Hydroponic Deep Water Culture

Deep Water Culture system is typically comprised of a main reservoir that hold the bulk of the nutrient solution, and an attached system of buckets through which the nutrient solution circulates. Each attached bucket will be topped with a new pot lid, through which plant roots will grow, and show contain an air stone to ensure proper root oxygenation.

Advantages of DWC Hydroponic System

  1. Great for water loving, rapid growing plants.
  2. Allows for large root mass.
  3. Flexible plant site sizes.
  4. Fewer plants with larger yield.
  5. Reuses water.
  6. Cost effective to build the DWC system.

Disadvantages of DWC Hydroponic System

  1. A chiller will likely be needed.
  2. Plants can be prone to root diseases with DWC system.
  3. May foam up when using organics.
  4. pH fluctuation/ monitoring required.
  5. Root mass may grow so large, it will clog the irrigation lines.

The water culture system is the simplest of all active hydroponic systems. The platform that holds the plants is usually made of Styrofoam and floats directly on the nutrient solution. An air pump supplies air to the air stone that bubbles the nutrient solution and supplies oxygen to the roots of the plants.

Water culture is the system of choice for growing leaf lettuce, which are fast growing water loving plants, making them an ideal choice for this type of hydroponic system. Very few plants other than lettuce will do well in this type of system.

This type of hydroponic system is great for the classroom and is popular with teachers. A very inexpensive system can be made out of an old aquarium or other water tight container. We have free plans and instructions for a simply water culture system.

The biggest draw back of this kind of system is that it doesn’t work well with large plants or with long-term plants.