Which growing medium?
Clay pebbles are an ideal growing media for Deep Water Culture systems as they don’t require anything to be added or mixed in. They have good water retention and plenty of air space between them, creating an oxygen rich environment.
Clay pebbles allow plants growing in DWC to be held securely with their roots submerged in the oxygenated nutrient solution below. This allows them to draw the optimum amount of oxygen and nutrients they require from the reservoir.
Did you know – A 10 litre pot of dry clay pebbles can absorb up to 5 litres of nutrient solution! This shows just how porous they actually are.
Whilst EC and pH tend to remain stable in DWC systems, it is still important to check them frequently to monitor any fluctuations that may be occur and rectify them quickly
As with all hydroponic systems, the nutrient strength and feed cycle should reflect your environment. For example; if you’re using clay pebbles and the environment is hot and the humidity is low, these hot and dry conditions will cause the plant to use more water and less nutrient, causing the nutrient strength to rise in the reservoir. In these circumstances we recommend setting the nutrient strength lower than usual to account for rising strength. In these conditions the pots should be flooded more often, up to once per hour.
The same room during cooler conditions, with a higher humidity, will mean higher nutrient strengths can be used and the number of feed cycles can be reduced to once every 2-3 hours. Always consider the effect that the environment will have on your plants and adjust your feeding strategy accordingly.
Using the system
Deep Water Culture systems should be kept actively bubbling throughout the entirety of your growing cycle.
There is certainly no need to turn off the air pump. It is what enables the constant supply of oxygen that plants love and helps them to thrive.
Each of our DWC systems have specific air stone locators in the base of the reservoir, which enable the oxygen from bubbles created to mist the base of the roots, providing oxygen at the same time too.
We suggest that you use the air stone locators for these reasons as trials have shown that when they are moved from this point the oxygen disperses, before it can nourish the plant, leading to a less prolific root mass and yield.