It takes a whole day or two to successfully build flood drain hydroponics. It may sound very systematical and technical but if you follow the procedure, there is less difficulty. Read on to know the right tools and materials to use, the steps to follow and other important factors that may be helpful for your needs.
Hydroponics is a modern gardening system that primarily uses water and direct transfer of nutrients without the presence of soil.
But this method doesn’t stop here because gardeners may want to use a more beneficial and advanced system, which is in the form of flood and drain, also known as ebb and flow.
Advantages to Build Flood Drain Hydroponics
It is very flexible to use flood and drain hydroponics because almost any material, raw, used or new, can be of help. There is no need to spend a lot of money to grow plants through this system.
The location does not necessarily have to be large and spacious as well. Most DIY or home built hydroponics can fit on any space regardless of how limited or wide the area is.
The efficiency rate of using flood and drain system is high. You can transfer any plant right after germination. Because the nutrients are well provided, the root system of your plant is developed strong and intact.
You can leave the plants unattended for days or even weeks and they still are continuously stimulated by the power of the system, which is why if you build flood drain hydroponics you also save some time.
It may only call your attention when it’s time to change the nutrient solution, which is usually after every two weeks.
If built properly, there is no leak to worry about. During the building and setting up process, holes and inlets are created in a way that helps drain but still won’t cause drips. That’s why it is even safe and suitable to build flood drain hydroponics for indoor.
How a Flood Drain Hydroponic System Works
This system is operated in a very basic and simple technique. It floods the root system of the plants with proper solution of mixed nutrients. Instead of continuous manner, this works periodically; thus, very easy, efficient and manageable.
The main part of the system is able to hold the inbuilt containers. It also composed of an area of pumping as a pathway for water that is attached to the tubing up to the reservoir.
Once the water filling reaches the maximum height of the tube, this indicates flooding which drains itself back down to the reservoir so it can circulate once again. It is simply a cycle of pouring and draining water.
The only work it requires for a gardener once you finish build flood drain hydroponics is to change the nutrient mixture.
How to Build Flood Drain Hydroponics?
First of all, you need to choose a good location to set up everything. It has to be enclosed, such as the basement, another room of your house, or a greenhouse. Smaller ones can be also situated in patio, garden or back deck. Just ensure there is room for some light to get through.
Secondly, be familiar with the nutrients required. You do not just mix anything into the water. You have to use the right mixture or formula of solution.
The third step is to gather or buy all necessary tools and materials. You cannot start the process to build flood drain hydroponics without the proper devices.
To begin with, the following items are essential to collect:
- Growing containers – size of 60cm x 60cm to 80cm x 80cm, preferably square or rectangle in shape and long rather than wide.
- Plant tray and bucket
- 24-hour timer
- Clay pebbles or 50/50 diatomite
- Reservoir tank with lid – preferably 40 gallons
- Nutrient solution
- Submersible pump
- A tube set
- Hydroponic plants of your choice*
*Check out fast growing hydroponic plants here.
To build flood drain hydroponics, you begin at the bottom. Assemble the frame and reservoir tank of the bottom part, which is leveled to the floor or ground of your chosen location. Place the tank into the bottom frame and cover with the lid.
Next is to work on the upper frame, which is where the growing containers and trays are installed. Be sure that every material is properly and securely built to prevent falling and drips.
After both upper and bottom parts are set, insert the tubes from the tray and should extend down to the tank. The tube at the upper part is used for water flow, while the lower one is for draining and filling the growing container.
Once double checked, attach the pump to the tube and place the cord out setting on the side of the reservoir tank. Fill in the tank with water.
The next thing to do is to fill in the planting trays with clay pebbles or diatomite. After this, place the root ball of the chosen hydroponic plants into the water. Ensure the root ball has been washed off to clear soil before submerging into the water. Fill more pebbles if necessary.
This is how you can build flood drain hydroponics, which is simple, quick and easy.