Simple DWC

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by Private Stalk, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. #1 Private Stalk, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2013
    Deep Water Culture is one of the most simplest and efficient ways to grow hydroponically. Although many would want you to believe that it is an exact science that only a super genius could comprehend. In reality this only makes the noob over think everything and most mistakes are made due to user error and for lack of better way of putting it, fucking with it too much! So I'm going to attempt to break it down for anyone to grow and then answer any questions for my fellow blades.

    Background (skip this paragraph if you already know what DWC is)
    Essentially, you need a container like a bucket, tote, etc with a lid. Cut a hole in the lid for your net pot to sit (allow .5in to sit above the lid for a snug fit to prevent plants from falling over). Then fill with water to 1 inch below the net pot. Add an airstone and air pump like you see for a fish tank. Add some nutrients and boom that is the basic concept of DWC.

    So many questions develop from this and I want to address the repetitive ones:

    A DWC container can be used from seed to finish but a lot of professional growers use another method of starting and babying before adding to a DWC veg bucket. This is because at such an early stage (and expensive genes) it would be foolish to forget and allow the water level to evaporate to the point where your medium (rockwool, plug etc) dries out and kills your baby.

    I personally just put the cube in the put with hydroton and have it in a solo cup (I use 3 or 3.75 inch net pots which I will address in a bit why) and I hand feed it water hempy style. Hempy style means I have a hole 1 inch above the bottom of the solo cup so I constantly have a small reserve of water below my net pot for once my roots reach.

    Now this is why I use 3 or 3.75 inch net pots. Roots will take longer to reach the bottom using a larger pot and most likely why some growers experience problems using the '1 inch below the net pot water level' rule. Also keep in mind that if your water level is 1 inch below the net pot at it's highest point (you can lower once roots reach the water) then the deeper your net pot is the more it effects your water level. I really do think a lot of issues people get with DWC stems from using too large of net pots. In my opinion if you are going to use a larger pot then you need a larger seed cube because it needs to be able to wick moisture to the seed/clone root site in order to work properly. Yes it is hydro but you can easily give too much water and kill during the early stages of development.

    There are many threads on here that show how to build very elaborate buckets with connections to reservoirs and other things as well. I want to stress that you DO NOT need this. It's nice to have all the bells and whistles but as my title to the thread states. I keep it simple. All you need is a bucket/tote/container that is lightproof and has air pumped through an airstone. Cut another hole in the lid if you want but the simpler, the quicker, the easier, and you get the same result as any other bucket that has sight tubes, connectors for valves, etc...

    Air stones:
    Not all are created equal!!! Any experienced grower will agree with this. For one over time they will gunk up and clog. PERIOD. Replace with every grow unless you have glass ones that can be cleaned and reused. In my personal experience you can find really nice 'micro pore' air stones at the pet stores for cheap and they will do a great job at making my water appear like it's boiling and that is the effect we are trying to reach. These stones are nice because I can ditch em after each grow and get new ones for fairly cheap. FYI I have had some new ones that were bad for whatever reason so take it back if it's whack is my saying.

    I don't care what you you use. I have used miracle grow that was made for soils on experimental bagseeds and that shit still worked. Not as good granted. The important thing here is that you have some and DO NOT over use them. I shoot for 300-500 ppm range. Using any more and you will either A) burn your plants or B) waste nutrients. A general rule of thumb is to take what the label says and divide it by 3. The label is designed to use as much as possible without killing your plants in order to get you to use it faster. I also don't agree with the dosages on laundry soap either but that is a whole different argument. This brings me to my next issue...

    I have 4 ppm and pH meters all cheap ebay brands (I had four locations at one point). I'm talking the cheapest ones I could find. They all work fine and give same readings. Just make sure you calibrate them once every 6 months and even that may be unnecessary.

    Use RO water unless your tap water is super low ppm (200 or less). You can use harsh hard ass tap water and things may still grow but you will have nothing but problems and headaches. The buffers used in tap waters will continually raise your pH like crazy, forcing you to constantly pH and use a ton of pH down and cost you money. Just save yourself the hassle, and hook your plants up with some pure shit. You will even feel better about it in the end knowing how pure the end product is.

    Not necessary in DWC. I went 9 months of using same water and only topping it off as an experiment. Some of the best shit I grew came out of that bucket. If using RO and properly pHing your water then it should not be an issue. Flushing on a weekly-biweekly basis wastes your nutes and stresses your plants by the constant changing around. My personal advice is this: use new bucket for veg, and then new for flower. So essentially you flush once you move from veg to flower. You will only need to top it off and add nutes from this point on. This can be done a couple of different ways. I like to do it like this:

    1) check the water level. Is it good? had it changed much? Does it need more? It does okay then,

    2) add water to proper level

    3) check the ppm. Is it good? had it changed much? Does it need more nutes? It does okay then,

    4) Add nutes. I use an A+B formula that requires to wait 20 mins in between adding them. I have enough experience to know exactly how much to add to get exactly where I want to be. This takes time so I suggest adding small amounts of nutes until you get a feel for your setup.

    5) pH the bucket

    The final flush is also not necessary in DWC because the entire point of flushing is to remove harsh buildups in soils. We are not in soil here. This is not an issue especially if you are using proper nutrient levels and not overkilling. My personal advice once again is to simply stop adding nutes the last 3-5 days. No need to completely change anything. Top off with water, pH and it will be bomb guaranteed.

