Building my first RDWC system

It’ll be 6 five gallon buckets with 6" net pots and a large Rubbermaid tub as a reservoir. One air pump with 6 lines for the buckets and a seprate air pump for the reservoir. 1200W LED lighting.

What is a good size for the feed and return lines? I have read that 3/4’ PVC is best to use or is rubber hose ok? How do I determine the size of the reservoir that I will need?

Also what size of water pump would I need for a setup like this? Does the water pump have to be located in the reservoir or can it be located outside the reservoir?

If someone has a proven simple setup and can give me a quick run down, I would truly appreciate it.
Thank you.


Look at “Undercurrent System” in the threads. He just built one. Your pump would be better off outside the reservoir due to heat concerns.

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Well the size of the line is completely up to the builder. I chose to use 1-1/2" pvc. Less clogging, hopefully. I do see systems with 3/4" hose that work just fine. If it were me I would consider making a overflow tube at the top of each bucket. Just in case it clogs it still can keep cycling.

Not sure on the recycling part but mine recycles the system 7 time an hour. You can always get a 3/4" ball valve to fine tune the flow a bit.
Try figuring out the water quantity in each bucket with the pots in. And then find the pump that will circulate the system 7 times an hour

Hope this helps.

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