Deep water culture systems


Understanding DWC and Recirculating Deep Water Culture

Hydro/aquaponics gardening using recirculating deep water

When it comes to making a garden, most of the world relies upon the traditional soil methodology. Yet, for a growing number, the hydroponic gardening system is quickly becoming an ideal method in which to produce self-sustaining plants and food.

The learning curve is steeper for Hydro but once the fundamentals have been understood, it’s actually much easier than standard soil gardening!

Basically, there are three types of hydroponic gardening systems.

  • nutrient film technique
  • ebb and flow
  • deep water culture

And while there are many who would state that the best way to learn is to jump all in, I found out that is pretty much needlessly learning the ‘hard way’.

One, if the person is not properly trained he or she will not see good results. Two, if the person finds the method too difficult they probably won’t stick with it long enough to see how beneficial it can be. Therefore, starting at the bottom and working to the more complex systems is sensible.
To work with hydroponic systems you will need only to understand the basics of water and how to balance the pH of the water. And where you will have to learn a bit about suspended plants (as they are in water) and in the regulation of the nutrients, you can at least get started if you know the basic steps.

If this sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t worry, I will walk you through the easiest of the three for beginning hydroponics, deep water culture.

What is deep water culture gardening?

Deep water culture hydroponics, or DWC as it is commonly called is the method of using water, usually a plastic storage container or a bucket that’s specifically designed for DWC. Then having the roots of the plant suspended in the water providing those plants with an easily bio-available form of nutrients for the plant.

There are a few very essential things to understand with this hydroponic system:

· Water: This will be replacing the use of soil. Using water as a medium, it’s much more convenient to acquire and dispose of when done. No more hauling around back breaking bags of dirt.

· Nutrients: It’s really amazing how much easier it is for plants to access needed nutrients when soil isn’t a factor.

· Oxygen: Plants need a certain amount of oxygen. Soil is usually aerated and there are pockets of air in the root zone allowing the plant to survive. In Hydro, without oxygen, the plant will drown. We need to introduce air into the water solution by using a standard aquarium air pump and airstone.

The benefit of Deep Water Culture is that the extra deep volume of water that the root mass is submerged in allows the pH and nutrient ppm (parts per million) to be more stable. This keeps things easy for both you and the plant.

Keep in mind, growing with recirculating deep water culture methods goes beyond just sticking some toothpicks in a carrot top and putting it into a water filled mason jar.

To have a successful dwc hydroponic system you will need to ensure that the plants have oxygen, water, and nutrients in the correct proportions by making adjustments to the nutrient solution at regular intervals.

Other Hydroponic systems run a little differently than this and are a little harder for a novice hydroponicist. But we will cover those later!

Why not just garden?

For any serious gardener wanting to further understand how to grow better plants, hydroponics provides that exact opportunity. If your business is in growing valuable cash crops, hydro can help give you greater, quicker yields often with noticeably less work.

Only in Hydro can you experience a whole new world of gardening and growing potential. Through measuring pH and ppM levels everyday, your plants will literally be telling you what they may need or how they are reacting to your grow schedule.

You can reap these benefits from any Hydro system that you run correctly. The recirculating deep water system is generally the most flexible and easy to run for novices and professionals alike.

The DWC system allows for rapid growth of plants compared to soil. If you want to see how well a plant can do, put it in Hydro! You will get huge vegetables, luscious greens, savory herbs and resinous flowers that you seldom see grown in soil.

The DWC setup and maintenance is far easier to maintain than the traditional method. There is very little maintenance with a Deep Water Culture system and just a little more with a recirculating deep water system once its all set up.

The only real drawback is that small reservoirs can be more difficult to keep the pH and Nutrient ppm stable. But practicing adjusting reservoirs will just make you better at Hydroponics.

How to get started

To start your deep water culture system you will need to have about $50 to spend on equipment. This equipment will include a reservoir, which can simply be a plastic tote tub, an air pump, and air stone, tubing for the air pump, hydroton, and net pots. Now, you can use a 5 gallon bucket for your reservoir and you will be fine. The main elements which you cannot skimp on are the hydroton and the net pots.

To set up the system:

1. Connect the air pump to the tubing and then connect the tubing to the airstone. This will ensure that you get the circulation and the aeration of the water done properly.

2. Put your plants into the netpots. It’s easiest to start with aeroponic clones. If you only have seeds, the best medium to get those rooted and into hydro will be to start the seeds in Rock Wool. Once the seed has visibly sprouted you can easily add the seedling’s Rock Wool cube into the Netpot and surround it with Hydroton.

Once the roots start to grow, they will expand into the water and will draw upon the nutrients in the water. Immediately your seedling gets needed nutrients, plenty of water and you will see rapid growth.

3. Keep the roots below water at the seedling stage. So long as the water is above the roots, the plant will survive. Once it’s older and the root mass has developed, it’s okay that the top part of the roots are periodically a few inches above the water.

The roots will simply wick water upwards. Once your plant is in full growth, there will be days that you have rapid water uptake, so it’s important to keep an eye on the reservoir levels.

Once you’ve mastered DWC, upgrade to a recirculating DWC

Once you’ve mastered a basic deep water system, you may then be ready to replicate your fantastic results. You can easily upgrade to a Recirculating DWC which will allow you to maximize the number of plants which can be grown from one system.

It’s larger than the standard DWC and allows the grower to have 10 or more buckets simultaneously in one closed loop system using a single shared reservoir. So instead of maintaining and checking 10 different reservoirs, all you have to check on is one.

The main difference between the deep water culture system and the recirculating deep water culture is that the recirculating system, the water is pumped from one large reservoir through the system and then back to the reservoir. The only part of the system which is changing from the standard DWC is the re-routing of water back to the head of the buckets. Hence the re-circulation.

Adding the top feed Bubbleponic method to your Recirculating Deep Water Culture System

It sounds a great deal more complicated than it is. Bubbleponics is simply taking some tubing or an irrigation hose and running one tube to each individual net pot in your system.

This is generally used for when a plant is in it’s early vegetative stage and you’re wanting to encourage root growth. It will require you to have an additional pump and hose system attached to the reservoir, but this is relatively cheap.

Yes, you can go without the bubbleponics system, but in doing so you extend the time it takes for the seeds to germinate. Basically it’s an effective way of accelerating plant growth before the roots have fully grown into the water below the net pot. Here is how it works:

· The bubbleponics is set up so that the hose or the piping drips slowly from the top into each plants netpot. This gives the plant a sense of rain being applied to the seed.

· The top-feed method allows for the plant to receive nutrients from the water being supplied at the top of the plant as well as the nutrients being supplied through the water. Think of it as a saturation of nutrients.

· Once the plant has taken root and is primarily being fed from the water of the DWC bucket or tank, the bubbleponics serves as a booster, keeping it germinating quicker than the system would without such a device.

When using the bubbleponics top feed method you should occasionally check the pipes and the tubing for any accumulation of algae which can in time affect plant growth or a build up of nutrient sludge that could clog the piping.

Keep in mind that you are working with water and so any metal fittings will need to periodically be checked for rust. It is a low maintenance system, but it does still require maintenance.

A few considerations before you get started:

While there are tremendous advantages to having a deep water culture system, there are some downsides which must be addressed in order to allow you to make an educated decision.

1. The downside to this sort of system is that the PH levels tend to be a bit unstable, especially when one decides to have a single bucket system. The fluctuation of the PH levels must be monitored closely to keep the plants growing properly.

2. The roots of the plants need to have high oxygen and nutrients. It is not uncommon for the plant to “drown” in water if it’s not exposed to enough oxygen. Don’t forget that oxygen in the root zone doesn’t just keep the plant alive but also increases nutrient uptake making for more vigorous plants with better yield.

3. Water temperature on the smaller systems are prone to shift considerably and at a rapid rate. I would encourage those using this system to have a water temperature regulator so that the temperatures remain consistent if it’s located in an area subject to cold or heat.

Start small then go larger

My advice to anyone who is venturing into the DWC waters is to start with the simple 5 gallon bucket and get acquainted with the process of keeping the system going. Once you have the basics of the deep water culture system down, move on to adding an additional bucket.

The great thing about this system is that you can build as you need to and make the system larger as you go. Should you ever decide to go large scale, I would recommend that you look into the other hydroponic systems which are more equipped to do large scale gardening like the Nutrient Film Technique/N.F.T.

Useful tips and pointers:

  • Nutrients

Be careful not to use nutrients with high amounts of organic materiel present. It’s important that you use a nutrient solution that is geared toward Hydroponic applications. If you use nutrients that are meant for use in soil you will most likely end up with infections in the root zone.
Hydroponic nutrients are pure and mineral based without any bacteria present. I know a lot of hydro growers always talk about General Hydroponics, and I’m going to go against the grain by recommending Cutting Edge Solutions 3 part system or the full nutrient line if you’re a connoisseur. In my experience it’s an affordable and effective alternative to the run of the mill General Hydro product line.

  • Reservoir

Frequency of reservoir changes: There are a lot of factors that can determine this. A good rule of thumb is: Vegetables and leafy greens: At least every 10-14 days. Resinous flowers: Every 7-10 days. The other factor to consider is at what point are they in their growth stage.

Mainly if they are seedlings that are just getting started or are at the end of their life cycle and ready to harvest, then the reservoir change can be the maximum number of days.

Since nutrient uptake can be slower during these times. If your plants are in the middle of prime growth then more frequent changes will be necessary since in Hydroponics you will notice during these times that nutrient uptake can go through the roof.

Give them what they need and your yield will be astounding. If you notice Ppm/tds/ec levels dropping off too much before it’s reservoir change time, then it’s okay to add a little ‘top off’ of nutrients to bring them back to the proper ppm levels.

Also note that smaller reservoirs, less than 10 gallons, will need more frequent changes.

  • Try to leave a couple inches of root above the water level, this will help encourage oxygen uptake. If you submerge the root entirely you could risk drowning your plants at worse and at the least will slow down growth.

  • Reservoir water temperatures should be on average 65 F. If it gets below 55 F, the plant will slow down and much cooler than that will kill the roots. If it gets above 75 F, it will start cooking the roots, reduce oxygen in the water and encourage root zone bacterial infections. The only solution to either of these temperatures fluctuations will be to get a water warmer or water chiller.
  • PPm/Ec/Tds for Deep Water Culture is the same for across the board Hydroponics. Generally 5.5-6.5 pH. Hydro always needs to be run at least slightly acid.
  • If you want to speed up your crop from seed to harvest, then do Aero-cloning and skip the seedling stage!

Anything worth knowing has a learning curve. Just keep at it! Once you understand the principals of Hydroponics, it will seem very easy. You may even wonder why you didn’t try it sooner!

Current Culture Recirculating DWC Explained

We recently had a customer write in asking a bunch of great questions about Current Culture Under Current hydroponic systems. Instead of keeping all that juicy info between us we’ve decided to share the Q & A session with all of you.

Here it is, enjoy!

FYI, RWDC = Recirculating Deep Water Culture – the hydroponic growing method used by Under Current systems.

How is RDWC advantageous over ebb and flow and other popular systems?

Production (Increased yields)

Under Current systems constantly expose your plant’s root zones to nutrients. This is different from many other popular hydroponic growing techniques, such as ebb and flow, that limit exposure. This means that plants always have access to the nutrients they need and don’t have to expend extra energy searching for them. This saved energy is translated directly into increased growth rates. These increased growth rates directly improve your yield and quality.


Better water usage. There is no run off like in a drain-to-waste system, and very little water is lost to evaporation due to the bucket design.

All the water goes straight to your plants.

The higher levels of aeration and the root zone’s constant exposure to nutrients allows for more efficient nutrient uptake. Taken together, you’re saving water as well as (often expensive) nutrients with RWDC.


These systems are designed with complete automation in mind. They’re directly compatible with top-off reservoirs, water chillers, nutrient dosers, etc so you can grow under a controlled, reproducible, automated settings that will consistently yield amazing results.

How thick are the walls of the RDWC grow containers?

Thickness is important because as we stress these systems with a grow, you want to be sure that your buckets can handle it.

We’ve seen buckets in other hydroponic systems actually start to crack after a 1-2 grows under normal use. This doesn’t happen with Under Current systems.

The grow buckets are a hefty 1/8″ thick.

Does the germination process need to change for plants to acclimate to RDWC or does keeping it simple still work?

No changes are necessary.

At what point do you transfer seedlings to the RDWC system?

This depends on if you’re using an aerocloner, rockwell, or want to start cuttings straight into the system.

In general, your plants are ready to transplant once they have a healthy rootmass.

You can also start cuttings straight in the system but will have to adjust your water levels. You’ll want to keep the levels at 1/5″ under the top of the net cup’s 2″ planting deck.

How does the system physically support plant size as they grow larger? Is the crisscrossing string support system still the best solution?

The crisscrossing/trellis netting will definitely work and is a pretty cheap option, but if you want something with more structure we also have module cages available to provide complete support as your plants get big.

How does RDWC prevent root rot and water borne diseases/insects from harming plants since the roots are always in the water?

There are two big factors to preventing root rot / Pythium:

  1. Water temperature

    If your water is too warm, you’re asking for trouble. 68F is a perfect temperature to keep it at. We reccommend using a water chiller with all Under Current systems.

  2. Use a root zone optimizer.

    We recommend UC Roots. This will help break down any organic biofilms – eliminating the breeding grounds for potential pathogens.

Does RDWC work in a grow tent or is it designed for a grow room or does the system do well in both?

These systems work well in a grow room or a grow tent. If you’re using a grow tent it might be eaiser to keep your epicenter and top-off reservoir outside of the tent.

Let us know and we can make the modifications to your system for no extra charge.

