Clay pebbles and Growstones® are two different types of growing media used to anchor plant roots in hydroponic systems. They are placed into a "net pot" container which has holes in it to allow the roots to grow through and reach a nutrient solution but hold the plant base stable. They can both be made pH neutral and allow for great aeration and strong root development. They are an essential part to most deep water culture and drip-style hydroponic systems like Current Culture's Under Current systems.
What are the differences between clay pebbles and Growstones®?
Clay pebbles have been popular for decades and are the most common grow media used in hydroponic systems. They are made of red clay and are hard and durables. Their surface is smooth with very few pores leading to less grip on the plant roots. On the other hand they are easier to remove from plant roots as a result and easier to clean and reuse. They are heavy however which plays a big factor in higher shipping costs. We carry a wide selection of clay pebbles from various brands:
Growstones® are superior to clay pebbles in many ways. Most importantly their rough, porous and irregular shape allows plant roots to adhere to them in a much stronger way than clay pebbles. This results in more stable plant support and stronger plant roots. They also provide high aeration to plant roots and help to avoid overwatering in drip-style hydroponic systems. They are made of 100% recycled glass in America and are non-toxic and chemical free. We highly recommend Growstones® for use in all types of hydroponic systems where they are suitable. If you have any questions on which growing media is best for your hydroponic system don't hesitate to give us a call at 888-815-9763. Growstones® also produces a great soil aerator as an alternative to perlite.
Check out our video to get a closer look at the differences between clay pebbles and Growstones®:
Cleaning and pH Balancing Grow Media
It is essential to ensure that your growing media is cleaned and pH stable before use in a hydroponic system. Most growing media from clay pebbles to grow stones contain small traces particles from the manufacturing process. This needs to be cleaned off to avoid clogging your hydroponic plumbing and pumps. Some media like Growstones® can also have a high pH when brand new which needs to be stabilized by rinsing and then soaking in a liquid solution that has a lower pH. You can lower the pH of this solution with the help of a pH down product found here. After soaking check the pH of the solution and when it is stable at 5.8 you are all set to go!
We show you the process in this video: