Best DWC System for Growing Cannabis

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by Morgan

Last update:

September 8, 2023

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It comes with a total of 4 buckets that are food safe approved by the FDA and are 10 gallons each.


  • Easy to use
  • 4 Growing Sites
  • Includes Air pump, air lines, air stones, 6" basket lids, (4) 5 gallon buckets

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2. [Best For The Money] The Atwater HydroPod

It is an all-in-one solution that combines everything you would want in a DWC hydroponic kit setup combining professional grow features into a smaller DWC.


  • Re-engineered design
  • Using a dual outlet air pump
  • Providing a recirculating top feed drip system

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3. [Best DWC System For Beginners] General Hydroponics Waterfarm Grow Kit

This system is perfect for small grow spaces as the square design allows you to design your grow nets to be packed together, and the closer they are packed in the better your plants’ yield.


  • Eight WaterFarm module units
  • 13-gallon reservoir and 8-gallon controller unit
  • Unique square design allows growers to closely pack modules together 

Looking for the best DWC system?

A Deep Water Culture (DWC) system is the next step for those wishing to expand their growing capabilities with a system that ads timely nutrients to plants. DWC systems do exactly that; They allow a steady supply of nutrients and water to enter your plant’s ecosystem at a rate and frequency that you can set manually.

Below is a shortlist of our best dwc hydroponic systems we think you’ll love. Read further for more detailed information.

Best DWC Hydroponic System At A Glance

Best DWC Systems

The results from a DWC system are proven to grow cannabis quicker than that of basic soil-grown plants.

The increased plant growth is a result of supplying plant nutrients exactly when a plant needs them, especially during the vegetative stage of growth to increase their strength and growth rate dramatically.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind before growing with Deep Water Culture Systems but don’t worry. We will walk you through just what a DWC system does and what to look for when buying a DWC system.

Best Power Grow DWC System

PowerGrow offers a great solution when it comes to DWC systems. Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit by PowerGrow Systems comes with a total of 4 buckets that are food safe approved by the FDA and are 10 gallons each.


The DWC grow kit is recommended for larger grows of up to four big plants because 4 plants are better than one. Great for strains that tend to have larger yields than other types of cannabis no matter the growing media.

The buckets include water level marks to help ensure proper amounts of water levels and the lids easily allow for a top feed situation. This DWC also comes backed with a 1-year warranty.

This DWC hydroponic system included pump is a bit noisy but overall runs like a champ and the gallon buckets keep light out with their black opaque finish that helps the plant roots grow.

Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic...
  • Easy to use complete Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System! 4 Growing Sites!
  • Deep Water Kit Includes Air pump, air lines, air stones, 6" basket lids, (4) 5 gallon buckets + 1 Year USA Warranty

Best DWC System For A Single Plant

The Atwater HydroPod is the best option for a single plant garden. If you wish to grow a single weed plant, then this is your go-to DWC grow system.

It is an all-in-one solution that combines everything you would want in a DWC hydroponic kit setup combining professional grow features into a smaller DWC. This single DWC system is a good fit in use with a small grow tent.

They use professional grower quality parts and to up the stakes, The Atwater HydroPod includes:

  • Re-engineered design – The dual air outlet pump aerates the bucket reservoir for massive oxygenation while also using a top feed drip which makes things easy for adding nutrients.
  • Top Feed Easy – Designed to make life easy when it comes to hydroponic indoor or outdoor gardening. Plug and play. All you need is your plant and good nutrients.
  • Plant Growth – Plants grow about 3x faster using this DWC system instead of soil.

This is one we like to use a lot for our indoor grows. They have also added features to make using this DWC easier. Features include portholes to view roots easier and easy draining to change water faster and with less mess making this DWC a convenient growing method.

The Atwater HydroPod - Standard A/C...
  • ✔ UNIQUE DESIGN COMBINES DWC & TOP FEED AERATED RECIRCULATING DRIP - Using a dual outlet air pump, the Standard Hydropod simultaneously aerates your reservoir for vigorous explosive DWC root growth, while also providing a recirculating top feed drip system.
  • ✔ COMPLETE HYDROPONIC DWC / TOP FEED GARDEN IN A BOX - If used outside harnessing the power of the sun, this kit contains everything you need to start your own garden (minus plants and water!) Setup your kit, mix your nutrients, plant your new insert your new plant, plug in the pump and you're done!

Best DWC System For Beginners

The General Hydroponics Water Farm Grow Kit is a simple to use, square bucket system. This hydroponic  system is perfect for small grow spaces as the square design allows you to design your grow nets to be packed together, and the closer they are packed in the better your plants’ yield.


This hydroponic system includes a 2-gallon reservoir (bucket) and everything else you need from a semi-quiet pump, air stone for oxygenation, tubing, and nutrients.

Another one-stop-shop for a good price. Everything you need is included such as the net pot and clay pellet application, which makes us happy farmers for this grow medium.

General Hydroponics Waterfarm Complete...
  • Brand New **General Hydroponics WaterFarm** Complete Hydroponic System | GH4120
  • Will grow small, medium, and large plants

Top Deep Water Culture For Large Hydroponic Growers

General Hydroponics eneral Hydroponics GH4720 Farm Controller is a full system for your indoor hydroponic farming. Complete with 8 square-shaped buckets to maximize space in your grow room or 10X10 grow tent as recommended.


This awesome DWC hydroponic system comes with everything you need to grow at max 8 plants at a time in a fully contained hydro environment. The General Hydroponics system also comes with a reservoir to make things easier when it comes to DWC systems for cannabis. The reservoir will allow you to ease back on constant maintenance and helps to keep your water at the proper temperatures for this type of growing.

Weighing in at 43.3 pounds this DWC is not small, but this is to be expected with larger growing operations. You don’t have to fill all 8 buckets with plants to use this 8 count DWC hydroponic system. In fact, you can also add more buckets should you need more plants in your future which is pretty nice.

Clay stones work best with this DWC. The General Hydroponics deep water culture is a top feed system and fairly easy to change nutrients out when it is time with the intuitive top-feed incorporation.

The best part of this hydroponic system is that the root zone is perfect to grow weed and is also easy to top off with water.

General Hydroponics HGC706980 WaterFarm...
  • Eight WaterFarm module units with 13-gallon reservoir and 8-gallon controller unit
  • The WaterFarm is General Hydroponics' best selling hydroponic module

Deep Water Culture (DWC) Bucket Quality

dwc bucketPlants, and especially cannabis require pure and un-tainted nutrients for plant growth. Contamination is often a concern. It is wise to sterilize your hydroponic system before growing to reduce plant-killing bacteria.

Some growers go as far as adding bacteria that are beneficial to plants.

Either way, you prepare your bucket or reservoir you will also want it to be opaque as to not introduce light into the bucket. This can harm nutrients as a result.

DWC System Mesh Baskets

Plants are placed into mesh cups also known as baskets, along with rockwool soil or peat moss. The “fill” should use the highest quality moss or soil you can purchase.

This is like an ambilocal cord for your plants. You will want it to transport your top-quality nutrients with ease and without contaminates to not spoil your growing potential.

DWC Air Pump Quality

The Air pump in your deep water culture system is extremely important to your indoor garden’s growth. The air pump pushes oxygen into the plants’ roots.

This ensures the plants get the oxygen they need without suffocating. A constant flow of oxygen is vital.

The air pumps continuously run, making noise along the way. Some run quieter than others but typically have a higher cost for this feature.

DWC System Growing Tips

  • Temperature – This is one of the items you will want to monitor as much as possible. The water supplied through your hydroponic system should be an optimal 60 to 70 degrees.
  • Using LED grow lights helps as they tend to remain cooler. Even if you run a cool grow light in this range, you should always check your water temps using a simple thermometer.
  • PH Balance – Every week at minimum, checking your PH levels that your plants absorb is a wise choice. A good PH for cannabis should fall between 5.5 and 6.5 pH levels. This is where cannabis likes it – slightly acidic.
  • Nutrients – Food for your plants. All the minerals they love should be included in the water supplied to your plants. A once a week addition of new nutrients to your water supply is recommended. You can perform this as you check the water temps and the pH levels of your plants to make it easier.

