Water level in RDWC buckets

In my 4 bucket RDWC system I ran into a problem getting a water chiller so I’m using plastic ice packs in the resivor Keeping the temp in the grow buckets at 68.5F. My problem is between 12-6am when asleep my water temps go upwards of 72-73F. Will it hurt to load up my resivor with ice packs which will raise the water level in the grow buckets closer than 1.5” from bottom of net pots during that time period to keep the water cold longer?


the plants do not like temp swings at their root zone,
a chiller would keep your res better regulated.!

if u can not get a water chiller, try moving the res to a cooler place and/or put an A/C unit blowing on it to get the 68 deg temp…???

I understand that I’m wondering the actual water level in the grow buckets. I can add more ice packs to keep the res colder longer which will in turn keep the grow bucket temp more regulated until I can get the chiller. My question is when I add more ice packs the water will rise in the grow bucket. Will that hurt the roots with raised water level in the grow bucket for the 6 hrs I’m sleeping

a raise won’t hurt, but adding and removing volume everyday might hurt em.

u will find that when u add more ice packs the temp will drop even more also,
this temp swing is not good,
RDWC needs to be more regulated then “puttin some ice packs in a res”.

empty the buckets and fill them with a ‘soil-less’ mix like FFOF or coco/perlite,
temp will stay regular on its own.!

out of curiosity, did u start out growing in hydro.?
what made u decide on hydro over ‘soil’.?
more and more new growers go for hydro, i kinda wonder why…???

After doing some research I decided to try hydro. Everybody has a preference. I had a chiller I ordered but ended up getting screwed on it and the person never sent it so I’m out that money. The ice packs are obviously just temporary until I can order another chiller hopefully in the next week so I was just needing to do ice packs for a week or so. I regulate the tempture in the grow buckets by using the top feed to pump the cold res water in and keeps the grow buckets (while I’m up) at 68-69F the reason I was asking about raising the level of water by adding the ice packs in the res not adding water to it

thanks for the answer Fluffy.!!
any grow method can be tricky, just seems like hydro is more expensive and technical.!

try to keep the ‘water’ level constant, it is one the advantages of the Rdwc,
73 is not terrible, do what u can for the next week or 2 until the chiller comes in.!!
the higher temps invite mold/mildew, might need some cleaning if temps stay above 70.

by the way…
i have never grown in hydro, all i know is from others,
been on grow sites for 20 yrs and tried a bubble cloner one time, it was too noisy tho, lol,
post some pics, anything pertaining to your grow, they always draw more response.!!

Ya hydro is more expensive but when I weighed the easy daily maintenance and what I was wanting that it was a better decision for me to spend the money up front and start how I want to end up growing. Here is a pic of my biggest girl is 10 days in the RDWC bucket and 17 days from soil break.


I’ve never run a chiller and I’ve run reservoirs up to 78F without issues.

What is the “normal” gap between the water and the bottom of your net pot? My only concern with running the water level less than 2" from the bottom of the pot is if you end up having bubbles rolling under it keeping the hydroton wet, but even then I don’t think it would be a serious problem.

72-73F for water temps should be fine if you are pumping enough air into the water. If you are seriously worried about root rot you can try something like Hydroguard as a preventive measure as well.

If after the ice melts you are at a 1.5 inch air gap, what are you at before it melts? Why not just lower the water so after it melts, you have the air gap you want? I would assume that frozen water (ice) also has volume, so the ice blocks must be raising the water level too?


I personally don’t see hydro as being more expensive, other than the cost of a chiller. I find it to be less trouble than soil, with a lot better results. I know nothing of growing in soil, other than what I’ve read, but watering to run off etc. sounds like a lot of extra work. All methods have their pros and cons, it just seemed, for me, hydro was the way to go.
2 plants


January 23
Normally I keep around 1.5” between water and net pot with air stone in water I am using hydroguard the ice packs I’m using are the plastic kind that you can keep refreezing so there is no ice meltage into the water. Yes when I put the packs in it does raise the water level but through out the day from 8am-1230am I’m up and change packs every hour so there is minimal water level change. The problem question was at night when I sleep for 7 hrs I need more ice to keep the res cooler longer which then raises the levels up at night but then in morning when I remove the level is back to 1.5” normal temp is 68-69F


Some folks have used these in the past with some success. Maybe smaller volume and more heat capacity than what you have now. Works great in my RTIC cooler too.


That’s kinda like what I’m using. I’m using old 2liter bottles with water and these packs

If it were me, I would just make the gap bigger to start with. It’s not like they won’t grow if you have a 3" or 4" gap from the top of the water to the bottom of the net pot.


I don’t think my roots stick that far out of the net pot yet to reach 3-4” but I understand what your saying and will adjust amount of water I put in next Monday at water change


These are only 3 weeks since putting in net pot clones

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I had mine At about an inch out of water but one of the moderators said it should be 1 1/2 to 2 inches below net pot so I just lowered mine to 1 1/2 see what happens

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