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Hydroponics system: deep water culture (DWC)

The hydroponic system called Deep Water Culture (DWC) consists of bathing the roots of the plant in the nutrient solution. The oxygen level is maintained in the solution thanks to an air pump. It is an “active” version of the Kratky method.

After explaining how to set up this (very simple) hydroponic system, we will present its advantages and disadvantages.

Setting up a deep water hydroponic system

To set up your deep water culture, you will need

  • An opaque tank. It must not let light through, otherwise algae can form.
  • An air pump, a tube (opaque) and an air stone. The basic ones are fine.
  • For this culture, the clay balls (hydroton) are the most interesting. Indeed, they are really inert and cost nothing. For the bucket, the best is the net pot, to favor the root system.

The installation is very simple:

  • Install the air stone, connected to the air pump, in the tank.
  • Place the substrate (after having, if necessary, washed it a little) in the cup which must receive it.
  • Fill with nutrient solution and put the plant.

If you want a tuto, the manager of a store shows us:

Advantages and disadvantages of deep water culture

The advantages

This hydroponic system is very cheap and easy to do.
It allows interesting yields, the plants develop quickly.
It needs very little maintenance.
There is no waste.

The disadvantages

Deep water culture is not ideal for large plants and for plants with long growth periods.

There can be problems if the air pump fails.
The noise of the air pump can be annoying.