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questions of first time DWC grower

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    questions of first time DWC grower

    Hi there, i have been researching in GWE site for like 2-3 months and im planning to start growing next week with hydroponic system. But before i start i have some questions:

    1. I found "plant!t aeros 2" for a good price but im very confused because there is no water pump in it and i guess water is touching net pots, is it a good system or should i make DIY DWC system with water pump?
    -cause in top fed dwc topic water transferred directly to the begining of the roots as i understood

    2. if i make DIY DWC system what shoudl be the water level at the begining and for the rest of the grow? and should i transfer water by waterpump 24 hour a day inside of the net pots

    3. does rapid rooter really important or rockwool do the same job?

    4. should airpum work for 24 hours a day?

    5. I coulndt find hydroguard or great white to prevent root rot, is it an essential supplement? is there a substitute product of it? what ingrediendts should i look for in other substitute products?

    Thanks for your help, i will ask further questions and post news about my grow here.

    The PLANT!T® aeros II is a 2 plant Deep Water Culture system, also commonly known as a bubbler system. These are very popular hydroponic systems that require very little growing media, but do require a lot of nutrient/water solution. The PLANT!T® aeros II is best suited for short term and seasonal cropping plants.

    1 yes you can use it, the Top Feed system helps with early seedling growth and after 3 weeks the pump is gratuitive, however not required you can just hand water past your media the first couple of weeks
    2 roots need oxygen, at least 4 inches of head space around the roots. And 15mins every hour is more than enough if you use a water pump
    3 yes exact same purpose, I personally prefer rapid rooters because peatmoss is renewable
    4 yes 100% all the time air is needed especially since you aren’t using hydroguard
    5 hydroguard uses a specially selected bacteria, that and water are the only ingredients. Keep your water heavyily oxygenated and cool below 70f to fend off root rot
    Grow and good luck
    Current grow:

    past grows:


      Howdy maner, I have been growing in a 'Bubbleponics' style DWC systems (one is an actual Bubbleponics) for eight grows now. Here is my 'slant' on Your questions;
      1. I am not familiar with the system that you mentioned, but all of the aero phonic systems that I have seen are all too small to support a full grown cannabis plant.
      2. the roots need an air gap of 1 to 2 inches and I run the water pump 24/7 until the root ball is well established, then the water pump may be turned off.
      3. I prefer the rockwool cubes over the rapid rooter because the peat moss tends to stay too wet and I have seen many examples, on this site, of stem rot because of the cubes staying too wet. The rockwool cubes can have the same problems in a top feed system, that is why I put the drip lines at the bottom of the rockwool cubes.
      4. Yes, 24/7 for the entire grow.
      5. I keep the root rot away by running the air pumps (a four outlet pump with four 4 inch x 2 inch stones in each reservoir) 24/7 and using ice bottles to keep the water temperature between 60° and 70° F.
      I hope that this helps to answer Your questions.
      Smoke weed,.....grow peace!


      • DW2
        DW2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Firstly, that's what we are here for, to learn and share the knowledge of growing.
        2. I usually turn off the water pump if the lines or the pump get roots in them or clog up. Once the root ball is well established the water pump can be turned off.
        3. Yes, I say 'drip lines', but the flow is continuous. I use a D.I.G. six outlet manifold (drip irrigation department at Home Depot, about $6) to distribute the flow evenly, it has valves to adjust the flow, but I just make all of the lines the same length to get an even flow. I place the line in the net pots (3.75 in. size) where it is relatively horizontal and at the bottom of the cube, just touching the bottom edge. It's not too critical as long as the flow contacts the bottom of the cube.

      • maner
        maner commented
        Editing a comment
        How much should i wetten the rockwool cube? And should i close top of the rockwool cube completely or leave a hole and put seedling 1-2” inside it? Cause my rockwool is a bit bigger than my netpots and i will cut them a bit befpre i start

      • DW2
        DW2 commented
        Editing a comment
        maner, I am using the 1 1/2 cubes and surround them with the Hydrotron pebbles. I pre soak the cubes in water pH adjusted to 5.5 for about a hour before placing the sprouted seeds into the hole in the cube. I, carefully, press the hole around the new root (with the seed case exposed). One could germinate the seeds directly in the cubes, but I prefer to use the paper towel method so that I do not have to guess whether or not the seed has sprouted. I use bag seed and , now, use hermied seeds and some times the seed will 'pop' a small root and stop. Using the towel method, I can see if the seedling is growing well before I place them into the cubes.

