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We highly recommend the CNS17 Grow Plant Nutrient by Botanicare as the best nutrients for DWC. The product has 17 essential nutrients in one bottle. These nutrients are sure to provide a balanced source of nutrients for your hydroponic plants. It is also a grow solution, which is aimed at developing plant roots and sturdier stalk and branches. Best of all, CNS17 is the top deal in terms of the price as it is cheaper than other similar products. You can never ask for more!
Comparison Table: 4 Best Nutrients for Deep Water Culture
Deep Water Culture (DWC) is one of the most popular and the simplest hydroponic gardening methods most gardeners adhere to. Instead of submerging plant roots in soil, this system uses enriched water, thus the name. DWC requires three main things in order to grow plants: oxygen, water, and nutrients. Just as the supply of water and oxygen have to be managed, nutrients too should be of good quality to allow plants to thrive.
An illustration of the mechanism of the hydroponic deep water culture
To properly aid in plant growth, DWC should contain the necessary micro and macro nutrients. This is greatly important in oxygen-rich water since there is no access to nutrients from the soil. However, not all DWC systems on the market give an honest supply of these nutrients. But be glad because this article will give you a truthful guide to the best nutrients for DWC.
How to Choose the Best Nutrients for DWC
Figuring out the best DWC plant nutrients have become trickier, thanks to the many companies producing them. For beginners, the first option is often to check the general hydroponics plant nutrient series. While others who want to be more hands-on mix their own hydroponic nutrients. Either way, there is a checklist of things to look after if you are to come up with the best nutrients for DWC. Below are the most important ones.
1. Know Your Plant’s Nutrient Requirements
All plants need phosphorus, calcium, nitrogen and other essential elements for proper nutrition. However, while most plants require essentially the same micro and macronutrients, the ratios in solution may vary greatly. This depends primarily on the kind of plant you are growing. If you are not sure of that, you can always check out a DWC nutrient guide online. The key is to understand them to be able to provide the best nutrients for DWC plants.
2. Check The pH Level Of The Nutrient Solution
The pH level is not something to be taken lightly as it can ultimately kill your hydroponic plants. Typically, plants require a pH level between 5.5 to 7 with 5.8 to 6.3 as the most optimal range. If the nutrient solution’s pH level drops down to 5.5, micronutrient toxicity may creep in. On the flip side, a pH level above 7 becomes too acidic for plants.
An electronic pH meter can be used to measure pH level of water in DWC hydroponics
It may be simpler to deal with lower pH as you can simply add up, but if the latter is the case, you will need to use some pH down solution. A mixture of the pH down solution should be added to your nutrient solution to lower the level of acidity. The pH level should also be customized to the stage of your plant’s growth. Vegetative plants typically need higher pH than flowering plants.
3. Verify Your Electrical Conductivity (EC) Measurement
Electrical Conductivity may sound complicated, but it is really just the ratio of the nutrient solution relative to the amount of water. The goal is to keep the EC level between 0.8 to 3 with the normative value set between 1.5 to 2.5. The simplest way to verify this is to use Electronic EC meters. Manual computations may be a little tricky but is also an option.
The consequence of a low EC is not that unnerving as you can simply adjust upwards. The concern lies with a high EC because you run the risk of a nutrient burn. It is a condition where plants dry out or die because of too much fertilizer. Once done, this is not something that can be reversed, but you can definitely set the right amount by adding some more water to bring the EC down to the suitable range.
4. Check the Oxygen Level of Your Nutrient Solution
Determining the oxygen level of your nutrient solution should be carried out to properly oxygenate your DCW plants. Much like the pH level and EC measurement, the oxygen level should be optimized. Dissolved oxygen meters can be utilized for the job, but they might be an overkill for those who are just starting out and have few hydroponic plants. Some no-cost options are to manually monitor the right temperature and to run an air pump.
When oxygen level is too low, toxins will accumulate which reduces the permeability of the roots to water and minerals, thus leading to insufficiency in both. If the oxygen is too high, there will be an excessive oxygenation, which will still lead to poor absorption of the necessary nutrients and minerals. Letting either way happen is a great loss to your plants’ growth.
Oxygen is a vital component of all plants
Top 4 Best Nutrients for DWC 2018 Reviews
DWC hydroponics nutrients can be obtained from several products on the market. A majority adheres to the 3-part nutrient solution- grow, micro, and bloom. Although many products claim to contain advanced nutrients, the difference can only truly be noticed upon usage. Here, we’ll give you some of the best-rated and most preferred nutrient solutions for DWC.
FloraBloom by General Hydroponics. Via: Amazon.com
The best DWC nutrients are contained in General Hydroponics’ FloraBloom. The formulation is complete which assists in various stages of the plant blooming cycle. It is loved for how quickly flowers and fruits bloom with a gallon of the bottle that last longer than other similar solutions.
- FloraBloom contains the best nutrients for DWC that stimulates fruit and flower development and assists in the entire grow cycle.
