Does it puzzle you to select the right media for growing vegetables using hydroponic method? Different vegetables are grown in different Hydroponic formats and hence require different kinds of media.
Hydroton or clay balls is expanded round clay pellets and is one of the more widely used media in India. It can be used on its own in hydroponics, aeroponics or deep water culture (DWC) or combined with other media esp. in drip systems (Grow bags, Trough system or Dutch Buckets). It allows maximum drainage and aeration. Hydroton can also be re-used if cleaned and sanitized properly with hydrogen peroxide.
Perlite is a medium that is commonly found in soilless mixes. It is made from amorphous volcanic glass that has relatively high water content, typically formed by the hydration of obsidian. Be careful using this media by itself, as it will float.
Coconut Coir is most popular medium in India. It is Ph neutral and can be used for multiple months without sterilizing again. It works best when combined with another medium such as hydroton. Coir has excellent nutrient and water holding capacity. It should be cleaned and sterilized after around 6-8 months.
Oasis Cubes are manufactured from water absorbent foam, Phenolic foam, also known as Floral Foam. They act as good starting plug for seedlings and plant cuttings, and not so much as a full growing medium. They are very cheap but have to be changed after every crop.
fine cloth netting is filled with high-quality cocopeat and then compressed to form a “tikky” like coin pellet. It grows to approximately 7 times in height as soon the water is added. Cocopeat is held together by cloth netting and ensures optimum air/water exchange. Available in 1.25 Inch size. It is slightly costlier than oasis cube but offers better seedling. Like oasis cube, it should also be changed after every crop
Media plays a very important role in Hydroponic, hence selecting the right media is very critical for the optimum growth of vegetables.