Ebb and Flow Hydroponics Design - Parts and Materials
This page will list all tools and parts needed to build an ebb and flow hydroponics system. The total cost of parts should be under $100 dollars US with the submersible pump costing the most. But be consoled that this system is reusable and will work for years to come.
To build your ebb and flow hydroponics system you will need a drill and some silicone. I use food-grade silicone that is guaranteed not to leach out toxins but so little of it is used and exposed to the water flow that it probably does not make any difference. Silcone can be found in any department or hardware store.
The first part needed is a plastic container for holding growing medium and growing your plants. My growing container is approximately 24 inches by 18 inches by 7 inches deep and looks like this:
Ignore the 2 tubes attached to the 2 fittings and focus on the container itself. We will deal with construction issues later. This was originally part of a pre-made kit I purchased but any type of plastic storage container found in department stores can be used. Just make sure it's at least 7 inches deep.
The second part needed in the Ebb and Flow Hydroponics design is a plastic container to hold the pump and nutrient solution. The container I use is really a clothes storage container 22 inches by 14 inches by 17 inches deep. The dimensions don't really matter as long as the container can easily hold 8 to 9 gallons of water. Here is a picture of my nutrient container:
Third, 2 water outlet fittings will be needed and can probably be found in a local hardware store or ordered online through a hydroponics supply site. They are called '90 degree thru wall - with nut, barbed fittings' and you will need 2 of these, identical to each other. Try to get a 'barb size' that is the same size as your submersible pump outlet or you will need to increase or reduce the tube connecting them - which is easy to do. The fittings look like this:
Next is the most expensive part of your ebb and flow hydroponics design - the submersible pump. This will have to be ordered online. To determine the type of pump needed, follow the guidelines in the Hydroponics Pump Page. My pump has served me well for years - so long, in fact, that I do not know it's specifications or even where I ordered it. This is a picture of it:
You will also need an aquarium air pump with tube and air stone (each purchased separately for some reason). These items can be found in a pet store or department store. The following picture just shows the pump and part of the tubing but does not show the small blue air stone needed:
The Ebb and Flow hydroponics system will also need a timer, found in any department store (try to get one in 15 minute increments),
Pea stone gravel to be used as growing medium (purchased in 40 lb, .5 cubic feet bags) and, finally,
Hydroponics nutrient from an online hydroponics store.
Finally you will need about 10 feet of flexible plastic tubing sized to fit the barbed fittings. 5 feet of this flexible plastic tubing will connect to the pump on one end and to the bottom barbed fitting on the other end. If you find that the pump and barbed fitting take different size diameter tubing there are small resizing tubes available that will connect the 2 different size tube diameters.
The remaining 5 feet of plastic tubing will connect to the top barbed fitting and hang down into the nutrient container to act as a drain tube. The most important thing to remember is...the diameter of this tube connecting to the top fitting must be twice the diameter of the bottom tube connected to the bottom fitting or it will not drain nutrient solution fast enough.
And you will need about 6 inches of a stiff plastic tubing with the end of the tube covered with a wide-mesh screening material or cover the entire tube with the screen if it is easier.
And that is it...purchase and assemble all your tools and equipment and onwards to construction...
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