Hydro clay pebbles (aka expanded clay pebbles) are clay balls that have been expanded to form pebbles. Some people also call it LECA (lightweight expanded clay aggregate), the scientific name for clay pebbles, and it stands for Light Expanded Clay Aggregate. So basically LECA and clay pebbles are the same thing.
What are clay pebbles made of?
Clay is formed into small clay pellets and then kiln-fired at temperatures up to 1200°C. This process causes the clay to expand and create tiny air pockets throughout the clay ball. These properties make it a versatile growing media and ideal for use as a growing medium or hydroponic substrate. They are also very popular for aquaponics, as they provide a home for beneficial bacteria and can be used to filter water.
Hydro clay pebbles are available in a variety of sizes, but the most common size is about the same as a grape.
- They improve water drainage and aeration through tiny air pockets throughout the clay ball. This is beneficial for a plant because it allows them to take in more oxygen and prevents the roots from sitting in water, which can cause root rot.
- Expanded clay can be reused over and over again. Simply rinse them off with fresh water after each use and they will be good to go for next time!
- They help to stabilize pH levels in your grow media or substrate. This is beneficial for plants because it allows them to better absorb any nutrient solution.
- Expanded clay pebbles are durable and will last a long time. They also don’t decompose, so they won’t add unwanted nutrients to your substrate.