Critique my next RDWC setup?

Hey guys!

I learned alot with my first batch (currently in second week of flower), and as duch, Im thinking on making a few changes for the second go around. This is the setup I’m considering:

Tent: 96x48x80
Light: 2x 2000W Bestva DC full spectrum LED (396 true watt from wall (792 total))
RDWC: 9 plants, head and tail buckets. Planning on using the tail bucket as a larger reservoir, about 20gal. Total operating volume: ~65 gal
Air: 190 CFM exhaust fan, humidifier in tent, window AC unit cooling surrounding room
Oxygen: 2x 950gph air pumps, one 5" circular airstone per bucket
Flow: 1333gph submersible water pump dialed down to suit
Water temp: 1/13hp in-line aquarium chiller
General hydroponics nutrients.
Blue lab automatic pH regulator

I’m still deciding between setting up with flexible tubing vs 2" pvc. Flexible tubing would allow alot more leeway with modification of the system in terms of how far the plants are from each other, but would also create more noise with the water flowing through the tubing instead of PVC. The hope is to rig up a CO2 emitter for the flowering period as well.

Please let me know if I missed anything, and I’d love to hear your ideas for any modifications!


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Looks like a good start. What strains have you decided on?

I have some Strawberry Cough and Golden Leaf on seeds hand. The current run is super lemon haze and Chocolope. We’ll see how those two go, but I’m thinking strawberry cough and super Lemon Haze. I doubt it’s a great idea to mix in the golden leaf since it’s an indica variety. May look into picking up some white poison instead of the SLH.

I’m also considering using one of the buckets as my “tester” bucket. A plant to try different pruning techniques with. Maybe try to monstercrop my one SLH that’s doing particularly well right now.



I have no idea how to setup up a rdwc. But i do know id love to drool over ur photos of showin us how its done… so ill just bring :popcorn: and rolling papers

what type and size flexible tubing are you referring to?

I have been doing lots of research on this style of setup. The worst cost out of the setup surprisingly seems to be a reliable bulkhead fitting. Uni seals seem to have a lot of leaks (based on others opinions and we all know how opinions go) and the bulkhead fittings I’ve found are crazy priced for what little piece of plastic you are getting. So if you find a reliable source for cheap let me know. Otherwise it looks like a solid setup but I think you’ll run into space issues for plants.

I plan to run through a few crops with only DWC so I can decide final layout and plant count before building the recirculating setup. If not and you decide to switch it up later it seems like would be a pain and wasted money.

Also from other hobbies of mine I’ve found that square buckets are easier to keep fittings from leaking. These are the ones I’m going to be using for my setup.

I think 4 rows of 2 would fit better in that tent than 3 rows of 3. 3 plants in a 4 foot space isn’t a whole lot of room. Plants need about 2 ft/sq per plant. But that is just my opinion. And I would have big reservoir on one side running dual feed lines and a return the runs right up the middle of the buckets.

Square buckets are a great idea. Makes alot of sense, really. I’m definitely going to look into swapping over to them.

Also, I reworked the layout to hopefully compensate for the different plumbing and space concerns. Do you guys think it’s a good idea to move the head and tail buckets to outside the tent? Seems like it would solve more space concerns since the chiller and pH regulator also have to be attached to the larger reservoir. This would allow me to do nutrient dosing in the tail bucket, which would then diffuse into the larger reservoir before being pumped back toward the roots. Seems to me like it would mitigate risks of nutrient burn on the roots. What do you guys think of this setup:



Sounds like a solid design! I have trust issues so I would nix the PH rig personally and for the size tent, would either run a MH/HPS pair or more led’s. It is a very thought out design!! I like🤘🏻

I was curious about the lights! Trying to read the charts, the LUX of the 2000w Bestva DC isn’t very apparent to me, but comparing the chart to that of the 3000W, two seemed to me to be enough. But I’m absolutely open to changing the lighting up a bit.

That being the case, I’m listening to recommendations on modifications to the system but also the lights. I’m already running one 2000W, but if bumping up to a 3000w (or two!) is what the little guys will need, I’m open to it! What say you guys?

Thanks again!

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Yea I like that set up better and with the T on the return should reduce the negative pressure from the pump to the T and not the buckets so roots don’t get sucked up as easy. Also more room for plants to grow with the 4 rows of 2!

@Sirmark - you should shoot for 50 true watts per square foot. The led lights are more of a direct downward concentration of light rather than conical like a bulb/ballast setup. Most commercially available led’s are good for a 2x2 or 2x3 area. I believe this is one reason folks buy boards and drivers then build their own.

Heat is a concern as well. While led’s run cooler, I have a 300watt COB and 245watt King in a 2x4x6 tent and it runs hot without cooled intake. Density of lights, be it led or HID, will negate the “leds run cooler” theory.

I, personally, would run maybe one more light. Or two…

You have a killer setup bro! Don’t be discouraged by all means. Maybe we can get a few other thoughts on this.

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I m having 2 outdoor Strawberry Amnesia, the daughter of Strauberry Cought and Amnesia! Nice !!!

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Thank you for all of that!

Per your recommendations, if the actual used area is a 6x3’ area, that’s 18 square feet. And each light is 396 true watts and covers a 2x3 area:

3 x 396 watts = 1188 watts to cover a 6x3’ area
1188/(6x3)= 66w/ft2

So, simple math would state I need 2 more 2000w lights to reach the 50w/ft2 you recommend. The descriptions all say that the LEDs have a 120° angle. Does this change the coverage area?

Thanks again!

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You are welcome and good morning!

I think two of those would round out your lighting. You could always cut them inline one at a time as the canopy fills. Would not cost as much at one time… sorta stagger deployment of the last two. The chips are angled to allow dispersion of the light but intensity falls drastically. An 18 inch air gap puts the most useable light at around 4 square feet. I have a 50watt led I use to root seedlings in the Jiffy pod before transplanting. The same area is covered as my COB, 2x2, just less intense

Uni seals seem to have a lot of leaks (based on others opinions and we all know how opinions go) and the bulkhead fittings I’ve found are crazy priced for what little piece of plastic you are gett
I’ve been using uni seals on my setup. Round garbage cans. Going on 2 years, no leaks. I don’t know if it was necessary, but I sprayed them with flex seal after I had it all put together


Good to hear. All info I had found was fairly negative. But we all know people are more likely to review it or be outspoken on negatives than people who are satisfied.

Just grow 2 scroged plants and fill the whole tent, or just one. I moved to one scroged plant in a 4x6 space

I have one of the 45/50w led light and am seeing that the growth sucks. Just using a 600w turned on grow@28" and it seems like the plants grow a lot better :clown_face: