Is DWC a viable option for a commercial grow?

I’ve been researching the various types of growing methods and i noticed that i don’t see many large scale DWC operations. I would like to hear from experienced growers on your opinion of why DWC isn’t more widely used and i would also like to hear your opinion of the DWC growing method in general.


First off welcome to growers network feel free to reach out whenever no question is to dumb to ask. We are all here to help!

lots of waste and also large scale requires lots of moving parts and a lot more variables to go wrong without having the convenience to fix the problem if you even get a chance and DWC no way to tell how much a large garden will consume water nutrient ratios. Humidity during flower would be hard to control. and cleanup would take a while flood to drain would be a more efficient or wick system. DWC is better for smaller applications that can be controlled easier, aeration, circulation, and PH Control.


As a water treatment professional I’ve had a handful of customers that used DWC, one in particular got some of the top yields I’ve ever heard of.

That said, DWC systems don’t have the compact footprint that growing on a table can give. Also, those systems must be disassembled and cleaned occasionally or the accumulated nutrient matter around the connecting points will turn septic and your crops will start falling over after about 18 months of continuous usage. Have seen that happen several times. Finally, the chillers are an additional point of failure.

If you are looking to use a recirculating nutrient delivery method then I recommend the top-feed system from GrowoniX.


I have only seen one of those operations. The grower had a big problem with algae and fungus gnats. Maybe it was just him, maybe not. I decided then I wanted to have nothing to do with that kind of system.


Yes for sure but it’s not for everyone.
You can do just as well even better with coco and biochar from what I see.
Most of the cannabis facilites I see are all growing in soilless medium of peat, coco, compost ect.

If you are not a hydro guy and really good with all hydro systems, stay away from DWC or RDWC.
If you don’t mind me asking why?
Do you realize how fast your plants will die before you know what’s wrong?
In addition in a true hydro system Mycorrizia cannot hatch, perlifiate, and attach to root.
Fungi need a peat or compost or biochar to attach, hatch, perlifiate and complete the soil food web.
That means all the guys using Orca or G.W. W.P. are not getting any white fuzzy roots (Mycorrizia) in a hydro system. Why talc up your system?
The cat is out if the bag in the industry.
IT IS THE BACTERIA IN THOSE PRODUCTS that benefits. Not the Mycorrizia.
Same goes with Rockwool and coco. Mycorrizia does not work in rockwool or coco.

This Avatar only happens in soil. Mediums with peat and compost.


Thank you! I am still fairly new to the growing experience and am looking for a hydro system that can easily scale while maintaining quality.


Multiple points of failure has also been one of the reasons i came up with as to why this isn’t widely seen. thank you for the response JoeGrow!


Then I think you will love what has to offer. It’s a very simple system compared to anything else I’m aware of, especially fertigation.

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True for drain-to-waste, but plenty of mycorrhizae when you recirculate the nutrients through the rhizosphere back to the tank, where the magic happens.

And, so much enzymatic activity with a properly tuned mix that your nutrient tank looks like it has dense washing machine suds in it during the feed-week. This is with rock wool or coco.

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Mycorrizae die very easily. If you somehow were able to attach, hatch, perlifiate fungi spores on inhert medium or plastic, the delicate fungus cannot survive being gone through the ringer. Doesn’t matter drain to waste or recirculate. Show me white fuzzy roots in hydro system without peat?
If you don’t have peat, compost, or live medium in your substrate the eggs cannot attach, hatch, perlifiate, then find and attach to the roots.

The soil acts like an incubator for all that to happen.

A recirculating solution of ammonium is a dead pool for biology. Some bacteria can survive it.

I understand this is very debatable and everyone uses fungi in hydro or in Rockwool cubes.

However talk to a microbiologist that specializes in this. I can put you in touch with ours if you would like more info.

Most inoculents on the market are a 2 in 1 bacteria and fungi spores.

Most ppl think Mycorrizae is in the jar or the liquid product they spent so much money on.

If you are buying a Mycorrizia product, you are buying spores/eggs.


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Never analyzed the type of mycorrhizae that thrived, but my theory was that by going through the rhizosphere, the nutrient solution picked up what was needed (carbohydrates, etc) and the work happened in the tank. That’s just a theory and one I think worth investigating. Maybe your microbiologist would be interested in such an investigation.

What do you think is going on here?

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Hey Joe, it was a real tough pill for me to swallow when the microbioligist told me this. I have used Mycorrizia products since 2010 when I got my 1st jar of Great White. My organics began with G.W.
Mainly with soil over the years.
What you have a photo of is straight hydroponics. Sorry I don’t see white fuzzy roots.

In my opinion is looks a little anearobic because it’s yellowing. However photos are hard to see true colors and details.

For a hydro system, i would recommend you increase Bacillus (Microbes). Hydro systems thrive with bacteria because the bacteria we use in horticulture is aerobic and thrive with mass oxygen and aeration.

You can use fungi products but it’s really expensive when the spore don’t even hatch and float around,

No harm but you can save money by using more bacteria and less or no fungi with hydro.

I don’t want to debate but this is why we are here to learn and share about growing.

As my microbiologist says, “without mycorrizia there is no life” the connection between the bacteria and the roots is missing.

This is why I’m not a fan of hydro or DWC.

I get it, quick grows, big strong healthy plants from hydro but it’s not for everyone.

To much can go wrong in my opinion with commercial RDWC operations.

I work with grow facilities and I only know of 1 commercial grow facility that is RDWC.

For black market underground grows, yes lots of DWC, Grow Flow, undercurrent systems but they have 1 room and dozen plants and selling to the locals with mold, bugs, all included.


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Bright white fuzzy like this.
I use to be a coco guy now I’m all peat because of Mycorrizia.
Photo courtesy of Key to Life gardens Widespread Hemp. Feel free to share.
This is an organic seed starting mix.

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