Building another RDWC system

Hey Everybody,
I’m at it again with another DIY RDWC build… :slight_smile:
I’ve been wanting to build this for a very long time… Finally gonna pull the trigger!!!
Please keep in mind that this build is for my 4’ x 4’ VEG tent…


Looks like a plan!



Looks real nice, well thought out. Like the sample box idea.

Why did you go for supplying all 4 reservoirs instead of more of a loop style? Chaining the reservoirs so to speak. Definetly not a critique, just curious.


Looks like you’ve got it all planned out. These days I try to stick with the KISS method but every time I see a well planned build like yours…it makes me want to break out the pumps and build something! Well done. Can’t wait to see how it goes:)

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Thanks, I’m not sure I understand your question… If you are asking why I never went with a Undercurrent system that just feeds the epicenter?.. anyways, this RDWC system allows for a waterfall effect in each grow bucket to increase dissolved oxygen. Bulkheads are expensive and I feel like this should work just fine. If not, I can always add more down the road to connect all buckets together with 2 bulkheads per bucket…


Thanks, I’ll try to keep everyone updated with pics or possibly a DIY build video…

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That was not what I ment, thats gonna be a lot of splashing though. Just noticed there are no air pumps there, you sure that this way of running RDWC will supply enough oxygen?

My question was why not pump into the first reservoir, link that to the second so that the flow goes from bucket to bucket, rather than all buckets at the same time like in your proposed set up. Just picking your brain here!

  • I’ve revised my original design a little…

Chillers are expensive, so I’ve decided to pro-long its life and NOT run nutrients through it…

With a 400 GPH water pump I’ll circulate RO H2O through this closed loop system from an insulated 5 Gallon chiller reservoir to 1/4 HP Active Aqua water chiller and then onto 3/8" OD wort coil (stainless steel) in VEG epicenter and returning back to 5 Gallon bucket to complete the closed loop…

I can also expand this closed loop system by adding another wort coil to my FLOWER epicenter using only 1 chiller…

This will bring power efficiency and save me from adding another breaker box and keep the system clean!

Removed the Manifold and put a 3/4" Tee after the 1000 GPH water pump with valves and quick connectors on Sample line so I can easily Drain the system.

Added a 3/4" line from Top-Off Reservoir to Epicenter to make flushing simple and fast.

Added 1/2" PVC with 10-32 tapped holes for each bucket to create a waterfall effect.

Added an Alita al-40 linear air pump to pump clean filtered air to home made 1/2" air diffusers in each bucket.

All 2" is PVC except a couple Fernco 2" Rubber connectors with clamps for separation when cleaning between runs…

All 3/4" is PVC and 1" Black Vinyl Tubing"…

Check below: and give me your thoughts…

I use 27gal HDX tough totes linked together with 1" black PE tubing and 1" botanicare bulkheads. I only recommend botanicare. Active aqua gaskets are cheap and stiff and the nut doesnt have enough grip to tighten. One day my hydro store only had active aqua so I tried them. Nearly every bulkhead leaked. Swapped in some botanicares and not one leak.

They all run back to a control bucket where a pump sits in and pushes water through the chiller out to my distribution manifold which is 1" black PE tubing with 1/2" outlets to more evenly distribute water to each site since water follows path of least resistance it fills the 1" before spilling out to the 1/2" basic fluid dynamics. The 1/2" outlets terminate with elbows to act as a waterfall to top feed the sites.

I find the waterfall to not be enough so I got a pondmaster ap-100. A lot of surface area with 27 gal totes. I enjoy large buffers though. pH and EC drifts are minimal. I also have a pH doser on the control res. I can go 3 weeks away before it needs water. Could go away a month if i had a secondary res hooked to a float

In the future i want to experiment with venturi nozzles to bring water back to the sites.

this is my setup. The control is to the right. I raise the sites with CMUs so the water level gets higher in the control tote since I use a 1000gph pump it draws the level down quick.