Adding an aeration system to the DWC system is essential. Diffused aeration will enhance dissolved oxygen (DO) levels allowing for plant respiration while preventing the growth of pathogens. The aeration process also circulates water evenly distributing the nutrient enriched solution.
Diffused Aeration Systems:
Diffused aeration systems include an air pump (sits outside of the water), airline, and diffusers (s) that sit at the bottom of the tank. Fine bubble diffusers (typically 0.5- 3 mm bubbles) are recommended as they produce the most air bubbles and thus the most surface area on the bubbles for oxygen to transfer into the water. For more information on diffusers, check out the following article: (add our article)
There are many types and sizes of air pumps. Lesser duty aquarium style aerators can be used for small applications. For larger scale at home systems with several tanks or for commercial FRT systems, a heavy-duty pump is often needed. One of the most popular styles is the linear diaphragm air pump.
Linear diaphragm air pumps have been used for hydroponics for years. The design is built for 24/7, 365-day use and is lubrication and oil free. The pumps are energy efficient running on less electricity than an incandescent light bulb. Perhaps the greatest advantage of a quality linear diaphragm pump is that it is very quiet compared to most rotary style aerators.
HIBLOW invented the linear diaphragm air pump back in 1968 and is the gold standard. Most models run on 70 watts or less with a noise level below 40 dBa. HIBLOW pumps use only a few moving parts and therefore can be easily rebuilt in 20 minutes or less. With 2 rebuilds, the aerators can continuously run for up to 10-15 years (depending on the system pressure and model size). HIBLOW offers 3 different series (WG, XP, HP) with flow rates ranging from 20LPM up to 200 LPM.