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: 198
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 Sheri Schmeckpeper on July 2, 2012 at 2:49pm

Chris, just to be sure we're on the same page, this is what I read:

It says that Hydroton continually breaks down, clogs pots, destroys plumbing, and that the iron in it can destroy your pumps magnets. It also says, "In order to get Hydroton to your plants, foreign-based companies come to the U.S. and Canada to blow-up mountaintops, tear down trees, and destroy animal habitats."

I used the word, "lie" because these aren't true statements. I used the expression, "fear mongering" because they're trying to make people afraid to use hydroton.

I just felt like I was reading a tabloid magazine. GrowStones themselves may be a great product, particularly for hydroponics. But I have an issue with emotionally manipulative speech like this. You can probably guess that I have a hard time during election years, too. :D

Comment by Pices on July 2, 2012 at 11:34am

BTW the quantity is 6 cu yds.

Comment by Pices on July 2, 2012 at 11:32am

Bob Campbell It is very easy to dig your hand down into it when it is flooded with water. I purchased mine from Carolina Stalite. I got their PermaTill version which is specifically manufactured for horticultural applications. Cost, including shipping was less than $1,000 for over 4 tons.

Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on July 2, 2012 at 10:09am

Ökotau Easy Green
Produktions- und Handels GmbH
Georg-Büchner-Str. 5
D-65760 Eschborn
Telefon ++49(0)6173/67500
Telefax ++49(0)6173/68950

Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on July 2, 2012 at 10:06am

Oh yeah, the company is based in Austria...

Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on July 2, 2012 at 10:03am

Since none of you are in Europe this may be useless (but then again Hydroton came to you guys from Germany)...there's a company that is called Liapor that is in the business of making LECA...different grades, and different purposes...horticultural being one of them...Construction/lightweight concrete LECA aggregate etc... they call it "Liaflor" instead of "hydroton"

50 liters of Hydroton (here in Serbia) is around $28 USD

50 liters of Liaflor is around $9 USD...

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! One page is just a general "what is aquaponics" type thing, while the other is info on their "Aquaponics Grow Bed Media" (that is what they call their LECA for AP). It's a nice round uniform size (18-20mm) LECA. (I bought the construction grade stuff which is bumpy and not uniform spheres...but like I said they seem to make many 'types'

Liapor GmbH & Co. KG
D-91352 Hallerndorf
Tel. (++49) 95 45/4 48-0
Fax (++49) 95 45/4 48-80

Here's the thread where I brought this up (and copy pasted some stuff now from)

Maybe one of you business minded guys can call or write and get the scoop on shipping/distribution...

Comment by Chris George on July 2, 2012 at 9:47am

@Sheri....Lies....and fear-mongering??  I also read the website and am wondering why you said this...


Comment by Sheri Schmeckpeper on July 2, 2012 at 9:00am

Wow, I just read the Grow Stones web page about Grow Stones vs Hydroton. The lies and fear-mongering in that piece would keep me from ever buying Grow Stones.

Comment by Sheri Schmeckpeper on July 2, 2012 at 8:51am

I'm glad to year your comments about Grow Stones, Dave. We looked at them in the hydro store & I could break them easily. Given that their made of glass, I didn't think it was worth the risk for the fish.

We've spent very little on our entire system & greenhouse, except for the media. We went with expanded clay balls because of the weight and ease of use. We have a combination of Hydroton from Germany, which is out of business now, and Plant-it, from England. Another company, Hydrocorn is in the Netherlands, but I've yet to see them in the US. I've heard rumors about some US interest. No doubt it will happen soon. In the meantime, we just suck it up on the price and enjoy the benefits.

Comment by Dave & Yvonne Story on July 2, 2012 at 8:00am

I had no idea that other yards were using a kiln in the process. Why then can't the USA have its own mfg facility for hydroton. OR I like the idea of making it myself..

maybe I can find a county that will give me their used glass and I could experiment with a clay/glass combo.. I like some things about the Grow Stones, but the cost is a big rip-off. second problem are the shards desolving into the fish tank.

Part of my problem is I don't know what I am doing. I am always trying new ways. So, I need to move plants. If I use stones or expanded shale, I can't get the plant back into the bed, easily.

I am still looking for the best media.


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