RDWC design and other queries

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Asad2k6

Asad2k6

2
1
I wanted to avoid expensive bulkhead, probable leaks and would like to build or upgrade my DWC buckets to rDWC. Which one would better to go with:

Something similar to dutch bucket where the feed is coming from top and going down to the bottom of the bucket from inside and the return is an overflow pipe just below the net pot and connected to a return header bigger in size and to the reservoir which is at lower elevation.
Pros: No bulkhead or grommets required for inlet just irrigation hose and fitting. Use a submersible pump instead of a non submersible with inlet and outlet fittings. I can use cheap electrical bulkheads with no gaskets as no head pressure

or

Use the standard buckets and reservoir at same elevation, but the inlet from the bottom outside the buckets with grommet rubber seal and outlet is from top connected to the second adjacent bucket..... and finally to the reservoir.
Pros: Avoid expensive bulkhead same as first option


Other queries:
  1. Would a 4000 ltr/hr pump be sufficient for an 8 buckets of 20 liters size ( probably the level will be at 15 liter mark) and the reservoir is 50 liter?
  1. If some worked with dutch buckets and rDWC, which one is better in your opinion for chilies, tomato, cucumber..etc
 
shenkerism

shenkerism

I've always felt Uniseal is the answer for bulkheads in plastic buckets. I ran 12 buckets with two uniseals each for nearly a year with no leaks. I struggled with getting bulkheads to seal on the curved surface of a bucket, especially buckets that were thicker. The firm rubber of a uniseal plus the strength of the PVC seems to flex the bucket itself into position.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff member
Supporter
I've always felt Uniseal is the answer for bulkheads in plastic buckets. I ran 12 buckets with two uniseals each for nearly a year with no leaks. I struggled with getting bulkheads to seal on the curved surface of a bucket, especially buckets that were thicker. The firm rubber of a uniseal plus the strength of the PVC seems to flex the bucket itself into position.
Uni leaks are meant for curved surfaces. Bulkheads need to be positioned properly to allow the plastic to flex
 
dusty68

dusty68

I never used uniseals because I thought they were garbage from the first time I bought some. I looked at them and never used them. Instead I bought Current Culture 2" bulkheads. They are installed on 5 gallon rectangular buckets with 2" PVC return. Never had a leak but I am only finishing my second grow in my RDWC system. I have some plumbing experience and they are a solid product. Just need to use the correct glue. I also installed cheap bulkheads from ePay for the supply (fallponic). No worries about leaks there as those are always above the water line. Gary from All Good Garden supply has some great youtube build videos. Just my 2 cents. Good luck with your build.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff member
Supporter
I never used uniseals because I thought they were garbage from the first time I bought some. I looked at them and never used them. Instead I bought Current Culture 2" bulkheads. They are installed on 5 gallon rectangular buckets with 2" PVC return. Never had a leak but I am only finishing my second grow in my RDWC system. I have some plumbing experience and they are a solid product. Just need to use the correct glue. I also installed cheap bulkheads from ePay for the supply (fallponic). No worries about leaks there as those are always above the water line. Gary from All Good Garden supply has some great youtube build videos. Just my 2 cents. Good luck with your build.
Never had a leak in mine either. Bulkheads on reg 5 gal pails. Life aquatic I think... Cheap off Amazon brand.
 
stltoed

stltoed

I have a 50 gallon RDWC. I use Hayward bulkheads with great success. Bulkheads work great for flat surfaces. You can put them on a curved surface, but the diameter of the bulkhead through hole will determine how big of a radius you can seal on the mounting surface... for instance, you will probably never see a 2 inch bulkhead on a 5 gallon pot. But a .75" would probably work just fine. You can "flatten" an area with a heat gun if you need to. My bulkheads are $27 each, but the Current Culture units work just fine and are much cheaper. Be sure you put the correct size hole in your tubs and be sure to use a holesaw, don't even try it with a jigsaw

I've never used Uniseals, but ive known a few that have. I guess they don't last forever. I dont know of anyone using them now.

