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Using other materials instead of perlite (Hydroton / Geolite)

A number of LECA products can be used in place of perlite for humidification chambers.

The materials below are used by cultivators as a means of humidification in place of perlite. It tends to be easier to work with it than perlite since it keeps the form and doesn't disintegrate and emit dust.

LECA is short for LightWeight Expanded Clay Aggregate. It has been used most notable in the Horticulture industry as a planting medium for hydroponics but has been found useful for many other applications.

Brand names include Hydroton, Geolite, HydroKorrels, Hydroleca, "grow rocks" ...

LECA is made by baking pure natural clay at 1200 degrees Celsius for 3 hours in rotary kilns, the end product is pH neutral, doesn't degrade and is autoclavable. Capillary action on the surface of the lightweight pebbles allows it to absorb 40% of it's weight in water and also allows for efficient evaporation to help maintain a constant humidity level.

LECA is widely available through Hydroponics outlets, many garden centers (orders may be available) and also through many concrete companies, quantities greater than a ton may apply for purchases but frequently if you tell them you only need a few pounds they may give it to you.

A similar product available mostly in Europe is Seramis. (in the USA Isolite is an equivalent)

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