420 Magazine Background

Making the switch from soil to DWC

sativuhhh

Well-Known Member
I just used a tub for my 2 plant first grow that the water level is around 7 gallons and have been very happy with it. Big returns in a pretty small 2 plant setup. I really do like that I don't have to ph and monitor multiple buckets. I have 2 clones in 5 gallon buckets and the lids, even with a lid opener tool are a big pita.
Lots of ways to do it. Don't forget if you use RO water in DWC that you will want to run full strength calmag since there is nothing in the water to start. Take a look at my journal below if you want to get a look at a 2x4 tent that is maxed out with 2 plants and 1 tub.
 

Barney86

Well-Known Member
Good on ya for taking the plunge mate. It's a lot of info to take in but just don't overthink things and youll be sound. The following the ppm thing that nobody seems to have really answered is..

Ppm is the strength of the nutes, I follow this number to the dot. Over obsessed about it at the start so it's second nature now lol. You certainly don't have to be obsessive about it but once it clicks it's easy and youll get the best results and least amount of problems.
The idea is to try keep that ppm number steady. If it goes up then the plant is absorbing less nutes than what is in the water so the res is becoming stronger.
If the number drops the plant is absorbing more nutes than are in the water so the res is becoming weaker.
If you can keep that number steady, or dropping just slightly then the feed strength is spot on and the plant has free will to absorb what it wants, when it wants. You won't have to change the res as often as it will stay more balanced and you'll never run into problems any more significant than the odd leave going slightly yellow.
It will also keep the ph behaving correctly so you'll need to adjust that much less often.
Ph should rise slowly during veg then drop slowly during bloom. To make life easy you go in at 5.8 for veg and 6.3 for bloom that gives you a decent range to allow it to shift without adjustment and gives youre plant the best range to absorb everything . Once it hits 5.5 or 6.5 you'll start to see nutrients being locked out. The world wont end if ph goes out for a while but best to keep it in range.
Feed requirements to keep it all steady are roughly 100ppm per week of veg. Not an exact science but assuming it's growing pretty well it's about that. Jumps a bit once they get bigger.
Week 1 100ppm plus your water.
Week 4 400ppm plus your water.
They go a bit mental at week 6ish cos they're now massive so things can get a bit unpredictable from that point lol.
Save shit loads on nutes if you feed them like that too cos you'll waste literally next to nothing.
It's worth trying to master it. Cuts the chances of an endless list of dramas.
 

Barney86

Well-Known Member
Here's what I got out of my first hydro, I'm pretty happy with how it came out! Pulled it out of the tent and chopped it down tonight! I'm ok with the fact I skipped soil and went straight to hydro!

1742786
1742787
1742788
1742789
And that was your first plant as a half clueless noob mate. Wait till you see the size of your next one. Here's my second plant from a couple years back, We've got a similar growing style
1742798
 

Gimik

Active Member
@Barney86

Hey Barney! Thanks for the very informative response that was really insightful. I'm realizing now that on top of getting a ppm meter I'm going to have to get a new pH meter b/c I bought one of those cheap $10 yellow ones and I feel like this is the reason my current grow is having so many issues. I bought calibrating powders that I have to mix myself that I used to calibrate it. Maybe I should've just gone with the pre-made liquid stuff instead... but I feel like my pen is not accurate.

That's one plant? Holy cow haha that thing is a beast. How much did she end up yielding?
 

Barney86

Well-Known Member
Youre welcome mate. Its the easiest way i can think to explain how to grow hydro. Follow the ppm and problems are extremely rare.i got 22oz from her, 5oz was a bit cheeky but still went, not bad for an auto. Yeah the yellow ph pens are useless. I went through 4 before I finallly bit the bullet and spent 50 quid on a decent one from essentials. Can use bottled water to check the accuracy of your meters too. The ph and ppm numbers are printed on most big brands.
Don't skimp on that air pump iether. Spend a bit of cash and get a propper one. Can't recommend unfortunately cause I'm nft which is similar but no air pump. More air means bigger plant though.
 

Barney86

Well-Known Member
Was an auto mate. 19/5 from seed all the way and took 110 days. Takes 6-7 weeks veg for me to get photos that size though. Was just 2 cheapy mars 600 first model blurples for her. 500w together. She's a tiddler in the big sea though mate. Wouldn't do well in a gunfight round here. Journalled it elsewhere but having a break from that one. Place ends up taking over my life lol. Not been on this forum long but if you really want to do well find someone who can Dwc scrogg like a boss and check their journals out. A decent scrogger can kick my ass all over the place. Pretty hard to outyield those guys.
 

