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This DIY (formulas, sizing, etc) is based on the ideas and opinions put forth in the Ask Lucas thread and associated posts. This is not the only way to skin the cat, but it is the one being discussed here. If you see another system and/or grow style that appeals to you...find some one doing it successfully and do exactly what they're doing. Do not try and mix and match systems and styles...find something that works, do it. There is no need to reinvent the wheel!
This can be accomplished almost entirely at Home Depot:
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Strong Box brand storage tote/bin (27 gallon) $14
- Sterilite and Rubbermaid bins get less stable as they get larger, this one is pretty rigid. The body is black so only the lid will need painting.
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Cement Mixing Tub $6
- The one for this build is 27.5” x 19.5” x 6”. There are larger mixing trays, and the math works for them with the above reservoir. This application requires a more narrow footprint, hence the smaller table. Far superior to a shallow Rubbermaid or Sterilite tub, these mixing trays are completely opaque and heavy duty.
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Active Aqua Submersible Pump - 160gph (AAPW160) $14 at a local hydro shop
- The Depot has some $20 pumps in the pond/fountain area. Do not use smaller than 160gph. The 160gph size is too small if the flood table will sit higher than on the reservoir. Anything bigger than 300gph is too big!
1/2” vinyl tubing (or whatever size you need for your pump/table fittings)
This build uses a piece of a ten foot section probably purchased ten years ago. It's cheap, no more than 14” will be necessary if the flood table sits on the reservoir. If the table will be apart from the rez, tubing for a return line, 3/4”, will be needed. Purchase table fittings and pump first to ensure appropriate sizing. If table is apart from rez and water lines are exposed to light, they should be opaque.
1 ¼” hole saw $15
- A paddle bit may suffice, but biting the bullet and starting to buy quality tools as needed for grow projects is recommended—it doesn't have to be the most expensive, but get better quality and take care of them! If this ebb/flow table is the first, it won't be the last thing the do-it-yourselfer will build, and decent tools will make ALL the difference in much of what is done in the future. People who have gnarly sets of tools gathered them one at a time! :-)
Digital timer - $15
- A digital timer can be set for less than 15 minutes. It will likely take just under five minutes for the table to flood, an analog timer may be used, but with the extended underwater time, the use of the air pump becomes less optional.
2 – 4 watt air pump (optional)
- Based on light size, the recommended air pump is as follows: watts/100 = air pump wattage. 400/100 = 4 watts. This formula is most appropriate for DWC. Ebb/Flow is far more forgiving where dissolved O2 is concerned, a smaller pump is acceptable. Four inch stone.
Hydro store or online:
Hydroton clay pellets - ~$20
- The Depot online actually has a 50 lt bag of a hydroponic stone for $30, can't say I've ever seen it at my local store.Botanicare Ebb & Flow Fittings Kit - $7
- The 1 ¼” hole saw is needed to install this properly
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Squat/short containers (price varies for your application)
- This application uses one quart pots(about 4 ½”) purchased at Home Depot with plants in them! This unit will be used for a fairly short veg immediately following cloning in a bubble cloner. 6-12 small plants will veg at a time, they'll be transplanted to larger pots when they go to the flower table...a perpetual SOG of sorts. This table can be used to finish 4-6 moderately sized clones (shorter veg, well pruned)...a larger diameter potting container can work, but more than six or seven inches tall is too tall. The max level of hydroton will be 5-6”.
Edited by CasualObserver, 16 May 2012 - 06:44 PM.