Best pump waterfall rdwc system?

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jon2vano

5
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So I’m needing advice on the best most silent and efficient pump for a 4 (5) gallon bucket system. It seems the more I read the more conflicting the info becomes. Should I use a mag pump or a sine wave tech pump? Also would a brushless dc sine wave pump be better? I’ve read 3xs the total volume of water is what the flow rate should be, is this correct? Also are there certain brands better than other? Currently looking at an aquaristick, a danner mag, an eco plus mag , and a jebao sine wave…. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you
 
AZreefer

AZreefer

135
43
Im building my design currently. Very slowly. Ill be using a cheap small vivosun extenal pump. Ive got tons of experience with pump and circulation systems but this is my forst dabble into hydroponics. None the less if you require silence tgen invest in a sicce or jeabo. If you dont need silence or adjustability get a small inexpensive pump and plumb it up to run external. This is tge design i have opted for to prevent any excess heat from being put into my resivor. Also im going to follow you becUse im not finding many hydro growers and i need a friend in this.
 
DontStopBelievn

DontStopBelievn

6
3
IMO, just go with traditional DWC and air stones. Recirculating is essential for large grows and staggered flowering in a perpetual harvest setup, but it becomes another point of failure for smaller grows and you can ruin your grow and your home if a serious leak occurs. I personally don't find the benefits to outweigh the negatives in smaller, hobbyist applications. If you're dealing with 20+ buckets of plants and multiple tents or rooms, checking the fill, EC and pH, adjusting values, topping off and cleaning all of them is a huge pain. With 4 buckets, its much more manageable and some tasks may even be easier. And if you're going to be using clones and/or flowering all the plants at the same time, using a single large tote for all your plants is even easier.

After issues with leaks and submersible pumps getting clogged up, heating up the water, etc. I have gone back to basic DWC and only use my pump to drain the totes for their weekly cleaning.
 
AZreefer

AZreefer

135
43
IMO, just go with traditional DWC and air stones. Recirculating is essential for large grows and staggered flowering in a perpetual harvest setup, but it becomes another point of failure for smaller grows and you can ruin your grow and your home if a serious leak occurs. I personally don't find the benefits to outweigh the negatives in smaller, hobbyist applications. If you're dealing with 20+ buckets of plants and multiple tents or rooms, checking the fill, EC and pH, adjusting values, topping off and cleaning all of them is a huge pain. With 4 buckets, its much more manageable and some tasks may even be easier. And if you're going to be using clones and/or flowering all the plants at the same time, using a single large tote for all your plants is even easier.

After issues with leaks and submersible pumps getting clogged up, heating up the water, etc. I have gone back to basic DWC and only use my pump to drain the totes for their weekly cleaning.
Interesting points. I had not put general husbandry of the buckets into consideration. Weeky cleanings you say? So you break your buckets down and wipe them weekly?
 
DontStopBelievn

DontStopBelievn

6
3
Interesting points. I had not put general husbandry of the buckets into consideration. Weeky cleanings you say? So you break your buckets down and wipe them weekly?
Ideally, yes, and it is what hydro fertilizer companies tend to recommend. To be honest, I most often clean the totes every other week and have not had problems with that and a lot of people recommend that instead of weekly. Longest I have ever put off cleaning was a month and, by that time, the EC for the solution was so drastically out of whack that it was causing severe nutrient imbalances and lockout. I know some will top off perpetually until harvest and if that works for them, then great. I have never been able to get away with that, though.

I take the lids (with plant still in them) and plop them onto backup/clean totes, put those into my cabinet, fill with fresh solution, reconnect the rinsed off airstones and then run the old totes in the dishwasher or clean them by hand. (I can run 2x 7 gallon totes in my cabinet and one will fit in my dishwasher, the larger 17-gallon tote has to be washed by hand)

I have a general rule of thumb when designing systems for myself or others: keeps things as simple as possible. As I said, RDWC will make your life so much easier if you have a bunch of buckets/totes, but if you only have a few then it may add more work and trouble. Leaks aren't an issue if you're in a concrete slab basement/warehouse with a drain, but if your grow is upstairs or in a carpeted basement/room, you can cause your ceiling's drywall to collapse and/or have to replace the carpet/deal with black mold infestation.

There is a tendency to only look at the upsides of a system, when everything is working optimally. I suggest people look at every element of their design and ask themselves, "how quickly and easily could I repair or replace that part and what damages could occur if it fails?" Never forget Murphy's Law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

I've messed with aeroponics, ebb and flow, RDWC and DWC and I find regular DWC to be the easiest and more manageable of the four. I also find DWC to be easier than soil when it comes to diagnosing issues and correcting nutrient needs. (eg: it's common to misdiagnose overwatering as a nutrient deficiency) This is just my opinion, obviously, and everyone's situation and willingness to put in the effort is different. I prefer to do as little as possible and worry about as little as possible, ensuring that if things do go wrong, then it doesn't cause any serious damage to my home.
 
AZreefer

AZreefer

135
43
I like what you are saying about the problems and remedies. I am a skilled plumber and professional repair tech the leaks are not a concern. Im going to be using 10 gallon buckets and my rodi unit is terribly slow, 50gpd that concerns me more than leaks. If i did a dwc per bucket i think i would require a better rodi. If i bought 2 more buckets i could do similar to the method you are using and swap a bucket per plant each week. This is going to be put into serious considration. The plumbing is the last step of the build for me so i can have room in my tent to assemble the ventilation and light first.
 
DontStopBelievn

DontStopBelievn

6
3
I just wanted to add, I'm not saying any of this to dissuade you from RDWC. A lot of people do it, love it and have zero issues. But if this is your first foray, I recommend starting simple and then looking at more complex designs if they make sense to you and your situation. It's easy to scale up DWC to RWDC if you want to in the future.

Every system has its advantages and disadvantages, the importance of those are unique to each of us. I always tell people at my local grow club that the best system is the one that works best for you and that you are able to happily and properly maintain. For some, that's coco coir, soil, DWC, NFT, etc. It all just depends.

An always good idea is to make a list of pros and cons to a situation and then ranking those in importance. I have found that a 0-5 ranking of importance, 0 being least and 5 being most, and then adding up those rankings is a good way to quickly evaluate things and put everything into perspective.
 

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