
    you want your exhaust fan bigger than the intake fan, especially if you will have a filter on it as it slows the flow down
    covering the walls with blackout white plastic sheeting is by far the easiest method. it's wipe clean, flat and reflective.
    your better off just running your fans 24 hours a day. ridding old air isn't just about getting rid of heat.
    those pots are fine, get them filled with clay balls.
    if your using rockwool make sure it doesn't stay wet all the time. your better off not using it. if you don't use rockwool you can have you solution level as high as you want. more nutrient solution stabilises it and makes things easier
    I have my net pots submerged giving me a bigger reservoir
    you want your roots submerged and have at least 10L/m of air per 5 gallons of solution. more air = more bud
  6. you begin with a high water level so the young roots and hydroton are in solution, as the roots grow into the bucket you eventually leave the level to the bottom of the net pot.
  7. I see, so the bubbles ARE the air, which allows the roots to "breathe" underwater.
    Ill get the 6" exhaust/4" intake/4" cf combo then, and run it all the time, maybe ill go smaller even with the fans as the room is small and has a shape advantage that can be used to make air flow really good.
    Im still deciding on weather or not im going to split it into 2 rooms for veg/flowering, or just for this very first grow just taking it easy and just growing two plants, through veg, then switching everything over to flowering room, THEN on my second, split the room and start cloning. Im using bag seeds this time, then investing in seeds when i know i can keep them alive.
    and yea, I have two airstones at the bottom of my bucket, i dont know the L/m but they are the small cheap ones from the fish isle at walmart, the pump is from the same isle, its the one with two heads on it, i might buy another set so both buckets can have two airstones per instead of just one
    Really good advice, saved me from a few costly mistakes already, haha.
  8. L/m = litres per minute
    it should state this on the box, it may state gallons per hour instead perhaps..
    if not, what wattage are they? this can give you a rough indication
    the more air you have the more bud you will get
    here are the pumps I use, they have 4 outlet each, and I use 2" airstones on each outlet
  9. Cool Lil setup! Best of luck...subbed :Blowin:

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