Hydroponic mediums come in countless different shapes and sizes and are classified as basically anything in which a plant can grow. Each and every hydroponic medium is distinctive in its own way, and should be chosen carefully for your specific hydroponic system.
Here is a summary of some of the most popular and effective growth mediums available together with a brief description of each so that you can be well informed and know exactly what your needs are when it comes to choosing a medium best suited for your system.
Rockwool is the most widely used and popular hydroponic medium out there. Rockwool is a completely non-degradable and sterile medium which provides plenty of root support for a plants entire life span. Rockwool has the capability to hold an abundant amount of water as well as air for a healthy root system. The roots are able to extract nearly all of the water which is stored in the cube making this medium one of the best available.
Perlite has been around for a long time and is mainly used as an additive for soil to increase aeration thus promoting a thriving root system with a good balance of oxygen exchange and water being able to adequately drain. Perlite has the consistency and appearance of small pieces of Styrofoam, however it is actually volcanic glass which has been heated very rapidly. This medium can be used as a standalone medium or it can be mixed with other mediums to create a superior growth medium. Whether to use this medium as a standalone medium or mixed with others really depends on the hydroponic setup and the growers preference.
These are pre-formed cubes which are lightweight and mainly used for the propagation stage in plant life. Oasis cubes are very popular and successful when growing from seeds and/or cuttings. This type of medium is intended as a starting point for when plants are at their beginning stage and can be easily transplanted into any hydroponic system with all types of hydroponic mediums.
Coconut fiber is an awesome medium which is totally organic and offers high performance when used with hydroponic systems. There are scores of advantages which coconut fiber has to offer. It has the ability to hold much more water and oxygen then mediums like rockwool, which is a huge advantage when growing in hydroponic systems that use alternating watering cycles.
This form of hydroponic medium is a man-made medium and is often referred to as grow rock. It is an up and coming top choice of growing medium with hydroponic growers. These clay pellets are made from baking clay for a specific amount of time and then cooled. This process allows the inside of the clay pellets to becomes full of tiny air pockets which makes this medium very light and able to effectively store water and oxygen.
Clay pellets are also often mixed with other growing mediums in order to encourage maximum oxygen preservation within the growing medium for a more abundant distribution of oxygen to the root system.
This form of hydroponic medium is often expensive but is highly reusable and can be used for a very long time making this a great choice with almost any kind of hydroponic system.