growee DWC vs RDWC

When choosing what hydroponics system to use, it’s important to understand what DWC and RDWC are. We will explain this in detail and help you determine if RDWC is the way to go or maybe DWC would be best for you. Let’s dive in!

First, the abbreviations used stand for :

DWC- Deep Water Culture and RDWC -Recirculating Deep Water Culture

What Is a DWC System?

A Deep Water Culture (DWC) system includes one reservoir in which all equipment and plants are in. One or multiple plants are grown in the reservoir, and their roots are immersed in a water-based nutrient solution in the same container/ bucket/ pool. Nutrients are added into the reservoir where the roots and equipment are. 

pH levels and feeding must be monitored and managed constantly due to frequent fluctuations in the acidity of the water and nutrients available to the plants.

How Does a DWC System Work?

There are many types of DWC systems; some systems have floating rafts that hold many plants, while others have a single plant grown in a bucket with a net pot. It is highly recommended to use an air pump. Submerging the plant’s roots in the highly oxygenated nutrient solution will increase nutrient uptake and maintain healthy roots. 

The grower’s responsibilities are to balance the pH levels, feed the plants, and ensure enough oxygen dissolves into the nutrient dosing solution. Using intelligent automation can help growers to manage the feeding process efficiently and get better results.

Why Should You Grow with a DWC System?

A DWC system is one of the simplest hydroponic methods to set up. It doesn’t require much equipment and can be a cheap setup whether you build it or buy it. It can be as simple as a bucket, a net pot, and an air pump with an airstone. 

Multiple DWC systems allow you to grow in different reservoirs and manage different feeding for types of plants, species, or stages of the plant’s life cycle (seedlings, mothers…)

Also, If a problem occurs, like a sudden disease or fungus, your other DWC systems and plants will not be infected. 

But managing multiple DWC systems is time-consuming since each reservoir needs to be managed individually. Therefore, automating feeding can easily solve this challenge and help you succeed. 

What Is an RDWC System?

An RDWC (Recirculating Deep Water Culture) system features multiple smaller reservoirs with different grow sites that connect to the centralized bigger reservoir. That main reservoir houses the water pump and air pump with an air stone to force oxygen and water through the system using tubing. 

This is exactly where the nutrients and pH up and down agents get introduced to your system and are added, monitored, and corrected.

Just like DWC systems, the pH levels and feeding must be monitored and managed constantly due to frequent fluctuations in the acidity of the water and the nutrients available to the plants.

See How Growee Can Save You Time By Automating Your Plants Feeding


Water pH – Automated pH Up and Down Control

Nutrients Mixing – Automated Nutrient Dosing with Target EC / PPM Control.

Control From Anywhere – WiFi Connection and mobile App

Why Should You Grow with an RDWC System?

While an RDWC system is larger and more expensive to get started, it also shares resources, making it easier and much faster to maintain nutrients and make corrections for all plants.

This option works well for fast-growing nutrient-hungry plants, herbs, and medicinal herbs.

You can maximize yields in a shorter turnover period and may have more harvests each season.

Likewise, you can tend to all plant’s nutrient needs simultaneously instead of manually tweaking each one which can become very tedious and time-consuming.

The drawback is that the pots are interconnected. 

Thus a nutrient, disease, or root issue that affects one plant might spread to others quickly.

How Does an RDWC Hydroponic System Work?

The Recirculating Deep Water Culture system (RDWC) is the big brother of the traditional Deep Water Culture (DWC) system. 

Typically, RDWC systems feature multiple containers with various grow sites. Each one holds netted pots, plants, and an appropriate growing medium.

The main container, often a tote or large bucket, holds most of the water for the system, a pump responsible for circulating the water, and the air supply.

Nutrients get added and corrected here, then circulated throughout the system returning to the reservoir. 

DWC vs. RDWC Hydroponics

RDWC is the hydroponic growing method that uses several smaller containers. Each one, except the main reservoir, houses plants in net pots so that the roots dangle in the water.

Water is infused with oxygen and nutrients and goes to each container. Once it passes through, it returns to the main reservoir, oxygenated, and continues on a never-ending cycle, that recirculates nutrient solution at the right EC level, PH, and temperature to the plant’s roots.

However, DWC systems are much simpler, though they feature the same principles. One container is the reservoir and grow site for all plants and equipment. The reservoir holds the air pump, net pots, and plant roots, which dangle in the water. Air and nutrients are circulated within the big reservoir and absorbed by the plant’s roots.

These are self-contained systems.

The primary difference is that DWC has only one reservoir, as opposed to RDWC utilizing multiple buckets and only one main reservoir. Also, when DWC container is large, there is a thermal mass effect in using more water and buffering {steadying} temperature fluctuation that occurs much faster in RDWC.

During power outages, there is much less temperature fluctuation in DWC and no immediate drying of roots as in RDWC, The roots in DWC are suspended at the same water level at the reservoir, although nutrient change and correction will take much more time in DWC.

Benefits of an RDWC and DWC System

  • Easy to clean
  • Not as expensive as other options
  • Lower learning curve involved
  • Works outdoors and indoors
  • Produces higher yields
  • Consistent operations
  • Saves time
  • Easy to maintain
  • Provides growth acceleration
  • Operations can be automated 
  • Works excellent with Growee smart automation

Which Is Better: a DIY Setup or RDWC/DWC Kit?

If you decide to go with an RDWC/DWC system, there are two options: a DIY system you build yourself or a pre-made kit you buy at the store. Of course, both ways have their pros and cons.

A kit is the best way to get a system that works properly on the first try. They’re often easy to set up, as well. However, a DIY approach is generally more affordable, though it has a learning curve. Growers need more patience, effort, and time. 

DIY DWC are super easy to make and set up. There are plenty of online videos of DIY DWC setups available on youtube if necessary. But if you are looking for an easy and clean solution, you can find a DWC kit in any grow store. 

Typically, RDWC kits are still affordable. When you compare that with a high-end do-it-yourself setup, they’re about the same price. Plus, the DIY design might malfunction or experience breakdowns frequently if you only use cheap or unsuitable parts and have less hydroponic design knowledge.

There are plenty of online videos of DIY RDWC setups available on youtube if necessary.

How the Growee Pro Combo Can Take Your RDWC/DWC System to the Next Level

The Growee Starter Combo might be the best choice for your RDWC/DWC hydroponic system. It lets you control everything, including pH levels, nutrient dosing, and more. All you require is a smartphone with an internet connection, and you can get water temperature readings 24/7. 

Plus, you can raise/lower the pH level and send more nutrition to your plants as needed from anywhere using the included cloud-based app or have it do all the work autonomously with clever agronomist-created patterns and knowledge within pre-defined parameters set by you, basically like flying on autopilot !!!!

Since the RDWC/DWC system automates most of the process, you can get even more from it with the Growee Starter Combo, which helps you save time, maintain the plants perfectly, and get much bigger yields with much less human intervention and babysitting.


RDWC and DWC systems both have their pros and cons, which we presented in this article. Both systems require the grower to constantly manage the pH level and feeding. Automating feeding with Growee offers you the freedom to grow from anywhere with a smartphone app, save time and make sure your plants are always taken care of.

Check out the many Growee products online to see which set is right for you!


Each Nutrients doser includes 2 pumps. You can chain several doers according to your needs. As soon as everything is connected, log in to the Growee App and edit the feeding schedule under Modify > Smart dosing.

The Growee Hydro Master monitors the EC/PPM level of the feeding solution 24/7. You can see the measurements in real-time using the Growee App.

You can also see the trends and past measurements att the History section on the Growee App

Connecting the Hydro Master is a one-time simple setup process and it usually takes a few minutes to complete.

The basic requirements are:

  • Good wifi reception
  • Your network name and password
  • The device registration code added you your Growee account

Here is the full guide

Yes, you can download the app for free from the Apple Store or Google Play

You can also access your Growee account from a computer, a tablet or any internet-connected device with a web browser, just click here and log in

Yes, you can add as many Hydro Masters as you’d like, view and control different grow rooms or grow areas on the same account. Learn how to add a new Hydro Master to your Growee account here.

Yes, the Hydro Master includes a pH probe and an EC + Temperature probe. It also includes a 24W power supply.

Do you want more free time?

Hey, We are Growee. We would like to help you save time and get the best results with our smart hydroponics controllers

About Growee

Our goal at Growee is to simplify and smarten urban farming. Our product line is tailored for small-scale growers, and we’re proud to support home growers and commercial growers in over 30 countries worldwide.

The company was founded by a group of engineers and hydroponics enthusiasts and has gained recognition for its innovative technology, including several awards from the Israeli Innovation Authority.

Small-scale growers face the time-consuming task of manual water monitoring and adjustment. Growee’s automated hydroponics system simplifies this process, enhancing efficiency and increasing hydroponic yield

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