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Ebb & Flow + DWC

mcdillioh

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Hi. New Member. Thumbs up to all you guys!

Anyway, Ive been doing some searching and junk about hydro and I read about ebb & flow and of dwc. I was wondering if you could combine the two. I only ask 'cause read one of the topics on this site where a senior member stated he had a separate resevoir with his DWC. How would this work?
 

GanjaGuru

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I saw a set-up once with a 55-gal container drum surrounded by 5-gal DWC buckets. Each bucket was connected to the central res with plastic tubing. There were float valve's & other odds and ends (I can't explain it precisely) but the point is the cental res. kept the buckets at just the right water level for up to several weeks.

There USED to be a wonderful informative illustrated how-to complete with parts list on overgrow before it went kaput.
 

mcdillioh

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i see. it keeps the water level consistent, but does it fill & drain? sounds really neat if it did fill and drain. id assume it would help the whole fluctuating ph thing if it cycled with the 55gal drum yeah or maybe.
 

massproducer

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A dwc system will never flood and drain, they are totally different methods for growing hydoponically.

With DWC you can have systems with a lot of different variations, but the conceptsw is always the same. That concept is to provide as much dissolved oxygen to the roots as possible while keeping the entire root mass submerged in a nutrient solution.

This can be done very simply by adding a air pump and air stones and creating a simple bubbling bucket or tub. Or this can be done in a more complex method by connecting all of the buckets to a main controller bucket and using a water pump to constantly pump water from the controller bucket to the other buckets, thus highly oxygenating the nute solution.

Either way you have to do more research on this topic before attempting to grow using these methods, this is not because it is very hard, it is more because you need to understand all of the major aspects of the systems.

Good luck
 

GanjaGuru

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No, the buckets don't drain; they don't need to (see if you can find a cut-away drawing of a DWC bucket).
As the plant uses up water, the float valve keeps the water at the correct level.
 

mcdillioh

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ah. i see. thanks guys.

one more thing. in your opinion what would you reccomend for the beginner grower.
 

massproducer

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Yes those are examples of each system but they are not limited to those 2 types. I grow DWC but I do not have to use air pumps and stones in every bucket, because I use a water pump to circulate and oxygenate the solution.

If this is your first time growing, then you may want to start out growing in soil until you get the hang of things.
 

Biffdoggie

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My buddy was using a DWC system he purchased at a shop. The first thing I noticed was that they weren't linked together, this made it kind of a pain to change water/nutes, balance PH and so on, are you saying you have yours linked together mass? That would make more sense.
The multi-flow type set-up is pretty simple, the main thing with hydro is when things go south, they can go south quickly, there's no soil or anything to help buffer whatever the problem may be. If you just use the rock in the multi-flow type you have very little chance of over-watering.
 

massproducer

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Thats right Biffdoggie, all of my buckets are linked to a controller bucket that does not have a plant in it.

This sits outside of my growing area and makes changing nutes, topping up the solution, and ph/tds reading really easy.

Do not get me wrong, I love hydro and only grow hydro right now, but as biff said, everything happens so quick. That has positive and negitive concequences: The positive is that it grow very fast compaired to soil and should give you a larger yeild.
The negitive side of things is that when you have a problem in hydro it is magnified, and if you do not understand what is happening and more importantly what is suppose to be happening, your plants can die very fast.

If you feel comfortable and have extra time to devote to your garden then by all means go with hydro. It is hard to recommend a system or method of growing because it is IMO, a personal preference, based on your space and how envolved you would like to be in your grow and how much money you have to invest.

Do a google search on types of hydroponic systems and growing methods and firmilarize yourself with the different options, and look at all of the pros and cons.

We have to remember what works for me, may not work for you.

Good luck
 

Biffdoggie

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So true, there are so many ways to go about it it's crazy. Do you ebb and flow the buckets with the controller mass? I'm a little confused, not as to how the whole thing works, I get that, but do you still us drip rings? I would like to go the DWC route and not have to deal with so much rock in the end.
 

massproducer

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Well the way I configure my system is called: Bio-Bucket

Basically it is a variation of DWC. So instead of using air pumps and stones or rings to deliver the Dissolved Oxygen, you use a water pump and vinyl hose( or pvc pipe) to pump the nutrient solution into the growing buckets. Each growing bucket has an outflow valve about 4 inches from the top of the bucket and an inlet valve about 1 inch from the top. An elbow is used for the inlet so it point down and and create like a waterfall effect in each bucket.

The Grow buckets sit higher then the controller bucket that the outlet valves are connected to so you use the natural force of gravity to move the water back to the controller bucket to get pumped back in again.

this is called a full flow dwc. All of the water is replaced in each bucket 20+ times per hour providing maximium amounts of DO to the plants roots. These types of systems are also known to horbour great amounts of beneficial bactaria and other beneficial microbes
 

Biffdoggie

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I see, that makes sense, I was missing the way you were flowing it through. I'd like to go with that, I don't get the massive root growth I would like from my ebb and flow buckets.
 

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