Cannabis Ebb and Flow System (aka Flood and Drain)
Cannabis Ebb and Flow System is a very popular method among first time hydroponicists. It uses a submersible pump in a nutrient reservoir to pump nutrients into an upper tray containing the plants. The pump is switched on several times a day via a basic timer. The nutrient solution is pumped up to the upper tray and it floods the root system, getting rid of any old air that was in the root-zone. Once the nutrient solution has reached the maximum level, it starts to drain back into the reservoir via an overflow pipe. As the nutrient solution drains back down into the reservoir, the root-zone takes in a fresh supply of oxygen rich air and stale air is pushed out.
More oxygen = increased metabolic rate = increased nutrient intake = more growth!
Cannabis Ebb and Flow System
Clay pebbles are often used in ebb and flow systems. The tray is filled with pebbles and young plants grown up in rockwool cubes are inserted into the pebbles once roots start showing. Other gardeners choose to grow their plants in pots filled with coco coir and clay pebbles, or a mixture of small chunks of rockwool and clay pebbles, and sit these pots in the flood tray. The capillary action of the roots take up the water and nutrients they need.
Active Ebb and Flow is a low maintenance hydroponics solution, which offers growers more control and great results are possible. Two key factors to get right are the automatic flood times and flood frequency.
When working out how long to flood for, remember the extra time it takes for the nutrients to drain back into the reservoir. Ideally, you won’t want to be using a standard 15 minute segmental timer to control your pump as fifteen minutes (plus drainage time) is too long for the root-zone to be flooded – a negative to basic ebb and flows. Obviously flood times will vary depending on the size and exact type of system you are using, but as a general rule of thumb, once the nutrients have flooded to their maximum level (delimited by some form of overflow drainage mechanism that will be incorporated into the system) then it’s time to stop pumping. All good ebb and flow systems will come already supplied with the correct type of pump – one that allows the nutrient solution to drain back through it.
Ebb and Flow / Flood and Drain Hydroponics, Heath Robinson
Heath Robinson Hydroponic flood and drain Grow. Archived from the HG420 forums 2006 the strain is V3 (NLxG13/Widow)
Here is the grow specs taken from the grow thread:
3 x 600w air cooled hoods
the large 6″ Vortex fan is a two speed controled by a timer so it runs on slow speed when the lights are out. the smaller 4″ fan blows through the Cool shades which now vent out into the growroom.
my nutrient concentrations are,
so here is my rule of thumb:
Seedlings 6 CF
Seed plants and veg growth 10 CF
Flower 12 CF
These concentrations are quite a bit lower than most of you run but it works for me!
Harvest 1661g = 58.7 Oz Dry
The required flood frequency will increase as your plants mature and their nutrient requirements increase. During the early stages, one flood a day might be sufficient. Whereas, towards the end of flowering period your plants may require four or more floods a day. Also, consider what medium you are using. How much does it absorb the nutrient solution? A restrictive medium like coco coir will need a lot fewer floods than clay pebbles. My personal favourite flood cycle to use with clay pebbles is flood for 15 mins every 3 hours.