Clay Pellets

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Clay Pellets

Post by Weedguru Higher » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:28 pm

Clay Pellets
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Hydroton is clay aggregate that is one of the best choices for anchoring houseplants in hydroculture setups; they are the growing medium of choice. These highest-quality pellets – manufactured in Germany - are porous, retain moisture and transfer moisture to the roots by capillary action. They are light in weight. In fact, they are so light in weight that some float in the water. They do not compact, are inert, sterile, ph neutral, contain no nutrients and are completely reusable; you can clean and sterilize them after use.

The clay is formed into pellets and then fired in rotary kilns at 1200°C, which causes it to expand inside, like popcorn, and become porous. The pellets drain freely and don’t hold excess water, providing good oxygen levels around the root area. This growing medium called LECA (Light Expanded Clay Aggregate) also provides the necessary support for the plant along with its ability to absorb the correct amount of water and oxygen. Healthy and beautiful plants are guaranteed with this optimal ratio of water and oxygen.

In hydroculture there is absolutely no soil involved and hydroton is the substitute for it; it takes the place of soil. Hydroton clay pellets are a popular hydroculture/hydroponics medium around the world. Because of their reusability, they are considered an ecologically sustainable medium. Most of the time all you need to do it rinse and reuse. For additional cleansing, wash the pellets in a white vinegar solution (or with hydrogen peroxide), rinse them a few times with clean water and start using them again. You can also sterilize them in a mild bleach solution (1/2 cup per gallon of water); remember to rinse well with water before putting them to use.


Here are some of the main reasons why hydroponic growers might choose hydroton over a different medium for their hydroponic garden.

- Probably one of the major reasons why people choose hydroton over other hydroponic media is because it is a big money saver. You dont really have to worry about it falling apart or otherwise becoming unusable after only a couple growing seasons. You can safely use it year after year, and it can work just as well if you take care of them. After each growing season, you should wash the hydroton thoroughly with the help of isopropyl alcohol, and then rinse with pH balance water. This does not only cut away a lot of hassle normally associated with hydroponic growing, it can also allow you to invest extra money in your garden.

Holds Moisture and Nutrients - Usually the downside to very durable and reusable hydroponic media , like perlite, is that they just do not hold moisture very well. In a recovery system, it flows out as quickly as it is pumped in. With hydroton, this is less of a concern. The physical structure of the pebbles actually allows them to hang on to a small amount of moisture, which can be greatly helpful in making your gardening experience little bit easier.

Easy to Stabilize pH
- The ideal range for the pH in your nutrient solution is anywhere from 5.6 to 6.3. If it fits outside of this range, you are going to run into some serious nutrient uptake issues. Hydroton makes your task in stabilizing the pH level a little bit easier by being completely pH neutral. It is not acidic or alkaline, so it will not cause the pH level to drift in the grow tray. While you should of course regularly check your pH level and use pH adjustors regularly to guarantee optimal uptake, hydroton can just make your job a little bit easier.

Plenty of Air
- Of course, holding moisture will not do you much good if your hydroponic system is totally drowning. This is where hydroton also excels. It provides your hydroponic system with all of the air you need for your roots to grow thick, large, and complex.

- If you find that your hydroponics budget is a perpetually strained because you have to spend so much money on your growing medium, you should definitely consider hydroton to conquer your financial woes. The main reason for this is that this material is fairly cheap to make, which makes it very easy on your wallet.

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If you are shopping for clay aggregate – locally or online – or gathering information, there are a few names applied to this medium to help in your venture:

* Hydroton
* Hydroton Expanded Clay Media
* Hydroton Clay Pebbles
* Hydroton Growing Media
* Hydroton Clay Pellets
* Fired clay Pebbles
* Grow Rocks
* Hydroton Expanded Clay Pellets
* Leca (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregrate)

I only use Hydroton clay pellets (the most commonly available for hydroponics/hydroculture) but there are a number of other brand names available, mainly on the internet. Most of the manufacturers are in Western Europe and every single one of them will claim that their product is somehow exceptional in performance. Aside from a slight visual distinction in the tint of the clay, it’s a fair bet to say that they all – more or less – function equally in hydroculture.

Hydroton Rootball

Excerpts taken from the following websites

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