In hydroponics, the growing medium takes the place of the dirt/soil.. While there is no one best growing media for all situations, some growing media's work .
The Industry Standards. Rockwool/stonewool. Made from rock that has been melted and spun into fibrous cubes and growing slabs, rockwool has the texture of insulation and provides roots with a good balance of water and oxygen. Perlite/Vermiculite. Expanded clay pellets. Sand. Gravel. Sawdust. Coconut fiber. Oasis cubes.
Hydroponic growing medium: How to pick the best one for your garden.. cultivation of plants by placing the roots in liquid nutrient solutions rather than in soil".
I've known several hydroponic growers successfully using soil, but they've all had good experience growing in non-soil mediums prior. I've also seen a few first .
You may be familiar with perlite as an additive to garden soil.. Vermiculate as a hydroponic grow medium is very good at retaining moisture, but when used .
Hydroponics does not use soil, instead the root system is supported using an inert medium such as perlite, rockwool, clay pellets, peat moss, or vermiculite.