Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Deep Water Culture

Deep Water Culture - Hydroponics

Traditional Deep Water Culture is a simple method, and easy to setup. This one is cost effective, as it is more than likely one of the cheapest. Typically Deep Water Culture or DWC is effective with larger, more hearty plants. These are usually made from five gallon buckets that have been painted black. The reason for the black paint is to keep light away from the roots. Next, the five gallon bucket will need to have a lid. The lid will have a cutout for a net pot. This is where you would place your plant. The bucket will also have an aerator in the bottom. You will need a pump for the aerator, or air stone. Once you have your plant in the net pot you will then need to fill the bucket up with the nutrient solution.

This is a basic system. You can easily make these at home. You would just need to buy a net pot, five gallon bucket with lid (plant size dependent), net pot, clay, air stone, and nutrient solution. You would need to paint the bucket black as well, so you may need black paint. Also, you will need to have liquid nutrients, and pH adjusters. Those would help.

Once your plant is ready to bloom, or fruit you would then lower the liquid nutrient levels in the bucket to allow for even more air to reach the roots.

DWC Advantages:

  • Higher amounts of oxygen in comparison to other forums of growing plants. 
  • Lower maintenance 
  • Quicker plant growth
  • Cheaper option
  • Uses less fertilizer than other systems

DWC Disadvantages: 
  • Difficult to maintenance water/roots temperature. A lot of the time when growing using a growing light, the black buckets absorb the light, and increase in temperature. You want the roots to be less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Most growers use water chillers to lower the temperature of the liquid solution for the roots. 
  • Plants die quickly if something goes wrong with the air stone. If the air stone fails you have a very limited time for figure that out, and replace/fix that air stone. Otherwise, you are drowning your plants. 
  • It is also difficult to check the plants roots, pH, and nutrient strength. You have to take the lid off to check all of these things. If you have a giant tomato plant for example, that has tomatoes on it, it can be pretty rough lifting up the bucket lid by yourself. 

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