      1. Never used that system. Not sure.
      2. At first you want an inch or 2 at most of an air gap. Once the roots are submerged into the water, then you can increase that to a 4-5” air gap.
      Water transfer to the net pots should be on a recycle timer. A wet dry process is always best for Cannabis.
      3. I always use rockwool. This will be fine.
      4. Air pumps run 24/7
      5. Hydro guard will protect against root rot. But if your water temps get too warm, nothing will prevent it. A water chiller is a great tool if you can afford it. Low water temps contain plenty of dissolved oxygen, so hydroguard will not be as nesessary if you can keep the water temps at 68F.
      Here is a link to hydroguard on Amazon. Maybe you can have it shipped to your place if you can’t find it around your location.
      4x4 600w HID (empty for the summer)
      3x3 400w HID with 4 skywalker kush (new strain for me)
      2x2 65w Quantum Board LED with 4 mother strains
      running all simultaneously for a perpetual harvests.


        I couldn't get the hydroguard either. I have been using GH SubCulture B
        Currently growing:
        Northern Lights (Canuk Seeds)
        Light of JAH (Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds)
        Blue Dream Automatic (Humboldt Seed Organization)

        Royal Gorilla Automatic (Royal Queen Seeds)

        In my defence
        I was left alone and unsupervised


          Hey guys, i nearly got all the stuff and equipments and will finally start growing in next few days,but before i start i got some questions

          1- When germinating seeds some people on youtube put seeds into the water and wait for 1 day before putting them in paper towel. is paper towel enough? if its enough what kind of water should i use to make towels wet? because the water i use has 7.5 Ph (which i drink in my day life)

          2- after seeds has germinated, im going to put them inside rapid rooters (which is their final growing place) but some gave them light while waiting them to pop out from rapid rooters some not according to my researchs, what should i do? and some said that i should wetten rapid rooters with 1/4 nutrients (general hydroponics flora nutrient trio) what way should i use? should i start the water pump right away or wait them to pop out of rapid rooters? (i will grow with 600w viparspectra LED light, should i turn it on 24-0 before they pop out)

          3- Im going to use GH flora nutrient trio, is itt enough as nutrients if i dont face with any problems or do i need something more?

          Thanks for your help. i will post photos and updates of my first grow when i start.


          • DW2
            DW2 commented
            Editing a comment
            maner, I pre soak the seeds in a pH solution of 5.0-5.5 pH with GH FloraShield (inoculant) in it for 6-8 hours. I then place the seeds on paper towels (in contact with, but not submerged in, water that has been pH'ed to 5.5. After the roots start to show (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch), I place them into rockwool cubes and set the cubes into the net pots. I use the feeding schedule that General Hydroponics recommends for my set up (RDWC). The water I use is just 'city' water and already has a good amount of minerals in it (our supply is from well water and surface reservoirs), so I do not add extra minerals to my feeding schedule. I use some of the supplements for flavor, aroma, and such.

          Get an extra cal mag, I’d get something for the finish too. (I’m using Ripen for the first time and I think it does the work) and maybe something for the beginning to get massive roots. (I use shogun katana roots) I run my top fed 24/7 but it’s only a small water pump so the water flow is not very big.
          Try to find “silver bullet” to keep your reservoir clean.
          I keep around 2” gap between the pots through the entire grow.

          I germinate in paper towel and then putting them into the rapid rooters.


            Hi maner

            1. Germinating
            use clean water - doesn't really the matter the pH (at this time)
            seeds do not require light to germinate - warm and dark
            I soak mine for 18-24 hours (hoping for the seed to swell up and split, some will show a little tail).
            place it carefully into your rapid rooter, tail down (try not to break the tail)

            2. Lighting and top feed
            until you see leaves - you really don't need light. When you see leaves then you start adding light (don't immediately turn your LED on them, they aren't read for it)

            I don't use a top feed, but Serious has a tutorial

            3. Nutrients
            yes, GH Flora trio is what will get you through the grow
            and you will need CALMAG (I use GH CALiMAGic)

            did you find anything for beneficial bacteria? (HydroGuard, SubCulture B)

            Currently growing:
            Northern Lights (Canuk Seeds)
            Light of JAH (Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds)
            Blue Dream Automatic (Humboldt Seed Organization)

            Royal Gorilla Automatic (Royal Queen Seeds)

            In my defence
            I was left alone and unsupervised


            • maner
              maner commented
              Editing a comment
              hey first of all thanks for all your help.

              1a. In here tap water has 6.6Ph according to my tests and its rich with cal and mag but dont know the exact levels. I may use spring water which i drink in my daily life but its Ph level is 7.5. You soak your seeds and take them directly to RR after they show their tails and dont use paper towel?

              1b. There are so many spring water brands in here which has Ph levels between 6 to 8 also rich with cal and mag but i dont know which one to use, how should i decide? Do i need EC meter? should i wetten rapid rooters with some nutrients?

              2. Ok until i see leaves i will leave them in dark but i dont have any different type of lights than LED what should i do?

              i read that article so carefully but it doesnt give information about when to start water pump. When they are seedlings they are so fragile thats why i cant decide when to start water pump to supply at the bottom of rapid rooters.

              3. i guess spring water brands are rich with cal and mag here so im not sure if i put calimagic there will be excess of cal and mag.

              i found great white (which is substitute of hydro guard i guess) and GH sub culture but sub culture packaging is different than the one you said above i will attach the picture of it. And customs mostly dont let people to import nutrients thats why i dont want to risk my money by trying to order it from amazon.

            • LurkingInTheGrass
              LurkingInTheGrass commented
              Editing a comment
              yes, I soak then directly to RR (I don't use paper towel) but, many do. if you don't see a tail - you could be waiting 21 days for your seed to show

              Eventually, yes, get an EC/TDS meter.
              choosing water - whatever you drink will work
              you will want to look into pH Up and pH down (you use a couple of drops to adjust the solution, then measure for pH)

              2. Lights and seedlings
              seedlings don't need huge bright lights. many people use CFLs to get them started (I use 4" long fluorescent lights for my seedlings). typically just a few days, until they are strong enough, or have enough roots

              I was being over cautious by saying don't use the LED
              you can use your LED light (check with ViparSpectra about light distances), you will want it a little higher, because they are seedlings, if they start stretching (getting too tall) they are trying to reach the light (then you move the light down a little)

              3.Water and Calcium/Magnesium
              water rich in Calcium and Magnesium is Ok, your plants actually need them. you may not need to use CAL/MAG supplement (but may want to keep a little bottle on hand, just in case)

              I use ReverseOsmosis water (really clean, low ppm/ec, almost nothing in it other than water), I have to add CALiMAGic, because the water is so clean and doesn't have any

              I can only think of alltatup (right now) that uses top feed. hopefully, I tagged her properly and she stops in to point us in the right direction

            should i buy one of them before i start and use them right away?
            Attached Files


            • LurkingInTheGrass
              LurkingInTheGrass commented
              Editing a comment
              use the Great White - full of Beneficial Bacterias and fungus

              apparently SubCulture B is no longer available (In Canada, anyway - I was in my Hydro shop this morning )

            • maner
              maner commented
              Editing a comment
              should i use great white from the begining till the end in all reservoir changes? cause they sell great white (113gr) in amazon for 29$ but in my country its 73$=) and should i use recommended dosage? i will decide the size and buy he product according to these informations

            LurkingInTheGrass should i use great white from the begining of my grow? and what do you think about other questions above?=)


            • LurkingInTheGrass
              LurkingInTheGrass commented
              Editing a comment
              yes - the benificial bacteria costs a little bit (150 grams was $50 for me, will definitely be looking at Amazon prices)

              Every time I change/start the reservoir, I add the bacteria (right from the beginning)

              I follow the dosage for Hydroponics (marked on the bottle) for me its 1/4 tsp per 4L (1 gallon)

            Hi maner ,

            1 - I have the 4 bucket system with reservoir which does come with a water pump. Currently only 2 in use with res & waterpump.
            Having 2 seperate buckets would, in my opinion, give you more freedom with 2 different strains.

            You're probably looking at filling those buckets with about 8 to 10 L of water each.

            2 - What I did was get the water at that level where about half the initial root would be in, with air bubbling.
            After about I week I dropped the level a bit more, when roots were showing from the bottom of the net, water level just touching the net.
            At the moment the roots of my 4 week plants are long enough to hang freely in the water below, nets are hanging dry now.

            3 - I went from sprouted with the 'paper towel' method straight into the hydroton pebbles.
            Tip from experience: make sure that first root is long enough (around 3 - 4 cm)

            4 - Airpump always on.

            5 - Using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 at 12%) als alternative. Other alternatives I found a while ago would be things like Piranha, VooDoo Juice, Subculture B, and Rooters.
            Havent tried using them yet though.

            I use the GH Flora tri nutrients with extra CalMag and pH down/up.
            I'd strongly advise getting a pH and EC or ppm meter to check the water.

            good luck with you grow
            Lighthouse LITE growtent 1.2m x 1.2m x 2m
            PLANTiT DWC Aeros IV -> 4 buckets + main tank [75L total volume]
            Budmaster G.O.D-4 LED light (their recommended replacement for 400w HPS)
            RAM air blower with carbon filter
            Hydor Pico 600.115 600L/hr water pump
            2x Marina 200 Air Pump (2X110 L/hr) to 2 air stones each
            Hydrogarden ESSENTIALS pH Meter
            HM Digital (NaCl calibrated) TDS meter


              guys i havent decided yet that whether i will use rapid rooters or rockwool, so i have 2 questions to decide.

              - i took 2 rapid rooters from mu friend but the package of them opened 2 months ago so rrs are all dry , can i use them and if i can how much should i wetten them?

              -i got 2 rockwools which are bigger than my netpot and am going to cut them a bit and then shape them when i wetten them but i dont know that how much should i wetten the. and should i closetop of the rockwool when i put my seedlings in it or leave a hole?

              should i put a little great white on the media that im going to use?


                the great white, goes in the reservoir

                Click image for larger version

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                I let my rockwool sit until it stops dripping, then a little bit of a shake
                Currently growing:
                Northern Lights (Canuk Seeds)
                Light of JAH (Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds)
                Blue Dream Automatic (Humboldt Seed Organization)

                Royal Gorilla Automatic (Royal Queen Seeds)

                In my defence
                I was left alone and unsupervised


                  OK guys i germinated and sprouted my seeds through rockwool and its been 6 days since i started top fed dwc system and im going to make a new thread after i change the reservoir for the first time after 1-2 hours. but i got a last question which i couldnt find even i turned the forum upside down. There is so much information about ph and all are nearly tells the same thing and there must be a topic of this ec/tds thing in more comprehensive way for hydroponic growers.

                  So my question is;
                  -what should be the ppm (NaCl) range of the reservoir solution after adding every nutrients in seedling, vegetative and flowering period?

                  (how can i understand that my plant is not in seedling period anymore?)


                  • FlyingDutchPaddy
                    FlyingDutchPaddy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    hi Maner,

                    i've been looking for the same, but didnt find an answer.
                    so i've been keeping track in my own spreadsheet based on total water with nutes to add.
                    baseline water ppm ~ 300 (quite high, i know)
                    30L water + 10ml Micro + 10ml Gro + 10ml Bloom brings it up to around 500 (for seedlings).

                    Other topics on this:

                    and my (2nd version) spreadsheet:

                    its not a seedling anymore when the first set of serrated leaves is developing after the cotyledons.
                    Last edited by FlyingDutchPaddy; 01-28-2019, 09:26 PM. Reason: seedling to plant - cotyledons +

                  • maner
                    maner commented
                    Editing a comment
                    thx for the information, today i past the first week and i mixed exactly same portions that you mentioned but i have a water purifier in my house and it produces base of 622ppm (NaCl) so i had to add some bottled water which has 80-115ppm to take ppm 425 level (7.68 pH) as base. now i just finished changing my reservoir with 702 ppm (6,06pH) with;
                    -20ml micro
                    -20ml gro
                    -20ml bloom
                    -5ml great white
                    -17,5ml ph down

                    i will check threads you sent now and make new thread for my grow, thanks
                    Last edited by maner; 01-28-2019, 10:40 PM.

                  I think different strains take different amount of nutes. Some enjoying to be on 1500 some would burn to a crisp on that level.
                  I think many users will agree that nutes are not the most important things for a grow.
                  Im being a newbie, I always try to burn the end of the leafs, but no more. Hopefully that means I’m using the maximum food that the plant can take.
                  Personally me, I don’t follow any set schedule. Trying to see the plant and decide if she can take/need more or not.
                  Am I being stupid on that??? I definitely think that there is no set schedule for ppm leaves, that’s why you couldn’t find any proper articles about it.


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