Although hydroponics is a soil-less medium, you will still need a medium in your hydroponic system for the roots of your plants to anchor to. There are many different types of hydroponic mediums on the market today, including coco coir, clay pellets, rocks, perlite, and rockwool - Just to name a few.
The hottest medium on the market right now is definitely coconut fiber. This medium is made from coconut husks. It is a totally organic growing medium that offers excellent performance and benefits to a hydroponic system.
Coconut Fiber contains root stimulating hormones, plus it offers natural protection against root diseases, including multiple types of fungus. Many growers mix expanded clay pellets and coconut fiber using a 50/50 ratio, which makes for an excellent growing medium.
Perlite is a classic hydroponic growing medium. It has been around for a long time and it has an established reputation as a reliable and easy to manage growing medium. Perlite is a form of volanic glass that is formed when rapidly heated to temperatures above 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.
Perlite is an excellent medium for hydroponics, although we recommend using a thicker / grain perlite for your hydro system. Many growers will use a 50-50 mix of perlite and vermiculite. Perlite has natural wicking properties, although it doesn’t retain water as well as vermiculite. Remember to wear a mask when preparing your perlite, as the dust can be hazardous to your health.
Rockwool is another popular hydroponic medium. It is made from melted rock that has been spun into fibrous slabs. It has a texture somewhat like insulation; It provides an excellent balance of water and oxygen for your root system.
Small rockwool cubes are ideal for starting seedlings and clones, while bigger pieces are more suitable for large plants. Rockwool is a great medium for drip or flood and rain systems. Most growers prefer to use rockwool once, as it can be time consuming to sterilize and prep your rockwool for a second grow.