First Hydroponics - Ebb and Flow Questions

Hey guys, working on my second grow and using a new system. I’m pretty sure everything is running smooth, just hoping to get some good feedback or dialogue going!

I’m running White Widow auto’s using SOG with my ebb and flow:

(Ignore the tray, still germinating a few seeds.)

I’m using hydroton as my primary medium with small rockwool starters. I’m currently watering every 4 hours for 15 min. My first concern is if this is too much; I know hydroton dries really fast, but the rockwool starter’s stay wet for a while. I also seem to have about a 1/4 in of sitting water between feeds (my drain just doesn’t reach the very bottom). Is this going to be problematic? I’m thinking of getting some boosters so my plants stay out of the water during non-feeding times.

What do yall think?

side note
One of my seeds germinated like this, anyone seen this before?


@dbrn32 @Bogleg @MattyBear @Myfriendis410
This should be a fun ride.
The seeking I’m sure will be okay. It should sprout true leaves eventually, just give it a bit of time.

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Sweet setup!

You are top feeding until they can get a little root mass right? Water in tray will probably grow algae, may cause problem for roots if there’s enough but not sure.

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Good call there: @Bogleg, this is right in your wheelhouse.


I started out trying ebb and flow in almost exactly the same way - cloth one gallon pots in the tray on top of river rock (not empty like you have).

I got algae all over when I tried that, but the grow still went okay. Was a PITA to clean up after. To avoid that, I then tried a homemade lid over the tray and hung net pots off of it:

And I’ve arrived at using panda film and just slicing spots to drop pots (24 on the tray in this pic):

The last method I have now run twice - currently on my third try. I’ve been slowing increasing the # of plants I have going. Right now I’m still not at 24. I have the left three rows filled and the right two rows I dropped some individual plants in as testers.


Sexiest tent on here imo


Question for you - I have a Cherry Bomb female and I have five rooted clones of it. It’s a PITA to grow (this particular plant, anyway) - takes awhile to get rooted and when it stalls it stalls for awhile before it gets going again. But it seems to grow really well for my space. You think I should engage in the struggle and flower a whole table of them? I also have a flowering ASC Purple #3 F2 that I took three clones from, so I am intending to mother that plant out. I might run the next set from two mother plants - 12 clones from each. Thoughts?

I have a pair of Brian Berry Citrus and a pair of Castle Rock Cherries that I need to sex, and I also have an ASC Big Orange F2 in the flower tray right now so I can check gender on it… if that one is also female, then I will have three confirmed female moms on deck and four seedlings to still check.

And I have the African Kwazulu male that I need to breed, but I am going to wait until I have full jars of sensi first.


I would run out what you have and get a sample of the smoke before making that kind of commitment. My initial thought is that not worth all the messing around. But if you keep a cutting around you can just reset however often you need to keep it from taking up too much room. If it’s solid enough to justify, you can plan out a grow or two down the road, and then maybe include some measures to not have the rooting time and stall slow down the operation.

That gives some time to settle on other stuff you have going too. If you like the cherry bomb enough to go through with it, may be great opportunity to weed out stuff you have going that’s not as impressive and start some new plants.


Yeah that’s why I wanted to keep a few spots open in the flower tray - easy to dump a clone or seedling in there. I figure if I can keep a spot or two free I can use it to flower out a sample plant, see if I like it, and if I do, grow out a clone to turn into a mother plant. Obviously I’m still trying to figure out how I want to go “perpetual” in this process. I am trying to sort out how/why/when/where/what I keep moms and dads around. Right now my whole space is filled with vegetable plants so I have some non-standard challenges.


Short term problem that gives you some time to figure things out.


Back to the original thread.

In my (limited) experience, given where you are right now, this is what you need to do:

  1. Flood EVERY HOUR. I wouldn’t let my hydroton dry out underneath the seedlings at all. I would flood every hour for 10-15 minutes.

  2. Once the plants get big enough (around 4-5 nodes) you can go down to flooding every two hours. On my current grow I am flooding for 20 minutes every two hours ONLY WITH THE LIGHTS ON. You don’t need to (or want to) flood with the lights off once the plants are big enough to go 12 hours without any water. They need enough root mass to sustain themselves in the dark, otherwise they can dry out and not recover.

  3. DO NOT FLOOD SO HIGH THAT YOUR ROCKWOOL IS GETTING SOAKED. This might cause some problems you won’t be able to see (stem rot type stuff). You only need to flood the bottom 3-4 inches of the pots.

  4. FILL IN THE REST OF THE TRAY WITH EMPTY POTS. The more water you can cover up with pots, the lest algae issues you will have. Get some more pots and hydroton and fill up the tray, even if the pots are empty.

  5. I would manually feed (foliar spray) the seedlings until they have three nodes, myself.

I personally seed my plants out using DWC, and once they have a decent root ball, move them into the tray.


Plants rotting, rockwools to wet

Wow thanks for the advice man, you understand the struggle then! I managed to get some small boosters (maybe 3/4in) to put under my pots, they’re no longer sitting in water now except for watering. At the height the pots are at now, I would say that flooding may fill the pot to the bottom of the rockwool. I planted them while their roots were about an inch or two so I wanted to be sure they were actually getting water.

I really dig that last setup man ill have to look into that! Here’s an updated picture now that I’ve put the boosters in and planted a few more:

Still waiting on 4 more to grow a bit more. Also a picture of my drain so you can see the predicament I’m in haha


All you need is a bunch of square pots, a sheet of panda film, a utility knife or razor, and some duct tape.



My humidity and temp have been all out of control, fluctuating drastically at random parts of the day. I’m already seeing the start of root rot on a few of them, but the tops look like shit too:

What do yall think? I’m considering pulling these girls and getting some more seeds…

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Looks like damping off. Longer interval between flooding maybe, but @Bogleg is your Huckleberry lol.


What’s changing that your temp and rh are fluctuating? Seeing spikes in rh when table floods?

How are you seeing root rot?

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@dbrn32 I havnt seen any fluctuations while watering, but my hygrometer reports within a 24 hr period temps fell to 55 and rose to 88, while the rh spiked to 99%. I’m not sure how accurate the hygrometer is.

@Bogleg A few of the plants that looked the worst I pulled out a bit, some of the roots were starting to have a brownish tinge to them.

What is the typical temperature of the room your intake air comes from? Your tent shouldn’t really be any cooler than that. The rh is going to swing with temp swings, so you fixing temp may help that.

I would defer to Bogleg with potential root issues

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