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Old 02-18-2013, 08:42 PM
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reusing LECA

Hello!!
I've heard that LECA can be reused but how do you sanitize it before reusing it for another plant?

Thanks!!
Monica
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:08 AM
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Some people bake it, some boil it, and some leave it out in the sun to dry (completely and thoroughly) rinse and reuse.
I have also heard of it being soaked in a very, very, very dilute bleach solution.
I would be wary of the soaking because of the remaining residue as well as the fact that LECA/hydroton is porous. But First Ray's might have some very good info on this, have you been to his site?
I personally just rinse, repeat rinse, soak in clean water overnight, strain, and leave it out in the sun to dry. But thats just me.


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Last edited by empress; 02-19-2013 at 02:09 AM. Reason: typos.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:41 AM
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I use a 9-1 bleach solution and soak it for a day or two. I thoroughly rinse it off in colanders and then set them outside for days and days.

Bleach will kill any possible virus but the LECA will also absorb the bleach so the pellets need a long time to rid themselves of the chlorine smell.

Brooke
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:31 AM
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I use the following process:

1) Dry the stuff thoroughly
2) "Winnow" it in a breeze (or fan blast) to rid it of organic bits.
3) soak it in 1 Tbsp/gal Physan or 1 oz/gal bleach for 24 hours or longer
4) Drain, then soak in plain water - at least 2x the volume of the rocks -for another 24 hours.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:07 AM
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I use lava rock...I bake or boil. Virus is killed by temps or pH extremes (there is more to that but I don't feel like dragging out the bio tome). I bake for an hour at 500'F. I let it cool in the oven, then package it up. Before reusing, I soak in distilled water...just in case anything became concentrated on the surface.
Chlorine eventually evaporates but it does take a while and because of its caustic properties, needs to be pretty well gone before being near a plant's roots. I use bleach for my plastic pots. I soak them for quite a few hours as I usually set them in the water before leaving the house....
I always reuse what I can.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:38 PM
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Great ideas. I had heard of baking and bleach and drying outside in the hot sun (won't work for me now in 30 deg and snow, LOL). It didn't occur to soak in Physan...Thank you all for sharing!!!
monica
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:22 PM
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In the pressure cooker it goes! Bring it up to high pressure, turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 min. Nothing survives that, and no chemicals to worry about.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:12 PM
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I re-use my leca too..same as what the others do...I just boil them and let dry.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:59 PM
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Boiling won't kill all pathogens, Trev.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:04 PM
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I know that Ray
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