The Ebb and Flow hydroponic system


One of the most commonly found hydroponic system is the one called Ebb and flow. Some refer to it as the Dutch system. The principle used by this system is that of imitating the natural movement of the water.

For hydroponics, the Ebb and Flow system is pretty simple to set up and use. For starters, is not that expensive and it allows you to use recycled materials. There are used containers filled with growing media. This growing media does not act as soil, but as support for the plant. Furthermore, it helps the plant in getting the nutrients needed. So, the water from the fish tank constantly floods the growing media and is drained and filtered back.

The Ebb and flow is a closed system, which means water goes through the same cycle without leaving it. There is always the risk of facing lack of nutrients and the decay of roots. This is the main reason why you should keep a close eye on water tests. It is always better to prevent than to cure. Maintenance is also important because it keeps the medium at its optimal state.

The goal is to offer your plants the oxygen and nutrients needed. This is the reason why for a newcomer in this field it can turn out a bit tricky to maintain such a system. First of all, proper aeration may require the use of some devices like water pump or air pump. The optimal temperature is also a must which means you will have to make some research on your fish species and plants.

Here are some tips on how to set up this system:

  • First of all you will have to determine the exact dimensions of the space available. This will help you in selecting the items needed for the system.
  • One of the most important parts of any hydroponic system is the drainage. As an example, you can use 2 rows with 4 buckets each. Start cutting the PVC pipe accordingly to those 2 rows dimensions and make sure it fits it.
  • Make a hole at the bottom of each bucket. Place pipes under the bucket in order to secure the drainage system. Connect all the pipes with fittings.
  • Set up the fish tank and connect it to the rest of the system. Use a pump directly in that tank in order to assure the movement of the water.
  • Connect the pump to the pipes and make sure everything is secured. Furthermore, use a filtration method for the part of the system responsible for directing the water straight to the fish tank.
  • Before actually using the system, fill the fish tank with water and make a test. Leave it like this for a day and after that start assessing if there are any leaks.
  • If there are not any problems, you can put the fish in their new home. After a month or so you will be able to start growing your plants.

So, the Ebb and Flow system is pretty popular in hydroponics due to the fact that is self-supported. It requires a bit of hard work due to the tricky design, but its rewarding.

Ebb and Flow hydroponic system, hydroponics