- The product contains phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and sulfur, which are essential for a well-balanced plant growth.
- It enhances the flavor, aroma, and essential oils in your water solution.
- The product comes in 16-ounce, 1 gallon, 2.5-gallon, 6-gallon and 1-quart sizes.
- Some of the delivered products arrived without proper packaging according to some customers.
- The product might give an unequal result for all plants.
FloraGro by General Hydroponics. Via: Amazon.com
FloraGro is another product from the General Hydroponics series that provides the best nutrients for DWC. As the name suggests, this one is for stimulating the structural and vegetative growth of plants. The product does this well with its complete mixture of nutrients.
- FloraGro helps build strong plant roots essential for stimulating structural and vegetative plant growth.
- It contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other secondary minerals that provides all the needed nutrients.
- Following a mixture of 2 or 3 tsp per gallon of water, the solution will last longer than its competition.
- The product combines perfectly with the other products in its series and comes in 1 gallon, 2.5-gallon, 6-gallon and 1-quart sizes.
- A minute complaint of some customers is the unavailability of instructions in the bottle of the product.
CNS17 Grow Plant Nutrient by Botanicare. Via:Amazon.com
With CNS17, you won’t need to feed your plants different things just to get a balanced source of nutrients. This alone provides all 17 best nutrients for DWC in a single bottle for an optimal plant growth. The product is cost-effective with its extremely concentrated formula that gives the premium results every grower and hobbyists hope for.
- The 17 essential nutrients contained in CNS17 provides the best nutes for DWC enabling the production of high yields for all growing plants.
- Its highly soluble formula excels not only in DWC but also in Aeroponic and NFT systems.
- It contains optimal levels of calcium, nitrogen, and phosphorous for increased root development and sturdier stalks and branches.
- Considering that it is a complete solution, the product is an economical option for plant growers.
- A few customers reported the product to be ineffective for some types of plants.
UC Roots Fertilizer by Cultured Solutions. Via: Amazon.com
This plant solution goes beyond the norm as it’s also formulated to remove harmful pathogens that may stunt plant growth. While mainly formulated for DWC, it’s also usable for other cultivation styles. Another quality that makes it count as one of the best nutrients for DWC is its well-balanced nutrient solution for quick root growth.
- UC Roots Fertilizer is formulated to aid in mineral descaling and removing potentially harmful pathogens in nutrient reservoirs.
- It contains a well-balanced nutrient solution for explosive plant growth.
- It is usable for all cultivation styles and methods.
- The fertilizer can also be used for cleaning nutrient reservoirs between cycles.
- Some customer reviews pointed that the product is a little overpriced.
Changing the Nutrient Solution
Nutrient solution in DWC will eventually be completely absorbed by the plant roots. Therefore, it is necessary to replace them from time to time. The appropriate length of time varies depending on the type of plant, the stage of growth, and the size of the nutrient reservoir. However, suggested replacement usually runs between two to three weeks.
The better way to do this is to opt for a complete change of both water and nutrient solution. However, if you don’t want to do so, you can simply mix in some nutrient solution to water and add the mixture into the reservoir to achieve the right balance again.
Submerging Roots into the DWC Reservoir
Having prepared and done all the necessary mixture and checking, you can already relax and just submerged your plants into the water and nutrient reservoir. Definitely Not! First of all, DWC hydroponic gardening is not some gardener-mood-dependent activity. If anything, it should be a regular part of one’s life. Secondly, only the roots should be submerged into the mixture and not the stem, and definitely the vegetation.
The root system in deep water culture is deeply submerged in nutrient-rich water.
Most importantly, only a portion of the root should be kept under water leaving at least 1.5” of the root matter up top. Having a part of the root on top is not something to worry about as airstone bubbles will eventually pop some water up. Thus, that part of the root will still be nourished.
Importance of Checking Raw Water Quality
The quality of the raw water used in any hydroponic gardening system is as important as choosing the right nutrient solution. Raw water may already contain some amount of iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and other essential nutrients and minerals. These elements should be factored in upon adjusting the DWC nutrient solution to avoid nutrient burn.
Unsurprisingly, raw water may also contain sodium, chloride, and other unwanted minerals that are not suited for hydroponics. Thus, the water must be replaced, diluted or pre-treated before pouring in the nutrient solution. You may have the best nutrients for DWC but when the raw water is not checked, you will still run the risk of failure in your hydroponics endeavor. Ensuring the appropriateness of your raw water and nutrient solution are imperative.
Make sure to check the quality of water from time to time
A nutrient solution is the only source of nutrients for DWC hydroponic plants. It is understandably imperative to ensure a balanced solution that contains the necessary plant nutrients. Other than the required nutrient concentration, there are several other factors to look after in preparing the solution. This includes the raw water quality, the pH level, the EC measurement, the oxygen level, and most importantly, the nutrient requirement of your grown hydroponic plants.
Thank you for hopping in! If you found this article helpful, kindly share it with your friends. Best of luck in your DWC gardening undertakings!
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