Last Updated on July 31, 2022 by Guillermina
Learn all about aquaponics clay media.
It is not difficult to notice that the aquaponics industry has been slowly expanding its reach in the last few decades. In this article, we will discuss one of the main components of aquaponic farming, specifically a growing medium.
Namely, choosing the ideal one will significantly impact the cost of building and maintaining your system. However, with so much availability comes a dilemma, as it can be quite confusing to know what will work best for you. That is why we have gathered all the information about aquaponics clay media. Stay with us and find out if it can meet all your requirements.
What Is A Grow Media?
Before we say more about aquaponics clay media, we think now is the ideal time to introduce you to some basics, that is what is actually a grow media. In short, it is one of the most important components when it comes to conducting farming without the use of natural soil. This is one of those findings that almost all experts agree with.
We must emphasize that they are not used in all forms of aquaponic farming; the floating raft system is the banalest example. However, they are still an integral part of almost every form of agriculture in this type of system.
Furthermore, the growing medium is a substitute for the soil used in this type of agriculture to give your plants everything they need to thrive. There are many reasons that justify its importance, learn more about them below.
Why Do I Need It In The Aquaponics System?
In this system, grow media is a natural, or on the other hand, synthetic soilless material that provides great support to the body of your plants. Namely, since it is a matter that “imitates” the soil, it has very similar functions as it protects and ensures that plant roots are established in the right position. It is well known that root structure plays a vital role in dictating the future health and wellbeing of your plant. Another thing we must mention is that growing media serves as a surface area for bacteria to thrive.
Now that we have explained everything in detail, let’s move on to the main part and say a few sentences about aquaponics clay media.
Aquaponics Clay Media
We can say (without a doubt) that no other material on earth has such a wide application as clay. There is almost no industry that does not use this natural material in some form. As for aquaponics clay media, it provides the environment for almost all plant growth as well as the porosity, aeration, and water retention. They are also used as a reservoir of potassium oxide, calcium oxide, and even nitrogen.
The Most Popular Types of Aquaponics Clay Media
Hydroton is a high-quality choice when it comes to picking the ideal growing media for your aquaponic system. It has a large surface area, but it is also a bit pricy, so it is not affordable for everyone. We can freely conclude that hydroton is a type of expanded clay product. Thanks to the many tiny holes on its surface area, it helps to improve and control the growth of bacteria, and in addition, it enhances the nitrifying process.
We must emphasize that aquaponics clay media, in this case, hydroton is a great option for growing nearly any type of fruit or vegetable, all of it due to its microscopic holes that allow excellent drainage while also having the ability to hold plenty of water.
Lightweight expanded clay aggregate (LECA), or among people better known as clay pebbles, are clay balls that are formed by being tempered at high temperatures. Tempering at such a high temperature turned them into a very good aquaponics clay medium that is light enough to be used for aquaponics, and on the other hand, heavy enough to support the roots of the plant.
Furthermore, this material is non-degradable and pH-neutral and in addition, very easy to work with by hand.
To Wrap Things Up
Aquaponics is one of the modern methods of farming that is becoming increasingly popular around the world. If we had to classify all their advantages in a few words, we can say that this type of medium greatly boosts plant health and ensures that the vital cog of an aquaponic module stands firmly in one place.
Do you use aquaponics clay media? Tell us your impressions, do you consider it a good investment or would you rather pass it? Let us know in the comment section below.
Can You Use Clay Pebbles In Aquaponics?
Yes, you can use clay pebbles in aquaponics. Moreover, this type of pebbles is one of the most versatile growing media for gardening methods. Furthermore, pebbles are non-degradable, pH-neutral, and in addition, very easy to work with by hand, which actually means they don’t pose a danger to those people who work with this type of material on a daily basis.
The only disadvantage of this type of aquaponic breeding media is that it is quite expensive and it is necessary to analyze the price-benefit ratio before this medium is set as the final choice.
How Do You Use A Clay Ball In Aquaponics?
Here are brief instructions for using clay balls in aquaponics:
Wash them first to remove all excess dirt and debris.
Fill the container/planter/pot with clay pebbles.
Sprinkle seeds over clay pebbles.
Ensure the water drains out before reaching the top surface of your clay pebbles.
Can You Use Rockwool In Aquaponics?
Yes, you can use Rockwool in aquaponics. It is a lightweight, porous material made from natural stone that has amazing water retention abilities.
Can Perlite Be Used In Aquaponics?
Perlite is a lightweight, porous substance that is actually a type of volcanic glass, and people mostly recognize it as little white rocks. It can be used in aquaponics as it provides water retention, drainage as well as aeration for healthy root development.