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DIY - May be of interest to you hydro folks

Scrogdawg

Well-Known Member
For my first ever grow I put together a simple 2 bucket RDWC system with 5 gallon buckets a 320 gal/hr submersible water pump and 2 - 4 L/hr air pumps (1 in each bucket). It has served me well and functioned great. My plan was always to build a more permanent larger system, and armed with a little knowledge from this first grow I've started construction. Here's a picture of the first system that I'm currently using.
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After much discussion with another member on material, piping size, water volume, air volume and many other aspects that would make a good compact system, the member produced diagram of what we had envisioned and I built a prototype. Although not in service yet this system should function very well for many grows for many years.

It is a 4 bucket RDWC system with a 56L (14.7 Gal/US.) reservoir. I will be using a 1000 gal/hr submersible water pump and 1 - 20 L/hr air pump split 4 ways to each bucket. We decided on 3/4" PVC on the pump side and 1.5" PVC on the return side. I used Uniseals in the buckets instead of bulkheads. A 2 valve manifold was incorporated on the return side and if you follow the flow you'll see it is designed to operate with the bottom valve closed forcing the return water through the top side of the manifold back to the reservoir. By doing this the water level in the buckets will never run below 1.5 inches below the netpots. In the event of a power failure or water pump failure the roots will always be submersed in the nutrient solution. The bottom valve is used only to drain the system completely when you do a reservoir change. A standpipe was incorporated into the return line as a fail-safe measure to prevent any possibility of a siphon occurring and overflowing the reservoir in a power outage. This system is very compact and measures 30" W X 60"L X 15"H and I've allowed for expansion to more buckets if they were ever needed.

Heres a few pictures of what I've constructed so far although I still need to hook up the reservoir and run the air lines to each bucket. Please let me know if you see anything blatantly wrong with the design or have any ideas for improvement.
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