UC without airstones.

  • Thread starter Tank333
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So, I'm thinking about doing a UC style DIY-RDWC. I currently use a Titan Flo-n-Gro, and I would like to use larger grow sites than the 4 gallon buckets this system comes with. I would prefer 12-15 gallon grow sites.

Now, I don't use airstones in my system because the falling water adds enough DO to my system as it is. It gets pumped from the rez into the controller bucket, and then back from that bucket into the rez when each flood is over. The water jetting into the controller bucket then back into the rez creates a large amount of DO (at least enough to where I never noticed problems with it. Lol).

I don't see why I wouldn't be able to do the same sort of thing with the UC and negate the need for an airstone in each bucket. Do like a top-feed that aerates as it falls into the buckets, and then use a sump at the end to pull water from and force into the top of the controller bucket (aerating the water again as it jets into the bucket). Would this be sufficient, or would I not have enough DO?


I think that if you introduce a good waterfall into each growing site you will both effectively oxygenate and stir up the water in each site very effectively, airstones no longer required.

My water pumps all use 3/4" line, so I could just run enough tee fittings to get a house to each tub, and an elbow fitting to aim the flow down into the water below. My air pumps are beginning to wear out and some make a real racket lol. If I could toss them altogether I'd love it!

I'm thinking of trying this in my 27 gallon tubs, so I'm interested in the experience of others. Great question!


See, that's what I do right now to top feed (albeit I only use two pr three tiny drippers in each pot). I tee off from the line already pumping into the controller bucket to drip in each of the buckets from the top. It dramatically improved growth during rooting and veg...

Would you be worried about water under pressure damaging the rootmass at all though?


Hi tank333

the faster you recirculate the water the less likely you need air stones.
In my systems we use a dissolved oxygen meter to test the water.

IMO air stones make no difference to the amount of oxygen in the water in a ucrdwc, as all my systems have a "waterfall" effect in each pot.

One benefit with air stones is it keeps the nutes from settling at the bottom of the pots, that's why we still use them. (makes re running after harvest a breeze)

Also we pump back to the tank with two 14k lph pumps so 28kph total with no negative effect on the roots.

The bigger the pumps and the longer your rows the harder it is to keep a equal level of water in each pot that's when the waterfall in each pot becomes a must.
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