Deep Water Culture System Designs

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Last Updated on October 29, 2022

Deep water culture system is one common type of hydroponics system among hydroponic growers. The design is not so difficult and the materials needed are accessible and won’t cost you much stress. So, this article attempts to give you some information about deep water culture system designs.

So, let’s dive in to gain some knowledge.

Deep Water Culture System Designs Setup

Deep water culture system designs are pretty easy to set up. What it takes to construct this system is so easy and it will be worth any hydroponics grower time. Now if you love to learn and create new things by putting them together, designing a deep water culture system will interest you.

Let’s take a look at the materials used in constructing deep water system designs and the various types you can go for. All these materials can be purchased on Amazon, a local hydroponics supply store, or home depot.

Materials Needed For DIY DWC System

  • Gallon buckets
  • Net poles for holding plants
  • Air pump and airstones for tank oxygenation
  • Airline tubing
  • Nutrient solution
  • pH control kit
  • Growing media to be filled inside the net poles

Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit

Types of Deep Water Culture System Designs

1. Traditional Method: Attach the pump to the airline tubing and link the tubing to the airstone. Now put the airstone in the bucket and fill up the container with water. Do the necessary pH adjustments and put in your nutrients and begin seeding. As your plants begin to sprout and germinate, the roots will begin to touch the water. Your plants will receive adequate nutrients and water and they begin to enjoy optimal growth.

2. Recirculating Deep Water Culture System: the recirculating DWC is great for both beginners and large scale. This method consists of several individual buckets or containers. These buckets are all linked to a central reservoir which circulates to feeds the plants in each bucket and returns to its reservoir. Make sure you calibrate each bucket and always monitor the pH and adjust accordingly.

3. Bubbleponics: the bubbleponics is similar to the common deep water culture system. However, it is only perfect for small plants that their root system isn’t long enough to reach the nutrient reservoir. This system makes use of a water pump which is placed inside the reservoir. Oxygenated water is pumped towards the net cups where it can reach the roots of the plants. It flows along with the growing medium to wicks up water and later returns into the reservoir tank.


4. Kratky Method: the Kratky method is similar to the regular DWC but it just doesn’t make use of a water pump. The design of the Kratky method is set up in a way that there is a gap between the surface of the nutrient mix and plant roots. Half of the roots are submerged in the nutrient mix and the other half is left hanging in the air. The roots of the plants adapt and grow longer downwards as the water level drops.

Deep Water Culture Requirements: How It Works

  • Nutrients: the nutrients in your DWC system will need to be monitored closely to maintain pH balance. The pH level should be between 5.5 to 6.5.
  • Aeration: air circulation is essential in the DWC system because plants require oxygen for optimal growth. Thus, air pumps are very important in the deep water culture system. The size of the tank will determine the size and strength of the pump. We recommend you use an air pump of 2 outlets or more. This way, you can attach air stones separately and this will deliver oxygen adequately. Keep the air pumps running at all times to maintain a well-aerated solution. Failure to do this can cause your plants to die quickly.
  • Reservoir: your reservoir can be a dark container. Make sure light doesn’t enter the reservoir to prevent algae growth. The algae growth can decrease air circulation to your root. We recommend you cover the top of your reservoir tank with a reflective material. This will reflect light away from your reservoir tank preventing your tank from light and heat.


What are the most common deep water culture designs?

The most commonly used type of grow box is the so called “deep water culture” or DWC hydroponic systems. These are very popular because they can be set up and run with minimal technical skills, they are very efficient in terms of light and space utilization and they are easy to maintain. They also provide a great variety of different plants in a very simple way.

Pros: Very cheap and easy to setup and run.

However, the disadvantage of these systems is that they are not very efficient in terms of light and space utilization.

How does DWC hydroponics work?

DWC uses a series of small chambers that are used to house plants and to provide them with the nutrients they need to grow. The chambers are connected to each other by a network of tubes, which is the way in which water passes through the system. The roots of the plants are suspended in a nutrient solution, which is pumped from one chamber to another, depending on the plant's needs.

DWC is a complete hydroponic system that allows you to grow your own plants without soil, water or electricity. The roots of the plant are in contact with a nutrient-rich liquid while the leaves receive light from an LED lamp. DWC uses the principle of nutrient recycling. It works by first filtering and recycling nutrients from the plant’s roots through a perforated plate into a nutrient solution.

The plant absorbs the nutrients and grows. When the plant needs more nutrients, it is harvested and the process is repeated. DWC has the potential to produce food for a family of four on a single acre of land with no water or electricity. The benefits of growing your own food are numerous. You will save money, have better quality food and know exactly where your food comes from. Plus, you can grow your own food in a very safe way.

DWC can be used to grow crops in space, as well as to provide plants with the essential nutrients they require for growth.

Is it becoming popular?

Hydroponic DWC gardening is one of the fastest growing trends in the world today. It’s not just for green thumbs anymore, it’s for anyone with a green thumb and an open mind! You can grow your own fruits, vegetables, herbs, even flowers. Hydroponics systems have been around for a long time but they were only used by the military and NASA. Hydroponics is a way to grow plants without soil.

IS there an obvious best design?

No. This is a difficult question because they are not the same. Both have their benefits and disadvantages. You need to think about what you want from your plants and choose accordingly.

DWC Hydroponics

As we have mentioned, deep water culture system designs are easy to construct and it offers a maximum yield of crops.  However, always have in mind that aeration is the key in deep water culture system designs.

So, you can try any types of these DWC systems and enjoy greater yield.

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