Grow media has become the next best thing since, well, since actual natural garden soil.  And, in fact, probably better.  In addition, that is the point really.  Good grow media has to be used with aquaponics, you cannot use garden soil in aquaponics.



When you grow your plants indoors or in a confined space, you want to ensure they are getting the best nutrients to their roots, more than enough air and water, are allowed maximum room for their root growth and can be physically supported as they grow.


Grow media can offer all this and more.  However, it is important to choose the correct grow media that fits your budget and is suitable for aquaponics.

When it comes to choosing your grow media for aquaponics, it’s important that media not be too small, so it doesn’t block your pipes. The more surface area that media has, the better, as this will mean more beneficial bacteria to convert the fish waste to food for your plants.



Bigelow Brook Farm Expanded Shale


Bigelow’s shale chip’s claim to fame is that they work well in all types of  aquaponics systems from the the backyard to the small indoor. 


Excellent in either hydroponic or aquaponic systems, the shale chips will provide a large amount of surface area per stone which will aid in converting ammonia into nitrates by generating beneficial bacteria.


Slightly heavier than clay, shale chips are mined, crushed and fired up under hectic temperatures which then brings about a wonderfully porous and clean stone.


Be assured you will get your PH balance just right with the expanded shale chips and can look forward to stable growth from seedling to vegetative or bloom stage.


With hundreds of years of good solid history, expanded shale, whilst predominantly used for building material, which shows you its strength, comes with loads of benefits for your plants, as well as for the environment.

ViagrowTM ViaStone Expanded Clay Grow Rocks


These grow rocks, as they are known, are super porous, lightweight and the best part is they are reusable, adding to their environmentally friendly nature.


They have an excellent water to air ratio and are good with assisting the yield quality and quantity.


Be assured the PH balance of your plants will remain intact and optimum oxygen levels will be provided.


Viagrow clay stones can be used pretty much anywhere, from your aquaponic garden to your traditional outdoor gardens.


An all round winner, these clay stones will assist your aquaponic garden from seedling phase to flowering bloom.   With an average price bracket you won’t flinch due to the hefty bag you will be receiving.


Leca Clay Orchid/Hydroponic Grow Media


These 100% clay pebbles mean you will reap the rewards of a very aerated composition for your plants as well as an accurate PH balanced formulae.


It is good to know that these little guys prevent rotting, soil insects and excess acidity, especially with aquaponics gardens.


For size accuracy, you can cover about 10 x 5 inches of mesh net pots, 40 x 3 inch pots or at least 120 x 2 inch pots.



Just a warning, before you start, rinse off the dust with fresh water and you’re good to go. You want the water to be clean and healthy for your fish.


Priced well, you wont regret the spend with these decorative clay pebbles.

ROOT!T GMC10L Clay Pebbles


Due to their unique shape, these 100% clay pebbles will ensure that your plants receive the optimum oxygen and water retention.  Known to suit flood and drain systems as well as drip feed systems, these little balls will ensure the PH balance of your aquaponic garden, as they have been pre-washed.


Whether you have a Hydroponic, Hydroculture or Aquaponic garden system, the pebbles will assist the growth from A to Z, whilst supporting the roots along the way.


But, know that if you use this for an aquaponics although clean, you need to rinse them a few times to avoid a muddying your water.


Again another middle range price bracket, but you are getting over 10 pounds of package here.


Clay pebbles are probably my favorite choice when choosing a grow medium for aquaponics. The round shape makes them easy on your hands and they are light weight. 

In ending, no matter which type of grow media you decide to choose, you can be assured that the choices listed here are proven and suitable for aquaponics

Just make sure you have the following factors on hand when making your choice

o   The type of vegetation, plant or flower you are intending on growing – not all grow media works well with all flora (for example in aquaponics root based vegetables will often grow in deformed way. Due to need a medium with a diameter of around 2cm or ½ inch)

o   The weight of the grow medium, can your aquaponics system support this weight?

o   Do want grow medium that is easy on your hands(no sharp edges), so I don’t need to where gloves?

o   How big is your aquaponics system and how much will I need to buy?

o   What is your budget?

Growing plants without soil, it is imperative to choose the right grow medium as not to effect the pH of your system and provide enough surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow.