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Topic: Basic Bubbler (DWC) System  (Read 14215 times)
 
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Paradoxic
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« on: January 29, 2006, 10:12:29 pm »

The DWC (Deep Water Culture) hydroponics system, commonly called a bubbler, is one of the simplest and most effective hydroponics systems there are. They are inexpensive to build and maintain and work very well with Salvia Divinorum. Here are some reasons to consider a bubbler when choosing a method to grow Salvia Divinorum:
  • Lots of room for root mass (and Salvia needs more room than average plants do)
  • Provides plenty of oxygen for the roots
  • No soil and as a result there are less pests(Salvia d. is prone to many pests)

This guide will cover how to build and maintain a 5 gallon DWC Bubbler hydroponics system. Here are the materials you will need, they can all be purchased at any hardware and/or hydroponics store:
  • 5 gallon bucket with a lid
  • Roll of duck tape or black vinyl tape (if bucket is not black)
  • Air pump (at least 2,000 cc's/min)
  • Air line
  • Air stone (bigger are better)
  • 6" Net pot
  • Hydroton grow rocks (enough to fill the net pot) a.k.a. Expanded clay pebbles
  • PH down/PH Tester
  • Grow nutrients

Light-Proofing (skip this step if your bucket is black)
In order to keep out unwanted algae growth in the bucket you must light-proof it. To do this either tape 3 layers of duct tape around it and the lid or use one layer of black vinyl tape. The key it to make sure absolutely no light can shine through the tape.

Making the lid
You must cut a hole in the bucket lid for the 6" net pot. Get a sharp knife or something to cut the hole. Next use a marker or knife to trace around the 6" net pot. Cut the hole in the lid with a slightly smaller diameter than what you traced. Once you have cut the lid make sure the net pot fits in securely.


Adding the air stone
First you are going to need to cut or drill a small hole around 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) at the top of the bucket for the air line.  Wash off the air line and soak the air stone in some water for about 30 minutes. Next you can insert the air line into the hole and put on the air stone. Make sure theres enough air line to reach to the bottom of the bucket.


If you have a small air stone you are probably going to want to hold it down with something. Avoid using metal. I like to use some 1/2 vinyl tubing and two marbles. Simply make a hole to put the air line through in a small 1.5 inch piece of tubing and put a marble in each side of the tube.

Preparing to grow
Its a good idea to sterilize the bucket, to do so wash it and the lid with a 10% bleach solution or H202(Hydrogen Peroxide). Make sure to wash everything out throughly with plain water. Next get a rooted clone to put into the net pot. To learn how to easily root a Salvia Divinorum cutting in water view this guide: Rooting a Cutting in Water

Inserting the Rooted Clone
Once you have a well-rooted clone(roots at least 1"(2.5 cm) long) get some grow rocks and wash them off with tap water. Make sure to run water through them and get out all the dust and stuff. Next put a 1/2 inch layer of grow rocks at the bottom of the net pot. Place the rooted clone into the net pot and carefully place grow rocks around it to hold the plant securely in place. Make sure to fill the net pot all the way to the top with grow rocks. 

Nutrients and Feeding
Use a growing formula intended for vegetative growth and follow the directions on the bottle to mix the solution. I recommend using General Hydroponics 3-part nutrients and using a solution of 3-2-1(3 parts Grow-2 parts Micro-1 part Bloom). Make sure to always mix in the Micro first, then the Grow, and the Bloom last. Be sure to throughly mix each part into the water before mixing in the next. GH 3-part are chemical nutrients and some people recommend against using chemical nutrients if you are going to be consuming the plant. So you may want to use organic nutrients such as General Hydroponics Flora Nova.

I highly recommend using distilled or purified water, but you can use tap water if its your only option. For new clones start out with a 1/2 strength solution. During growth keep a TDS reading of 600-1200 PPM (EC of 1.6-2.4). Keep a PH reading in the water of 5.5-6.0 and be sure to NEVER mix PH up/down and nutrients into the water at the same time, wait about 30 min in between.

Water level and topping-off
For new plants keep the water level in the bucket about 1" (2.5 cm) above the bottom of the net pot. Once the roots have grown out you can drop the water level but make sure to keep no more than 1" below the net pot. When the water level gets low top it off with a PH adjusted, 1/2 strength nutrient solution. Its a good idea to regularly change out the nutrient solution. To maintain healthy plants you should change it every 4-6 weeks. The temperature of the water should be kept pretty cool to ensure plenty of oxygen and avoid pathogens (around 65-75F or 18-22C).

However, you can avoid changing out the water if you make your DWC into drip system as described here:
Simple Drip System Using a Water Pump
« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 12:56:15 am by Paradoxic » Logged
Sam Fisher
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2007, 09:19:26 pm »

I built a set up using thease instructions a while back. I also added some stuff. I did it all with stuff you can find cheap at any hardware and pet store.I could post some photos if you would like.
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Paradoxic
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2007, 10:32:52 pm »

You definitely should lol, I completely forgot about adding images to this. Just post them in the gallery or something and I will add them to the post. The more of the [IMAGE COMING SOON] spaces you can fill the better.

