Best DWC System: Top Picks for Deep Water Growers in 2024

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DWC, or Deep Water Culture, is a popular hydroponic growing method where plant roots are suspended in oxygenated water with essential nutrients. A DWC system can make growing plants easier and more efficient, catering to both beginners and experienced gardeners alike.

When choosing the best DWC system for your needs, it is crucial to pay attention to factors such as size, capacity, material, and ease of use. The size and capacity of your system will depend on the number of plants you wish to grow and the space you have for the setup, while the material should be durable and resistant to wear and tear. Of course, a user-friendly system with easy setup and maintenance should always be a top priority. Additionally, it is essential to consider the scalability of the system, in case you decide to expand your operation in the future.

Best DWC System

Among the variety of DWC systems available on the market, it may be challenging to find the perfect fit for your gardening needs. In our pursuit of excellence, we’ve spent countless hours researching and testing numerous DWC systems to identify the best options that cater to both efficiency and user experience. We cover single and multiple bucket kits and a few of them are the recirculating type. We’re confident that at least one of them will meet your needs to a T!

Best DWC Hydroponic System

Best DWC Systems

We have compiled a list of the best DWC (Deep Water Culture) systems on the market to help you achieve excellent hydroponic plant growth. Check them out below!

VEVOR DWC Hydroponic System, 5 Gallon 8 Buckets

VEVOR DWC Hydroponic System, 5 Gallon 8 Buckets

  • 8PCS PP Buckets to grow multiple plants simultaneously: High-quality and durable material
  • 5″ basket size and 5-gallon capacity per bucket
  • Powerful Air Pump & Air Stone: AC120V 60HZ, 10W
  • User-friendly Design: Water-saving, labor-saving, and high-yielding
  • Tight seals prevent leaks, inline check valves avoid reverse flow
  • Water level device for easy monitoring
  • Complete Hydroponic System: Includes all necessary accessories
  • Suitable for various indoor and outdoor environments like grow tents, greenhouses, offices, and more
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A great choice for both beginners and experienced growers looking for a high-yielding, easy-to-use hydroponic system for various plants.

  • High-quality, durable materials
  • Powerful air pump and air stone system
  • User-friendly design with complete accessories
  • Good value
  • Air pump can be a bit noisy
  • Refilling water can be challenging with larger plants

The VEVOR DWC Hydroponic System is an all-in-one kit perfect for those who want to grow a variety of plants without relying on soil. We found it incredibly easy to set up, and the high-quality PP material gives this system the durability needed for long-lasting use. With 5 gallons capacity and 8 buckets, you can grow multiple plants simultaneously, making it good value and ideal for both beginners and seasoned growers.

The powerful air pump and air stone system provide plenty of oxygen to the roots while keeping the water nutrient-rich. It creates optimal conditions for plant growth, resulting in healthier and more robust root systems. However, the air pump can be a bit noisy, so consider placing it in an area where noise won’t be an issue.

We appreciate the user-friendly design of this hydroponic system. It is water-saving, labor-saving, and offers high yield compared to traditional soil planting. Additionally, the system features tight seals to prevent leaking, inline check valves to avoid reverse flow, and a water level device for easy observation.

The only downside to this system is that refilling water can be a bit challenging with larger plants. However, with easy-to-follow instructions and complete accessories, putting this DWC system together is a breeze. Once assembled, you’ll enjoy bountiful harvests of fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs in your grow tent, greenhouse, garden, balcony, or any indoor or outdoor space without soil.

In conclusion, the VEVOR DWC Hydroponic System is an excellent value for money investment for anyone looking to try hydroponics or expand their current setup. Its user-friendly design, durable materials, and powerful air pump and air stone system make it a sound choice for growing various plants with ease and efficiency.

Lawnful 4 Hydroponic Buckets Kit

Lawnful 4 Hydroponic Buckets Kit

  • Total solution from germination to harvest
  • 4 Hydroponic Buckets (10L/2.6 gal) with water level indicators
  • Each bucket has 5 growing pods for 5 plants
  • Efficient air pump with 4 outlets and adjustable air flow
  • Includes check valves, air stones, and air tubing
  • Germination kits with trays, sponges, baskets, and sponge cubes
  • pH balanced sponges promote healthy root growth
  • Space-saving design for various environments
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If you’re looking for an affordable DWC system with multiple plant capacity, the Lawnful 4 Hydroponic Buckets Kit is an excellent choice.

  • Space-saving design, perfect for smaller growing spaces
  • Efficient air pump for better oxygenation
  • Includes germination kits for an all-in-one solution
  • Buckets are a bit smaller than other DWC systems
  • No information readily available about the type of plastic used for the buckets
  • Plant lids may be too small for larger plants

We recently set up our Lawnful 4 Hydroponic Buckets Kit and discovered its space-saving design is perfect for a balcony garden. Its multiple-plant Deep-Water-Culture hydroponic garden allows us to grow various plants in an organized and compact manner. Furthermore, the included water level indicators helped us manage the hydroponics process better.

The air pump, with its 4 outlets and adjustable airflow, ensured efficient oxygenation of our hydroponic reservoirs, which is vital for the plants’ root systems. Additionally, the germination kits that come with the package provided a comprehensive solution from seed germination to harvest.

Although we found the buckets to be slightly smaller than other DWC systems, they still served their purpose well. We did struggle to find information about the plastic used for the buckets, which might be a concern for some growers. Lastly, the lids were a bit too small for larger plants, so we had to be mindful of the plants we chose to grow.

Overall, the Lawnful 4 Hydroponic Buckets Kit is an affordable and efficient DWC system that delivers great value for those looking to set up a hydroponic garden. With its space-saving design and comprehensive inclusions, it is perfect for beginner hydroponic growers and those with limited space.

HTG Supply Bubble Brothers DWC Hydroponic System - 6-Site XL

HTG Supply Bubble Brothers DWC Hydroponic System – 6-Site XL

  • Includes 6 hydroponic-grade 5-gallon buckets and 6 advanced 10″ net-pot lids
  • Comes with a 715-gph high-power commercial air pump and 6 premium air stones
  • Includes a 50′ roll of 1/4″ air tubing and a bag of high-quality clay pebble grow medium
  • Electrical specifications: Air pump – 20 watts, .17 amps @ 120v
  • Assembled bucket measurements: 14-1/4″ Tall x 12″ Wide (each)
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We highly recommend the HTG Supply Bubble Brothers DWC Hydroponic System for its efficiency and ease of use for indoor and outdoor growing.

  • Easy to set up
  • High-quality air pump and air stones
  • Spacious 5-gallon buckets
  • Net pots require a higher water level
  • No easy way to check water levels
  • May need additional instructions for beginners

The HTG Supply Bubble Brothers DWC Hydroponic System is perfect for indoor and outdoor growing, and we found it easy to assemble. The system comes with six hydroponic-grade 5-gallon buckets, an excellent air pump with a 6-way divider, and premium air stones that ensure proper aeration for your plants.

We noticed that the net pots in this system require a higher water level for the roots, which may initially be a bit confusing, but it works effectively once set up correctly. Our only real gripe with this system is the lack of an easy way to check water levels in the buckets. It’s not a deal-breaker but requires extra attention while maintaining the system.

For beginners who might need additional guidance, the system doesn’t come with specific instructions on assembly. However, the process is relatively straightforward, and many online resources can help you get started.

For those considering a smaller version, there’s also the Classic 3.5-gallon version. In conclusion, the HTG Supply Bubble Brothers DWC Hydroponic System delivers excellent results for indoor hydroponic growing, and with some attention to water levels and setup, you’ll be on your way to a thriving garden.

PowerGrow Systems Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bucket Kit

PowerGrow Systems Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bucket Kit

  • Includes 5 Gallon HDPE Bucket + 6 inch Basket Lid
  • 44 GPH Air Pump, Air Tubing, Air Stone included
  • Comes with Growing Medium and Rockwool Seeds Starting Plugs
  • Features visible blue Water Level Indicator and Bucket Drain
  • 1 Year USA Manufacturers Warranty
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An affordable and user-friendly DWC system, perfect for beginners and experts alike looking for a hydroponic growing solution.

  • Easy to use, complete kit
  • Comes with a 5-gallon HDPE bucket and 6-inch basket lid
  • 1-year USA manufacturer’s warranty
  • Slightly weak air pump
  • Larger air stones might be better
  • Nutrients and pH test kit not included

Having recently used the PowerGrow Systems Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Bucket Kit, we found it to be a highly convenient and efficient method to get started hydroponically. The DWC system enables you to have your plants up and growing in no time, allowing for rapid root development, which in turn, results in improved plant growth and production.

The PowerGrow DWC system comes as a complete kit, including everything you need to get started – a 5 gallon HDPE bucket, 6″ net pot bucket lid, growing medium, 44 GPH air pump, air tubing, air stone, 3 Grodan rockwool starter plugs, and even a blue water level indicator and drain. The only downside is that nutrients and a pH test kit aren’t included, but these can be easily purchased separately.

We particularly appreciated the 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, which gave us added confidence in the quality and performance of this system. Made in the USA, the PowerGrow DWC system is built to last, ensuring that our investment pays off in the long run.

If you’re interested in expanding your growing capabilities, consider adding the PowerGrow Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit to your existing PowerGrow system. This will allow you to expand your growing capacity and ultimately yield better results.

In conclusion, the PowerGrow Systems Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bucket Kit is an excellent choice for anyone looking to venture into hydroponic growing. It’s easy to set up, affordable, and made of high-quality materials, making it a smart investment for those seeking a reliable DWC system.

Hydrofarm Active Aqua RS5GAL4SYS Root Spa

Hydrofarm Active Aqua RS5GAL4SYS Root Spa

  • Hydroponic 4 Bucket System: Provides optimal growing environment
  • 8-inch bucket basket with watertight seal
  • Air Hose: Delivers air from pump to bucket bottom
  • Air Pump: Oxygenates water for root growth
  • Cost-effective pumping of raw air into nutrient solution
  • What’s Included: 4 5-gallon buckets, bucket basket, air pump, air hose, fittings, tubing
  • Easy to use, inexpensive, forgiving system
  • No need for air stones
  • Cost-effective pumping of raw air into nutrient solution
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An excellent choice for hydroponic enthusiasts seeking an effective and easy-to-use DWC system.

  • Efficient deep water culture system
  • Easy-to-use and maintain
  • Inexpensive and cost-effective solution
  • Some units may arrive with scuffed buckets
  • Possible missing parts due to packaging issues
  • Air hose placement may need adjustment

We recently tried the Hydrofarm Active Aqua RS5GAL4SYS Root Spa DWC system and found it to be an excellent choice for hydroponic plant growth. The 4-bucket system, combined with the multi-output air pump, provides optimal growing conditions for our plants. The 5-gallon bucket size is generous, allowing for plenty of room for root growth.

In our experience, the air pump provided sufficient oxygen to the water, promoting healthy root development. The multi-purpose air hose made it easy to connect the system without the need for additional air stones. However, we did find that we needed to adjust the air hose placement slightly to ensure proper functionality.

One potential issue we encountered was that some buckets may arrive scuffed due to being open box items. Despite this, the overall condition of the buckets was satisfactory. Another concern was the possibility of missing parts as noted in some customer reviews. It is essential to thoroughly check your package upon arrival and contact the manufacturer if any components are missing.

In conclusion, the Hydrofarm Active Aqua RS5GAL4SYS Root Spa is an efficient, easy-to-use DWC system that will suit most hydroponic gardeners. Although there may be minor issues with scuffed buckets or missing parts, once properly assembled, this DWC system will help you achieve impressive plant growth for any hydroponic setup.

Best Bubbleponics System

Bubbleponics is a variation on DWC in which fertilizer solution is delivered to plant roots using a system of drip feeding tubes and an air pump.

The Atwater HydroPod - Standard A/C Powered DWC Deep Water Culture/Recirculating Drip Hydroponic Garden System Kit

The Atwater HydroPod – Standard A/C Powered DWC Deep Water Culture/Recirculating Drip Hydroponic Garden System Kit

  • Unique design combines DWC & top feed aerated recirculating drip
  • Hydropod: 5 Gallon Food Grade black bucket
  • 8″ Mesh bucket lid insert with Water Level Indicator
  • Drip ring and water column with aeration drive fittings
  • Dual outlet air pump with tubing and 4″ air stone
  • Clean dual elbow connectors for easy air line connection
  • Powdered Grow and Bloom nutrients for long-lasting supply
  • pH Testing Kit with powdered pH Up and pH down adjusters
  • Hydroton Grow Rocks: inert, organic, reusable clay-based growing media
  • 6 Pack of Grodan 1.5″ Starter Cubes for seeds or clones
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The Atwater HydroPod is an excellent starter kit for anyone looking to dive into hydroponic gardening, providing an efficient and easy-to-use system.

  • Combines DWC and top feed aerated recirculating drip for optimal growth
  • Complete hydroponic garden kit with everything needed to start growing
  • Highly efficient use of water compared to traditional gardening
  • Weak recirculation drip ring possibly due to the pump
  • Nutrients provided may not be the best quality
  • Limited to smaller plants or a single plant

We recently set up the Atwater HydroPod in our garden and found it to be an incredibly user-friendly and efficient way to start growing our own plants. The unique design combines DWC (deep water culture) and top-feed aerated recirculating drip, allowing for vigorous root growth and optimal nutrient absorption.

The HydroPod kit comes complete with everything needed to set up our hydroponic garden, from nutrients and pH testing tools to grow rocks and starter cubes. It was especially convenient having a complete kit, as all we needed to do was follow the instructions, add water, and start growing.

However, we did notice a few drawbacks, such as the weak recirculation drip ring. This issue might be due to the pump, so upgrading to a stronger one could improve the system. Also, while the powdered nutrients provided will last for months, we would recommend purchasing higher-quality nutrients for better results in plant growth.

Despite these cons, the Atwater HydroPod offers a great introduction to hydroponic gardening. For those with bigger gardening goals, the multi-bucket system, The Atwater HydroPod – Standard (4 SITE w/ 8″ Baskets), allows for growing multiple plants simultaneously.

Overall, we believe that the Atwater HydroPod is a fantastic starter kit for anyone looking to explore hydroponic gardening. Its efficient design, combined with a complete set of necessary tools and materials, make it a worthwhile investment for both beginners and experienced gardeners.

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VIVOSUN DWC Hydroponics Grow System

  • DWC Bucket + Top Drip Kit: Unique design with water circulation
  • Powerful Air Pump: Air output: 25 L/min, Voltage: 120V/60HZ, Power: 15W
  • Promotes effective root growth with sufficient air bubbles
  • Complete DWC Hydroponic Kit: 4x 5-gallon PP plant buckets, 4x 8-inch baskets
  • Includes drip irrigation sets, air pump, air flow regulators, air tubes, air stones
  • Also includes divider, clay pebbles, visual water level indicators, check valve, air valves
  • Wide range of applications: Fits in grow tents, gardens, balconies, offices, homes
  • Ideal for planting vegetables, fruits, flowers, and crops
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We highly recommend this system for its innovative design and ability to grow plants faster and produce higher yields.

  • Unique top drip irrigation design
  • Powerful air pump and air stone
  • Complete hydroponic kit with wide range of applications
  • Assembly instructions lack clarity
  • Top drip system holes may be too large

We recently used the VIVOSUN DWC Hydroponics Grow System and were genuinely impressed by its upgraded design and features. The top drip irrigation design is unique and ensures fresher nutrients and easier absorption for your plants.

The air pump in this system is powerful, with an air output of 25 L/min. The air stone supplies sufficient air bubbles for each barrel through the air hose, effectively promoting plant root growth. However, we noticed that the air pump could become the single point of failure, which is something to consider.

