# Water Level in DWC?

Discussion in 'Hydroponics' started by LiquidMagik, Oct 25, 2006.

1. ### LiquidMagikRegistered+

I have read many places that when the roots have not grown through the netpot you want to keep the water level 1/2" above the bottom of the netpot, and when they have grown through, keep the water level 1/2"-1" below the bottom of the netpot. Now, I never see with these figures how far into the netpot you are putting the plant...Do you put 1" of hydroton in the netpot, the plant on top, and then surround with hydroton? Or is that plant resting on a larger layer of hydroton? Basically I guess the question would be how far below where you're actually putting the plant do you want the water level when transplanting to a DWC? With the above, 1" of hydroton in the bottom of the netpot and keeping the water level 1/2" above the bottom of the netpot would give the actual distance between the water level and the plant to be 6". Thanks!

2. ### turtle420Banned

I think you're missing... um... well,... let's take another route.

Forget the math... let's go with the "why".

The reason you're filling up the water level xx-inches below the netpot, is because you don't want to drown your roots...
So, you place your plants yy-inches into the hydroton/rockwool/choped-neutrons medium, and place that hovering OVER your water level... not touching.

Now, your air bubbles should rise to the top of the water line, and "pop".
When they "pop", they will "spray" the bottom of the netpot with small water dropplets... enough for wetting the medium... the plants growing, and dolphins singing.

So, it doesn't really matter if you're placing a plant 5 inches into the medium, then hovering above the water line...
Or if you're placing a small clone 0.5inches into the medium, then hovering...

It's the pops I tell ya'... the pops

Please let us know if this helped anything at all, or just made matters worse. We appreciate your feedback.

3. ### rustafaRegistered+

i was wondering the same thing after reading the post should the bubbles be popping on the medium correct.

Ex. if you have a 6" net and have the medium covering 2" of the bottom should the bubbles still only be hitting the bootom of the net? would the plant still get its nuted or would you have to raise it a bit more ???? i dont know if this sounds confusing or not but i can see how it can.

4. ### LiquidMagikRegistered+

Still unsure, better question might be...If I'm starting out with putting my water level 1/2" above the bottom of the netpot- in the beginning when the seedling is small and its roots are not showing through the netpot, then how much should I layer the bottom of the netpot with hydroton before putting the seedling in?

5. ### GluteusMaximusRegistered+

When placing the plant in the netpot, there should be a small layer of rock below the plant stem inside the netpot. This way the stem isn't exposed directly to the splashing water. The netpot should be elevated slightly ABOVE the waterline but still close enough to allow the popping bubbles on the surface of the water to splash the bottom of the netpot. The rocks in the netpot will wick up the necessary water to the plant stem, and the roots that grow will eventually crawl out of the netpot and down into the reservoir.

I recommend placing as much of the stem in the netpot as possible while leaving one layer of rock below the stem. I do not recommend allowing the stem to remain below the waterline once past the clone stage.

6. ### LiquidMagikRegistered+

Thanks much! I had germed in rapid rooters, so I was going to place the RR directly in the bubbler. Heard they're a little better than Rockwool for DWC purposes.

7. ### plastikRegistered+

roots in the water is perfectly fine. it is going to happen sooner or later. the water from a bubble setup can only pop so high, and you can't keep lowering your res levels so the roots don't go into it...sooner or later, your bottom part of the netcup, where the roots come out, will be completely dry because the root mass will get large enough to block it from splashing that high...it will still splash mostly on the center roots, but not the ones coming out of the sides of the netpot. a good rule of thumb is 2-4 inches below the netpots. the bubbles coming up from under will be used by the roots within the water. so it won't overwater them. bubble buckets are a method of DWC. meaning deep water culture. the water is pressure pumped with oxygen, making it more aerated, and the flow keeps the water from going stagnant. if you have to, add a stronger air pump and more airstones, even if it is overkill, to be certain that there is enough oxygen being pumped in to keep your roots healthy. once you have that setup properly, you'll see the good growth rates, and there will be no need for timers...and the only work you will have to do is check the PH and change/clean the res.

8. ### CycloniteRegistered+

Yea like 97% of my root mass is under water....as long as you have lots of bubbles its ok. You do want some air roots though...setting that distance makes the roots grow faster (looking for food) into the nute mix.

9. ### Gart79Registered

I've just taken one of my soil plants and put it into deep water culture. when I plucked the soil - caked root mass from the perfect soil mix, and thinking in terms of the age old saying - "in for a penny; in for a pound", I cut the perfect root mass short, washed it clean of soil, then placed the perfectly healthy and well looked after plant into the deep water system I had just purchased. I had got the ph, and nutrient level right, so those avenues of disaster were at least closed. After awhile the plant started to droop, and I began to think it was on its way out! But when I came back to take a peek at the condemned plant, I was pleasantly surprised, as it had REALLY taken off!!! I’ve never seen anything like it! However, this was quite short lived phenomenon, as around six hours later the plant began to droop again, this time it got progressively worse! Now I have what I think is a dying plant on my hands! I don’t think there is anything that could happen that might save its life, apart from taking cuttings, which I have already done. Interestingly, and despite me making sure the ph was 6.4, the ph had changed itself to 7.1 overnight! The only thing I can think of is that maybe (despite the high aeration achieved with DWC), the fact the roots had been cut, and the fact that the ph had become neutral (making it easier for mould and germs), might mean that the roots have become / are becoming rotten before my very eyes!!! I’m sure there'll be a lesson learned when this is over. By the way, on the topic of water level, the level is not too important (medium half submerged, water lowered slightly to achieved higher aeration after roots emerge), as the water medium, in which your roots grow in is aerated, so roots are supposed to live in it, however, if that water didn’t have a bubbler in, the roots would die.

10. ### CycloniteRegistered+

6.4 is not a good hydro PH that's for soil....you need to shoot for 5.8 and having the PH off won't rot the roots that's probley a temperature issue....that is the most critical factor 60-70 any higher and you will slow growth and get root rot any lower and growth slows. CHILL YOUR RES!!!!!!!

11. ### JackdaWackRegistered+

No, you guys dont want your medium soaked in water, u want it some what damp, the point to having your water level below the net pot is so your medium has a constant dampness and not soaked, id your using rock wool or rapid rooters you want you medium to be somewhat damp. if the water level is above the net pots your medium will become to wet, when your roots grow down they go into the water, its not the point of the roots being soaked in water as much as it is your medium, if your medium is too wet your can get root rot and slow growth along with other problems such as over watering. you need air to get to your roots.

12. ### JackdaWackRegistered+

On another note, dont be to surprised when u damage the roots of a plant its not going to be too happy, and when u switch from soil to hydro or dro to soil, its not going to be to happy either, u just got roots used to growing in soild and now u put it in a dwc type system.. not a very great idea, it will work under the correct conditions but if u have never grow hydro before its a bad idea to transplant from soil to hydro, your better off starting from scrath the first couple times as you have no idea what to do, if u thought that the ph for hydro was 6.8 you need to do alot more reading on hydro before you attempt it.

13. ### Gart79Registered

Your right there! I just watched a few videos and read a few articles! In deep water we can take advantage of the natural ability of our beloved plants that like a low ph in order to dissuade nasty mould and germs. I have shifted my ph all the way down just above 5 (ph needs to be between 5 and 6 for hydroponics).
I don’t believe it is a temp problem as 16 litres of water would take longer to warm up than the time it took for things to go wrong (in the temp I had it in), although I can see why you would come to that conclusion. In practice though, both ph and water temp can affect a plants ability to absorb nutrients, and in my experience drooping is a sign of lack of o2 to the root zone. However, from what I’ve read, any kind of stress on the plant can induce root rot (plants under stress are the first to go bad). My MAJOR suspicion is the fact I’ve recently hacked apart my root system from my soil mix (not ideal, but hey, I just had to try out my new DWC!). When using soil, it’s not good to water for 24 hours, as it will likely induce root rot, so I thought maybe, wet and damaged roots in DWC may be taken that way.

Anyways, I chopped MOST of the roots and washed them in fresh tap water (it'll have a little chlorine in), washed the pebbles and the net pot. I lopped off quite a few juicy leaves. Now the plant is beginning to look a bit better, but nothing like that afterburner growth spurt!!!

By the way, on the subject of water level again, I simply followed the instructions on my DWC kit, and it says that the medium (clay pebbles initially soaked in 1/4 strength) are supposed to be submerged, to the point that the roots are under water in the deepwater solution. This is because the solution is highly aerated. I may experiment with this factor later though, as I’m not a DWC pro.

14. ### Gart79Registered

I don’t think I made that too clear. I meant, when using soil and transplanting, it’s not good to water for 24 hr after that, since damaged roots that are wet are prone to root rot.

With ref to water temp, the colder the water, the more o2 that can be dissolved, so it is definitely something I'll be keeping my wary eyes on! DWC isn’t the kind of system you can put your feet up with, that’s for sure! Cheers for the input.

15. ### JackdaWackRegistered+

u dont seem to have a clue what your doing, the more u hack at your plant the more its going to stunt its growth and potetially die, the ph of 5.8 is for the abortion of nutrients. Your not going to see your plant get better for a couple days, these things dont happen overnight, Every one who grows dwc knows that u put the water level below the net pots for the reason being your medium should not be soaked in water, if it is, it will show signs of over water and lack of 02 to your roots... get it? I wouldnt follow the directions they gave you, try readins a dwc grow log theres multiple ones in here. The roots should be in the water, but not the netpots, take into concideration ppl do this for a reason, even if you dont understand it, it would be benificial for you to do it this way.

16. ### Gart79Registered

Well, I respect your experience with DWC and your input is valuable and will definitely be taken on board, however, despite the fact their not always right, I've started this one by just following the instructions i.e. - I make my system look like the one in the drawing in the instructions.

With DWC, the water itself has o2 dissolved in it (that’s the whole point in the bubbler right?), so that was the idea of roots in the water, at least that’s my understanding.

Whilst I'm not totally brilliant with DWC, I do have considerable experience with growing though, and I can recognise problems with plants easily.

On the subject of the root hacking, my roots smelt rotten, they looked rotten, and they were rotten. The plant is better now (the leaves have picked right up!). I'm sure you’ve experienced a plant pick up quickly when exposed to high o2 at the root zone? Maybe it'll drop dead in 2 days.

I should actually say, I have the net pot JUST below the water, but the water wets a good proportion of the medium (in accordance with the diagram).

But seriously, at the end of the day, I’m experimenting here. If I hear valuable information, it’s welcome and appreciated, and will be taken onboard. I will post, as to whether my plant dies or thrives. If it dies, It’s a lesson learned isn’t it? I've not got my whole medium dunked under water, it’s just really the bottom of the net.

As for ph, ph between 5 and 6 is what I've read for hydroponics. I haven’t taken this info from one source either. There may be slight variation on this, but 5.5 are what many grow with.

17. ### JackdaWackRegistered+

i dont mean to come of harsh or nuttin just makin sure the community understands what to do in the situation, if your roots are rotton there is no difference if you cut them there already gone, so it has helped in your case, i thought u were just hackin them up to fit in the pot, maybe it just worked out that way. But yeah the only problem with the net pots in the water is, that when starting from clone or seed and using a rapid rooter or rock wool, they retain alot fo water and being that they are sitting in the water they may be drentched 24/7 if the roots have no hit the aerated water and are still sitting in the rockwool or rapidrooter they will show signs of lack of oxygen becuase the medium is so wet it wont alow air in. all u need is the popping bubbles on the netpot and it keeps them nice and damp plus it premotes the roots to grow out and down, instead of making a giant cramped ball in the netpot

Bubblers are great for clonign to becuase the popping bubbles premote root growth.

Last edited: Feb 17, 2007
18. ### Opie YuttsRegistered+

You want your roots as dry as possible without hurting the plant. The plant loves to get oxygen through it's root system, and it's harder to do if the roots are covered in liquid. The best case scenario would be to keep lowering the nute level as the roots grow longer, but keep wetting the roots intermitently so they don't ever dry out completely. To protect from power outages, I aim to have a least a couple of inches of roots in the solution at all times. Otherwise I would aim to keep none of my roots in the solution. I have a way to vary the level of nutes as the plants grow, but I keep spraying the entire root system about every 10 minutes.

I hope that gives you some ideas.

19. ### danlboyRegistered+

well my first hydro row is into week 9. I have a mini stealth cabinet that I bought from homegrown hydroponics which i had lots of trouble with as far as the actual purchase but I am very happy with whats going on as far as growth. It is DWC with a 6 gal sterilite resevoir which is not very deep, my roots have been pretty much underwater the whole time the airstones are bubbling 24/7, this is actually the first Ive heard that the roots should be moist and not soaking in the water. anyway... i have 2 females left from the original 6 plants and they are doing great. i am running out of room but have been tying my girls down as much as possible

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20. ### CycloniteRegistered+

Thats not really DWC....thats more of aeroponics...which is great and thats a good idea of the sorta hybrid of the 2 because with aero if your power fails its bad news real fast.