Deep Water Culture Systems
Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Systems
Deep water culture (DWC) is a hydroponic technique of growing plants by suspending a plant's root sytem in oxygenated water mixed with nutrient solution.
Original Deep Water Culture - Oxy Pots, Bubblers etc
Primarily Deep Water Culture (DWC) systems consited of buckets, air stone connected to a air pump with net pot containting a growing medium. The Net pots are usually filled with a hydroponic medium such as clay pebbles and a rockwool cube, Jiffy pellets, Fleximix or similiar, are added to the centre which houses the base of the plant. To oxygenation the hydroponic solution, airstones are added. Each air stone is then connected to an airline that is ulitmately attached to an air pump.
As plants grow, their root mass extends out of the rockwool through the clay pebbles and into the water below. Under ideal growing conditions, plants are able to grow an enormous root zone that fills the entire bucket in a loosely packed mass.
During the growth and flowering cycle the plants uptake nutrients and water and your pH and EC will fluctuate. For this reason the nutrient solution must be monitores to ensure that it remains stable.
Recirculating Deep Water Culture [DWC-R]
Original systems used unconnected buckets meaning each pot had to be individually tested for pH & their conductivity factor (CF). This has led to the innovation of Recirculation Deep Water Culture (DWC-R) systems. Rather than having individual pots, DWC-R pot systems are linked together using connective piping. A water pump is added to the system so that water circulates through the system and control pot. The hydroponics system has a connected filter that removes particulates from the water to prevent clogging and blockages. Individual pots, including the control are aerated by air stones.
Because the system is linked together, adjustments can be made to the pH and EC through the control pot allowing the operator to save time and maintain a consistency in the nutrient solution. Potential issues with the system stem from a lack of understanding how to keep it clean or allowing the solution to get too warm.
How does a DWC system work?
Deep Water Culture is as its name implies. The plant's roots are submerged in “deep water” nutrient solution throughout the growing period, whilst a combination of an air pump, air line connected to an air stone generates a rich supply of oxygenated water around the root zone. Without vigorous aeration, submerged roots have a tendency to rot and die – but when the bubbles are constantly present and outstanding results are easily achieved!
Watch how DWC Hydroponics Systems are set up
How to set up a DWC Root Rapid System:
How to set up an individual DWC System: