DWC water level question
I've built a homemade DWC system. I'm about to transplant clones (currently in rockwool) into the 4" netpots with hydroton rocks.
My question is - where should the water level be in relation to the netpots? Should the nutrient solution be just below the netpots? Should the water submerge the netpots a little? Or even higher, to where the rockwool sitting close to the top of the netpots be submerged in solution?
Also, seems like a lot of people on this forum say oxygen is great for the roots. So do you start to lower the water level in a DWC system as the roots grow longer? To make them stretch more for the nutes? Or do you keep the water level the same throughout veg & flowering?
Thanks - I'm learning so much from this forum...
your solution level should be below the Hydroton, not enough to not drench them, but not dry out, either ... no set distance, as the strength of your air pump will decide ... on average, you'll probably be 1-2 inches below ... adding an airstone to each container made a noticeable improvement to mine, they do like oxygen to the roots, and, it's good for maintaining a humid situation in the container ...
DWC is the best system i've ever used. Do it right and you will have a green explosion.
Here is my exact response from another thread:
What i would suggest is this, Veg your plants as long as you see fit in your rockwool cubes, just make sure roots are sufficiently coming out the bottom of the cube (more than one tiny root poking through).
Put a thin layer of hydroton across the bottom of your netpot (like 1 rock high...) then set your rockwool cube with roots coming out of the bottom on top of that thin layer of rocks. gently fill the rest of the net pot with hydroton until it's full to your liking. Then place the netpot into your res/solution/5 gal bucket...whatever you are using...keep the water level just high enough to touch the thin layer of rocks...maybe touching the bottom of the rockwool. As long as you have sufficient aeration the roots will explode. After about 3 days you should notice some roots poking down through the bottom of the net pot. Once that happens simply drain just enough water so the roots are in the solution but the bottom of the net pot is above the water. That way the roots will continue to grow into the solution and the rockwool won't be soaking.
dunno if that's the best way...but i've been doing it over and over now with great results.
best of luck
PS - Also...make sure your res is LIGHT PROOF and water temp is cool. I wrap my 5 gallon buckets with black plastic. Others use duct tape or black spray paint.
I use 5 gallon buckets, 1 plant per bucket. I fill each bucket with 3 gallons of solution. Check the bucket every day...if it gets low i add a gallon of plain pH 5.8 water to bring the level up. As long as the roots are in the solution it's fine for the water level to be an inch or so below the netpot.
In addition, yes, you MUST use an airpump and airstones to provide oxygen to your roots. i use a TopFin XP-125 dual outlet pump ($20 at petsmart) and 2 - 5" round airstones in each bucket. the more oxygen to the roots, the bigger and faster your plants will grow. FACT.
Last edited by elskeetro; Oct-29-2008 at 10:19.
my water level is about 2 inches below the nets
or about 3 gallons of water in my DWC
Also if you have great aeration, you should be fine even if theres lots of water
Awesome! Thanks to all for the responses.