Sunday, April 28, 2013

Deep Water Culture

I'm starting with a Deep Water Culture (DWC) system since it's fairly simple to get started with, I think. DWC is a hydroponic method of plant production by means of suspending the plant roots in a solution of nutrient-rich, oxygenated water.

My DWC system will consist of:
  • Bucket (food grade)
  • Air curtain
  • Air pump
  • Silicone air hose
  • Net pots
  • Clay pellets
  • Nutrients
  • Check valve
Unfortunately the only food grade bucket I could find was transparent. This is not good for a hydroponic system since it will not block off sunlight from the water and nutrients solution. This will cause algae to start growing inside the bucket. To avoid this I will also use spray paint to paint the outside of the bucket and the lid.

Parts for my DWC system
Parts for my DWC system

As you can see I have actually finished the bucket already. All I did was to cut holes in the lid and spray the outside of the lid and bucket white. I wish I didn't have to paint it because it seems the paint doesn't hold very well when being scratched. Oh well. The picture above does not show the clay pellets and silicone hose.

Gold Label Hydro A+B nutrients
Gold Label Hydro A+B nutrients

 I chose to try the Gold Label Hydro A+B nutrients. This is a two component base plant nutrient for the vegetative and flowering phase. There are many other brands on offer but I found these to be reasonably priced.

Schego Optimal air pump
Schego Optimal air pump

I bought the Schego Optimal air pump. Maybe not the cheapest air pump but I read good reviews and it also looks awesome! According to specification it has adjustable air output (maximum 250 l/h) and consumes 5 Watts. The pump will pump air through the air curtain which is placed at the bottom of the bucket. This will aerate and oxygenate the nutrient solution. Without this the plants will die.

Bucket with net pots
Bucket with net pots

This is how it will look. The net pots will be filled with clay pellets. What remains to be done is to make a hole in the bucket for the air hose. My seedlings are starting to grow so it is soon time for them to be transferred to the DWC system.

No comments:

Post a Comment