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Thread: Rinsing Sand, Peat Moss, etc.

  1. #9
    rattler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theyellowdart View Post
    Peat naturally contains algae, cyanobacteria, and other slime-like organisms. Rinsing it isn't going to stop any of that.

    Yep, sounds like your set. Silica sand is the way to go.
    actually you can get rid of most of it Tamlin often talked about using aged peat to cut down on this sort of stuff......he would let the peat set outside in a container where the water could drain out and let the rain leach all the stuff out over the course of a year.....there really isnt a quick way to do it and if your like me and live in a near desert it wont work but if yah live somewhere that gets a good amount of rainfall and yah have the time it seems like a good idea to me....
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    I always rinse my peat. I put it in a bucket and fill it with enough water so that the peat is floating on the water even after it's wet. Then I stir it up and let it sit for a few hours. When I come back I have nice clean peat floating still and a bunch of muddy sludge sunk to the bottom. I keep the good stuff and ditch the rest.

    I soak sand for a while too to dissolve salts before I use it.
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    With any new material, I mix it with my RO water and check the TDS. New perlite (w/o fertilizer) has very high TDS readings before multiple rinses (apparently this is a 'known' issue caused by chemicals used in it's manufacture). High TDS is also present w/ the silica sand that I get locally - multiple rinses & it's ok.

    Since I don't feel like wasting any more RO than necessary, I typically perform the 1st rinses with tap water (warm) until the water starts to become clear. Then I rinse w/ RO until the TDS is in the neighborhood of 10 ppm (or lower). I'm currently testing the APS substitute Swords told us about from NAPA - that stuff is dusty beyond belief (but based on a post from Clint - apparently that's normal for APS ...).

    You may be able to get away with not rinsing &/or not testing the TDS of the material. However, when you're prized, newly-potted plants start to fade (or maybe just not grow robustly) in a month or 3 after potting - how do you know it isn't due to all the extra mineral salts that you may have allowed into the media? I prefer to try & make my decisions based on facts whenever possible & eliminate / reduce any negative factors under my control - the little bit of extra effort provides peace-of-mind...
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