Questions about DWC


OK, so the following will be some questions about bubble ponics. First let me tell you a little about us. Wife and I are on our second grow and are tossing around the idea of a 18 gallon bubble tub.

We have a 32" x 32" x 63" tent, exhaust fan and filter, two clip-on fans in the tent, and an awesome QB board thanks to @dbrn32.

Current grow:

The inlet pipe for the tent is tied to the exhaust port of the dehumidifier, which enables us to keep the grow room humidity and temperature almost perfect. We’ve been growing in coco/perlite mix and love it.

We’ve done some research along with following others on here and want to step up our game a touch until we get a bigger grow space and thought this would be a reasonable improvement to the coco. I personally don’t want to do the RDWC right now even though it is proven to have a lot of advantages.
Unless(!!) y’all think I’m going to run into other serious problems with 18 gallons of water in that size tent.

We would like to know some pros and cons of using an 18 gallon tub verses two 5 gallon buckets (one for plant and another for reservoir).

We’d appreciate everyone’s input on this if you care to join in the conversation? Thanks! :sunglasses:
@peachfuzz @BigDaddyCain @Myfriendis410 @MattyBear @GreenJewels @GreenThunder @Budbrother @blackthumbbetty @TDubWilly


@Grandaddy013 @WickedAle @Gardenguy @Fluffy @StephenBro @Bogleg @boardsbird

Thanks for any help.


If you are not planning on doing rdwc right now you wouldn’t need the second 5gal bucket for reservoir but there is probably pros and cons to both. The five gallon bucket would be easier to empty but will need to be topped off more often than the 18 gallon tote but the 18 gallon tote would give your roots more space than the 5 gallon bucket


How big would you like to grow your plant, @spyonyou? All other things being equal, I personally would just go with the big tote. Why introduce more failure points and machinery into your grow than you need to for nominal improvements?

FYI invest in a transfer pump to do water changes if you go the big tote route (or any big reservoir) unless you have some better draining method. Makes life a lot easier on the hydro grower with a good transfer pump. I use this one:


@Gardenguy I’m planning on having the end of the tote right next to my tent opening. I’m going to cut the lid and put a hinge on it so I can open it up and have access to my water and also big enough for me to put some frozen bottles in there if need be. Thanks for the reply.


I’d go with the bigger res, I found the pH to be more stable with more volume


Thanks @Bogleg Thats an awesome idea. I’ve never seen one of those. I do use the battery operated pump to do my watering right now.


It has come in pretty handy that’s for sure.


Thanks @GreenThunder That’s what I’ve heard but I didn’t know how much of a humidity problem I would run into with the big tote.


I also scrog without a problem so I will fill my tent…lol I hope! :joy:


I’d go with larger res too. Less ph swings and more room for the roots :wink:


Thanks @MattyBear What size air pump do you think I should get? Also is there a big dif. between the flat round stones and the narrow round tube type stones?


@Bogleg or @TDubWilly or @Myfriendis410 would be able to help better with this


I use pretty big air pumps (951gph) and run a 6-site manifold on them:

And then I connect a 2" air stone to each line, and I put one air stone for every 5 gallons of tote space - for an 18 gallon tote I would run three or four air stones in it if it were me. I use 14 gallon totes and run two air stones in them. Because I don’t use a chiller, I rely on oxygen and Hydroguard to keep my reservoir gunk free.


Sorry, I’m not much help. I just started growing last April in soil and have learned a ton. I think I’m better in soil. I decided to try dwc because it looked like it can produce some really nice girls with less lifting. I wanted the control and easy bucket change instead of flushing. I made a bubble bucket to see if I can do any good. I love that it’s easier for me than soil. I really hate flushing my soil. I always end up with some a pH swing at some point in soil. Lifting those girls from the tent to the drain by my tent for feed and water is rough when my bad health kicks in. With RDWC I can have a lot more to work with in my future. Like tapping into a water line right next to my tent and running my RO into a 25 gallon drum to easily pump what I need into
it for storage. Another 25 gallon drum for my reservoir that will run to 3 buckets. That’s if this one bubble bucket works out. So far I’m not very good at it, my 40 day oldvrunt tells me so. I’m not giving up though. I’ve made a second bubble bucket I’ll be trying again soon because my one girl in a tent is lonely :grin: and I won’t give up on the current mini " babybel" cheese autoflower.
Seems I’m better at tomatoes in hydro :roll_eyes::joy:


I like my 4x5 gal buckets 4 x 4 space so fits perfect. Can move around to maximize light per plant if running 4 or 2. Can change all 4 of them out in 5 minutes without any pumps valves extra equipment etc. PH is stable for the 7-14 days because they are always clean…no buildup of bacterial biofilm on the walls. Yes during early flower during stretch they drink a lot but it’s easy enough just to top up with water. No more than a gallon a day. Just find it so much easier.


Res topoffs and water adjustments are easier with a stand alone reservoir IMO. It can also act as a heatsink to cool your working fluid. The more liquid you have will make PH swings less and adding water won’t be as time critical. My three plants now, 6 weeks in veg are consuming 1 1/2 gallons per day FYI. Obviously in flower there will be way more than that.


@spyonyou Advantage to the bigger tote is less often top offs more root space and you only need to deal with one bin of water disadvantage you will use more nuits and chance of root rot is higher due to water not really moveing around except for the air moveing water now advantage to the 5 gal bucket eaiser to change water if you are running single buckets as well as you can grow different strains in different buckets and less nuits per plant now disadvantage to 5 gal single bucket system water change is a pain with 5 or more buckets lot of time spent doing ph and ppm adjustments smaller plants due to less root space more root space = bigger plants. Now advantage to RDWC either system 5 gal buckets with Rez or 18 gal tote with separate Rez rdwc transfers water from Rez to plants then back to Rez so never stale or stagnet water to cause root rot as well as you only play with water in Rez never in grow bucket/tote pump does rest of work for you and you won’t need a transfer pump to drain you just use the pump that is Recirculating the water to drain system now disadvantage to RDWC harder to grow different strains in one system one plant needs one thing wile the other needs something different so you will get nuit burn eaiser trying to fix one plant wile other is doing fine biggest disadvantage is cost a basic diy rdwc can cost anywhere from cheap at 125 to expensive of diy end of 800-1000 that’s the part people can’t get past but in my opinion you pay for the Yield cheap = less yield do to short cuts in going cheap I went from single buckets then to cheap barebones rdwc to a system diy rdwc I paid for everything meaning buckets better pump better air pump and tubing and a really good meter for Continuous monitoring of ph ppm and water temp that was the most expensive part at 325 bucks cost me roughly 900 bucks now all I am doing is going bigger buckets and switching to a undercurrent system only thing I am switching is buckets and going from tubing to good pvc piping everything else I can reuse and it’s 125 bucks for the new buckets and pvc and I will be at the set it and forget it system setup. so this is what I have noticed is the bigger more noticeable advantage and disadvantage to the different systems from personal experience and hours and hours of researching everything I could find on subject of what’s eaiser and better system of dwc and rdwc and I’ve come to the choice to go undercurrent rdwc so that’s my rant lol enjoy


With the 5 gal buckets I rarely have to readjust my pH. GH Flora hits and hold the pH for the 5-14 days I use them. Change out after >50% of the volume has been changed out. In fact my first 2 grows I didn’t pH AT ALL. It’s,only when I started addin BS that my pH became more irregular. You have an effective range of 5.3-6.3. Ppl drive themselves crazy trying to keep the pH at 5.8


I use 3 , 20gal garbage cans. 2 for plants, 1 for reservoir. I do a 4x4 Scrog on each plant. The larger area you have for roots, the bigger the plant. It’s much easier to add nutes and whatnot to the reservoir. I have a 2" pipe connecting them. I need off that with a 3/4" pipe with a ball valve. Down through the floor and out in the yard. When I do a reservoir change, I just unplug my pumps and turn the valve.


Jeez I’d rather be making beer: