LECA 15L (9-16mm)

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LECA 15L (9-16mm)

What is Leca Clay?

LECA is short of “light expanded clay aggregate” is a processed ceramic lightweight aggregate composed of small pebbles of the size of peanuts. Also known as Hydrotron, LECA is widely used in hydroponics using media bed or Dutch bucket techniques because of its lightweight and other favorable features. Clay pebbles are very popular among aquaponic farmer too.

How is it made?

Leca/Hydroton is made by heating certain clays to a high temperature of almost 1200°C in a rotary kiln. This process expands the volume of material by 4-5 times creating ceramic pellets having a cellular inner structure. It is Green, Anti-shrinkage, Internal curing, Lightweight, Sound, and Thermal Insulation and Fireproofing.

Hydroton Specifications:

  1. Crushing Strength =3,1 n/mm²
  2. Density= 403 kg/m³
  3. Size: 9-16 mm

 

Uses of Expanded Leca Clay Pebbles

  • They are widely used as a growing medium in the hydroponic/Aquaponics systembecause of neutral pH and excellent capillary action qualities. Ideal for ebb & flow systems, this medium provides many benefits in comparison with soil. This clean and odor-free medium is reusable and provides excellent aeration.
  • Leca is also mixed with Coco Medium and Soil to grow plants in Pot Culture. This is used anywhere where extra drainage is required. Also used in drainage layers in flower pots, roof gardens, for trees in an urban setting and sports grounds.
  • This highly porous growing medium is also used for Substratum cultivation in professional horticulture and the cultivation of decorative plants. The plant baskets and container gardens are filled with hydroton to provide support for plants’ roots.
  • Use clay pebbles as Seed starter: You can cover the seed with a couple of crushed pebbles in small net pots. The crushing increases saturation. Set the misters to water for 4-10 seconds after every 2-3 hours to set out the germination. Keeping the pebbles moist is important, just don’t let them dry out.

How to use Clay Pebbles: Do’s & Don’t’s

The clay pebbles are the most favorable medium for flood & drain systems. We have listed some do’s and dont’s to consider while working with them. When using for hydroculture (Aquaponics/ Hydroponics/ Aeroponics):

  • Rinse new hydroton once with clean lukewarm water before using as there can be dust that may cause clogging issues in drippers or mesh filters.
  • Sometimes clay pebbles float! Nothing to worry here! especially newly bought ones. It is normal and you can soak the pebbles for at least 6 – 24 hours. You can hold them down by putting something heavy on top.
  • Remove the dirt as much as possible from the roots of the plant.
  • Spread a 3-4 cm thick layer of hydroton in the plants’ container.
  • Put the plants in the container and fill it with pebbles until a water margin of 2cm is left. Move the plant gently up and down to spread clay all around the roots while While topping up.
  • Try to keep an inch (or as much as possible) of dry balls on the top to protect the system from fungus and algae growth.