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Thread: Experiments with Polyacrylic acid

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    Not really I am Bob's Avatar
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    Experiments with Polyacrylic acid

    I recently got some dry polyacrylic acid, which is a white powder when dry. one of its most well known properties is that it can hold a lot of water.

    Now this is where the Cp's come in. As I was looking at this container of the polyacrylic acid, I got the idea to try to grow a D. capensis in it. that was a couple of days ago. so far, no ill effects on the capensis. Does anyone have any experience as using this as a medium, or am I the first? As I said in the title, this is just an experiment right now, but I think that it would cool to be able to grow plants in something like this. What do you guys think?

    I would add pics, but I'm not sure where the camera is right now.
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    Eats genetically engineered tomatoes Sig's Avatar
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    Are you talking about sodium polyacrylate? I think it would act a lot like agar, used as a medium in tissue culture. As long as it doesn't dry out or add salts I can't imagine why it wouldn't work, except for some trace nutrients they normally get in their soil.
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    I guess thats what its called. I don't usually get long titles like that right.

    That sounds about right. It shouldn't add nutrients, and it dries out very slowly. I just thought it would be cool because I could watch root development (it is partially clear.) Thanks
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    Is it a powdered form of polymer water crystals?

    This place sells it as various sized crystals and in powdered form in 2 pound or more bags of dry weight. 2 tablespoons of crystals and 8 hours makes 1 gallon of material. I use it for roach & cricket watering.

    http://www.watersorb.com/


    I would think regular chunky crystals would allow more air to circulate in the soil. I have purchased "aquatic plants" (terrarium plants) packaged this way living semi-hydroponically (?) in a sealed tube planted in the crystal gel medium. I left them in the tubes for a few months using pieces of them as I needed them. They continued to grow in the gel tubes, I opened the lids a bit and add water every once in a while as the crystal dry but these ferns and other things needed fertilizer. CPs may grow indefinitely in the gel medium without suppluments. Only concern I could see would be any molds or fungus getting in and going wild on such a sheltered plant especially if you feed it insects. Mold maybe wouldn't grow on the medium but the plant itself with dead insects could be a prime target for just about anything as you open to mist in there to rehydrate the crystals from evaporation. Just guessing about them becoming virused because I eventually removed all the plants from the tubes after a couple months and did not have CPs in it. I would be interested to see how the experiment progresses!

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    This morning after work, I found a 500g bottlle for 20$, I'm considering getting it. If it doesn't work for cp's, it can definitely be added as a soil amendment for all my other houseplants, I'll just have to remember that watering won't be as often with this in the mix.

    Sounds like a possible replacement for peat one day if this catches on, which is good for the cp's habitats should the current bogs being used for harvesting peat become depleted.
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    So after one week, my drosera 'dichotoma giant' root with sprout are still alive, kicking and growing rather quickly, sending out a new leaf as soon as it reaches the top of the 'substrate'. Next up, Heliamphora Minor, a 12$ guinea pig.

    Considering it is a gel like substance, yet it is 99.9% water, would this be considered hydroponic, semi-hydro or something else?
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