Current Culture Recirculating DWC Explained
We recently had a customer write in asking a bunch of great questions about Current Culture Under Current hydroponic systems. Instead of keeping all that juicy info between us we've decided to share the Q & A session with all of you.
Here it is, enjoy!
FYI, RWDC = Recirculating Deep Water Culture - the hydroponic growing method used by Under Current systems.
How is RDWC advantageous over ebb and flow and other popular systems?
Production (Increased yields)
Under Current systems constantly expose your plant's root zones to nutrients. This is different from many other popular hydroponic growing techniques, such as ebb and flow, that limit exposure. This means that plants always have access to the nutrients they need and don't have to expend extra energy searching for them. This saved energy is translated directly into increased growth rates. These increased growth rates directly improve your yield and quality.
Better water usage. There is no run off like in a drain-to-waste system, and very little water is lost to evaporation due to the bucket design.
All the water goes straight to your plants.
The higher levels of aeration and the root zone's constant exposure to nutrients allows for more efficient nutrient uptake. Taken together, you're saving water as well as (often expensive) nutrients with RWDC.
These systems are designed with complete automation in mind. They're directly compatible with top-off reservoirs, water chillers, nutrient dosers, etc so you can grow under a controlled, reproducible, automated settings that will consistently yield amazing results.
How thick are the walls of the RDWC grow containers?
Thickness is important because as we stress these systems with a grow, you want to be sure that your buckets can handle it.
We've seen buckets in other hydroponic systems actually start to crack after a 1-2 grows under normal use. This doesn't happen with Under Current systems.
The grow buckets are a hefty 1/8" thick.
Does the germination process need to change for plants to acclimate to RDWC or does keeping it simple still work?
No changes are necessary.
At what point do you transfer seedlings to the RDWC system?
This depends on if you're using an aerocloner, rockwell, or want to start cuttings straight into the system.
In general, your plants are ready to transplant once they have a healthy rootmass.
You can also start cuttings straight in the system but will have to adjust your water levels. You'll want to keep the levels at 1/5" under the top of the net cup's 2" planting deck.
How does the system physically support plant size as they grow larger? Is the crisscrossing string support system still the best solution?
The crisscrossing/trellis netting will definitely work and is a pretty cheap option, but if you want something with more structure we also have module cages available to provide complete support as your plants get big.
How does RDWC prevent root rot and water borne diseases/insects from harming plants since the roots are always in the water?
There are two big factors to preventing root rot / Pythium:
If your water is too warm, you're asking for trouble. 68F is a perfect temperature to keep it at. We reccommend using a water chiller with all Under Current systems.
Use a root zone optimizer.
We recommend UC Roots. This will help break down any organic biofilms - eliminating the breeding grounds for potential pathogens.
Does RDWC work in a grow tent or is it designed for a grow room or does the system do well in both?
These systems work well in a grow room or a grow tent. If you're using a grow tent it might be eaiser to keep your epicenter and top-off reservoir outside of the tent.
Let us know and we can make the modifications to your system for no extra charge.
What grow light brands do you prefer for the full spectrum/power usage/heat factors?
We sell a number of high quality LED grow lights that work well with hydroponic systems. Here's a few to look into depending on your needs:
- For minimal heat output, full spectrum light, and even growth we recommend the NextLight Mega.
- If you want a customizable spectrum and easy automation check out the California Lightworks SolarStorm 550 or 1100.
- Want maximium power and output while still maintaining efficiency? The Black Dog PhytoMAX-2 1000.
Does using an RDWC system significantly reduce mold/fungus issues on the plant leaves etc OR how do you keep that issue from becoming a disaster?
Your hydroponic system is not going to have a huge impact on the plant leaves. Managing this will mostly be up to maintaining the proper conditions (temperature, humidity, avoiding contamination) in your grow room. That being said, removing soil removes an environment that can harbor some of these pathogens and using hydroponics helps on that front.
Does an RDWC system need to be taken apart and cleaned after each crop, and if not then how does the system stay clean?
The system does not need to be taken apart but it does need to be cleaned. Here are the instructions courtesy of Current Culture:
- It is best to clean the system immediately after each cycle/harvest.
- Pull out root mass and discard air
- Remove debris from the system with a shop vac.
- Wipe down air hose, net pots and lids with sterilizing solution on a green pad or wash cloth.
- Fill the system with tap water and sterilizing solution to the top of the buckets, run for minimum 4-6 hrs.
- Scrub inside of modules with green pad and inside joints with bottle brush.
- Rinse out the system with a hose while draining till drain water is clear.
- Drain remaining solution down as far down as possible.
- Remove remaining water with shop vac or sump pump.
- Wipe dry with a towel.
- Let dry fully under HID lights to aid in sterilizing.
Do you have your own questions? Ask below!