# Big Scale Recirculating DWC System

• None

#### kumar

I have a dilemma before I invest shit load of money, so I would like to ask your opinions about it. I would like to build a recirculating DWC system in a big scale. Instead of buckets, I would use long discharge pipes. Each pipe would be 410 cm (13.5 feet) long, and there would be 16 pipes total. The pipe diameter is 160 mm (6.3 inch). I would use 5 cm (2 inch) deep netcups with a collar to hold the plant. The water level in the pipes would be 9-10 cm (3.5 - 4 inch), so it gives 1-2 cm (0.4 - 0.8 inch) gap between the water and the bottom of the netcups. From the pipes the water would run into one big control reservoir tank, where I put airstones for DO. The pump would run 24 hours a day and pumps back the water to the pipes. I hope you understand how I imagine it, see attached drawing.

- According to the calculations, the amount of the water JUST in the pipes would be 867 liters (229 gal). How big control tank I'll need for this amount of water? I would change the full tank of water+nutes in the CONTROL tank once a week, while leaving the standing water in the pipes. I set the pH to 5.8 and then I don't want to adjust pH between those water changes. I'm guessing 2000 liters (528 gal) would be fine to avoid pH swings and enough nutes for a week? Therefore I have 867+2000 liters (758 gal) mixing and running around for a week.

- Those pipes are wide enough, or may I go for a wider? The next step is 200 mm (7.9 inch) diameter, but in that case the water consumption would be even way more.

- The water flow speed would be something like 1-2 liters (0.25 - 0.5 gal) per minute per pipe, is that enough?

- Water temperature 20 Celsius or 68 Fahrenheit. Good?

If you have any opinions or advice for this system, please share it too.

Thank you

#### Aqua Man

Staff member
Supporter
I would worry about the roots plugging the pipe at 6"

#### TheBioMaster

Yep, that design has several trouble area's. Roots would entangle from plant to plant, flooding also comes to mind if there is a blockage from roots.....and there would be.

Would cost a fortune in nutrients..... The amount of water you have doesn't help with PH stability.....what's IN the water does. And with 500+ gallons you would need a whole lot of "something"....LOL!

Why reinvent the wheel? There are proven designs that achieve optimal results.

#### SaintsSamilia

Like a Dutch bucket or ebb and flow or even flood table style I'd also be concerned with it clogging the only reason I'm not rdwc is the gasket in my original design where no good waiting on the bulkheads for at least a 3 in pipe to avoid the clogging. But after running dwc im curious on those flood type or even areoponic style system are they more or less designed for sea of green style or gorrilla grow tactics. It seems like any actual veg time would have to shortened in my head to keep the roots contained or how do you even keep them all tangled up moving down the tray? Nvm I scrolled up and noticed these questions where more or less answered

#### kumar

TheBioMaster, I'm using Yara products for nutes which is very cheap in my area, so it's not a concern. Why to reinvent the wheel? The thing is, if I put there 200 buckets and connect them with small pipes, that would consume even more water per week, plus the parts to build would be even higher.
Currently I'm using Grodan Rockwool Slabs with a drip system. In the slabs there are even less space for roots and the plants looks happy. I just want to get rid of any growing media in the future, I want to keep only water+nutes. Do you guys think those roots could clog the pipe so the water can't flow? That would be really hard to imagine. How about the size of the control tank?
Thanks a bunch!!!

#### kumar

Roots would entangle from plant to plat

Ohh I forgot to reply on this. Why is this an issue? That's how they do in soil, rockwool, perlite.
Don't take me wrong, I'm not arguing, just looking for an explanation why this idea is dead...

Thank you!

#### workngrow

Ohh I forgot to reply on this. Why is this an issue? That's how they do in soil, rockwool, perlite.
Don't take me wrong, I'm not arguing, just looking for an explanation why this idea is dead...

Thank you

I dont think entanglement plant to plant is an issue, someone mentioned the pipe diameter, that seems to be the problem with the design. I tried running this through my mind after watching a guy farm herbs at home with a similar pipe method but I read somewhere that you really want to have a foot minimum depth for deepwater culture because the rootmass requires space to develop and spread out. Ultimately the plant can only be at least as large as what the root mass is able to feed and support from an absorption vs. plant size perspective. A small diameter pipe is going to severely limit the ability to grow larger plants and equally severely limit your ability to pass water through those same pipes.

#### Quincyjay

I read thru this fast. Are you using a chiller for the res... if not you will end up with issues...
It is impossible to keep the water temps low in a hot room.

#### Xebediah

I don't think roots clogging up your system will be that much of an issue if you can put it together in a way that's easy to take apart and unclog if/when it does. Your setup doesn't seem that much different from this Superflo NFT setup that my friend uses, but on a much larger scale. However, the tops of those channels can come off which makes it easier to service. I would just consider the chore of routine maintenance that has to be done if you have to unclog or when you're changing out your water. I will say your setup seems perfect for clones. But, if your growing different plants with different phenos, then what if you need to flush one of them but not all of them? That's the problem with root entanglement in hydroponics; it makes it difficult to isolate one plant from the rest. But, if you're growing from clones, that's not much of an issue.

#### HugeNugsRDWC.420

I have 4" pvc in 10 thirteen gallon buckets with a res . Maintenance free and haven't had any issues Rollin about 150 gallons of water and 2 1200 gph pumps running on the two runs . Grows about pound and half on each plant

#### HugeNugsRDWC.420

Only 5 plants there

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