New to Hydro went with a Custom RDWC build, Join me in my Journey

Hi I<3GMJ Fam!

Been a lurker for a little while finally decided to join and start my Own Journal. My budget was ~2k USD
I Should be able to add pictures soon but lets start with the details:
I made a custom RDWC System

Tent- 60x60x80 Vivosun
Lighting- 1000w HLG 550 V Spec R
Seeds- Bruce Banner -Seedsman
Airflow- A/C Infinity T6 with auto humidity/Temp control + Black Ducting
Buckets- 4x -5 Gallon Black Buckets + 6 Inch Net pots + hydroton
Reservoir-27 gallon -Lowes Latching tote for External reservoir
Water- Using Distilled for seedling phase then slowly ramping over from distilled to City water (which was left out a few days to get rid of chlorine) * Next grow planning on RO
Water Pump Hydrofarm AAPW550 550-GPH Active Aqua Submersible Pump
Nutrients- General Hydro Flora Series+ Botanicare Cal Mag, + Botanicare Hydroguard+ Botanicare Silica Blast
EC meter, Ph meter and Temp meters - went with higher end meters (Apera etc…)
No chiller Just 1 frozen Gallon jug to keep temps in range. (Plan to buy Chiller after first grow)

1 Like

This is a few weeks into the grow but is a Good idea of How its setup.

The Bucket system:
I have 1 Inch drains from the 4 buckets all linked to a “waterfall effect” (Additional O2 Generation) into reservoir which is outside the tent.
There is an inlet line from Bottom of reservoir to a pump which pulls from reservoir into tent and up to a “T” That T section is split again at each bucket this forming a top fed free fall waterfall effect (for initial O2 generation) into each bucket. (See center of the picture)
The weight of the water plus a small raised platform is enough to drive the water back to reservoir.
Each bucket and the reservoir was then was given Air stones (Vivosun 4x2 inch) for added O2 for the roots system.

I keep ~30 Gallons in the whole system with Pump and air running full time. The water temps stay between 67-72.5 degrees with the use of a single gallon jug of water that I rotate out every 8 hours or so. I should mention I used 7 mm thick insulation that I have wrapped my Reservoir up in from Home depot to help keep temps stable. I went with a higher gallon amount to offset for later growth and for more stable PH/Temp/EC balance.
PH Stays between 5.8-6.1 Depending on the nutrients or week I only allow minimal fluctuation.
EC is running around 1280 these days but I am following a pretty strict guideline from General Hydro based on an RDWC system.

The Lights, Humidity Stay between 35% RH- 48% RH and Temps During day Are a steady 78 degrees. At night when lights are off they drop down to 69 degrees. I run an 18 on 6 hr off cycle since the seeds are Auto and Feminized.

I have A single Vornado and 2 smaller fans+ a heater+ humidifier (ultrasonic) all are on timers except the Humidifier which is manual intervention.
The A/C infinity system keeps the temps and RH pretty stable which is also set through a carbon filter.
For Air inlets I just have two 6inch Ducts one at the floor and one at the light level for a more natural airflow effect, plus I do check on the ladies a few times throughout the day. I used black Panty hose to cover the inlets so bugs would not get in.

A Did do a wet run without the plants for a full 3 days before even starting seeds. -Just to iron out any issue and dial in the temps, humidity and VPD before going “live”.

For the seeds I went with the Napkin method. Got 4 out of 4 to pop.
Last Picture is from a few hours ago.


Nice setup, I’m ready for the ride. Good Luck and Welcome to ILGM Forum.

1 Like

I’m gonna hitch a ride and come along for the PARTY, that is if you don’t mind. I just built an undercurrent system outta totes myself. This is my first time trying hydro :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :v:

1 Like

I’m switching to hydro to. I’m jumping in the bus to watch thanks for the post


A couple of things :

I would bring the TDS down to half of the value you have now. 600 to 800 ppm is plenty. Are you running Hydroguard or similar?

Nice start and set to watching.

1 Like

Welcome to ILGM! Everything looks good.

1 Like

Ty! :grin: looking forward to being involved

1 Like

Hydroguard at 2ML per Gallon.
The only reason for the higher TDS is city water is pretty hard usually runs 150-180 even after the 4 day chlorine venting. I keep a stockpile of 60 gallons (two full system flushes) Ph’D and ready to go in case there is issues. My basement is close to 1200 sq ft and plenty of room to work with. Chose the tent for the smell and environment control.

The only issues Ive had so far were: in the first week getting temps to stay in range (tweaking it up to 30 gallons helped) plus using a full frozen gallon vs a few water bottles.
Forgot to remove a label off one of the bottles, label went into pump, severely reduced flows. Was an easy fix but did make the plants un happy for about a day while I was at work.
New to training.- loss some time training them and could have trained earlier. (Prevs grows outdoors and less… interactive with the plants… “gorilla grows”)
Lastly one of the 4 plants has been fighting a calcium defiency since the early days on and off. A local friend and grower stopped by and mentioned that it could just be a bad seed/gene. So that one has been my practice plant for different training methods.


Mine is 550 out of the faucet. So I deeply envy you as I have to run R/O. That is pretty soft water but remember the TDS is additive: that means you have to add the base TDS to your total load. You can run hydro that high but unless you have a closed loop CO2 system with insane light levels it is completely wasted, possibly damaging to the plant, and possibly produces a harsher finished product. Stunted flower development can happen as well.

I’m at peak demand in flower under very high intensity lights and holding TDS at 1,000 ppm while watching for issue.


Setup looks great. I’m set to watch.

Oh and water can be bubbled to get chlorine out. About 30min per 5 gal. In a pinch incase you need water faster. I use 2 airstones 30min. Works great.

Looking forward to this grow.

Interesting… Sorry about the luck with the water. I may hold for this grow as is and do the next at the lower rates though just because this is the first shot and do not want to make too many changes.
So far the only changes from this grow to next will be a chiller and now the TDS.
I may start a third with larger 8/10 gallon and less plants for the pheno strains though once I get comfortable with hydro. Thanks for the tip.


Just realized I am WAY overdue for an update here.

Short version: Almost harvest time!

Long Version plus another lesson learned:

Lesson 1: The first few weeks I saw steady growth on all 4 plants. It wasnt until I noticed that the night “sleep” temps dropped lower than expected (they hovered at 64/65) for a little while during the 6 hours of darkness. What clued me in was that a random night a power loss in my neighboorhood triggered my built in generator. Thank god I pre planned the whole setup on the backup circuit. So around 3 am power loss happens and 30 seconds later my generator kicks on and wakes me up so I figure I might want to check in on the ladies. Thats when I noticed the temps around 65. After some research it turns out most strains do not do well around 64 degrees (or so internet says haha). So I bought a small ceramic fan and put it in the tent. Over the next two nights the ladies skyrocketed with joy.
Lesson 2: Fast forward a few weeks and I tart noticing that two of the plants had random deficiences.
Now I know I swap out my water ever week, like clockwork with fresh Phd water and nutrient combo. But one plant showed Calcium defienciey while the other showed boron or possibly potassium. Super weird… so I did a complete flush midweek, ran two days and still they got worse . The weekend hit and Im in panic mode.
Checked the roots… well thats odd… low flow from pump.
Blow out lines to pump>>>clear.
Check line from res to pump>>>clear.
Take pump apart>> plastic wrapper in impeller.
Turns out it was the Gallon jug wrapper!!! I didnt remove the damn wrapper from my Ice jugs!
Plug it all back up… two days later all 4 ladies are happy as can be. (Two still stunted by about a week at this point… but happy)
Lesson 3: Remember that heater I put in? Well turns out… I should have bought a slightly bigger one because as the days stacked onward the two plants nearest the heater just got huge. While the other two… grew but at a much slower pace. So at this point two of them are definitely stunted.

Fast forward to now. 2 of the 4 will be ready in next couple days.
The Other two just started frosting over. So at least two weeks.
I purchased another tent to hang and dry/ cure in.

![IMG_20200221_203246_350|400x500 (upload://8fGx2Nkk9sdjiunMu2KXsLkowwj.jpeg)

Jan 29th below

Feb 13. Can see stunted ones on left.


its always something stupid like that…looking great buddy. :grin:


I agree with @kettle, looking awesome my freind :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :v:


Looking excellent. I had water pump filter plug on me last grow.

1 Like

Quick update…
Almost done heres some trichome goodness.


I keep 30 gals reserve in a 40 gallon tote nearby also with a bubbler. The airpump had 8 lines so figured why not. Thats one thing I definitely was concerned with was the higher chlorine levels.


Looks so nice

1 Like

Thanks for the heads up on temperatures…I just checked mine (first grow) and see that during my 6 hours of dark the temp is dropping to 61. I’m very worried about what might happen when I go 12/12. Looks like I may need to get a heater!

My girls are only 2 weeks old now but seem to be growing strong.

1 Like