Hydroton - Reusable, Sustainable, Economic Growing Media
When planning your initial hydroponic garden system, you must eventually make a decision on the type of growing media you will use. Of the most common types of media - rockwool, coconut fiber, perlite, vermiculite, and others, Hydroton grow rocks have emerged as a popular and effective choice - especially among the cost conscious. Another cost-conscious choice is to use an LED grow light for your hydroponic system. Continued below.
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|LED Grow Light|
The most basic description of Hydroton is that they are clay pellets that are kiln-fired to about 1200° C until they become puffy and porous. The result is a lightweight growing medium that does a decent job at holding water (much better than perlite). Hydroton is inert and offers a neutral pH level which is key when determining the appropriate ratio of hydroponic nutrients to add to the system. This is one of the biggest downsides to using rockwool as it alters the acid/alkaline level as water flows through, making nutrient dosing tricky.
How To Clean Hydroton
Hydroponic gardening can be an expensive endeavor, not just when getting started, but in maintenance costs. Lesser growing media needs to be replaced every couple of growing cycles at least (some need to be replaced after each growing cycle) making reuse impossible. Hydroton is 100% reusable for as long as you wish to use it - provided you clean it thoroughly after each growing cycle. Your best bet is to wash in hydrogen peroxide and then just rinse completely with clean water.
Be sure your hydroponic system uses LED grow lights.