Deep Water Culture (DWC)
I am going to teach a very basic method of hydroponic growing. It is cheap, reliable, and simple.
Deep water culture works by immersing the roots in a nutrient solution. The netpots hold the tops of the roots inside your medium. The medium stays just at the top of the water, so it gets some moisture but not too much. An air pump with bubbler attachment oxygenates the roots so they do not suffocate. Thats all there is too it. Make sure you also have pH up and down, and test strips/drops. You of course want to have some backup pumps on hand too.
Things that make it easier:
- A pH meter is the best thing you can buy for a hydro kit... It will most likely be the most expensive item at $90-$150 US.
- Since you will need to change the water every 1 or 2 weeks, you may want to buy a water pump to pump out your old nutrient solution. In my case I cant get my bucket out of the room to empty it without turning it on its side.. which would spill the nutes, so I'm going to use a water pump.
- If you use a rubbermaid bucket, I recommend buying a can of black spray on rubber coating. It is in a normal spray paint type can, and can be found at home depot for approximately $6-$9 US. Spray the outside of the bucket and it will be completely light proof.
- The air hose should go through a hole above the water line. Make sure the airstone stays at the bottom of the bucket. Use hot glue to hold it.
- Bucket (10 gal. Rubbermaid)
- 2 6" netpots
- 2 air pumps ( at least 1500-2000cc each), or 1 dual outlet pump (2 x 1500cc)
- 1/4" black viynl tubing
- 2 airstones that produce fine air bubbles
- your choice of medium
Pic 1- All the parts together.
Pic 2- The netpots go into a hole in the lid.
Pic 3- The air pump, hose, and air stone
Pic 4- Airstone in the bottom of the bucket
Pic 5- Hydroton grow rocks
Pic 6- 1 cm Rockwool cubes