Clay Pebbles

Clay pebbles in hydroponics are porous and lightweight, and they hold air in them, enhancing the aeration to benefit the plant’s root system. 

The formation of this growing medium, sometimes known as hydrotons, is such that they have sufficient space to capture the air and let it release when the plant needs it.

Clay pebbles are a popular growing medium and are a hydroponic substrate about the size of peanuts or marbles. Because they weigh so little, they’re ideal for transplanting and harvesting and also very easy on the hands. They are popular with hydroponic growers using media bed techniques and are pretty versatile; they can work in both hydroponic and aquaponic growing methods.

A large amount of pore spaces leads to fewer blockages. These larger aggregates, such as hydroton and crushed granite, have much larger spaces between each pebble or stone than the smaller ones, such as perlite and sand. This space means they have better percolation properties, which is a better flow of any given solution through the media, even when algae and microbes cover their surface. 

Clay pebbles rarely become blocked or clogged, so water and nutrient solution drain very effectively. This medium is an excellent solution for Flood and Drain (also known as ebb-and-flow) and aquaponic systems.

Clay pebbles have a good air-retaining capacity for keeping plants’ root systems oxygenated. While it can’t rival that of perlite, this growing medium has some ability to hold in air bubbles which, combined with very effective percolation, makes it hard for anaerobic zones to occur in the substrate.

They are pretty renewable and environment-friendly. There’s not much clay used in each cubic foot of this material, and clay is an abundant form of soil, so most consider it an environmentally-friendly medium. 

The medium is reusable. Clay pebbles are minerals, not pollutants, but we still don’t want to see them in landfills. Fortunately, they’re reusable almost indefinitely., although you’ll want to rinse any silt or organic buildup before reusing it. Unless you find an extreme salt buildup, you can reuse it many times.

Clay pebbles are a loose medium and are not difficult to plant and harvest, so it’s easy to transplant and pull plants out after the harvest. Don’t underestimate how much time this saves in struggling endlessly with your plants’ roots and separating these from the surrounding medium.

They are good colonisation for friendly bacteria. They are not too smooth to discourage colonisation by microbes and the so-called “friendly” bacteria, which can benefit plants. 

But there are some downsides to clay pebbles that you should also know. Firstly, their water-holding capacity isn’t too good. As their WHC allows a growing medium to remain moist even after being drained, this low WHC means that your plants can get dry and sometimes wilt if they do not receive enough water. This event isn’t an issue with some systems, especially in cooler climates. Many growers who have seen high transpiration rates, water-thirsty plants, and so on will need to find a way to keep this area moist. 

Showing all 5 results

Browse Caliponics

No products in the basket.