What grow light brands do you prefer for the full spectrum/power usage/heat factors?

We sell a number of high quality LED grow lights that work well with hydroponic systems. Here’s a few to look into depending on your needs:

  • For minimal heat output, full spectrum light, and even growth we recommend the NextLight Mega.
  • If you want a customizable spectrum and easy automation check out the California Lightworks SolarStorm 550 or 1100.
  • Want maximium power and output while still maintaining efficiency? The Black Dog PhytoMAX-2 1000.

Does using an RDWC system significantly reduce mold/fungus issues on the plant leaves etc OR how do you keep that issue from becoming a disaster?

Your hydroponic system is not going to have a huge impact on the plant leaves. Managing this will mostly be up to maintaining the proper conditions (temperature, humidity, avoiding contamination) in your grow room. That being said, removing soil removes an environment that can harbor some of these pathogens and using hydroponics helps on that front.

Does an RDWC system need to be taken apart and cleaned after each crop, and if not then how does the system stay clean?

The system does not need to be taken apart but it does need to be cleaned. Here are the instructions courtesy of Current Culture:

  1. It is best to clean the system immediately after each cycle/harvest.
  2. Pull out root mass and discard air
  3. Remove debris from the system with a shop vac.
  4. Wipe down air hose, net pots and lids with sterilizing solution on a green pad or wash cloth.
  5. Fill the system with tap water and sterilizing solution to the top of the buckets, run for minimum 4-6 hrs.
  6. Scrub inside of modules with green pad and inside joints with bottle brush.
  7. Rinse out the system with a hose while draining till drain water is clear.
  8. Drain remaining solution down as far down as possible.
  9. Remove remaining water with shop vac or sump pump.
  10. Wipe dry with a towel.
  11. Let dry fully under HID lights to aid in sterilizing.

Do you have your own questions? Ask below!

← Previous Post Next Post →

Build a recirculating deep water culture system

Posted on May 23, 2018 by Jennifer Branett in Article, How To, Uncategorized

If you have a desire to grow plants and herbs in your garden, home, or any other belonging then the foremost thing that comes to our mind is which method should be preferred? Basically, the person that grows plants in the soil not only requires the regular and expensive expenses but the same may spread dirt and filth in your house. However, no need to be worried now as the deep water culture system is recently adopted by thousands of people as it has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to grow plants without the requirement of soil.

It is based on the hydroponic system in which the roots of the plants get dangled in the water. The name of this system has been derived from the fact that the water solution enriched with oxygen and other valuable nutrients keep on recirculating rather than getting stable. Now the question arises how to build a recirculating deep water culture system? If you desire to ascertain the facts and merits of the deep water culture system over the natural growing system and the steps to build up the same then read the entire guide

How to build a recirculating deep water culture system – 5 simple ways of setting up

Deep water culture system is specially designed for the growth of marijuana. Though most of the people consider this system complicated than that of the soil growth, the same can turn out to be the best possible way to develop your herbs. The basic steps to set up the deep water culture system are as follows:

Step 1 – the reservoir

The reservoir plays a vital role in the development of marijuana using the deep water culture system. The grower is required to get a container in which the nutrient and water solution is added. The plant is placed in the container in such a way that its entire roots get immerse in the solution. If you are growing cannabis plant then the volume of the reservoir should be of no less than 15 litres. Moreover, the key benefit you can avail from the reservoir is that the practitioner can grow more than one type of plant in the same.

Usually, the professional growers of cannabis utilize the large-scale deep water culture system to grow multiple cannabis at one goes. In such system, a large reservoir is placed in the particular spot of growth and is linked with other such small reservoirs. It is often termed as the best way of growing multiple cannabis as you are just necessitated to add up the nutrient solution in the large reservoir.

However, if you are a beginner then it is advisable to prefer opting for the single reservoir and grow a single type of cannabis as the large-scale system requires extra efforts and time to be set up and process the plants. Apart from this, it is essential to make sure that your roots in the container are not entitled to sunlight. In order to prevent the regular sunlight to your cannabis, it is recommended to get a black coloured thick reservoir system.

Step 2 – pots for the cannabis growth

Finding the right pots for the marijuana growing in a deep water culture system is a major question these days. Usually, it is advisable to utilize the net pots as they are specially created for the plant’s growth but due to the lack of availability of the same in diverse corners of the world, people try out outdoor or homemade pots and other baskets. However, the major problem that people face while creating their own pot is that the holes of the same may be left too small or sharp that can further ruin the roots of the plant.

Step 3 – nutrients and additives

The major drawback of preferring the deep water culture system is that you are necessitated to grow it at the temperature of no more than 17 to 20 degrees. This is one of the key reasons why this hydroponic system is prevented in the outdoors like garden areas. However, if you are growing the plants at home then the same method is quite preferable. Though you are not necessitated to get the new kind of nutrients for the plant, it is an essentiality to always examine and maintain the pH level of your solution. Generally, the ideal pH level is said to be 5, 8.

The reservoir mainly requires draining out the entire water every after one or two weeks for its proper maintenance still if the grower can check the ppm/EC values on a regular basis then he doesn’t require draining the complete reservoir. Though the amount of nutrients that the plant needs are almost equivalent to that of the level of water they are dissolved in, the conditions are different in some cases i.e., the plant requires more water than the nutrients.

Step 4 – aeration for plant

Once you have set up the plants in the reservoir, the next step is to arrange an air pump for the same. This is because the deep water culture system won’t work if the plants would not get adequate oxygen instead the crops will die in such state. Generally, it is really hard to get the most suitable air pump that can circulate the flow of oxygen appropriately in the reservoir. However, most of the people believe that the pump should have the capacity to circulate the oxygen twice to that of the volume of the tank. For instance, if the reservoir is of 20 litres then the air pump should circulate the water at a rate of 40 litres per hour.


# Preview Product Price
1 AeroGarden Harvest – Black $89.98 Buy on Amazon
2 General Hydroponics eneral Hydroponics GH4720 Farm Controller $422.38 Buy on Amazon
3 Giraffe-X Hydroponic Grow Kit 108 Sites 12 Pipes 3 Layers Hydroponic… $122.99 Buy on Amazon
4 Root Spa RS5GAL8SYS 8, 5 Gallon Bucket System, Black $148.53 Buy on Amazon
5 SuiteMade PVC Vertical Grow Tower Add-on for Hydroponics, Aeroponics,… $79.99 Buy on Amazon

Though deep water culture is often considered as the best hydroponic growing system, the same may require proper care and maintenance. Still, if you compare it with the soil growth then you will observe that this system diminishes the additional efforts of providing the nutrients and water to the plant after every few hours.

Chef: Jennifer Branett

Hey I’m Jennifer Branett. I’m an aspiring Entrepreneur, successful writer and blogger. The topics that I cover ranges from: healthcare, home improvement, personal finance, art, fitness and many more. I hope I can continue this journey of self-fulfillment and self-discovery and keep providing value to people’s lives.

How to Build a Simple Hydroponic Dutch Bucket System

In this post:

  • Intro to Dutch Buckets
  • Variations on Design
  • Video – How to Build a Hydroponic Dutch Bucket System
  • Parts Needed
  • Steps to Building
  • Your Own Hydroponic Dutch Bucket System

Dutch buckets as “fragmented media beds”

Hydroponic Dutch bucket systems (Bato bucket systems) are perhaps the simplest hydroponic (and sometimes aquaponic, although aquaponics is more difficult) system to build, and a favorite of growers the world over.

A variation of media bed techniques, Dutch buckets break the media bed system down into smaller components (the buckets). This approach offers several benefits.

Each bucket can be set up separately, allowing growers to space out larger crops (like tomatoes or eggplants) without wasting media.

Separate buckets can be useful in pest management as well since an infected bucket can be removed from the system without having to sacrifice an entire bed.

In this post, you’ll learn how to build your own Bato bucket hydroponic system.

Dutch buckets for nutrient hogs and large crops

For indoor farmers, a hydroponic Dutch bucket system gives growers a way to grow large “nutrient-hog” crops separately. Fruiting crops and large-statured crops tend to use more (and a different ratio of) nutrients than greens. This means that when both greens and fruiting crops are run on the same system, either the EC is too high for the greens, or too low for the fruiting crops. As you can imagine, this hurts production levels.

Tomatoes have traditionally been the most popular crop for Dutch buckets, and in fact, most commercial hydroponic tomatoes are produced this way. Dutch buckets allow tomato farmers to grow large vining varieties and train them up from the bucket. This can be a fairly efficient use of space since the tomatoes are using a large portion of the lower growing space.

>>>Read More: The Best Plants for Bato Buckets

Variations on design

The design of Dutch buckets systems is very simple, with multiple variations on irrigation and equipment. A reservoir pump runs specially formulated nutrient solution through a straight line over the buckets. Drippers control the flow to each bucket, and solution runs through the media and then drains out of the bucket. Each part of the system has variations to suit grower needs.

Variations include:

The number of buckets: The tutorial below shows the design for an 8-bucket system. To build larger one-line system, growers may use a larger reservoir and pump, longer irrigation and drain lines, and simply set up the system the same way as the system below. For growers who wish to build a larger multiple-line system, we recommend going through the Dutch buckets course first to familiarize yourself with the technique.

Media type: Though the most popular Dutch bucket media is vermiculite, other media like hydroton or crushed granite may be used. Choose a media that will work for you. (Learn about the different types of media here.)

Minor components: Many components of the system—like tubing, drippers, fittings, and clamps—can be sourced from a home & garden supply store. The components that growers will probably have to order online or from a specialty store are the main reservoir, the buckets themselves, and the pump.

Growers should choose a number of buckets, media type, and know where to get components before they start building. The last (and most important) decision to make is the drainage setup.

There are two ways to run your drainage: flow-to-waste and recirculating.

Flow-to-waste irrigation

Flow-to-waste drains solution out of the system and away—forever. This option is more wasteful, but much simpler in terms of nutrient balancing.

What is nutrient balancing? Well, depending on the crop and its age, plants will take up unique ratios of nutrients. Younger plants of one crop might take up more nitrogen than older plants. Plants that are growing fruit might take up more phosphorus, etc.

Even though fertilizers are formulated to fit the crop, there are still minute differences in the ratio of nutrient to nutrient in the fertilizer and the ratio of nutrient to nutrient that the plants use. This means that over time, a solution can become unbalanced; one nutrient may accumulate while others are used up. This can lead to deficiencies and (less often) toxicities.

This makes flow-to-waste the simplest drainage technique.

Recirculating irrigation

The more conservative drainage option is to run your Dutch buckets on a recirculating system. In a recirculating system, the buckets are irrigated and drain into a return line, a PVC line at a tilt that brings water back to the reservoir for reuse. (This is the type of system in the video below.)

Growers using recirculating systems can avoid nutrient imbalance by replacing the water every few weeks (this saves water and nutrients, and cast-off water can be used for other garden beds) or by balancing nutrients individually.

Balancing water nutrients individually involves getting a periodic water analysis to determine the levels of each element in the water.

Once low nutrients are identified, growers can adjust nutrients individually. This entails using a multiple part solution (some growers have solutions with as many as 11 parts) and can get quite complicated. We don’t recommend doing this without taking a course on nutrients!

The trouble with balancing nutrients is why many Dutch bucket growers use a recirculating system and refill it every few weeks.

Let’s learn how to build a simple recirculating Dutch bucket system.

Video: Building a basic hydroponic Dutch bucket system

A benefit of hydroponic Dutch bucket systems is that their versatile design is very easy to build. This makes it an easy add-on to a system, and fairly quick for sourcing materials. In this video, Ruebin Buchanan shows how to build a simple 8-bucket system.

Parts needed:

  • 8 buckets
  • 8 drain fittings
  • A reservoir (we used this 15-gallon one)
  • A pump
  • 20 feet of 1/2 inch poly tubing
  • 1/4 inch poly tubing
  • 10 feet of 1.4-inch PVC
  • 1/2-inch drain valve
  • 16 2-gPH drip emitters
  • 2 pipe clamps
  • Zip ties
  • Binder clips (or other clamps)

Tables and benches

You don’t need a table or bench, though it does make maintenance and cleaning easier. You can place Dutch buckets on the ground and plane it at an angle. If you do this, you will need to place the reservoir in the ground.

We built a simple table using 2X4s and a 2′ by 8′ sheet of melamine. If you use a table or bench, remember to add a slight tilt to the table so that it drains to the reservoir at one end. No matter how you support your hydroponic Dutch bucket system, the important thing is to give the return line a tilt.

How to build a hydroponic Dutch bucket system

1) Cut PVC down to 8 feet or the length of the table, leaving room on the end for the end cap and elbow. Make sure it fits on the table.

2) Place the Dutch buckets on the table and decide on spacing—mark the placement of the drains for each bucket on the drain line. (This video shows 8 marks at one foot apart.)

3) With a drill and a 1-inch hole saw, drill out holes on the marks.

4) Use primer and PVC cement to attach the PVC end cap and elbow, making sure that the elbow is facing downward while the holes in the PVC are facing upward.

5) Drill holes in the table on either side of the PVC to attach zip ties and hold the PVC in place. You could also use 1.5-inch conduit clamping here instead of zip ties.

6) Run the 1/2-inch tubing along the middle line over the buckets, fastening it in place with clips or clamps. Leave a few feet on the end to reach the pump in your reservoir.

7) Using a 1/8-inch drill bit, drill out holes through the ply tubing on either side of the clamps. This is where we will put the drip emitters.

8) Next, cut the end of the irrigation line and add the release valve, which is good for flushing the system and draining the reservoir. Fasten it with a pipe clamp.

9) Cut 16 5-inch strips of the 1/4 inch tubing and attach them to the drip emitters. These will center your irrigation to run directly over the plants.

10) Attach the end of the tubing to the pump and fasten with a pipe clamp. Place the pump in the reservoir.

11) Test out the system and make sure that each drip emitter is functioning and no leaks appear.

12) Plant your crops in the media. We chose a combination of perlite (the most popular filling) and hydroton (which keeps the Wyoming wind from blowing away the perlite).

Your hydroponic Dutch bucket system is ready to grow!

BUCKET HYDROPONICSFree “Bucket Bubbler” Plans

Bucket Hydroponics
Super Easy… Great Results

Want to grow just one or two large plants? Then bucket hydroponics, or the “Bucket Bubbler” is for you! A bucket hydroponic setup is very popular for growing a few large specimens in small spaces. They are simple and cheap to build, low maintenance, and the plants love it.

The Bucket Bubbler is a combination aeroponics/deep water culture system, and we have gotten some very impressive results from it. I always keep one growing in my office, as I love the soothing “water sounds”.

The plant sits in a net pot (or growpot with lots of drainage holes in it) which is suspended over a bucket of aerated nutrient solution. The roots grow through the drainage holes, reaching into the solution below. It eventually forms a large “root ball” in the bottom of the bucket.

Interested in a larger, 6-plant, 18 gallon Hydro bubbler system? Get the plans in our Grow Box E-book, or find instructions for an open air bubbler system here: The Hydro Bubbler.

Note, there is a link at the end of the series to a nice printable booklet of the process!

Not ready for a large hydroponic garden yet? Get started below with our single and simple bucket bubbler FREE PLANS.


These work great for one or two large “specimen plants”. They can support a slow-growing plant like a fig for the long-term. There is plenty of room in the 5-gallon bucket for a large root mass, which means a large plant will thrive in it.
Bucket bubblers are super easy to construct and get growing, and they are too cool! I love them and keep one going at all times in my office.

Most of the needed materials are available from Home Depot or the hardware store. A couple items must come from a hydroponics supplier (but we tell you a good source).


  • 5 gallon “Homer” bucket
  • Flower pot that flares out at the top and fits on top of the open bucket. It must have some depth to it. We used a hanging pot, and just took off the metal hanging hoop. It is 12” across the top, 6” across the bottom, and 7” deep. It fits perfectly in the homer bucket, yet has plenty of room.
  • Aquarium air pump, 6 feet of airline tubing, “T” connector & 5” airstone
  • Bag of LECA (Hydroton or clay balls) More on this and ordering info later in the Tips ‘N Techniques section.
  • 1/2” I.D. (inner diameter) grommet; see photo part 2
  • 1/2” O.D. (outer diameter) barbed elbow piece; see photo part 2
  • Clear 1/2” I.D. flexible tubing; 14” long


  • Power drill; 3/4” & 3/8” regular or spade drill bits


Return From Bucket Hydroponics to 4 Simple Systems

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Deep Water Culture For Plants: How To Build A Deep Water Culture System

Have you heard about deep water culture for plants? It’s also referred to as hydroponics. Maybe you have a gist of what it is and how it can be used but really, what is deep water hydroponics? Is it possible to build a deep water culture system of your own?

What is Deep Water Hydroponics?

As mentioned, deep water culture for plants (DWC) is also called hydroponics. Simply put, it is a method for growing plants without a substrate media. The roots of the plants are encased in a net pot or grow cup that is suspended from a lid with roots dangling in a liquid nutrient solutions.

The deep water culture nutrients are high in oxygen, but how? Oxygen is pumped into the reservoir through an air pump and then pushed through an air stone. The oxygen allows the plant to uptake the maximum amount of nutrition, resulting in accelerated, prolific plant growth.

The air pump is crucial to the entire process. It must be on 24 hours a day or the roots will suffer. Once the plant has established a robust root system, the amount of water is lowered in the reservoir, often a bucket.

Advantages of Deep Water Culture for Plants

The upside to DWC, as mentioned, is the accelerated growth resulting from superior uptake of nutrients and oxygen. Aerating the roots improves water absorption as well resulting in improved cell growth within the plants. Also, there is no need for much fertilizer because the plants are suspended in the deep water culture nutrients.

Lastly, DWC hydroponics systems are simple in their design and require little maintenance. There are no nozzles, feeder lines or water pumps to clog. Interested? Then I bet you wonder if you could build a deep water culture system of your own.

Disadvantages of Deep Water Culture

Before we look at a DIY hydroponic deep water culture system, we should consider the disadvantages. First of all, the water temperature is difficult to maintain if you are using a non-recirculating DWC system; the water tends to get too hot.

Also, if the air pump goes kaput, there is a very small window for replacing it. If left without a viable air pump for too long, the plants will rapidly decline.

The pH and nutrient levels can vary a great deal. Therefore, in multiple bucket systems, each must be tested individually. All in all though, the benefits greatly outweigh any negative factors and, really, any type of gardening requires maintenance.

DIY Hydroponic Deep Water Culture

A DIY hydroponic DWC is very easy to design. All you need is a 3 ½ gallon bucket, 10-inch net pot, an air pump, air tubing, an air stone, some rockwool, and some expanding clay growing medium or the growing media of your choice. All of this can be found at the local hydroponics or gardening supply store or online.

Begin by filling the reservoir (bucket) with hydroponic nutrient solution at a level that is just above the base of the net pot. Connect the air tubing to the air stone and place it in the bucket. Place your plant with visible roots growing out of the rockwool into the reservoir. Surround the plant with either your choice of growing medium or the aforementioned expanded clay pellets. Turn on the air pump.

Initially, when the plant is still young, the rockwool needs to be in contact with the nutrient solution so it can wick the nutrients and water up to the plant. As the plant matures, the root system will grow and the level of the nutrient solution can be reduced.

Every 1-2 weeks, remove the plant from the bucket and replace and refresh the hydroponic nutrient solution, then place the plant back in the bucket. You can add more buckets to the system, ergo more plants. If you add many buckets, you may need to add or upgrade the air pump.

A Beginners Guide To Deep Water Culture Systems

What is a DWC (Deep Water Culture) system?

‘Hydroponics’ in Greek can literally be broken down into the words ‘water’ and ‘labor’, so it makes sense that there are some purely aquatic hydroponic systems out there. These systems are called DWC (Deep Water Culture) and have for a long time been a successful method for beginners and experienced growers alike.

A DWC eliminates the need for most of grow media and soil used in most other forms of hydroponics, as the roots are directly submerged into water and will stay submerged in water for the duration of its life.

DWC systems are pretty simple, as technically you only need a few things to get started – a container to hold the water, a net pot to hold your plant (some are designed as bucket lids), a pump to oxygenate the water (you may need to buy the air tubes separately) and a lid to cover the nutrient solution.

Of course, your DWC system will be use in conjunction with your grow lights. If you want a full breakdown of DWC systems check here.

How does a DWC Work?

A DWC system can be stand alone or modular.Stand alone systems means every plant has their own individual water source. A modular system connects all the plants to a central reservoir which means all the water is distributed to all of the plants in your grow from one water source. Here’s a really simple diagram of how exactly you should set up a stand alone system.

As you can see, the oxygen flow is controlled by the air pump, which carries the oxygen to the air stone. Instead of placing the air tube directly into the water, it is recommended that you attach the air tube onto an air stone. An air stone takes the oxygen and creates thousands of aerated bubbles, which are then dispersed and travel through the water until they reach the roots.

Roots are known to thrive in heavily oxygenated environments, so having an implement like an air stone that allows the oxygen to be spread more rapidly is definitely an advantage.

It’s also important to note that ONLY the roots should be submerged in the water at any time. You’re not going to get good results if your stems are submerged, they will more than likely rot. As a rough guide, try to keep the space between the stem and water around 1″. All or most of the net pot should not be in contact with the water.

Usual pH levels should be maintained in the water, so make sure your water is pH 5.5 – 6.5.

So, you don’t need grow media in a DWC?

Yes and no. To start out, most plants are rooted in a rockwool grow block or a soiless media. Plants typically use their roots for support, and grow media is the easiest way to support the plant’s roots. It is possible to grow without any media, but it’s so much easier with something like Hydroton!

Some people like to use rockwool for the duration, but it can easily get waterlogged in a deep water culture system. You can switch substrates when it reaches time.

If you would prefer to switch, all you need to do is fill your netted pot with a good hydroponics substrate such as this Growstone Hydrostones or Hydroton clay pebbles.

What Nutrients Are Best In A DWC system?

To accelerate growth, you can still use nutrients. Just make sure they are mineral based, which most nutrient lines already are. Most of the lines we stock here in PCHydro are compatible with DWC systems.

You can check out our full range of nutrients here.

Pros and Cons

Like with everything, there are pros and cons to having a DWC system. As a major pro (if done correctly) a DWC system can product amazingly heathly plants with impressive yeilds.

Also, if you are just starting out and want to keep costs down on creating a grow, making a DWC system is an easy DIY.

Downfalls to using a DWC system would include – water contamination, if you are using a modular system. As there is only one water source, if one plant gets sick more than likely the disease will spread through the water to the others. As you can imagine, using a purely aquatic system may cause issues with damp.


DWC has been proven to be a really successful method of growing. There are plenty of success stories of growers using these systems which is why they have withstood the test of time.

If creating a DWC system sounds like something that you may be interested in doing and you need a few pointers, don’t hesitate to come in and see us here at your local hydroponics store in Los Angeles. We are always happy to spread the knowledge and point you in the right direction. In the meantime, for all of your supplies, check out what we have to offer in our hydroponic store.


Step by step building instructions to make an undercurrent hydroponics system that works great for growing cannabis plants.

When I did my first grow with DWC I soon realized there were some things I wanted to change on the next go around. I wanted to Scrog and I didn’t want to have to move the plants to change water or check PH and PPM. Also they got root rot last time, Hydroguard and changing the water once a week kept it in check, but I wanted to not have to change the water weekly either.

I started investigating different methods and the Undercurrent method really caught my eye. I liked DWC already and Undercurrent resolved my issues for the most part. By having the control bucket be where all the water changes and adjustments were done I was able to Scrog, and by keeping the water moving constantly I could extend the time between full water changes.

How it works:

An Undercurrent hydro system consists of bucket or totes, connected near the bottoms by PVC and then a pump is tied in to the PVC and back to a control bucket, so it constantly keeps the water flowing. The plants are in their own totes/buckets and the control bucket is to work out of.

Check out the author’s grow- @quantumhydro333 on IG and QuantumHydro on reddit.

Materials Checklist

Here are the materials you will need, this is for a 4-site setup. So that’s 4 plant sites and 1 control bucket.

Uniseals vs. Bulkheads You have 2 choices for seals, Uniseals or Bulkheads. Bulkheads are more expensive and more permanent. The reason I went with Uniseals is once everything is installed with Bulkheads you have to cut the pipe and put it a whole new pipe and bulkhead to expand. For Uniseals you just pull the pipe out and adjust, then you can use the same Uniseals and pipe again.

DIY How to Build

1.) The totes I used were rectangular in shape so I offset the holes on the tote so it would circulate the water in each tote. I had the hole on the right side on the front and the left side on the back of one, and the one it connects to was opposite formation, hole on the left in the front and right on the back. (See Diagram).

The holes are 2.5” wide to use for Uniseals for a 1.5” PVC. The bottom of the hole for the PVC is 1.25” off the ground. After drilling out the holes with a hole saw (run it backwards and it won’t tear the plastic) then go over it with some sandpaper just to get the roughness off and make for a clean seal.

2.) Time to prep the PVC. Cut the PVC to size and glue together the pieces that need to be glued together. After gluing I had a U-shaped piece for the end, 2 L shaped pieces for connecting to the Control Bucket and 2 straight pieces where the totes connected in the middle. You need to drill a hole in the middle of the U-shaped piece for a plastic adaptor to be epoxied in so a hose can connect this point to the pump.

After getting the PVC prepped, it’s a good idea to rinse it thoroughly to not get PVC debris in the system when you fill it with water. You will want to round off the ends of the PVC for easier insertion in the Uniseals. Spread some dish soap/liquid soap on the PVC ends and insert into Uniseal. It takes some muscle to get in so don’t feel bad if it’s hard to do.

3.) Once you have the PVC installed it’s time to connect the pumps. I’m using a 550gph water pump to circulate my water, it connects to the adaptor we installed earlier to the pump, then from the pump into the control bucket. I also have a 1300 gph air pump connected to 2 air stones per plant tote for a total of 8 air stones. The hoses for the air stones are run through holes near the top of the tote.

4.) Now for the lids, I used a 6” hole saw (run in reverse again) to make the holes. They fit the net pots perfectly. Once you have those made its time to check for leaks.

5.) Fill the water up to an inch below the net pots and plug in the water and air pump. Let it run and watch for leaks. I let mine run for an hour but feel free to test until you feel comfortable. I saw a drop or 2 here and there during testing but just left them and they stopped after a bit. Pretty sure some of the Uniseal just needed time to seat fully.

6.) Once the system is together and you’re satisfied there are not leaks then it’s ready for production, I used Hydroton to surround my Rockwool cubes and support them in the net pots.

You will need to rinse the Hydroton thoroughly, it gets quite dusty in the bag. I put the Hydroton in the net pots and ran water through until it ran clear, but if you’re going to use the whole bag, just open the top and poke holes in the bottom and run water through the whole thing until clear. I let the Hydroton dry then added my seedlings to the system the next day. I soaked the clean Hydroton in PH’d water first then if there were long roots I fed them through the bottom of the net pot and added Hydroton, about an inch or two on the bottom of the pot and set the rockwool on it and gently added more Hydroton. You want the rockwool or whatever media your using to be a couple inches below the top of the pot so you can cover it with Hydroton as well.

7.) That’s it, once you are this far it’s time to let the system do its work. The first time I had the water all nuted and PH’d before adding plants, but after that I just drained the water with a pump that goes on an electric drill. Then, refilled with water and nuted and PH’d with the plants in place. It doesn’t take long for the system to mix everything together.

Parts on Amazon

Air Pump

EcoPlus 1300 GPH


Water Pump

Uniclife 80-550GPH



Hydro Flow Uniseal



Hydroton Clay Pebbles


Air Stones

VIVOSUN Air Stones


6” Net Pots

Milliard 6in. Net Pots



iPower ventilation combo


Drill Pump for water changes

Milescraft Inc. 1314 Drill Pump


Nutes, etc

General Hydroponics Nutrient Set


General Hydroponics Liquid KoolBloom


Botanicare Hydroguard


Disclaimer: We do not promote or undertake in illegal activities.

One of the best crop production techniques in the market today, especially for weed farmers is hydroponics farming. Many of the farmers that practice hydroponics growing of their plants use the DWC system. DWC or DEEP WATER CULTURE may sound strange to some people but to those that do hydroponics plant production, the term may not sound very strange. This method requires the suspension of plant roots in a nutrient rich oxygenated water solution. Others common hydroponics methods are are nutrient film technique, and ebb and flow. Among all these methods, Deep-Water Culture system, which is the simplest.

The reason why the method gets the name Deep-Water Culture is that the plants grow from a reservoir filled with the right amount of water. The more water the reservoir has the less maintenance the crops need and the more nutrients the solution holds. Below is a look at our pick of the best DWC system.

Our Top Picks of the Best DWC system

PowerGrow Systems – DWC Hydroponics Bucket Kit 5 Gallon

Buy on Amazon

(Last update on 2019-04-25 at 03:04 ,UTC)

This DWC hydroponics bucket from PowerGrow Systems is one of the inexpensive yet effective ways to grow weed hydroponically. You do not even need too much effort when using the method because all you need is the system, the drops and all your ingredients and you are ready to go. The system comes with everything you need to make your growing session easy and fast. The FDA approved gallon comes complete with an Air Tubing, Air Stone, 6” Net Pot Bucker Lid, 44 Gph Air Pump, 3 Grodan Rockwool Starter Plugs, Blue Water Level Indicator + Drain and an Instructions Manual. You also get 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. The product is affordable and definitely, the best thing you can get if you want to have a go at having the best hydroponics yield from your weed.

DWC Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit by PowerGrow

Buy on Amazon

(Last update on 2019-04-26 at 11:44 ,UTC)

You do not have to spend a ton of money to grow your hydroponic weed crop because PowerGrow has some of the best inexpensive DWC systems in the market. One such system is the Bubbler Bucket Kit, which allows you to grow your crops within a very short time and with absolutely very little effort. The system comes with everything to make your crop growing easy which includes 4 FDA Approved 5 Gallon Buckets, High Powered Oxygen/Air Pump, 10” Net Pot Bucket Lids, Air Tubing, Blue Water Level Indicator + Drain, 4 Oxygen Dispersing Air Stones, Instructions Manual and A 1-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty. The easy to use system is easily expandable and allows you 4 growing sites of weed until they reach their maturity in just one system. Save money, buy this great product, and make money from the high yield.

The Atwater HydroPod

-$10.00 OFF Buy on Amazon

(Last update on 2019-05-30 at 06:36 ,UTC)

Growing your hydroponic weed crops does not always mean that the systems you use must look dull and unattractive. You can use nice looking systems to enjoy the growth of your crops. The above DWC has an attractive and unique design that combines top feed aerated recirculating drip withy DWC to provide the crops with a quality drip system. The kit is easy to set up and it comes with everything you need to start your gardening immediately. Compared to other traditional hydroponics systems, the Atwater HydroPod uses the recirculating method of gardening which saves on water. The plants using this system use only the water they need and the rest recirculates for continued growth. Water does not evaporate with this system as it does with many others.

The other systems included in the kit are a 5 Gallon Food Grade Black Bucket, 8” Mesh Bucket Lids, Water Level Indicator, Dual Outlet Air Pump With All Tubings, 4” Air Stone, Drip Ring and Water Column With Aeration Drive Fittings, Dual Elbow Connectors, pH Testing Kit, Hydroton Grow Rocks, Powdered Grow and Bloom Nutrients, Instructions Manual on Nutrient Mixing, Set Up Instructions Manual, Starter Cubes, and a check list of all the parts present. Made in the USA, this product will make your hydroponic crop growing fun.

HTGSupply 3.5 Gallon Bubble Boy

Buy on Amazon

(Last update on 2019-05-05 at 02:54 ,UTC)

If you are looking for a practical hydroponic system that will deliver good results, bubble boy will give you everything you need. The system is good irrespective of what kind of a farmer you are. That is to say, whether you are a novice or a professional, you can trust the system to give you the best results you will not get from many other systems. The system is simple to operate and comes with larger dual outlet air pumps compared to other systems. This allows the crops to get more aeration thus increasing oxygenation, which the crops need for growth and more production.

The reservoir is dark and made from heavy-duty material, the darkness helps to guard the system against algal growth and to keep the weed roots healthy and white. The bubble boy 3,5 gallon also comes with a factory pressed lid to ensure that the reservoir does not let in any light from outside. Growing of your crops gets even easier because the reservoir comes with an instructions manual. Other accompaniments are an Electrical Air Pump, 4” Premium Air Stone, Air Tubing and an Adjustable Dual-Outlet Air Pump.

SavvyGrow DWC Hydroponics Growing System Kit

-$7.00 OFF Buy on Amazon

(Last update on 2019-04-26 at 12:34 ,UTC)

SavvyGrow helps to bring your crops to life with their medium sized DWC bucket that allows you to grow your weed with ease from the comfort of your home. The kit comes with a complete set of systems that make the growth process easy for both novices and professionals. It has reliable airstone that oxygenates the water allowing the crops to grow looking fresh, healthy and clean.

The system allows the plants to keep their vitamins and minerals and you do not have to use any extras like chemical pesticides and fertilisers because you have everything covered. Using the kit also allows you to transfer your seedlings easily to a greenhouse without the worry of the soil conditions because the crops have enough nutrients to aid their growth. Besides the DWC bucket, the other components of the kit include a Water Indicator, Assembly Instruction Manual, Tube and Clay Pebble, Airstone, and a Power Pump. With a kit that is 3.5 faster than soil, you can enjoy your organic weed gardening with ease.

Aunifun Hydroponics Grower Kit

Buy on Amazon

(Last update on 2019-04-26 at 15:24 ,UTC)

This is another elegant hydroponics growing system that will make your gardening work easy and fun. The basin cover and a planting basket are made with a dark material that prevents light from entering into the basin. This reduces the growth of algae in the nutrient rich water solution, keeping the plants healthy, fresh and clean throughout their growth. The kit increases the weed yields and reduces the grow time. The kit includes a Buoy, a Box, 6 Planting Baskets, 1 Tweezers and 6 Planting Sponges. On the side of the kits basin cover is a chug cylinder that acts as an air bubble or as a nutrient solution level. The setup is small and easy, making it convenient for anyone to use.

DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit

Buy on Amazon

(Last update on 2019-04-23 at 14:55 ,UTC)

One of the things that make hydroponics special is that it is versatile and you can use different kinds of systems to grow your crops. Though majority of the systems use a bucket, there are other systems that also deliver the same kind of results as buckets do. One such system is the DreamJoy hydroponic grow kit. The kit comes with 4 pipes that you use for your hydroponic weed growth. The 4 pipes have 36 sites to grow your crops. You can use a time controller or recirculating DWC when using the kit.

One important thing to note is that you may need a reservoir tank to go with the kit. Installation of the kit is DIY and since it does not come with a power strip, you need to provide one. Set your kit in a place where it gets enough sunshine for the crop nutrition. The setup is easy, time saving and does not occupy a big space. The hydroponic kit is good for both indoor and outdoor crop growth and you can rest assured of high yields of crops that are well nourished and fresh.

HTGSupply 3.5 Gallon Bubble Boy Single Shot DWC Hydroponic Bucket System

Buy on Amazon

(Last update on 2019-05-30 at 06:55 ,UTC)

This is yet another bubble boy system that delivers professional crop growth results irrespective of whether you are a first time grower or an experienced one. Bubble boy systems give aeration of the crops a first priority and this is the reason they come with larger dual outlet air pumps as compared to other systems. They also have higher quality air stones that provide the crops with increased oxygenation and better water diffusion.

The system is a heavy-duty black reservoir with a factory pressed lid that ensures the reservoir stays dark at all times. This helps to prevent the growth of algae, keeping the plants, healthy clean and fresh all throughout their growth. The 3.5 gallon accommodates one medium sized plant and comes with instructions, hydro tips and high quality hydrostone clay pellet grow medium.

Active Aqua Root Spa 5 Ga. Hydroponic Bucket System Grow Kit

-$27.00 OFF Buy on Amazon

(Last update on 2019-04-23 at 15:04 ,UTC)

You can grow your weed hydroponically without spending too much money and still getting the best out of the process. The above product is one of the most inexpensive yet effective DWC systems in the market. It has a watertight seal that ensures the system does not get any leaks, the bucket is 8 inches, which enables medium growing. Other features that make the DWC system stand out are the multi-purpose air hose that delivers clean air to the bottom of the bucket from the pump, the highly oxygenated air that ensures the crops grow healthy and strong and the ease to use the system. Other components that come with the bucket are a 0.5-inch grommet, tubing, air hose assembly and an air pump.

What Is DWC Hydroponics

Now that you know the products that best suit hydroponics growing, it is good to understand further, what DWC is and what it entails especially for those trying hydroponics for the first time or those that are thinking of venturing into the system. In DWC HYDROPONICS SYSTEM, plant roots grow suspended in an oxygenated in a rich nutrient and water solution. The three sections of the solution, water, oxygen and nutrients provide the weed crop with everything they need for healthy growth. Oxygen plays a big role in making sure the roots get the oxygen they need from the water spaces, as there is no soil in the solution. With the oxygen, the crops would drown in the water. To make sure that the water has enough oxygen always, an air stone and pump are used.

Water, which is the main hydroponic farming system, means that you will not need to water your crops. Water acts as the soil in this case. Nutrients are necessary for the growth and health of any crop. Good quality soil contains all the right nutrients that foster proper and strong growth for the crops. In hydroponics, no soil is present but the water needs the nutrients in order for the crops to grow. In this case, the water is fed with nutrients that boost and nourish the weed crop.

What to look for when buying DWC system

If you choose to use the DWC system for your hydroponic growing, below are the things to look for in order to ensure that you get the best out of the product you purchase.


Size matters and will depend on how much crop you want to grow. The larger the bucket size, the larger sizes of your crop

Reservoir water capacity

You do not want to buy a bucket with a reservoir that will require you to keep filling water all the time. Make sure you choose a reservoir that can hold enough water capacity for the complete growth of your crops. Sometimes though you may need a system to plant small crops and that will mean buying a smaller system. The small systems come with small reservoirs that you have to keep filling with water from time to time. The larger sizes do not need any refills and the crops can grow with the reservoir has until the last day.


The place where you want to place your hydroponic will determine the weight of the whole system. If you are growing your crops indoors and thinking of using the shelves as the places to hold your hydroponics, then you should go for a light system. If you are doing it in a greenhouse or outdoors, then you can for a larger system with a bigger reservoir.

Air pump

Remember one of the most important ingredients for the plants to go well is oxygen. Make sure your system has an air pump, good enough to keep the plants oxygenated at all times.


When you are beginning, you may want to start small but feel the need to grow more with time. It is advisable to get a system that can expand to accommodate more crops if you are aiming for a higher yield.

What are the most important components of a DWC system?

It is important to know the most important components of a quality DWC system before you purchase one. The most common ones are

  • A 3-5 to 5 gallon DWC BUCKET
  • Air pump
  • Air stone
  • pH controller – not every system comes with a controller
  • airline tubing
  • net pots
  • growing medium
  • PPM meter
  • Plant nutrients
  • Airtight pressed lids for the buckets
  • An instruction manual

Wrapping it up

Many people grew up with the knowledge and belief that only soil ids ideal for crop growth. Not many people know that water and nutrients too are enough to make crops grow and give high yields, using the hydroponics DWC system for this kind of growing is the simplest and cheapest hydroponics growing method. The system is low to maintain with very little monitoring and it suits large, medium and small crops. Due to the easy assembly of the system parts, it is a great method for those just beginning weed hydroponics growing.

However as great as the system is, if you are new to DWC hydroponics system, you should check the behaviour of the crops regularly just to be sure that everything works well. Hydroponics is not only easy to use but they save water, which is a huge problem, is some areas that have irrigation problems. Get yourself one of the above-mentioned products today and enjoy stress-free weed hydroponics farming from the comfort of your home.

Top 5 Best Selling DWC System On Amazon:

# Preview Product Rating
1 Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit by PowerGrow Systems (4) 5 Gallon – 6″… 58 Reviews on Amazon Buy on Amazon
2 Viagrow VDIY Deep Water Hydroponic 4 Plant System 21 Reviews on Amazon Buy on Amazon
3 Root Spa RS5GAL8SYS 8, 5 Gallon Bucket System, Black 14 Reviews on Amazon Buy on Amazon
4 44 Reviews on Amazon Buy on Amazon
5 Viagrow VRDWC-4 Recirculating Deep Water Culture (DWC) 4-Bucket Hydroponic System Kit 21 Reviews on Amazon Buy on Amazon

4.9 / 5 ( 23 votes )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *