Ebb and Flow is a very common, well known type of Hydroponics. This form of Hydroponics is also known as Flood and Drain. This is very easy to build, and cheap. The theory behind this system is very simple. It is actually as the name suggests. The system is simple, a water tight vessel in which the roots are suspended into, is flooded with the nutrient solution. Typically a "flood" lasts 5-10 minutes, then it drains back down to the nutrient solution reservoir.
Ebb and Flow is really good for certain plants, but not so much others. For example Strawberries do not work very well for Ebb and Flow systems. The roots do not like dry periods. Other plants such as tomatoes will work in this environment.
Ebb and Flow Advantages:
- Easy to build
- Easy to understand
- Abundance of nutrients
- Cheap to build
- Highly reliable
- Pump break downs
- Issues with Salt buildup on root systems causing deficiencies.
- Unstable pH levels for all plants
- Shared water can lead to all plants becoming infected with disease very easily. The same water is flooded across all plants then drained back to a reservoir, then cycled over and over again.