Hydro Pots, Bubbleponics, and Deep Water Culture Systems

They go by many names but they are all the same thing. Beginners in growing plants indoors and outdoors find them easy to use. Other than once a week maintenance and nutrient checks, they are easy to set up and affordable.

A basic DWC system requires 3 items:

  • A reservoir/bucket to hold your nutrients and water.
  • Mesh cup that holds your plant within its foundation which is typically your peat moss or rockwool soils.
  • An air stone that provides healthy oxygen to your plants’ roots.

For every plant you grow you will need one hydroponics system for each. The plant itself is suspended above the water in the mesh cup which allows the roots to submerge beneath the nutrient-rich water and grow towards the air stone.

Multiple plants have been considered by DWC manufacturers and contain multiple buckets yet share the same water supply to make things easier. If you are experimenting with nutrients you may want to purchase multiple separate hydroponic systems to isolate better nutrient levels between individual plantings.

The deeper the water the better. You will want a deep bucket because this allows nutrient levels to stabilize easier. “Deep” water is easier to manage and fewer changes to your eco-systems.

Advantages of Deep Water Culture

  • Big and healthy yields for your crops
  • DWC’s are easy to use, especially after the initial set-up.
  • Affordable
  • Expandable for many hydroponic systems should you want to grow more
  • Beginner-friendly all in one solution

Cons With A DWC System

  • Keeping the temps at a standard
  • Loss of electricity will kill your plants fast
  • Need a backup Reservoir in case of failure of the first
  • Pumps can add to the noise level in your grow room

Final Notes On DWC Sytems

Those who are new to indoor gardening might still think that soil is the only way to grow plants which is simply not true. The purpose of soil is to provide nutrients, but with a DWC system setup, the water acts as the supplier of nutrients into the root system of the plant and skips over needing soil to begin with.

A DWC system is a cheaper alternative to fancier hydroponic systems on the market and allows for easy integration in a grow tent. Maintenance is easy and the results from a DWC hydroponic system will give you larger plants grown in less amount of time versus growing plants indoors in soil.

A DWC system versus soil will also rely on checking on your cannabis plants more often to ensure things are working correctly. The rush of nutrients that a hydroponic system setup provides can result in overfeeding plants, nutrient burn, and poor results if you are not paying attention.


1. Does DWC increase yield?

Growing plants in DWC setups improves their access to oxygen and nutrients, which means they spend less energy searching for nutrients and developing roots. Plants will reward you with fast vegetative growth and excellent yields.

2. How often add nutrients to DWC?

If you are using a DWC system, it is recommended that you add nutrients every time you top up the reservoir. If your plants are growing well and there are no algae in the tank, then this should be done once per week.

3. How much does DWC yield?

 In a DWC, a ph level of around 5.8 is typical for vegging cannabis. For many cannabis growers, DWC is the ideal complement to SCROG. When grown from an auto-flowering seed or a feminized cannabis seed, DWC and SCROG training allow plants to grow to their maximum potential, enabling yields of several hundred grams per plant.  

4. What should my PPM be in DWC?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the PPM (parts per million) needed for optimal growth in a DWC hydroponic system will vary depending on factors such as the type of plant, the size of the plant, and the climate. However, a PPM of around 400 is generally recommended for cannabis plants in a DWC system.

5. What is a DWC system?

DWC stands for deep water culture. A DWC system is a type of hydroponic system that uses a reservoir of water to grow plants. The plants are suspended in the water and their roots grow down into the nutrient-rich solution.

Here's a useful DWC Hydroponics Setup video we picked out for you:

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About the author 


I discovered the benefits of Cannabis at a young age in 2002, with years of trial and error, my knowledge grew just like my plants. As my love for cannabis unfolded I began to teach and learn, trying to gain as much information and practical growing experience.

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