Recirculating Deep Water Culture vs. Aeroponics

Recirculating Deep Water Culture vs. Aeroponics

Both deep water culture and aeroponic methods can produce huge yields. The systems look similar but work in very different ways; each has benefits and drawbacks depending on the environment in which they are used.

Aeroponic methods suspend the plants' roots in air and mist a water and nutrient solution onto the roots. As the roots are hanging in air, they get plenty of oxygen.

Deep water culture methods suspend the plants' roots in the water and nutrient solution, and aerate the water around the roots to provide oxygen. Recirculating deep water culture (RDWC) systems circulate the nutrient solution through multiple pots to simplify growing many plants and to ensure consistent nutrients for all plants in the system.


The AERO™ aeroponic system generally has more control of the overall size of the plant as the availability of nutrient solution is tightly regulated. Plants grown in the AERO system are very uniform, ideal for the "sea of green" technique.

The V-SYSTEM™ and RDWC systems' recirculating deep water culture method gives plants access to nutrient solution 24/7, so if the plants are given slightly too much veg time, in the flowering stage they can quickly gain height and grow too close to the lights. With practice and following recommendations on veg time, the V-SYSTEM and RDWC can produce fantastic yields with a lower number of plants.


The AERO system wins here as it is virtually silent in operation. Generally, the water pump will engage once every 30 minutes or so for only 30 seconds to 1 minute. If noise pollution is a concern, the AERO is quieter than the RDWC systems.

The RDWC system uses JET-STREAM™ air pumps which are one of the quietest pumps on the market. These pumps are very quiet when placed on a concrete floor but vibrations are more audible on a wooden floor.

The V-SYSTEM's pump is fairly quiet, but the vigorous stream of oxygenated nutrients being injected into each pot does generate a bubbling sound, very much like a jetted hot tub. It's as though your plants are permanently enjoying a spa in the V-SYSTEM.

Power Failures

In the event of a power cut the V-SYSTEM and RDWC fairs better as there's plenty of water in the system to keep the plants alive for an extended period of time. The roots suspended in the AERO system have no medium to act as a buffer; in the event of a power failure dehydration can happen within a matter of hours. This time period can be extended by hand watering, but the deep water culture systems are inherently more "fail-safe" in power failures.

View mentioned hydroponic system options:

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