Any way to leave a DWC bucket for a week?

emrldthumb

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So I've recently started my first DWC bucket, and it just occurred to me that unlike soil, which can easily survive a week or more without water if it's watered heavily first, my DWC setup seems to need at least daily pH, ppm, water level checks. How do DWC growers take vacations? I have one planned in a few weeks so this isn't an idle question. Are there any ways to prep a bucket for an extended absence?

For res levels I could get a bilge pump and have it pump in from a reserve tank when it gets below a certain point, but I don't see any way to avoid major pH issues without human intervention. Thoughts?
 

BenfukD

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not sure DWC the water farms and drip do well. can you have someone help you?
 

Joe420Camel

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very VERY close friends or expensive electronic equipment to monitor and adjust automatically.

we have LOTS (and lots) of pets so we don't go longer than a day or two, otherwise it would be an issue here too.

maybe there are alternative but I don't know of any
:48:
 

emrldthumb

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Thanks everyone. The problem solved itself when the plant hermied. I'll start the next bucket sometime after I return.
 

samarta

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I just take a separate 5 gal. bucket with the pump you used when you started the grow, run a tube to your res., and the power on a timer. I adjust the flow of the pump to one ten minute increment on the timer into a trial gallon jug. That of course varies depending where you are in your grow. My last trip was during full flower and had to be adjusted to one gallon per day. WORKED PERFECT!! You can ph/and or nute the water and set it for what ever time of day or night you want it put in there and do not have to bring anyone in.:cool2:
 

samarta

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I even put an air stone in the bucket!
 

samarta

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If you are gone seven days you can overfill the res by one gallon and figure on being one down when you get home. More than that, you could use dual buckets but you are getting into res change time!
 

WeedHopper

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Growing Weed is like having a Dog,,ya cant leave them to long,,,EVER.... lol
 

emrldthumb

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I like these ideas. I am on that vacation now and I did end up starting some seedlings before leaving. The attached photos show the gist of the setup, though you can only see half the plants basically.

There are two in an 18 gal tote, one in a 7 gal bin, and one in a 5 gal. I spent days trying to get the pH to stabilize before putting the seedlings in it, then three days after that making sure it seems stable.

They weren't drinking much yet, but I still hope they can win the battle to have their roots grow fast enough to keep up with the drop in water. I did overfill a bit too. It is a total of just over 10 days I'll be gone. I put a pump on a timer to water the girls in soil, but it'll be interesting to see how the DWC babies manage unsupervised for that long. I'd guess their prospects aren't great?

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Growdude

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What someone could do is to build or buy a controller bucket and use a rez that would maintain the level.

Put a float https://www.plantlightinghydroponics.com/hydro-logic-float-valves.html in a 5 gallon bucket at the level you want to maintain, have it gravity fed from a remote rez. like this one, https://www.plantlightinghydroponics.com/general-hydroponics-standard-controller-p-575.html

The DWC rez and controller bucket are connected at the bottom with a piece of tubing.

This would keep the make up water at a constant level for days.
 

emrldthumb

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Another good idea. My biggest concern is pH, though. Not sure if it's just my tap water, but it seems to drift upward even after many daily additions of the pH down. It seems there would be no inexpensive way to automatically adjust pH.
 

zem

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a big control res much bigger than your bucket with ph set to 5.5 should suffice. the ph rises as plants feed and the 5.5 ph will keep topping it off and if your control res is big enough, you can be well in the desired ph range when you are back. 7 days is not a long leave for your growroom in my book. i had them left for much longer vacations, and ended up alright.
 

WeedHopper

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Ill come watch it fur ya.:stoned:
 

samarta

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You're right Zem. I have played around with adjustments and can get real close on what I need to add to any given ph amount to bring it back and swim again. If your nutes are good they should hold the rise to a peak of no more than 6.5 or 6. In veg when it is not drinking much, I take the gallon from the res, adjust, and add back. I'll also cool it a little if needed.
 

emrldthumb

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FYI, the seedlings I left for 11 days survived, though definitely didn't flourish. The pH had drifted well into the 6.5-7 range, and they all got a bit hungry. I brought the pH down to around 5.5 and the ppm up to around 400 (that's on top of about 150 ppm for tap + pH down). Here are the four young'uns...

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