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Battle of the Bubblers...DWC vs. R-DWC

DWC and R-DWC are both great growing methods. But which one's right for you? Find out now.

What’s the difference?


DWC (deep water culture) is a hydroponic growing method.


DWC = Deep Water Culture

R-DWC = Recirculating Deep Water Culture


Both methods use bubblers – a kind of pot. In these pots, roots grow straight into an oxygen rich nutrient solution.


To keep your nutrient solution oxygenated, you need to use an air pump, airline and air stones. Most DWC and R-DWC Systems come with them - all except the IWS R-DWC System where you need to buy an air kit.


Hardly any media is needed (just clay pebbles). This means roots get instant and unlimited access to nutrients & oxygen!


• Fast nutrient uptake

• Bigger, healthier roots

• Bigger yielding plants


On top of this, nasty root diseases can’t survive in an oxygen rich environment.


…with DWC


Nutrient solution is static – it stays in whatever bubbler you put it in.


You can use standalone bubblers (like an Oxypot). If you want to, you can use multiple Oxpots and manage them individually. To keep several Oxypots filled from one tank, get an R-DWC system. You'll get better results if you do.


…with R-DWC


Instead of staying in one pot, your feed constantly travels round your entire system, mixing and cooling along the way.


Which Option is Right for You?


Taken from a RUSH system in our Sheffield Greenhouse Taken from an IWS R-DWC System in our Sheffield Greenhouse


..in DWC


If you’ve never used a hydro system before, DWC is a great place to start.


You don’t need to go big – it’s as simple as swapping your standard pots for Oxypots. You can connect multiple air stones to one air pump to keep costs low.


There’s also loads of margin for error with DWC – great for beginners!


Nutrient doesn’t travel from pot to pot, so you do get a problem (like Pythium), it’s easier to stop it spreading.


Option 1: Oxypot (small & easy to manage, great for beginners).

Option 2: Oxypot XL (twice the size of an Oxypot - for 1 big plant or 2 medium sized plants)

Option 3: Oxypot 4 (Space for 1 large plant, 2 big plants or 4 medium plants)


...in R-DWC


For best results, go R-DWC! As your nutrient recirculates, it mixes and cools!


Your feed doesn’t get the chance to stagnate. With all that mixing, your pH, temperature and CF stays stable… oxygen levels are much higher too.


Ultimately, you’ll get a much bigger yield.


Option 1: IWS R-DWC System - Recirculating (great price, flexible pot positions, shop favourite)

Option 2: IWS R-DWC System - Recirculating & Dumpback (periodically sends nutrient to tank for remixing)

Option 3: RUSH (best results, faster recirculation, bigger pipes, powerful pump)


RUSH Systems (R-DWC)


It’s the Rolls Royce of all bubbler systems.


Why’s it so good? The clue’s in the name – RUSH.


Recirculations are stupidly rapid - this monster’s got 63mm pipes and a powerful pump!


Feed is whipped around at lightning speed, (up to 34 full circulations an hour)! Imagine how much oxygen gets trapped!


With all that oxygen, nutrient uptake soars. You’ll get giant roots, faster growth, a bigger yield – the lot.


You won’t find a system better than this.

Roots from a RUSH in Wembley

Where to See them


Growing systems are assembled and on display in all shops! Ask a member of staff for the grand tour!


This post was posted in Growing Systems, Growing Systems, Systems


2 Comments - Add Comment

  • Gareth
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 6:55 am
    Hi I want to run an iws dwc 350 litre ...just want some novice advice on how to run the reseviour I know to keep the water temp between 18c and 20c i will need a chiller...check ph daily 5.5 to 6.5 etc
    How do I manage the e.c ? Do I adjust it daily?let it go down then raise it to a higher value ? Do I top up the water levels as they drop? I will be changing the reseviour completely on a weekly basis.kind regards gareth
    • Replies

    • GroWell Team
      Posted May 24, 2017 at 10:37 am
      Hi Gareth, we would advise using a chiller alongside the DWC system you are considering, it would also be a good idea to use some Silver Bullet Roots as this will give your plants further protection from root diseases.

      It is worth monitoring your EC daily as it will give you an indication of how much nutrient your plants are using - if the EC is rising it generally means that your feed is too strong & the plants are just taking up water. If you need to top up the solution between reservoir changes, it's best to use a 1/4 strength pH adjusted nutrient solution without any additional boosters or additives.

      Hope this helps
      Growell Team
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