Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners


Media Based Systems

This is a group for members who grow using media, such as gravel, Hydroton, expanded shale, etc. 

Members: 197
Latest Activity: Nov 13, 2017

Discussion Forum

What media do you use?

Started by Sylvia Bernstein. Last reply by Dave & Yvonne Story Feb 4, 2015. 45 Replies

I'm a big fan of Hydroton, although I know it is crazy expensive...but you will have it forever.  Lightweight and easy on my hands.  Even looks nice.  Ok, I know I'm sounding like a girl here. What…Continue

Tags: media, grow, community, aquaponics_forum, aquaponics

Siphon Guard

Started by Stephanie Bader. Last reply by TCLynx Oct 8, 2012. 19 Replies

As anyone ever used a siphon guard like this one? or made one like it? And how did you do it? Any pro's or cons to using one like this?…Continue


Started by Eric Warwick. Last reply by Eric Warwick Oct 4, 2012. 11 Replies

How and for what purpose could you use perlite or vermiculite? Since these growing mediums are cheaper than hydroton and take the guess work out of buying gravel (bring some vinegar and baking…Continue

Tags: alternatives

Grow Beds

Started by Sylvia Bernstein. Last reply by Hydroponics Curacao Jul 29, 2012. 10 Replies

Tell us about your grow beds.  Rubbermaid tubs?  …Continue

Tags: grow, bed, group, media, forum

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Media Based Systems to add comments!

Comment by Wilson Itai Chiwara on October 25, 2014 at 7:24am

I envy you guys.  In my country,  Zimbabwe,  there is virtually no aquaponics/ hydroponics products to talk about making it virtually impossible to start any projects due to the prohibitive cost of importing the required items

Comment by Butch Pornebo on October 9, 2014 at 10:35am
and for my 1st system, I;m going to be using lava rock. I don't mind the harshness on the hands, I guess I've got thick skin ;)

anyway, do I need to top it off with a slightly heavier media for support on taller plants ?
Comment by Derrick Kerr on September 21, 2014 at 9:02pm

If anyone here is in Maryland, I just created a group Maryland Aquaponics for open discussion about the difficulties specific to our area. Please join me and lets talk aquaponics.

Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on September 21, 2012 at 8:12am

Yup, just like how a plethora of company's re-package and re-market Kelpak to the "medicinal herb" community at very inflated prices. People/companies seem to do that sort of thing alot with many a productuct. Only point being that they devoted a few pages to aquaponics. I went with the $9 USD for 50 litres construction stuff, I'll let everyone know how it works out...

Comment by RupertofOZ on September 21, 2012 at 7:24am

"A sister company of Liapor's (Easy Green Division of Oekotau) that caters to just the horticultural/hydro crowd (no construction or architectural angle on their product marketing) has a whole couple of pages dedicated to Aquaponics!"

LOL.... Oekotau.. is the company that manufacture3s "hydroton"....


And "aquaclay"... hydroton at three times the price...


And as you say "Liapor"... a sister company.... originally to produce LECA aggregate as a concrete component for the construction industry..

Comment by Sheri Schmeckpeper on July 3, 2012 at 5:02pm

Well, the very fact that I just looked this up shows that I can be obsessive sometimes. LOL!  There is some confusing information out there.

The terms cinder (which is more accurate since it comes from a cinder cone volcano) is an older term, and the term lava rock is a more casual term, apparently coined by landcapers, but both are scoria. The difference in color is due to the geographic origins and the amount of iron in the rock. I imagine that could affect the hardness of the rock, too.

The terms may be used differently in different regions. I know out here we don't use the word cinder except when referring to cinder block. In HI they may use the term cinder, and they probably use their local black stone.I may just have to take a trip to Hawaii to research my theory...

Comment by TCLynx on July 3, 2012 at 1:33pm

I know I've usually thought of the scoria and the red lava rock as the same thing while the cinder that Chris uses is dark maybe even black according to my vague at times memory of pictures of his system.

Comment by Sheri Schmeckpeper on July 3, 2012 at 1:18pm

I think scoria (the geologist's term), lava rock and cinder are all the same...I I remember my geology classes I took back in the dark ages.

Hawaii would certainly know a lot more about lava of all types than the rest of us! :)

Comment by TCLynx on July 3, 2012 at 1:05pm

Pumice would be the nature made version of perlite.  That said, I'm sure there are many grades or levels or lava created medias.  I believe many of our Aquapons in HI use cinder which (I'm kinda guessing here) is kinda between the pumice and the red lava rock in it's qualities and Chris Smith seems to be doing well with it.

So if pumice is kinda like natural perlite

Then I guess cinder would be similar to the expanded shale or slate in it's quality

And lava rock is great in the bottoms of beds or as waterfall filters but otherwise eats fingernails.

Comment by Sheri Schmeckpeper on July 3, 2012 at 7:50am

Pumice is created by hardening volcanic froth, and it, technically, glass because it has no crystallization. Pumice has a porosity of 90%, so it floats until saturated, and can break down a lot easier than lava rock (scoria).

Unlike pumice, lava rock is not glass. It's usually basalt stone, created by expanding gas bubbles as the lava erupts. It's much stronger than pumice and will sink.

As for using pumice, I'd proceed with caution because of its propensity to break down and it's glass composition. As Eric pointed out, it's brittle, so it's questionable what its effects would be on fish.


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