    Plants like timed shit and schedules man what else can I say? Get yourself on a every 2 or 3 day rotation. No fucking with shit in between. Let that shit be. They will pick up on this schedule and start diggin on it. Example: adding nutes all the time (or too much) make them lazy and feel like they don't need to work. Let them get hungry every so often before adding more (190-250 ppm). You will see much better result working it this way. Even with the pH it needs to fluctuate (5.4-6.4). This will allow the plant to get all it needs and not starve of any one element. And lastly I'm a firm believer that fucking with it all the time stresses them out and adds time to your grow (for them to adjust to the stress each time).

    All the buds in my sig thread were done DWC so if anyone has any questions I would be more than happy to help them and answer you on this thread here.

    Private Stalk
  2. #2 bizie, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2012
    Damn brotha nice post plus rep to you. Right on with the low nutes in DWC. I do push the plant into osmotic stress during peak bloom of 900ppm but that's only on some strains and most are more comfortable at a lower range. Most of the plants life are never over 500ppm and veg is much lower.

    Also there is a air stone cleaner called regenerate and it is said to work with micro pore stone but I use h2o2 and then blow them out with a air hose....usually does the trick.

    Everyone thinks they are growing dank with their nutes but the strains doing all the work and taking all that nute abuse. Often strains just cant take it in dwc while swimming in nutes.

    But all and all with this post agree agree agree! Kudos!

    BTW the world is a vampire...:metal:
  3. Informative! Thanks

    Soil grower looking to upgrade
  4. One question though...You have flowered large plants with no more then 500ppm in dwc With no issues?

    I mean I'm not doubting it but that's just awesome if its the case because that's just more proof that nutes are highly over rated.
  5. Yes I have pulled QP's from plants with the ppms staying in the 450 range throughout the grow. I use aquaflakes but I'm not trying to push it on anyone. Any decent nutrient will be great if used properly.
  6. I run aqua flakes on a perpetual also. I do like you style.
  7. I really do think a lot of issues people get with DWC stems from using too large of net pots. In my opinion if you are going to use a larger pot then you need a larger seed cube because it needs to be able to wick moisture to the seed/clone root site in order to work properly. Yes it is hydro but you can easily give too much water and kill during the early stages of development.
  8. Very nice (and simple!) write up! I over thought things when my clone first went to m bucket to veg, of you let them be for a day or 2 and just check my ph once a day they like it and thrive
  9. Also I use a tsp of calmag per gallon of water (ro) and GH flora all 3 parts, at what point in flower can you discontinue calmag or you need it all the way thru?
  10. I have never used it. Aquaflakes is truly amazing and what I like about them is they don't try to divide every element into 16 different bottles of stuff for them to overcharge you on. My girls always look nice and green with no burns or deficiencies.

    It's important to note that my powder pH up is pretty much 100% calcium carbonate so I guess I add calcium whenever my pH is too low :D
  11. I'm doin a run in DWC using Dutch Masters and I have my ppm at 700 or so. I have a buddy who has his ppm up over 1g and the plants are doing great. Plus we both flush once a week.
  12. I ran the GH Flora Series in soil with tap water and had great results. It was my first grow too.
  13. The GH flora is working excellent in my dwc so far. I use the GH calculator just mix what I says a tad weaker
  14. I used the GH Performance Pack. It has everything you would need. All i did was fallow the drain to waste method and it worked great for me. I am using Dutch Masters right now in my DWC and I'm also using Mills Nuts for my soil now. Doing to see how my results are. I think I will do better in the DWC. I got almost 1 pound on my 400w light in a small tent. Now I have 1000w and I might run my 400w as well:devious:
  15. I may try the liquid kool bloom and the other 2 additives eventually. Can't wait to see what my dwc yields, strain is mango kush journal is in my signature.
  16. I have Lavender growing right now. @ are in dwc and 4 are in soil. My soil is the Mills nuts and they seem to be going well, im only 2 weeks into my grow. I may start an journal but who knows.
  17. I agre with just about everything you said expect about flushing. All those nutes you ran are building up on the roots of your plant ( they are just sitting in nutrient solution). IMO flushing is a necessary evil it just makes it taste better. just my cents. As far as what you said about it being easy (and cheap) that shit is spot on brotha. Best bang for your buck.

  18. Never heard anyone ever say they could taste that my buds were not flushed ever. I also use a vape. It's where the real flavor is if you are into that ;)

    It won't hurt to flush but if a novice grower out there was wanting to try hydro it is certainly not a must or requirement to grow extremely delicious nugs. My sig nug thread was made because I got tired of searching through grow journals that are only 5% pics to find a harvest and cured pic. I don't think you even need to smoke the nugs in my pic to know they are tasty :)
  19. I'd have to agree about the flushing, you need to get rid of the salt buildup. I have a system that my boy socal0811 built up and its legit. His plants look fantastic. Its my first DWC system and hydro grow ever and I'm liking what I see already!
  20. #20 Private Stalk, Jan 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2013
    Flushing in DWC hydroponics is very debatable that should be saved for it's own thread. I have used same water for 9 months only topping if off to prove a point and never had any issues ever (flave, potency, grow). Not being a dick but I have grown for years and posted pics for actual results and this thread comes from years of experience not just repeated things that have been read off the internet.

    There is no salt build up from RO water + nute in hydro and it certainly does not effect the bud quality. I have flushed. I used to be just like you and did everything I read blindly on here until I just got tired of messing with flushing 75+ gallons of RO every 2 weeks and dumping all the nutes and $$ down the drain. I grew same strain for years and whether I flush/ don't flush it makes NO difference.

    If you wish to start a new thread debating whether flushing is necessary on hydro I would be happy to continue this conversation there. :) :wave:

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