First time Dwc grow

First time using a Dwc setup, and I’m glad I waited to start my grow using ilgm jack herrer auto seeds, ran some random seeds to see what issues I might face , had 11 germinate out of 13 and successful transplant into dwc 5 gal buckets ,lost 10 of 11 to root rot, 3 I had the basket to close to the water and the others I used the wrong nutrients from fox farms , put organic in hydroponic and it got nasty :nauseated_face: real quick, at this point I plan to add a nutrient res and make the system into a rwdc, but at this point I will take any help I can get , I will lay out my specs and I am sure I’m off on stuff or under prepared but as this is for my medical use I need to learn and quickly,
4x8x6 indoor tent
Led full spectrum 300w x3 cheap version of mars hydro
T5 led
Switching to ilgm grow kit for nutrients
Plan on getting some better lights asap
But on a budget going to diy the whole thing and happily willing
I’ll upload pics and anything else you all need
Last 5 pics are current grow setup and technically just holding until I’m dialed in better
Also led with the red will these hurt my veg cycle



@peachfuzz I hear your a hydro grower and I need help if your available

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Hi there! I’m going to grab @HappyHydroGrower @Jarlax @Syndrix @Chrisr36 - there’s some others but we’re your resident hydro growers.

I’m gonna start by browsing through your post and making some comments. I don’t mean to come off rude but it’ll be how I prompt myself to go into more detail afterward, so please bear with me.


Absolutely. HLG (Horticulture lighting group) is king. If that’s too spendy, have a gander over at Green-Beams[dot]com.

RDWC is going to be pricey insofar as the water chiller. Don’t RDWC without a chiller, it’ll be a huge pain without it - ask me how I know (I tried it).

Red diodes won’t negatively impact veg.

Okay so now into the meat and potatoes of my general guidance-

Hydroponics relies on oxygen being supplied to the root system. Water carries more oxygen more easily at lower temperatures. The sweet spot between lots of oxygen, and too cold of water, is right around 66-68°F. A water chiller is going to be critical to achieve this.

Keeping your hydroponic reservoir clean and free of root rot (RIP little seedlings) is going to be contingent on you making a choice;
A - Sterile reservoir - this requires FloraKleen, ClearRez, lots of hydrogen peroxide, etc. and regular water changes.

B - microbe reservoir - this requires diligence. Hydroguard, Dr. Tim’s, Tribus, Southern AG’s Garden Friendly Fungicide, or any number of other microbe products (and any combination of those listed). Happy microbes = happy roots. Water changes are less critical - I think Happy is on a few months sans-res change (?)

I prefer microbe res myself, because I’m lazy.

Next thing is the comment I made above about nutrients. I cannot recommend Jack’s nutrients highly enough for hydroponics. Like you, I started with fox farms. I will never use it again, it’s too salty. Jacks is cheap, easy, and lasts forever - you will thank yourself when it’s time to buy another round and it’s only $120 for a year or two’s worth of nutes. Moreover, I’ve seen not much success with the Bergman nutes. I’m unclear on why, other than the NPK just seems wrong to me.

Finally, look into using duct tape around the top two rows of your net pots instead of tinfoil. I had light leaks even with the foil solution - not sure how, but taping off those uppermost rows of holes solved my issue. Roots will never be up that high anyway.

last thing is that I’m going to suggest you fill out a Support Ticket. It will show us what you have and what you may need help with.

Here’s that ticket, and welcome to the forum.


Ok awesome and I will copy and post it asap, definitely appreciate the help and not worried about how you come off, your helping me so I can take it in and learn from my ignorance


What strain, Seed bank, or bag seed, ilgm jack auto and 1 random
Age of plant seeds and 1 in veg at 3 weeks
Method: Soil w/salt, Organic soil, Hydroponics, Aquaponics, KNF , hydro dwc
Vessels: Pots, Grow beds, Buckets, fabric pots buckets but thinking switch to totes and rdwc or whatever will give me best yield with laziness allowed
PH and TDS of Water, Solution, runoff (if Applicable) ph 5.7 tds not sure
PPM/TDS or EC of nutrient solution if applicable
method used to measure PH and TDS, not sure
Indoor or Outdoor if indoor, size of grow space , indoor 8 feet long 6 high almost 7 and 4 wide
Light system LED, MH/HPS/CMH/Fluorescents, or other , will post specs but one t5 running 5000k at 60w
Actual wattage draw of lights not sure about this
Current Light Schedule 18/6
Temps; Day, Night day 74-82 night 71-80
Humidity; Day, Night 60-65 night 50-65
Ventilation system; Yes, No, Size not but soon
AC, Humidifier, De-humidifier, humidifier
Co2; Yes, No , no
If growing Hydro some additional questions:
DWC? RDWC? Autopots? Ebb and Flow? Other?
Distance of liquid below net pot (DWC) dwc 2 inches
Temperature of reservoir 71
TDS of nutrient solution how do I test this

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I’m going to have to revamp my whole setup for something more efficient and with less time spent in the tent, disabled veteran so I have time but also have kids so schedule can be crazy, really need this to go right as it’s my only medical treatment for myself and I want better quality without the cost


Lower your water level another inch. Give those air roots room to grow - those are the thin tendrils that grow out from below the pot and reach outward toward the sides of the container.

How many air stones and how much power in your air pump? 71 is gonna be warm for your plants to be happy - frozen water bottles are probably in your future, but it’s not a happy process.

This is where @HappyHydroGrower comes in. He has a beautiful setup.

I made a mock-up of what I want to do when I revisit my RDWC system based off his design. Cleverly, I don’t seem to have that photo in my phone. :face_with_peeking_eye:

what size tent are you in? Sorry if you said already. And how many plants do you want/need to be able to grow at a time?


Thanks for the tag @Graysin. I couldn’t have said it better. My system is set up for living water aka microbes. The entire thing was designed around ease of keeping up with it. As the rest mentioned a chiller is a must, i tried without one and the work to maintain it was unsustainable. I dont have challenges with light getting in, it does, i add barley straw extract it just prevents the algae.

Things to think about with a DIY -

Drainage - Plants get big and roots are bigger, think about end game, i went extreme with 3 inch pipe…it still clogs with roots at 13 weeks of flower but its manageable.

Trimming and Training - I see lots try to grow 100 plants in a small tent, dont its a B****. Some get creative and are successful, im lazy. Give yourself room to work and check things like roots.

Top ups res maintainence - i have a wall TDS meter and the res is away from grow space. This is so i can mix a bucket of food and dump it in, check PH - done.

Im a vet myself 92R1P, thanks for your service!

Quick pic of my system for context so you have an idea of what i got going on. @HappyHydroGrower has a compact setup that might be a better example for your grow space.


welcome to the hydro grow world…you can get really complicated or stay really simple…I stay really simple … @Graysin @Jarlax gave you a bunch of good advice…


The team was on it my friend…
If i have any input i can share i will , these boy’s got you covered at the moment…
As soon as i can share some pics of my setup , i will …
Mine is bigger than happies and a little smaller than jarlax … :+1:t3:
But super simple and no media , i use neoprene collars and double scrogg tables for plant support…
No rocks or clay pebbles , just water and nutrients and air stones in a rdwc system that holds 6 plants and has 2 resivor’s for maintainability and extra water capacity…
:v:t4: :sunglasses:


Absolutely appreciate everyone’s input and suggestions,sorry for the late response apparently you can only reply so many times at the start of being a member.
Ok so I have a 6x8x4 tent, temps and humidity are high where I live but I have a portable AC and and dehumidifier and heater etc, vents need a inline but cheap and efficient, I’m already looking at 3 jack auto from ilgm :seedling: so 100 percent germination :sob: but I’m freaking as these babys will rot temp is to high but coming down, have a water dispenser that cools the drinking water so I will diy a chiller for the moment…, But do I run with dwc or rdwc as my budget is maybe 700-800 but it’s a few days out, got all the nutes and hydro guard, 2 mars 1500w led , commercial air pump 45/l, clay pellets, and it’s around 400 will post pics but I’m going to redo as much as possible with the suggestions and I can’t tell you all enough how much I appreciate your advice and help, I’ll get better at describing everything as well :joy: so bear with me :call_me_hand:

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Nutes my buddy gave me for the meantime
Also ph is holding around 5.8 temp is 76 and I am icing it very slowly to bring temp down

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Definitely could of saved some money if I’d of joined 4 weeks back SMH :rofl: this baby is rough but coming back from the rot :face_in_clouds:


She’s looking good at the rootzone

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AC didn’t shut off woke up to 61f in the tent, everything is dead and I’m throwing all of this dwc away and going to soil until I can afford the proper stuff for rwdc

That’s not cold enough to kill anything. Sure, it’s chilly, but outdoor plants thrive in 40-120° temp swings.

Best to invest in RDWC if hydro is your jam, but don’t trash something because the parameters fell out of “ideal.” You’ll end up with a lot of trash and not many plants.


Wise words.

I have a buddy that does dwc and he lets his get down in the 60’s regularly in the winter and it doesn’t hurt anything. No sense getting rid of something you already have. Hang with it and hang in here and you will get a good crop. This place is awesome and an endless well of knowledgeable. :wink: