How to Set Up an Ebb and Flow DIY Hydroponics System (Flood and Drain)

How to Set Up an Ebb and Flow DIY Hydroponics System (Flood and Drain)

Ebb and flow, also known as flood and drain, is one of the coolest and easiest DIY hydroponic systems to set up. They combine the benefits of hydroponics with the ease of maintenance of a raised bed garden.

I personally like to build these in a way that I can access them while standing up. In this video I give a high-level overview of how they work and how you might build one for yourself.

Ebb & flow is just one of many indoor growing techniques you can use, hydroponic or otherwise. Check out some of my other videos if you want to see more DIY hydroponic system tutorials!


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What do you think?


Written by Aleksandar

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  1. During the off period of pump is it ok that the level of water at the upper tray still reaching the roots of the plants is it bad if roots is regularly submerged to water.

  2. Yet ANOTHER idiot who doesn't know the difference between a flood & drain and continuous flow system. Ebb & flow (flood & drain) means that the grow bed fills up, then COMPLETELY drains via a bell or auto siphon until the next watering cycle. This is a continuous flow system where there is always water flowing from the tank, to the grow bed, and then back to the tank in an endless cycle.

  3. Hey Kevin , I am beginner in Hydroponics arena . The two main issues ,I face is pumbing and LED lighting setup . Can you help me fix it .Looking forward for your response.

  4. does the timer have to be digital i have brinks digital timer now that i think of it i got it from home depot years ago it works just confusing as hell please let me know im debate should i make one from stainless steel

  5. Hello Kevin! I want to start an indoor hidroponic business to grow and harvest comestible flowers such as pansies/viola.
    Would you recommend the EBB and Flow sistem for what I am trying to do or is there a better way?
    Thanks for all the precious information on your videos.

  6. Thank you for the video. So I just built my first system. I have a 20 gallon reservoir that is pumped with a 400 gph pump currently not set on a timer. I have one grow bed currently which is a 3 gallon bucket with lava rock in it that is emptied by an external bell siphon. It takes about 20 minutes to fill the bed, and another 5 to empty it. My reservoir also has 12 strawberry plants in the lid with a 360 degree sprayer head that sprays water on the roots of the berry plants. In the two days running I usually shut the system off at night and fire it up first thing in the morning. My question is do I need to set a timer (I could redirect a timer from a pool pump) or is the method I am using at this time going to be sustainable?

  7. Hi Kev, thanks for the vid. I have been messing with DWC and raft systems for a few years, think it's time to step up my game. Question for you. do you think tumeric would grow well in a E & F stystem.

  8. I'm considering building an ebb and flow. I've had one before but started my clones in rockwool cubes. I'm currently using an aeroponic cloner which has worked with 100% success. I'm wondering what medium and pots to use. I was thinking of taking my clones and planting them in small pots with coco and then eventually putting them in bigger pots and into the hydroponic tray. Would a mesh pot work? I'm worried about the coco going through and into the tray.

  9. Hello Kevin, great video.
    Could you let me know how much slant (in degrees) is to be given to each channel? And unlike ebb and flow, the water circulation will be continuous. Right?
    Also, We'll also need to check the influx of water and out-flux to be equal. Right?
    Thank you.

  10. Hi Kevin. I like the video. I have combined this together with my turtle tank (as my reservoir) pumping up water. Two questions, much of the time water is just sitting in the flood table and not draining back into the reservoir . Do u have a technic to keep it flowing through the system as my system is also multi-level before draining back into the tank and pumping up? Also, do u see any problem with continuous pumping through the system rather than using a timer?

  11. hi Kevin,
    thanks for the great vids. I am looking for instruction on building an ebb and flow for 30 plants. Can yo help me with this please. also I want to build the grow room in a shed made of metal any recommendations on such a conversion will be welcome. info on lighting, ventilation and grow mediums also would be useful.
    thanks and hope to hear from you soon,


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