Clay pebbles or hydroton (sometimes referred to as LECA—light expanded clay aggregate) are a hydroponic substrate with units about the size of marbles or peanuts.Clay pebbles can be used in both hydroponic and aquaponic systems
- Hydrotons are great water absorbers, it collects the excess water and stores it for later use.
- It prevents roots from being damaged due to excess water.
- Generally, clay pebbles are used as a base layer or alongside to help plants get the proper amount of water and air through it
- Clay can be used on its own for growing plants
- It can also be mixed with soil and other growing media.
- Hydroton is used widely in hydroponics and aquaponics.
HOW TO USE
Rinse the pebbles thoroughly before using
Soak the pebbles for at least six hours or, even better, up to 24 hours.
Remove the plants and rinse occasionally.
Add a small amount of nutrients after rinsing your pebbles.
Give starting your seeds a try using clay pebbles. You can crush the medium to increase saturation or you can keep them whole, use small net pots, and cover the seed with a couple of pebbles.
Don’t reuse the pebbles without rinsing, soaking, and sterilizing with isopropyl alcohol or peroxide.
Don’t let the pebbles dry out.
Don’t use a regular pot unless you have a dedicated water source. Using regular pots can sometimes lead to algae and draining issues.
Don’t use the pebbles as a substitute for soil outdoors.