As a complete hydroponic kit, it offers flexibility and a wide range of applications. It can easily fit into grow tents, open areas in gardens, balconies, or offices and homes, making it ideal for growing vegetables, fruits, flowers, and crops.

One downside we experienced was the assembly instructions. They were somewhat vague, leaving room for confusion. Additionally, the top drip system has holes that may be too large, causing a gargling sound and water splashing. Overall, the VIVOSUN DWC Hydroponics Grow System is a worthwhile investment for those looking to enhance their hydroponic gardening experience.

SuperPonics XL 12 Hydroponic Grow System

SuperPonics XL 12 Hydroponic Grow System

  • Combines top feeding, deep water culture, and bubbleponics
  • Two independent hydroponic systems for safety and thriving plants
  • Includes custom-molded 35 Gallon UV-stable reservoir and lid
  • 12 Net Cups for nesting large plants
  • Quiet and powerful air pump with high output air stones
  • 185 Gallon Per Hour water pump for reliable and quiet operation
  • Smart Timer for controlling sunrise, sunset, and watering schedule
  • Stress-free vacations with automated feeding timer
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If you’re looking for a game-changer in your gardening journey, the SuperPonic XL 12 Site Hydroponic System is the one that will take you there.

  • Faster growth and enhanced safety with dual hydroponic grow systems
  • Durable construction prevents root damage, emissions, and discoloration
  • Fully assembled system: Convenient and hassle-free setup
  • Filling and draining the system is inconvenient but you can drill holes to make it easier
  • The stated capacity for 12 plants feels excessive

What I appreciate about the SuperPonics XL 12 Hydroponic Grow System is its SuperPonics technology, which combines different hydroponic methods into one. By merging automated top feeding, deep water culture, and bubbleponics, it provides optimal conditions for your plants, promoting root growth and overall plant health.

One standout feature is its dual hydroponic grow systems. Unlike traditional setups, this system operates with two independent systems simultaneously, feeding your plants from both the bottom up and the top down. This design ensures your plants receive the necessary nutrients and creates an environment where they can thrive and flourish.

Crafted from custom-molded, insulated thick materials, the RapidGrow Pro Hydroponic System offers durability and longevity. Its “food grade,” UV stable construction provides a secure environment for your plants, preventing root damage, harmful emissions, and reservoir discoloration. And the fact that it comes fully assembled is a convenience worth noting – just plug it in, add water, and you’re good to go!

With 12 Net Cups included, you’ll have space to cultivate up to 12 plants, although we found that to be a stretch – if you’re growing large plants, 6 would be a more comfortable fit. This allows you to create a diverse and abundant garden, whether you’re growing herbs, leafy greens, or other vegetation.

To ensure your plants receive essential oxygen, the system includes the Eco Air 4 Air Pump & High Output Air Stones. They operate quietly and efficiently, promoting healthy oxygenation without any hassle.

The heart of this hydroponic system lies in the 185 Gallon Per Hour Water Pump. Its reliable design ensures a consistent water supply to your plants, eliminating the risk of thirsty plants. Coupled with the Analog Single Timer, you have control over the lighting and watering cycles, allowing you to mimic natural seasons and enjoy worry-free vacations while your garden flourishes.

In conclusion, the SuperPonic XL 12 Site Hydroponic System is a reliable option for those looking to explore hydroponic gardening. With its combination of different hydroponic methods, durability, and ease of use, you can experience improved growth rates and maximize your yields. If you’re ready to revolutionize your gardening journey, consider giving this system a try.

