Hydroton or Clay Pebbles has strong aeration properties due to the fast draining nature of the substrate. It’s inert so you’ll have to provide any nutrition via your liquid solution. Hydroton can be used in most active hydroponic systems and can be mixed with a number of different substrates to increase their aeration. For more info on Clay Pebbles and how to use them in your hydroponic system, read our buyers guide below.
Clay balls, Pebbles, HydroLeca or Hydrocorn is an inert, fast draining substrate thats sustainably manufactured from natural resources. The irregular sizes and shapes of balls increases aeration. Clay balls have a hard ceramic shell with a porous, honeycomb like center that can absorb some nutrient solution. The hard shell means there is no compaction of the substrate over time so it’s aeration and water carrying capacity will remain consistent.
We recommend washing your clay pebbles to remove any dust created during transport before installing the balls in your system. You can also reuse the clay balls as long as you wash them between cycles to reduce the chances of disease across crops.
Clay pebbles work best with active hydroponic systems as they have very strong drainage capabilities so you’ll be able to push your nutrient regime more aggressively. Clay balls should be avoided for hand watering or passive hydroponics as there is no capillary action to ‘draw up’ the solution and due to the fast draining properties, there's not much of a moisture buffer so many feeds per day for heavy feeding plants is required.
Many gardeners use clay balls as a layer for extra drainage and aeration at the bottom of containers - a technique that’s particularly useful for systems where pots sit in nutrient solution like autopots but also beneficial in both soil and coco filled containers. Putting a thin layer of pebbles as a top dressing on the pot will reduce water losses through evaporation, reducing watering frequencies.
We stock Gold labels range of clay balls - They manufacture their clay products to RHP certifications which ensures a consistent, effective substrate. They offer a clay balls and a 60/40 premixed bag of coco coir and clay balls which has increased moisture carrying potential.
If you’ve got more questions about Clay Pebbles get in touch with our specialist team on 0800 085 7995 or email us who can advise you further on the benefits of Clay Pebbles in your environment.