Thanks, I appreciate it. Is the system working well for you? And, I'm curious, how often do you change out the water?

I was thinking I would add a part to this for putting in a valve to make it easier to change out water.
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Sam Fisher
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2007, 11:04:39 pm »

I still havnt tried it. Im waiting until I can take a fresh cutting. A valve for the water lvl and draining would be a great add on.
I used silver tape instead of black tape. I got everything besides the air stone, clay pellets and water pump from Home Depo.I got the air stone at Wall Mart the pump from Pet Co and the clay pellets online.
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Sam Fisher
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2007, 12:06:49 pm »

I found a nice little set up on the net. Its similar to the one I built. If I can find some time Ill post some photos of my set up. The main difference of this one and mine is that mine uses a water pump where this one only uses an air pump.
 http://alternatethoughts.com/hydro/hydro1/hydro-1.html
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Paradoxic
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2007, 04:34:14 pm »

Thats a pretty nice guide, it seems incomplete though. It looks like it is made for having a pump as well, but it doesnt tell you how to put it in.

But yeah I wanna see how yours looks.
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Sam Fisher
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2007, 05:58:43 pm »

The air pushes the water up and out the ring. All you need is the air pump for this.
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Sam Fisher
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2007, 06:17:01 pm »

Here are some photos of the set up I put together.  It uses an air pump with air stone and has a separate water pump for the water. I got everything besides the air stone, clay pellets and pumps from Home Depo.I got the air stone at Wall Mart the pumps from Pet Co and the clay pellets online. The ivy in my restroom is in a scaled down version of this and grows faster than I can keep up with.













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Paradoxic
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2007, 04:42:30 am »

Nice, that looks like a really badass setup. I'm thinking it would be good to update the guide with those pictures plus the extra (optional) instructions for adding the drip pump to it. It would be great if you could update it with that info, would you be interested?
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2007, 12:00:04 pm »

i tried growing something in a setup like that once.  i had a problem that when the plant got larger the roots grew so far down into the water that they got sucked into the pump.  is there a solution to this or shouldn't it be a problem with salvia.
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Sam Fisher
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2007, 01:33:40 pm »

i tried growing something in a setup like that once.  i had a problem that when the plant got larger the roots grew so far down into the water that they got sucked into the pump.  is there a solution to this or shouldn't it be a problem with salvia.


You make a great point.  I bet you could solve that problem if you use a net pot or an air-conditioner pump basket around the water pump. Its also a good idea to put some foam around the pump intake.

Nice, that looks like a really badass setup. I'm thinking it would be good to update the guide with those pictures plus the extra (optional) instructions for adding the drip pump to it. It would be great if you could update it with that info, would you be interested?


Im really busy with my 20 credit hours of school at the moment but if you give me some time I could make some instructions on the drip system. Youre welcome to use my photos for anything you like. If you need me to take any other photos just let me know.
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Paradoxic
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2007, 11:44:37 pm »

i tried growing something in a setup like that once.  i had a problem that when the plant got larger the roots grew so far down into the water that they got sucked into the pump.  is there a solution to this or shouldn't it be a problem with salvia.
Hah, I would have never thought of that! Yeah, pretty simple solution as Sam said, that would probably alleviate the problem.

Btw, welcome to Salvia Source hotchkin!

Sam, that sounds great, take your time, theres no rush. Now that hotchkin mentioned it, it might be a good idea to add a part about that into the article.
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2007, 11:28:20 pm »

I remember seeing a picture (somewhere) of about 3 yards of salvia roots that had completely stopped up the nutrient pipes. If there is a way for the roots to get into the pipes I swear they will. I wish I could find that picture again. 
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Sam Fisher
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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2007, 11:04:23 am »

I think I found a solution to the clogging water pump problem. It?s a bag that goes around the pump; follow the link for a photo

http://www.plantlightinghydroponics.com/water-pump-filter-bag-10in-x125in-p-2073.html

For my system Ill just use a bit of foam to keep it simple however if your worried about clogging heres an idea.
Try cutting a circle of foam to completely cover the bottom of the bucket above the water pump and air stone. The foam could even be covered with the same material as the pump bag for further protection. Ill fiddle a bit with this idea and see what I can come up with. 





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Paradoxic
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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2007, 03:44:58 pm »

Oh yeah I've seen those pump bags before, I had no idea what they were for. Now it makes sense Cheesy

Sounds like you got it under control, it will be cool to see a grow report of a hydro grow. One guy had one up here a while back and his plant was exploding with growth, check it out: http://www.salviasource.org/index.php?page=View&id=368 I think I'm gunna message him to tell him to get his ass back over here and post an update.
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