Hydroponic System Medium Types For Beginners

Hydroponic System Medium Types For Beginners | lintangsore.net
Rockwool is a steriled, non degradable and porous hydroponi medium. Rockwool is very popular medium used in the hydroponic communities. It’s composed of a granite or limestone, which is then melted down and spun like cotton candy. The Rockwool is then compressed and formed into blocks, sheets, slabs, cubes or flocking. Rockwool absorbs moisture but does not hold nutrients, and even when it is completely saturated it still generally retains apprx. 20% air for the plants roots.

Basically, Hydroponic is growing plants without the use of a traditional dirt medium and using a nutrient rich water solution. Those mediums range from fiberglass to sand and from fired clay balls to nothing at all. Several branches of hyrdoponics include aeroponics (using air as the grow medium), aquaponics etc.

Although there is no soil in a hydroponic growing, our plants need to be anchored. There is a wide range of medium materials which should be used to help plant roots. Clay pellets, heydite, vermiculite, perlite and Rockwool are the most popular medium types for hydroponic growing.
I have used several different mediums in the past. Chopped rockwool, rockwool cubes/blocks/slabs, fired clay and a combination of rockwool and fired clay. This system will work best with chopped rockwool (cubed) or fired clay. Extra attention is needed if starting from seed with this medium.

The hydroponic mediums which work best are pH neutral mediums. These provide ample support for our plants, these mediums retain moisture, and also allow space for good air exchange.


The type of media you select will depend on the size of you plants and type of plants you wish to grow. For continuous drip systems, a course media such Hydrocorn (clay pellets) is best. The 1 / 4 " to 3 / 4 " pebble provides enough drainage and air space to take advantage of continuous feeding. These type of media also provide very good anchorage for our larger plants.
Also these types are easy to clean and has perfect reusebilty. Also Rockwool is another popular medium type for hydroponics. This made from rocks which has been melted and spun into fibrous cubes and growing slabs with the texture of insulation. Rockwool mediums provide to roots a good balanced of oxygen and water. Small cubes of rockwool are used for starting seeds.  3" - 4" rockwool cubes for are good for small plants, and slabs for larger plants. Rockwool can be used with continuous drip or flood and drain systems. Although it is possible to sterilize and re-use Rockwool, but mostly, often it is used only once.

Below, you can find the most popular types of growing mediums. Also you can find each medium information on our web site.

Hydroponic System Medium Types

  • Oasis cubes
  • Expanded Clay Pellets
  • Rockwool
  • Coconut Fiber
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Perlite
  • Sphagnum Moss
  • Water
  • Vermiculite
  • Fiberglass Insulation
  • Saw Dust
  • Soilless Mix(s)
  • Air
  • Lava Rock

Hydroponic System Medium Types For Beginners

Hydroponic Medium Types : Rockwool
The benefits of rockwool are that it is porous and does not degrade; in addition it performs an effective role absorbing water whilst also retaining around 20% air even when fully saturated.



Hydroponic Medium Types : Perlite
One of the most used media is Perlite which made from volcanic rocks. It is white and light weight material. Mainly, Is uses as a soil additive to increase aeration and draining of the hard soil. If you want to provide enough anchorage for large plants you have to use 1/8" to 1/4" pellets. Also Perlite is often used to start seed and cuttings, which can easily transplanted after rooting.

Perlite is a mined hydroponical media material. Its a form of volcanic glass that when rapidly heated to more than 1600 degree. f. this volcanic glass pops like a popcorn as the water vaporizes and makes countless tiny bubbles inner.

Perlite is mostly used with vermiculite and is also one of the major ingredients of soiless media mix's. %50 Perlite - %50 vermiculite mixture is a very popular medium.
Perlite has very good wicking action. So it s a good choice for wick-type hydroponic systems. Also perlite is also relatively inexpensive than the other mine medias.




Also please keep in mind that, the perlite dust is very bad for your health so you have to wear a dust mask when handling and touching it.

Hydroponic Medium Types : Vermiculite

Vermiculite is use the same way as Perlite. Mostly perlite and vermiculite are sometimes mixed together. How it is made ? It is made from heat expanded mica and has a flaky, shiny appearance. Vermiculite is another mined material. In it's natural state it resembles mica rock. But when you heat it quickly it expands due to the generation of interlaminar steam.
Vermiculite absorbs 200% - 300% moisture by weight but perlite doesn't. So you could balance your growing mediums. Vermiculite retains water and nutrients well and perlite supplies the roots with plenty of oxygen. A 50/50 mix of perlite and vermiculite is a very popular medium type for drip hydroponic systems as well as ebb and flow systems. Vermiculite is also inexpensive like perlite


Vermiculite has been used in various industries for over 80 years. It is used in the construction, agricultural, horticultural, and industrial markets.

Vermiculite's Mineralogical name is hydrated laminar magnesium-aluminum-ironsilicate which resembles mica in appearance. Some commercial mines are in Australia, Brazil, China, Kenya,Vermiculite South Africa, USA and Zimbabwe.

Hydroponic Medium Types : Coconut Fiber, Cocopeat Fiber
Cocopeat is a 100 % organic and natural growing medium, soil conditioner and soil additive which is suitable for a variety of horticultural and hydroponic applications. Cocopeat is also known as "coir fibre pith". Coconut fiber is quickly becoming one of the most popular growing mediums. It may soon be the most popular. Also it is the first "totally organic" growing media that offers very high performance in hydroponics systems. Coconut fiber is a waste product of the coconut industry, it is the powdered husks of the coconut itself.


Advantages of coconut fiber:  It has many advantages. It maintains a higher oxygen capacity than rockwool, also has high water absorbing and holding ability than rockwool or others which is a real advantage for hydroponic systems that have intermittent watering cycles.

Coconut fiber is high in root stimulating hormones and it offers some extra protection against plant root diseases including fungus.

Cocopeat is known to produce much healthier crops that require less frequent fertilizing and less watering. The rapid draining characteristic of coco peat also reduces the loss of hydroponic nutrients through leaching. Additionally, the inherent qualities of cocopeat provides a natural resistance against bacterial and fungal growth. In fact, several studiy results indicats it brings increased resistance to pythium and other root diseases. Cocopeat has helped the harvester improve yields, optimum water/air accessibility has led to faster germination times and more seeding rotations per.

Hydroponic Medium Types : Grow Rock - Hydrocorn
Hydrocorns - Grow rocks - are a lightweight expanded clay agregate. This hydroponic aggregate is formed into small pebble shaped rocks. This is made from a type of clay which is fired to create a porous growing media. It’s also supports plants root system heavily.
Hydrocorns are a non-degradable mediums, sterile growing medium that will hold moisture. It is also recyclable, we can clean and reuse it.
Grow rock is often the growing medium of choice for novices and professionals alike because it’s very easy to use it, and reusable for the future operations. It is pH neutral, sterile, highly aerated and fairly light in weight.

Related Article : Hydroponic System Medium Types For Beginners

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