This Disappears When Logged In

Before I Begin Construction.....

Discussion in 'Substrates/Bedding/Flooring' started by brikag, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. brikag

    brikag New Member

    I have a questions about Hydroton (leca), the clay ball substrate.

    1.) How heavy are they? Example: covering an average 10 gallon tank w/ an inch of the clay balls. 10 oz? 10 pounds?

    2.) Over time, will they eventually form into a solid brick later on down the road?

    3.) Over time, will they become brittle and break-off into little pieces?

    Just curious. I'm looking at alternatives. I may have found one.

    Thank you for your attention.
  2. Dragonscalestudios

    Dragonscalestudios Elite Member

    1) 3-4 lbs should be sufficient for a 10 gallon at 1".
    2) It will not form a solid brick.
    3) They will eventually become brittle and break down, but it will take years.

    Not likely you'll find an alternative as effective as hydroton. It creates an aquifer in your viv that will filter the water, promote root growth and hold moisture.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Hydroton is incredibly light for it's size since it is porus and not a solid ball. It was developed to be the medium for hydroponic growing and will not break down or compact. It is basically ceramic.
  4. brikag

    brikag New Member

    Now, we're talking. I saw some stuff called "feather-lite" (FL)on one of the herp supply websites. Very lite and very porous. That is one of the alternatives. The second is solid plastic balls. These balls are cleared from the FDA. They're basically used the same material for surgical purposes and piercings. So zero leaching of chemicals into the water.

    I'm leaning towards the FL, but the plastic balls only weigh 5 ounces for 1000 1/2" balls and only costs $9.00.

    Which would you choose and why?

    Thanks again.
  5. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I think FL are actually a brand of Leca balls. I would just stick with those. Herpers have been using it for years without any problem.
  6. Dragonscalestudios

    Dragonscalestudios Elite Member

    I was told the balls are more terra-cotta like than ceramic. Terra-cotta breaks down with regular exposure to water, it may take a long time, but it still breaks down.
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    They are more of a terra cotta, since they have no glaze. And most of the time the terra cottas are exposed to hot, cold, hot, cold, which hastens their destruction, particulary if you leave them outside to freeze! However they will last a very long time before will they break down. In the bottom of a tropical terrarium they are going to last almost indefinately.
    At one time I was experimenting with hydroponic gardening. Those things are tougher than you think!
  8. brikag

    brikag New Member

    Even if it breaks down, it's not like they'll break down the following week. Here's a question for clarification, is there a clear advantage of having a porous under laying (feather-lite) than a smooth surface under laying (plastic balls)? Just curious.....

    Thanks for all your responses!

Share This Page