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  #11  
Old 03-18-2019, 05:55 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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SUBROSA!!!! You totally rock!!!!! I don't know if I will need it or not but I REALLY hate the feeling of not knowing if I can get more of something that I might need! That's why I have been hoarding all the small LECA I have just in case!

And Ray, I didn't even know it was a thing to try and add a deeper reservoir and then also make your LECA above the reservoir deeper too...that seems to defeat the purpose....then again I would think that if you have a 1" reservoir per 6" of LECA, and add an inch of each...instead of being in a 1:6 ratio we are talking a 2:7 ratio so wouldn't that do something just be substantially less effective? You know what, if that's a completely idiotic thought process just completely ignore it! I literally just finished my last midterm so I am fairly certain my brain is operating at its maximum capacity at the moment and hasn't yet fully recovered!

Either way, I did not do that! I left my total volume of LECA the exact same and simply increased the reservoirs volume at the expense of the unsubmerged LECA's volume....if that makes sense. If not, I apologize! I'm running a tad sleep deprived at the moment!
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2019, 07:59 PM
zipykido zipykido is offline
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Originally Posted by emmajs243 View Post
SUBROSA!!!! You totally rock!!!!! I don't know if I will need it or not but I REALLY hate the feeling of not knowing if I can get more of something that I might need! That's why I have been hoarding all the small LECA I have just in case!

And Ray, I didn't even know it was a thing to try and add a deeper reservoir and then also make your LECA above the reservoir deeper too...that seems to defeat the purpose....then again I would think that if you have a 1" reservoir per 6" of LECA, and add an inch of each...instead of being in a 1:6 ratio we are talking a 2:7 ratio so wouldn't that do something just be substantially less effective? You know what, if that's a completely idiotic thought process just completely ignore it! I literally just finished my last midterm so I am fairly certain my brain is operating at its maximum capacity at the moment and hasn't yet fully recovered!

Either way, I did not do that! I left my total volume of LECA the exact same and simply increased the reservoirs volume at the expense of the unsubmerged LECA's volume....if that makes sense. If not, I apologize! I'm running a tad sleep deprived at the moment!
Seachem Fluorite can also be used as small leca if you're doing S/H.
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2019, 09:07 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Oh! Why thank you zipykido!!!!! NEVER would have known that!! Great to know there are some options out there just in case!
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  #14  
Old 03-18-2019, 09:36 PM
zipykido zipykido is offline
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Oh! Why thank you zipykido!!!!! NEVER would have known that!! Great to know there are some options out there just in case!
It comes from the aquarium hobby so it's no super cheap but it's pretty readily available. Eco-complete would probably also work.
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2019, 12:40 AM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Well I have just learned all sorts of new stuff today thanks to everyone on here! Thanks guys!!
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  #16  
Old 03-19-2019, 12:15 PM
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Unfortunately, Emma, you're learning some "bad" stuff.

It is totally unnecessary to use finer grade LECA for semi-hydroponic culture of any plant, and you probably want to avoid anything as fine as aquarium sand.

The finer the product, the smaller the gaps between the particles. The smaller the gaps, the easier it is for surface tension to hold water between the particles, and it is that interstitial water that suffocates roots and kills them.
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  #17  
Old 03-19-2019, 05:25 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Oh my goodness! Well that is terrifying! Sometimes I wish people would get their facts straight before posting on the internet different tutorials or "How to's" and including that as an idea for reducing issues with the dry line....obviously don't mean you Ray!

I wonder if that's partially what happened to my first test plant in s/h the new root tip hit the leca, and didn't stop growing Like a burnt root tip but completely turned to mush a week or two after trying to dig down into the LECA....

ok well that is something that I will need to get rid of! Thank you Ray! Does LECA even exist that is as small as aquarium sand?? I was using a layer of LECA the size of like a pinky nail so not super tiny but definitely smaller then the regular, large, marble size LECA balls.

I mean, I knew it would increase surface area allowing more water to be wicked up so that was my thinking but I didn't think about the possibility of it carrying and trapping too much water...

I really doubt that it was doing too much in the way of getting rid of my dryline anyways...ok back up question for you if you would. I know you have mentioned good success at deflasking seedlings directly into s/h. Would you use the same large sized leca for that too? I mean, I was plus guess yes since interstitial water is interstitial water no matter the size of the roots but just confirming!

Thank you for speaking up and letting me know Ray!

Last edited by emmajs243; 03-19-2019 at 05:58 PM..
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  #18  
Old 03-19-2019, 06:27 PM
zipykido zipykido is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Unfortunately, Emma, you're learning some "bad" stuff.

It is totally unnecessary to use finer grade LECA for semi-hydroponic culture of any plant, and you probably want to avoid anything as fine as aquarium sand.

The finer the product, the smaller the gaps between the particles. The smaller the gaps, the easier it is for surface tension to hold water between the particles, and it is that interstitial water that suffocates roots and kills them.
Seachem Flourite and Eco-complete aren't fine soil sand, it's expanded clay just like regular leca. They're just a bit smaller and not as uniformly round (more of a gravel size and consistency). While smaller particles may not be ideal, the substrates I mention fall into the "smaller expanded clay" and "readily available" category that the OP wanted in case they wanted to test it out.
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  #19  
Old 03-19-2019, 10:16 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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Personally, I Am grateful for all the alternative options given to me & for Ray not just staying silent and continuing to let me continue to struggle or fail with the s/h method but insteadd point out mistake so I can correct it!

I honestly had no idea 6-8mm in diameter LECA could cause such problems!

However, I am still very happy to know the small LECA alternatives because I was considering tryingvit out in my young seedling traditional bark based mix this year too!

I thoroughly enjoy being a sponge and taking advantage of any and all knowledge my fellow growers have to offer!
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmajs243 View Post
Personally, I Am grateful for all the alternative options given to me & for Ray not just staying silent and continuing to let me continue to struggle or fail with the s/h method but insteadd point out mistake so I can correct it!

I honestly had no idea 6-8mm in diameter LECA could cause such problems!

However, I am still very happy to know the small LECA alternatives because I was considering tryingvit out in my young seedling traditional bark based mix this year too!

I thoroughly enjoy being a sponge and taking advantage of any and all knowledge my fellow growers have to offer!
I grew all of my temperate Japanese terrestrial orchids in 4mm-8mm leca last season, including for their winter dormancy. For the first time I didn't lose a single tuber during that dormancy. I had no problem with rot, and none with dessication either. The moisture balance was excellent. Any media we choose to grow our orchids in is just an object we use to achieve a desired goal. A tool if you will. Well, if you tried to drive a nail with a screwdriver, you might well conclude that a screwdriver is a poor tool!
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