Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Im super excited to share this with you, as i have been working the last couple days to make it happen!
This is the way of the future.... At least it is for me!
My New Grow System: RDWC (Recirculating Deep Water Culture)
This has been in the plans for sometime now. Likely close to a year if not more.
I have been using Deep Water Culture (DWC) for 3 of the 4 years i have been growing, and i have had some pretty damn good success with it. Producing roughly 8-10 ozs every 60 days, Of premium AAA cannabis, with no pesticides, No poison, and plenty of flavor and punch!
What Is Deep Water Culture?
(For those unfamiliar with deep water culture, This is a hydroponic growing method
achieved by placing the plant roots in nutrient rich, Heavily aerated, Super saturated
with oxygen, Water/Nutrient solution. This makes the nutrients super available to the
plants, allowing max absorption at the quickest rate. AKA Near Instant Results.)
In the past i have tried several methods of DWC, such as having multiple plants in a single bin, Different amounts of plants, Multiple strains, one strain, and much more.
In this experimentation, i have figured out many little tricks and tips that help your grow THRIVE!
To name just a couple...
Using fish tank filters that power off the air pumps, And creating a Root rot treatment that costs only pennies per month to use.
And of course RDWC! (More on this in a minute)
(Regular Deep Water Culture, With 2 or 3 plants per bin)
This setup can hold up to 3 plants per bin, but this proved to be to squishy for a 4x4' tent, So i opted for 4 at a time.
What is RDWC?
RDWC is Recirculating Deep Water Culture. This means your plants roots still live in oxygen rich Water/Nutrient solution just like DWC, but instead of the bins being separate, And needing to also be maintained separately, Drained and filled separately, and fed separately, They are all connected!
You will notice i have 5 bins in here for 4 plants. Let me walk you through this so you have a clear picture of how it works.
(The bins are connected with a bulkhead adapter, and a 2"hose)
With RDWC, You have 1 extra bin for however many plants you have.
This is known as the "Control Bin" or "Control Reservoir" AKA Control Res.
In this case, mine had a hole in it, so i taped it up.
Using the Control res, You monitor, Feed, Maintain and control your plants. Its also how you empty the system and refill it when necessary.
(This is HUGELY beneficial to a DWC grower because it saves you from having to open
the bin with the plant on top to get inside, and risking breaking valuable branches in the
process. Not only that, But it saves having to attend to each bin individually. instead of
mixing nutrients several times, then having to pH several times, This can all be done at
once, Saving time, And stress.)
Now as i mentioned, the bins are connected. I used some standard 2" hose, and water barrel connections to attach them.
So the water flows from the control bin, Through the hose, Into the first flowering bin, where it finds a large air stone. It follows this process through the hose through the next 2 bins, Until it reaches the 4th bin. There is a large air stone, but There is no exit for the fourth bin.
So how does it circulate?
Simply a little water pump to transfer the water back to the control bin. This raises the water level in the control bin, thereby forcing the water "Downhill" to the bin with the lowest water level (4th flowering bin)
(You can see the water pump in the center of the photo)
Have a look at this graphic:
Now, Why would i want to swap to RDWC you might ask?
That's simple. Moving Clean Water.
With DWC the water isn't quite stagnant because of the air being pumped in, but its by no means "Moving Water". This can cause shit to happen.
Such as collection of nutrient residue on the inside walls and lids, Lack of fresh oxygenated water, and worst of all the dreaded Root Rot.
What Is Root Rot?
Root rot is a name for a common problem faced in hydroponics. It is an umbrella term
that classifies various types of fungus infections on the roots of your plants and in the
water. This causes the plants to no longer be able to uptake nutrients, or water. Being
that there are so many types of root rot, its hard to say what caused it, But generally it
is a slime on the roots of your plants, and often it will be a brownish slime also tinting
your roots brown from a near translucent bright white.
Root rot can be caused by many things, including, Water temps too high, Too much light
getting to your roots/ In your res, Unclean conditions, Not changing out your water, and
How To Treat Root Rot
Root rot is so common, that many hydroponic growers choose to use a pretreatment
throughout their grow. my self included. Generally its as simple as taking a $10 bottle of
pool shock from canadian tire, and creating a solution. One bottle of pool shock treats
up to 60 000 gallons of water.
Yes you read that right. Sixty Thousand Gallons, for $10.
(Quick recipe: Mix 30grams of pool shock into 1 gallon of water. Stir it
up, Than feed your reservoir 1ml of your shock solution to 1 gallon of
water in your grow. Do this every 4 days. Double to 2ml/gallon if treating
active root rot)
I recently faced a case of root rot the likes of which i have never seen before! This wasn't the standard brown slime i am used to, and can easily treat. This was a clear, super snotty type of root rot, which i even went a step further in treating, using H202 AKA hydrogen peroxide, and it did nothing. This caused massive irreparable damage to my crop.
(If you look close, You can see the clearish white slime that is attached to all the roots and in the water.)
This photo represents what healthy roots are supposed to look like. Notice the bright white glow, near translucence and absence of slime, showing every little detail?
With RDWC, it will essentially stop the stagnant water, and help the root rot from taking hold at all.
The main thing i was using before, is these water filters that are powered by the air pumps. They work wonders for keeping the water clean and root rot free with minimal pretreatment. They run about 20 bucks on amazon, and you can add bio balls into them which promote the growth of beneficial bacteria that kills all the bad shit.
I also went and and painted the lids of my bins white, because since i added a 1000w LED panel in there, There is more light penetrating the lids, and i believe this was a key cause of this un killable clear snot.
I am now very confident i have sorted out this case of root rot for good, and using RDWC, Pretreatment, And this filter, I expect my next crop to be the biggest best and baddest of them all.
I plan to keep updating you on this grow the whole way through, and maybe we can both learn something.
For those who are considering hydroponics, I say Dive Right In!
Want to see some other upgrades i did? Check out thios blog post: https://kaelikhaos.wixsite.com/kg-growpros/post/upgrading-the-grow-room
Don't forget, we are doing the draw for the $100 Giveaway on NOV 6th! Enter here: https://kaelikhaos.typeform.com/to/F9rBdMPT