What would you do different?

I’ve been throwing around the idea of converting from soil to Hydro. So… all of you hydro guys please chime in here…

I have a 5x5 I Veg in and a 4x8 to flower in. I’m looking for a system that will allow for this interchangeability from tent/tent (system to system). Ease of use, dependability, expansion…

DIYs, box kits, combinations…whatever. Obviously I’m looking to gain from yalls trial and errors and vast experience. What worked great, what gave you fits, what would you wished you did but didn’t… and I’m working on about a $700 budget

Thanks in advance

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$700 will work as long as you already have lights. Those are good-sized areas to light up.

The one thing I can add would be make sure you wrap your buckets with something to insulate it, Helps keep water temps down. and the other thing I found a bigger reservoir helps with this as well. (If appealed) and helps keep O2 levels up.

Sorry I can’t add a lot more as I am new to DWC,
But them are the 2 things I had to change in the middle of a grow. (Was not easy)

Good Luck,


This is a topic near and dear to my heart!

I started off as a soil grower, but quickly made the switch to hydro. I liked the idea of being able to control every little nutrient I was adding and controlling the pH much easier than soil was a huge selling point for me.

I bought my first DWC kit. It was a 5 gallon DWC kit on Amazon, like $40-50 I believe. It came with a 5 gallon black bucket, a 6’ net pot, some hydroton, an air stone, some air hose, an air pump, and the tubing and grommet for the water level gauge. Literally, everything you needed to start a DWC grow. It was perfect…or so I thought.

I realized all I really needed to grow more was just more buckets, net pots, air stones, more hydroton, and a bigger air pump. It only made sense to me to get one of the bigger air pumps, so I got the 8 output one at first (now I have the 12 output one). If you really think you’ll like hydro, go big from the start when it comes to your air pump! For air stones, I recommend the 2" cylindrical air stones, they’re cheap and work great! I have tried all the cheap ones, and this is my favorite. I’ll save you time and money lol!

Now I have like 12-5 gallon buckets, 12 net pots, a massive bag of hydroton, air stones, air hose, and a couple air pumps. Anyway, my advice for you is to NOT buy those kits and whatnot, you can easily buy a bucket and do it yourself for MUCH cheaper! I do recommend you buy one DWC kit, like I did, just so you can compare a homemade to a store bought. It’s all up to you anyway!

I learned to buy black buckets, but spray paint, or paint, the outside of the bucket white, to reflect the light away, but keep it from penetrating through to the water. You’ll lol need a good pH meter, I DO NOT recommend the yellow cheap ones you see every where. They work, but they’re a pain in the butt and extremely unreliable after a couple weeks. I bought a $40-50 Apera pH meter on Amazon that works as good as the $100-200 pH meters. Be smart, always do your research before buying a product, but I can definitely stand behind this pH meter, because it’s cheap-ish but works with great reliability!

I recommend General Hydroponics Flora line of nutrients for DWC, it’s the easiest to use in my opinion and gives great results. I have been using it for a while now. And I recommend that you buy a spare bucket for when you need to do your weekly water changes. It makes it super simple because you can just mix up your nutrients in the spare bucket, then take it into your tent and swap out the old bucket with the spare bucket that has all the good fresh water and nutrients in it. A lot of people will just drain the bucket, but I think being able to swap out buckets is much better to do because you can CLEAN them every week. Meaning you swapped out a used bucket, with old nutrients and water, for a clean bucket with fresh water and nutrients, every week. That’s my little tip, it’s how I do my water changes.

I hope this helps you out! I’m sure I can think of more lol but I actually have to do some bucket swaps right now! Just tag me or @Donaldj if you need any hydro help, he’s actually way smarter than me and more experienced when it comes to hydro!



Awesome info there @ktreez420

Thanks for the tips… I’m finishing up my first soil grow but I can see the DWC seems much easier to maintain over the long run. Especially for my situation. I found an 8 bucket dwc kit on amazon for $189. Seems like a good deal, but I’m pricing out all pieces needed to do similar or better to see the difference

Thanks again man!!!

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Anytime dude, just tag me whenever you need something or even if you just wanna show off or talk!



I don’t have any hydroponic experience, but curious as to why you wouldn’t opt for ebb and flood instead? It seems more feasible for areas that big that you want to be able to move stuff in and out of.

@ktreez420 @Donaldj

I’m leaning towards a flo and gro 12 site ebb and flow with the 4 site add on kit. Do either of you have experience with ebb and flow systems?

How often would/should I change out the reservoir on these type. Some people say you can go a 6-9 months and that it creates for issues if your doing changes? Any other tips/pointers I should be aware of?


Wow if I tried to grow a plant in hydro without changing my res for 6-9 months they would be so cheap to grow? I suspect that’s aquaponics more than likely they are referring to because most often you would do res change every 10-14 days to keep plants happiest. Pushing res changes that long your N-P-K ratios would rarely match the stage of growth your plant is in let alone the amount of imbalance in your res your plants eat what they want leave what they don’t so after a week or 2 the unwanted byproducts start building up.


Never done ebb and flow, but always thought it was interesting!


If you want to give it a try though I don’t grow in ebb&flow I do know how and many principals of hydro are quite universal so pretty sure I can offer some help where needed :wink:


@Donaldj @ktreez420

I did one plant dwc for a test and I can tell my water is to hot it’s growing strong but not like a regular plant my questions. Is how do you guys keep water temps Down?

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I use a larger res for DWC this in turn takes far longer to change temps I use 27 gal tote if my temps rise I use cold water for top offs or add frozen bottles since I live in northern climate I actually spend more time warming res than cooling it but during summer I have little need to cool or heat

I grow on a cold basement floor, direct contact with my buckets. Seems to keep the water temps in the perfect range. But also, your air pump is using the air from the room to pump into the water in your reservoir. Cooler air temps will get you cooler water temps. But like @Donaldj said, frozen water bottles work great.


Crack the top to let more air through the system. The pumps are adding in heat. if you are worried about light getting in just cover with window screen. The screen will cut light down and allow air circulation. I have a 10 gal bucket with a 500 gal per hour pump and when covered it cooks at 105 with top cracked it runs at 77. Big drop

Ok I’m torn. I really like the flo-n-gro 12 site ebb n flow kit. The only draw back is that i can’t veg and flower off the same system. So it appears that I would need 2 complete setups. One for veg tent and 1 for flower tent. $$$$ :roll_eyes:
460x2 $920


Go with (2) 8 site DWC kit
190x2 $380
Way cheaper but seems like a lot more labor. But more room for error.

My end goal is to maintain a perpetual grow going with 6-8 in flower and 8-12 in various stages of veg.

I’m a over-the-top kinda person and when I set out on something I have to do it the best way possible. Smoking weed isn’t addictive, but growing the best possible medicine certainly is… lol

Ohh the struggle

@ktreez420 any idea what kind of pump to use ? I have plenty 5 gallon buckets I’ll look at your threads to get a good idea

That depends on how many plants you want to grow lol @Ocean_grower

I recommend getting a bigger, higher output air pump from the get-go. That way you’ll have GREAT aeration if you do only grow a plant or two, but gives you the ability to run multiple buckets if you desire at a later time.

I have one like this, and one that’s even bigger, but still the same style. Works great, and hasn’t had a problem in the two years I’ve owned them.



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@ktreez420 thanks man my second grow I’m gonna go hydro . The growth is crazy my stem is thicker than all my soil and it was the runt of the pack

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