DWC System Help and Insight needed

Hi all,

So I’ve always used an ebb and flow system for my setups, but it’s going to end up being overkill for the setup I’m working on now, both price wise and all the equipment. I understand the basic concepts of a Deep Water Culture system, and I know they are fairly prone to root rot.

Would anyone be able to recommend a good system, either a reserve or individual buckets that offer ease of use and would fit comfortably in a 4x4 tent, and a good quiet air pump to use? Also if by chance you happen to know of a fantastic quiet Exhaust fan that would also be appreicated!

And could anyone offer any of the fine points on using a DWC system that will help ensure a successful and healthy growing cycle?



You can use 1-4 buckets in a 4x4 space. DWC is a really basic concept, but any hydro error can be catastrophic. Water level, air, temps, and pH are the usual suspects with pH and air to the roots being the cause of most grow issues in my experience. Once air flow is locked in, keep water level a couple of inches below netpot. Regulating temp and pH is about it after that. I use 5 gallon buckets with a 793 GPH air pump running to 2 large 2"x4" airstones in each bucket. My fans and air pumps blow a ton of air so they are not what I would call quiet. I wouldn’t call them loud, just depends on your perception of quiet lol.

Here is the air pumps I use. As for a fan, just buy one that has a speed control or buy an attachment for it to turn down the juice to reduce noise.
EcoPlus 793 GPH 728450(3000 LPH,…



I guess when I say quiet, I refer to more as the noise wouldn’t bother somebody in a different room and it definitely couldn’t be heard by neighbors in an apartment complex.

Anyway, thank you for the response Vexer, I really appreciate it and thank you for linking the equipment as well, once I get everything done and setup I’ll be doing a grow journal for everything!

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I used to run my whole system in my guest bedroom that shares a wall with a room that I rent out and my renter’s have never complained about the noise.

Here is a good fan with adjustable control.
Growneer 6 Inch 440CFM Inline… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0752C3WXJ?ref=yo_pop_ma_share

You may want to think about a carbon filter and exhaust fan for when the smell starts to come. You may already have one, so just throwing out anything I can think of lol.

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Yeah carbon filters I already have picked out, along with a tent and everything since it’s only going to be a small setup this go. Just trying to save some money and optimize my setup where I can to have as little hassle as possible!

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@peachfuzz @Bogleg @TDubWilly can one of you guys help a brother out with some equipment?


Inn my experience, good and quiet means weak and low output…

MacG said he is using this

Pawfly Commercial Air Pump MC-3000 Quiet Oxygen Pump for Aquarium Pond, 4 Outlets, 8 W, 16 L/min


Also, any kind of recirculation you can do will help out your dissolved oxygen also, so for example using two buckets to grow one plant and you recirculate the water around using both buckets…

Doing this will help keep your dissolved oxygen levels high and help you to avoid things like root rot if you’re not going to own a chiller.

Dwc anything you can do to increase dissolved oxygen will help you beat that root rot


Thank you for the input @TDubWilly! I’ve been reading about RDWC systems and possibly considering building my own. Do you have a DIY guide for building one? I can picture the system in my head, Having a Reserve bucket > pump > plant bucket > return line to reserve bucket. Based off of that, would I need to have the lines from the reserve bucket to the pump / plant bucket run from the bottom of the reserve bucket > pump > top of plant bucket with the return line going from bottom of plant bucket > top of reserve bucket?


Try starting here @Kalverra

The article is old and missing the pictures at the bottom now

These are the uniseals that they talk about

1 1/2" UNISEAL Flexible Tank Adapter (Bulkhead) - 2 Pack


Be sure too use only 90mil buckets or they will leak, the article doesn’t mention that


Ok so i have been running dwc for about 4 weeks and this is my first grow but so far from my experience i would recommend RDWC if your going this route. I saw lots of youtube videos on big systems 4-12 Buckets and up but not so much with just 2-3 buckets.

I just built one last week. I started out with two 5 gallon bucket DWC, but after root rot, and some other issues. I put in a res and connected all buckets, this helped but didnt fix my issue. So i built RDWC.

I have 3 5 gallon buckets, res has a 160gph pump running 1/2’ line up and to each plant bucket, 294gph pump running 1/2’ out of res and out of my tent and to a 1/10 water chiller, then 1/2" tube from chiller back to res. I have the two plant buckets connected to the res at the bottom via 1" tubing (i tried 1/2" but the grommets leaked and the return wasnt fast enough. 2" air stones in all buckets with nice air pump outside tent.

For me water temps were by far the worst thing for me, i was dropped frozen water bottles in my buckets every 2 hours… One day a frozen bottle ripped a bunch of roots in half, so thats when i built the res, Still was a pain to drop frozen bottles in my res every two hours, so i got the chiller which is overkill on my system as i have about 10 gallons of water… But now that i have control over water temps, and well its just plain easier to maintain everything in my system Im very happy…


Thank you for this information! I greatly appreciate it, and I’m definitely going to take it into consideration on my next grow


no problem at all. honestly I didn’t want to have to cut PVC. I’m not a real big “handy” diy guy. But I had to do something or I was afraid I’d lose my two plants.


I don’t blame you, the RDWC system is going to be my fallback, I’m gonna see if I can just build a system out of PVC pipe with a nutrient medium rolling through it

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This is my 2plant system. It will NOT fit in a 4x4 tent. Containers are 20gal. You would have to downsize.

I’ve been growing 3yrs and had root rot trouble all the time, until I bought the chiller


Looks like wastewater treatment plant lol. Go big or go home right?!


If you ain’t the lead dog, the view never changes.


I will be killing things soon I hope… uh oh better have your pen and pencils ready…
Just got smoked by a friend on 2 lbs…
Have a qp… really… oh well…
I don’t want to say everybody sucks… but they do… really… … I’ll give them more then they can handle… but… people are greedy…
Oh well… nice to know…
I Already knew… just trying to help people out … never beneficial so far…
People suck… sometimes… not all of the time…
But yes… people suck…


I use the 4 outlet air pump and use vacuum tube nipples to cover ports I’m not using.

Ohterwise I use 4 x 4 Walmart 5 gallon bucket and lid ~$6 each and hole saw a 3’ hole for a 3” net pot. So each set up is < $8. Very carefree and easy to change. I use GH Flora 3 part but am moving to just using Micro and Bloom using the Lucas 1 partM/2partB (32mlM/64B In 4 gallon water). PH is usually 5.8 and holds the pH during the 7-14 days that it is used. Top up with water every other day. Changed out after>50% of the volume has been consumed.

Otherwise growing using DWC is practically boring.

INVEST in a light. The absolute most important item for yield and quality. Check out kits from Horticultural Lighting Group.


On those pump theres 2 pumps find out what ones go together and run 1 one each pump and cap the other one of each pump