For the moment, I have only three systems in operation: an 'old' aerogarden from last year growing herbs, one ag that I am using as a seed starter: absolutely the best seed starter so far (mainly because I'm now using an ebb and flow system). The aerogarden allows a good long root system to develop. When they are moved to the ebb and flow buckets, the roots are already long enough to reach the flood line which is a few inches below the top of the bucket and under the clay pebbles (Hydroton).
For now, my observations are that the deep water cultures tend to grow faster, but the plants seemed to rot once they were past a certain stage. I already had gotten a good number of salads out of them.
So, of course, with the ebb and flow (e&f), the plant growth starts off slower. At least it seems that way. I have the e&f in my basement with two sodium lamps. 55 gallon water barrel and 10 buckets all strung out in two lines of 5 each. It is warm in the basement in the summer, very warm and the lamps did not help matters. I bought a chiller when my ph levels all of a sudden started to drop and become more acidic. I am currently in the process of trying to deal with this problem. The lettuce has seemed to have 'bloomed' in the last couple of days since I introduced the chiller. The nute temp was at 82 degrees, the chiller is now set at 65. I started at 70 since I didn't want to totally shock the plants. The advice I got was probably some unwanted unsavory bacteria which favor these higher temps. I am planning, in addition to the chiller, to add some food grade 29% hydrogen peroxide in a very small amount. Will do this every couple of days for a week or so, change the nute solution, and add some beneficial bacteria and enzymes.
The strawberry plants are not doing much: someone said that you really cannot mix plants with different requirements in one system, and it looks as if that is going to happen here. If they do not produce, they will go out or i'll pull them out and give them to someone else.
As an aside, with my usual talent for defective items, the first chiller I bought was defective. I actually could tell that driving it home. It was making a nasty rattle which got progressively louder as I went down the road. Should have heard the racket it made when I finally plugged it in. Thank God I bought it locally from a lovely store in Islandia, NY. I just wish I had known about this place before. They took it back and swapped it out with the other remaining unit. However, they did want to hear it for themselves. At least the machine had the decency to behave as badly for them as it did for me.
In all, I give the place 5 1/2 stars out of 5. Way to go.