Growing in a DWC system for big yields!

Liz Filmer
01 Nov 2021

In a DWC or Bubbler system, the plant is suspended above an oxygen-rich nutrient solution. The plant's roots hang down into this solution which feeds them 24 hours a day, allowing for supercharged growth and development of both plants and produce. A DWC system has the potential to give you significant results with little input.

DWC units are sold as single pots that hold 1 plant. Your plants should be about to enter the vegetative stage, where they can deal with strong and intense light and increased feed. Cuttings should have 3 stages of nodes: the vertical levels on the main stem where new canopies of leaf formations grow from. If growing from seed, they need to have either 3 stages of nodes or rooted through a 3-inch block of Rockwool

Top Bubbler Tips

 1. Ensure that the air pumped into the water originates from an external source to be fresh.

2. The positioning of your air stone is crucial. Make sure that it is centred in the bottom of the main reservoir so that all the plant's roots are receiving their fair share of oxygen

3. At first, the plant's roots will not be very long, so it is best to overfill the Bubbler so the water comes halfway up the net pot and the seeds can drink quickly. 

4. Use a temperature monitor and control to keep your nutrient solution between 18-20 C. If your solution gets too warm, it lowers the oxygen level, which reduces the nutrient take-up. Maintaining temperature will also control algae and diseases better

5. Make sure that your nutrients are suitable for a bubbler or, even better, are specifically for Bubblers. When organic ingredients are oxygenated, they can foam and ferment, forming sticky residues that block pumps, destroying air stones, and lowering oxygen levels. 

6. 90% of the roots should be constantly submerged, so it's time to top up if they are not! 

7. EC and pH management is crucial to tell you if your feed strength is suitable for your plants. If the EC shoots up, add fresh water until the levels are back within an optimum range. Check every day to be sure. 

8. If EC levels drop below range, replace all the solution with fresh. If the EC drops, we know that the plants are taking up more nutrients than water. We do not know which particular element it is taking more of, though. Bubbler EC levels can be prone to fluctuation, however, so don't make a hasty decision.

9. Be sure to check that the roots are not growing entirely around the air stone as time goes by. If this happens, gently remove the roots as it can affect the rate of oxygen distribution in the reservoir. 

Liz Filmer