Gimik

Active Member
Alright so I think I've decided how I want to setup my DWC... It's going to be a simplified rDWC system.

I want to use a 2x4 grow tent and only run a single plant after reading what @sativuhhh said about running two plants in his 2x4. It sounds like running a single plant is the way to go in such a small space. I plan to create a scrog due to height limitations in the 2x4 and because of this, doing anything with the bucket will be a hassle, like topping off or changing the reservoir. To combat this I stumbled upon a sort of rDWC setup involving two buckets, one being the grow bucket and the other being a reservoir.
Here is a picture of what I want to create:
1779235


I want to put the grow bucket in the tent obviously then leave the reservoir bucket outside the tent for easy access which should be possible by running the connector pipe through one of the bottom vents on the tent.

Due to space limitations I'm not sure if I can fit an exhaust fan to help with heat issues so because of this I plan to run two of my 288 LM301B Quantum Boards seeing how they produce very little heat and I can mount the drivers outside the tent as well. Because I only want to run one plant I think I'm going to make the scrog 2-2.5ft x 1.5 which the QBs would be perfect for as their footprint is really only effective in a 1x1ft space so two QBs should be enough. Although, depending on how much space my fans/filter takes up I may be able to expand the size of the scrog and throw in an additional QB which would be ideal of course, more light the better.

Below is a PAR map of the QBs in an open space -- being that I'm using a reflective tent the numbers will be slightly higher. Two QBs @ 12" should be plenty of light for one plant.
1779252


I do have some general questions about how this setup is supposed to work...
1) Do I need a water pump to be circulating the nutrients I add into the reservoir to the grow bucket? Or do I just simply making my adjustments in the reservoir bucket and wait for them to passively mix in with the water in the grow bucket?

2) Do i need to include an air stone in the reservoir bucket as well the grow bucket? Or only the grow bucket?
- Would there be added benefits of running air stones in both buckets or would the dissolved oxygen in the reservoir bucket dissipate before reaching the grow bucket?

For Nutrients, I plan on using Advanced Nutrients for their PH Perfect. I still need to decide on the 3-Part vs the 2-Part + any extra additives from them. Might add in Rhino Skin for some silica. As well as Z7 and HydroGuard + Calmag.

If anybody could shed some light on the two questions I posed I would be forever grateful. I've been trying to read and research all I can about all this hydro stuff but can't seem to get a clear answer!

Thanks all. Hope everyone had a fun 4.20!
 

Gimik

Active Member
As I continually research this topic I keep finding new information that changes my mind on how I want to run my setup and so I was reading about Dissolved Oxygen and ways to increase it in the water and something I learned in high school but had forgotten until I read about it recently... is that oxygen dissolves into water not through the air bubbles from the stones but through air exchange at the surface of the water. Which lead me to find another way to aerate the water through the waterfall effect.

Sooo I've basically answered the two questions I asked in the previous post. Yes I need a water pump to circulate the nutrients and yes there is benefit of running stones in both buckets. At this point I'm going to get a submersible water pump to place in the reservoir bucket and pump water through a hole I will drill in the grow bucket and allow the water to flow from the top and create turbulence at the surface while at the SAME time run air stones in both buckets to add to the waterfall.

My question is now what size water pump do I need for a 10 gallon system such as my own? I don't want to flood the grow bucket so how do I prevent this? Make the line from the water pump smaller than the return line? I'm not a handy man by any means but I intent to build this system from scratch so I want to plan ahead of time how to build this thing haha.

Thanks!
 

Barney86

Well-Known Member
Yes youre right and no youre not lol.
You're right about not needing air stones if the water is moving but that also requires that the majority of the roots not be in the water. That's how my NFT system works. Only £30 for the 20L version and they're the dogs bollocks.
Roots don't hit the Res untill around week 5. By the end of the grow about 60% are in the air, the other 40% is in the Res.
I do use a shitty little 2w air stone but it's only to stop the roots growing too close to the recirc pump. Doesn't make any difference to the grow.
When in dwc though, regardless of whether it's circulating or not you still need a lot of air pumping to make it work. Theres a formula in litres of air per minute -litres of solution to work out what's optimal but you'll have to Google that one cos I really can't remember at all what it is lol.
 
Top Bottom