My opinion as to which grow method is best from the 2 you mentioned is easy. RDWC. I like to grow large plants. This method is the easiest way to do that. I just finished 4 plants, one was 23oz. Its fast, economic (once put together and growing, it can be very expensive to put the pieces together), and easy... i can leave my grow unattended for over a week if i want to.

In the pics... the top of a bud from the big plant, and a half gallon jar
The plant to the right of the picture was 23oz. The grow area is 6 feet wide
The last pic is of a different plant... still growing
 
dusty68

dusty68

Wow! I hope that I will be able to grow budz that big when I get better at this. I also love the RDWC systems for growing big plants.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff member
Supporter
I have a 50 gallon RDWC. I use Hayward bulkheads with great success. Bulkheads work great for flat surfaces. You can put them on a curved surface, but the diameter of the bulkhead through hole will determine how big of a radius you can seal on the mounting surface... for instance, you will probably never see a 2 inch bulkhead on a 5 gallon pot. But a .75" would probably work just fine. You can "flatten" an area with a heat gun if you need to. My bulkheads are $27 each, but the Current Culture units work just fine and are much cheaper. Be sure you put the correct size hole in your tubs and be sure to use a holesaw, don't even try it with a jigsaw

I've never used Uniseals, but ive known a few that have. I guess they don't last forever. I dont know of anyone using them now.

My opinion as to which grow method is best from the 2 you mentioned is easy. RDWC. I like to grow large plants. This method is the easiest way to do that. I just finished 4 plants, one was 23oz. Its fast, economic (once put together and growing, it can be very expensive to put the pieces together), and easy... i can leave my grow unattended for over a week if i want to.

In the pics... the top of a bud from the big plant, and a half gallon jar
The plant to the right of the picture was 23oz. The grow area is 6 feet wide
The last pic is of a different plant... still growing
Yes I used 1.5" for that exact reason.
 
stltoed

stltoed

Wow! I hope that I will be able to grow budz that big when I get better at this. I also love the RDWC systems for growing big plants.
You will. RDWC is a great first step. Next, you will need to get familiar with using Silica. It CAN be a handful sometimes. For instance, pH is a common problem
Gen Hydro's Armor Si can make your nutrient water as high as 11. Botanicare's Silica Blast is the easiest (that i have used), and isn't too crazy price wise. I use Facilitor or Power Si. Both are amazing in their capabilities, but both are nose bleed expensive. Some will say you shouldn't have to pay big prices for a simple product like Silica... you can buy it from RAW for penies by comparison. I agree, if the product from RAW worked the same I would use it. Theres another issue with Silica. You NEED to add it first to a new batch of nutes. It doesnt play nice with any other elements. I fill my res. with RO, add Silica and I let it run overnight. This thoroughly mixes the Silica which helps keep future pH swings to a minimum. To be fair Calcium and Micro nutrients can be an issue with other elements too... they are the next ones I add. Read up on Silica if you dont already know. Its an amazing additive.

Use a root booster. House and Garden Accelerator (Silver bottle for hydro). Rapidstart from Gen Hydro (my favorite), and theres also a new one from Botanicare. Ive only used it once, so i can't really say how it works... i forgot the name.

Buy the best lights you can afford. Even HPS, or CMH aren't a bad way to go other than the heat issues and $60 lightbulbs.
I like LED, but it can be a chore to find a truly great light. I wouldnt bother with Mars or lights like them. I would seriously look at HLG, ChilLED, if you're handy build them yourself. Some other forums are really good for light building knowledge.

Theres a lot to it. But once you have everything together you only need 1 more item, well a handfull actually. You are gonna need yoyos to keep your buds off the ground.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff member
Supporter
You will. RDWC is a great first step. Next, you will need to get familiar with using Silica. It CAN be a handful sometimes. For instance, pH is a common problem
Gen Hydro's Armor Si can make your nutrient water as high as 11. Botanicare's Silica Blast is the easiest (that i have used), and isn't too crazy price wise. I use Facilitor or Power Si. Both are amazing in their capabilities, but both are nose bleed expensive. Some will say you shouldn't have to pay big prices for a simple product like Silica... you can buy it from RAW for penies by comparison. I agree, if the product from RAW worked the same I would use it. Theres another issue with Silica. You NEED to add it first to a new batch of nutes. It doesnt play nice with any other elements. I fill my res. with RO, add Silica and I let it run overnight. This thoroughly mixes the Silica which helps keep future pH swings to a minimum. To be fair Calcium and Micro nutrients can be an issue with other elements too... they are the next ones I add. Read up on Silica if you dont already know. Its an amazing additive.

Use a root booster. House and Garden Accelerator (Silver bottle for hydro). Rapidstart from Gen Hydro (my favorite), and theres also a new one from Botanicare. Ive only used it once, so i can't really say how it works... i forgot the name.

Buy the best lights you can afford. Even HPS, or CMH aren't a bad way to go other than the heat issues and $60 lightbulbs.
I like LED, but it can be a chore to find a truly great light. I wouldnt bother with Mars or lights like them. I would seriously look at HLG, ChilLED, if you're handy build them yourself. Some other forums are really good for light building knowledge.

Theres a lot to it. But once you have everything together you only need 1 more item, well a handfull actually. You are gonna need yoyos to keep your buds off the ground.
Welcome to the farm brother. Great to see a knowledgeable rdwc guy join up 👍 and great advice.
 
dusty68

dusty68

You will. RDWC is a great first step. Next, you will need to get familiar with using Silica. It CAN be a handful sometimes. For instance, pH is a common problem
Gen Hydro's Armor Si can make your nutrient water as high as 11. Botanicare's Silica Blast is the easiest (that i have used), and isn't too crazy price wise. I use Facilitor or Power Si. Both are amazing in their capabilities, but both are nose bleed expensive. Some will say you shouldn't have to pay big prices for a simple product like Silica... you can buy it from RAW for penies by comparison. I agree, if the product from RAW worked the same I would use it. Theres another issue with Silica. You NEED to add it first to a new batch of nutes. It doesnt play nice with any other elements. I fill my res. with RO, add Silica and I let it run overnight. This thoroughly mixes the Silica which helps keep future pH swings to a minimum. To be fair Calcium and Micro nutrients can be an issue with other elements too... they are the next ones I add. Read up on Silica if you dont already know. Its an amazing additive.

Use a root booster. House and Garden Accelerator (Silver bottle for hydro). Rapidstart from Gen Hydro (my favorite), and theres also a new one from Botanicare. Ive only used it once, so i can't really say how it works... i forgot the name.

Buy the best lights you can afford. Even HPS, or CMH aren't a bad way to go other than the heat issues and $60 lightbulbs.
I like LED, but it can be a chore to find a truly great light. I wouldnt bother with Mars or lights like them. I would seriously look at HLG, ChilLED, if you're handy build them yourself. Some other forums are really good for light building knowledge.

Theres a lot to it. But once you have everything together you only need 1 more item, well a handfull actually. You are gonna need yoyos to keep your buds off the ground.
Stltoed. I cannot thank you enough for all of that info. The silica sounds like something I need to look into further. I check my PH every day and sometimes there are huge swings. I can go from 6.0 to less than 5.0 in the same day. I have to add GH PH up almost daily during flower. I do have the HLG 550 and will probably upgrade to the HLG600 since they just came out. I have also been using rapid start on this grow and I noticed faster and bigger growth. Thanks again as I have some research to do. I posted some photos yesterday, hopefully folks will help me determine if I am ready to harvest. Then I will clean and get started with grow 3. I love this forum and it's people like you who are awesome sharing info. I want to learn more. I think I found something I am good at and want to get better. Take care!
 
stltoed

stltoed

not even a probl
Stltoed. I cannot thank you enough for all of that info. The silica sounds like something I need to look into further. I check my PH every day and sometimes there are huge swings. I can go from 6.0 to less than 5.0 in the same day. I have to add GH PH up almost daily during flower. I do have the HLG 550 and will probably upgrade to the HLG600 since they just came out. I have also been using rapid start on this grow and I noticed faster and bigger growth. Thanks again as I have some research to do. I posted some photos yesterday, hopefully folks will help me determine if I am ready to harvest. Then I will clean and get started with grow 3. I love this forum and it's people like you who are awesome sharing info. I want to learn more. I think I found something I am good at and want to get better. Take care!
Absolutely no problem! There's a lot to learn. I love to tinker which leads me to going in different directions than the common methods sometimes.

Silica is an amazing additive. It saves me from crazy heat... i usually run my temps around 85F so I can get the plant's metabolism to speed up, but my room has seen temps much higher. Similar to running CO2, which you can run very high temps, Silica keeps the plant from heat damage. But, also low temps, and other environmental issues. It will help deter powdery mildew. PM is a systemic issue,, but it starts at the leaf. Silica strengthens the cells walls, tightening the gaps in the leaf cells so the PM can get started... same thing with bugs. The leaves are tougher so its harder for bugs and other pathogens to feed. It helps create a much healthier floem, and xylem circulatory systems. You can see this with large stalks and a beefy root crown. First thee pics. It helps with drought, and over watering. Power Si, the product im using now, even claims to slow the verticle growth of stretchy sativas if the dosage is doubled, but i haven't tried that yet. If you do some research you will find a lot more benefits from Silica... its an amazing element.

But... it can be a handful. If you have a system water volume of 10 gallons or less in a non-recirculating DWC Silica can have you on the rocks with pH. Like I was saying, my rig is 50 gallons with 2 17gallon pots. I have an autofill valve coming from an RO filter. This volume seems to work great with the higher end products i like to use. The good news is Botanicare is mellow, and fairly stable in regards to pH.

Your light rocks. Ive never used Q Boards, but ive NEVER heard any bad press about them. Their new boards look pretty crazy. I would go that way, but the new ChilLED fixtures have a better footpring for my space. Apparently you can buy the strips and build whatever you need. If i ever do what i plan on doing to my room I will be going this way I think. But your light is a winner. I miss LED so bad

Rapidstart is killer. I usually shut it down a few weeks before harvest, but it kicks ass on root building. The 4th pic shows it in action. Botanicare has Rhizo Blast... i used it this season, but not religiously, so i really can't comment, but it is much cheaper, and I would bet Rhizo Blast with the amino acids in Vitamino would work well.

I'm glad you found a hobby thats got your attention. Theres a lot to it, so if you ever feel like you've stagnated get into something new... yo could spend 3 lifetimes learning about soil. The benefits of the various bugs in a healthy soil and how they feed the plant. How important mycorrhizae really is to a plant, etc. I would like a test area to work on true organic hydroponics with a bio pump and all that. Theres no way I wold attempt that with my rig now... a future heartbreak for sure,

As you can see I get a little verbose. I'll answer any questions you have... if i know the answer.
 
stltoed

stltoed

I have 2" bulk heads on my RDWC system. They are cheaper than you think. I think I paid 12.99 cdn per 2" bulk head from Home Depot. Heavy duty and perfect for round pails. You need to screw tight and I went a bit further and added silicone seal as I do not want 100 gallons on my floor. It flattens 5 gallon pail out when screwed in place and forms a seal. For a simple 4 pot DWC system, you cannot go wrong for 4 x 2" bulkheads that will cost you a tad over $50.
You're using 2 inch bulkheads on a 5 gallon bucket?
 
stltoed

stltoed

Mine is super simple. 27gal res. 17 gallon pots. 2 inch hoses connecting everything. The return line runs from the res through the 2 inch hoses to the other end. Theres a filter bag on the end. Water water flows back to the res naturally.
 
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