Pros and Cons of Hydroton Pebbles in Hydroponics in 2023

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What are the pros and cons of Hydroton pebbles in Hydroponics? Hydroton, also known as clay pebbles, is a hydroponic substrate that has units the same size as peanuts or marble.

They are light and easy to harvest and transplant, making them a popular choice for small producers using the Dutch bucket or media bed techniques. Clay pebbles can also be used in aquaponics and hydroponics systems.

These marbles are very popular among hydroponic gardeners.

Hydroton, a hydroponic substratum that is roughly the same size as marble, is used. They are lightweight and easy to pick and transplant.

These Hydroton balls do have some advantages and drawbacks, which you can see below.

Hydroton’s Advantages

High Pore Space

Hydrotons, which are larger aggregates, have more space between the pebbles of perlite, rock, and small particles. The biological surface is not usually very high, but the pores are much larger.

What does it mean? Hydroton drains water very quickly and does not clog. It is a great choice for aquaponic media beds and low tide systems.

This means that solution flows through the medium more efficiently if there is a biofilm of microbes and algae. Because the Hydroton is not often clogged or blocked, water drains very quickly. It is a great choice in low tide and low-tide systems, as well as aquaponic media beds.

Capacity for air holding

It has a certain air retention capacity to maintain oxygenation in root zones.

Perlite is the only material that Hydroton can match in terms of its air retention capability. Hydroton does have a certain amount of air retention capacity, which when combined with high percolation makes it difficult to create anaerobic problems.

This culture medium, although not measuring perlite air holding capacity (AHC), has a certain ability to retain air bubbles. AHC Hydrotones, combined with high percolation make it difficult for problematic anaerobic zones to be created.

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Renewable energy and environment friendly

Hydroton does not contain a lot of clay, and it is often used in large quantities. This makes it an environmentally-friendly medium. Hydroton is more efficient than other media which use more terrestrial resources.

These Hydrotone balls can also be used to make lightweight concrete blocks which can then be used for construction. Hydroton is much more environmentally friendly than other media that require greater quantities to supply the Earth.

Hydroton is Reusable

Hydroton’s great benefit is its ability to be reused over and over. You just need to wash off any organic matter or accumulated sludge before you can use it again.

Hydroton is a mineral, but it is not considered to be a pollutant. However, we do not want it ending up in landfills. They can be reused almost indefinitely, however. It is best to clean it of any organic matter or accumulated sludge before you reuse it. However, if you don’t have much salt, it can be reused many times.

Easy to plant, easy to harvest

Hydroton is loose and easy to transplant plants. This can help you save time when dealing with root ball separations and wrestling with roots.

Excellent for microbes

The stone that grows is more smooth than other media, but it does not discourage microbial colonization. BSA is a natural habitat for microbes, which can make nutrients from organic sources like fish food available to plants. BSA with a lower number of microbes means fewer microbes and a less stable system. Despite having less BSA than other media, this medium offers a good amount of BSA. So no worries there.

BSA that is less active means fewer microbes and a less stable system.

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Hydroton’s disadvantages

Water retention capacity

Clay gravel has a low water retention capacity (WHC). Low WHC, which is what allows the substrate’s moisture to stay moist after it has been drained means that crops can dry and wither if they are not watered enough. This isn’t a problem in some systems, such as those with colder climates and drought-resistant crops.

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Low WHC can cause hulls to dry out, so it is important to water them regularly. Growers with a high transpiration rate or crops that require water will need to find a way to keep their substrate moist.

Low WHC isn’t a problem for most manufacturers. Just be aware of it and ensure you water your plants often enough.


Hydroton is very easy to use, making it a top choice for small growers. However, it can be a bit too costly for large growers.

It May cause pump problems

Hydroton floats in water initially, but it becomes fully saturated when it reaches its maximum volume. This means that pebbles can get stuck in drains or filters and cause blockages.

Hydrotons: Tips

Hydroton is the first recommendation for small growers who use media systems like Hughey Aqua Farm and Dutch buckets. They are simple to use and can be obtained from Hort Americas, a trusted supplier.

Tip: Don’t forget about washing your new Hydroton after use. It can collect dust and cause problems with mesh filters or drips.

Hydroton vs Perlite Which is Better?

Pros and Cons of Hydroton Pebbles in HydroponicsPin

Hydroton and Perlite are both good choices Hydroponics

When  It comes down to which hydroponic medium works best. Perlite or Hydroton? It all comes down to the type of hydroponics.  You are trying to create a system. Both media provide sufficiently.

Hydroponic gardeners offer many benefits that make them an attractive choice.  If you are still unsure which one to choose, there is always another option.  You can set up your system using Hydroton and perlite in separate locations  Grows and which one is more successful over the course of the growing system.

This Long-term experimentation is a valuable tool in Hydroponic gardening and can be a great way to improve your growing techniques. Your specific area and its growing conditions.


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