Deep Water Culture DWC for Cannabis Production


Deep Water Culture (DWC) for Cannabis Production

Professor DeBacco

Deep Water Culture (DWC) Basics
Deep Water Culture (DWC) does not use a growing medium or substrate but instead plants roots are held in a special pot or container.
The plant roots are immersed into a pool of aerated, nutrient-rich water which allows for easy access to oxygen and nutrients for the plant.

Deep Water Culture (DWC) Automation
No need to worry about over or underwatering the plants
The system can easily be automated once initially set-up.
However, this may not be the best option for new growers due to the lack of buffing ability of the water solution so growers have little room for error.

Basic DWC Set-up
DWC Net Pots
Water soluble Nutrient Solution
Air Pump

Water/Nutrient Reservoir
The reservoir contains a water soluble nutrient solution that the plant roots grow in.
To help avoid potential algae growth the container should be light tight, but necessarily air tight.
Some systems are sized for one plant others to hold multiple plants.
Since all plants will be in the same solution it is advised to only grow the same type of plant at the same stage in the same reservoirs.

DWC Net Pots
These have wide (large) mesh to allow for support of the roots but still provide plenty of room for roots to expand.
There is nothing special so they can be homemade, but are often store bought to allow for standardization
Some growers many choose to fill these with some inert medium, but this is often not required, unless plants are initially placed in these containers when they are small.

Water Soluble Nutrient Solution
Following the recommended rates of nutrients based on the fertilizer companies suggestions is a good starting point.
However, the grower is responsible for the regulation of pH to ensure nutrient availability and efficient growth.
Target pH should be around 5.8 with an acceptable range of 5.5-6.5
To ensure this growers need to have a continual water monitor for pH but nutrient concentrations and temperature are also environmental factors to monitor.

Air Pump
General rule, the air pump should supply at least double the liters per hour of the volume of your reservoir.
Example for a 100L water tank the pump should supply 200l/hour.
Growers are advised to get a back-up to ensure a quick change if the pump fails.

Link to Lecture Slides:

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