Perlite and vermiculite are silicate minerals exposed to very high heat to expand into very lightweight, porous and absorbent media. Because of resulting lightness, both may float so they may not be the best choice in hydroponics flood and drain systems.
Vermiculite differs to perlite in that it has a relatively high cation-exchange capacity meaning it can hold nutrients for later use. As there are different uses for vermiculite there are different types so be sure to buy vermiculite for horticultural use.
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