Pioneering Hydroponics

Since 1976

Hydroponic Growing Systems: Deep Water Culture

Deep Water Culture growing systems, or DWC, involve suspending plants’ roots in solutions composed of water and nutrients. These well-oxygenated growing systems differ from other others through the 24/7 immersion of the roots in water. Aeroponics or Ebb and Flood, for example, consist of watering plants on a constant basis.

itional DWC systems, smaller setups may experience wild fluctuations of water levels, pH, and nutrients, which can also translate to difficulty in maintaining a stable and consistent water temperature.

Power failures and pump failures place plant roots at risk due to the solution becoming poorly oxygenated and with low nutrients, and beginner growers may also under or over calibrate smaller systems extremely easily.

DWC systems require three main components to efficiently grow plants:

  • Water. Instead of being buried in soil, plants are submerged in water; this may seem like it will lead to plants drowning, however, it removes the need to water plants while providing them with everything they need to thrive.

  • Oxygen. Plants roots are submerged in water and not planted in soil, the latter which has gaps between particles that allow air to reside there. Proper oxygenation is vital so that the plants don’t drown. A hydroponic air pump and air stones help to accomplish this.

  • Nutrients. Micro and macro nutrients are present in soils for plants to thrive and to grow healthily. With plants’ roots submerged in water, the oxygenated water solution needs to have nutrient supplements to balance plants’ needs.

Benefits of Traditional DWC

  • Easy to set up.

  • Fast growing time.

  • Extremely low maintenance.

  • The solution remains in the root chamber.

  • Growers can remix the solution manually or set a timer.

R-DWC, or Recirculating Deep Water Culture

While the traditional DWC growing system is preferred for beginners, R-DWC is a better choice for more advanced growers. Growing crops at scale can be a time-consuming matter with great potential for errors, as individually calibrating and controlling pH levels of every container is extremely inefficient.

This variation of DWC allows you to only have to balance, oxygenate, and calibrate one single location. It also becomes easier to add water to just one central container rather than in each growing container.

Benefits of R-DWC

  • Constant recirculation of the solution between root chambers maintains a balanced pH.

  • The solution has higher oxygenation.

  • R-DWC can be a better option than traditional DWC for bigger systems.

IWS, or Intelligent Watering Systems

IWS uses a timer control to balance when the solution is pumped back to the water butt to be remixed. This allows for a balance of pH levels, nutrients, and the temperature stable. Growers can fully scale up these systems, spacing out containers as needed, and also link the to chillers for better temperature control.

These systems can also be recirculating (R-DWC), with the option of having water return. IWS R-DWC have an added flexibility that allows misting chambers to be spaced far apart or close together. Extremely scalable, misting chambers can be added or removed according to growers’ needs.

Without a water return option, IWS R-DWC requires weekly solution changes, however, a water return option has a timer to remix the solution. This balances, oxygenates, and keeps a stable temperature when the solution is sent from the mixing chambers back to the water butt.

Benefits of IWS and R-IWS

  • Extremely low maintenance, with occasional top-ups.

  • Bigger yields due to constant access to a solution high in nutrients.

  • Easy to check air stone positioning, root health, and water levels.

  • Quiet running, without air stone movement noise.

  • Only one litre of growing media needed per container.

  • Plants can easily be turned under lights.


Considered to be the ultimate R-DWC system, RUSH systems can be scalable for commercial yielding. The solution is recirculated around the root chambers up to 34 times per hour for an extremely oxygen-rich solution. No remix setting is required, as the amount of solution being recirculated keeps the system balanced.

Benefits of RUSH R-DWC

  • Highly durable and flexible, with non-brittle pipes that allow for easy connections resistant to leaks.

  • The water levels are completely adjustable, being adjusted to high at the beginning of the plants’ growth and adjusted to low after roots develop.

  • Maintenance processes don’t interrupt growth, with each root system being easily isolated for any maintenance that needs to be carried out.

Oxypot DWC

Without needing a high amount of growing media or any timers, Oxypot growing systems allow plant roots to grow through mesh pots and into a high-nutrient solution in the misting chamber. An air pump constantly oxygenates the solution, which provides roots with stable and constant access to nutrients, water, and oxygen.

Plants only take up exactly what they need through their roots and all that’s needed is keeping the misting chamber appropriately topped-up. Depending on how big the systems are, up to 100 litres of nutrient solution can be used in misting chambers. Unless using a 6.5-litre net pot, only one litre of clay pebbles is needed by plant.

Benefits of Oxypot DWC

  • Growing containers can be spaced out for convenience.

  • There is less need to use high quantities of growing media.

  • Plants can be turned under lights.

  • Plant growth is exceptionally fast.

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