Homemade ebb and flow advice?

  • Thread starter hygrocybe
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So Im gonna be growing some autoflower white widow and 3 of them will be in soil but I want to try hydroponics without a huge investment.

This is my design I whipped up in an afternoon with spare aquarium parts and random other stuff.

I have a few questions though, first off will this even work?

Is the net pot ok?

Will the aquarium gravel work alright? should I replace it with perlite or just not use anything and let the roots hang free?

Will the perlite work like that in the net pot? I plan on planting the seed about 1/4 inch above the waterline, after germination using the paper towel method.

My timers both only have 30 minute intervals. I plan on running 2 hours off, 30 minutes on during the 18 hour lights on cycle. This will probably change after testing how long the gravel and perlite stay wet. I am concerned about letting the pump run for 30 mins but I have heard it works for people to do so.

The net pot will be duct taped to the thermos and there will be a black trashbag duct taped on as a lid to prevent light leaking in when everything is ready.

The total volume of water I will be using in the reservoir is 3 gallons.

Any advice on this is welcome!
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I think im going to ditch the net pot and perlite and just add more gravel to the top. Then I will add the germinated seed right to the gravel.

I originally made the net pot because i was just going to let the roots hang free but dont they need some sort of substrate to keep them moist?

If I do use the gravel, how far should I plant the seed from the water level?

Ive done alot of research but its hard to find info on a diy system with gravel substrate


ok so I removed the netpot and perlite and replaced the gravel with marbles. I left the top 2 inches as gravel just to make planting the germinated seed easier.

Gonna plant the seed about 1/2 inch above the water line and mist it until the roots are under water during the flood cycle.

Gonna change the times to 1 hour off, 30 minutes on, 24/7 as marbles dry out quick as fuck.

If anyone manages to see any of this and thinks it wont work for some reason lmk otherwise im going for it.


I just winged it and I have had nothing but success.

White widow auto from seedsman, 5 weeks from seedling.

Homemade fertilizer using dry salts. (mixed using a guide i found online)

All lights are fluoro except an LED flood bulb. I ordered a 250W led for flowering (gonna continue using cfls as well)

15 minutes of flooding, 1:30 off.

ph: 5.5-6.5 cycles

ppm: 400, going to increase to 550 when i get the LED.

so far this has been such a great experience, no issues at all. the first 2 branches are whorled phyllotaxy as well. (pictures 1, 4)
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