This instructable will show you how to build a simple ebb and flow hydroponic system. Out of the many different designs I have tried in the past, the ebb and flow has worked the best for me.

I have successfully grown smaller plants like lettuce and spinach as well as larger plants like zucchini and tomatoes with this system.

Sketchup Model
To make this design easier to understand, I have drawn up a Sketchup model and uploaded it to the 3D Warehouse. Here is the link "Ebb and Flow Hydroponic System Design"

Google Sketchup is absolutely free to download and use, so no worries if you don't have it already. It's awesome, and it makes CAD (computer aided design) easy.

With the Sketchup model, you can pan around to see how thing are put together better. Also, I needed to make the model just so you can see the entire system in one picture. The real version is inside of my solar greenhouse, which is kind of small. There is just no way for me to get far enough away to take the shot.

One thing that I think is important to include when submitting hydroponic plans is pictures of the system in action. That way, the reader will know that the system works.

I'm putting mine here at the beginning where people are sure see them and get psyched about this project.

I have two cucumber plants and three tomato plants growing in these pictures. They still have a fair bit of growing to do actually. : )

My Website
If you're interested, my website is CerebralMeltdown.com. There, you can check out some of my CNC projects (a CNC is basically just a robot that will cut out designs with a wood router), Heliostat projects, (a Heliostat is a mirror that tracks the sun as it moves through the sky and reflects its light toward a single target) or just whatever else I happen to be working on.
C.S Walters4 years ago
Good Job, I liked your idea :)
alesem4 years ago
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a bad idea to leave the top off your reservoir? Your nutrient solution should not be exposed to light as it can cause algae growth. This is especially true for a system that you are putting outside.
How did you put the nutrient solution together? What did you use for the nutrients? Do you have to change the nutrients and dump the water every 2 weeks. I am very curious and want to build my own.