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What Is Deep Water Culture Hydroponics? Cannabis Guide for Beginners If you’re new to growing plants hydroponically, words like “Deep Water Culture” can sound like they’re straight out of a science-fiction movie. Compared to soil gardening, hydroponics looks more complex — but it’s really not. There are many types of hydroponic systems, many of which have confusing sounding names (nutrient film technique, deep water culture, ebb and flow). But that’s what this article is here for! Let’s take a look at one of the simplest and most popular methods of hydroponic gardening today — Deep Water Culture, or DWC.​ An Introduction To Deep Water Culture Hydroponics Growing cannabis at home is becoming increasingly popular. For those who want to try something a little different than growing plants in soil, hydroponics is a great option. Deep water culture systems are a great way to get started with hydroponics. This growing method can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be and can be scaled up as you gain experience. Deep water culture hydroponics is not only popular among homeowners, but many commercial organizations use deep water culture systems to grow a variety of fruit and vegetables crops in an efficient and sustainable way. Deep water culture hydroponics provides an efficient and sustainable way to grow a large variety of plants that can be used for food in the kitchen, or for commercial production by food producers. If you are new to the technique of growing plants using deep water culture hydroponics, then this guide is perfect for you. We will explore what deep water culture hydroponics is all about, take a look at how the process works, and guide you in the direction of creating your own system, which you can use to grow plants at home. What Makes Deep Water Culture Hydroponics So Successful? In addition to hydroponic nutrients, another major key to deep water culture hydroponics is the amount of oxygen the plant receives. The amount of small particle oxygen the plant’s roots receive is a major factor that makes deep water culture


hydroponic systems so successful. Oxygen is essential for plant growth and it will need to be provided to the roots. In most deep water culture hydroponic systems, an aquarium pump is used along with an air stone to provide oxygen to the plant roots. I would recommend using a larger air stone; the more bubbles you can make the better. The root mass of your plant will become large and you want your bubbles to go over as much of the roots as possible. The main components of a deep water hydroponic system: 

Oxygen. Because this is a soilless growing system and the roots are submerged in water, they will need access to air so the plant doesn’t drown. This is accomplished by adding an air pump connected to an air stone within the water reservoir.

Water. It’s in the name so it must be critical. Just like any other growing system, plants require water to survive. In a deep water culture system, it would be like growing plants in soil while continuously watering them.

Nutrients. When we grow our plants in soil they are surrounded by all of the nutrients and minerals needed for growth. Because this hydroponic system lacks any soil, we need to supplement with nutrients and minerals to help the plants grow.

How does DWC Work? Some of you may fear the chances of your plants become suffocated by too much water. You may have seen some of your plants become dead when over-watering. That’s true, but it’s not the case in the DWC (or any hydroponic methods). Besides water, when you can provide plant roots ( with enough oxygens, and provide an appropriate environment (temperatures, nutrients, lights), plants will survive, and thrive. What you need in a system full of water like the DWC is oxygen. DWC solves the oxygen problem by using an air pump, or falling water so that there will be air bubbles rising up from the nutrient solution, and the dissolved water in the reservoir. In DWC, plants absorb sufficient oxygen while also able to take up the nutrients and water around it all days. This helps them to get a fast growth, and in many cases better than grown in the soil-counterparts. As the plants’ roots are in the water 24 hours a day, it’s utmost important that you must keep the air pump and airstone runs 24 hours a day too. A lack of these equipment


means that plant roots will suffer from being waterlogged and run out of oxygen. And death will be expected. Feeding Cannabis Plants in DWC If you can find the right balance when growing cannabis in DWC, you can offer your plant the right diet. This means you can feed it correctly though its whole life cycle. By monitoring the water levels, the EC, and the Ph of your medium, you can keep track of what your plant is and isn’t eating. When the plant first shoots above the rockwool, you should feed at a very low EC. Just add a small amount of grow foods, just 0.1 EC over your BG EC, and feed from the top, until the roots touch the reservoir. When roots are in the water, and the airstone is bubbling away, the plant can eat a lot more. But you should still take it slowly, and raise in small increments. The EC of your res for seedlings, should only be around 0.2 EC over your background EC. You can the follow the PH and EC of the res to determine how to proceed with the next feed. What types of nutrients and additives work in DWC? Mineral based nutrients. Look for a well-established brand with well-balanced mineral ratios designed for hydroponic applications. Look for a well-buffered nutrient that promotes pH stability in your nutrient solution. DWC Pros and Cons To fully understand how these DWC systems work, it is good to see the pros and cons that come with them. Pros 

Faster plant growth because of the enhanced uptake of nutrients and oxygen in the water. A good example being lettuce. This can be grown in around 30-days compared to 60-days when grown in soil.

There are very few moving parts — in many cases, there is only the air pump

Because the roots are submerged in the nutrient mix, there aren’t as many nutrients or fertilizer required.


Once a DWC system is up and running, there is very little maintenance required. As there are few moving parts or circulating water, there is nothing that can become clogged or blocked

All isn’t rosy with DWC systems, and they do have some downsides. Luckily though, the upsides outweigh the bad points by quite a considerable amount. Cons 

In smaller DWC systems, it can be easy to calibrate your nutrients incorrectly, this can be in either direction.

Should you have a power outage or pump failure, it can be a matter of hours before your plants drown to low oxygen levels.

You can see wide fluctuations in your nutrient mixes. This can include water and pH levels.

It can be challenging to maintain an ideal temperature if you are using a none-circulating DWC system.

Conclusion DWC is the most cheap and efficient way for any beginner to enter into the field of hydroponics. It is easy to set up and maintain in small scale. It helps to grow plants faster as they are directly in contact with the nutrient solution. There are both pros and cons in the DWC system but the pros outweigh the cons. For those interested in farming in the urban areas DWC provide an interesting platform. The cost of setting up DWC is also low as most of the materials are readily available and cheap to procure. By keeping in mind a few factors like oxygenation, pH level and nutrient level we can create a farm which provides us with a high yield and that to in a short amount of time. Would you like to grow cannabis indoor? As a new cannabis grower, you can reap the many benefits of using a grow tent kit! These kits are simple to set up and makes it easier to begin growing. The first benefit of buying a complete grow tent kit is that it’s compact. Even if you have a small apartment with little closet space, you can set up a complete grow kit there.

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What Is Deep Water Culture Hydroponics? Cannabis Guide for Beginners  

If you’re new to growing plants hydroponically, words like “Deep Water Culture” can sound like they’re straight out of a science-fiction mov...

What Is Deep Water Culture Hydroponics? Cannabis Guide for Beginners  

If you’re new to growing plants hydroponically, words like “Deep Water Culture” can sound like they’re straight out of a science-fiction mov...

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