anyone have good info on Ebb&Flow?

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by Gimme Wafflez, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. i'm trying to find a good hot-to on building an ebb&flow system, maybe I didn't search well enough.. but any help is greatly appreciated. I welcome all help ;)
  2. looks like its been over a month since you posted this. if you still need some help, i can offer some advise, if you would like? I have been growing for about 5 years now and i have used many methods. I have found that an ebb and flow system was the cheapest and easiest way to grow. you cant go wrong with a flood and drain system. all the parts you will need can be bought at any hardwear store, k mart , wal mart, or even your dollor stores have things you can use. The first thing you need to know is, how much room do you have to store you water tanks and flood trays, are your tanks going to be stored in the same place as your flood trays? for me, i i have a grow tent that i made out of pvc pipe and plastic panda film.panda film is simply black plastic thats white on the inside, just google it. my grow tent is 4 feet wide by 4 feet deep by 6 feet tall. i use this for my flower chamber. for that space i use one of those plastic tote bins found at lowes or wal mart. if you get the medium size to large size bin, these will hold between 10 to 20 gallons of water. thats used for my water supply tank, this holds all your water and nutrient solution to feed your plants. what you need to keep in mind,is how many many plants are going to be in the flood tray? your supply tank or tanks depending on your grow size, the tanks are basicialy about 18 to 20 inches tall by 18 to 20 inches wide by 24 to 36 inches long, I use one tank. the next thing you will need will be a flood tray. to pump water into. for a flood tray i use yet another plastic storage container i found at wal mart. the flood tray should be about 5 to 6 inches deep by 24 to 36 inches wide by 36 to 48 inches long. the deepth of the tray should be a inch or two deeper then the grow medium you are using, i suggest using rockwool cubes. they are cheap, about 8 dollors a sleeve. you get 6 to a sleeve. thats enought for one grow from start to finish. I use 4 inch rock wool cubes. and grow 6 plants at a time. and harvest every 90 days this way. The next thing you will need will be several feet of 5/8 inch rubber hose. this is used to connect your flood tank to your supply tank. you will also need 4 plastic cuplers 5/8 of an inch to attach the hoses to the flood tray and supply tank. or you can find these attachments already made at any gorw supply shops in your town if you have one. just ask the person who works there for the parts to connect a flood tray to a water supply pump. if you make them yourself you will need some type of water proof sealant. i suggest the kind you use to repair fish tanks. the last thing you will need will be a pump for your supply tank. you can find these pumps at lowes, home depot, or a grow shop. if you get them from lowes or home depot just ask someone who works there where they keep water pumps for ponds and fountians. a fountian pump works the best. you will also need a timer to plug your pump into. be sure to get a timer that you can set to turn on for 15 -30 minutes at a time then cutts off. also be sure this timer lets you set it so it will do this every 6 hours. that way you are watering you plants 4 times a day. this will automatically flood your tray every 6 hours and the pump will run for only at a max amount of time and then drain when the pump is off. this provodes plenty of water and air. and dont worry, the way its designed to work, it will never over flow as long as you keep you supply tank lower then the flood tray. to keep it simple i will post another post on the supply list and approx. cost. also, how to assymble the system.... trustme, your going to love it. i will be happy to share my entire grow design and set up for my stealth in house grow op. everything from mother plants, clones, veggitative plants, flowering plants, harvesting, drying and curing techniques. i am harvesting around 3/4 to 1 pound every 90 days with the system i designed, useing 6 to 8 plants per cycle and i heep 4 cycles going every 90 days. i only grow for personal use. i just got tired of paying an ass load of money. so now i smoke great bud for free.
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  3. #3 smokinafatty, Jan 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2012
    OK Wafflez, here is a list of everything you will need and the approxament cost of supplies. This set up is designed to grow up to 8 plants. You can make multiple set ups to fit your needs. Each each set up is a self contained unit designed for ease of use. You can litterally turn it on and walk away. it does all the watering and feeding for you.

    Step 1.What you will need..
    1 18 gallon plactic tote found at Lowe's. Price- $7.99. This will be used for your supply tank.
    1 Rubbermaid Plastic Slimfit Wheeled Underbed Box. Price- $16.97 this will be used for the flood tray.
    1 smartpond 100-155 GPH Submersible Fountain Pond Pump, Price- 24.98. This is used to pump your water to your flood tank
    4 Genova 1/2" Insert Coupling. Price- $0.29 these are used to connect your hoses from the supply tank to the flood tank.
    1 roll of Watts 1/2" x 3/8" x 20' Clear Vinyl Tubing. Price-6.88. this is the tubing to connect you flood tank to your supply tank. you will have more then enough to do 3 set ups. you can also purchase it by the foot.
    1 tube of fish tank sealant or some type of water proof sealent. Price- $5.00
    1 Utilitech Indoor 2-Outlet Mechanical Timer. Price-$10.97 this is used to turn your pump on and off. Just be sure it has multiple settings so you can set for it to run for 30 minutes then shut off. It must be able to do this atleast 4 time a day. you may need extended watering times depending on how much light you use. to account for any heat issues that would cause extream water usage.
    Total cost is about $90.00. If you were to go and buy a pre made system like this it would cost around $300.00. So this will save you a large amount of cash.

    The design and function are simple. The pump turns on and waters your plants 1 time every 4 to six hours for 30 minutes. Your water will contain all your plants needs. with a proper mix of nutriants and water to have your plants thriving and popping big nasty buds. The only problems you will have to look out for would a pump not working, a time thats stoped working, or loss of power. in which case you can still dip a container into the supply tank and water by hand until you fix what ever problem you have.
  4. OK Wafflez, now lets start to assemble all the parts.
    First, you will need to cut 2 holes into the lid for the supply tank. make the holes about 2 inches. Put 1 hole on each end of the lid, about 2 inches from each edge. Be sure that ther is 1 hole at each end of the container. Ok thats it you water supply tank is done. to recap, you only need 2, 1/2 inch cuplers per system, my bad.

    Now its time to build your flood tray. remove the lid and turn the tray upside down. keep this length side in front of you. Next take one of the 1/2 cuplers and set it to the side. Then measure from the left side of the tray over 2 inches on the side faceing you then do the same on the same side but this time, measure over 2 inches on the side of the tray farthest from you. useing something straight draw a line from both marks. this will give you a line on the left side. do the same thing for the right side of the tray.

    Next, measure to half the distance on the line on the left side. This should put you 2 inches over and in the center of the bottom of the flood tray. Now take the 1/2 inch cupler and place on the center mark and trace an outline of the circle part of the cupler. Do the same for the right side. Now, what you need to do is cut out where you traced the 1/2 inch circles. If its too thick to cut you may want to use a drill and drill a 1/2 inch hole. Set the flood tray aside for now.

    Next, get 2 of the 1/2 inch cuplers. Take 1 of the cuplers and cut it on one side so the barbs are removed. This is going to be used to connect the supply hose from the pump.
    Take the smooth end of the cupler and place it through the hole. When placing it through the hole try and keep the part thats inside the flood try, to a point that there is only about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch of the cupler on the inside of the flood tray. This will help to keep the water level to a minimun when the pump turns off and the water drains back down to the supply tank.

    Now where the other 1/2 inch hole is, place another cupler through the hole. Be sure to push the cupler to a point that this is half way in the tray and half way out of the tray. Now, you should have the 2 hose fittings pre set in the flood tray. After you have made sure that the fittings fit into place tightly. remove them. Now, once you remove the fittings, Take some pvc cement and place a small amount around the fitting at the spots where the fittings are going to set in the flood tray. install the fittings as you did before. once the fittings are installed with the pcv cement, take the pvc cement and put a small layer on the inside and outside of the fittings in the flood tray. let it set for a few hours to dry and cure. This is done to help keep the fittings inplace, so, when you have to remove the hoses to clean the tray. It helps to keep the fittings tight. After the fitting have dried take some of the water proof sealent and seal the area on the inside and out side of the fittings on the flood tray. let this dry over night. Take care to be sure the bead of sealent is spread out enough so it creates a good seal. After it has dried overnight. Plug the fittings with something and fill it with water and check it for leaks. I do this in the bath tub just incase. If leaks are found do what ever you need to do to seal the leaks. once all leakes are taken care of move to the next step.

    Next, take a piece of the 1/2 inch rubber hose and cut a section to between 4 and 5 inches long. On one end of this piece cut the end of the tube at a 45 degree angle. Align the section of tube that you have just cut with the 45 degree angle at the top. Then align the tube along side of the fitting that sticks up the farthest in the tray. What you want is the small section of hose to be about 1 inch below the rim of the flood tray. This is what prevents the flood tray from overflowing when the pump is running. Make any adjustments before installing the hose to the inside part of the fitting. After all adjustments have been made install the small hose onto the long fitting. This is now the drain tube. If you want to make sure that you dont get any debris in the drain tube. Cut a small piece of screen and wrap it around the end thats cut to a 45 degree angle. Fasten the screen with a rubberband.

    Now that you have you supply tank and flood tank ready all you have to do is connect a few more hoses. When getting ready to connect you last 2 hoses, be sure to allow for enough hose incase you have yo move you set up around a bit. The simplest way to do this is to keep your flood tray on a shelf about 4 to 6 inches above the suppy tank. Just be sue to cut some holes in the shelf that will allow you to run the hose through that are going to and from the system.
    Next cut 2, 3 foot sections of the rubber hose. Connect one hose to the flood tank drain fitting. Connect the other hose to the other fitting on the other end of the flood tank. This will be used for the fill hose, which is used to flood the flood tray from the supply tank. once that is done set the flood tank where you want it make sure that none of the hoses are binding underneath the flood tray. Insert the drain hose through one of the 2 inch holes in the supply tank. If you need to you feed the excess hose into the supply tank to save room. Next, connect the other section of hose to the pump inside the flood tank just as you did the drain hose, just use the other hole thats empty. Through this hole you will also have the power cord for the pump.

    Now set up your timer to turn on every 4 to 6 hourds and run for 30 minutes. Plug The timer into your selected power supply. Fill you supply tank with 10 gallons of water add any nutriants and mix well. Plug pump into timer. Turn timer on. Now your system up and running, test the timer to make sure it is working correctly. You are now ready to get growing with your DIY ebb and flow hydro system.

    The next thing you need to know is clean up and maintenance of your system. I designed it so all main parts like the flood tray and supply tank can be cleaned easily every time you change your water solution.

    Cleanin you system.
    Make sure your system is off when cleaning to avoid any water damage.
    To clean you system all you have to do is disconnect the hoses from the flood tray.
    Leave the hoses inside the supply tank attached to the pump the way they are. Just get a 5 gallon bucket and place the the hose from the pump into it. turn the pump on and pump the old water in to the 5 gallon bucket until the supply tank is empty. Remove everything fromt the tank, clean it with a light water and bleach solution. Rense it out very well. Place supply tank back where it goes, refill with water and nutriants. Trans fer any plants into a temp tray. i use cat liter pans because they are so cheap. Remove the flood tray and clean in the same way. Just be careful not to disturb the hose fitting too much. If needed apply more pvc cement and sealent as need to prevent ant leaks. Install hoses to the flood tray and you are ready to go as normal.
  5. OK Waffelz here is how to maintain your system. Things to remember.
    1. water temp is very important
    2. The ph balance is also one of the most important things. This needs to be checked daily And adjusted as needed. Ph Balance should stay between 6.5 7.0 part per million, or ppm.
    3. use good clean water. I use regular ta water. i just fill 2, 5 gallon buckets with water and let them sit out for 24 hours or so. This helps all the chemicles used to treat the water at the treatment plant disapate.
    4. The temp of your grow area wil determine how much water consumption you will have. or how much water the plant need on a daily basis.
    5. If you use rockwool cubes as your medium, be sure to make a cap to cove the top of the cubes. Make this 3 inchec wider then the cube. place the cap in the cube before you put your plants into the cube, so the plant grows through the caps. This done because as your plants are under the light you may get an algee forming on the cubs caused bu the lights. I use panda film because it black on one side and white on the other. The benefit here als is, if you place the white side facing the bottoms of the plants it will help reflect some light back to the lower branches. Which promotes healthier plants.
    6. Keep your supply tank away form dirrect light. Light will cause algee. Keep looking at this site. it helped me out a lot man. Search my screen name for some posts of my grow op on here. you can even see my first set up. Dont worry, you got all the updated info. from my new grow set up design so all flaws have been corrected. like i said, it took me a few years to get my set up down to a science. I have made many changes of the years, but basic princable is still the same. i just kept it simple for you. If you have any questions send me a message on here. i will check back in a few days.From one grower to another, keep it growing, and push to leagleize growing for personle use and relaxation. I hope this helps. Best of luck man.

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