Building dwc? Minimum gph

Hey everybody not sure if anyone can help. I’ve been growing in soil for about 6 months. I love growing. But id like to try my hand at dwc. I get a lot of mixed info on aeration. What’s the minimum aeration per gallon of nutrients??? I hear everything from 55 to 80??

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Those figures were for 5 gallon sites by the way

A couple of things to consider before jumping in to DWC: stay away from buckets. Not enough volume for roots/nutes. Yellow-topped totes will do a much better job.

I’m not sure I have a hard and fast answer for this. Basically; more is better. I run a 950 gph pump to 4 plants in their totes. Water temp is important too for O saturation as well as to prevent root rot.

A more stable system would be setting up RDWC: adding a reservoir and a chiller will eliminate most issues you will have with home hydro. You may think you can regulate temps without one but everyone who has done any hydro has knuckled under and invested in one. @HappyHydroGrower is a mad hydro grower; let’s see if he’ll chime in.

While you’re at it why don’t you detail the particulars of your grow: size of grow space, specific lights, etc. This will help you as it will all be right there.


I’m a beginner. Only became legal about 6 months ago. 4-5 gallon sites, 300gph air pump, flower tent light 3 mars hydro tsl 2000. Veg tent 2vs 2000. Considering running auto blueberry and gorilla glue auto to get started any suggestions on strains i have seeds numerous? Just to say I know my equipment is not top of the line. I will be upgrading eventually. But I’ve had great results on my soil grows so far.

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First I’d ditch the autos. Especially diving into bucket hydro. Here’s the problem besides temp of solution: in flower you will be filling them daily. My plants will consume 1 1/2 gallons a day in flower. DWC requires you to have a relatively stable depth of solution. With a 5 gallon bucket you will run no more than 3 1/2 gallons (1 1/2" below net pot) and can’t let bucket run too low.

If you have the time; go ahead on lol.


I have photos also just thought autos would be a easy first run?

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The problem with autos is; if anything goes wrong it will affect yield. With photos, any problem once corrected just veg longer. You have no control over autos.


Got it good point

Haha, thanks for the tag brother. Sounds like a new profile name… :+1:t2:
“MAD HYDRO GROWER” kinda has a nice vibe to it… lol I may have to change it to that.

I totally agree! I have 950 for two grow sites. I also use totes. What you have will be enough for starters.
Don’t get caught up in air numbers. There is a lot more to growing than just air pump. Your gonna have your hands full with buckets. We have all seen folks struggle with the buckets.

You have to keep in mind, those growers you see successfully growing in buckets have been growing for a while.
I would not recommend dwc for beginners, not that you are, it’s just so many challenges for a new grower. I would highly recommend rdwc over buckets any day. I would even recommend coco over buckets.
You are limited to what you can do with the buckets. Not to say it can’t be done, but you want to think about how your gonna train, your plants, change water, check water and so on.

That’s something I’ve never heard of. Maybe it’s another way of saying something else. :man_shrugging:

I started to go with dwc after running coco and then had to think about all the challenges of growing and how I was gonna deal with it. Best option for me was to run rdwc. One of the main reason is for what @Myfriendis410 said, your gonna have to chill you water at some point. Water bottles are a hard way to do it not to mention the PH fluctuate that go with cold, hot, cold, hot, water.
Have you ever done a scrog?
How will you change/add the water when they are drinking 1.5 gal a day? Check water?
A lot to think about.
We can set you up a plan to run a diy rdwc if you’d like and there are other options when it comes to hydro such as AutoPots. That would even be better than dwc. Just sayin!…lol

Don’t get me wrong, you can make dwc work. It’s just gonna take some work. If we can help in any way, feel free to give us a tag.
Good luck! :+1:t2::yum::sunglasses:

PS: I do like to chime in… :wink::v::sunglasses:


Brother we have all be there. Every grow is an improvement over the previous. You will just keep adding and improving your equipment. Don’t ever think you won’t.

Best advice I could give is to ask question before doing something, we can probably save you some time and money. If you think of something, it’s probably been tried and done here by somebody. :v::sunglasses:

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Been rethinking dwc and maybe rdwc is going to be the way. I would really like to use 5 gallon buckets if possible? Hope I could do this with flexible hoses. I would really appreciate any ideas. Thanks

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Let’s start with the tent or room, what size is it? What will be your flower foot print area?
You have lights, air pump, air stones.
Do you have small fans that will circulate the air inside your area?
How’s your plumbing skills?

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Tents 5×4×7 tall also 2×4×5tall
6" oscillating fans also carbon filter fan carpenter by trade but can handle a little bit of plumbing.

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4- 4" stones and a few smaller stones also. 300 gph air pump. Looking at a 800gph submersible pump ready to make the purchase??

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Are you wanting to do top feed or undercurrent rdwc? It will be hard to grow in buckets due to roots clogging the lines. You also have the option to grow auto pots.

I run an rdwc under current system, meaning the water flows under the roots.
So, the way mine works, I have an 18 gal trash can bought big enough for two 1.5” pvc outlets, each run to a separate tote (not necessary) you could run one out and tee off to each grow spot. I have two 20 gal totes as my grow sites.
I have a 400 gal gph water pump that pulls water out of the totes and pumps through a water chiller and into the reservoir where water flows back to the totes. Never ending circle.
My grow foot print is 3’ x 5’. I have two lights above each plant.
I set my net pot near the back of the tote to give room for the roots to grow out so they won’t get sucked into the outlet.
You can take a look at the beginning of my two journals and get the idea how it works and how it’s built.

This is my current grow.

If you want to grow big plants in hydro, you need to build it for that. In a 2’x4’, I would have one grow site and a res.
In a 4’x4’ I would have two grow sites and a res. Of corse in both scenarios, the res would be outside the tent along with a chiller.

We have seen lots of folks try to manage multiple plants in a 4x4 hydro setup and it just get way too crowded too fast. That’s why I say 2 plants.

Hydro is not meant for small grows. If you want small grow, grow in coco. You can fill a 2x4 with one plant with the proper training and a scrog which you may need with 5ft tall tent. It can be done easily. And, two plants will fill a 4x4 easily. There are folks here that fill a 5x5 scrog with one tote. I have no problem filling my 3x5 with two plants.

BTW, don’t mean to be a buzz kill, but you may not want to run autos in hydro because it’s a shame to build something and grow possibly a small plant. You have no control on how big they get.
My last grow was two autos which turned out pretty good considering a lot of autos I see are half the size I grew.
I would much rather grow photos. You have more control over how big they get. Keep in mind, this is my preference and my opinion.

After tinkering around with it for three years, it is dialed in and runs flawlessly. I have extra everything in case something goes wrong and I’ll be able to change it on the fly. I use cutoff valves on everything. All of it will come in time. This was an investment not just a hobby. I average 10-14 oz per plant. Absolutely love it.

Let me know what you think.

Nice clean prints. Back and forth over bottom feed or top feed. If I wanted to top feed would I put the pump on opposite side of the reservoir? Would this still work?