Ebb and Flow Hydroponic System Creator

Ebb and Flow Hydroponic System Creator


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    Create your Ebb and Flow Hydroponic System

    Also known as a Flood and Drain System, the Ebb and Flow system is one of the most prominent hydroponic systems you'll come across. This style of hydroponics consists of periodically flooding the root zone of your plants with a nutrient solution for a period of time, before slowly draining back out into your reservoir. This will occur a number of times a day, and is considered an active hydroponics method, since it requires the use of a water pump.

    This Ebb and Flow Creator shows you everything you need to start your own hydroponic setup and will take you through step by step and highlight the parts you need as well as show what options will take your system to the next level.

    Note: This page is to help you create an Ebb and Flow kit step by step. When you choose your size of grow tray in the options up above (Step 1), this will determine all of the other products that are pre-selected in this kit. If you try clicking on all of the different sizes of grow trays available, you'll see the pre-selected options below changing based on the size.

    We did our best to match the correct products with the appropriate size of grow tray. Of course, any item that is pre-selected is that way because we feel it is a critical compoent or a good accessory to an Ebb and Flow System. Anything that you don't require or already have can be unclicked so you can choose just the parts you need and leave out the parts you don't.

    Step 1: Choose your Size of Grow Tray/Flood Table

    Hydroponic flood tables, also referred to as grow trays, are a means of holding the net pots or fabric pots that contain your plants. When selecting a flood table, it is important to consider the dimension

    Grow trays and flood tables list inside dimensions (ID) and outside dimensions (OD). The outside dimensions are important for determining whether or not a particular tray will fit in a stand. The inside dimensions are for determining how many plants you can really fit inside the tray or flood table. ID trays maintain Botanicare’s standard true inside dimensions to accommodate your growing containers.

    All of the grow trays listed here are ID Grow Trays meaning the listed dimensions reach to the inside wall of the grow tray. An OD Grow Tray would have its dimensions reach to the outer lip of the outside edge. This makes ID Grow Trays a bit bigger and an easier way to know exactly how many plants will be able to fit in your grow tray.

    Step 2: Choose a Size of Reservoir & Lid

    The hydroponic reservoir tank is more than just the container that holds the hydroponic nutrient solution. It also houses most working parts of the entire hydroponic system, including the reservoir water heater, the reservoir cooler, often the water pump, and air pumps and air stones.

    To prevent contaminants from entering the hydroponic reservoir, it is important to use a lid or cover. This keeps unwanted particles out of the nutrient solution, and keeps out light. When the reservoir is exposed to grow lights or side lighting, it can become a conducive environment for algae and molds.

    There are options for what size reservoir you want but we went ahead and paired each reservoir with what we believe is the approproate matching flood table. Each size reservoir also has the corresponding lid should you choose to include the lid in your setup, recommended.

    Step 3: Add a Tray Stand

    Hydroponic grow tray stands and rolling benches are responsible for holding the grow tray itself. Grow trays, also known as flood tables, are responsible for holding the plants. The hydroponic stand elevates the plants to a more optimal level for working, preventing growers from back issues associated with hunching over for prolonged periods. Grow tray stands also make room for the hydroponic reservoir underneath which is very important when it comes to working in small spaces as there is more floor space.

    There is a corresponding tray stand for each size of grow tray listed above EXCEPT for the 2' x 2' grow tray. You will notice if you click on the 2' x 2' tray in the first option that the option below for "Add a Tray Stand" will disapear. If you click on any other size grow tray, the option will reappear. We have tray stands available for every size above 2' x 2' including 2' x 4', 3' x 3', 3' x 6', 4' x 4', and 4' x 8'.

    Step 4: Add a Water Pump/Timer

    Hydroponic water pumps have one of the most important jobs in a hydroponic system. Without the water pump, we would be unable to send hydroponic nutrients from the reservoir into the grow tray or flood table. Ebb and Flow systems tend to use submersible water pumps. These pumps sit directly in the water of a hydroponic reservoir, and use fittings and hoses to move water around.

    GPH stands for gallons per hour, and is how pump sizes are measured. At Hydrobuilder we have water pumps ranging from 1-200 GPH all the way up to over 1,000 GPH. The water pump options we have included in this kit are adjustable flow and completely submersible. We recommend the 370 GPH for the 3' x 6' grow tray and below and the 655 GPH for the 4' x 4' and up.

    The digital timer included is used to connect to the water pump to make sure your grow tray floods exactly when it needs to according to your feeding schedule.

    EcoPlus Water Pump
    Titan Digital Timer

    Step 5: Add Tubing/Fittings

    Tubing is one of the main components of an irrigation system, as it is the means for transporting water and nutrients to your plants. Without high quality tubes, you will be springing leaks more often, and running into other potential problems. We also offer connectors and fittings which are important parts for connecting hydroponic tubing and hoses. Stoppers are great for preventing water from going places you don't need.

    The product we have pre-selected on this kit is the ebb and flow fitting kit which comes with tubing and fittings.

    Every Ebb and Flow system is different and this Fitting Kit is for a smaller setup to start with. For those looking for more tubing or fittings to work with a larger system, give us a call at 888-815-9763 and we'll be happy to help you find the parts you need.

    Step 6: Add Net Pots/Fabric Pots

    When cultivating plants in a hydroponic system, we generally cannot use traditional gardening pots and containers that soil plants can be grown in. Hydroponic growers use special net pots and cups. A net pot is a webbed, plastic hydroponic growing container with holes in the bottom. There are a number of reasons for this design.

    First and foremost, the holes allow hydroponic nutrients to easily enter the root zone. It also allows the solution to drain out effectively. The second main benefit of a net pot is the aeration it provides. Since the roots can grow out of the net pot or cup, they receive all the oxygen they need to grow big and strong. Air pruning, the pruning of roots naturally as they extend too far out of the pot, takes place and this encourages a stronger root system.

    Fabric pots can also be used in an Ebb and Flow system. Fabric pots, also referred to as grow bags, are a great way to cultivate plants. They sometimes feature handles, which is what differentiates grow bags from pots. This makes transporting plants incredibly easy. Fabric pots are prized for their root building abilities, as these pots are conducive to creating robust root systems. The reason root systems do so well in fabric pots is because they naturally prune the roots, known as air pruning.

    We included both net pots and fabric pots as choices in this kit so you can get the right pot for your garden.

    Gro Pro Fabric Pot
    Gro Pro Net Pot

    Step 7: Add Grow Media

    Clay pebbles, also knows as Hydroton or Hydrocorn have been one of the most popular hydroponic growing medium for decades. These are made by heating clay at high temperatures causing it to expand. These are pH neutral, and completely inert, not passing any nutrients or minerals into the plant.

    Clay pebbles are reusable, and plant roots can easily be removed from them at the end of each growing cycle. They can then be washed and sterilized, before using again. Clay pebbles can be very heavy, however, and weigh down your system. They also do not retain much moisture, which means they will need constant watering.

    We set 1 bag of Mother Earth 50 Liter as a pre-selected option but make sure you know how much grow media you need before ordering. Feel free to call and ask one of our awesome service reps and you'll have your answer in no time.

    Mother Earth Clay Pepples
    PLANT!T Clay Pepples

    Step 8: Add Hydroponic Accessories

    All you really need to get your ebb and flow system going is a reservoir, growth module/flood table, water pump, and timer. However, to truly be successful with ebb and flow hydroponics, you will need to upgrade your system. There are a number of ways to improve your growing environment, and increase yields.

    The only accessories we pre-selected in this category are the air pump and air stone but they are not required.

    Air Pump & Air Stone

    Using a hydroponic air pump in conjunction with an air stone or diffuser allows us to provide ample oxygen to the nutrient reservoir, which is then transmitted to the root zone of the plant. The air pump sits outside the hydroponic reservoir, and connects to the air stone or air diffuser inside the reservoir tank. The air pump takes oxygen from the air and channels it into the air stone, which then emits hundreds to thousands of tiny air bubbles into the reservoir.

    Water Chiller & Water Heater

    If the temperature in your reservoir drops too low or too high, you will need implement a hydroponic water heater or chiller. These are submersible devices that adjust the temperature of the nutrient solution to the ideal range, and will shut off once it is reached.

    Reverse Osmosis Filtration

    Reverse osmosis is the most effective means of filtering your water, and can reduce your PPM by 99%. This is a method where water passes through two filters, one being a sediment filter, and the other being a semi-permeable membrane for tiny particles.

    Step 9: Add Plant Nutrients

    Hydroponic gardens depend on more precise nutrient dosing to ensure a healthy, high-yielding plant than soil gardens. Nutrient recipes need to be water-soluble, complete, and stable, and thus hydroponic nutrients are generally synthetic.

    Based on the size of the grow tray you select, there will be small, medium, or large nutrient packages for you to choose from. We have also have options to add tools like pH, ppm, and conductivity testers.

    Tech Specs


    Weight (lb.)0
    Prop 65No
    Lead TimeDue to social distancing requirements, products ship in 1-2 weeks