How to Grow Hydroponic Marijuana Using Ebb and Flow

The Ebb and Flow technique (also known as Flow and Drain technique) is one of the most popular hydroponic methods for growing marijuana. It’s easy to use, requires low maintenance and features high productivity. Here is a simple guide on how to grow your own marijuana using the Ebb and Flow Technique.

The materials used in the setup are easy to find and are readily available in any hydroponics shop. You can buy the materials separately or you can buy them as a unit which already contains all the components. This can save you time and effort.

  1. Grow tray. The grow tray is where you place your marijuana plants and growing medium. It should be made up of durable heavy plastic. Make sure that there are no puddles or small pools of water when it is drained. This can lead to rotting of the roots.
  2. Buckets or modules. An alternative to the grow tray is to use buckets or modules where the plants are placed separately from each other. By using buckets, you can easily increase the number of marijuana plants.
  3. Support structure or table frame. This is where you place the grow tray. It should be sturdy and able to stand the weight of all your plants, growing medium and grow tray with nutrient solution.
  4. Reservoir tray. This is where you place your nutrient solution. Keep it clean and always disinfect. Choose a tray in black color to block light thereby inhibit the growth of algae.
  5. Fittings and pipe. The pipe is the passageway of nutrient solution from the reservoir tray to the grow tray.
  6. Overflow drain. The overflow drain is placed at the highest area where you want the nutrient solution level to rise. This prevents too much nutrient solution flooding your marijuana plants.
  7. Containers. This should be plastic and are used to hold the plants.
  8. Growing medium. The most commonly used growing medium for marijuana plants is Rockwool.
  9. Pump and timer. The timer turns the pump on and off.

These pictures are examples of ready-made units available in hydroponic shops. They come in all shapes and sizes. You can also order online and have the unit or materials shipped to your doorstep.

Small Setup

Big Setup

Buckets or Modules


Install the pipe and overflow drain to the grow tray. Place the grow tray on the support structure or table frame. Next, place the reservoir tray under the grow tray. Put the pump in the reservoir tray and attach it to the pipe on the grow tray. Finally, connect the timer to the pump. Make sure there are no leaks in your tubing or pipe and that the overflow drain works.

Ebb and Flow Technique

How to Operate

Set the timer to flood the roots of your marijuana plants 3 to 4 times per day at regular intervals. You may need to adjust this according to the number of marijuana plants you’re growing. As a start, you can flood your plants for 15 minutes. In addition, you need to replace the nutrient solution every two weeks. Don’t forget to monitor the pH daily. Ideally it should have a pH of 5.8.

To ensure even distribution of nutrient solution in the grow tray, flood the grow tray to about one half to three quarters of its height. There must at least be 20 to 25% extra nutrient solution left in the reservoir after flooding the grow tray. This is to make sure that there is sufficient nutrient solution during daily evaporation. Just refill if needed.

Sold Separately

Your precious marijuana plants really require constant care and attention. Below are two more devices that are needed to ensure the optimal growth of your plants.

  • pH meter. This is used to measure the pH of your nutrient solution. It should be set and maintained at 5.8.
  • Electrical Conductivity meter (EC meter). This is used to monitor the amount of nutrients, salts or impurities in the water.After setting up the system, you can now grow your own marijuana using the Ebb and Flow technique. Simple, right?