How to Make a Super Easy and Cheap EBB & Flow/ Bubbleponic System




Introduction: How to Make a Super Easy and Cheap EBB & Flow/ Bubbleponic System

  This is a good project to get started with if you are curious about hydroponics, this system is cost effective and really simple to make. With a few tools and and no experience I will guide you on how to make this simple EBB & Flow hydroponic system that also acts as a deep water bubbleponic system. This design is great for growing a variety of plants, I recommend to grow a plant like Basel, Mint, Oregano, Etc. and or modify this design for more varieties of plants.

This project is not an original idea by me, but it is my version of surfmonkeycoconut.

Caution: This project requires drilling glass and spray paint, please utilize a N95 mask or better to protect your lungs, I am not responsible for any injury you can cause to your self.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

* Juicy Juice or any empty bottle of your choice
* 1/2 inch black hose (purchased in home depot)
* Standard fish tank air line (purchased at petsmart also available at walmart and many other stores)
* Standard fish tank dual line air pump (purchased at petsmart also available at walmart)
* Standard drill
* 3/4 inch glass drill bit (purchased at home depot)
* Dremel
* Black primer spray paint
* Gloss white spray paint
* 1/2 inch rubber grommet (purchased at electrical isle in home depot)
* 24 Oz spaghetti glass jar (purchased at supermarket)
* Net bath sponge (bath luffa bought at supermarket)
* Pebbles used for lucky bamboo plant (bout at dollar store also available in Ikea) 
* Miracle grow liquid feed (bought at home depot)
* Hot glue gun

Step 2: Liquid Feed Container

Lets get started, first drink up the delicious juice, now clean and sterilize the bottle by adding a few drops of chlorine in and filling it up with water. Place the bottle cap on a flat surface and drill 2 holes that will fit the 1/2 inch hose and air line snugly and I mean snug you don't want air leaks, so after you finish fighting with the hoses and the bottle cap, you can then go ahead and apply some hot glue to finish sealing any air leaks that might occur. Assemble it all together and walla!!! you have the container that will hold the plant food. (please refer to the pictures)   

Step 3: Plant Container

Ok so far so good, let go ahead and empty the glass spaghetti jar, enjoy the sauce its full of vitamins and antioxidants. Clean out the jar and lid, remove the stickers and boil it for a few minutes. Caution, Caution, Caution!!!... We are now going to drill so please use the mask and do it outside, glass creates a very fine dust and its dangerous, alternative to this step fill your dish washer sink with water and drill it under water. Select a good place for your hole, make sure its down at the bottom for it to empty out after flooding. After you drill go ahead and clean the jar thoroughly again. Time for paint, go ahead and give it 2 coats of primer let it dry completely and then give it 2 more coats of gloss white paint, let it dry completely. Now lets get the 1/2 inch rubber grommet in there and insert the other end of the black hose, done.

Step 4: DIY Pot and Medium Part 1

Caution once more. Heat up a knife and cut the neck of a soda bottle, I used a old pan with a little bit of oil to smooth it out after cutting it, then I used the dremel to clean the excess off. Grab the glass jar lid and carefully (Something went wrong here for me and there was blood everywhere, nothing a lil crazy glue and steady pressure couldnt fix but still be very careful) make a hole in it and push the soda bottle neck through it, after its in place I put a bit of paint and glue to prevent rusting, refer to the pictures for general idea.

Step 5: DIY Pot and Medium Part 2

Now lets cut open the luffa and make a basket with it, seal one side and leave the other side open, grab the soda bottle cap and cut a hole in it make it look like a cylinder, essentially this is the lock nut of the basket, fill the basket with the pebbles and feed it through the bottle cap and ring and secure it to the first peace, need help? refer to the pictures for assistance.  

Step 6: Putting It All Together

Now for the assembly part, lets start by finding a good sunny window to place your system, I placed mine in the window near my fish tank because its sunny and its powered by it as well, all you have left to do is get your seedling going, i used stg as my seed starter once it grew a root system I placed it in the net basket filled with pebbles and stuffed it in the jar, sorry i don't have pictures for this step I skipped it by mistake, another way to get it started is by acquiring some perlite (it cost about 3 bucks for a big bag) and get your seedling going that way, it is up to you on how you want to do it. For the feed I pre-measured how much water would go into my jar without spilling and added the recommended amount of miracle grow liquid feed plus 1 teaspoon of epsom salt. To finish this part off prick a super tiny hole in the feed container cap, this is for allowing air to escape during the drain part of the process. 

Step 7: Mechanics

When you plug the air line to the pump and run it, air pressure builds up in the liquid feed container forcing the water to go up in the jar, once the water is out of the feed container it will then start forcing air up into the jar turning the system into a bubbleponic machine, after the feeding time is over it will then start to drain by forcing the air out of the feed jar returning the water into the first container, this is obviously the EBB & Flow part. If you have any ideas on how to better this system or how to personalize it post it in the comments below.

Step 8: Video

The first video is mine and the second is that of my counterpart which whom i got the idea.

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    4 Discussions


    5 years ago

    This video was amazing thank you I'm new to "ponics" in general and I'm trying to get a better understanding this helped very much


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Neat system,so intriguing I had to get back out of bed to make sure I understood it!
    The authors(?) forget to mention the timer used with the system. I see this as a way to add manure tea to my Sub-Irrigated Planters, since the liquid never passes through the pump itself, any "particles" suspended in the water will not have a chance to foul up the works.
    I have several used laundry tubs that could be mated with 5 gallon buckets and at least one strong air pump, in order to do this on a larger scale.
    I would add pany hose bags filled with manure to each bucket, as giant "tea bags".
    I am not sure about the medium, I am so used to wanting wicking mediums, looking for a draining medium is odd...


    Why not fill the feed container with the fish tank water then you could have aquaponics.