The Birmingham Bubbler DWC System available from Gloucester Hydroponics

Green Light

Unit 4

Cotswold Edge

Hempsted Lane

(Next door to Europcar)




01452 306871


Open 7 days a week.



We have a selection of both ready made systems and DIY bucket kits.

(DWC) is a hydroponic method of plant production by means of suspending the plant roots in a solution of nutrient-rich, oxygenated water. Bubbleponics is a related method of plant production that involves a top-fed deep water culture system. A more accurate definition for the acronym DWC is Direct Water Culture. Direct Water Culture can be performed in deep or shallow water.

Traditional methods

Traditional methods favor the use of plastic buckets with the plant contained in a net pot suspended from the center of the lid and the roots suspended in the nutrient solution. An air pump powered aquarium airstone oxygenates the nutrient solution; if sufficiently oxygenated, the plant roots can remain submerged indefinitely. Once the plants are ready to flower, the level of the nutrient solution is gradually reduced to expose the roots to the air.

Plants absorb vastly more oxygen directly from the air than from the oxygen dissolved in water. Deep water culture allows plant roots to absorb large quantities of oxygen while also allowing the uptake of nutrients. This leads to rapid growth throughout the life of the plant.

Recirculation deep water culture[edit source]

Recirculating direct water culture systems (also known as RDWC) use a reservoir to provide water for multiple buckets. Traditional methods using unconnected buckets require individual testing for pH and conductivity factor (CF). This has led to innovations that have seen the removal of air stones in favor of connecting multiple buckets together and recirculating the water. As the water is reintroduced to the bucket it is broken up and aerated with the use of spray nozzles. Constant recirculating oxygenates the water and ensures a good mix of nutrients CF and stabilizes pH throughout the entire system so testing is required only at one point, which would be at the ‘Tub’ like reservoir. The deep water culture system requires adequate water + oxygen nourishing solution.

The solution is oxygenated (possibly near, or equal to, oxygen saturation) from an air pump combined with porous stones. With this method the plants may grow faster because of higher amounts of oxygen that the roots receive, verses other forms of deep water culture.








The term ‘Bubbler’describes deep water culture hydroponic system with a halo to top feed the plant. There is a couple of large plate airstones in the water reservoir to help add oxygen to the water. Both the airstone and the water pump run 24 hours a day.

The biggest advantages with the Bubbler system over deep water culture involve increased growth during the first few weeks as well as the plants increased vitality. 

With deep water culture, there is a time where the roots haven’t reached the water yet. With the bubbler system, the roots get easy access to water from the beginning and will grow to the reservoir below much more quickly than with a deep water culture system. Once the roots have reached the reservoir below, you will be amazed at the speed and quality of your plants growth.Most people report that due to the quicker growth in the beginning, a few weeks of grow time can be shaved off and the yields are reportedly ridiculously high when used in conjunction with the  Hydrotops Nutrient System which is designed specifically for the Birminham Bubbler and is a high quality organic based nutrient system which provides breathtaking results.

DWC hydroponic system 

It is advisable to start this type of indoor cultivation with cubes of rock wool. Once the seeds are germinated in cubes of rock wool, put them into the Bubbler baskets previously filled with GROWSTONES which are a new and lightweight medium recommended for this system. Fill the Bubbler system with water and fertilizers that are hydroponic specific up to the level of the solution in contact with the base of baskets.  You NEED a EC meter and we recommend the Blue Lab for this job as it is easy to use and top quality with a five year guarantee.

The nutrients will be in contact with the solution that will be absorbed by the plants roots. Soon the plant will develop a large root system that will naturally immerse in the nutrient solution.  It is recommended replacing the nutrient solution approximately once a week and wash the container / tank with hot water to remove any algae, mold and salt deposits. Every time you fill the tank, measure the pH of the solution and ensure that its value is between 5.5 and 6.8. Revise with the pH indicator. Constantly monitor the pH. The well-oxygenated and enlightened environment promotes the development of algae. It is therefore necessary to wrap the tank with black film obscuring all light.

The best results we have had were using the Charles Austen Air Pumps and several large flat plate airstones which we never switched off.




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