I just finished a water change(w/c) on our 3’x3′ ebb & flow table. An ebb & flow system, sometimes called a flood table, consists of a a wide, shallow, plastic, watertight table about 5 to 10 inches tall, sitting atop a reservoir which has enough capacity to hold all the water and nutrient to fill the table above. For example, our system, made by American Hydroponics, has a a square shaped table 3’x 3’x 5″ deep, and the reservoir, made by ActiveAqua, holds 25 gallons of nutrient/water solution.
Inside the reservoir sits a submersible pump which pumps water up to the table. Drilled into the flood table is a standpipe, when the water fills to the height of the standpipe, the water/nutrient flows back into the reservoir making a continuous loop. The pump is controlled by a simple timer, our system runs for 15 minutes, every 2 hours. This is a type of recirculating system. The plants grow in net pots, as the name implies, the bottom half of the pot is made of mesh, which lets water pass through to nourish the plant’s roots, yet with enough strength to hold the plant and media. There are several types of media to choose from, were using an expanded clay pellet called Hydrocorn, made by Gold Label, but we have been quite pleased with Growstone, made out of 100% recycled glass. We have also used Rocks, a super heated shale that won’t float in water, and can be purchased in smaller bags for smaller grow set ups, made by Sunleaves.
What’s nice about growing in our store is we get to use a variety of different products from manufacturers who are smart enough to send us samples to try. We get hands on experience which enables us to recommend, to you, the things we like . This time I am using nutrients from Cutting Edge Solutions. They offer a 3 part nutrient mix and, following their instructions, it’s pretty easy to use. They also have 3 other supplements which add calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Because we’re attached to a large aquarium shop, we are using de-ionized (DI) water, most of the industry uses reverse osmosis (R/O) water, but I’ll leave that discussion for another day.
Our ebb & flow plants are happy; if they could talk they would thank me for changing their water and nutrient today.