Best RDWC System

The recirculating deep water culture system differs from the traditional method primarily in that water is pushed from a big reservoir through the system and back to the reservoir. Learn more about the differences between RDWC and DWC hydroponics. In the meantime, here is the best recirculating DWC system that we have found:

Bavnnro RDWC Top Feed Drip Hydroponics System

Bavnnro RDWC Top Feed Drip Hydroponics System

  • Combines RDWC and top feed drip hydroponic systems
  • Utilizes negative water pressure for oxygenated nutrient circulation
  • 24/7 circulation and aeration for rapid root growth
  • Complete kit with 4 or 6 growing buckets, 1 reservoir, pumps, and accessories
  • Powerful air pump for ample oxygen supply
  • Efficient water pump for larger, healthier root systems
  • Suitable for residential, professional, and commercial applications
  • Easy installation with pre-drilled bucket holes and instructions
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This Bavnnro RDWC Top Feed Drip Hydroponics System is a great choice for those seeking a complete hydroponics grow system at an affordable price.

  • RDWC and Top feed drip combination for optimal plant growth
  • Comprehensive kit with all essential components
  • Efficient 800L/H water pump and powerful air pump
  • Inadequate instructions for quick installation
  • Potential modifications needed for full RDWC functionality
  • May require additional reservoir for larger setups

We recently tried the Bavnnro RDWC Top Feed Drip Hydroponics System and were impressed by its combination of RDWC and Top Drip systems, which promote rapid root growth and uniform pH and EC levels. As a complete kit, it provides all the necessary components for a successful hydroponic grow system, including growing buckets, reservoir, water and air pumps, air stones, top drip irrigation kit, clay pebbles, and more.

The air pump, with its 4 x 4L/min output, provides ample oxygen to the roots, while the efficient 800L/H water pump ensures healthy root systems for your plants. This RDWC system is versatile and well-suited for various applications, making it an excellent choice for urban farmers, hobbyists, and commercial growers.

While the kit includes all necessary components, we encountered some challenges during installation. The instructions were not as clear and straightforward as we would have liked, making it more time-consuming to set up. Additionally, some users may need to modify the system to achieve full RDWC functionality and may require an extra reservoir for larger plant setups.

Overall, the Bavnnro RDWC Top Feed Drip Hydroponics System offers an affordable and versatile hydroponic grow system for various applications. Despite minor drawbacks in the installation process, its combination of RDWC and Top Drip technologies makes it a worthwhile investment for both beginners and seasoned growers.

Related: Scaling a DWC system beyond 8 to 12 plant sites can become expensive, so if you’d rather build a homemade DWC system, we can show you how.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best DWC system, there are several features to consider that will help us make the right choice. In this guide, we’ll cover the most important factors to keep in mind when comparing different deep water culture systems.

Firstly, consider the size of the system. The size we choose should match the space available in our growing area, so measure the space accurately before making a decision. Also, think about how many plants we want to grow, as different systems can accommodate varying numbers of plants. Check to see how many plant sites are available in each system.

The quality of the materials used in the system is another vital aspect to consider. Since a DWC system will be immersed in water, it’s important that the materials are corrosion-resistant and won’t leach harmful chemicals into the water. Look for systems made with high-quality plastics, like food-grade PVC.

The efficiency of the air pump plays a crucial role in nutrient delivery and oxygen supply. A good pump should provide plenty of air and have an adjustable flow rate, so we can fine-tune the oxygen levels in the water. We should also ensure that the system comes with an appropriate number of air stones to ensure proper distribution of air bubbles throughout the entire reservoir.

Let’s not forget about the ease of use and maintenance. A well-designed DWC system should be simple to assemble, clean, and maintain. Look for features like removable net pots, easily accessible water reservoirs, and clear instructions on how to assemble and operate the system.

Lastly, consider the price of the DWC system. Although quality materials and features are important, we don’t necessarily need the most expensive system to successfully grow our plants. Compare the features and quality of different systems within our budget, and choose the one that offers the best value for money.

By considering these factors, we can make a well-informed decision when choosing the ideal DWC system for our hydroponic garden.

Buying Guide

Claudia Lewis
About the author

I’m Claudia, a hydroponic gardening enthusiast with years of experience in this exciting and rewarding hobby. Over the years, I’ve experimented with different hydroponic systems, nutrient solutions, and plant varieties. 

On this website, I share everything I know about growing plants without soil. You’ll find everything you need to know to start your own hydroponic garden, from choosing the right system to selecting the best plants and nutrients.