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Thread: Eggshells as a growing medium mix?

  1. #9
    jrod's Avatar
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    CaCO3 is readily available in lots of forms. I just mentioned egg shells to illustrate a point. The easiest thing to use is probably washed Aragonite, which is commonly available in the aquarium hobby along with crushed coral. Even though most crushed coral is cultured now, and not reef collected, I'd still recommend steering clear of it for plant and aquarium use for serious environmental reasons. Either way, egg shells, coral shells, and most other animal shells and bones are comprised of almost 100% CaCO3. Get out there and experiment =)

    A side thought... maybe bone meal? The big problem with egg shells is going to be washing all the goop out of them. Probably best to avoid them outside of composts.

  2. #10
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I still have a bag of crushed coral that I can turn into a mix just for Mexican pings. I thought only P. gypsicola benfitted from the crushed coral but maybe the others would as well.

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    Hi Guys, I know this post was from back in April, but just wanted to bump this and see where everyone was at with the eggshell thing?

    OK - I am a sarracenia nutcase, but I recently started to get into those greasy lil' buggers called pings.. Kinda neat, they do grow on ya. Since I am starting out more or less with mex. pings, any suggestions on the medium? Right now im using a general pourus mix of just peat/perlite - mostly perlite. How is the CaCO3 working out with the eggshells?

    I was at the pet store today, and noticed that there was some aquarium substrate that was 100% CaCO3. Looked like crushed rock and some particles of shells in there. It was a rough grit of sand looking thing. It was CITES approved (at least, said so on the bag) but before spending some $ on buying the stuff, I wanted to hear suggestions from the experienced ping growers out there. For my other garden projects, I have perlite, vermiculite, and peat laying around the yard... and I can readily obtain pumice if need be.

    P. gypsicola I have read on a few sites would benifit, but others suggest that other pings may benefit as well

    Just wanted to year y'alls suggestions. Wouldja help a noobie ping brutha out?! Thank yeh

    Rob

  4. #12
    What is and what should never be Crissytal's Avatar
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    Hey Rob,

    I've had very bad experiences with the common peat/perlite or peat/sand mix. Others have had great success with it, but it's just not for me.

    I've been using a mix mainly of aquatic plant soil. I threw some perlite, vermiculite, sand (when I have it, not necessary) and a handful of peat (which isn't necessary either) into it. I use enough of everything to clearly see it in the mix, except the peat. I have also been experimenting with cuttlebone. I've been breaking it up into small chucks and adding what's left (chunks and powder) to the above mix. So far so good with everything. I wanted to try the crushed coral, but I can only get it in 20 something pound bags around here.

    Jim can shed some more light on the crushed coral.

    Crystal
    Where do we go when we just don't know,
    And how do we relight the flame when it's cold?
    Why do we dream when our thoughts mean nothing,
    And when will we learn to control?
    --Godsmack

  5. #13
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I converted the whole Mexican ping collection over to this concoction of mostly Perlite, crushed coral, and eggshells, with a little bit of peat and sand. That was over a month ago and the plants didn't react at all to the change. Can't say they went and did noteworthy things, either. Here's a not so wonderful picture of them, from 10 days ago:



    These pings aren't terribly picky about what they are growing, so I would say that what you have is also fine.

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    rco911's Avatar
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    Thanks Jimscott!! I appreciate it! I actually had some pumice and did a nice lil' horticultural sand, perlite, pumice, vermiculite, and a little peat mix. I recently acquired a couple of new mex. pings and potted them up in that mixture. I kinda like the pumice - doesn't really float away like the perlite.

    Jim - another question - do you top water your pings? Does it drain into that little tray below? or do you water from the bottom? Ive read of others only watering these pings kind of like a house plant from the top. Others I've read use the tray method, but keep it on the "dryer" side of things?

    Thanks again!

    Rob

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    Just for the record i put my P. moctezumeae in a similar mix as jim when this thread first started. Looking at the plant today i cant say it looks any better than any of the other moctezumeae that i grew on a sand/peat/vermiculite mix. They all slowly whither away and finally die. I put my heterophylla in the mix and the tips of the leaves quit turning brown, the plant looks better than it did and even flowered. I am going to put P. gypsicola in this mix when i get it again. I think that certain plants are more picky than others, and every body grows there plants under different conditions so what works for one person may not work for others. Dont give up on the coral mix yet, try changing some of the other variables like water, temp, and light, or if you dont have time for that stick with whats tried and true....

  8. #16
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I don't entirely trust top watering Mexican pings, so I water the tray. But when you think about it, all plants do get rained upon. It's just that we have artificial environments and we have to do what nature would normally do, like ensuring adequate drainage. Top watering really shouldn't be a bad thing.

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