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.


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.