Flood and drain (ebb & flow) hydroponic systems are very popular because you can build them in various sizes, designs and from a lot of different materials. The concept is simple, you flood the plants roots with nutrient solution on a continuous basis. Once the growing container has been flooded the water is then drained back into the reservoir and the process is repeated.
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The concept of the flood and drain system is very simple. You can can have just one container or many containers connected together within a series or row. From you have a pump that pumps the water and nutrients to the containers where the plants are, flooding the roots and giving them the nutrients needed to feed them. You must have an overflow pipe which once the desired water level is reached it lets the excess water flow back into the reservoir. Then once the timer stops the pump the water flows back through the pipe initially used to pump the water through the containers - emptying the containers ensuring the plants don't drown. The cycle is then repeated over and over again. Below is a diagram which explains the theory of flood and drain systems.