Need some advice, 5 gal dwc


Hey guys, I am fixing to start a new grow and need some input. I am presently using a 5 gal dwc system in which I do a complete change of the bucket every couple days. I have the air lines running through the lids

Heres a pic of it. I am getting some of the wide lip net cup covers that replace the lids. How do you guys run your supplemental air lines, through the tops or into the sides of the buckets, and do you guys siphon out the fluid and replace? Need some good ideas. Also, if anyone can hip me to good airstones for 5 gal buckets, and how you keep em in place in the bucket bottom, id’ appreciate that. And finally, any suggestions on pumps. Right now, I’ve been using the aquarium pumps from Walmart.


I’m just starting out in hydro myself so I don’t have much expertise yet. I think most people run the lines from the lid. I would think it would be ok though if the holes were drilled high enough on the side. As far as keeping the stones in the bottom, mine stay in place just fine. They’re heavy enough that they stay there. I’ve seen some with suction cups though if you think that will be a problem for you.


You should be replacing the entire bucket when you swap out fresh nut holes should be in the side of the bucket, just under the lip where the lid snaps down, and the air stones are replaced with the bucket.


so just have a dedicated line and stone for each bucket, and just disconnect and reconnect line from the pump during the swap then. I was thinking about using a siphon system and retaining the same bucket, simply because when the plants get kinda tall it’s a little tricky to maneuver the top and the buckets in my space with one dude.


The problem is that in DWC, you have to clean the bucket and stone regularly in order to maintain a healthy root zone.


Truth! the swap of the bucket would make more sense. I just need to get a couple more buckets and airstones, so I have one for one swaps. I’m thinking 4 at a time is about as big a grow as I want, that’s a lot of nutes and water changes for a guy, lol!


My air stone runs through the net pot (lid) so I just swap the bucket out once a week. I top off from the top by just cracking the lid and using a siphon pump once or twice a week. My plants are both now scrogged so I have to siphon out and back in to do full replacements. If you have a lot of air I don’t think you need to clean your buckets during the grow, but if you want to, you could use florakleen or something.


thanks, I been running my hoses through the lid, so I been doing the bucket swap every couple days too. Yeah, I usually just rinse out the buckets after I do the flop, as I call it. I don’t bother to top of the bucket during the week, I let it go down. it’s worked so far. Been using the standard little airstones from Walmart, they get caught up in the roots, gonna try some of those discs that sit in the bottom or a big stone. If I had a stone in each bucket, I could just unplug the lines and then I could sterilize the used ones, I reckon


In my (limited) experience the roots will gravitate towards the air stone. I use 2" air stones (one in each bucket) with a 900+gph air pump - lots of air (only two plants atm). When I raise my lid to swap the bucket (or move it to siphon stuff out) the air stone moves with the lid and plant. Here is my current grow journal if you are interested:


So I been building a system, it circulates throughout the system through a submersible pump and hosing. In the middle of the hose going from the submersible pump to the chiller I placed a barbed connector circled in red

And up close

I turn the pump off, pull the hose from the connector and place the hose where I want to drain to then turn the pump back on. There is 4 total gallons of water in the system which drains in about 45 seconds this way.

Here it is in action after I just got done putting it together and checking it for leaks but I have not run my air tubing yet, only my circulation tubing.

Air pumps and lines will be installed next.

Also @brazosdave
I can’t preach this guy up enough…
Sierra Tools Battery-Operated Liquid Transfer Pump, Model# JB5684

He is easy and fast and will make fluid changes a breeze.

Hope this helps!


Thanks that looks like the ticket. Man, you have a sophisticated setup your building there, I am very impressed! I’m gonna follow your build, it’s one of the coolest setups I’ve seen!


It’s only a 1 plant setup fyi…

I might build another 1 plant setup but for now I’m just gonna use this guy. I still have to finish my current grow before I initiate this system. It’s probably several months out before this one will see any action.

I’m planning on running my airlines through the side of the bucket just below the lids, but that could change.

I’ll see if I can’t get back to you a little more @brazosdave once I install the top feed and airlines



interesting set-up ya got.


Thanks man, I’m sure I’ll be tweaking it over the next couple of months, seeing what’s the best alternatives


Sweet! My Northern Lights fems showed up in my mailbox yesterday! Taking off the day, going to a friends for Turkey day, but on Friday, I will start getting together my next grow. Kind of in a dilemma now, I have 3 bagseeds and 2 clones in a bubble cloner that I copied the idea off a fellow forum member, just to test the system, but they are doing phenomenally well! I might actually try doing two separate grows, I think I could probably manage it, may need another light and of course more pumps. Not sure if I want that much work though. even a 4 bucket grow is a lot of reservoir swaps


Grow one plant really big to minimize some of your work, it will take longer to fill out your area, however I find when I’m just taking care of 1 plant, that 1 plant does really well


I recently added a couple 27 gal res in place of 6 five gallon bucket. Bigger res seems much easier


I quick dried a small bud of that sativa I have going just to kind of get a picture, and one bowl got me blazed for about 4 hrs, real piney taste, can’t wait to taste it when its flushed and properly dried and cured. I’m gonna see what my yield is for this one pretty big plant, and then might scale down from there. Just do not want to ever have to purchase any of the crap that passes for weed in this part of the country, lol!!


man, talk about a dilemma. I got my ILGM Northern Lights seeds in, but now I have some clones that need some more time going and 3 seeds from unknown that are into beginning veg now. I’d hate to toss em if they were females, but I don’t really want to take the time to find out before I start the new grow. Decisions, decisions. On a positive note, i’m starting my flush at the beginning of the week, so we are close to harvest time.


Ok, figured out what i’m going to do. One of the clones is doing really well, the seedlings o.k., but I have decided to keep the one clone and start three Northern Lights fems. A 4 bucket grow is as big as I feel comfortable with now, with my lighting and air pump equipment that I have at the moment. I am harvesting my nice sativa on Friday, so i’ll be ready to get into it good for December. May even have a little not quite all the way cured bud to enjoy for Christmas this year as well, lol!