Rdwc buckets fill question

With the rdwc with a reservoir,… it’s my understanding that as the plant drinks the water and water evaporates the reservoir will keep all the buckets about the same level.

What I’m saying is, every couple days I check my buckets and all the water levels are different. I imagine because of how much or how little the plan is drinking, is that normal as far as having to adjust each individual bucket on this kind of system or do I have something wrong?

Likely something isn’t set up quite right. Buckets should remain at a stable level. Does your setup have a check-rez?

I am not sure what a check res is. I do not know. School me.

I have it series from the reservoir to one bucket and the next bucket to the next bucket and the next bucket and then out back to the reservoir… am I supposed to have all the buckets connected together?

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Most buckets in a rdwc setup will have a tube coming out the side close to the bottom and the tube acts as a sightglass to see where your water levels are sitting. Some people mark the tubes with sharpie so they know if its lower or high

Yes I have one of those on my reservoir only, and what you link from Amazon is exactly what I bought oh, but I added some tubing Etc and a pump and a chiller and made it a recirculating system

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There are several things that could be going wrong with your system.
Depending on the size water pump you have, it may not be able to maintain proper water levels in each bucket due to the small hoses going from one bucket to another.
Now that your plant is getting bigger, the roots may be stoping up the lines not allowing proper water flow. (I would suspect this.)
Plants look great! Keep’em growin!
Did you buy this system like this or is this what you designed if you don’t mind me asking?

I bought it just like the one in the post above from amazon…but after i bought it i realized it was not recirculating. And i figured i would add another, larger diameter hose from one bucket to another.

I bought the kit because i was not sure what to do / get. But it was worth it just for the experience. Thanks guys.

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Ok, so I think water not being able to circulate very well is more that likely what’s going on.

If you add a bigger pipe (2” maybe 3”) between each bucket, that would allow water to flow between buckets without restrictions.

What size hose feeds your system? Is it two hoses that feed?
Or, is it top feed and the two hoses in the side are returns?

In systems like this another bucket is used along with a float valve to set the levels on all buckets from the main reservoir. The check-rez is located in the grow space and is plumbed in a similar fashion to all of the other plant buckets.

Your connecting tubes are likely a problem as they are not large enough to provide adequate flow. 2" PVC minimum should be run between buckets. Pump should deliver solution to the farthest bucket away from check-rez to promote mixing/agitation of nutrient solution.

Air stones supplied by your kit would be good to replace with blue airstones as they atomize the air much better, providing better oxygenation to the solution and the roots.

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My set up. 37gal totes, 3/4 inlets going to livebait tank aerator sprayers, 2 4" air stones per tote and 3" return lines. Small return lines have a tendency to get plugged up. If you’re not careful you’ll put water in quicker than it can drain and cause a mess. This is basically the setup of PA Hydroponics fallponics. Gary has some good videos on you tube on it.
These were just cleaned and sanitized getting ready for the next grow in this pic


How many plants do you have in each tote?

2 per tote.


Hey i just read your post. I believed your problem with the water level is the way u have your drain pipes setup. I just built the same setup as your but i used a tee on the drain pipes .

The red circle represents your problem. The top is how I ran my drain pipes. Your water is not disbursed evenly. I dig your setup :+1::clap::clap:

I have no problem with my set up. I was just showing it as an example to try to help. My levels stay very even in each tote. I have 2 livewell aerators per tote with adjustable nozzles spraying into each tote. There’s an 8" raise leaving the tent also. It’s pretty much impossible for all the levels not to be extremely close to the same level with a 3" line between them. I have a video of it running with the tops off but can’t load it up on here. Appreciate the input though.

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My bad I misunderstood your post. About your video situation i think u gotta create the video on YouTube to post it here. I think i read that here somewhere

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No problem. Sorry about the slow replies. I’ve been working 7 12s and about wore slick.

Hi @MoMule
What is the material you are using on top of your plant site, type of insulation? I need to do something for mine water gets to warm.

It’s bubble foil insulation. Amazon or Lowes. You can wrap your tanks in it as well. My tent is on a basement concrete floor and reservoir is outside temp on concrete also. So my temps stay pretty decent. Pool noodles or pipe insulation work great on your lines too if you need a little extra insulation.


Thanks @MoMule
I was looking at that stuff. I’m trying to stop the heat from the lights. I use ice bottles now so every little bit helps.
Thanks again

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@Bobboo … The only way to keep your temps below 70 degrees, is with a water chiller.
The frozen water bottles game gets old, very fast!