Best DWC System Reviews To Help You Get Started With Deep Water Culture Hydroponics

Learn the deep water culture system, the best DWC system products available in the market today, and how to get started this hydroponics system the right way!

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First things first - What is DWC hydroponics? Simply put, deep water culture (DWC) hydroponics is growing plants through allowing them to take root in water instead of soil, and the DWC hydroponic system powers and nurtures the water-grown plants.

Like plants grown in soil, plants grown in water need to have a steady supply of nutrients to survive and thrive. In a deep water culture system, there has to be enough oxygen in the water to prevent the plants from drowning. To make sure that the plants grow well, DWC nutrients should be present in the oxygen-rich water as well. When setting up a hydroponic garden, choosing the best DWC system should be the number one consideration. It’s also important to learn about the ways of recirculating DWC hydroponic systems.

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Deep Water Culture: A Brief Overview

Deep water culture is becoming one of the best ways to grow and cultivate plants. With DWC hydroponics, key crops can now be grown faster and with minimal exposure to pesticides and herbicides. This is because water is a faster and more consistent nutrient delivery system to plants than soil, and most pests and weeds cannot survive in water.

Deep water culture hydroponics may sound easy, but in order for it to be successful in growing plants, there are a number of things to consider. While hydroponic gardening is low maintenance as compared to traditional gardening, hydroponic gardening requires a certain degree of commitment from the gardener in terms of keeping the system within optimal limits.

For example, water molecules can hold the optimal amount of oxygen for root propagation at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s the responsibility of the gardener to ensure that the reservoir water is at this temperature at all times to steady plant growth and yield. Because hydroponic plants grow in a controlled environment, it’s on the gardener to make sure that every element of that environment is indeed controlled like temperature, pH, humidity, lighting, and ventilation. It is also important to keep nutrient introduction going.

Hydroponic plants grow twice as fast as soil-grown plants

Hydroponic plants grow twice as fast as soil-grown plants

Why You Should Consider Starting A Hydroponic Garden

Although the term hydroponics sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, hydroponic gardening is relatively easy to do and maintain, and there are a lot of benefits that come with growing plants in deep water culture. You should consider starting a hydroponic garden because it’s fairly low maintenance, it grows your plants twice as fast, and it’s very inexpensive to set up.

The Egyptians used a hydroponic system to grow the Pharaoh’s fruits and vegetables

The Egyptians used a hydroponic system to grow the Pharaoh’s fruits and vegetables

Traditional gardening requires constant attention and care from the gardener. In a regular garden, you need to water your plants regularly and get rid of anything that could get in the way of your plants’ growth like weeds and pests. These are minimized in the hydroponic system as the plants are grown in water and the maintenance is taken care of by an air pump and airstone.

Because the plants are nourished 24/7 in a hydroponic setup with minimal invasion from adverse elements, they grow faster and healthier. The system is pretty much very easy to set up and can be done without acquiring special space for it in your home. It can be easily put up in your backyard as long as you choose the best DWC system.

A Beginner’s Guide To Hydroponic Gardening

In order to be successful in growing your plants hydroponically, there are a number of things to consider.

The Best Fertilizer For Deep Water Culture


The best DWC system will only work effectively if you choose the right fertilizer or nutrients. This is where the Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium (NPK) ratio comes into play. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are macronutrients essential for plant growth and development.

Nitrogen is essential for the growth and health of leaves in plants, and yellowing leaves is a classic sign of nitrogen deficiency. Phosphorus plays a role in DNA and RNA synthesis in plants, making it vital to plant development. Phosphorus deficiency causes weak stems, slowed growth, and either malformed or absent flower and seed development. Potassium is needed for plants to be able to synthesize carbohydrates and proteins.

Most nutrient products indicate the NPK ratio. For example, if the bottle says 9-9-9, it means it has 9% nitrogen, 9% phosphorus, and 9% potassium for a total of 27% macronutrients. The other 73% is made up of micronutrients, water, and other chelating agents. The optimal NPK ratio depends on the phase of growth your plants are in.

Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are macronutrients necessary for plant growth

Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are macronutrients necessary for plant growth

The Best Lights For Deep Water Culture


Plants make their own food by harnessing sunlight and when it comes to lighting, sunlight wins in terms of quality over any man-made lighting tool. However, sunlight doesn’t shine on your garden 24/7, which means you might want to consider lighting your hydroponic garden artificially.

When choosing the best lights for deep water culture, you might want to opt for full-spectrum grow lights that come as close as possible to the variety of wavelengths sunlight produces. This will benefit your plants in a myriad of ways as plants utilize different light wavelengths during different phases of growth. Plants harness purple and blue light during the vegetative growth phase and yellow, orange, and red light during flowering and fruiting. 

Plants don’t utilize green light but reflect it, showing a green appearance

Plants don’t utilize green light but reflect it, showing a green appearance

The Best Air Pump For Deep Water Culture


Oxygen is vital in ensuring plant survival. Choosing the best air pump for deep water culture is one of the important steps in setting up a successful hydroponic garden. The best air pumps should be able to fully oxygenate the water in your reservoir with minimal noise and power consumption. Reservoir size should be proportional to air pump power.

Dissolved oxygen in water helps hydroponic plants grow steadily and quickly

Dissolved oxygen in water helps hydroponic plants grow steadily and quickly

The Best Air Stone For Deep Water Culture


An air stone goes together with the air pump in hydroponics. The air stone creates bubbles in the water, allowing oxygen to enter and dissolve in water. In choosing air stones, it’s important to consider the size and coverage of the air stone. As much as possible, opt for those that cover a wide space in your reservoir to promote even distribution and diffusion of oxygen all throughout.

Air bubbles created by the air pump and the air stone increase dissolved oxygen levels in water

Air bubbles created by the air pump and the air stone increase dissolved oxygen levels in water

Top 5 Best DWC System 2017 Reviews

There are a lot of products on the market today to help you get started with your own hydroponic garden. Here are some of the best DWC system products you can get today:

PowerGrow Systems-DWC Hydroponic Bucket Kit

PowerGrow Systems-DWC Hydroponic Bucket Kit. Via:Amazon.com

One of the best DWC system products available in the market today is PowerGrow Systems’ DWC Hydroponic Bucket Kit. It’s an inexpensive, easy-to-use, complete kit that comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros

  • It’s perfect for beginners as it comes with all the basics needed for setting up a hydroponic system like a 5-gallon FDA-approved bucket with a 44-GPH air pump, 6-inch lid, growing medium, air stone, air tubing, and rockwool seeds starting plugs.
  • Water level can be seen through a water level indicator.
  • It comes with a drain as well.
  • It’s very affordable.
  • It’s easy to set up.
  • It comes with a one-year warranty.

Cons

  • It can only house one large plant.
  • It’s not for growing a vegetable garden.

PowerGrow Systems-DWC Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit

PowerGrow Systems-DWC Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit. Via:Amazon.com

Another one of the best DWC system products for growing more than one plant is PowerGrow Systems’ DWC Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit. This variety comes with more than one bucket ideal for growing more plants.

Pros

  • It’s perfect for those starters in hydroponic gardening as it comes with four 5-gallon FDA-approved buckets with air lines, 10-inch basket lids, air pump, and air stones.
  • Water level can be seen through a water level indicator.
  • It’s relatively affordable for a system with four growing sites.
  • It’s easy to set up.
  • It comes with a one-year warranty.

Cons

  • As it comes with only one pump, it may cause issues with sufficient and evenly distributed water oxygenation.

HTG Supply-Bubble Brothers DWC Hydroponic System

HTG Supply-Bubble Brothers DWC Hydroponic System. Via:Amazon.com

If growing four plants hydroponically is not enough for you, the HTG Supply DWC Hydroponic System may be the best one for you. Its space-saving design is perfect for growing your little vegetable hydroponic garden.

Pros

  • It’s a complete kit with six 3.5-gallon buckets with six 6-inch lids, one 951-GPH high-power commercial air pump with 6-way divider, six 2-inch premium air stones, and one 50-foot roll of ¼-inch air tubing, perfect for novice vegetable hydroponic gardeners.
  • It also comes with a 10-liter bag of clay pebble growth medium of superior quality.
  • It’s designed to save space.
  • It’s fairly affordable for a 6-site kit.

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with a drain.
  • The air pump is too loud.

 HTG Supply-Single Shot Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Bucket System

HTG Supply-Single Shot Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Bucket System. Via: Amazon.com

This variety from HTG Supply is similar to PowerGrow’s DWC Hydroponic Bucket Kit but with less reservoir capacity and less expensive. Its best feature is a powerful adjustable air pump.

Pros

  • It’s a complete kit with 3.5-gallon bucket with a 6-inch net-pot lid, 123-GPH dual outlet air pump that is adjustable, 4-inch premium air stone, air tubing, premium hydrostone growth medium, and ¼-inch connector, suitable for DWC beginners.
  • It has an efficient, space-saving design.
  • It’s less expensive as compared to other one-site DWC systems.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a drain and a water level indicator.
  • It can only house a single plant.
  • It may require more hydrostone growth medium due to little medium included in the kit to fill the net pot.

H2OtoGro-Complete Hydroponic system DWC Grow Kit

H2OtoGro-Complete Hydroponic system DWC Grow Kit. Via:Amazon.com

If you’re looking for the best DWC system with multiple growing sites but compactly designed, then the Complete Hydroponic System DWC Grow Kit #3-4 by H2OtoGro is definitely for you.

Pros

  • It’s made with 100% food-grade polyethylene.
  • It’s designed to maintain all plants in one place, not in individual buckets, which saves a lot of space.
  • It has a water-level indicator.
  • It’s perfect for small hydroponic gardens.
  • It’s very cheap for a 4-site hydroponic system.

Cons

  • The air pump is not included.
  • In case of a leak that can’t be plugged, the whole reservoir should be replaced.

Conclusion

In 1936, labs employed hydroponics to research plant growth and development

In 1936, labs employed hydroponics to research plant growth and development

The deep water culture system is very easy to set up and an ideal start for novice gardeners as there are many DWC system products available in the market now. DWC systems can also be set up using materials available at home if you don’t want to use complete kits. The secret is knowing how the system works and how it helps your plants grow and develop so that you know what DWC system components to use. It depends on how you want your hydroponic garden to be but for me personally, I prefer PowerGrow Systems’ products. They are designed to make hydroponic gardening easy for everyone, they don’t really cost a lot, and they’re made of high-quality materials.

Thank you so much for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful and if you did, please do share it with your friends and family. If you want to know more about the best hydroponic systems, you can read an article about it here. I can also help you out with learning more about hydroponic gardening.

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Best DWC System Reviews To Help You Get Started With Deep Water Culture Hydroponics
4.8 (96%) 5 votes
Lucy M. Clark
 

Hi there! I’m Lucy, and I’m a self-confessed garden fanatic. Gardening has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and have one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other garden enthusiasts like me.

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